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Old 06-25-2016, 10:51 PM   #1
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Default Never forget to turn off fridge again

The Travato 59g has a 3 way fridge which allows the option of running the unit with 12v power from the coach battery while traveling. This works well as the alternator easily keeps up with the draw, you don't use propane and there are no worries at fuelling stops with open flames. (Full disclosure: I previously always used the fridge on propane when driving and usually never turned it off at gas stations.)


Where the 12v option fails is when you forget to turn it off or forget to switch to another heat source when you park and shut off the engine. The draw on the battery is huge and you can use up a good portion of its capacity in just a few hours. What I've set out to do is to modify the fridge control so that it will only run on 12v when the engine is also running and will shut off when the engine is shut off. This mod was suggested by a post from member hbn7hj. I've never wired up a relay so I watched a bunch of videos on how they work so here goes.


This first photo is a view from underside the rear of the coach. You can see a corner of the green generator but what we're interested in is that black box behind it.



If you remove 6 screws, two on each side and two on the front side, the cover will come off and it looks like this.




That silver canister is the isolator relay. It combines the coach battery and the chassis battery so that they both receive a charge from the alternator when the engine is running, When the engine is off, the batteries are separated again. That center bolt has a wire (the one with the yellow insulator) that is connected somehow to the alternator and that wire is hot when the engine is on. I think that's how it works because it has no voltage when the key is on, only when the engine is running and then only after a delay of a couple of seconds. Anyway that terminal is where we will get the signal that will tell the fridge that the engine is on so I ran a wire, the black one that goes off to the right, from that screw into the compartment at the rear of the fridge securing it using all the clamps and wraps that were already installed by Winnebago to hold other wires.


This is a picture of the back of the refrigerator. Towards the center you will see a small black cube that is a 30 amp relay. It has four terminals. Terminal 85 is connected to the selector switch on the refrigerator, terminal 86 goes to ground. 12V positive comes in terminal 30 and when the power selector switch is turned to 12v, the relay is energized and power is applied to the 12v heater out terminal 87.




What I want to do is intercept the power that is going to the heater and make it conditional on the engine running so I bought another 30 amp relay at O'Reilly's. This one is a 5 terminal relay. You'll see why later.


Terminal 85 will receive the wire from the battery isolator relay that we ran and terminal 86 will go to ground. The wire from the heater that was attached to the factory relay at terminal 87 will go to the new relay's terminal 87 and a short wire will connect the two relays from the old terminal 87 to the new terminal 30. Now the fridge must meet two condtions before the 12v heater will operate. The selector must be turned to 12v and the engine must be running.


Here's what both relays wired up look like.



To be continued...
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:53 PM   #2
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This is a photo of two LED lights I mounted inside the coach.




This is why it became necessary to purchase a 5 terminal relay instead of a 4 terminal one. I wired a green LED to light when the fridge is on 12v. I wired a red LED to terminal 87a (the fifth terminal). This LED is off if the fridge is on and the engine is running. When the engine is turned off it lights and I can either ignore it, like at a gas station or a short stop or I can switch to another power source.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:18 AM   #3
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I like that idea. Nicely done.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:17 PM   #4
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Really excellent mod. Not for the novice, but well done and documented.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:49 PM   #5
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Nice work on the fridge. I see in your photos that you have a cover over the front cab portion of your motorhome. I have the Trend with the same front cab. Where did you obtain this cover or did you make it? I have made a pattern, using plastic sheeting, for this front cab portion and will have a shop make one for me if there are no covers for sale somewhere.
m dot logan33 at yahoo dot com.
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:28 PM   #6
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This is the windshield cover. LINK

It's junk. I don't even know where it is anymore. It's not opaque and it doesn't fit all that well. I was expecting something more like the ADCO I had for my Ford Class C. Not even close. Would not buy.
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Old 10-24-2016, 02:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric1514 View Post
This is a photo of two LED lights I mounted inside the coach.




This is why it became necessary to purchase a 5 terminal relay instead of a 4 terminal one. I wired a green LED to light when the fridge is on 12v. I wired a red LED to terminal 87a (the fifth terminal). This LED is off if the fridge is on and the engine is running. When the engine is turned off it lights and I can either ignore it, like at a gas station or a short stop or I can switch to another power source.
Winnebago needs you on their team.

I hope they read these forums. A few tweaks such as this and they leave the competition for the Travato, even further behind.
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansingh View Post
Winnebago needs you on their team.

I hope they read these forums. A few tweaks such as this and they leave the competition for the Travato, even further behind.
LOL. They read Facebook. Post it in the Travato group and there's an 80% chance the head of the B Class division will actually see it.
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