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Old 12-13-2014, 09:34 PM   #1
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1987 32.5' Airstream 325
Windsor , Ontario
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1983 Dometic fridge replacement

Purchasing an 83' 325 MH. Appliance mechanic has looked it over and has said it will cost too much fix and will not guarantee.

I don't mind replacing with an electric only unit as I don't plan on using propane.

Has Anyone done this? What did you buy to replace (make/model/$$?)

Don't have. The model number yet

Thanks in advance,
Chris
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:52 PM   #2
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This link will give you options. Recommend you use it for research purposes, and buy elsewhere camping world is significantly more expensive than anywhere else I have been. I would recommend trying an RV salvage place nearby if an option.
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:00 PM   #3
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I would check with this company, they are currently rebuilding a 1966 Dometic M52 for me. Great guy to work with.

RV REFRIGERATOR REPAIR - Cooling Coils For Norcold And Dometic Refrigerators

Enjoy,
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realpank View Post
Purchasing an 83' 325 MH.

I don't mind replacing with an electric only unit as I don't plan on using propane.

Thanks in advance,
Chris
Just curious, how are you planning on heating your rig or cooking if you don't have propane.

Also if you plan on travelling, how are you planning on keeping your fridge cool?

Mine is a 2 way Dometic RM2820

The fridges are a bear to get through the door but are very easy to install. Remove two cap covers at top frame of fridge, remove screws. Then remove screw lags at base of fridge, front and rear. Disconnect 12v connections and also unplug fridge from box as you pull it out. Reverse order to install.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:05 PM   #5
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If you do go with a residential electric only refrigerator, the most serious thing you need to consider is the way it dissipates heat. Many of the small refrigerators these days have the heat dissipation coils welded to the exterior side walls and top of the refrigerator. When they are made like that, and pushed into a tightly encloses space where the original refrigerator was, they can't get rid of the heat properly. They are designed for free standing use only.

So, when you look at residential stile small refrigerators be sure to buy one which has coils on the BACK of the refrigerator, like they did in the "old days". Only that type will work in an enclosed space of an RV and will dissipate the heat out the back, the way the original RV refrigerator did.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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Thanks for your responses guys, much appreciated,

tony, I don't typically use my propane as I use my RV for short-trip camping outings to parks that have electricity. I don't feel the need to use the propane if I'm paying for electric and cook and heat with that. Travelling I'll run the generator to keep power to the fridge. My last unit did not have a good propane system anyway so I may consider using propane on the new one if they whole system is complete

I am going to try to find a 2 or 3 way Dometic to replace but not cheap or easy to find is the key(perhaps a post on classifieds!!)

I have a month or two before I pick up unit in FLA.
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:23 PM   #7
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My Dometic RM3804 seems to be slowly dying!
Although the ice box (top) freezes, even on MAX, the rest of the unit (lower) remains sort of cold. So, I'm looking at replacing the cooling unit. Seems that pricing including shipping to Texas is between $520 and $600. Has anyone dealt with a specific supplier (there seems to be 4 or 5) and equally as important, has anyone attempted a RM3804 cooling unit replacement in a 350 or 345 as in..are you crazy?
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by chriscraw View Post
My Dometic RM3804 seems to be slowly dying!
Although the ice box (top) freezes, even on MAX, the rest of the unit (lower) remains sort of cold. So, I'm looking at replacing the cooling unit. Seems that pricing including shipping to Texas is between $520 and $600. Has anyone dealt with a specific supplier (there seems to be 4 or 5) and equally as important, has anyone attempted a RM3804 cooling unit replacement in a 350 or 345 as in..are you crazy?
In my opinion only, spending $500 to $600 on a new (not actually new, but rebuilt) cooling unit in a refrigerator which is already 20+ years old is penny wise and pound foolish. The rest of the refrigerator is old, seals, electronics, electric elements, gas valves and piping, shelves and all other parts. And you have to still take it out, install the cooling unit, and replace the thing into the Airstream.

Again, my opinion: if a refrigerator is over 20 years old, and develops problems with the actual cooling unit (not the electronics) replace the entire refrigerator with a new one. To save money, remove the old refrigerator and replace it with the new one yourself.
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:19 PM   #9
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We have the Dometic 2820 2 way 110 and propane and it works fine. When we are on the road it is on propane and when we are plugged in it switches over automatically. When we unplug it switches back to gas.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:13 PM   #10
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I have replaced the refrigerators in both the 93 classic MH and our 86 32 Excella with 10 cu ft. electric units. The MH having the generator was super easy. The trailer in installed a 1500 watt inverter in the fridge bay and just move the plug from the 120 plug to the inverter when traveling. I paid less than 400 bucks for each of them from Lowes. I'm not a mathematician by any means....but at that price I can replace the electric one 3 or 4 times for the price of one gas/elec model. To install I had to cut the opening 1/2 inch wider and from 2 1/2 inches to 6 inches taller....depending on which 2 way unit you have.
To keep the doors shut while traveling I purchased baby cabinet locks from Babies R Us 3 for 2.99. You won't be disappointed!
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:18 PM   #11
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