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Old 07-20-2014, 04:00 PM   #1
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1976 Argosy 26
Pullman , Washington
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Replacing Refrigerator in 1976 Argosy 28' Rear Bath

As I opened up my outer refer door to manually light the pilot this spring, I had the not-quite conscious thought of "I wonder what made all that yellow powder around the tubing." Then it hit me. All my ammonia was leaking out. I have seen a lot of similar stories here. After spending a lot of time researching how to fix it or replace the refer, I decided that the best course of action was replacement. The given replacement, RM2820, has been discontinued recently, so I purchased a RM 3762 and am now waiting for it to arrive. But, that is all just background.

I have been reading all the horror stories about getting refers in and out and now am feeling a little daunted. I am hoping that some of you that have done it before may be able to share some advice on how to avoid pitfalls. I have included a couple of pictures of the current cabinet. So, where should I get started? What do I need to take off? How can I get at the lag bolts that people speak so poorly of? Do I need to take off all the pantry area facia pieces (there are a LOT of rivets in it) to get at it? It has the standard access door on the outside and the pictures show what it looks like on the inside. Any advice would be helpful before I tear it to pieces needlessly.

Hoopman
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #2
I Bought it I Broke it...
 
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How'd that ever work out for you, hoopman77?
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for asking. We just started drilling out rivets and unscrewing a few screws, and it came out; not without a little hammering. The new fridge we bought (Dometic 3762) was 3 inches shorter than the last one, and required 12 V power (seen it mentioned on other threads here) so I built a pedestal for the fridge and went fishing for 12 V power (spliced in off outdoor door light; now I have to figure out how to move the switch so people don't turn the fridge off). Now I'm trying to figure out how to hook up the propane (inlet is 6.5 in away from the old inlet) and how to secure the fridge (wall is not sheet metal anymore, but foam). Decided to replace the floor and paint the trailer while I'm at it. Glutton for punishment.


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Old 08-17-2014, 05:45 PM   #4
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1974 25' Tradewind
1974 27' Overlander
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I'm afraid many of us fall into the same category. Once you start one thing it leads to 5 more. Airstreams are like Pandora's box...you never know what lies before you. Have fun along the journey!

Bob
Indiana, PA

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Old 11-12-2014, 09:23 AM   #5
I Bought it I Broke it...
 
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1976 31' Sovereign
Migratory , North America
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Recently underwent a similar project. Picked up this Dometic Americana 2551 from Camping World which has worked out perfectly for us. It was significantly smaller than the previous fridge (a standard electric fridge some previous owner had put in) but even with our family of 6 living in it full-time, we find it's plenty of space.

Ran the 12v underneath the Airstream (outside of the belly pan) across and back up into the fuse box which is located just to the left of the main door. Has been working out well and glad we made the upgrade. Having a propane option while we drive is a lifesaver for long trips through the desert with milk aboard.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:58 AM   #6
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Morrill , Nebraska
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Hoopman77;
One side of the switch is always powered. Connect to that side of the switch. No worries about the refer be shut off by the switch.
Use your meter to determine which side is which and be sure to pull the fuse for the circuit while working on the project.


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Old 11-26-2014, 07:32 PM   #7
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1976 Argosy 26
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I should have posted a couple months back. I finished the job in the time I had and spent a great 5 day weekend enjoying the finished product. For the 12V wiring, I spliced it off the light as I mentioned, and it worked well; at least while no on turned off the light. We did have that problem, but I'll fix it next spring (it's winterized now, and a little out of mind). The fridge was a 3 in shorter than the last (as I recall), so my brother build me a quick little platform for the fridge to sit on, which worked out well. I also had to put in some sheet metal slats secured to the side of the fridge to screw the fridge back into place (the side of the fridge is just foam, so would not take the screws that held the sheet metal sided old fridge). After hooking up and testing the propane, I slid it all back into place, put new screws into the sheet metal slats, and got it all tightened down. My wife says the fridge is a great improvement and the stainless steel front looks great with my new flooring and painting job.
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