Author Topic: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing  (Read 1917 times)

Offline William_Foster

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Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« on: September 18, 2018, 10:45:48 PM »
Evening all,

I have a 2 month old TVan Scout Mk 5 with an ARB 60L Fridge I purchased at the same time.

The TVan is plugged into power and the batteries are at 100%, the fridge has power as the display is lit.  It is flashing the red check light and showing 10 degrees.

I have the fridge set to Low Voltage protection, which isn't meant to cut off until 10.1V (The batteries are currently at 13.64V).

We went away for a couple of weeks when we first got the TVan without any issues, but have been having this issue since the weekend (Just as we are about to go away again).

I have read a lot of posts on the internet that suggest a wiring issue, potentially a ground issue.

Any advice? We live in remote WA so can't just pop into Track Trailer or a reseller.


2018 Tvan Scout
2013 Toyota Hilux SR5

Offline Cuppa

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 05:48:47 AM »
We have had an ARB 60l fridge like yours for several years with I think, the same problem. Only occurs when switching from 240v to 12v. Ours was out of warranty before we discovered the issue (not fitted for sometime after purchase). It has however always had the problem from when we first used it. The 35 litre one we have behaves perfectly. When the check light flashes we found a workaround. Either change the temperature to one much lower, or change the battery protection setting to high. Once this is done (on 12v) the check light stops flashing & settings can be returned to those desired. It seems clear that there is a glitch in the auto changeover from 240v to 12v. 12v to 240v works fine. Since fitting a battery charger into the vehicle we now run the fridge on 12v all the time, just in case the workarounds should cease to work. Not totally satisfactory. If yours is still under warranty I’d be making a claim.
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Offline Wetjala

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2018, 09:50:48 AM »
Yeah I agree there is some issue with ARB fridges when switching between AC & DC power sources and the workaround I use is to switch the fridge off momentarily from the front panel then switch to the other source before again turning the fridge back on. I've had these anomalies on occasion with the 47l ARB (in the car) and the 60l ARB (in the T-Van) which are mitigated when I use the power-off, power-on trick!

As for the flashing red light, the "book-of-words" (manual) that came with the fridge details what the flashing error code refers to. I think there are three distinct flashing codes produced under certain conditions so this may help you to diagnose the problem. I've also left the low battery setting on the fridges to MED which is the default as shipped.

The 47l is 9 years old while the 60l is just under 2 years (as is the T-Van). Earlier this year the 47l went belly-up which ARB (Kilsythe HQ) fixed gratis, which I was pretty happy about. Even though all of the electronics were replaced (including the thermostat) the repaired unit did have one of those "power moments" when I forgot to do the power cycle trick. When preparing for a trip I'll run the fridges on 240Vac (with the fridges preloaded with a old wine bladder full of water that is frozen in the home freezer to assist with reducing the initial thermal load during cool-down) before switching over to 12Vdc for the trip (and power off, power on).

Hope this helps!

Offline Howezit

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2018, 12:39:46 PM »
The above comments are all valid.
I, however, did have a similar issue with my ARB fridge in the car, and I traced it back to a dodgy anderson plug where the one pin was sometimes being pushed back into the plug, thus creating a poor connection. Since then.. no problem ;)
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Offline William_Foster

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 09:34:21 PM »
Thanks all for the comments and suggestions.

I’ve got some feedback from the agent that sold me the TVan that there is a merit plug included in my box of spares to use for the fridge that will hopefully address the issue, so I’ve got a task to do when I get home 🙂
2018 Tvan Scout
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Offline Gumb

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2018, 10:12:16 PM »
Thanks all for the comments and suggestions.

I’ve got some feedback from the agent that sold me the TVan that there is a merit plug included in my box of spares to use for the fridge that will hopefully address the issue, so I’ve got a task to do when I get home 🙂

If you're changing to a merit, what's it been plugged into ? The merit socket was the only option I had in the fridge box.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 09:17:41 AM by Gumb »
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Offline CKG

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2018, 09:32:57 AM »
I have just resolved a similar issue with my fridge in a 2016 Canning. The new National Luna fridge I installed kept cutting out due to low voltage. I had the fridge checked under warranty - it's fine. I had the batteries tested - they're both fine. I put the van into an auto electrician - they found the wiring behind the merit socket in the fridge cabinet had almost burnt out. They replaced the merit socket with an Anderson plug and the wiring down to where it enters the chassis rail.

I haven't been on a trip since fixing it - but it's running fine now. I hope this is helpful.

Cheers

Chris

2015 Tvan mkIII

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Offline Wetjala

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2018, 10:54:10 AM »
Interesting comments about the Merit plug. I heard a similar thing from the ARB salesman who sold me the 60l: that the Merit socket is prone to failure due to overheating in some installations and, if memory serves me correct, their preference now is to use the Engel style connections (don't quote me on that though!). My older 47l came with the standard cig.lighter plug that would convert to a Merit plug (by removing a section at the tip of the plug) that the 60l didn't which is how the conversation came up with the salesman when I queried this.

Whilst I haven't experienced any issues to date I reckon I will be retrofitting the Merit with an Engel-style socket in my T-Van to mitigate any potential problems in the future . . to be sure, to be sure! (wouldn't be a happy chappy if things went pear-shaped while in the back-blocks somewhere!!)   >:(

Offline Cruiser 105Tvan

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2018, 11:43:50 AM »
You can get the Engel style socket from your local NARVA agent, Autobarn, Superc**, etc.
Be careful inserting the plug, because you can still get it wrong and blow a fuse.
Even with the little key post inside the socket. 
Be even worth putting an inline fuse beside the socket too.
If you use the Engel socket, make sure you screw down the collar on the plug, into the socket.
And suspend the power cord, so it doesn't get chopped in the fridge slide accidentally.
And have a good time using the Tvan after all that effort.

I've got the Engel style, posi-lok, sockets in both the Tvan and the Tug. 
And it's a set and forget connection.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 11:47:52 AM by Cruiser 105Tvan »
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Offline Gumb

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2018, 12:04:22 PM »
As I mentioned, I have the standard merit fitting in the front box and have done over 20k with it and haven't had any issues. Quite a bit of that has been on corrugations as well so the fridge (EvaKool) sits on a high density foam mat on the fridge slide. On the last trip I used the merit outlet on top of the front box (fridge side) to run a lead to the Waeco fridge (running as a freezer) in the car when we were free camping so the aux battery in the car was kept at full capacity overnight while the 2 batteries in the Tvan ran both fridges easily. I had no issues with that merit connection either.
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Offline William_Foster

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2018, 11:11:52 PM »
Just to follow-up on the previous post from Gumb, ARB swapped over the standard plug for a Merit plug; but the dealer asked me to try swapping the ARB one over for one of the Merit plugs included in my spares box.  Which I did.  Unfortunately it still failed, I swapped the TVan ARB fridge out for my Waeco that is in my car (Luckily it has the same plug as the ARB fridge) and that didn't work either; so I definitely think it is a TVan issue at this stage.  Hopefully we can arrange to get it looked at in Kalgoorlie, I don't really want to have to drive to Perth.

As an aside, it was interesting to hear your comment Wetjala; that was pretty much word for word what the local ARB dealer said to me when I got them to mod the cable up originally.

I'll update you all when I get further feedback.
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2013 Toyota Hilux SR5

Offline William_Foster

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2018, 11:24:08 PM »
I have just resolved a similar issue with my fridge in a 2016 Canning. The new National Luna fridge I installed kept cutting out due to low voltage. I had the fridge checked under warranty - it's fine. I had the batteries tested - they're both fine. I put the van into an auto electrician - they found the wiring behind the merit socket in the fridge cabinet had almost burnt out. They replaced the merit socket with an Anderson plug and the wiring down to where it enters the chassis rail.

I haven't been on a trip since fixing it - but it's running fine now. I hope this is helpful.

Cheers

Chris

CKG, it sounds exactly like my scenario.  Hopefully I can get it fixed under warranty as it is only a few months old.

It is interesting as I never had merit sockets in my car which I have had a bit of electrical work done to ... read a lot  :) ... but when I ordered the TVan and was reading about the Merit plugs and did some research and saw that they were apparently better as they provided a stronger connection to ground.

I really hope it can be fixed easily, I don't like messy cabling and holes that can't be reused (I may have OCD).  Having said that, I was never sure why they didn't put the plug facing the back (middle) of the cabinet so that the cable didn't get caught on the filter and caught in the mechanism when closing, sure it would potentially pinch and it would be a pain to put in initially, but you'd think the space at the back (middle) would be more than enough to minimise the pinch issue.  If I did need to have it recabled I might ask them to do it that way and have a flexible bend installed to minimise the pinch issue.

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Offline CKG

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2018, 09:07:37 AM »
Hi William

I went with an Anderson plug to replace the merit plug. I reckon they're the most reliable.

Cheers

Chris
2015 Tvan mkIII

2009 LC200 Sahara

Offline Seals

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2018, 08:42:59 PM »
An issue with many fridge slides is the continual movement and stress on a plug, not to mention the cable being pinched by the slide. A solution I have used for many years now is to hold the slack cable above the moving parts with a retractable line keyring fitted to the top of the interior fridge space. One such product is sold by seton_aust@seton.com. Part No A46860
Hope this adds to all the ideas presented.
New and very pleased Scout owner

Offline William_Foster

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Re: Query: ARB Fridge - Check Light Flashing
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2018, 11:53:05 PM »
Thanks for the tips :)

I am being sent a replacement female merit plug and then going to get a local auto electrician to get the connector repaired and tested (the Track Dealer is covering the costs which is great).

Once it is working again I will look into the option of the keyring you identified Seals, I have had a look online and it looks good.

If it gets too problematic I might just swap over to an Anderson plug like you suggested Chris, that's what I did for my fridge in the ute canopy and I haven't had any problems since.
2018 Tvan Scout
2013 Toyota Hilux SR5