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Old 07-25-2008, 07:07 PM   #1
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Fixing broken fridge door shelves

My axle works pretty well most of the time, but about once a trip I find a pothole that bottoms the axle. The force of the bump breaks at least one refridgerator shelf. Maybe this is the solution. If not, there's going to be extensive metal mods to the door....

Here's a typical broken shelf:

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In order to fix it, you need a piece of solid plastic which will fit the shape of the corner bracket in the shelf, plus it needs to wrap over the top of the bracket to provide the strength to hang the shelf. I took a piece of maple and used a jointer to make a 50 degree corner. A few 2x5" pieces of polypropylene, a coat hanger wire stand, gloves, and a butan torch rounded out the materials and tools.

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You can see two completed rough parts that have been wrapped around the maple block in the left of the photo. You don't need to cut a relief in order to bend the top over--the plastic conforms nicely.

A little band saw action, followed by sanding makes a decent reinforcement part, which can be glued to the shelf using Plastic Fusion epoxy, available at HD or probably any hardware store.

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If you don't have some version of poly handy, cut up a schedule 40 PVC pipe and heat it up. It ought to bend just as nicely and it's stiffer when it cools down.

Zep
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:27 PM   #2
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Do you want some shelves that are not pre-broken? I pulled the ones out of our old new fridge...
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:12 PM   #3
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Fridge door shelves

The wife noticed that the corners of our shelves were breaking, like yours. Dometic sent us replacements and we are careful not to have much weight in them, now, when moving...

I just might have to resort to some reinforce option work myself. Obviously we are not the only people having this problem appear.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
The wife noticed that the corners of our shelves were breaking, like yours. Dometic sent us replacements and we are careful not to have much weight in them, now, when moving...

I just might have to resort to some reinforce option work myself. Obviously we are not the only people having this problem appear.
No you are not alone.... we have gone through three shelves. I have used every type of glue there is out there and it never works.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:24 PM   #5
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Wife has cure for problem!?

The wife told me that on the front door, some shelves fit above a curved area embossed into the door plastic. Those areas support the shelves in such a way that the corners do not break off. Probably a problem with the corners flexing when the trailer is moving up and down in travel.

The bottom shelf does not seem to have the breaking problem, so I will have to get another look at that when we stock up to leave on another camping trip.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:42 PM   #6
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In My 13 classic refergerator are 2 triangular pieces laying on the shelf, I have no idea what they are used for?? Any ideas..
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:47 PM   #7
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They can be used to divide the shelves into separate sections if they're what I think they are. I use one on the top shelf for butter.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:41 PM   #8
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Any RV dealer that replaces refrigerators simply discards the old ones. I have found, that with some luck, you can get many good parts from older discarded units... if you are able to get them prior to them going in the Dumpster.

Yes, I am a scrounge but things like a Dometic gas thermostat for an older refrigerator are VERY expensive, if available at all. I had one in my "refer parts bin" and was able to fix a friend's refrigerator for a little labor. A member here needed a special part for his Dometic which was unavailable at all. I had one and sent it to him. Unfortunately, I never got a thanks for that from him... Oh well.

Shelves and other interior parts for Dometic refrigerators are somewhat standard between models, and with some luck interchangeable, so don't overlook the discard pile at your local RV dealers as a good source of expensive or hard to find items.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tjdonahoe View Post
In My 13 classic refergerator are 2 triangular pieces laying on the shelf, I have no idea what they are used for?? Any ideas..

And use them to hold the doors ajar when in storage.


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Old 06-29-2014, 11:35 AM   #10
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Thanks all ..
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:48 PM   #11
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Re: Fixing broken refrigerator door shelves

We have replaced the entire set of refrigerator door shelves a couple of times in the past 11 years; and I finally took a closer look to see if the damaged ones could be salvaged, because they are so expensive.

I noticed that the main tab was still intact, but the top of the tab (the part that keeps the shelf from falling off the door) was the only portion broken. After a little thinking, I realized that all that was needed was something to support the bottom of the shelf to keep the tab from being pulled down through the groove.

After some searching, I found this "nail on" plastic corner guard at Home Depot:

I cut a piece of the corner guard to approximately the same length as the width of the shelf, and then I applied this double-sided tape to one of the outside surfaces of the corner guard strip while leaving the protective covering on the unused side of the tape:
I used this tape, because it is clear (only the protective covering is red). Also, for removal, it comes off in one piece instead of shredding like foam-backed tapes.

Then, I attached the corner guard strip to the refrigerator door where the bottom of the shelf would be if the tabs werenít broken off; and I carefully pulled the protective covering from the double-sided tape and pressed the corner guard against the refrigerator door. After continuously rubbing the corner guard and double-sided tape firmly against the refrigerator door for several seconds, the strip was securely attached.

I just added this modification last week, and it has not been "road tested". However, I am hopeful that this will be a permanent fix to our annual shelf replacement routine.

Important Notes:
  1. I used isopropyl alcohol to thoroughly clean the mating surfaces on the door and corner guard before applying double-sided tape.

  2. Tape application is probably best done at room temperature; as I suspect that the cold temperature and humidity in a refrigerator that is running and chilled will greatly reduce the likelihood of successful tape application.
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