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Old 04-08-2014, 04:31 PM   #1
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Dometic replacements: Sizes and availability

I'm looking for a replacement for my 1979 Dometic RM100 (1979-31' Sovereign, mid-bath). Using the replacement table provided by Dometic, I quickly determined that the RM2820 would be a nice fit. According to that chart, the RM 100 is (HxWxD, inches) 55 7/8 x 23 11/16 x 24; and the RM2820 is 55 3/8 x 23 5/8 x 24. Pretty close---1/16" under on height and width---I can certainly live with this.

Further research…including Dometic's site sometimes lists the RM2820 (RM2820 Classic---are these the same?) as 57 7/8 x 24 39/64 x 24 9/16. That's quite a difference! Pretty hard to squeeze those extra two inches into a 55 7/8" hole. So which is it?

Further research…suggests that the RM2820 may not even be available any more.

So what to do? I'm pretty sure a new fridge is in my future. I've repaired the old one at least once and got a couple extra years out of it (marginal performance) and it's 35 years old for crying-out-loud. I know I might be able to find a new back unit (though these are getting very hard to find), but I think I'm ready for a simple R & R (remove and replace) with a new one.

I need to figure out what will fit in my fridge slot, and is it available. Recommendations about particularly helpful vendors, or places with particularly reasonable prices for purchase and shipping welcomed.

Oh, I see I need to update my sig lines. I'm now towing with a 2010 GMC 2400HD diesel.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:48 PM   #2
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The RM2820 is 57 7/8 tall and is widely available. For example, PPL will sell you one for a little over 1200 bucks before shipping.

Sounds like you need a shorter unit, though.

Mike
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:53 PM   #3
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I hope to measure out the size of my existing fridge (not relying on internet-based sources) this weekend, and to triple check the model number of my current fridge, Keep you posted.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:10 PM   #4
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OK, several hours of reading postings and other web related things...

I just may be getting things sorted out…
Perhaps the reason for the disparate measurements on the RM2820 is that one set is the "overall" dimensions, while the other is the "recess" dimensions.

The manual for the 2820 (downloadable from Dometic) list the following:
Recess: 55 7/16 x 23 11/16 x 24 3/32
Overall: 57 5/8 x 24 39/64 x 24 9/16

Apparently, the controls stick up about 2".

So things are looking up. This weekend I'll go out an measure the actual size of the existing unit. And if it's close to the listed size for the RM100, I should be in business (as long as I can still find a 2820!)
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:37 PM   #5
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Installation dimensions for RM100 and RM2820, compared

Well, continuing my conversation (yes, I'm talking to myself, but I'm also getting answers)…

I found out it's pretty hard to measure up the dimensions of a refrigerator like my deceased RM100 while it's installed because you can't get to all the places to make the measurements, plus it's hard to estimate the width of various flanges, etc. because you can't get behind them.

But digging around my various manuals and such in the nearby credenza turned up the motherlode. Yep, the actual Operating and Installation Instructions for the very RM100 unit.

The manual lists 3 sets of dimensions, overall, installation and recess:
All dimensions listed as Height x Width x Depth, in inches.
RM100
Overall (the outside, or largest dimensions, including doors and flanges)
55 9/16 x 24 11/16 x 24 13/16
Installation (the size of the unit that has to be accommodated)
55 1/8 x 23 7/16 x 22 9/16
Recess (the size of the hole, allows some extra room around unit)
55 1/2 x 23 13/16 x 23 1/2

Just for comparison, here's the information for the RM2820 (that manual did not list the "installation" dimension, just "overall" and "recess"
RM2820
Overall (the outside, or largest dimensions, including doors and flanges)
57 5/8 x 24 39/64 x 24 9/16
Recess (the size of the hole, allows some extra room around unit)
55 7/16 x 23 11/16 x 24 3/32

So the answer to the big question "Is the RM2820 a good replacement for the RM100?" seems likely to be YES! Assuming the size of the "hole" I will have when I remove my RM110 old unit is reasonably close to the "Recess" dimensions for the RM100 in the manual, I should be in very good shape with respect to the Height and Width dimensions---my current recess should be just a bit bigger in height (1/16"), and just a bit bigger in width (1/8"). It should be easy to cover up a little gap than to finesse an extra 1/8" from cabinetry. In the Depth dimension, I might run into a bit of trouble if I can't scoot an extra 19/32" of refer into the hole---but a bit of trim should cover whatever's left over if it doesn't fit.

Time to pull the trigger and order up a new Dometic RM2820.

Anyone have suggestions about the best vendor for prices? Since freight can be an issue on these large units, I'm in Little Rock, fyi. So far, my research shows AdventureRV in TN to have the best price.

Thanks, y'all.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:00 PM   #6
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Replacement for RM100-Ordered and delivered

Just an update... On Monday I ordered the RM2820 to replace my dead RM100. I ordered it from AdventureRV, Sevierville, TN. They gave me a price that was $105 less than the next best competitor price. Most of the difference in price was shipping, and that might have been just a issue of distance.

Adventure
Price $1197.00
Shipping $90.11
Total $1287.11
Dealer in Houston
Price $1232.00
Shipping $160.00
Total $1392.00
I've seen retail prices from $1399 to $1746.

Also, many places (Camping World, for example) no longer carry the RM2820, so I believe it may be discontinued.

It arrived by truck today, Thursday. 4 day delivery time, WOW!

Headed out to our garage to deliver it this evening.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:27 PM   #7
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Opps, new fridge doesn't come with any kind of door panel. Maybe the panels from the RM100 will fit!

Also, the credenza the fridge will fit into will require some mods after all (of course). The bottom shelf of the upper pantry (the shelf that forms the "ceiling" of the fridge recess sticks out about 1.5 in beyond the flush level of the two sides. Since the controls of the new fridge now are mounted on top, that will interfere with being able to push the unit all the way into the recess. Seems to be two choices: 1) Cut the overhang off (which will likely require re-working of the entire upper pantry), or 2) Build the two vertical edges out by adding material. At quick glance in the growing dusk, the second option seems easier, but I'll probably wait until the old fridge is removed before deciding which option to pursue.

It ain't ever easy, is it?
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:11 AM   #8
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After referring to my AS service manual I realize I used the wrong terminology in the previous post. The piece that might require mods is called the China Cabinet (not the credenza). It sits above the fridge bay and above the microwave cabinet.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:23 AM   #9
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I see those called 'lockers' all the time here. Unless I didn't understand what you are talking about.

How about a photo?
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:40 AM   #10
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I'll have to book mark AdventureRV, beating the "Houston" price is rare.

I had to make panels for the door of my new Dometic when I installed it in the Trade Wind. My cabinet faces are the original hardwood ply and after searching several lumber yards I found a sheet of 1/8 hardwood veneer with very simialr grain pattern. My wife, who is an expert with color, spend a couple of evenings mixing various stains until she matched the old to perfection. Everyone who sees it thinks the front of the fridge is original. When you cut the panel for your new fridge use a table saw so you can get it perfect. You don't have a lot of wiggle room in the door frame. Also, if you put a slight radius and bevel on the every edge (it will be under the plastic trim that holds it on in place and won't show) the positioning and installation will be much easier. I'm sure there is a router bit that will do in in one operation, but I just used a sander with 80 grit.
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:04 AM   #11
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Yep, a photo is needed. I'll try to take some this weekend...
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:53 PM   #12
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Update on (slow) progress...

Sorry, I forgot to take a photo.

Lockers vs China cabinet: When I think of "lockers" I think of the cabinets that hang from the curvature part of the "ceiling" that are approximately 1 foot in height in the front, maybe 24" in depth at the bottom (less at the top due to the curvature) and have tambour doors that roll to the top. Maybe about 24-30 inches wide, each. I have them on the curbside, above the stove and sink, and in the BR on street side.

What I'm calling the China cabinet sits on top of the microwave cabinet and the refrigerator. The bottom is one piece that forms the top of both the MW cabinet and the fridge recess. It's about 5-5.5 ft wide, maybe 2" deep. It's not really enclosed with a back and top, the curving walls/ceiling of the trailer interior form the back and top. It has two sliding doors on the front that slide horizontally.

So I took off the China cabinet, and the bulkhead on the right-side of the fridge and between the fridge and the credenza. There were a bunch of screws going thru the bulkhead and thru the cabinet under the microwave hutch and the side of the MW hutch. These went right into the metal sides of the RM100 There was a folded piece of aluminum anchoring the fridge at the top-back (right side). This too was screwed directly into the side of the fridge. Another piece of aluminum was located at the floor level. This right angle piece had one leg under the credenza and the vertical leg affixed to the fridge with screws. I was able to knock the screws loose with a slim cold chisel, so I did not need to disassemble the whole credenza.

The install instructions for the new fridge call for anchoring at the floor front, anchoring a cross-brace at the top (behind the control panel) and anchoring at the floor at the back. I think I'll avoid driving screws into the sides of the new unit.

They also call for a baffle in the back, above the access door vent, such that the back wall is 1" or closer to the back of the fridge (to direct the air over the coils. Not sure how essential this is, but I may try to fashion a baffle out of light pine and aluminum sheet. The old unit never worked that well and I wonder if the excessive size of the back section (too large at the bottom, due to the curvature at the top) kept it from working efficiently…?

Then, of course, there will be some custom work in refitting the upper china cabinet. But I think I can make it work…
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:01 PM   #13
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China vs Locker cabinets

Here's a picture of someone else's China cabinet. Note there's an RM100 in place. Ours is the same, except there a credenza to the right that extends into the Living Room. Our credenza has wiring for TV/antenna and our cassette tape player in it and holds our dining room table, and would be difficult to move. This one would be a little easier to work on without the credenza!


I couldn't find a good picture of lockers over a refrigerator, but I know I've seen them many times, just can't get the right search term. I don't have (what I would call) lockers over my fridge, but I have them on curbside over the sink, and street side in the BR and hallway. Here's the best I could do re lockers over a fridge---Once all the cabinets and fridge are replaced here, there will be lockers over the fridge [in the picture, you can see the gas line and fridge outside vent door on the lower left.]
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:48 PM   #14
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I just spent about 1/2 hour bringing everything up to date, but it was all lost. This will be an abbreviated post. Suffice it to say it's been difficult remaking parts from templates, matching stain and function, so it's taking longer than expected. I rebuilt the bulkhead, matched stain, matched finish, in process of installing (multiple steps). Now considering best approach for China Cabinet bottom shelf. Likely to involve major refinishing. Ready to go of it, to save time money.

There you go about 7 lines summarizing 50 lines previously typed in but lost via vague whatever. If you had specific questions about progress/process, contact direct. Too tedious to retype here.
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