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Old 08-17-2009, 01:40 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1994 25' Excella
Wilmington , Delaware
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14
Images: 9
Changing the cooling unit in my Dometic RM3604

Just wanted to post an update to my earlier postings on "Mythbusters burp the fridge."

Even all the sympathetic beer consumption couldn't revive my old cooling unit. I spent a good bit of time on this forum reading other's experience changing out a cooling unit on a Dometic. Many thanks again go to John HD for his excellent step-by-step memoir of his cooling unit changeout. The pictures were a big help.

A big shout out to David Force of RV Cooling Unit warehouse. (RV Cooling Unit Warehouse.) He gave me special attention on very short notice - late on a Friday afternoon - AND patiently answered my many questions.

The instructions with my remanufactured unit were easy to follow and my unit practically installed itself. Okay, I'm exagerating a little.

But I'm still euphoric about saving over $ 600.00 versus buying a new fridge. A new fridge would have STILL REQUIRED pulling out the old fridge, disposing of it, and installation. Changing out the cooling unit only adds a little more work.

And it's "Green". Meaning better for the environment, something I haven't been practicing as much as I'd like. Or at least I felt that way as I turned in my old cooling unit for credit. Nothing to clog up a landfill someplace.

As with the lessons I learned recently with battery desulphation, I'm now wondering how many perfectly good refrigerator boxes are being trashed simply because it's more convenient or profitable to not replace the cooling unit.

I hope this message convinces a few folks with bad cooling units to try this repair. (After they read John HD's photo-journal documenting his install.)

Tom T.
Former Owner Of:
'94 25' Excella 1000
Hensley Arrow Hitch
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:19 PM   #2
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,684
So, is it working like new? I love posts about people bringing equipment back to life. karma to you

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Old 08-17-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
1994 25' Excella
Wilmington , Delaware
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14
Images: 9
My trailer is in a storage yard so working on it isn't like a stroll to a backyard workshop. I had my two Honda EU2000i's powering the AC. BTW, if no other appliances or tools are used, the genset will run the AC when they are in "Econo" mode of operation.

Despite the local heat and humidity, it took about three hours to get it assembled and back in place. I never even took it out of the trailer. Just laid it face down in front of the sofa and covered everything nearby so I didn't get any sticky mastic on something when I set the caulking gun down.

On 120 volt (with the genset operating at full to power both the fridge AND AC) the freezer coil shelf got cold to the touch within a half-hour. Since I felt this was a good indicator I didn't do anything wrong, I finished re-installing the fridgebox into the trailer so I could put it on LP and let it cool down overnight. The control panel indicators worked fine and, when I looked just before departing, there was a nice blue flame right under the flue tube.

This morning, almost sixteen hours later, the fridge was measuring 31 degrees F and the freezer 11 degrees F. The thermostat was set to "Normal." If today wasn't a work day, I might've celebrated with a cold beer right then and there except that I don't drink so I'm counting on my Airforums posse to hoist a cold one as a toast to themselves and their encouragement to undertake this project. Or whatever.

I bought my trailer used therefore I can't say the fridge is running like new. But she sure is cooling better than I've ever witnessed.

One more thing. My unit is a two-way fridge, meaning it will run on 120volts AND LP. A three way fridge works on twelve volt, right? One the remanufactured cooling unit I got there was an extra heater element mount on the boiler tube for a twelve volt system. It doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to modify the wiring to add this capability except I can't figure out why I'd need it. Running a fridge on twelve volts seems like it would drain my batteries very quickly. My generator provides twelve volts but using a generator that can also supply 120 volts to power a twelve volt fridge seems a little assbackward. For me, I mean. With the setup I have. I'm sure there are RVs with twelve volt systems powered by on-board generators where this is common.

Finally, I don't like not having things to worry about. Right now, I hope I reinstalled the thermostat capillary tube correctly. Would the "Normal" setting bring the temperature down to below freezing in the fridge? If I recall, under certain conditions - such as a dead battery- the LP to the fridge will not shut off as long as the flame stays lit. Now I'll have to monitor the temps to make sure I haven't turned my fridge into a two zone freezer.

The saga continues....
Tom T.
Former Owner Of:
'94 25' Excella 1000
Hensley Arrow Hitch
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