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Old 09-22-2002, 08:28 PM   #1
overlander
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1977 Dometic refridgerator

i have a 1977 airstream overlander. my fridge is a dometic and it doesn't work very well. it does not work on 12 volt and it doesn't work on a/c. the freezer will try to work on gas but the fridge portion doesn't do anything. also on my fride some of the control nobs have been stripped. the control rods are damaged from the previous owner using pliers on them. they are difficult to use and extremly hard to figure out what position the control is in.
I have tried every combination possable to get the 12 volt and a/c to work, but nothing happens. i have all the original nobs but they are stripped as well they only work as guides to temp and fuction positions.

now to the question is it more cost effective to replace my fridge with a new unit or repair my exsisting fridge, can you get parts for older dometic fridges?
please help.
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Old 09-22-2002, 09:09 PM   #2
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I'd Junk it...

Go to Lowes or Home Depot and get one of those small fridge/freezer combo units for $199. That's what I have, and I love it. Sure it only runs on AC, but from the money you save you can get a Honda EU2000!!! Those propane fridges are nothing but a pain.
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Old 09-22-2002, 09:11 PM   #3
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What model do you have. I have some parts I took off an old dometic that you can have if they will work for you. I know I have a safety valve and a thermocouple. I may have more but I will have to check.
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Old 10-01-2002, 10:41 PM   #4
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what parts do you have

im sorry it has taken a while to reply i have been just trying to decide if i was going to go the home depo route and have a/c only. i didn't want to bug you about parts.

i would like to just fix the one i have, i need to start with replacing the nobs and rods for the controls, and testing things do you or anyone now what it might cost to have mine rebuilt, i have been looking at new dometics and there around a thousand bucks........ if its a waste of time fixing this one i will buy a new one.... i want to have the options of propain/ 12volt or a/c. that would work best for me. what do you have for parts and what do you want for them? thanks
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Old 10-02-2002, 05:44 AM   #5
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I have a safety valve and gas thermostat, as well as 2 thermocouples.
Does it work on gas at all? Do the freezer or refer compartment get cool? The reason I ask these questions is that the first thing to determine is if the Ammonia system is intact, if not you will be throwing money out the window. Once the cooling unit goes the unit is best sent to the dump. Do you have an ammonia smell in the refer or freezer compartment?

Here is a link to the dometic manuals, you may want to try some of the troublreshooting steps, If the parts I have can help, let me know. The freight is what is going to cost $$$, the parts are yours if you need them.


Dometic service manuals
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Old 10-02-2002, 07:25 AM   #6
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The rods might not be available, check RV Mobile. I have a 1979 Coachman Class A , the changeover switch had pliers for a knob, they told me that the rod had been out of stock for years. Ended up making a new one.

John
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Old 10-02-2002, 10:09 AM   #7
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Dometic

Our 1981 Excella motorhome had the original Dometic refrigerator in it when we bought it. It would cool the freezer compartment to refrigerator temperatures, the refrigerator remained at room temperature. Since we are beginning our fulltiming experience this month we wanted to be sure everything worked properly.

We took it to the Dometic authorized service center and found that it would cost almost $700.00 to replace the cooling unit. A big portion of that was the R&R of the refrigerator to allow access to the unit; Airstream put the refrigerator in place then built the interior around it. The replacement cooling unit came with a 1 year warrantee.

The new Dometic at Camping World was just under $1,000 but they wouldn't install it in an Airstream due to the way Airstream did the installation. They referred me to C&G Trailer Service in Bellflower and they did a excellent installation.

The new refrigerator has a 3 year warrantee, much more efficient than the old one would have been and the controls are electronic (not manual with knobs, etc.)
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Old 10-02-2002, 04:52 PM   #8
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the frezer tries to work on propain the refer portion dosn't seem to do anything. the fridge does nothing on electric 12 volt or a/c. it doesnt' smell like amonia. it might all be gone? i have been looking around behind the refer and there is a black wire toor loose from someplace, i havn't figured out wear it goes yet i just noticed that, i'll need to investigate some more.
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Old 10-02-2002, 05:58 PM   #9
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Lightbulb

The black wire you mention has my curiosity.......

Does the interior light come on? Is the unit one that auto lights the gas, or do you have to push a button?

Just because the wire is black does not mean it is a ground. My refer WAS hooked up with a brown??? wire. What is brown supposed to signify in a 12VDC system? It signifies that the guy who installed my refer was not too concerned with what color wire is a positive 12VDC feed, or that any one else would need to figure it out while troubleshooting. So check it with a meter.

If your refer has a 12VDC control board I am wondering if lack of ground would cause it to not run in 12 VDC or 120 VAC mode??
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Old 10-02-2002, 06:11 PM   #10
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Black wire

Black could be the AC feed to the heating element. The AC hot wire from the terminal block to the element is black on my refirigerator.

White is DC ground. Colored wires (including brown) are 12v positive. The color corresponds to the particular circuit. On the 12v fuses/breakers, each 12v circuit is assigned a different color for identification.
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Old 10-02-2002, 06:37 PM   #11
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John,

Thanks for the info, I was not aware that brown was an acceptable color for 12 VDC positive.
I take back all the bad thoughts I had regarding the installer that put my old fridge in!
The 12 VDC wire I was referencing was tapped into a 12 VDC feed from the wall outlet rearward of the refer. I am unsure of the circuit color it is on. I allways check before I disconnect/connect wires I have not run. But thats me.
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Old 10-03-2002, 04:12 PM   #12
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its a RM100

i was looking at the model # and it says its a RM100 on the outside it says its a royal dometic gas electic and its a push button...old style......also i looked under your link and under service manuals and the rm100 isn't there.
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Old 10-03-2002, 04:33 PM   #13
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I have a '77 Sovereign that has it's original RM100 Dometic in it too...but mine is only 120v/propane...no 12v option. Were there some 3 way RM100's made??
JG
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Old 10-03-2002, 04:37 PM   #14
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mine does

mine has the 12 volt option.... it says it on the instructions on the inside of the fridge....and it says in on the back of the fridge in the wiring diagram. it has a 12 volt heating element....
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