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Old 12-11-2017, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default Automatic Refrigerator Protection device

I posted in another forum about installing an ARPrv.com refrigerator protection device in a class C. I got pilloried calling it snake oil and other bad things. Somehow I hit a nerve.

Anyhow, I have installed it in a class C, The refrigerator must be removed to install it in the Roadtrec C190P so I haven't done it yet. Most of my trips are through mountainous terrain being based in Tempe, Arizona. Anyone here interested in such a device, respond. I have two trips down, one to Grand Canyon and one to San Diego. The device does shut the refrigerator down when climbing and descending using boiler temp as the trigger. It shut down 6 times to and from the Grand Canyon and 8 times Going over the coastal mountains into San Diego.

The contrary view is that many of us have run these refrigerators for many years over mountains with no problems. I am installing an indicator light on the dash so I can tell when it activates. More trips will give me more info. Initial impression is it doesn't take much of a slope to activate. The activation temperature is adjustable.
Harry
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Old 12-11-2017, 10:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbn7hj View Post
I posted in another forum about installing an ARPrv.com refrigerator protection device in a class C. I got pilloried calling it snake oil and other bad things. Somehow I hit a nerve.

Anyhow, I have installed it in a class C, The refrigerator must be removed to install it in the Roadtrec C190P so I haven't done it yet. Most of my trips are through mountainous terrain being based in Tempe, Arizona. Anyone here interested in such a device, respond. I have two trips down, one to Grand Canyon and one to San Diego. The device does shut the refrigerator down when climbing and descending using boiler temp as the trigger. It shut down 6 times to and from the Grand Canyon and 8 times Going over the coastal mountains into San Diego.

The contrary view is that many of us have run these refrigerators for many years over mountains with no problems. I am installing an indicator light on the dash so I can tell when it activates. More trips will give me more info. Initial impression is it doesn't take much of a slope to activate. The activation temperature is adjustable.
Harry
What actual problem are you trying to solve, exactly?
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Old 12-11-2017, 10:50 PM   #3
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We have always been told driving is good for the frig to keep the refrigerant from puddling

I suppose on a long, all one way tilt, it could be just the opposite.

Very interesting.

All the more reason for a compressor frig, I guess. Most of us have enough trouble in hills.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:52 AM   #4
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"What actual problem are you trying to solve."

The zinc chromate deteriorates at high temperature. When zinc chromate deteriorates the steel tubing is vulnerable to corrosion and obstruction. Once obstructed the refrigerator is ruined. The boiler temperature increases when off level.

I am surprised so few of us are aware of the consequences of off level operation during travel. We have all been told all is well if we are moving. All is not well if the hill is steep enough and long enough. The company website explains it better. You have to determine if they are correct. The link won't paste try ARPrv.com if interested.

The best solution is a compressor fridge. I will never have the battery capacity for a compressor fridge. Almost all of my travels deal with the mountains of the American west and I have taken to turning the fridge off on long descents or ascents. With this it takes care of itself.

How much mountain operation does it take to ruin a fridge? I don't know but I do know there are a lot of older units traveling mountain roads and still working fine.

I would be interested in someone else's experiences in using the device but I guess there are very few out there.
Harry
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:47 AM   #5
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Well, I moved on to a compressor fridge quite a wile ago, so I have no dog in this fight. But, as you suggest, the claim that this is a problem in practice and not just in theory is a bit dubious. I had plenty of problems with lousy cooling due to uneven campsites, but for the decade than I owned one, the performance was uniformly mediocre--it never deteriorated.

Color me skeptical.
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Old 12-12-2017, 03:18 AM   #6
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The device does shut the refrigerator down when climbing and descending using boiler temp as the trigger. It shut down 6 times to and from the Grand Canyon and 8 times Going over the coastal mountains into San Diego.
Harry
I put an ARPrv in my 2006 210 last spring before our trip out west. I have been nursing the fridge for several years and it is borderline at times maintaining cooling. Mods to vent baffling, sealing, and vent fans have worked well enough, but sometimes the temperature will creep up into the lower 40's in stressing heat conditions. I suspect the fridge had some damage from overheat before I got it 6 years ago. I put the ARPrv in to protect from overheat on long climbs and if I forget to turn the fridge off while parked off level. I wish I had put the money and time into replacing with a compressor fridge, which is what I will do when this fridge dies.

How do you tell that the ARPrv has shut the fridge down?
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Old 12-12-2017, 03:52 AM   #7
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"How do you tell that the ARPrv has shut the fridge down?"

I plan to use the alternator 12 volt output line which I have in the fridge compartment to drive an LED on the dash. It will go through the normally closed contacts of a relay whose coil is controlled by the 12 volt line between the ARP and fridge.

When the power is on to the fridge the LED is off. When the power is off the LED is on. When the engine is off the LED is off.

This leaves some relay coil current drain when parked so I may put a relay on that, too. The objective is no current drain when parked. The LED will only light with engine on and fridge off by ARP.

I asked ARP for a 12 volt source but they didn't give me one that could tell the difference between thermostat off and ARP off. Installation is tomorrow and the tough part is running a line from the fridge compartment to the dash. At the moment there is no way to leave the back of the fridge to underneath the coach. Nothing a little drilling can't solve!

There are other ways to do it without the alternator out line. ARP suggested using the relay that provides 12 volts to the heater. When it turns off pole 87a of the relay turns hot and that line can drive the LED. I think that means the LED would be on when powered by propane or AC which could be dealt with.

I would like to monitor The ARP actions and relate them to road grade (slope).
Harry
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:03 PM   #8
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We purchased our Class B lightly used and within about a year, its Dometic 2351 3-way fridge that stopped cooling. Not wanting to have to modify our cabinetry, we replaced it with another of the same model (same dimensions). Bad move. The new one lasted only 20 months. It was still covered under warranty but it would have taken months to get authorized service (I checked). So we ate the cost of the second Dometic, replacing it with a Vitrifrigo, which has worked very well in all conditions ever since.

We never did any appreciable mountain travel with either of our old absorption fridges, unless you count going through areas like Wilkes-Barre on the way up the east coast. I don't know if the device being discussed in this thread will help with performance degradation. I wish y'all luck with that, but my preference is definitely the all-electric route.
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:07 PM   #9
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I have not heard of a refrigerator being damaged by an occasional mountain trip.
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:28 PM   #10
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I have an ARP I purchased at FMCA from the engineer who developed it. It works as advertised. Surprise, the fridge will go off level sufficiently to trip out on an extended mountain grade. I also asked a Norcold rep what the limits of operation, it is: 3 side to side and 6 front to back. These measurements refer to the refrigerator front so reverse them to get the tilt of the RV. He also related that operating off level for several hours will damage the fridge and the damage is cumulative.
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