HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

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HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

Post by Kemerton on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:57 pm

I have just taken delivery of a new AutoSleeper motorhome which has a factory fitted 3-way auto Thetford N97 fridge/freezer installed. I have only had it 3 weeks and most of that time it has been back with the dealer fixing problems that should have been resolved by the PDI and I would never have been any the wiser. However, the two weekends that I have used it, I have only managed to get the fridge working one day out of six. Needless to say I have lost food both times. So the problem appears to be intermittent with some days it may work and other days it may not. This is the same for both gas and electric. As bad luck would have it, I take it back to the dealer and it works, but when I arrive at my overnight stop it doesn't.

I have spoken to Thetford Ltd in Sheffield and their customer care team leader was not at all helpful, he said because it worked for the dealers test there was nothing he could or would do. I'm not sure where the 'CARE' came into his job title. Anyway he said Thetford fridges only work on the level/flat and have maximum 2% or 3% maximum gradient or the fridge will not work. Well I was always parked on the level and I showed him four photographs of the position of the parked motorhome and I was happy it was level. He said it was not level enough. I told him that's ridiculous and if that was the case they are only fit for houses and are therefore not fit for purpose and I have purchased a motorhome that is not useable. There is nothing in the brochure/marketing literature of either Auto-Sleeper or Thetford that mentions anything about this. Had I have known this I would never have bought a motorhome with a Thetford fridge and would gladly go back to my good old faithful 3 way Dometic fridge that never let me down and worked on any slope that I have ever parked it. I have searched the internet for issues of which I found many blog's for Thetford fridges mostly problems, and some say sarcastically that they should have stuck to toilets because they're good at that.

So I am asking the ASOF community if anyone has had experience of this problem and how did they resolve it. What course of action can I take to resolve my dispute with Auto-Sleeper or the dealer? Does anyone have a Thetford that works and they're pleased with?
As previously noted, we are going down to Cornwall for 2 weeks (if the fridge works), so may not get to read your replies until my return, but surely no manufacturer would risk their reputation by installing a fridge that only works on flat ground. If anyone is interested I could post a couple of photos where I am parked and that shows I am parked flat, yet the fridge still won't work. I have not spoken to anyone who can believe this statement, so am I being fobbed off by Thetford? I wonder!

Thank you for taking the time to read my thread and if there are already threads open on this issue, grateful if you could post me the link/forum. I look forward to all responses. Many thanks
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Re: HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

Post by roli on Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:01 pm

I have sent you a private message,

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Re: HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer

Post by peugeotboxer on Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:52 pm

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Re: HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

Post by CC on Sat May 05, 2012 9:26 am

Hi Kemerton

If you come on to the forum (hopefully you will get a reply alert) Did you ever get your fridge sorted out?

We have another forum member VTS who is also having issues with the same Thetford N97 fridge as can be read in this forum link

http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t3052-nuevo-ii-fridge-problem-thetford-n97

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Same problem

Post by bm0ran on Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:53 pm

I Have just bought a Kemerton with the thetford N97 fridge and my problem is exactly the same as the one described. Obviously not fit for purpose!!! Either Auto-Sleeper or Thetford need to resolve this.
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N97 Fridge problem

Post by bm0ran on Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:56 pm

My new van, two weeks old, has also been back to the dealer and the fridge appeared to be working. Having read all the threads I am starting to suspect that this was because it was in the workshop an a flat surface. I have just gone out into my driveway armed with a spirit level and the van is as flat as it can be, so I'll give it a couple of hours and see what results. I do have to say that most sites I've been to are not as flat as my driveway and I never had a problem in my trusty old Sundance with a Dometic fridge (which also had to be level). Just how level is level? A-S need to quickly resolve this problem - with all the media outlets on the net it won't be long before the bad news spreads and people stop buying their motorhomes.
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Re: HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

Post by Paulmold on Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:07 pm

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Thetford N97 saga

Post by bm0ran on Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:13 am

Left the fridge on overnight having ensured that the van was level and guess what - the temperature in the ice box in down to -10 degrees. It would appear that the problem is caused by the van not being level. However, as this is a fridge designed to be used in a mobile home, I would suggest that it is not fit for purpose. Could I propose a very low tech solution? Fit adjustable feet! (To the fridge not the van).
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Thetford fridge

Post by murph on Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:25 pm

Hi All,
I understand Dometic used to have this problem and were sensitive to less than 3 degrees but have reduced this in recent years to about 6 degrees our Dometic 7271 works perfectly at an angle of about 5 degrees which is 3 steps on our Millenco levels.

Brian2
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Re: HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

Post by roli on Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:36 pm

There was much debate at the ASOC AGM with Auto Sleepers over the performance of these fridges and AS did not convince the members who were having problems that they were as efficient as the Dometic units.

Listening to the members the van needs to be flat to work.

I have a friend who had a Swift group van with one of these Thetford fridges and it drove him balmy, so much so he sold the van and bought another make as neither the dealer nor Swift group could resolve the problem

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Re: HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

Post by Paulmold on Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:28 pm

There is an explanation as to why these fridges don't work on a slope in this thread from UKCampsite forum

http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/chatter/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=12&TopicID=274530&PagePosition=1

and this is Thetfords reply..

http://www.thetford-europe.com/en/faqs.aspx (look under 'questions about our refridgerators')

and another thread on the subject from wildcamping.co.uk

http://www.wildcamping.co.uk/forums/motorhome-problems/19413-does-anybody-else-have-problems-thetford-fridges-adria-motorhomes.html

It is obviously not the motorhome/caravan manufacturers that are at fault, apart from buying Thetford fridges, but something that Thetford need to address. Dometic (previously Electrolux) years ago had only a 3 degree tolerance and altered the design to allow up to 6 degree tolerance. Perhaps all Thetford fridge owners should bombard the company with complaints and manufacturers should threaten them with changing supplier if they can't supply a fridge that is suitable.
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Re: HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

Post by Billy Ruffian on Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:08 am

Has anyone got anywhere with the N97 Thetford fridge problem? Ours is the same - just doesn't work and Autosleepers not interested in sorting. I have never had a problem with the Electrolux fridge in my old Executive.

Clearly the fridge is not fit for purpose in a motorhome and I wonder if anyone would like to join in a class action against Autosleepers with a view to getting our fridges changed for fridges that are suitable for motorhomes?
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Re: HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

Post by -mojo- on Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:36 pm

Billy Ruffian wrote:
Clearly the fridge is not fit for purpose in a motorhome and I wonder if anyone would like to join in a class action against Autosleepers with a view to getting our fridges changed for fridges that are suitable for motorhomes?

Is there any such thing as a "class action" in the UK? For some reason I had always assumed that it was something that was specific to the US legal system, but I genuinely don't know... Any legal experts care to correct me?
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Re: HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

Post by roli on Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:57 pm

As this is a known problem and has been discussed on here and elswhere for some time we should close this thread now legalities are being discussed.

Please try and understand that Admin (the owner of this site) is responsible all items published on here and we have no wish to cause him problems.

Some of you will have been involved in the discussion last year at Newark. It is unfortunate that AS took no notice of its customers then.

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Re: HELP! Thetford N97 Fridge/Freezer Problems

Post by Billy Ruffian on Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:35 am

Apologies if I have caused a problem for Admin> Why not just remove my post instead of closing the thread?

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