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Old 08-13-2008, 08:41 PM   #1
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345 Refer is Tango Uniform, replacement advice?

Our refer is TU, strong ammonia smell indicating serious leak. Looking at replacing entire unit although I know there are places to do a replacement of the cooling system only. I am thinking a new unit will work better, have a better warranty, and have latches that work.

Anyone replaced their unit? If so with what model, and any tips or inside pointers?
Thanks

Jeff
Atlanta
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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We replaced our fridge with a rebuilt unit, then a rebuilt cooling unit for the rebuilt unit, then a replacement rebuilt cooling unit for the rebuilt unit...You get the idea. I would go with new. As far as tips and pointers, you will have to take a bunch of stuff off that will make no sense. It's kind of like a Chinese puzzle, you can't take part A off without first removing parts B C D E and F.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkity Hank View Post
Our refer is TU, strong ammonia smell indicating serious leak. Looking at replacing entire unit although I know there are places to do a replacement of the cooling system only. I am thinking a new unit will work better, have a better warranty, and have latches that work.

Anyone replaced their unit? If so with what model, and any tips or inside pointers?
Thanks

Jeff
Atlanta
Jeff,

Go to Dometic and you will find a replacement compatibility chart. Look up your current model # and it will tell you which of the current production models will fit with little or no cabinet alteration.

You get a 3 year warranty with a new Dometic too!
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:57 PM   #4
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Rivet What do you want to replace?

Since it is a 345, I assume that it is a large 2 door model like in my Excella.

I am in the final stages of replacing a 1983 Dometic RM 1303 AES (Automatic Energy Selecton) with a Norcold N841 IM (Ice Maker). 1983 was the first year for the AES units and it made it to vintage status. I guess I can't complain.

The Norcold is taller and narrower than the Dometic, so some modifications were necessary. All I have left to do is install the new top shelf and panel to seal off the top of the new fridge to complete the installation. I will be starting a thread with photos documenting the replacement in 2 or 3 days.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by vswingfield View Post




























sssss
Vaughan, did you spring a leak?
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:04 PM   #6
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Vaughan, did you spring a leak?

No, the forum software did. Nothing happened when I tried to enter the "s" at the end of "days", and the courser disappeared.

Once I posted, everything returned to normal. I edited in a matter of seconds. Quick response there Terry! Regards to Marie and the guardian.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:46 AM   #7
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We did the new replacement bit using the replacement compatibility chart - and the new one is a different size (deeper and shorter). Major ouch doing the necessary rearrangement of things including lots of original AS interior panels, and then the exhaust fans wouldn't fit! Be real careful, measure three or four times before agreeing to buy!
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Old 08-23-2008, 01:34 PM   #8
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We replace the refer with new in our 86 classic mh a few weeks ago - due to ammonia leak also.
It works so much better than the original one ever did in the 4.5 years we had the motorhome. We went with a dometic aes chart, but I would measure to make sure. Ours fit without alteration. The other great thing is it has 2 more cubic interior feet inside even though it is the same (give or take 1/4 inch) The only thing is it is a two way with 120V/propane (although it does require 12V for the ACS control). Remember to run a thin coat of vaseline on the seals every six months to keep them flexible and this will help with the cooling!
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bugsbunny View Post
We replace the refer with new in our 86 classic mh a few weeks ago - due to ammonia leak also.
It works so much better than the original one ever did in the 4.5 years we had the motorhome. We went with a dometic aes chart, but I would measure to make sure. Ours fit without alteration. The other great thing is it has 2 more cubic interior feet inside even though it is the same (give or take 1/4 inch) The only thing is it is a two way with 120V/propane (although it does require 12V for the ACS control). Remember to run a thin coat of vaseline on the seals every six months to keep them flexible and this will help with the cooling!

What replacement unit did you get(make/model)? We had a baffle installed behind our current fridge, on Dometic's advice, so there is a 1" clearance, and...still didn't work. Is your new one the same depth?
mike
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:22 AM   #10
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Did the rebuilt coils thing a couple times. Problem is that once the pipes start to rot, you fix one leak and two more appear. Finally went with a new unit and it works great.

I took the dimensions of the old unit and went through Camping World and got a unit that fit perfectly. No remodeling of the cabinets or anything. It has been running now for five years without a hitch. Much better than the old one. It's a Dometic.
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:16 PM   #11
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Ours was replaced with a Dometic 2820. We had the local Airstream dealer put it in. There are no modifications to the front of the oak cabinet as far as I could tell. The black insert from the old one was reused and trimmed a bit but the refer itself appears to fit in perfectly. I don't know if they made any modifications to the inside of the cabinet....

Good luck!
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jking View Post
We did the new replacement bit using the replacement compatibility chart - and the new one is a different size (deeper and shorter). Major ouch doing the necessary rearrangement of things including lots of original AS interior panels, and then the exhaust fans wouldn't fit! Be real careful, measure three or four times before agreeing to buy!

Jking,

Do you remember what unit you had and what you replaced it with? Ours is currently an RM1303. From Dometic Web site the replacement is a RM2820.

Compaison of dimensions
Height- ( 1303) 57-1/2", (2820) 55-3/8"
Width- (1303) 23-13/16', (2820) 23-5/8"
Depth- (1303) 23-3/4", (2820) 24"

This indicates that the new unit is slightly shorter and narrower and only1/4" deeper. On the face of it this does not seem to be an issue. Don't know if the exhaust location or wiring harness is the same though.

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:13 AM   #13
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Bringing this back up to report.

We bought a new dometic 2820 off ebay. Best price on line was from PPL Motorhome. I had bought an a/c unit from them a couple of years ago and they let me pick it up at the atlanta warehouse to save shipping. THey would not let me do that with the refer so I started a new search and found a guy on ebay selling new units drop shipped from Dometic.

Saved a few hundred bucks.

Will report back on how the install goes in a few weeks.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:19 AM   #14
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We now have about $1500 invested in our original RM3801 AES...to date...on our 3rd cooling unit, tho' the last one was still under warranty...RV Cool out of Arkansas did the last(2), TRI in Tucson did the last re-install...working right now, but we're in 95+ temps, and trying not to open much during the day...time will tell, and then we will.
CW has a compatibility chart in their fridge section, but the sales effort left us kinda disappointed, so...once more, into the...well, you get the idea...
mike
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