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Old 11-15-2009, 10:59 AM   #1
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1978 31' Excella 500
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Dometic RM-100 Cooling Problem

I have a 1978 31' Excella 500 with the RM-100 Refrigerator. Starting this last summer I noticed the lower portion of the unit was not cooling. The freezer was fine. The lower unit's temp would go from 45 degrees to 60 degrees. The outside temp was more or less constant so that wasn't an issue.

There is no odor of ammonia.

I read in the Service Manual that removing the unit and turning it upside down might fix the problem. I am doing that as I write this, but I don't know how long the unit should remain in this position. Any thoughts?

BTW, the removal instructions don't even come close to what has to be done to extract the refrigerator from the trailer. I had to disassemble the overhead china cabinet and remove the wall next to the side lounge to get to the metal band that connected the refrigerator to the wall. Not as easy a job as the manual would lead one to believe.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:15 AM   #2
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That's a 30+ year-old unit. I hate to say this, but it's from personal $$$ waste of money trying to have a unit that old repaired unless it's a simple wiring issue, which I doubt. Dometic makes a replacement that plugs right into most rough openings. Bite the bullet, it happens to all of us.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
That's a 30+ year-old unit. I hate to say this, but it's from personal $$$ waste of money trying to have a unit that old repaired unless it's a simple wiring issue, which I doubt. Dometic makes a replacement that plugs right into most rough openings. Bite the bullet, it happens to all of us.
I gotta agree with Mike here. You might get lucky, but I really doubt it. Check to see if it works on AC power while it is out.

If the door and door seals are in the same shape as mine were it may be working OK already and all your cool is just leaking out. The refrigerator's cool, that is.

More details about what I went through in the replacement are here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...aes-44474.html. It's been one of the best things I have done to my Excella.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
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You'll be in hog heaven with a fresh Dometic; no more kneeling down to start the propane, no more trashing the 12 volt batteries, just a great running fridge!
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:35 PM   #5
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Classic symptoms of the death of the cooling unit. Freezer fine, lower box not. You can be a rebuilt cooling unit and swap it out (I did it) and get some more time out of it but, as noted, shiny new will give you years of pain-free ops.

mike
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:26 PM   #6
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We had the same problem with our rm-100. We removed the wall down to and including the credenza as the repair manual stated.

We turned it upside down waited overnight and turned it on. Checked the temperature, everything was normal.

We reinstalled sealing carefully. We waited...temp did not get cold. We did this two more times including the wall and credenza.

That is when I called a local RV sales and ordered a new refrig.

Measure very carefully the dimensions of the refrig and the dimensions of the opening. I had an eight cubic foot originally but because of new design and reconfiguring an eight cubic foot would not have fit in the same opening. I was able to get a six cubic foot instead It fit perfectly and was 200.00 cheaper.

The refrig door panel had to be trimmed to fitbut the freezer door had a gap. We took the back panel off of the credenza and used that on the freezer door and used a piece of plywood on the back of the credenza after staining. We put everything back together and have not had any more problems
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:05 PM   #7
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This fit perfect, even though one RV "expert" had said we had to take a sawsall and expand the rough opening.!
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:06 AM   #8
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1978 31' Excella 500
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Re: My cooling problem

Thanks to all of you for you insight and suggestions. You have helped me make up my mind to 'bite the bullet' and go for a new one. It looks like the RM2820 is the best fit replacement.

My knees are getting too stiff to get down and light the burner or to switch from gas to electric and the wife complains that "I can't see what's in there. Can you put a light in it"?

We will all be happier with a new one. Again thanks.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:26 AM   #9
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You can get the door with a right hand or left hand opening; something to think about if you want to make a sandwich or grab a cool one and the other is sleeping. That is one bright light in the fridge! The latches are junk, buy a couple of spares.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:30 AM   #10
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Dometic RM-100 Cooling Problem

OK, I bought a new RM2820 from PPL and need to install it.

When I removed the old box, I noticed that there were plywood panels screwed into the outside of the refrigerator wall on the right side so that the wall of the lounge area could be screwed to it for support. Also there were a couple of lengths of 2X4 screwed to the outside top of the fridge to support the china cabinet base.

Question is: can I, should I, may I, affix the same panels to the new fridge? Are the walls thinner on the RM2820 than on the RM100 so there would be a danger of puncturing the interior wall of the fridge? I kept the panels and the screws that attached them to the fridge.

As an aside, it is instructive to see how the interior of the unit is constructed. High tech on the outside covering up some rather low tech behind the scenes.

Didn't take pictures of the fridge after it was out of the trailer, like an idiot, so I can't show you what I am talking about.
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