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Old 03-28-2013, 11:25 PM   #15
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Nope. I agree with you. An outstanding answer to a very good question.

Dan
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:08 PM   #16
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Salida , Colorado
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Fixing old parts / appliances

I just bought my Excella for $9500. It had been sitting for several years so I am certain that are many little things I will need to do to make it road worthy. Everything seems to work OK, except the fridge. It is a Dometic RM3807 that has a bad coil. New coil is $500 + $50 for shipping. I believe this replaces the entire coil/evaporator/boiler the entire unit. That would leave only the box as original. But I, too, share concerns about investing $500-600 on a 20 yr-old item (sure would hate to see something else crap out). So this raises several more questions:
  • Why was this particular model installed in my trailer?
  • Can a different model be installed? Why/why not would I want to do this?
  • Are there better models available? How are they better?
  • Anyone have a good source for buying a new fridge?
  • Is there a difference between Dometic and Norcold? Is one better than an other?
  • Is there anything else I might need to know that I haven't asked?
Thanks for all the help!
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:39 PM   #17
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Thanks for the input

After a bit of negotiating, I paid $9500 for the 93 Excella. Thanks for all the responses!!! At first I thought this a bit too high, but as the AS was less than 5 miles from the house I figured I would rather pay the previous owner a bit more (and be thankful I didn't have to spend a lot more $$ to go pick it up somewhere). Besides, he is carrying the note (I am making three payments) so this was helpful as well!
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnCamper07 View Post
  • Why was this particular model installed in my trailer?
  • Can a different model be installed? Why/why not would I want to do this?
  • Are there better models available? How are they better?
  • Anyone have a good source for buying a new fridge?
  • Is there a difference between Dometic and Norcold? Is one better than an other?
  • Is there anything else I might need to know that I haven't asked?
Thanks for all the help!
1. No idea.
2. Yes, anything that fits.
3. Yes, newer, more buttons, more efficient.
4. Ebay, craigslist, google shopping. You just might find the same deal at your local RV shop. These are not special for Airstreams, and they go in the other 99% of RVs out there.
5. Not sure on Norcold vs. Dometic either.
6. I would have a good look at the whole fridge if you're considering fixing it. My final tipping point was when I found a crack in the plastic door hinge assembly. It required basically a whole new door, and killed the idea of fixing it. Even if you happened to find a used fridge less than 5yrs old, you'd save a lot of money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnCamper07 View Post
After a bit of negotiating, I paid $9500 for the 93 Excella. Thanks for all the responses!!! At first I thought this a bit too high, but as the AS was less than 5 miles from the house I figured I would rather pay the previous owner a bit more (and be thankful I didn't have to spend a lot more $$ to go pick it up somewhere). Besides, he is carrying the note (I am making three payments) so this was helpful as well!
Those are important considerations. I think any Airstream you buy is going to need work. Even a new one. You'll like it more when you survive all the work.

Let's see some pics!

-Kevin
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:15 AM   #19
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I am seriously considering replacing the entire unit. I can't justify spending $1000 on parts & labor only to have the same, tired-looking box. Besides, purchasing a new unti will cost only $1200. I have a lot of work to do. Thanks
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnCamper07 View Post
I am seriously considering replacing the entire unit. I can't justify spending $1000 on parts & labor only to have the same, tired-looking box. Besides, purchasing a new unti will cost only $1200. I have a lot of work to do. Thanks
Voila! Essentially the same conclusion I came to.

You, just like me, are probably stubborn just like me. If someone says: "You can't do that", I'll say "Oh yea? I'll show you what I can do."

Other people are either lazy, don't have the tools, or have more money than time, (or listen to sage advice) and just say "Don't fix, just replace". I don't like that motto. But in this case, it's the right advice for the stubborn and even the clever/crafty type. The appliances are just disposable (recyclable) after 10-15 years. It's actually pretty fair that they last that long if you look at the lifespan of a home appliances that have no limitation on size or weight like an RV appliance does.

-Kevin
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:15 AM   #21
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The RM 3807 is over 20 yrs old and has been discontinued; as such it is necessary to replace it with a newer Dometic model. I was told that there is a matrix of some sort on the Dometic website the aid with the selection, only I couldn't find it. (Turns out it is a pdf file) I tried to send an email to Dometic as I was not able to get thru on their 800#. Someone called within 15 min of sending the email and told me where to find this... very useful. While speaking to them, I was informed that the fridge (insulation) will gradually lose Rvalue. I didn't know this. Interesting, isn't it? The Dometic rep recommended I get a new unit and not try to fix the old one. I thought all of you would want to know this. I think I will pull out the old unti before deciding what will fit. Although a bit more $, I would have more piece of mind knowing that all the food I just bought won't spoil should the old unit break down again and ruin my trip! Thanks again
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:05 PM   #22
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Is this your new trailer?
I just read back on this and he was asking $12k, and you got it for $9500?
That's awesome. (for you) Enough saved to buy a sparkling new fridge.
And he's carrying a loan for you? Very awesome. and congrats on the purchase. She looks like a beauty. Let's see some more pics!
-Kevin
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:47 PM   #23
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I agree with Kevin about replacing rather than fixing the fridge. Rebuilding the coil makes even less sense than buying a new coil. The reason the coil wore out in the first place is because the heat burned through it and weakened all of it not just the place the rebuilder may have fixed.
I found his account of buying his Airstream interesting. He found an Airstream that had been loved and mostly kept in repair. Regardless of price, that is a much better choice than one that has been abused and/or neglected.
There are a lot of neglected, worn out Airstreams out there for sale at ridiculous prices.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:33 AM   #24
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Reply to last two posts...

Handn - I would agree... I have seen several AS for sale that were priced too high; some were priced to move, others were just sky high. I discovered that dealers (both AS & car dealers) tend to ask far too much. I got lucky - this AS was parked outside of an RV park just down the road from my home. I decided to stop in and see if the ower happened to be around (I wanted to look inside). As luck would have it, the TT was owned by the local artist who had already tried to sell it a few months ago. (Of course, I couldn't let it go without making a play for it, so I began nogotiating.) I also own several WWII military vehicles, so this was not my first rodeo when it comes to sizing up what you have, what's needed to restore it, and what it will cost.

OutofControl - I found spider webs and lots of dust when I opened the acccess panel to the fridge. I plan to replace the entire unit. No sense messing around. I don't want something else to crap out when you least expect it (did I mention that Murphy is a close relative). I have the luxury of having time and the space to work on this throughout the summer. I hope to get it roadworthy and take in on our first trip this fall. Here are some additional pics.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:37 AM   #25
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You will notice that the front plastic (smoked) window is broken. Are these difficult to repair? Where do I get them? Both wrap around windows are either cracked or broken, so I think it makes sense to replace all of them. Any thoughts, comments or ideas of this?
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