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Old 07-27-2011, 10:34 PM   #1
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Dometic Cooling Unit Failures

I have noticed that on several of the dometic fridges that have had the safety recall retrofit done to them the cooling units are failing. They seem to operate for about a year after the recall was performed. They all have failed in the same spot right at the base of the unit where the propane flame is. So far the failure rate here is four in about twenty fridges that have had the recall retrofit installed.
Of course these fridges are out of warranty and were working fine before the recall.
I am wondering if there is any corelation to the failure with the retrofit.
A safety sheild is being installed in front of the burner and I suspect that it is restricting the input of fresh air to the chimney and the units are overheating causing the failure to the cooling unit.

Has anyone else had this happen to them? If so post your experience and if Dometic was called and if they did anything about it.
I wonder if it's time to get a class action suit going?
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:45 AM   #2
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That's where mine failed this spring. PO had recall done. I would think if there was an airflow problem, the flame would be yellow and sputtering. At night you can see the reflection of a hard blue flame behind the shield.

Over the years, I have had 3 dometic failures, all in the same area (rusty at the base of the chimney area). I believe they just use very poor coatings on the cooling units. It appears to be a primer of some sort. I'm sure it burns off in that area and allows corrosion. Either way, it's not durable and is poor quality.

That being said, my first one, in a 1972 Venture pop-up, was still working when I sold it 22 years later. BUT...it was always kept in a climate controlled garage, where humidity could'nt get to it.

I called Dometic several years ago, when my SOB fridge failed after only 5 years and they were NOT helpful. After "discussing" it with several reps, I got a Manager, who only would offer a free extended warranty on a new unit. He completely missed the point that I SHOULDN'T NEED an extended warranty, if the product was durable.

This is not news to them, and they keep building them the same way for decades. I didn't even bother to call them this time. Got a new cooling unit from RVcooling units.com.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:51 AM   #3
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I have a '69 International 27' with a Dometic frig from a '73 model year. I am looking to replace the frig or install a new cooling coil. I need a source for the coils. Thanks for any help.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:11 AM   #4
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Had the recall done two years ago at AS of Western PA, SFSG. (quality service at that Store) No sign of excessive rust yet, but a pre-emptive strike may be warranted.

Dometic quality...not so much.

JC replaced the original Dometic in our 63 after 30yrs, it failed after 5.

Bob
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:20 AM   #5
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Mine failed about 2 years after the recall. Same thing, ammonia leak near the bottom of the boiler. Flame was nice and blue, though, and there was no soot which would mean it was clean burning.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:31 PM   #6
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Our Dometic went "ammonia" after eight years. Not bad, considering we full time.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
Our Dometic went "ammonia" after eight years. Not bad, considering we full time.
Actually, Mike, it is my belief that they last longer the more they are used. I think the corrosion at the chimney base is accellerated when there is no heat to drive the moisture away from the boiler/insulation area.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Actually, Mike, it is my belief that they last longer the more they are used.
That has been my experience: boats and coaches don't get any better sitting on "the hard".
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