2014 33C Refrigerator ( Dometic )problems
We are having problems with the Dometic (Elite 2+2) 4 door 12. cu ft refrigerator in our new 2014 Bounder.
We have had the refrigerator replaced twice because it would not cool. Dometic now says that it is because it is parked on a slant, greater then 3 degrees front to back. Dometic said that this creates crystals in the cooling unit. Once the crystals are formed the cooling unit is useless and will need to be replaced at a cost of $2,000 plus labor.
Has anyone had this problem?
We have concerns that we will inadvertently use the refrigerator in a position that is not level enough and be forced to replace the cooling unit.
It seems to be acceptable to Fleetwood that we should be using this motorhome only on totally level ground in spite of our insistence that the parameters are unrealistic for real life.
I am also looking for a level warning device that would inform me if the motorhome is at 3 degrees or greater, has anyone heard of such a device?
Joe, I'd have to "assume" that if your Bounder is level before extending slides, etc. that it would be level enough for the Dometic. Have you checked the level with a bubble? Do you store the RV on a slanted pad? I've always heard that if the level of the floor in the RV is comfortable to walk around, it is level enough for the refrigerator.
Our 33C is three years old next month and we have not had any problem with the refrigerator, though it is usually pretty level. Hope you get it figured out.
Oh, and welcome to iRV2! :wavey:
When you read the manual for yours and my refrigerator, you quickly realize you will need high boots with all the b.s. flying around. It's like the disclaimers on TV for the "miracle" drugs which will eliminate your problem and REPLACE IT WITH MIRIAD OTHER AILMENTS.
I copied the "leveling" requirements from the manual. First they state as long as it's comfortable for you the human there is no problem. Then they "caution" 2 degrees a problem. What the heck does 2 degrees feel like? More bull.
Just how did the genius at Dometic PROVE greater than 3 degree operation? He didn't, that's a retorical question. Commonly this is called bull.
This is the 21st century. Dometic "techs" couldn't even tell me what the temperature differential would be compared to outside temperature. They blamed the sun,humidity,shade,wind and so much garbage "tech" conditions for not being able to tell me a simple fact. How cold should my refrigerator be?
What the heck is "unattended" supposed to mean? Are we supposed to send people to our homes to check the refrigerator every day while we travel. No.
For all of us who think a standard refrigerator is better (more malarky), I'd be willing to bet those companies will complain the motorhome is bouncing around. Why not? They're supposed to sitting UNMOVING in your kitchen.
Leveling the refrigerator
Leveling is one of the requirements for proper operation with
absorption refrigerators. To ensure proper leveling the vehicle
needs to be leveled only so it is comfortable to live in (no noticeable sloping of floor or walls).
Any time the vehicle is parked for several hours with the refrigerator operating, the vehicle should be leveled to prevent this loss
Do not park your RV on a slope for a longer period of
time. Absorption refrigerators use a gravity-flow system.
Being on an angle of more than a couple of degrees for extended periods of time stops the refrigeration and might
cause damage to the cooling unit.
If the refrigerator is operated when it is not level and the vehicle
is not moving, liquid ammonia will accumulate in sections of the
evaporator tubing. This will slow the circulation of hydrogen and
ammonia gas, or in severe cases, completely block it, resulting in
a loss of cooling.
When the vehicle is moving, the leveling is not critical, as the
rolling and pitching movement of the vehicle will pass to either
side of level, keeping the liquid ammonia from accumulating in
the evaporator tubing.
when the refrigerator is not in use
Any absorption refrigerator that is to be taken out of service for
an extended period of time should be turned off.
It is important that you do not leave the refrigerator to
run idle and/or unattended for days or weeks.
When your motorhome is sold to you, they do not tell you any of the "CONDITIONS". You expect THEM to have figured out the methods needed to make their products BULLETPROOF.
My first dose of refrigerator BULL was when I outfitted my home kitchen with a Sub Zero refrigerator. What a piece of junk. About the only thing that wasn't replaced was the shelves. But heck that started back in 1980. I don't mind paying for quality. Also, back then the "technology"used on my 15 foot Sunline trailer refrigerator was the same as today without all the complicated electronics to fool us into thinking the products are better. Look at the fins in the back of the refrigerator. The same as back then. The rest of it too that you don't see. WHY ARE THEY STILL USING AMMONIA as the refrigerant? To make crystals and clog the system?
So I started thinking about 3 degrees out of level. Just how much is that?
3 degrees is equal to .6288933514 inches per foot.
A 35 foot motorhome would be 22.011267299 inches lower from back to front.
They told you GREATER than 3 degrees.
Just bull to BLAME YOU for their inferior product.
If these "sophisticated" refrigerators are so sensitive they had better hang them like a gimbaled compass.
You stated 3 degrees but the manual 2 degrees so here are the other figures.
2 degrees .4190492339 inches per foor or 14.6667231865 lower at one end.
While at the factory for 2 weeks, they had a problem "teaching" the leveling system how to level my coach. I showed them how after auto leveling in the shop the difference in height from the rear to the front levelers was 3/4 ". That was enough to make the bathroom door swing quickly towards the front of the coach once opened to about 1/4 of its swinging arc. After I showed them how to trick the controller,the auto level is now totally level. My point is this, the amount the coach was supposed to be at to ruin your refrigerator is not true. You would not use your coach in this way.
Thank you very much Joe.... I've been debating if to get the Dometic in the 33C or the residental with the two extra batteries but you just made the decision easy.
It seems everybody with an Dometic hates them - period. The fact you you have the very same coach I'm thinking about just rang the bell in my head - duh! I was concerned about power consumption if my partner and I wanted to do some boondocking but hey... having to run the generator to change the batteries is a hell of a lot better than have no refridgerator!
I have read the post about leveling for the refer to work properly. I have the same MH (2014). Since you have three years with this do you just use the Auto level or do you check the level in the MH elsewhere and use the manual mode?
There's a site you can look at which sells NEW RM1350 cooling units. They are a total redesign of the original Dometic cooling unit. A full explanation of the shortcomings of the Dometic product are there. There is a tech section you might want to look at. Shows you how to diagnose your problem. Dometic seems to have dropped the ball for some reason. The owner of the site responds via email quickly. He sent a pdf of the installation instructions for the RM1350 so I could evaluate. He, on the site, asks for you not to call to just ask questions. He prefers email. He has a couple of sites where he sells and even has the RM1350 cooling unit on Ebay. These are NOT rebuilt units. Totally new. He also sells for not much money enhancement products. Don't miss the Halon fire suppression system either.
His Ebay feedback is 99.8 % on 7656. Not too shabby.
The Ebay link:
Dometic RM1350 Brand New Cooling Unit Amish Built | eBay
The link to the RM1350:
Dometic RM1350 Amish built Cooling Unit - RV Cooling Unit Warehouse
The link to the tech section:
Tech Information - RV Cooling Unit Warehouse
My refrigerator has been working but ,if it ever does fail, I'd probably do this upgrade expecting the results as promised.
Notice this and first take a good look at the Dometic flimsy warranty in your manual: All the cooling units will have a standard 5 year replacement warranty with the option to extend
There is a control module installed over the inverter. That module was changed at the factory service in Decatur per Powergear's suggestion. The module which was installed were those used on 18K chassis. Those modules run for less time on the initial lift. There are no sensors telling the module how high off the ground you are. It's all based upon time allowed to pump the hydraulic fluid. Less time equals less initial lift. The module helped with that but my final fix I came up with in Decatur tricked the module into being perfectly level. That occurred on the last day of a two week visit.
There is no sense leveling your coach according to the refrigerator. Either your coach is level or it is not.
Until I tricked the system into being level, the closest they could get it was 3/4" inch too low in the front. Eric, Brian (the boss) and a mechanic watched me do it. It has remained level and solid since that day.
I learned that RV refrigerators need to be level in kindergarten! Whats new here? Thanks.
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