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Old 09-02-2015, 02:59 PM   #1
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Refrigerator does not run on propane?

I just found out from the prior owners that I bought my 2008 Rockwood Signature Ultralite 32 foot from a month ago that the fridge does not run on propane. The spec sheet for the model that she gave me clearly shows that the fridge runs on propane (this is a travel trailer after all) and electric but it looks like one of the owners replaced it with a cheaper model since they never traveled with it, they just left it sitting on a campsite all summer. When you look at the back of the fridge it is a regular cord and a loose hanging outlet; it looks like they never bothered to hardwire it to the TT electric. Ugh.

How much would it cost to replace this fridge give or take? This TT is useless to me if I cannot camp in it, and not being able to keep my food cold (or having to put it into coolers and get ice everyday) would be a nightmare. Do you think I have any recourse with these Owners? So far they told me everything was in working order and my trip has been delayed 2 weeks because of mold under the floors, an electrical short which I'm having looked at even though we might have fixed it, all sorts of maintenance issues and now I'm finding out that I cannot even use the trailer as I intended to use it?

Sorry to vent but if they made modifications that changed the scope of the TT capacities I feel that they should have been revealed;especially when TTs fridges were designed to run on propane so you can keep your food cold. And yes I know there is a debate about the safety of driving while on propane and you need to sht off while fueling; not interested in getting into that here.

There are so many issues on that trailer that were never addressed. Truly wish I had never bought it. The prior owners have been responding to my infrequent calls but I was assured everything was in working order and it's one thing after another!

Thanks all, A
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:15 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have a residential refrigerator (used in a house) instead of an absorption refrigerator (runs on propane or electric)

Unless you currently have substantial battery storage and a way to re-charge those batteries, there really isn't an inexpensive way to resolve this.

Depending on the size of the frig, a new absorption will run anywhere from $500 to $1500 and up.

To upgrade your electrical system to accommodate a residential frig could easily cost the same amount.

Sadly, yours is a case where the buyer didn't know what questions to ask or what they really needed to accomplish their goals.
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:20 PM   #3
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Is your fridge a Norcold or a Domestic?
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:45 PM   #4
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Seems like you have a few options;

1. See if the PO will split the cost with you on a absorption refer.

2. Sell to someone that wants residential refer. You might lose more than it cost to install new refer if you are in a hurry.

3. Use as is and only camp with shore power....Have to use ice or generator to keep cold in route.

Bummer......buying these things can be a real learning experience. Even than a little luck doesn't hurt either.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:48 PM   #5
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disclosing mods made to trailer before you sell....

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. The original fridge was a Dometic but it's been replaced by a Haier. I wish I had asked them what mods were made but I would never have thought to ask if a travel trailer could be used as a travel trailer.

I am having a mobile RV specialist come out and look over the whole trailer because the PO told me they maintained the trailer and they did not. The grease around the wheel bearings had never been replaced, (it was clear) I had to get 2 new tires and 4 new seals, the water damage on the floors was extensive and I had to do mold remediation (there is literally a hole under the slide- TT nightmare - former water damage on slide) and the PO lied and told me that the soft spot on the kitchen floor had been looked at by a RV center and they said it was nothing to worry about. A soft spot in a floor is never OK according to my current RV guy. And when I pulled up the floors it was a total mess.

There is a short in the electrical system that I pointed out before I bought it and the owner told me it just needed a new fuse, which they replaced. Well that fuse blew a switch which had to be replaced and there is a short somewhere which I think we found but I need to have it looked at anyway.

They also knew I intended to travel extensively in this unit, I told them I was a cook and I would use the kitchen and everything needed to work. She then gave me all the manuals for all of the appliances as well as the Owner's manual for the RV which described how the fridge automatically switched from electric to propane. I think that would have been a good time to tell me I could not use this unit as a travel trailer as I intended, but it was modified to be used on shoreline power only. I did buy a beefy generator, but I can't hook that up while I am driving for 15 hours. SWith the fridge and the air running there is only enough as for 5 hours with generator power.

I certainly don't expect to have the POs pay for every upgrade I make on this trailer, but I do think that they chose to be negligent with their maintenance and then told me that they had maintained everything and everything was in good working order. If I own a car for 6 years and never bother to change the oil or get it serviced, I can't put an ad on Ebay saying it was well maintained and ready for your next road trip. I say it is sold "as is", especially if I modify the battery or whatever so it can't go longer than 100 miles at a clip. Am I crazy?

They definitely should have disclosed that the fridge was not able to run on propane once I told them what I would be using the trailer for. After talking extensively with the RV guy, he says it typically costs around $2500-3000 to restore a poorly maintained RV with water damage taking into account that there might be walls that need to be torn out and floors because of all the black mold I found. The floor under the slide needs to be replaced. That probably does not include the cost of the fridge, which he said I could buy on Amazon for $900 and he would install. So we are looking at possibly close to $4000 just to get this thing usable and that is NOT how the unit was advertised.

I will never again buy from a private owner, and I am going to wait until I go over this thing carefully tomorrow, but I am definitely going to ask them for some money back to get this thing roadworthy. Because of the delays due to the maintenance, I have lost my travel partner (he had to return to work) and it is costing me a lot of $$ to delay my move for 3-4 weeks.

I welcome all comments and advice and thanks for reading. I have learned so much from this forum and I really appreciate you guys. And if you don't agree with me fee free to chime in.

Best, andrea
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:18 AM   #6
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No recourse through eBay?
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:55 PM   #7
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Do the POs still have the original refridge? You could put it back in if they did.
If you buy another one make sure you take good measurements of where it is going to buy the right sized refer.
The mold issue? Unfortunately you're not alone on this road. Virtually all older RVs suffer this fate and unless you are schooled in what to look for you're going to wind up in this situation.
Evaluate whether or not its worth it to continue or cut your losses and find another unit to travel in.
I am sorry this happened to you and I hope it turns out atleast OK in the end.
As was mentioned if it was an ebay transaction you might have some relief there.
One thing I learned when I first started looking was= "NEVER TAKE A SELLERS WORD AS TO THE CONDITION OF AN RV-THEY ALL LEAVE OUT THE BAD STUFF! ALL OF THEM!
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:31 PM   #8
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I did not purchase through ebay, unfortunately, I did Craigslist.
The Owners when asked for $$ back said they did not know about the issues, but they agreed to pay $1500 for the fridge, but they spent all of the money I paid them and would have to pay me in installments as they are both out of work. Really don't think I will ever see that $ again. I am getting quotes tomorrow and if it is over 5K might try and trade it in. Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:28 PM   #9
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TT nightmare

I feel your pain with all the problems. BUT private owners aren't the only ones who might screw you.. I bought my baby RV from a well known dealer "as is". I looked at everything and saw no water damage or ceiling leakage, just a dirty trailer. When I started to paint and clean, the bathroom wall caved in when I leaned on it. Leak in the back seam. $5200 to repair. 3 1/2 mos later, I get it back, had it home 2 weeks. Had an electrician run a 30 amp line to plug her in. Did a beautiful job but got confused with the plug and wired it for 220. Needless to say, her microwave fried.
If I believed in karma, I'd think it's not for me to travel. But, I don't and I'm gonna plug along and continue to get her ready to go...someday. Sigh!
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:07 AM   #10
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Welcome on board and sorry that the PO's weren't forth coming but you know I hear and read how a lot of RV'er change over to a residential refrigs. Trying to save money I guess I don’t know. It would be ok if you were camping in yourback yard or never going to stay at an area that didn't have power. It just makes all future sellers look bad. I’m looking for a refrig. for a conversion project I’m getting started on and I hate to say it but I’m seeing numbers like $800 to 1200 for a two way.
I'ma native here and that sure is a change from Philadelphia to Sisters for the better?
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogwarts6471 View Post
I feel your pain with all the problems. BUT private owners aren't the only ones who might screw you.. I bought my baby RV from a well known dealer "as is". I looked at everything and saw no water damage or ceiling leakage, just a dirty trailer. When I started to paint and clean, the bathroom wall caved in when I leaned on it. Leak in the back seam. $5200 to repair. 3 1/2 mos later, I get it back, had it home 2 weeks. Had an electrician run a 30 amp line to plug her in. Did a beautiful job but got confused with the plug and wired it for 220. Needless to say, her microwave fried.
If I believed in karma, I'd think it's not for me to travel. But, I don't and I'm gonna plug along and continue to get her ready to go...someday. Sigh!
Hey I am sorry you are going through that. I am actually going to trade this trailer in for a 2015 Primetime Tracer; I cannot trust that this thing is not going to make me sick with mold and water damage; and frankly living in a camper that was not well-maintained in general is too risky. When I sell this trailer in a year or so; the new owners will get a beautifully maintained leak, dirt and mold free trailer and a great deal to boot. I take care of my vehicles. Going today to see how much I can get in trade. Thanks
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by guestPacer View Post
Welcome on board and sorry that the PO's weren't forth coming but you know I hear and read how a lot of RV'er change over to a residential refrigs. Trying to save money I guess I donít know. It would be ok if you were camping in yourback yard or never going to stay at an area that didn't have power. It just makes all future sellers look bad. Iím looking for a refrig. for a conversion project Iím getting started on and I hate to say it but Iím seeing numbers like $800 to 1200 for a two way.
I'ma native here and that sure is a change from Philadelphia to Sisters for the better?
Yes, people do put residential refers into these trailers, but they need to install an inverter, extra batteries and/or solar panels in order for the refer to work while traveling. If they don't do that; the trailer is no longer suitible for traveling; because it can only be used as a fridge while plugged into 110. I bought a travel trailer, not a trailer. That type of downgrade (downgrade because they did not finish the job) should be revealed to the Buyer, especially when you hand the buyer the manual for the original Dometic 2-way which had been removed. In this case, the Buyer (me) made a rush decision and did not do her due diligence but I guess I paid a lot of $$ to learn a hard lesson. Thanks.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:47 PM   #13
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Sorry for all of your problems primaldiva but I think you are really doing the right thing in getting rid of it.

One thing did cross my mind. Does anyone know how much power a small home type refrigerator uses? They make some pretty nice 13.6 vdc to 110 vac inverters that are reasonably priced. This one is 400 watts for $37.99. Probably pull 30 amps from the TV alternator. Could use the inverter while towing and then plug the refrigerator into shore power at the campground.
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