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Post by 1275 on Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:45 am

We recently bought a VW T4 Autosleeper Gatcombe.  It involved a 400 mile drive back from Devon to Cumbria, which despite the M5 near Bristol being completely closed northbound and endless roadworks north of Birmingham, it went well. Only took just under ten hours, by which time my brain was rattling in harmony with the interior fittings.
One  owner from new, 52k miles, fsh, many new parts, it's been well looked after and serviced regularly. I've just given it a thorough going over inside: catches adjusted, hinges replaced, woodwork polished, carpets and curtains washed, some of the many rattles identified and eliminated.  Still to do: clean up the underside and treat as necessary prior to blasting with Dinitrol, machine polish tired paintwork and protect with wax. Possibly a remap sometime for the 2.5 TDi.

First trip was a fortnight ago to  a site overlooking Morcombe Bay. It went well, apart from a couple of minor glitches. The fridge it transpired, wasn't  working on 12v despite an illuminated red light on the switch when the engine was running. Also there was  no water from the taps, caused as I discovered when we got home, by the filter housing on the pump having mysteriously come apart.  Next trip later today to a small site near Ravenglass, likely to be more our natural habitat than larger sites.

Really pleased to have found this forum and will almost certainly be asking for advice in the future.
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Post by burlingtonboaby on Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:15 am

Hi 1275
Welcome to the forum from Bridlington 
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Post by Cymro on Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:08 pm

Welcome from sunny Cardiff! The Gatcombe is a brilliant van. And the 2.5tdi is first class. I didn't get ours remapped because the gains would only be marginal, and I was concerned about the effect on my insurance premium in future years.  Monocoque and VW: perfect!

Cymro

PS, Fridge element may have gone. Does it work on mains when on site? If not, my guess is the element. Mine died, and was replaced.
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Post by 1275 on Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:41 pm

Cymro,

Glad you approve.

The fridge does work on 240v.  I assume there are two elements, and that, as you suggest, it's the 12v one which has gone.
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Post by roli on Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:41 am

asof_welcome2

You are probably aware of this this but the Fridge only works on 12v whilst the van is running wont work when static. Has to be Gas or Mains.

Up your way in a couple of hours to Grassmere

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Post by fujiman on Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:30 pm

Welcome to forum. I to have a VW Gatcombe 2002 which I bought this year. I have just completed cleaning and waxing it after years of neglect ( paint work was dull and had green scale all around the edge of the roof) now looks a lot better, ready for trip to Keswick next week.
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:51 am

1275 wrote:Cymro,

Glad you approve.

The fridge does work on 240v.  I assume there are two elements, and that, as you suggest, it's the 12v one which has gone.

I've read recently that there is only one element that works on both 12V and 240V, though there are other supplementary electrical bits that swap between voltages. I'd be interested to know if that's right or wrong. Also lots of folk suggest that an absorption fridge performs more poorly when on 12V than when using 240V, but, again, I've read that both theoretically should refrigerate to the same degree, though overall gas operation is theoretically the best performer.
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Post by 1275 on Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:06 pm

As far as I'm aware the fridge I have, Dometic RM4233, has 12v and 240v elements and is an absorbtion fridge. I'm not sure it's relevant to compare the two settings as they have different functions, the former only to maintain a temperature previously lowered by 240v or gas, but I know nothing about fridges so this could be wrong.
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:34 pm

1275 wrote:As far as I'm aware the fridge I have, Dometic RM4233, has 12v and 240v elements and is an absorbtion fridge. I'm not sure it's relevant to compare the two settings as they have different functions, the former only to maintain a temperature previously lowered by 240v or gas, but I know nothing about fridges so this could be wrong.

That's what I thought too, until I read a piece by somebody who's supposed to know what they're talking about. 

His explanation for the general misconception that 12V is only to maintain a level of chill, is that many people don't pre-chill their fridges before starting a trip and then the fridge has to struggle reducing the internal temp from ambient, with potentially fairly warm contents just added. Of course if the fridge is pre-cooled then all the 12V has to do is maintain the temperature anyway.
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Post by TonyToub on Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:28 pm

Hi.  Just to say we also live in Cumbria and have loved our 2002 Gatcombe for over ten years.  Apart from meticulous servicing we've had very little to do to it.  We have had occasions when the 12v fridge light hasn't come on with the engine, which has tended to be when the fuse has worked loose.  However when the light is on it's been fine at maintaining the cool temperature, even in a very hot Spain.
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