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Old 07-24-2004, 10:09 AM   #1
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Unhappy Refrigerator Blues

So it seems our refridgerator is shot and I am singin' the refridgerator blues because I understand this is a very expensive item to replace. Any suggestions on where I start looking or should we just resort to using an ice chest? We live in the Tulsa, OK area if there are any other Northeastern Okie Airstreamers out there that might know.
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Old 07-24-2004, 10:14 AM   #2
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Maybe it can be repaired!

Just because it has quit working doesn't mean that it can't be repaired.
Replacement is going to range depending on what model you have, but you can figure around a 1000. Repair shouldn't be that costly.
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Old 07-24-2004, 10:51 AM   #3
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Unhappy Been there...

Been using the ice chest since May...we are have been going through this as I type. Our 40 year old Dometic gave up the ghost this summer. Finding someone you trust to work that's able to work on a firdge that old was not my easiest task...but we found someone. The key we found was finding:
a) someone who would "repair the cooling unit" instead of just bolt on a new one...new ones for a 40 year old just aren't available
b) could figure out the ammonia, hydrogen proportions and quantity to make it operate properly...'back in the day' this wasn't consistant
c) someone who was not just trying to sell us a new one..."aw hon, why don't you just get yourself a new one?" argh!!!! I hate the disposable society we live in!!!
I digress, we are expecting it back on Tuesday...we leave for the VAC Rally Thursday, a bit close for comfort!
Cost of a new fridge: +/-$1000 (undercounter propane/elec model)
Cost of Repair: $350
Cost of Shipping to CA (round-trip): $200
Cost of keeping things vintage-original: priceless!
IF we could have found a 'new' cooling unit that would have worked, the cost of the repair would have been about the same, but we wouldn't have had to pay for shipping. Unfortuantely, nobody makes them for a fridge this old...and the used ones we looked at were in just as bad a shape or worse.

I will post the results and who did the work once we receive the fridge back and I am satisfied all is well.

Shari
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Old 08-07-2004, 07:10 PM   #4
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I will post the results and who did the work once we receive the fridge back and I am satisfied all is well.
Well...been back a couple of days since our rebuilt fridge's maiden voyage. It worked GREAT! The fridge compartment stays at 35-degrees and the freezer held ice. The outside high-temps were in the 80's-90's. I was quite pleased.

The company we had fix it is:
Cool-Fun
15825 E. Edna Place
Irwindale, CA
626-960-5456
They did a terrific job, in my opinion and I would recommend them, if this is the route you wish to take.

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Old 08-07-2004, 08:10 PM   #5
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I would search in the local or bargain newspapers. Dometic refers are very commonly used in all MH's TT's and campers. The undercounter sizes are easier to find than the larger ones though. I often see 2-way (Gas & AC) undercounter models advertised for $200.
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Old 08-07-2004, 10:01 PM   #6
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ammonia cooling unit

the "hot" side of the ammonia cooling unit is heated by
a) an electrical element 120V
b) a propane flame

various things can go wrong but if its doing nothing or little, you may have a problem with the element as they are the most prone part to dysfunction
it may cost a couple hundred bucks but i would say your best bet is to find an older, established refrigeration man who would have experience with ammonia cooling units
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Old 08-08-2004, 11:20 AM   #7
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Is there a way to put the new style refrigeration works in the old box. All of the business end of the refrigerator is behind it except the evaporator. Just a thought.....
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Old 08-08-2004, 01:40 PM   #8
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Cool Fun rebuilt my refrigerator a few years back. It's still working.
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Old 08-09-2004, 02:12 PM   #9
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I don't know what happened but...

Wallah, the refrig is working! My husband said he cleaned "something" and we made sure the unit was level. I opened the door and as a joke said to my husband, "hey, it's working." It actually did feel slightly cool, but I just thought it was because it was insulated from the outside heat. Then later I went back and opened the freezer door and to my suprise, it really WAS working. My husband jumped up to check it out, we put an ice tray in and later discovered ice!!! yippee. Anyway, I don't know what the reason for this was...the leveling or the cleaning, or maybe the laying on of hands and heavy praying (haha) but I am happy we don't have to mess with it.
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Old 08-09-2004, 03:01 PM   #10
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That's great news! I was surprised to find mine not working one day because it was ever so slightly out of level. Others here have had theirs come back to life by simply moving them around a bit. Of course praying never hurts either.
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Old 08-29-2004, 12:18 AM   #11
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Fridge 110 unit does not cool

Can anyone tell me how to trouble shoot the 110 cooling unit in my trailers fridge? 1975 Tradewind 25 foot. The propane side works very well. I replaced the toggle switch at the control vavle but that did not make any difference.
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Old 08-29-2004, 08:23 AM   #12
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Can anyone tell me how to trouble shoot the 110 cooling unit in my trailers fridge? 1975 Tradewind 25 foot. The propane side works very well. I replaced the toggle switch at the control vavle but that did not make any difference.
The two parts most likely to fail are the heating element and the thermostat. The switch that turns it to AC is another possibility, but less likely to fail. The electric thermostat is physically separate from the gas thermostat, but is usually on the same shaft with a single knob adjusting both thermostats.

I would unplug the refrigerator , remove the shroud from the boiler, pull off the wires from the heating element, and meter the element with an ohm meter. It should not read open; if it does, you need a new element.

If not the element, then carefully, attach a voltmeter on the wires leading to the element, plug in the refrigerator, turn it on, and see if you have 110v going to the element. If no voltage, the thermostat is the most likely failure. Possibly the switch may have failed. Someone with a little electrical savvy may be able to poke around and find out what is wrong.

Be careful when poking around with power on!
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