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Old 07-05-2006, 11:11 PM   #1
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Posts: 5
what about replace dometic refrigerator with a home refrigertor?

I am having ammonia odor problems with my Dometic refrigerator and was told it was the cooling unit now can I just get rid of this Dometic refrigerator and replace it with a store bought refrigertor for a home.
Does anybody know if I can just go buy an energy efficient refrigerator from Sears, etc. and use that type of refrigerator in my airstream excella 1995? Is there enough electricity for this type of refrigertor?
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:05 AM   #2
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
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Of course this is possible but without the ability to use propane as a power source you give up the freedom to live off the power grid unless you bring along a generator strong enough to push the fridge and the other 110 volt electrical items.

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Old 07-06-2006, 12:24 AM   #3
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1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
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Hello and welcome tracyhugs,

Flyfshr is right about the sears fridge or any other home type .You will be tethered to shore power if you need a cold drink or icecream or ?There are
many rv refrigerators available in different price ranges ,check around ,
having a new rv fridge is nice to have ,mine is an older dometic ,still works.

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:26 AM   #4
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1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
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you can do it!


you can rebuild your existing unit for 1/2 to 1/3 of the price of a new unit.

mine cost $529 including shipping.

it is not that hard... check it out!


you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:30 PM   #5
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thanks for your responses

Thanks for responding, this site is awesome and it has been so useful to me in times of dire need. I am a newbie and I stayed in my Airstream for the first time last week. I know this question may sound dumb, but where are the monitor panels on the exterior of the trailer for the holding tanks? Also, I have been trying to get as much info out of my owners manual as possible, but I am confused about the hot water. I have a switch in the bathroom for the hot water heater and I believe I should turn it on. Will turning on this switch turn the hot water on? One more question, the water that is coming out of the faucets seems carbonated, fizzy, what is this from? I am going to see my baby (airstream) tommorrow and try to figure out these problems. Oh ya, I forgot I tried to get the antenna up turning the crank, well of course I broke it. I climbed up on top and sprayed some WD 40, but it didn't seem to do anything any advise? Thanks again, It really is nice to be a part of the Airstream family at this website, I feel like I know some of you. Thanks Tracy
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Old 07-07-2006, 12:58 PM   #6
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2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
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So many questions:

My monitor panel is on the inside of my coach, near the kitchen sink. I suspect yours are in a similar convenient location.

Water fizzing - what you describe sounds like the normal process of your plumbing purging itself of air once you turned your water on. Try letting it fizz (both hot and cold) until your water runs smoothly.

Hot water switch - this switch will light your hot water heater if all is well with your system. You have to have your propane turned on. Be sure you have finished fizzing (meaning your hot water tank is now full) - then turn the switch on. If the light comes back on, that means it did not light. If you are certain that your system is ok, and that perhaps the gas just hasn't made it to the water heater burner, try it again a couple of times. If it still doesn't work, it may need service.


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Old 07-07-2006, 01:00 PM   #7
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Walkerton , Virginia
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Oh - about your antenna handle: It may have simply broken from what I would call plastic fatigue. That kind of stuff gets brittle with age. I purchased a new one from a RV parts store - it is a common item.

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Old 07-12-2006, 05:51 PM   #8
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Thanks for your help. I found where everything you stated was located and found out that my hot water heater is broken and I will need a new one. Now it there a way that I can run the water alot to clean it out and get the bubbles out and not fill up the tanks the water has kindof a strange taste. I have to pay every time to empty the tanks. Also some of the draws in the trailer have broken tracks, I went to Home Depot, but they don't have that type of tracking system, where do you think I could pick them up at? Otherwise it has been fun learning everything and staying in our Airstream. I love it. Thanks again and I am sure I will need more of your expertise. Tracy
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Old 07-12-2006, 06:39 PM   #9
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I have had it set up both ways and find the Dometic with a freezer is the way to go. The standard home unit will defrost during the tow and food will thaw. If you plan to keep the unit go for a RV unit.

Good Luck
Jim N5TJZ Air# 174
2012 International Serenity 28
2005 Safari 25 SS Traded
1968 Globetrotter Sold
2011 F150 Ecoboost
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Old 07-29-2006, 09:29 PM   #10
1991 25' Excella
Sapulpa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 90

Just returned from a 4,000 mile trip with an electric refer. I was concerned when we left but my wife insisted that the electric refer we had would work. It does. We do not camp unless there is electric and water. Food stayed cold and frozen. I tried an inverter. It broke the first day out.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:10 PM   #11
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1966 26' Overlander
Prosser , Washington
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All New

Am installing all new electrical while the walls are off during my complete renovation.

Was glad to see others using home style fridges.

My plan is to have an electric fridge because I am parking the AS full time with electrical hookup fulltime.

Is the 15amp circuit sufficient to run a small fridge?

I have it layed out to dedicate a circuit solely to the refrigerator.

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Old 02-22-2008, 05:20 PM   #12
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Is the 15amp circuit sufficient to run a small fridge?
That's what it runs on at home.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:38 PM   #13
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Winston Salem , North Carolina
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In my 67 Overlander the original frig. was gone and replaced with an electric unit.

Camping World had a good sale last week, the freight company delivered the new Dometic yesterday.

I have seen owners of many brands of Rvs, replace their defective unit with a electric model.

Being the purist that I am, the electric had to go. I tried to find a used single door near me, no luck. My friend had a 67 Dometic that would fit, but it did not work.

I bit the bullet as they say and ordered a new one.

I feel the gas/elec. models help or improve resale value.

For example ,our Airstream dealer had a 85 Soverign over the summer with the electric frig, it sat for a while. the dealer replaced it with a new Dometic. I think it sold soon afterwards.

Just my 2 cents
Winston Salem, NC
WBCCI 5218,
Corresponding Secretary Piedmont NC Unit 161,
1967 Overlander International.
1979 Avion 30ft rear bath
TV's 88 Chevy Suburban 454, 3:42, TH400
95 Cadillac FW Brougham, LT1,3:42, 7k tow pk.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:49 PM   #14
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1962 19' Globetrotter
1963 19' Globetrotter
1961 19' Globetrotter
Wheat Ridge , Colorado
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If I was to replace your frig... I would consider a Tri-Source One... It will work on 12v, 110, and propane! There are advantages and disadvantages to all three power sources at different times!

I have taken my AS on the inside passage to Alaska... YOU must turn off all Propane on deck... with out the 12v.. I would of lost all my food. The bad thing however is it uses up alot of 12v storage... so not the best for boon docking... So there are pros and cons to all three!
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:16 PM   #15
1991 25' Excella
Sapulpa , Oklahoma
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Dometic Refer Repair

Saw this add . I talked to them some years ago and were courtious and seemed knowedgeable.


RVCOOL - RV Refrigerator Repair
Specializing in: Re-manufactured Cooling Units for Norcold and Dometic RV Refrigerators

Rebuilt Cooling Units for Dometic RV Refrigerator

RVCOOL.COM RV Refrigeration

Link below are for cooling unit re-builders and those interested in learning RV refrigeration.

For cooling unit pricing and shipping cost chart.
Click Here or call

Two Year Warranty

on all Cooling Units
Toll Free: 1-800-515-6823
Local: 1-501-679-2537
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:36 AM   #16
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Chandler , Oklahoma
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Since I don't plan to give up my "new" 1976 Sovereign before I die, I decided to put an electric refrigerator in it to park it down at the lake during the good weather months. The old Dometic could not be repaired for several reasons. A new cooling unit would not have fixed it. This took some hard work, but I think it keeps the interior in the spirit of the original Airstream look.
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