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Thread: ARP Fridge Defend Install + First Impressions (in a 2019 315RLTS)

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    Senior Member howson's Avatar
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    Dec 2017
    NW Florida
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    ARP Fridge Defend Install + First Impressions (in a 2019 315RLTS)

    So you may have read my other thread on wanting to power my refrigerator on AC (through an inverter) while traveling. As a result of that thread and researching the forum I learned about ARP's Fridge Defend and absorption-style refrigerators (and what kills them). In the other thread I mentioned I also wanted to limit the logistics involved with the refrigerator. Another way of saying it is I want a configuration where I can "set it and forget it". The ARP device protects the refrigerator (from me) when I forget the frig is on and park on uneven ground.

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    As an interesting aside, I talked with the inventor today (Paul) and the ARP as it exists today came about due to stopping on a shoulder of a road (at a severe angle) while helping a fellow RV'er with a clogged fuel pump. By the time he was done helping the other guy he'd burned up his refrigerator, which he didn't realize until he arrived at his vacation destination. Today Paul was super with answering the phone (twice) to help me with install questions. On Christmas Eve no less!

    Some lessons learned during the install:
    1) The Dometic RM1350SLMX in my '19 315RLTS has a left-hand boiler.

    2) Installing the ARP sensor is easier than it appears in the instructions, though it is a "blind" install. There will be scratched hands/arms, too, due to all the sharp edges where you're working. Removing the metal panel (the one with the schematic on it) makes it easier to work on the boiler.

    In this picture the metal plate between the boiler and the ventilation panel is removed, but I haven't opened up the boiler itself.
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    3) A crimping tool is required (IMO) to make solid power connections for the fans (if you get that version). Extra lengths of wire are needed, too, if you decide to mount fans in the upper section or inside of the refrigerator. The length of wires on the fans are not long enough to reach the ARP controller. Extra insulation for around the heater tube and sensor is required as well.

    4) Four sets of connectors for the fans are provided, but they are the typical ones you'll find at the hardware store. Not thrilled with how the connectors mate as metal is showing after they are connected (so 12V is exposed). I'm going to look for better connectors and replace what was sent. EDIT: I'm a dummy--all I needed to do was use heat shrink on the 12V+ connections. I have tons of it, too! Dang it...

    5) If you decide to buy a Fridge Defend with the fan control (like I did) note that the large fan shown on the purchase option page (and the picture above) ( does not fit in the upper ventilation section of my '19 315RLTS. The pictures below show the diagram from the installation manual at and what the upper section of my trailer looks like. There is no way (in my rig) the installation shown will work. The big fan won't fit anywhere in the upper space.

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    I installed both large fans in the lower ventilation panel. What I'm going to do is use the smaller fridge fans in the upper vent space as they fit perfectly between the vent slats. I talked with Paul about this and he's going to work with me on getting two more fans.

    6) RTFMs. It's not immediately intuitive when power is applied what's going on. After reading the manual I discovered everything was working perfectly. (Whew.)

    It's not a hard install but the blizzard of information on the website (and manuals) takes a while to absorb. (Get it?) I must have gone over the instructions (and watched the videos) 10 times before attempting to install the device.

    If there's any questions fire away. I'll follow-up on this thread in the future when there's something new to report.
    Last edited by howson; 12-25-2018 at 06:35 AM.
    2017 Ford F-350 DRW 6.7L Platinum
    2019 315RLTS (purchased 16 Jul 18 from Campers Inn RV in Byron, GA)

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