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Old 05-16-2011, 09:40 AM
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Default Electrical load test - 12v socket

Several times over the last couple of years I've had issues with my ARB fridge "shutting down" when the truck is parked. It throws an error code, which I've diagnosed as an auto shut-off feature on the fridge when the battery dips below a certain voltage level. The shut down threshold has 3 settings, and I have mine set at the lowest level (since I have an aux battery), which is around 10.5 volts. Fortunately, it runs fine when I'm driving, and the fridge seals well enough where I haven't had issues keeping my beer cold.

The battery threw the error again a couple days after I got back from Moab, so I did some testing.

- 12.04 volts at the battery.
- 12.04 volts at the 12 volt socket on the back of the 80.

but the fridge thinks it's much lower when the compressor cycles on.

My next theory is that the voltage is good at steady state, but when the load from the fridge cycles on, there is a drop that causes the system to shut back down. What is the best way to test this? And what might cause this behavior? My guesses are:

- insufficient wiring from fuse block to outlet (I've got around 6' of 18g wire).
- inadequate wiring in power socket (I've got a marine locking socket)
- battery is dying (no evidence of this)

Toss out any ideas you have.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:45 AM
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The 12v plug that the fridge itself uses might just suck. On my edgestar, it used to shut down because of low voltage occasionally untill i zip tied the plug into the socket really tight. I think a proper solution would be to use a more secure plug and socket for the fridges. I think they draw enough to heat up the cheap 12v plugs since the plugs themselves are lossy.

My 12v outlets have like 4 ga wire going to them in the back and it still did what you are describing until I zip tied that plug tight.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:01 AM
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Funny you say that - I've been through about 3 sets of plugs/sockets trying to find one that would actually lock and hold tight. This last combination seems to be the best I have, yet it's still not quite right.

ARB offers a wiring loom kit with 12v locking socket, so I may give it a shot.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:03 AM
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I agree on the 12v plug.. is the plug hot at all when you remove it from the socket? At the height of my Edgestar days, I could burn my thumb on the plug.. I ended up using a trailer wire harness and connection instead, with much better success and no appreciable heat loss- just one step away from hard wiring the thing.

The plug on my Engel is of much better quality though, and I'd presume your ARB would be similar.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:07 AM
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It was a good quality plug, but it wouldn't hold tight in the socket so I replaced it with what I thought was a high quality marine plug and socket.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:11 AM
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post up a pic/link of the socket you used. I need to upgrade mine....

Is the new one hot after the fridge runs for a while? You could wire the volt meter at the fridge and watch what it does as the fridge cycles.. I have used sewing needles to pierce the insulation and get to the wires inside before, then you touch the voltmeter to the exposed needles. Just don't let them touch!
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:45 AM
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18 GA. might be a tad light too.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:52 AM
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ARB has a device that is supposed to be able to simulate the load and test the socket. I think the bottom line is the ARB fridge has a high start up current requirement and a lot of wiring / sockets does not like that. I would go away from the 12 v plug and use an mini Andersen plug

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Old 05-16-2011, 12:12 PM
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Thanks for the tip. Googling anderson plugs takes you to a number of Aussie forums where these plugs seem to be commonplace in truck and trailer apps.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:53 PM
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I am hoping these are a better fit than the marine ones.

Stolen from this thread

12v outlets with cover from a 2006 Sequoia
Part # 85530-34010
Part # 85535-0C020-E1

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