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Old 12-30-2015, 08:29 PM   #15
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Ok this is a super old thread but I need help with our rm1303. A resistor is burnt on the board and my husband wants to replace it but it's toasted and he can't tell anything about it. Anyone have a pic of theirs? I can get a pic of ours tomorrow and show which one.

It's not working on 12v or 110 and it isn't cooling with the gas. It's been a giant pita trying to figure it out. But a burnt spot on the board seems like a good cause.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:17 AM   #16
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Dinosaur makes "universal" boards and may have one that will work.

Before you go to that expense, you may want to try out the AC side by wiring the heating element directly to an 120 volt source, bypassing the board. It should heat up just fine and, if the reefer cools, it pretty much means the board is shot but the cooling plumbing is okay.

If you aren't comfortable around electricity, well maybe don't...

Mike
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:08 PM   #17
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My husband can try that. But the element heats up and you hear the ammonia circulating and it all gets hot with the gas, but it never gets cool. He left it on for 2 days and it got hot but nothing was cooling. I guess because its so old Im having trouble finding info on it.
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Old 01-01-2016, 04:45 PM   #18
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If the heating element is getting hot and you still have no cooling, then the cooling unit itself has failed. Ours did this about 8 years ago when a hole rusted through the tubing.

You can replace the whole thing but what we did was replace just the cooling unit (our box was good as was our board). I think we got ours from RVrefrigeration.net but there are several companies that do rebuilds. If memory serves it was a little less than $400.

It took longer to remove and replace the refrigerator than it took to swap out the cooling unit and, as noted, 8 years of half-timing later it still works great.

Good luck!

Mike
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:17 AM   #19
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My experience was less favorable. As you probably already know, there are no current models that will fit this space size, so you will either need to go larger or smaller on the opening (it's easier to go smaller, but these units are barely large enough to begin with.) Also, the new units are only two-way, so you lose the ability to run off 12VDC (I used this feature when we were traveling because the propane pilot kept getting blown out, causing the reefer to shut down.)

I had to disassemble part of the RV to get the box out to replace the cooling unit. You will have to carefully dig the old CU out because they are foamed in place, and because they are foamed in place, the replacement CU was a less than perect fit. The replacement CU failed within 3 years, but by that time the people that provided the CU had gone out of business. Apparently, there is an art to rebuilding these properly, and we had to buy yet another CU through a more reliable vendor with an extended warranty. It has been working well since then, however.

I would put the cost of the CU at around $500+ with the extended warranty, IIRC, and again, the fit of the CU is not all that great but they give you a tube of mastic to goop it up. It is a lot of work, too...it might not be so bad if you don't have to disassemble the RV like we did (twice!), but be careful digging out the old CU to avoid damaging the box.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:27 PM   #20
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Is there a way to leak check them? I see there's a port on it. Is that for charging? There's something in there still. If he bypasses the circut board with 120v and the element heats up will the cooling section still cool without the circut board? And how long should we leave it hooked up and the board bypassed before we can tell what's going on? Wed like to keep this one if we can and I know we will probably need a circut board since something is burnt on ours and depending on what's up with the cooling unit we might need that too.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:16 AM   #21
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The cooling unit is a simple boiler apparatus. It is a closed system with an ammonia based fluid that cycles from liquid to gas and back. That process is what extracts the heat from your reefer. If the unit is getting hot and you are hearing gurgling but still no cooling, then the cooling unit is either perforated or plugged internally (rust does this). No need for further troubleshooting.

I have read of people "burping" their refrigerator by removing it and turning on its head for a while. Don't see the value -- even if you broke some blockage free, it is just a matter of time before it plugs again...

Pretty sure there is at least a rebuilt cooling unit in your future

Mike
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:08 PM   #22
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Thanks. That's what I'm fearing. I like the 3 way option because driving with the gas on makes me really nervous but we need to keep it cold while driving. I'm gonna look around more and try to find a used one. A local guy has one but isn't answering the email on the ad. I'm gonna shove the regular dorm fridge in there from the other camper for right now. I'm gonna be spending more on this thing than I did my house fridge. Lol. Thanks for all your help. This thing has been a learning exprience for sure.
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:10 PM   #23
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What's the good company you used for yours when you replaced/rebuilt it? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:02 AM   #24
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Gas refrigerators need to have the freezer floor level in order for gravity to circulate the fluid. When they are working right the boiler section is hot and the unit sounds like an old coffee percolator and the pipes or plate in the freezer will get cold within say 15 to 30 minutes. If the fridge is level, the boiler hot and no cooling, it has lost the hydrogen charge through a tiny rust hole or is plugged internally. Flip it end over end a few times and try it, it might work for years. If not, a rebuilt unit that will hold the hydrogen atoms inside the pipes is what you need. Or maybe a new fridge. If I could go back in time I'd like to meet the guy who was looking at a flame and said to himself "I think I'll make some ice cubes with that!". Leland
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:59 AM   #25
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Quote:
What's the good company you used for yours when you replaced/rebuilt it? Thanks in advance.
I'll have a look thru my old emails when I get back to my desktop tomorrow. But when ours failed, there was a strong ammonia smell in the interior of tye reefer and the nasty orange-yellow liquid ammonia was visible, dribbling down on the inside of the reefer.

You will likely need to ship your old CU back to the vendor or pay a core charge. Parts are hard to come by for these old boxes, so they re-use parts from the core to build others. We had to pre-order ours because these are usually made to order. We let ours sit in the back yard for a few days (in the summer) before bagging/boxing it up and return shipping it to rid it of the smell, but it didn't help.

If yours is leaking, it should be VERY obvious, because we are talking about a strong, foul-smelling liquid that doesnt evaporate quickly, not a gas.
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:26 AM   #26
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There's no smell and no residue. But we just got the camper a couple months ago, and before that it sat at a car lot down the street for a year. The PO passed away and it was tied up in the estate for a bit. But I keep thinking it should be ok because he lived in the camper full time. He ran a local membership campground and just lived there in this. So I'd like to think it should work and we are doing something wrong. But it sitting up unused could have jacked it up. Thanks for all the info guys.
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Old 01-04-2016, 01:23 PM   #27
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I used RVrefrigeration.net but that was years ago so no idea on prices now. The Amish use absorption refrigerators so there are lots of rebuilding outfits out there.

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Old 01-04-2016, 08:02 PM   #28
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In looking at my email, I originally replaced the OEM CU that was leaking in May of 2005 with a unit purchased from NuCold in Arkansas. According to my email, that unit took 6 weeks for them to manufacture for me, and while it worked fine immediately after replacement, it failed within 6 months. It showed the same signs that yours does...no leaking or smell, boiler was getting hot and making gurgling noises, but no cooling. I did not elect to go through the warranty return process with them for some reason...according to my sketchy email correspondence, something to do with the shipping charges ($60 at that time) and lack of available packaging to pack it up in...but if you google NuCold, they have a number of complaints made against them, and I recommend that you stay away from them based on my experience.

I replaced that failed CU in July of 2007 with a unit that I bought from a seller on eBay Motors. There was a fair amount of hand holding with this seller, represented by David Force (rvrepair1029@comcast.net) in the weeks prior to me purchasing the unit, and he was extremely helpful throughout the entire process. Our CU was shipped within 3 days of purchase. The contact details I have from 2007 are: David Force, RV Repair, 874 Enfield Rd., Memphis, TN 38116. The purchase price was $465 with a $100 refundable core charge ($365 net), 3 year standard warranty with an additional 2 year extension (5 year total) that I purchased for an additional $75. He offered a 30 day satisfaction guarantee with a full refund and prepaid return shipping, and following installation he issued a call tag to return ship the core at his expense when we were satisfied with the operation of the CU. I am most appreciative of his advice and the way he conducted himself throughout this entire transaction...I asked many, many questions and he answered all of them promptly. I would highly recommend this vendor if you can get in touch with him.

Some vendors might shy away from warranting when they hear that you plan to install it yourself, and paying an RV repair facility to change this out can be very costly as it is time-consuming. Make sure you discuss this aspect with your vendor should you go down that road...how do they handle the warranty process with a DIYer? Hopefully you won't have to do it twice like we did.

Hope this helps, and good luck!
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