Fridge Cost Concerns Mutes Birthday Celebrations !

Monday morning dawned and still Sebo’s fridge/freezer contents were not as cool -or frozen- as they ought to have been! Attempts to suss-out the problem yesterday had yielded nothing and we were left with no other option, as far as we could see, than to find a motorhome repair centre who may be able to fix it up. At the back of both our minds was the fact that it’s an old fridge AND it’s an old Dometic fridge (known for being troublesome!) and our fears that we may have to fork out somewhere in the region of €1500 for a replacement had, understandably, somewhat muted Roy’s birthday celebrations! After all, how can one celebrate with warm beer????

For those who are unaware of the workings of a motorhome fridge/freezer – Sebo’s system is an AES system – Automatic Energy Selector – which means it can be cooled using LPG from our tanks, or a 230v electrical supply when we have use of one or, finally, a 12v supply drawn from our engine battery when the engine is running. In reality, Sebo’s has never worked on the latter without emitting a godawful buzzing noise so we don’t use it! In short, we run it on LPG virtually all the time, unless we have an electric hook-up at a campsite.

A Google search informed us that our best bet was a motorhome dealer north of Cadiz – some 150km away- and that his opening hours meant we wouldn’t be able to even see the dude until late afternoon/early evening, always assuming one didn’t need an appointment!  Having given this serious thought, and our mantra being “never pay a Man Who Can unless we really have no other choice!, we found a campsite with an electric hook-up for the night to see if the problem lay with the gas supply – process of elimination time!

Our ACSI membership app led us to La Rosaleda – a site with good facilities, a short walk from the coastal resort of Conil De La Frontera on the Costa De La Luz, a couple of hours drive from where we’d spent the weekend, and just 20 miles from Cadiz.  In we pulled, checked-in and hooked-up to their 230v system and then started praying….. nope, still no joy! Uuuugh! Meanwhile, I did more Google research on the workings of AES fridges and checked that the ignition etc was working – it was! We’ve had problems with the fridge door in the past – the lock tends to throw a figary from time to time and, although it’s pretty easy to fix, it’s a darned nuisance. Roy, meantime, was taking a closer look at said door and lock and discovered it had dropped slightly and, hence, wasn’t sealing properly! Could this really be it?? Problem solved? A wooden spoon was used to lift the thing up and the lock fixed so that it now sealed properly and then we waited…..

Obviously, the thing would take a number of hours to cool down again if, indeed, we’d fixed the problem so, rather than sit around praying, constantly opening the door to check(!!!), or drinking beer, we headed out with Harley to explore the town and the beach. What a pleasant surprise! Being on Spain’s Atlantic Coast, rather than the Med, Conil De La Frontera is a Spanish resort i.e where the Spaniards spend their holidays, rather than the Brits and, thus has remained relatively low-key (and, thankfully, exceptionally low-rise!). The Costa De Luz prides itself on a 16km sandy beach and is known to be a surfer’s paradise – a fact borne out by the number of “surf shacks” we passed as we meandered through the narrow, winding, cobbled streets of the town. At this time of year, a lot of the shops and restaurants are “closed for holidays” – understandably- but we imagine it would be quite a buzzing place in season. The beach lives up to it’s reputation – long, wide, sandy and exceptionally clean. We loved it!

Our spirits were lifted even more when we got back to Sebo, opened the fridge somewhat tentatively and found that it was COLD! And, the contents of the freezer were totally frozen again rather than being slightly defrosted! Yippee!! Financial disaster averted, NOW we could celebrate Roy’s Birthday!

Tuesday morning brought blue skies and full sun and we decided to stay put, do a more permanent fridge fix – amazing what can be achieved with a couple of washers and a tube of Superglue- then get the chairs out and just soak up the sun – something we really haven’t done much of lately on account of always having the urge to do something, see something or drive to somewhere else! So, we had lunch outside and sat sunning ourselves for a while. As Roy went off to get water to top-up Sebo’s freshwater tank, I heard a rather alarming hissing noise emanating from somewhere close by – turned-out to be the air from Sebo’s rear tyre! The heat must have expanded the air within to the point where it burst the valve and the tyre was now deflating at a rate of knots! Aaaaah – so NOW we know why smart motorhomers have reflective tyre protectors – and to think we thought it was merely for aesthetics! Doh!! Long story short – we managed to change said deflated tyre for the spare (though, to be honest, this could have been better inflated too! Mental note to check spare tyre pressure on a more regular basis!).

This morning, we limped into town, found a tyre depot and, using the Google Translate app, managed to explain that we needed a new valve and the tyres swapping back – the very nice dude who did, in fact, have a smattering of English, said “no problem” and got on with it. Even insisted on checking the rest of the tyre pressures before we left. Total cost? €15. Excellent service!

After yesterday’s “heatwave”, the air temperature suddenly plummeted today, a mixture of sun and blue skies and black clouds which threatened rain, along with an icy wind that could have blown the ears off a donkey! Such a change in the space of 24 hours! We went for a walk along the beach and back through the town – just in case we missed a bit when we last walked through on Monday!  The more we saw of it, the more we had to congratulate the council for not allowing hideous apartment blocks or garishly painted modern houses. Of course, there has been a lot of development for the tourist market but, unlike pretty much everywhere else we’ve been (except Trevelez!), even the new builds were all done in the old style Andalucian architecture. Every single house was whitewashed and the place was spotlessly clean. Very impressive!

We’re off to Cadiz tomorrow – hopefully the snow which is currently falling in Valencia, Murcia, Alicante etc won’t catch-up with us! Apparently, it’s the first time they’ve had snow in 34 years!! Mmmmm – I wonder if the country will grind to a halt……?


2 thoughts on “Fridge Cost Concerns Mutes Birthday Celebrations !

  1. Well firstly big happy birthday Roy!
    Secondly …. we always suspected there was a lot of hot air in sebo- but clearly not enough to be problem for fridge! Very glad you managed to narrow down prob to door – funny but in our experience at home – often is.
    Off track Spain sounds fab – we watched rick stein in Palermo tonight & have added it to “must visit” list for next year. Food looks fab too.
    We leave sat for sun & golf (well- we hire a buggy & try & hit f@@king ball into correct hole)- suspect wineries will get fair use. Keep you posted & enjoy cold beer.


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