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Old 06-04-2013, 07:51 AM   #113
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How does the replacement cooling unit moisture separator look? Are you talking about the pipe above the condenser. It seems similar to the 8 cu/ft in the youTube video but theres seems to have the crimp more towards the center.

The boiler looks pretty bad for only a 3 to 4 year unit but I have no reference.

Thanks for sharing

Kelvin
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:59 AM   #114
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Ok I gotta ask. Why don't they make these things out of stainless steel so you won't get perforations in the boiler area which seems to be the place they most often leak and corrode from the outside?

Perry
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:10 AM   #115
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Ok I gotta ask. Why don't they make these things out of stainless steel so you won't get perforations in the boiler area which seems to be the place they most often leak and corrode from the outside?

Perry
Planned obsolescence. Or would you like to double the cost of an already outrageously priced appliance that offers substandard performance as acceptable?

As you can tell, I am NO FAN of RV gas/absorption refrigerators!
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:20 PM   #116
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Lew, what's the alternative? Perhaps one that operates a standard compressor on 120 v. and switches to gas/absorption on the road and while boondocking. Gauging by how cheap window air conditioners are, I would think a compressor would be pretty cheap and get the box cold so the gas/absorption unit would only have to maintain it between shore power opportunities. They could also insulate the box better.

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Old 06-04-2013, 12:38 PM   #117
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Other than the automatic features of the RV fridge I haven't seen much performance gains since I owned my 1st RV in 1986. I had to manually switch over from AC to gas and if the burner blew out I had to manually light it. Performance wise I was hoping after entering the RV world again after a 18 year hiatus RV fridges performed better in hot and humid weather.

I noticed this last trip out the hole in the back of the fridge for the water to flow from the evaporator fin tray is so much bigger than the spout of the tray. I'm thinking of patching the hole with a piece of Reflectix silver tape then punching a little hole for the drain pan spout. I'll also seal the thermistor wire hole better.

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Old 06-04-2013, 12:51 PM   #118
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Kelvin, I'll take better pictures today in better light of each segment of the unit before I pull it and post the pictures. The separator section(s) look quite well though. There is no evidence of leakage whatsoever. I didn't expect there to be leakage because the unit works fine at a standstill.

Perry, They are not made of SS probably because that is cost prohibitave but certainly a possability. I doubt that there would be much less of a leakage problem for these. As that tech said in the video I posted, he has never, ever, seem a unit rust from the inside out. Yes welds do crack and leak. but that could happen even with SS.

Lew & Gene, I don't think it is a matter of planned obsolescence because these units are easily reconditioned and placed back in service for practically every fridge made. As that tech said (and as an answer to the question of not using a compressor refrigeration system in these applications) road duty is fairly severe duty for a refrigerator. The absorbtion systems are very durable whereas MOST compressor systems have easy duty - they just sit there in your kitchen, whatever. Also the energy requirements for them are so high! Semi trucks have onboard generators just to run those units on the trucks. An absorption system requires only a few hundred watts to do the same job, but it does it slowly, and that bothers people who want things cold, now.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:00 PM   #119
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The stainless steel would prevent oxidation from the outside due to heating the metal so hot and not to prevent corrosion from the inside. I think these things fail because the boiler rusts from the outside and starts to leak. There are other issues like factory defects and owners not leveling these things properly. I would like to know what I can do to prevent the unit I have from failing. I don't want to spend $1200 on a new one and have it die in a few years.

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Old 06-04-2013, 01:21 PM   #120
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It would be interesting to know if these fail from a rust situation or a cracked welds more often.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:11 PM   #121
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It would be interesting to know if these fail from a rust situation or a cracked welds more often.
Most of the failures I have seen (and I have been involved in a law suit on a Norcold 1200 series recall that led to a coach fire) have been at the welds and not where the tubing has corroded thru. You would think that both Norcold and Dometic would realize this (actually, they probably do and don't are to address the situation, just like the class action suit now progressing on the Norcold 1200 series recall where Norcold is liable for numerous coach fires, yet does nothing to re-design the welding flaws in their cooling units) but they find in easier to simply ignore the obvious!
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:16 PM   #122
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I don't know what a compressor that would withstand the insults of the road would cost. It would only be for cooling with 120 v. hookups. The ones in refrigerated trucks can hold up, so it can be done. The absorption unit would only be used for boondocking and driving. To make it competitive, the manufacturer would have to accept less profit and/or find automated ways to make the thing.

Until a company wishes to challenge the big guys (Norcold and Dometic), this isn't going to be even considered. Though the present fridges can be fixed, we still have to buy the parts from the same manufacturers so they can make even more money.

Inventors, get to work.

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Old 06-04-2013, 02:18 PM   #123
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Lew, what's the alternative? Perhaps one that operates a standard compressor on 120 v. and switches to gas/absorption on the road and while boondocking. Gauging by how cheap window air conditioners are, I would think a compressor would be pretty cheap and get the box cold so the gas/absorption unit would only have to maintain it between shore power opportunities. They could also insulate the box better.

Gene
My take on a very workable upgrade to the gas/absorption fridge is a marine unit with a Danfoss compressor, which was designed for the marine industry, can take a pounding of off-shore boat use and work up to 30 off level. These work especially well if you have a decent solar charging system. The Danfoss system is both efficient (read very C-O-L-D and the end of what I call 'RV softserve' ice cream ) and switches automatically between 120VAC and 12VDC power sources. IIRC, the amp draw is around 1 amp on 120VAC and around 3 amps on 12VDC. Also, these units cycle on/off as needed so they are not running on constant duty cycle.

My next trailer will have such a system, as after seeing first hand the damage that a gas/absorption unit fire can cause, I have lost all confidence in such systems. Just my personal opinion.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:22 PM   #124
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And thanks, Gene, for forcing me into my 4000th post! I don't know if I should weep or celebrate!!!
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #125
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Only two fridge manufacturers left, Dometic and Norcold, although I hear Atwood is got a helium fridge. I guess they can say our fridges won't Hindenburg. Not much competition to innovate or make changes.

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Old 06-04-2013, 02:38 PM   #126
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From my recent brush with being involved in a lawsuit over a Norcold-fueled fridge fire and subsequent total loss of the RV to said fire, it is not the hydrogen that causes the ignition in RV fires, but super heated ammonia blowing out of a small rupture in the cooling unit under high pressure and hitting either an open LP flame or hot (600F) electric heating element. The hydrogen in the cooling unit never makes it below the upper half of the cooling unit, and the majority of RV fridge fires occur right behind the boiler section where the LP burner and heating element(s) are located.

Many of the recall devices are designed to shut the 12VDC power to said control boards and with no DC power being applied to the LP gas valve, the solenoid in this valve will shut the gas flow, as it is designed to be normally closed; requiring 12VDC to stay open and keep the flame lit.

This scenario does NOT APPLY when the fridge is being operated on 120VAC electric heating elements, as they get really hot (600 +/-), are encased in steel tubes which are also at that temperature, and then wrapped in heavy fiberglass insulation. This helps keep the heat in when operating normally, but in the event of a rupture, also retains the heat and provides an ignition source for the super heated ammonia which WILL and DOES cause ignition!

How long does it take for you to put your hand on an electric range after it has been operating on HI after you turn off the power?
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