Useless Bushtracker fridge locks - not a problem say Bushtracker !

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 20, 2015 at 19:38
ThreadID: 130346 Views:4907 Replies:11 FollowUps:16
This Thread has been Archived
In March, the Bushtracker factory finished a $25,000 upgrade on our 2001, 16ft BT.

When we picked the van up, we were delighted to see that the new Isotherm fridge had a lock on the door, to stop it opening on rough dirt roads. After a couple of disasters with the old fridge, where food ended up spread all over the floor, we never went anywhere without first taping up the door.

Imagine our surprise upon opening the van door in Bladensburg NP, and finding the floor covered with the contents of the fridge - we figured we must not have tightened the nut enough. Then it happened twice more when my wife was with me and once more when I was prospecting in WA and had forgotten to tape it up.

I reported this to Bushtracker. They told me that nobody else had reported this problem, BUT they agreed to send me some modified parts that might fix the problem.

These were waiting for me at home at the end of the trip. Their modification fixed one of the two problems and introduced one new one. I modified the parts so they would work and sent them back to the factory so they could test them.

After hearing nothing for a month, I emailed Peter Thompson, asking what his thoughts were on the modified parts. I got a reply which stunned me. His reply said that they had no issues with the fitting or the operation of the fridge locks and did not intend to modify them.

If they are saying there is not a problem, are they telling me I imagined my floor being covered in bleep on four occasions, or that I am a liar ?

Has anybody else received this sort of arrogant dismissal at Bushtracker ?

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Bill & Rose - Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 06:18

Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 06:18
Willie


We have the same fridge. What caused the locks to fail?

AnswerID: 590535

Follow Up By: Willie - Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 12:21

Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 12:21
We carry a fair bit of milk etc in the door which weighs a bit. Couple this load with 4000km of bumps on dirt roads and it fails.

The first fault in the design is the piece of metal plate which is on the door ( call this Plate A). This flexes as it is tightened, so it is easier for the knurled knob to slip off.

Two ways to fix this - you need to do both, to make it successful.

Take the knurled ring off and grind the flat edge into a taper so that it actually sits in the hole on Plate A. This positively locates the nut and stops it slipping off.

The next problem, is that you cannot tighten the knurled nut on the current system without causing the Plate A to bend. This problem is fixed by putting a nyloc nut and a washer, on the threaded shaft. Then the knurled nut, tightens up against this nut and there is no force bending Plate A.

I found that I needed to put a small rubber washer between Plate A and the Nyloc nut, to keep the tension.

I can send you a photo when Bushtracker has mailed the improved parts back to me.
0
FollowupID: 858567

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 09:21

Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 09:21
I have had lots of jars of things like honey and Bovril where the lids have somehow unscrewed themselves and them flipped upside down - oh Joy! So it seeks reasonable that the vibration on rough tracks could well have unscrewed the knurled nut securing the door.

Perhaps a bit of stiff rubber tubing, slit all along one side and cut to the right length so that it could be slipped over the threaded section when the door is secured?

John
AnswerID: 590540

Follow Up By: Willie - Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 12:28

Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 12:28
Thanks for your answer John, but I am not sure how the plastic would stop the knurled nut undoing.

I am not sure that it does in fact come undone.

Perhaps just the weight of the door bouncing, is enough to get the knurled nut to slip off that flexible Plate A.
0
FollowupID: 858568

Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 18:26

Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 18:26
Can you make and fit a door support leg?

I don't have your style of fridge so just guessing, to stop the doors opening how about two U style brackets, one either side of door and a rod inserted in them, similar to what you see when the castle drawbridge is closed and gates shut ... A big wooden beam is placed across the doors :-) just a thought ... Something along those lines could help.
Cheers
Mick & Vickie

www.niknoff.com

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 858577

Follow Up By: Willie - Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 19:15

Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 19:15
Mick,
I can modify their system and make it work perfectly. I sent those successfully modified parts to BT to look at. But they are not interested in fixing the problem and in fact, deny any problem exists.
Thanks,
Willie.
0
FollowupID: 858580

Reply By: braggy - Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 18:47

Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 18:47
It was that arrogant attitude that peed me off more than the broken suspension on a 4 month old van,
I got, how it couldn't be their problem, you broke it, ring Simplicity, never seen it before, tyres too hard going too fast (wrong),,that was before they even knew what had broken.
AnswerID: 590559

Follow Up By: Willie - Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 19:20

Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 19:20
Yes, it is that "attack is the best form of defence" mentality, which really annoys you.
1
FollowupID: 858582

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 09:39

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 09:39
Our system is different. It consists of a pulyuthethane (S) tongue that protrudes some 45mm from the side of the fridge that matches with a stud on the door. The tongue has a star shaped hole punched into it. Just push the tongue onto the stud and voila all done. This has been on here for years and has never failed. Originally fitted by BT

John
AnswerID: 590584

Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 11:16

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 11:16
Nice and simple. I wonder why they changed it. Maybe it became unavailable, so they had to look around for a new system.
Thanks John.
0
FollowupID: 858603

Reply By: Andrew & Jen - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 09:59

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 09:59
Willie, this may, or may not, help.
We just don't travel with anything heavy in the fridge door - period!
We have a 40 or 50 L fridge in the tow vehicle and all heavy stuff like milk, yoghurt, drinks, etc, goes in that during the day.
The stuff in the fridge is packed in large-ish plastic containers and all the shelves have non-slip on them.
Over tens of thousands of kms of rough roads, so far nothing has ended up on the floor, nor has the fridge door broken.
Cheers
Andrew
AnswerID: 590586

Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 11:14

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 11:14
Hi Andrew. We only have the one fridge, as we have no need for an extra one. Your ideas are good, but don't suit our needs.
Thanks a lot,
Willie.
0
FollowupID: 858602

Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 13:47

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 13:47
Fair enough.
Our towing vehicle is set up for camping as well as caravanning so there is a place for it already wired.
And I guess I try not to have all my eggs in one basket so the wagon fridge, although small (40L) is a good back up for us as well as the storage for heavy (door) items.
Good luck with solving your problem with the catch
Cheers
Andrew
0
FollowupID: 858615

Reply By: BushBoss - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 10:09

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 10:09
Hi Willie
a fellow BT owner had issues with a different style of fridge lock and was supplied with the same ones as you had fitted. He did not fit them but asked for a different style. BT came up with a good looking design which I have seen fitted before with success. You don't have to drill any holes as it fits into existing freezer mounting points on the opposite side to where the freezer door is mounted now. You could make one yourself or ask BT if they have them readily available. I am not able to give you any personal experience with this style of catch but I am going to make on and give it a go.
I have attached a few photos.
Hope this helps.
Lance


AnswerID: 590587

Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 11:12

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 11:12
Very interesting Lance. Very simple and it has to work. Thanks.
0
FollowupID: 858601

Follow Up By: grumpyolephartz - Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 09:17

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 09:17
Interesting Lance, I have been looking to make a block that could fit in there to adapt a lock doing that job. So simple to have a wing not top
Regards from us grumpyolephartz, mostly John, but may be Heather

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 858648

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 18:09

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 18:09
Our type is the poly tongue and stud as shown on the side of the door on one of the images above...... has worked well for 10 years but..... you would have to shift the fridge forward slights to install the 'tongue'

Don't know where you would get them from it was fitted by Bushtracker when we bought the van new in 2005.

John
AnswerID: 590610

Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 19:20

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 19:20
They are "childproof" thingies for cupboard doors etc.

Available at Bunnings.

Stephen
I'm going where the sun keeps shining
Thru' the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes.......

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 858631

Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 19:24

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 19:24
Yes , John, neat, simple, and it would work well.

There is no way I am going to move the fridge out though.

Thanks.
0
FollowupID: 858632

Reply By: AroundAustralia - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 14:36

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 14:36
Hi everyone,

This is what I did on ours. No issues so far.

Cheers.
Wendy & Michael

Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 590703

Follow Up By: muddywaters - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 10:07

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 10:07
Hi Michael & Wendy, We have done almost the same thing. It's a very secure closure though may not suit all fridge models. Andrew & Christine
0
FollowupID: 859370

Reply By: Willie - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 17:59

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 17:59



Bill ( of Bill & Rose ) asked me to email him photos as he had noticed the knurled nut loosening, didn't trust it and applied teflon tape to the thread to try to stop it happening. Bill, you asked me for photos of the parts, but they are all on here for you now.
Cheers,
Willie
AnswerID: 590712

Reply By: Bill & Rose - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 19:40

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 19:40
A very neat bit of metal turning Willie
AnswerID: 590715

Reply By: hibbo - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 21:37

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 21:37
Willie,
Please don't get me started on the sterling 'customer after service' attitude!

We purchased a VERY expensive off-road van in April 2014. Spent 6 months travelling through the outback with the family on board which was totally amazing. But to our surprise had many heated debates with the 'main man' about cupboard latches.

I was bemused by his very final comment when he told me that I was in 'total denial' as according to him I was driving too fast, had too much air in the tyres and had draws and cupboards overloaded! This was the cause of my broken catches and kitchen disasters apparently. It is funny how a door latch can break when it only carries its own weight. What is even more amusing is that the contract of sale document states that they use only the best quality, marine grade catches.

None of our other travelling buddies in lesser vans seemed to have this issue. And let me assure you some of them drove a lot harder with firmer tyres than we did.

AnswerID: 591273

Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 22:16

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 22:16
I believe that Braggy also "drove to fast". From memory , the pop top parted company with the rest of the van.

Maybe they used the same catches on his pop top, as they used on your drawers !

0
FollowupID: 859353

Follow Up By: braggy - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 07:51

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 07:51
Nah Willie,

The skirt fell off the poptop, because the pop rivets were too short and hadn't gone into the frame,

but he said any warranty on my 4 month old van was questionable, because I had to replace the

broken suspension, which they decided was because I "drove too fast" with too much tyre

pressure.

Hi hibbo

I think the catches being plastic is what makes them marine grade, they won't rust.

The problem may be the "military suspension", wonder if the military have plastic catches.

On a more helpful note, make sure the drawers/cupboards have no movement when closed, adjust the striker plate if need be. And carry some spares catches, (I think a lot here would)

Maybe check the filters on your water pumps, because all that too fast driving will have cause them to pick up all swarf left in the water tanks.

Cheers Ken
0
FollowupID: 859362

Follow Up By: braggy - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 08:00

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 08:00
OH for an edit button.

Hibbo,

I have Lithium batteries, (not the ones the factory toss in)

I may be able to suggest some ideas for you, if it isn't in the members only section.
My membership seems to have lapsed
1
FollowupID: 859363

Our Sponsors