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Old 01-03-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
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Amish upgrade or New Dometic NDA1402?

After spending 6 months using our coach it's clear the 6 year old Norcold 1200LRIM is not cooling well on LP. After reading many of the posts regarding the Norcold issues; we've decided to either put in the Amish cooling unit upgrade, or replace the whole fridge with a new Dometic NDA1402.

I'm going to do the installation myself for either solution. It looks like I can get the Dometic for about $1500 (new, w/o ice maker) from an RV dealer in central CA, and it sounds like the Amish unit is going to be close to that number when you factor in the freight.

Does anyone here have any comments on the Dometic? I've heard plenty of good ink on the Amish unit; but would like to take a good look at all my options. Even with the superior Amish unit, I'm still hauling around a 6 year old box.

I met a guy recently who just had to replace his Dometic, and he seemed quite happy with the performance of his fridge in the hot, socal area. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone that has experience with either of these solutions.

BTW: I'm not looking at a residential fridge due to the amount of time we spend dry camping.

Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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Once you replace the cooling unit on the 1200, there is not too much else to go wrong, so the age would not be a problem, at least not to me.
Amish unit is around 1050 plus it is drop shipped from In.. Not sure on the freight to Ca. but have read other posts that the company does not rip you off. Another question would be if the units will go out/in the door. If not, you will need to remove a window and need a fork lift or several friends. If you went with the Amish, work could be done inside the RV.
I am going with the replacement cooling unit in order to keep the ice maker.
If not for the lift and window removal, I might go with a RR unit.
Good luck witch everway you go.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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I have the NDA1402 and am pleased with it. The freezer stays at 1F, the refergerator at 33F. I did just have to replace the heating element in the drain tube at about $150. Gave error code 13.

If I have more issues, I will swap to a residential. But I am satisfied with the performance. I do have a automatic fire extinguister inside the lower outside cover. Makes me sleep better.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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I replaced the cooling unit with the Amish unit, works great. If I have to replace the whole unit I MIGHT consider a home unit but not at the present time. I might have to add another two batteries to my four deep cycles though.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for the helpful advice! My wife and I are spending lots of time discussing our options.

She seems to want a new unit, and isn't bothered that I'll have to remove a side or front window during the install. If I can hear from a few other Dometic owners who've had reasonable performance, that would help her argument.

I tend to like the Amish solution. I can build a temporary workbench there in the coach to perform the conversion, so no window seals need to be broken. Most everyone that's gone to the Amish cooling unit seems quite happy with the performance. I'm not sure this upgrade has been around long enough to show long term reliability???

Also, I'm talking to a seasoned boondocker who seems to have had good results dry camping with his residential fridge.

I'm getting the impression this decision may not be a quick one...

Thanks again for all your thoughts so far!
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:06 PM   #6
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We had the Dometic 1402 and replaced it with a Samsung 197 and have never been happier. The 1402 was very problematic, it never work the same from week to week and always needed to be defrosted. The Samsung works much better and is worry free. Also it uses less electric than the dometic which was a engineering nightmare.

It came out in a fit of anger.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
We had the Dometic 1402 and replaced it with a Samsung 197 and have never been happier. The 1402 was very problematic, it never work the same from week to week and always needed to be defrosted. The Samsung works much better and is worry free. Also it uses less electric than the dometic which was a engineering nightmare.

It came out in a fit of anger.
We had the 1402 in a 07 Camelot -- It was a problem from day one, & after 4 years of flusteration, did the swap out like Drifter, & now so much better -- Bill Willard
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvenSteven View Post
After spending 6 months using our coach it's clear the 6 year old Norcold 1200LRIM is not cooling well on LP. After reading many of the posts regarding the Norcold issues; we've decided to either put in the Amish cooling unit upgrade, or replace the whole fridge with a new Dometic NDA1402.

I'm going to do the installation myself for either solution. It looks like I can get the Dometic for about $1500 (new, w/o ice maker) from an RV dealer in central CA, and it sounds like the Amish unit is going to be close to that number when you factor in the freight.

Does anyone here have any comments on the Dometic? I've heard plenty of good ink on the Amish unit; but would like to take a good look at all my options. Even with the superior Amish unit, I'm still hauling around a 6 year old box.

I met a guy recently who just had to replace his Dometic, and he seemed quite happy with the performance of his fridge in the hot, socal area. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone that has experience with either of these solutions.

BTW: I'm not looking at a residential fridge due to the amount of time we spend dry camping.

Thanks!
EvenSteven,
I find it hard to believe that you can get a brand new Dometic NDA 1402 for $1500. Are you sure thats the whole new refrigerator or maybe a rebuilt one?

I replaced the cooling unit on my Norcold 1201 with an Amish Built cooling unit and the cooling unit alone was $1025 plus shipping. The installation wasn't bad and I had never done one before.Here's a video I made of the installation.

Sammie



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Old 01-03-2012, 06:09 PM   #9
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And here is another U tube on the amish
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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The $1500 Dometic was advertised by an RV dealer on Ebay. He had 4 of them, and they were advertised as new. A friend just picked up a good sized Dometic for his rig at about $1600 on sale at Camping World (not sure of the model). My wife also found the list price for that Dometic was about $3700.

We're going to be contacting that vendor soon to inquire if these units are indeed brand new, or if they may be factory seconds or rebuilds. My brother lives in the area of the Dealer with the low priced Dometic, so I may send him by to check things out.

I have to say so far I've found a lot of pleased Amish customers. Unfortunately, for every happy Dometic owner, I seem to run into another that can't wait to throw it out the window of their coach.

We've got to do some more research before we make our decision...
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:24 AM   #11
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Nothing but trouble with the 1402. In the first 2 years Dometic replaced it after they couldn't fix it. The second one has defrost problems and a cooling unit failure in 2 years. Most service people shy away from working on that model. Go with the Samsung which is our next move.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:28 AM   #12
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I have the 1402...I did have the defrost issue which was fixed under warranty...Mine is in a slide so when we were camped in 90 degree plus weather..the freezer and the fridge would go up ten degrees..which started alarming me...I then put in a switch to the cooling fans in the venting channel and I turn them on when I feel it needs it...I also put a third fan mounted just outside the top slide vent...With the three fans going, it helped.. On the other hand, someone I know with the same coach had a cooling unit fail and it was replaced under warranty...It's almost just plain old luck with these things....If it went, because don't dry camp all that much, I would put in the Samsung residential.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:33 AM   #13
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I too was in that dilemma earlier this year over repairing/changing the NotCold and in my research for what to so, I noticed that just about everyone that repaired/swapped an RV frig simply reported it was working again afterwards. Yet, the folks that made the switch to a residential unit couldn't stop raving about what a difference and how glad they are now. On the other hand, you may have other reasons for staying with an RV frig (dry-camping, not enough cabinet space, etc) which is understandable.

Just my $.02
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