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Old 04-26-2009, 04:27 PM   #1
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1986 25' Sovereign
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Electric Fridge or fork out the cash??

My fridge just went out on my Sovereign, and replacement is $1500!! What are the pros and cons for simply getting an electric one from Home Depot, I have a generator so boon docking is not a problem with electricity.
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by frscott View Post
My fridge just went out on my Sovereign, and replacement is $1500!! What are the pros and cons for simply getting an electric one from Home Depot, I have a generator so boon docking is not a problem with electricity.
Do you want to run the generator 24/7 when you don't have hookups?

Bill
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:34 PM   #3
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Yea, I did not think of that, but it is a quiet Honda, so I guess that won't be too bad??? I really hate giving up $1500 for a fridge, my home fridge costs half that!
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:40 PM   #4
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Yea, I did not think of that, but it is a quiet Honda, so I guess that won't be too bad??? I really hate giving up $1500 for a fridge, my home fridge costs half that!
At 2 AM I don't want to be parked near you, but then I hate generators.

Bill
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:44 PM   #5
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OK that may be true, I never ran them at night. Did I mention I really don't want to pay $1500 for a fridge??!!
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:47 PM   #6
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I don't know what kind of frig you have but I just replaced the cooling unit on my RM760 Dometic, yesterday. You can order a refurbished cooling unit from various sites, the one I used was www.mccampingsupplies.com. It cost me $430 with shipping and they had it on my door within two days. It took about 2 hours to replace. I could have done it faster but I went really slow to make sure that I did not screw it up and break something. This morning I went to the garage to check if it was getting cold and sure enough the freezer portion had ice in it. I still need to put it back in and test the propane.

I guess it just depends what shape your frig is in. Ours was like new even though it was a 1979 dometic. The cooling unit only comes with the cooling portion. You have to use the original heating portions, ie propane jets and electric heating element. I can not say enough on how easy it was. I was very nervous when I started yesterday.

Hope this helps. Oh by the way, about using your generator while out, it may end up costing you more in gas when all said and done. Plus while your in tow it wouldn't be cold, unless you can run the generator on the go like a MoHo.

Nick
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by frscott View Post
OK that may be true, I never ran them at night. Did I mention I really don't want to pay $1500 for a fridge??!!

I understand that you don't want to pay $1500, but with an all electric fridge, no generator running, no fridge working.

Bill
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:53 PM   #8
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check out buying a rebuilt cooling unit...a believe pricing runs around $400.

If the rest of your frig is OK, this will make it like-new, in the cooling capacity.

The cooling units are shipped to you in a cushioned carton - your make the switch and return your unit back to the rebuilder.

Check the Net for a supplier - many RV dealers use these services as well, but you can do it yourself if you've got a few tools around...you've got to take the frig out of the RV either way, and that's half the battle...

Nick and I were posting at the same time (above) - there you go with some direct info on the cooling unit exchange...
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:56 PM   #9
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I also forgot to ask if you tried to burp the frig. I just learned about this and it is in some repair books as well. If the propane and electric heating probe works, try taking the frig out and turning it upside down. It will mix the ammonia and water back together and possibly loosen any crystals that formed. This did not work for me but it is worth a shot. But if you have that yellow dust back there or the smell of ammonia then it is a mood point.

Nick
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Old 04-26-2009, 05:02 PM   #10
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Hi,

If I had to replace my frig, I think I would go with the electric only model, but most of the camping we do is local, in state parks, and electricity is included in the cost of the spot. I would think that it would depend on the kind of camping you do. It may hurt your resale, if you worry about that (I don't plan on selling any time soon). My refrigerator works on gas too, and I never (well rarely, once last year but I could have switched it over,just wanted to see if it would still work) use it. I guess you should do what you can afford, based on the type of camping you do.

I plug ours in, and fill it with food the night before, disconnect the electricity when I hook to the tow vehicle, and drive. The old refrigerator is insulated enough to act as a cooler while on the road. I just make sure I plug in as soon as I disconnect at the camp site. Then again, I don't take ice cream, but the meat is still frozen, and the milk is still cold...

Now that I think about it, the refrigerator in our camper didn't work on electric when I first purchased our trailer (loose wire) and it didn't slow my decision to purchase it one bit.

Good luck. Like I said I don't think I would miss the feature, but that is me...

Best Regards,
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Old 04-26-2009, 05:35 PM   #11
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Nick, you might want to look into the Snyder cooling fan/shroud kit...while you've got your frig out of your AS.

http://www.snydersrvrefrigeration.com/2301.html

I got one last year, it's great for older models, and a good item if you use your rig in warmer climates...

The plastic shroud directs the cooling air from the fan directly to the cooling coils of the frig - really cool idea, for sure!
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:04 PM   #12
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If you “Hook Up” camp you could forego the LP/Electric, and go strictly with electric. Our Avion has the Dometic LP/Electric, and our AS has electric only. I don’t boondock, and never have used the LP side of our Dometic. On short hops we use a cooler, and skip the fridge all together. Having the option of LP refrigeration is appealing. So…It is your decision, and as long as it works for you…

Best of Luck,

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Old 04-26-2009, 06:23 PM   #13
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MexRay,

Thanks for the info. looks like a great idea. I wanted to put a fan in there with a thermostat and it looks like that kit has it already done for me. I just ordered it. I hope it comes this week so that I can button it up before my trip to the beach.

Nick
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:32 PM   #14
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I replaced mine last summer, see http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...aes-44474.html. I chose to go with a correct replacement vs. an electric one even though I am parked for a while. Two reasons, 1. Once you do one thing like that, you are started down the slippery slope, and 2. When the power goes out, I can still keep ice cream. OK, anything frozen or chilled.

Even if you camp at campgrounds, do you really want to drive down the road thinking, "I wonder how warm that potato salad is getting?"
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:36 PM   #15
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fix your own and save about 1100 bucks!

just like i did http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...air-23857.html

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Old 04-26-2009, 08:30 PM   #16
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Besides

if you get an a.c. only unit that has a compressor, you'll be surprised how noisy it is compared to the old Dometic when it was running.

I boondock quite a bit and I too have a quiet generator, but I don't think I'd want to use it to keep the beer and ice cream cold!

Sounds like with a little beer and a neighbor's help, you can replace all the cooling parts for a "reasonable" (i.e. less than a new Dometic) price. Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:42 PM   #17
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I wonder why my repair guy did not suggest a rebuilt cooling unit? How hard are these things to remove? Is there any kind of manual on how to correctly remove them?
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:02 PM   #18
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One of the members of AirstreamList : The original Airstream discussion list.. just had her fridge go out and she was able to find parts and do the repairs herself. Worth a look.
If you were anywhere near Ontario, I'd recommend Gammons in St Thomas who have periodically resuscitated my 74 fridge which keeps chugging along, keeping my humus cool and my carrot sticks crisp.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:07 PM   #19
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Noise is the biggest reason not to have a compresser, It'l drive you nutz!
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
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fix your own and save about 1100 bucks!

just like i did http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...air-23857.html

john
Great thread, John!

I replaced our cooling unit this weekend. It really was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I bought ours from RVCOOL.COM - Supplier of rebuilt cooling units for Norcold and Dometic RV Refrigerators. The only added step I had from John's experience was that I needed to trim down the foam on the new cooling unit. I did this with a rasp, followed by sandpaper.

I saved about $1,000 by fixing our old unit myself. With basic mechanical skills you can, too!
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