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Old 09-22-2002, 07:28 PM   #1
overlander
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1977 Dometic refridgerator

i have a 1977 airstream overlander. my fridge is a dometic and it doesn't work very well. it does not work on 12 volt and it doesn't work on a/c. the freezer will try to work on gas but the fridge portion doesn't do anything. also on my fride some of the control nobs have been stripped. the control rods are damaged from the previous owner using pliers on them. they are difficult to use and extremly hard to figure out what position the control is in.
I have tried every combination possable to get the 12 volt and a/c to work, but nothing happens. i have all the original nobs but they are stripped as well they only work as guides to temp and fuction positions.

now to the question is it more cost effective to replace my fridge with a new unit or repair my exsisting fridge, can you get parts for older dometic fridges?
please help.
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Old 09-22-2002, 08:09 PM   #2
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I'd Junk it...

Go to Lowes or Home Depot and get one of those small fridge/freezer combo units for $199. That's what I have, and I love it. Sure it only runs on AC, but from the money you save you can get a Honda EU2000!!! Those propane fridges are nothing but a pain.
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Old 09-22-2002, 08:11 PM   #3
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What model do you have. I have some parts I took off an old dometic that you can have if they will work for you. I know I have a safety valve and a thermocouple. I may have more but I will have to check.
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Old 10-01-2002, 09:41 PM   #4
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what parts do you have

im sorry it has taken a while to reply i have been just trying to decide if i was going to go the home depo route and have a/c only. i didn't want to bug you about parts.

i would like to just fix the one i have, i need to start with replacing the nobs and rods for the controls, and testing things do you or anyone now what it might cost to have mine rebuilt, i have been looking at new dometics and there around a thousand bucks........ if its a waste of time fixing this one i will buy a new one.... i want to have the options of propain/ 12volt or a/c. that would work best for me. what do you have for parts and what do you want for them? thanks
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Old 10-02-2002, 04:44 AM   #5
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I have a safety valve and gas thermostat, as well as 2 thermocouples.
Does it work on gas at all? Do the freezer or refer compartment get cool? The reason I ask these questions is that the first thing to determine is if the Ammonia system is intact, if not you will be throwing money out the window. Once the cooling unit goes the unit is best sent to the dump. Do you have an ammonia smell in the refer or freezer compartment?

Here is a link to the dometic manuals, you may want to try some of the troublreshooting steps, If the parts I have can help, let me know. The freight is what is going to cost $$$, the parts are yours if you need them.


Dometic service manuals
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Old 10-02-2002, 06:25 AM   #6
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The rods might not be available, check RV Mobile. I have a 1979 Coachman Class A , the changeover switch had pliers for a knob, they told me that the rod had been out of stock for years. Ended up making a new one.

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Old 10-02-2002, 09:09 AM   #7
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Dometic

Our 1981 Excella motorhome had the original Dometic refrigerator in it when we bought it. It would cool the freezer compartment to refrigerator temperatures, the refrigerator remained at room temperature. Since we are beginning our fulltiming experience this month we wanted to be sure everything worked properly.

We took it to the Dometic authorized service center and found that it would cost almost $700.00 to replace the cooling unit. A big portion of that was the R&R of the refrigerator to allow access to the unit; Airstream put the refrigerator in place then built the interior around it. The replacement cooling unit came with a 1 year warrantee.

The new Dometic at Camping World was just under $1,000 but they wouldn't install it in an Airstream due to the way Airstream did the installation. They referred me to C&G Trailer Service in Bellflower and they did a excellent installation.

The new refrigerator has a 3 year warrantee, much more efficient than the old one would have been and the controls are electronic (not manual with knobs, etc.)
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Old 10-02-2002, 03:52 PM   #8
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the frezer tries to work on propain the refer portion dosn't seem to do anything. the fridge does nothing on electric 12 volt or a/c. it doesnt' smell like amonia. it might all be gone? i have been looking around behind the refer and there is a black wire toor loose from someplace, i havn't figured out wear it goes yet i just noticed that, i'll need to investigate some more.
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Old 10-02-2002, 04:58 PM   #9
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Lightbulb

The black wire you mention has my curiosity.......

Does the interior light come on? Is the unit one that auto lights the gas, or do you have to push a button?

Just because the wire is black does not mean it is a ground. My refer WAS hooked up with a brown??? wire. What is brown supposed to signify in a 12VDC system? It signifies that the guy who installed my refer was not too concerned with what color wire is a positive 12VDC feed, or that any one else would need to figure it out while troubleshooting. So check it with a meter.

If your refer has a 12VDC control board I am wondering if lack of ground would cause it to not run in 12 VDC or 120 VAC mode??
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Old 10-02-2002, 05:11 PM   #10
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Black wire

Black could be the AC feed to the heating element. The AC hot wire from the terminal block to the element is black on my refirigerator.

White is DC ground. Colored wires (including brown) are 12v positive. The color corresponds to the particular circuit. On the 12v fuses/breakers, each 12v circuit is assigned a different color for identification.
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Old 10-02-2002, 05:37 PM   #11
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John,

Thanks for the info, I was not aware that brown was an acceptable color for 12 VDC positive.
I take back all the bad thoughts I had regarding the installer that put my old fridge in!
The 12 VDC wire I was referencing was tapped into a 12 VDC feed from the wall outlet rearward of the refer. I am unsure of the circuit color it is on. I allways check before I disconnect/connect wires I have not run. But thats me.
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Old 10-03-2002, 03:12 PM   #12
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its a RM100

i was looking at the model # and it says its a RM100 on the outside it says its a royal dometic gas electic and its a push button...old style......also i looked under your link and under service manuals and the rm100 isn't there.
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Old 10-03-2002, 03:33 PM   #13
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I have a '77 Sovereign that has it's original RM100 Dometic in it too...but mine is only 120v/propane...no 12v option. Were there some 3 way RM100's made??
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Old 10-03-2002, 03:37 PM   #14
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mine does

mine has the 12 volt option.... it says it on the instructions on the inside of the fridge....and it says in on the back of the fridge in the wiring diagram. it has a 12 volt heating element....
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Old 10-05-2002, 09:52 PM   #15
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opon closer inspection

2 hours on propain the fridge portion works and the freezer works...is this to long for things to get cold? how long does it normaly take with older friges?


i was checking out my fridge some more today and that black wire i was refering to comes out of the wall with the wires for the air conditioner/heater thermostate. anyways it's just hanging there and it has no power.....my air conditioner and heater works so i have a mystery wire....almost impossable to trace becouse i have no wiring diagram....i was thinking that its part of the feed for the 12v on my fridge, the (negitive wire). ......on my fridge i found that their is no feed for the 12 volt thats why it didn't work..... i took a 12 volt battery and jumped the 12 volt side of the fridge....and i got the fridge to start working....

now here is my problem what color wires are used on the input for the 12 volt feed and were do they come from...i cant find the wires anywere they were removed for some reason. i looked at my fuse box and i dont know were the fridge gets its power from what color wires or what leg it might be on. were does the fridge get its power from? i'm thinking about running new wires from one of the empty terminals with power....i'd like to hook it back up the way its suppost to be.... next i'll have to figure out whats wrong with the 110 side of my fridge.


heres what i need to now if anyone can help

- is 2 hours to long? how long does it take for one of these fridges to get to usable temperatures?

-what color wires are the input wires for the 12volt feed and were do they come from?
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Old 10-05-2002, 10:12 PM   #16
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Thumbs up Getting down to temperature

My brand new Dometic takes 4 hours this time of year with the help of a frozen blue-ice pack and a pitcher of ice. In the summer, it took 6 or 7 hours. That's about par for the course.

For an old refrigerator, figure as long as overnight to get down without help with ice-pack.
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Old 10-06-2002, 12:33 AM   #17
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all it takes is time

cool thanks
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Old 10-06-2002, 06:50 AM   #18
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If your Air conditioner is not an armstrong unit the mystery wires are for the Air conditioner thermostat. If you look closely you will find a hole in the wall above the credenza and may find the screw holes that were made when the thermostat was mounted.

As to the original hook up to 12 VDC in 77 I don't belive there was a referigerator made that was auto ignition, let alone had a circut board to control stuff. So tere would have been no 12 VDC there as factory wiring. You could always tap into the 12 volt feed to the antenna/tv outlet on the wall in the lounge??
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Old 10-06-2002, 12:42 PM   #19
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yes i know all about the thermostate..... it's still there and works great.......i can see were the wires come out of the wall and i know wich wires go to the theremostat....i have removed the thermostat to see if the black wire was for it and doen't look like it......... .if the black wire is for my theremostate why does it work correctly?

I am not talking about automatic....my fridge is a dinasour and EVERYTHING is manual....i didn't say it was automatic........ anyways my fridge has the capability to work on 12 volts becouse it has a 12 volt heating element .......i want to know were the power comes from and what color wires are for the 12 volt side of the fridge.....fridge is a RM100 its old and does not have a computer or chip board and doesn't have automatic anything....but can run off of 12 volt if you turn the switch to 12 volt. and you have power going to it ....doe you know what color wires are used and were do they come from to power the 12 volt side of the fridge
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Old 10-06-2002, 03:04 PM   #20
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RM 100

On my 79 MH the black wire is the 12V +, the white wire is -.
The black wire goes straight to the 12 V distribution panel and has its own 20 amp fuse.
The + goes on down to the slector switch, which has to be pushed in and turned clockwise to 12V (and elec).
This activates the small solenoid switch via the blue wire allowing 12V to flow to 12V heater element.
These old 3-way RM-100's are fine old refers and are well worth using until they blow.
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