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Old 08-29-2007, 04:13 PM   #1
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We had the cooling unit in our refrig (side-by-side Dometic) replaced last month. We thought it was fine. Yesterday at lunch, noticed the temp. in the freezer was 28 degrees. More stress, as I'd managed to keep this expensive fish (some people buy theirs at $12.99 lb. at the market--Buddy keeps us supplied at $1,000 lb.) okay thru our ups and downs with the refrig.-freezer. We were hopefully within a day of home. This morning, freezer was still 28, but by noon, it was 32. By the time we got home (Thank God) at 3 p.m. the freezer was 38, and the refrig. near 50. The fish was still okay, but wouldn't have been after another night

Audrey, seems I recall that you, too, had a cooling unit replaced. Any more problems?

As any one else, whether Alpine owner or not, had the cooling unit replaced and then problems this soon?

We have an '06 coach, but were told by Dometic that the refrig. was made in Nov. of '04. Seems like that's a long time for these refrigerator to be sitting around unused.

Yes, I am very, very weary after four stressful things happening with our coach in one week. Last month we spent 8 unplanned days in triple digit weather in Redding, CA. to get this refrig. repaired. Our coach was in the shop, and as we sat in a hotel room, I said to Buddy, "Are we having fun yet?"

Beverly
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:13 PM   #2
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We had the cooling unit in our refrig (side-by-side Dometic) replaced last month. We thought it was fine. Yesterday at lunch, noticed the temp. in the freezer was 28 degrees. More stress, as I'd managed to keep this expensive fish (some people buy theirs at $12.99 lb. at the market--Buddy keeps us supplied at $1,000 lb.) okay thru our ups and downs with the refrig.-freezer. We were hopefully within a day of home. This morning, freezer was still 28, but by noon, it was 32. By the time we got home (Thank God) at 3 p.m. the freezer was 38, and the refrig. near 50. The fish was still okay, but wouldn't have been after another night

Audrey, seems I recall that you, too, had a cooling unit replaced. Any more problems?

As any one else, whether Alpine owner or not, had the cooling unit replaced and then problems this soon?

We have an '06 coach, but were told by Dometic that the refrig. was made in Nov. of '04. Seems like that's a long time for these refrigerator to be sitting around unused.

Yes, I am very, very weary after four stressful things happening with our coach in one week. Last month we spent 8 unplanned days in triple digit weather in Redding, CA. to get this refrig. repaired. Our coach was in the shop, and as we sat in a hotel room, I said to Buddy, "Are we having fun yet?"

Beverly
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:20 PM   #3
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Buddy and Beverly,

I have been following all your threads on your issues with the coach. We also have an 06, and we had a lot of problems in the first few months, especially with hydraulic leaks, but a whole bunch of other smaller ones. We put 8500 miles on it in those first few months. Now, one year since we bought the coach new, we have 20,000 miles on it and it has performed very well with relatively few problems (Knock on wood), and we are currently in Austin, TX, before heading home next week.

We bought a 42' new boat with twin Cummins diesels in the summer of 2003 and sold it 18 months later after 300 hours on it. We used it intensively while we had it, and had a host of problems that sounded a lot like your string of problems with that new boat. 3 times we brought the boat home on one engine in Puget Sound. Our TVs didn't work right, the thruster failed 3 times, we had nav system was always a problem, the stove gave us problems; the inverter had problems; the electrical system had various shorts, etc.

But after the first 6 months of intensive use those problems finally got fixed and the boat performed very well in the last year we owned it.

So, on both the boat and the coach, we really were dosed with problems almost as bad as yours, but after intensive use, they got fixed they both worked well after that.

I don't know if this helps, but you apparently put a lot of use in your coach early on like we did, and you have also had a lot of system problems like we did. My personal view is that a lot of these coaches don't get the shakedown they need; they often have subsystems that sit around like your fridge did before they are installed, and the coaches sit for quite a while before they get used. The best medicine for the problems is to use the coach intensively, fix everything as it comes up, and do all the preventive maintenance in the manual on it and more, and it will soon stabilize into a good coach. The best way to keep the coach working well is to use it regularly after your get through the shakedown.

I wouldn't give up on it just yet, if you like traveling in the coach and staying it when it works. Alpines are very good coaches to drive and have many things going for them others don't, and many of the same systems are in other coaches. If you can, I would take some shorter trips on a regular basis and see how it does first.

One question -- what was wrong with the HWH system -- a hydraulic leak?
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:00 PM   #4
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Sounds like the same problem we had. The actual refrigerator temperatures were about 25 degrees higher than what was displayed.

While testing various connections, I moved the sensor which is attached near the top-left corner of the cooling fins in the fresh-food section. The refrigerator began to read the correct temperature and soon was working as it should.

The reason is that the sensor is in a metal can and our sensor became shorted to the metal can which then sends the wrong reading if it touches the metal cooling fins. I moved the air sensor which is clipped to the right side of the junction box above the cooling fins letting it hang free, then I put the cooling fin sensor in the air sensor clip to prevent it from accidently touching the cooling fins.

Dometic decided that this fix was good enough. Ours is the SideWise Model NDA1402. This fix may not be appropriate for any other model.

John
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:03 AM   #5
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Buddy & Beverly, The problem with your refrigerator is it is not an expensive enough model to handle $ 1000.00 a lb. fish. Would you please explain this fish?
Please appreciate. You either have to laugh or cry. In your case I think the laughing is over and probably has been for some time. I think you have a real legitamate complaint directly with WRV and not that you should have to take a $ 100,000.00 bath on getting another motorcoach if you could tolerate it.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:34 AM   #6
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I think he's trying to amortize the cost of the boat and fishing gear into the fish per pound.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:21 AM   #7
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Earlier this year I was having cooling problems with the refrigerator in my 2001. I replaced the circuit board with one from Dinosaur and that fixed my problem. I had done this on a previous motorhome also. They are about $170.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:15 AM   #8
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The Norcold refers have fans for cooling the coils for better ventilation of heat.
A Dometic does not or if you have they are not working.
This is what someone did with with his Dometic

FAN


The 12v's can be taken off the 12v supply to refer.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:46 AM   #9
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Try rv mobile web site.
We applied the fixes they suggested including removing the refrig.
Also, they carry the Dinosaur board.


gary
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:03 PM   #10
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Cruzer, I will have you know that when we went hard shell crabbing (we went for river crabs) Buddy & Beverly can tell you about them we figured that we if we got 3-4 dozen crabs they probaly ran us about 4-500.00 per crab. The Russians with the fancy Belooga egges or whatever have nothing on us Americans. How many of you have had a $ 400.00 hard shell crab. I want to tell you it lasts a long, long time. And that was before fuel went up!
Keep laughing Buddy & Beverly.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:21 PM   #11
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To all of you, "Thanks" for these replies. I have made a complete printout and will review all these posts. Think we did have some different issues, and I will write a longer post tomorrow explaining. Also, I think I will call Dometic tomorrow.

In the meantime, Ted III, you do understand the cost of fish and seafood. We have two big Chinook salmon, a really nice steelhead, lingcod (have you ever had anything so delicious), Dungeness crab, sea bass, sea perch, etc. etc. I may have underestimated the cost. I believe it's almost priceless. I know that, at the moment, I can't think of the dollar amount it would take for me to go thru again trying to get this home.

OldForester, I think you are exactly right on about using the coaches. I will comment on that later, too. Our HWH system was fine--it was the wiring job that WRV had done that was screwed up. A wire was cut off too short at the control box; it stretched and finally broke. I mentioned this in our post "had two trouble free days," but perhaps most didn't read this and think it was another "component" problem.

Audrey, I think our problem ended up being different than yours. Will explain tomorrow.

Beverly
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:48 PM   #12
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OldForester,

Thanks so much for your post with words of encouragement. We agree with your observations.

First of all, you suggested you wouldn't give up on it just yet if we liked traveling in the coach and staying in it when it works. When I posted the "list of options," it was a few hours later that I realized I hadn't included a #9--to keep using the coach and give it more time. That is the one we have selected.

I will tell you how we feel about the coach. I always try in my life never to use the word "love" to describe an inanimate object, but sometimes I find myself verbally describing it with this word. I believe I have the most beautiful wood in my cabinets of any motor home I have ever been in--some times I just sit and look at the curly maple and the tiger maple that is scattered throughout the plain cut maple. I like the color scheme inside and out. I can't imagine ever growing tired of it. We like the floor plan. It meets our needs perfectly. We have enough room--not too much, but just enough.

Buddy, of course, like all Alpine owners, loves the drive. That is what sold the coach as it has done for so many others. Some of you know the story of our first meeting with Ron Doyle. We were in a coach at a show--Buddy thought this man was looking at the coach with a possible thought of buying. Buddy started a big sales pitch about the merits--that he didn't see how something so big could be engineered to handle so well and on and on. I chimed in with the fact that it reminded me of my BMW--the way it took the curves. Well, finally, one of the salemen had enjoyed this as long as he could; and he said, "I don't think you need to convince him! He's the owner of the company that builds them." Ron had been standing there with a grin on his face the whole while.

As Buddy said to someone this week, "I'll be advertising Alpines whether it's negative or positive." This is the first week we have talked to others and moaned about the coach; but even then, Buddy has always added, "But the company has really taken care of us beyond what we ever expected. I'll have to say that."

We think you are so right about a lot of people not really using their coaches much. Some of the things that would have happened in the first year or so will eventually happen, but it will be way down the road. As I have posted before, we had problems the first weekend (no heat on the coldest night of the year in Florida)--moral of that story--"Don't ever buy a coach a take delivery on Friday or Saturday."
Right then (Buddy was still "honeymooning" with the coach), he vowed to really put a lot of miles on it the first year to get the "bugs" out. Unfortunately, it was either "in the shop" or "waiting for an appointment to get in the shop" so much the first year that we didn't get to take all the trips in it that we wanted to. This could have made our "one year warranty" on some items not very useful. However, WRV has come thru for us on everything. Part of this may be because with the new ownership (Monomoy and now Pilgrim), the money is not so tight; and they really are trying to improve in their commitment to their customers. We genuinely believe that they are. There is still room for improvement (such as-- they could now reimburse people like Audrey and John, who had the large radiator expense only a couple or so mos. after "their" one year warranty was out and were on their own because money was so tight at WRV).

Yes, if health permits, we plan to try to use the coach a lot to see if these "are really just bugs," and if things level off. In fact, we were within 20 miles of home; and Buddy said, "As soon as we rest up, I want to take another trip. I want to put another 10,000 miles on this coach in the coming year." I was so exhausted--he could have waited at least a week with that statement.

We looked at coaches at the FMCA Rally and a dealer in Billings, MT while we were there. I can honestly say that we both agreed (that can be a rarity)--we did not find any coach in the same price range (or somewhat more) that we liked better than the Alpine.

Again, thanks OldForester for your comments and words of encouragement. We hope ours turns out as well as your has.

Beverly and Buddy
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:32 PM   #13
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Beverly and Buddy,

Thank you for a well-written and extensive reply. I'm glad you agree with my recommendations. And I too love our natural cherry interior because I was orignally a forester and during my career before I retired I was responsible at one time for manufacturing the kind of lumber that went into the cabinets, and another time the Structurwood (special OSB) that went into the subfloor of this and other high end coaches.

So I'm biased toward Alpines, the fact they're made in my home state, the way they drive, the floor plan, the cabinetry, decor, and paint job, and all the things you mentioned that attracted you to your Alpine. I really do believe you get a lot of one-time problems and you will get over them, with only an occasional problem to worry about (but there is always something to do to them, usually minor).

Look forward to hearing how things go for you down the road.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:28 AM   #14
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Bev- there is certainly something to be said for the theory about fulltimers and debugging. I think it was either Wayne Routhier or Audrey & John that figger'd out the plastic part failures on the HydroHot were plaguing fulltimers at about 18 months to 2 years, and that non-fulltimers would probably experience the same issues, but in about the same accumulated rum time for the HHot.

OF- what is "special" about the Structurwood OSB? If I hadn't retired from forestry at age 26 to pursue filthy lucre in the glamorous world of engineering, I'd probably know.
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