A disappointed RV experiencne.

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New member
Oct 10, 2005
brought my 1994 Terry 19ft trailer in because the Dometic fridge didn't work reliably on gas--it would either not light at all, or, if it lit, it would fail (go to "check") within hours.  The service staff agreed  that it was "99% certain that the problem was with the circult board".  I knew this to be true because, on a recent "shake down" cruise with this "new to us" trailer we'd closely observed the problem, and had stopped at a RV place in Washington to query them about out refrigerator problem. 

You see, we wanted to camp in non-hookup sites, if we could, because they are so often horrible camping places....trailers in a field, cheek on jowl, with no privacy.  Anyway, the Washington RV folks told us that "they never understood why Dometic never got these boards right"; and the were referring to the new, revised boards as well.  They couldn't  fit us in for service, they were too busy, but offered that they'd sold "lots" of these boards.  "They usually last past the warranty period", they observed.  They said that, even though they couldn't fit us in, we could probably install  the new board ourselves.  "If you know what you're doing, it's a 10 minute job",  they announced.  Problem was, it was a revised board, so you couldn't just hook it up like the old one was.  You had to know  the actual function of each wire.  There were written instructions, of course, but if you bought the board, they said, it was yours.  They wouldn't take it a back.  A fairly normal policy for "automotive electrics" sellers.  We decided, as dark was coming on, and we hadn't even found a site to camp,  that trying to install this card might be a bit much.  We found a nice hookup site and camped out our stay.  Flash forward to your shop.

Having endured a rainy friday morning--and having blown off work--you know, work--I found myself standing, talking to your service staff. "Yes, we're 99% certain it's the board".  Any advantage to using an aftermarket board, like the Dinosaur 7/11?  "Nope, we're getting better results with the Dometic board"--even though the Washington RV dealer had said "I don't undertand why Dometic _never got this board right_.  Implying that the new one is just as bad.  Anyway, then came the mind freezer...you're service staffer said, "and there's an $80 diagnostic fee for the fridge."  What!  we just diagnosed it.  Two separate RV places had done so..and, if they were closer, I'd go back to the Washington one.  Never back to you.

So I pay $80 for a diagnostic that I'll bet never happened.  Can't prove that, but wait, there's more.  According to my receipt, I paid $160 (two hours) labor to install the board.  This is the same board that the Washington RV folks told us, "if you know what you were doing, was a _10 minute job_."  So your folks either don't know that they're doing--and should so advertise--or, more likely, you ripped me off for one hundred an sixty dollars in labor charges for a job that ought to have taken 10 minutes.

I don't like being swindled.  I'm not made of money.  In fact, I'm one of the rather elderly folks that I begin to feel you make a practice of cheating. 

Oh, and by the way, your service folks called me on the phone and quoted $360 as my bill.  That's what I expected when I arrived.  I was then informed that they'd only quoted the refrigerator job on the phone.  The bearing packing that your service folks sold me, on top of it all, wasn't quoted in the call.  No, that brought the $360  to $474.  You should really be ashamed of yourselves...though I'm certain you will not be.

I shall not be back.  This letter will go many other places.  I shall advise anyone I meet to not patronise Curtis Trailer, Portland Oregon.


Francis P. Ferguson Ph.D.

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2005
Davison Michigan
Most likely problem with the 'frige is the flame sensor circuit, either the sensor itself, or the electronics on the board

The reason for the 2 hour labor charge may have been due to diagnostic time.  I have, on occasion, instructed a dealer to replace a specific part and specifically informed them I am NOT paying for diagnostic time as I've already done that portion.

But I find they always charge at least 1 hr diagnostic and 1 hr instalation unless you are very specific

Is this right?  Well, I suspect we agree on that point

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