Dometic fridge replacement - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-02-2017, 06:48 AM   #1
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Name: Barbara
Trailer: 1977 Trillium 4500
Quebec
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Dometic fridge replacement

Hi all! Has anyone replaced their old original Dometic three-way fridge with a newer three-way model (Dometic or any other manufacturer)and are you pleased with it? Looking for comment/suggestions/advice. Our original Dometic 3-way in our 1977 Trillium 4500 still works but just takes a long time to cool down and never gets really cold enough I suspect. My husband doesn't want to drive with the propane turned on so, even if I cool the fridge down for a couple of days at home before leaving, by the time we get where we're going, it's warmed up and takes at least 24 hours on the campsite to cool down to a usable temperature. We were wondering about replacing it with a newer three-way fridge. We like being able to use it on propane when off-grid or cloudy days when solar might not be able to keep us with its consumption. We always take a cooler with us as well but would love our fridge to be more efficient. Thanks in advance for any of your comments!
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:02 AM   #2
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If you want to replace your 3 way fridge with another 3 way fridge, you could first try various measures for improving how your current fridge works:

- After pre-cooling the fridge, load it up with frozen stuff (food and ice) just before leaving. The larger the ice chunks the better, e.g., quart or larger containers.
- Improve ventilation behind the fridge by taking off both vent covers and cleaning all coils and fins.
- Add a 12vdc fan behind the fridge.
- Open the lower fridge vent on warm days.
- Use a remote weather station sensor to monitor temperature. We adjust the temp dial warmer at night (else the food freezes), and cooler during day to keep the temp between 32 and 40 degrees F.

We have a Dometic fridge in our 1978 Trillium 4500.

EDIT: Another tactic we use is to freeze water in plastic containers in the Dometic freezer at night, and then move them to the fridge section during the day (then back to freezer section at night).
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:11 AM   #3
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Barbara,

Another option is to switch to a 12VDC electric only efficient fridge. These fridges use 2 to 5 amps when they are running and they only run 25 to 50% of the time. To provide sufficient power, would probably require a 200 watt solar panel (or 2 100's) and 200 amp hour battery capacity.

Good luck!
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:01 AM   #4
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Barbara,

Another option is to switch to a 12VDC electric only efficient fridge. These fridges use 2 to 5 amps when they are running and they only run 25 to 50% of the time. To provide sufficient power, would probably require a 200 watt solar panel (or 2 100's) and 200 amp hour battery capacity.

Good luck!
I had replaced our Dometic 3 Way in our 13' Scamp with a 12 volt DC only danfoss compressor refrigerator by NOVAKOOL (Canadian built). The outer dimensions were slightly narrower , but we had more interior room than with the Dometic. I had to add some wood material to the cabinet to securely mount it. I added extra insulation around the refrigerator "box", sealed it off from the inside just as the 3 way was, and continued to vent it to the outside as with the 3 way Dometic. A single 100 watt Renogy solar connected to a single group 27 battery always kept up with our usage, and we always had a very cold refrigerator while traveling or while camping all around the USA (we liive near Phoenix AZ by the way).
Best of luck with your search.
Dave & Paula
P.S. We now have a "Truckfridge" (I think it is a rebadged Engel) in our Lil Snoozy, and have 160 watt Renogy panel coupled to a 4D battery.
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:07 AM   #5
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Scamp
Iowa
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We have Scamp with a new 3yr old 4.6cu in dometic 2 way fridge. Before a trip we turn it on a day or 2 early and then put frozen plastic water bottles in freezer and in tub at bottom of fridge mixed with our supplies. Even when traveling 8hrs or more in hot weather the fridge stayed cold and freezer never thawed. When stopped turned on shore power or propane and fridge is always back to normal by morning even making ice. For us the 12v option is not necessary. Good luck with your replacement.
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:31 AM   #6
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 ft SD
Colorado
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Dominic Frig

Try washing/cleaning the cooling coils on the back of the Frig. I use a garden hose at the beginning of each camping season. The ones on the outside back, cooling takes place when air is moving over those coils. The more dirt/spider webs on those coils the less cooling there is.
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