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Old 07-19-2018, 11:42 PM   #1
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I think my fridge bit the dust.


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I've had the Motorhome parked on the street by the house for the past month while my elderly mother and I are getting ready for our annual trip to Southern Nevada for the winter. I'm plugged into the house so can't really run the rooftop AC during the day, since it's only 15 amps. But I keep windows open and the AC ventilator going to keep air moving. This has been an excellent fridge for the last 2 years until yesterday. The Dometic RM 2601 is a non electronic fridge. The older version of the modern day 2620. It's the simple turn dials under the door. Any case I opened the fridge door to a very overwhelming smell of Ammonia. The fridge was very warm and everything had thawed out. I couldn't find any leaks but I'm guessing the condenser went out and probably leaked ammonia into the fridge at the cooling surfaces. I tried shutting it off for a few to cool down and see if it would cool again, but obviously the ammonia leaked out somewhere and this fridge has given up the ghost. Still trying to get the smell out of my noise hours later. 😤The RV is usually in an RV park this time of year (30 amps) with the rooftop AC going much of the time. So I'm thinking the fridge couldn't keep up with the summer heat and finally went out. Considering the cost of RV fridges, I might just replace it with a residential refrigerator of the same size. Not sure what's the most economical option. A new cooling unit is at least $500 bucks, but I have heard there are many RV graveyards around the Salt Lake City so might be able to pick up an RV fridge for cheap. A new unit of this type would be about $1500.00 bucks. Plus what's really better. An RV fridge or residential. Any ideas???? Feedback ??? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:52 PM   #2
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Residential for me.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:56 PM   #3
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Depends on your style of camping! If you are at hook ups all the time, go with a residential fridge! If you boondock a lot, go with a RV style fridge! You can have a residential fridge, a inverter to run it, and a good size battery bank and solar to keep the battery's charged, but it sounds like that might be more than you are willing to spend!

Do some good measuring and make sure you check the depth closely, as that is the biggest issue in changing to a res. fridge, the rest is just getting the old out and the new one that fits in!

Good luck which ever way you go! If mine goes out, a residential is going back in! Rail!
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:59 PM   #4
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I think my fridge bit the dust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guardrail53 View Post
Depends on your style of camping! If you are at hook ups all the time, go with a residential fridge! If you boondock a lot, go with a RV style fridge! You can have a residential fridge, a inverter to run it, and a good size battery bank and solar to keep the battery's charged, but it sounds like that might be more than you are willing to spend!



Do some good measuring and make sure you check the depth closely, as that is the biggest issue in changing to a res. fridge, the rest is just getting the old out and the new one that fits in!



Good luck which ever way you go! If mine goes out, a residential is going back in! Rail!

Since this a class A Motorhome, I have a 4 KHW Onan generator onboard. So as long as I have a can of gas, I have AC power anywhere. The fridge is the standard 20x54x26. So I've been told Home Depot sells fridges in the standard size, so reinstallation is suppose to be supper easy. It's just getting the fridge out that's a real pain.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:20 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about the frig.. I replaced mine with a residential this spring.. The frig I installed was almost perfect, but I had to cut about 1/8 inch off the wooden cabinet side and then the frig slid right in.

You don't necessarily need to do the inverter and all the electrical stuff I did on mine. It could be a simple matter to just remove the old unit, slide the new unit in, make sure its secure, and plug it in.

Here is a short article I wrote on how I did it:

Residential Frig Replacement – 1999 Southwind 35S


..
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:58 AM   #6
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I just replaced a absorption refrig with a residential. If you don't dry camp a lot you won't notice the electrical demands on your batteries. We just finish dry camping for a week and I had to closely monitor my battery voltage and use the generator as necessary which was about 4-5 hrs a day. I have a 420 ah battery bank.
The biggest issue with installing any refrig is getting the old one out and the new one in.

My wife and I both love the extra room in the residential refrig vs the absorption one, and they can be had much cheaper.
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:15 AM   #7
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Another option is to get ahold of JC refrigeration.. they have the amish replacement absorption units and a 100% residential conversion upgrade.... both of which you keep your fridge but just put new innards into it..
Products | JC Refrigeration
give them a call....
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Another option is to get ahold of JC refrigeration.. they have the amish replacement absorption units and a 100% residential conversion upgrade.... both of which you keep your fridge but just put new innards into it..
Products | JC Refrigeration
give them a call....
Thanks for your help. I've already studied the cost of buying a new cooling unit. There's nothing more I would like than to keep my old refrigerator. Its really a nice top of the line fridge. But as it turns out, the replacement cooling unit would be twice the cost of buying a brand new residential fridge from Home Depot the exact same size, and just putting it in. I have more confidence in a residential refrigerator than I do in another expensive RV fridge that might just go out again in 2 years verses a residential fridge that tends to last for decades.




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Old 07-25-2018, 02:14 PM   #9
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How about looking into 12v compressor fridge like nove cool. No need for inverters, extra batteries and they work awesome. Less carpentry work to install them
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:22 PM   #10
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12 volt compressor fridges cost as much as gas/electric fridges. No savings there.
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:19 PM   #11
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I don't know about others, but the absorption fridge in our last camper lasted 23 years. It stopped working just as we were selling it.


The fridge in the MH that replaced it was not working when we bought it. I replaced the cooling unit with a rebuilt Amish unit I found listed on eBay for between 4 and 5 hundred dollars. I did the change myself and it wasn't that difficult. It's been working well for 3 years now.


We use the camper for 2-3 months per year and it is seldom plugged in so absorption is best for us.


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Old 07-25-2018, 05:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cimplexsound View Post
Snip: I have more confidence in a residential refrigerator than I do in another expensive RV fridge that might just go out again in 2 years verses a residential fridge that tends to last for decades.




1979 Dodge Tioga Class C 24 foot. 1987 Fleetwood Bounder 34 Foot.

That was my thinking too and is what I did.
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