Dying 3-way fridge - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-03-2008, 09:15 PM   #1
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '74 Trillium 1300
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Hi,

This has probably been discussed before, but I was wondering if anyone has gone through the process of having a 3-way fridge reconditioned, and whether or not it is worth the trouble. Mine is a very old Dometic RM24 (30+ years) which is having quite a hard time reaching and maintaining a decent temperature, to a point where we don't trust it for any "important" food. I've already pulled it out and am attempting to flip it around during the winter weeks to see if I can shake some life out of it, but the coils seem terribly rusty, and the 12V mode is shot. LP and 120V modes still sorta work as explained above, but only halfheartedly.

Or, if someone has gone through the experience of putting a new 3-way unit in a 13' Trillium, which model did you pick? I am having trouble finding a similar-sized unit that would fit in nicely without too much alterations to the molded fiberglass counter. New units seem to be either smaller or much bigger.

I am also open to alternatives on how to keep food cold while on the road for a whole day and then camping without electricity or ice for up to a week. We're looking for a long-term, practical solution.
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:37 PM   #2
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The Dometic replacement for the RM24 is RM2193. Don't know if you had that information or not. Found it here on the Dometic site: Refrigerators Available for Replacement.

About if you should spend the time/effort reconditioning an older model... I'll leave that answer to the experts
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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The Dometic replacement for the RM24 is RM2193. Don't know if you had that information or not. Found it here on the Dometic site: Refrigerators Available for Replacement.

About if you should spend the time/effort reconditioning an older model... I'll leave that answer to the experts
Here's an update - It seems there is no easy answer when it comes to picking a replacement unit. My Trillium was built around the RM24-sized fridge, or so it seems. Newer models like the RM2193 would either stick out quite a bit or require constructive surgery around it, and have no freezer. There is an European Dometic model that matches the RM24 size (RM4210) but is an "overseas unit only" as I was told by Dometic client support. Other slightly more recent, but retired Dometic models also had the same size as mine (RM190, RM2200,2201,2202) but I couldn't find any in any present or past classifieds.

I actually disassembled my RM24 all the way down to the cooling unit, thanks to the service manual. There are no signs of leaks, metal seems sound, and it is possible to get it recharged, but there is no way to tell if there is significant blockage inside. I am told, however, that those older coils were made much stronger than the ones they make today. I did glance at the new 12V compressor models, but I am concerned about their boondocking ability.

Hmm.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:48 PM   #4
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I have a 12V compressor refrigerator in my Sprinter RV 'tug'.

The van converter (Sportsmobile) lists refrigerator power consumption as 2.8 amps/hr for the 4 CF model I have. Depending on the battery power you have and the duty cycle required by ambient temperature, you may be able to get a couple of days out of it between charges. I've read of some people adding extra insulation around the refrigerator to reduce the required duty cycle.

I really like the quick cooling and the fact that leveling is not required. Boondocking endurance is definitely a consideration, but otherwise the 12V compressor refrigerator is far better than a propane refrigerator.

I have a 12/110V/ Propane refrigerator in the Casita.

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Old 01-10-2008, 07:28 AM   #5
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Hi: We have a R.V. refridge tech here in St.Thomas Ont and they can completely re build your existing unit so that fit is not an issue...as in a new one. Click on www.gammonsrv.com and you can find a lot of info and maybe a phone call to them might answer some questions!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:52 PM   #6
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Trailer: 17 ft 1986 Burro
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If it's any comfort we had a very large fridge in our old 28' stickbuilt that the ammonia leaked out( pipe rusted - seems they rust in the same place all the time) I pulled it out and took it to a very nice guy in Elkhart, Ind. The wife and I shopped while he replaced the guts with one he had already rebuilt,( he had several models of gutsready to go)
Got it back the same day took it back to Illinois and installed it. I don't rememeber what it cost but it was cheaper than a new one which at that time was over 1 thousand bucks. The number $400 seems to be about right.
It worked fine for several years after that. When I sold the trailer it was still working fine.

I can't find the guys name but it was back in the 90's anyway.

I guess what I'm saying is this, if you can find someone to rebuilt it it cheaper than a new one.


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Old 01-10-2008, 05:24 PM   #7
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I guess what I'm saying is this, if you can find someone to rebuilt it it cheaper than a new one.
I am leaning towards this solution as well... my biggest challenge is to find someone in my area (near Ottawa, Canada) who could do it, since having to ship such a piece back and forth would surely be impractical. Some places don't even ship them. But when you look at it, an absorption fridge is pretty simple. It has a cooling unit which itself is nothing but a closed loop of bent steel pipes welded together and filled with an ammonia and hydrogen mixture, and a heat source.
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