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Old 02-23-2014, 09:36 AM   #1
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Fridge Replacement

My rig is a 2000 National Tradewinds 7371.

My fridge is the original in this coach. It is a Dometic Elite 2-door fridge w/ice maker. The cooling unit has gone out so I either need to repair it, at an estimated cost of $1600-1800, or replace the fridge. The repair cost is high because a number of people have suggested buying a new cooling unit from Dometic rather than any unit from any other source due to failure rates of bad parts/suppliers in the market.

I really don't want to repair a nearly 15 year old fridge. I'm considering trying to put in a residential fridge but am leaning toward a new Dometic Elite 2+2 which I believe is the recommended replacement for my unit.

I have a new Magnum 2000W inverter and 4 house batts which should run a residential unit on the road and while boondocking, Others with these units tell me that should be no problem.

The prime reason I am leaning away from the residential unit is the difficulty finding a unit which will fit well into the hole and require a minimum of woodwork to finish the job. I just cannot seem to find such a fridge. Though the new Dometic will be much more expensive, I'm thinking that it will be a better fit and much less hassle having the unit ordered by, and installed by, an RV dealer experienced with these units. At the moment I am in south Texas and am considering having Camping World, New Braunfels, order and install a replacement.

I have read a number of posts on fridge replacements but none have been specific to my coach or fridge. What I am looking for here is someone who has replaced the old Dometic Elite in a Tradewinds or other similar rig and specifically what they replaced it with. Residential or RV fridge.

Thanks in advance for any help here!

Jim
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:40 AM   #2
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Call Davis Force at RV Cooling Unit Warehouse and get one of the Amish-built cooling units. I replaced the cooling unit in my Norcold 1200LRIM fridge and the total cost, including new heating elements and new fans, was about $1250.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:50 AM   #3
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I'd take a closer look at your inverter power once you narrow down your fridge choices; 2000 watts might JUST be enough ... or not. You will want to find out if the fridge is compatible with MSW power, or if you will need PSW (Pure Sine Wave) output. One thing for sure, the residential fridge is a game-changer and you will never be sorry you made the conversion! \ken
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:50 AM   #4
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I have a 2000 Dutch Star, and last Nov. my Dometic started going bad. I have an extended warranty and talked them into putting a residential in. They were all for it because it was cheaper for them. I measured, measured, and measured again to make sure the fridge I chose would fit with the least amount of wood working. I found a Whirlpool that fits the same space, and is bigger inside. A lot of people go with the Samsung. But I must say I should've done it a lot sooner, it is really nice to go into it and pull out a really cold beer whenever I want. Plus Ice cream stays frozen.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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My inverter is PSW. I'll keep looking but I'm having lots trouble finding anything short of a cheap 11 cu. ft. unit which will fit. If I do find a suitable fridge then I need to find someone to put it in and take the old one out. So far have had no luck with anyone in this area and I'm due to leave here mid-March. I'd like to have an outfit in mind, within a few hundred miles of my current location in Mission, that I could take with on the phone, order/ship a fridge to them and then drive there. Lots to do and feeling overwhelmed at the moment. The easy way out seems to be just to buy another Dometic but may regret taking that route.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:51 PM   #6
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Have you looked on Appliances - Home and Kitchen Appliances | AJ Madison you can sort by the dimensions of the appliance you are looking for.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:56 PM   #7
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Check goedeckers.com Lots of fridges to choose from.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:38 AM   #8
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RAMETS, could you give me your dimensions and which Whirlpool model you selected?
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvjimzhr View Post
RAMETS, could you give me your dimensions and which Whirlpool model you selected?
In my 2000 Dutch Star I only had the one door Dometic. You can search on Lowe's or Best Buy web sites to find Fridge's and there dimensions. What was surprising to us was all the extra space we have in the ref., all in the same space the Dometic was in. Good luck, you really will be happier with a residential.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:57 AM   #10
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I'm having trouble finding anything that fits into the "hole". That's why I asked for your Whirlpool model and dimensions. Just got off the phone with a company who says my dimensions restrict me to a small unit of 9cuft or so.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #11
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Replaced my 7.5 cf Dometic with a 10.3 cf Haier. Fit right in after modifying (extending) the floor and running 110 volt power from my 2000 watt 458 Xantrex MSW inverter. Inverter and fridge takes only approximately 16 amps@ 12 volts when the fridge in running. $350 at Lowes with free delivery and haul away. Great upgrade!
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:31 AM   #12
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Bet this 14.8 cu ft one will fit in place of the 12 cu ft Dometic. You may need to take the bottom rollers off and fill some of the width in.

When my 15 year old side by side goes out. I will use it.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvjimzhr View Post
I'm having trouble finding anything that fits into the "hole". That's why I asked for your Whirlpool model and dimensions. Just got off the phone with a company who says my dimensions restrict me to a small unit of 9cuft or so.
I'm not sure if this will help or not, but the Whirlpool model #WRT111SFAB00. The dimensions 61 1/2" H x 25" W. Can't remember the depth and can't get my tape measureback under it. But I think it was approx. 32". It does protrude a couple inches but doesn't interfer with anything. You mentioned that you have a double door Dometic, I would think you could get a bigger unit than a 9 CUFT.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:08 PM   #14
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I saw that you have read other threads on this subject. Be sure you read this one:

Residential refrigerators in an RV

My rig is a 2001 National Marlin which is very similar to the Tradewinds. My fridge was an Elite side by side. You can see the entire process plus others comments there. Good luck.

John
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