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Old 10-02-2012, 10:06 AM   #1
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Helium!

Last night I struggled with the purchase of a new Atwood Helium Refrigerator. This double door, 6 cu ft unit, is just over a thousand dollars. It is a 3 way unit with all of the new bells and whistles. I'm replacing an old and broken 3801 Dometic Royale. I was going to go with another Dometic 'Classic' but I've read so many reports of fires and problems with recalls with these Classics that I steered clear of them. The non-flammable Helium refrigerators are relatively new to the industry. Has anyone had any experience with them yet? I'm just hoping I did'nt waste a grand!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:14 AM   #2
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I guess you tell when they are leaking if everyone starts talking funny.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #3
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If you go to the Cat scales how much lighter is the rig?
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:26 AM   #4
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I have heard that you need to fasten them to the floor real well. Don't want something that big floating around while you are going down the road!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:52 AM   #5
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Hooray! a new product being installed!

EricJan, I have been doing rudimentary thinking about the possibility of replacing my fridge. I am glad to hear there is something else out there. Please if you would post photos of the install; as well as a narrative of the process. Thank you for "boldly going where no man has gone before."
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:31 AM   #6
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Red face

LOL.....Very funny guys! I'll post pics when it arrives. Once installed I'll have to call my rig "The Hindenberg II".....Ha Ha....
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:51 PM   #7
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All joking aside, the main advantage is, if you operate a helium refrigerator and it's not level, you're not at risk of blowing it up. An old-style ammonia-cycle refrigerator boils off ammonia to produce hydrogen gas that can get trapped in the boiler area if the unit's not level. Helium won't explode, just expand until it blows a pop-off pressure relief valve. Then you'll talk in a squeaky Minnie Mouse voice for a while. AWCHIEF got that one right!

Other than that, your new refrigerator won't cool any colder, or get cold any faster, than your old one. At least according to the product literature I've seen. Can't say from experience…

With regard to the jokes, the Hindenberg didn't use helium; the Goodyear Blimp does. You just need a moving-light marquee on the sides, and big yellow letters spelling the name of a tire brand, and you're set…
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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Well. The fridge arrived and it's installed! Once it came out of the box it didn't float away so I guess there's not that much helium in it! LOL It's not as heavy as the OEM fridge so that was a bonus. The only major problem I can forsee is that the old fridge was a three way with a 12 volt ignition interuptor, so when you are running on propane and you pull into a gas station and turn the engine off to fill up, the fridge automatically extinguishes the propane and switches to 12 volt for 25 minutes. This is to keep you from blowing up when you're pumping gas! Now, I'll need to remember to shut off the fridge when fueling or be reminded the hard way! God forbid! Also, the 6 cube Atwood is too short for the old surround and I will need to fill with matching wood. The 8 cube is too tall so I would have had to cut a couple inches taller. The width is the same on the 6 and 8 and that fits well in the existing hole. All in all, a very easy install. Done in two hours and reached temp in about an hour after switching to 110 volts. One note. Atwood has added a small fan to the back to cool the coils. It does make a little noise that runs a lot so be prepared for a 'new' noise in the coach......
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjan2 View Post
Now, I'll need to remember to shut off the fridge when fueling or be reminded the hard way!
Not foolproof, but a tag attached to your fuel filler cap that says, "Shut off Trailer Fridge Before Fueling" is probably the best reminder. The tag doesn't do any harm when you're not towing the trailer, and reminds you exactly when you need a reminder, when you ARE towing.

Then, all you need to remember is to turn the fridge back on when you're done!
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