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Old 10-12-2016, 12:55 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Lotus , California
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Dometic fridge removal

As much as I would love to just fix the old Dometic and keep things original in my '77 31' Sovereign it seems to make more financial sense to just replace it. Does anyone have any experience and/or helpful hints on the removal of the old fridge? Also any recommendations on a two to $300 replacement fridge that would fit in the old space? I will be doing an all electric fridge replacement and have watched videos on how to do it, That being said the videos I have watched did not relate to removal out of an airstream... I guess the thing I'm wondering the most is if I will have to remove the wall & counter/cupboard that is on the right side of fridge? Thank you!
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:26 PM   #2
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You might want to see these guys http://www.rvcool.com/
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:00 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forum.

While I don't know the model of your fridge the size and layout between the '72 and '77 are similar.

Here's the instructions from my '72 service manual.
Looks like the cupboard and wall needs to come out to access the retaining strips.

Good Luck,
Tom
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:56 AM   #4
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Thank you! I checked out their web site.... I am mommy on a budget so definitely have some consideration to do.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:58 AM   #5
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Oh goodness! I'm so new to all this I didn't even think to look in my manuals. ☺️

Thank you!!!
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:59 PM   #6
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1979 31' Sovereign
Milford , Ohio
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I took mine out once to clean the flue and never want to go through that again.

The bulkhead panel between the fridge and credenza has to come out first, which will require some disassembly of the credenza to access all the screws.

Part of the cabinetry above the fridge will also have to be disassembled. If you have a regular roof locker there, that might be different.

Some disassembly of the pantry cabinet on the other side of the fridge also needs to be done, and in some cases, holes need to be drilled blindly, in order to access screws on that side that hold the fridge to it's mounting brackets on that side.

You will need to unplug it and disconnect the gas, which are super easy to do at this point.

Once it is time to pull the fridge, put something down on the floor to protect it, such as a sheet of heavy cardboard, or better yet plywood. Then get someone to help you because that beast is heavy.

Just to put in my two cents regarding replacement with an electric fridge, I have a Dometic RM100 and if mine ever fails, my plan is to replace the cooling unit with a remanufactured one. In effect repairing and keeping the same fridge.

The design of the trailer has cabinetry basically built around and attached to the fridge, holding everything in place. To get any other fridge in that space and have it look good might require fabricating new mounting brackets, drilling holes in the sides of the new fridge (voiding the warranty for sure) in order to get the cabinetry back together, and maybe having to make some custom trim pieces to fill any gaps for the sake of making it look like a factory installation.

If a factory look is not important to you, and I will admit to being obsessive about that, and your trailer is parked for long terms at a place with electric hookup, you might be okay finding some dorm room fridge that will fit in that spot. Might be best to take some measurements first before pulling the fridge and find one that will be a good fit.
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Old 10-21-2016, 02:45 PM   #7
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1968 26' Overlander
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Welcome to the forums.

I'm thinking you're on track for removal, so just thought I'd mention our experience with a 110v fridge. We used an electric only refrigerator in our '64 for many years. We bought a dorm fridge that was close to the cabinet dimensions and used the existing 110v outlet. You will want to make sure you still have open ducting for the heat to be removed from the rear coils. Our fridge duct and floor openings were still in place and clear. That was always adequate for our installation. We did have to make trim for the enclosure to make it look "acceptably original."

All that said, when we retired, we changed the electric only out for a two way (elect and propane) so we can boondocks and spend more time in national parks, etc. A two way fridge will be more than the $200 to 300 plans, but an electric only will very likely be in budget.

Good luck,

Roy and Marie
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