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Old 07-18-2014, 09:50 AM   #1
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New Refrigerator keeps burning up circuit boards

Hello, we are new Alpine Coach owners. We have a 2003 40FDTS. When we purchased it the Amana had a compressor that needed replaced (according to the tech). It was just a little more to buy a brand new refrigerator. On our first trip from Montana to Ohio we noticed an electrical burning smell. It was coming from the refrigerator. We had Sears come out and they found the circuit board had one or two resistors completely burned up in the control circuit board. Prior to the trip, we had the unit hooked up for two days to household 110 (and it worked fine). Is this being caused by a faulty inverter spiking? After being repaired, I purchased a special refrigerator surge and low current protector at the outlet and it burned up the new circuit board on our way back to Montana (again). I had the fridge hooked up to household 110 again while in Ohio with no issues. Do I need to replace the inverter? Seems that everything is original. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:59 AM   #2
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Has the Amana fridge EVER run correctly with your existing setup?

What type of Inverter does your Alpine coach have, Modified Sine Wave or Pure Sine Wave?

If you have a MSW Inverter, have you assessed whether the Amana fridge will run correctly using that type of Inverter?

I am guessing that the fridge and Inverter are not compatible or the Inverter has gone south.

If that's correct you have three options.

#1 - Make sure the Inverter is working correctly.

#2 - Replace the MSW Inverter with a PSW Inverter and fix the Amana.

#3 - Replace the fridge with one that will run using your MSW Inverter.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:17 AM   #3
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We are still learning this coach. I assume that the amana fridge is the original (shelves in freezer rusted) and did work. I have not been able to find the inverter yet but according to the all the owners paperwork it is an Freedom 458 by Xantrex. I have already got rid of the amana. Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:36 AM   #4
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Andy,

The Xantrex Freedom 458 Inverter is a Modified Sine Wave Inverter.

Every type of refrigerator will NOT work with that type of Inverter.

Based on the year of your Alpine coach it most likely did NOT come originally with the Amana. I am betting that it was a retrofit.

I am also guessing that the reason the compressor was shot was because of the type of Inverter.

I chose the Samsung RF197 fridge which does work OK with a MSW Inverter. There are others that will also work with a MSW Inverter.

Fisher/Paykel is another one, some models of LG, Whirlpool, Fridgedaire, etc.

You just need to do some research on residential fridges for use in a RV with a Modified Sine Wave Inverter.

Or change out the Inverter to a Pure Sine Wave Inverter and then choose any type of fridge that will fit into the same space.

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Old 07-18-2014, 10:51 AM   #5
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Thanks for your input. At this point I think the best bet would be upgrade the inverter. It would be about the same price as getting another refrigerator but with investing in pure sine wave will also probably do better as we upgrade to newer electronics such as flat screens. I appreciate your help.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:03 PM   #6
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YUP--if the inverter in your 03 is OEM, it is/was a Freedom 458 Combe MSW. And yes, the 03 did come with an Amana frig. Amana has [did have] a board that would work with a MSW inverter. If your inverter is OEM, its probably about time for a new PSW inverter. Everything in your coach would work better on a PSW. Not sure how long you have owned the coach but obvious inpact of a MSW inverter is when dry camping.....
PS--the inverter in an 03 is on a shelf near the ceiling of the basement compartment just in front of the rear wheel well, on the passenger side. Optional locations include amidships on the floor behind felt covered plywood in that same compartment; or in the main basement at the very rear of the compartment.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:21 AM   #7
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:43 AM   #8
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Andy, since you have the same model as mine you should find the inverter behind the felt covered paneling in the center of the compartment just ahead of the rear wheels. Be sure to read the previous threads concerning replacement of the inverter/charger.

I replaced mine with Xantrex Freedom SW2012 and whereas many others have used the Magnum unit. The new Xantrex units are NOT a simple "plug & play" upgrade including difference is size. I've also discovered that the fans stay on all the time when a load is present or internal heat exceeds 113 degrees (accordiing to Technical Support). The fans are not particularly noisey but are noticeable when everything else is quiet (like being stored in my garage). If you want to discuss an SW2012 upgrade feel free to PM me.
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:11 PM   #9
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HI all,
I am in the process of rebuilding a 2000 Discovery. All new flooring, mcd shades, flat screen tv's, samsung 197 refer, samsung micro, whirlpool w/d, new light fixtures, cabinet refinish, hardware and the list just goes on and on! Read this article on refer problems and the inverter msw vs pure sine wave. I have the Freedom Combi Inverter/Charger and I am interested in changing to the psw. Where is the best place to buy and get info?
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lburson View Post
Where is the best place to buy and get info?
I got info and recommendations at a couple of Alpine Socal rallies from fellow Alpine owners who had changed their inverters, plus reading the Alpine Coach owners forum on this website. (Many of posts are by the people I know from the club.) I then went to the Magnum website and downloaded their manual about installation and use. They show all the necessary dimensions and electrical connections.

This includes bcbowers, who posted above, who told me about the fact that the Magnum inverters use the same RJ11 wiring as the existing remote, versus the newer Xantrex which use Cat5 wiring.

I bought my Magnum PSW inverter from Amazon. All the reviews on Amazon are good. Good prices and I found some included free shipping. Free shipping is big since it weights over 40 lbs. It came in a couple of days after ordering, well packaged and in perfect condition. Hopefully I will never buy one again, but if I did I would not hesitate to buy there again.

The Alpine Coach has an electrical sub-panel for the circuits powered by the inverter, so we don't need the models with the integrated circuit breakers. I don't know what your coach might have.

Finally, if I was spending the money on a new inverter, I would definitely buy the more expensive pure sine wave inverters over the cheaper modified sine wave inverters. One less thing to have to be concerned about down the road.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:52 PM   #11
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Andy,

We have had the same problem. Have replaced 4 circuit boards which control the ice maker and water/ice dispenser through the door. Our modified sine wave inverter was causing the problem. WRV knew about the problem and supplied some owners (like me) with a modified board, which had a larger resistor. This did not fix the problem. Only delayed it.

We changed to a Magnum pure sine wave inverter and the problem was solved.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:49 PM   #12
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I hate like ---- to say this but our Amana has been "delayed" now for over 13 years since we changed out the board to a MSW acceptable model.....but I still agree, given the age of your inverter, its probably time to replace with a PSW model..
PS--not all 03s are the same, ref my earlier post, your inverter could be in one of three locations.....
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:08 PM   #13
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Andy, I have an 05 with the Amana. We went through 3 circuit boards before WRV sent us a modified after that we went 7 years before the Inverter/charger failed, we now have a Xantrex that stays on all the time.

Dave
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:02 PM   #14
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Thanks for the information. Which Xantrex model inverter did you go with? Right now I am considering the Magnum MS2812
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