Saturday, December 2, 2017

Speaking of material things to worry about

I have a Dometic CF-25 refrigerator/freezer. I know, if I were more of a minimalist I would make do without it, eating and drinking things that didn’t require refrigeration. But cold beverages and not needing to replace ice are things that really matter to me.

The fridge is my biggest consumer of electricity. Since there’s less sunlight in winter to charge my house batteries, and therefore less power to run anything other than the fridge, I tried an experiment.

Other van dwellers with setups similar to mine turn the fridge off at night. True, it’s cooler at night so a well insulated fridge should be able to hold temperature fairly well. But well enough? Let’s find out.

The temperature raised degree overnight. No problem.

When I turned the fridge back on at about 10:00AM the error light started blinking. Uh-oh. What did that mean? I turned the fridge off and on again. Still the blinking light. I disconnected and reconnected the power. Still blinking.

The manual is in a box under the bed but I didn’t feel like digging it out, so I found the manual online. It told me:

Um, okay, but what is it symptomatic of? Do I need to do something or will it get ready on its own? Is it the manufacturer’s translated-from-Swedish way of saying, “You Americans are always in a hurry. Relax, have some gravlax. These things will sort themselves out.” Or does it mean it’s time to give the fridge a Viking funeral?

I searched online for deals on replacements, just in case. Yikes, prices have gone up.

I checked the fridge again, in case it had decided it was ready. The light was still blinking.

I distracted myself with some puttering around and straightening up.

Then the error light was off and all was once again right with my world. My Dometic CF-25 just isn’t a morning person. I can live with that.


  1. Was the error light flashing because the unit was too warm and just needed time to catch/cold up? I like your writing. Thanks. Estelle.

    1. If you mean the temperature of the fridge's machinery, no it it had been off all night.

  2. Look at page 19 in the operating manual and you will see a chart of voltages. Did you have enough voltage available for restart? Restart takes more than just running. Maybe after a while you had some input from solar or your batteries warmed up and were happier and that gave the Dometic enough juice to restart?