Cooling unit on a fridge?

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marknoo

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Sep 20, 2016
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If the cooling unit on a fridge goes bad it does not matter whether you use electricity or propane to power it, correct?

Meaning there is no reason to fix the propane, if I am even able to, if the cooling unit is out. It won't cool anyway.

They told me the whole refrigerator has to come out to replace that. That seems like a lot of work. I was told the whole refrigerator has to come out to put a new one in.
 

Lou Schneider

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Mar 14, 2005
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Right.  The cooling unit works by using heat to boil a water-ammonia mixture, the ammonia then travels to the condenser plates in the freezer and refrigerator and cools them down.

If the cooling unit has been diagnosed as bad, i.e. the boiler is getting hot but there's no cooling, or there's an obvious sign of a coolant leak, it doesn't matter which source of heat you're using.

The cooling unit is a one piece sealed unit that includes the boiler, the cooling plates and all of the plumbing on the rear of the refrigerator box.  So yes, the refrigerator has be removed from the cabinetry replace the cooling unit.  It won't fit through the openings in the rear wall.
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
Actually it is far less work than you think.. To replace the cooling unit (Way cheaper than replacing the whole thing and many folks claim ther Amish Built cooling units are SUPERIOR to the oem's) they remove a few screws. Slide it out into your RV. Do the replacement inside and slide it back in place...  Really not as hard as it sounds since the job can be done INSIDE the RV for the most part.

Very little (disconnecting probane and electric) is done outside.
 

Rene T

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Keep in mind, you don't need a entirely new fridge. You have a couple of options. The cooling unit on the back of yours can be replaced and I'm told by someone with basic handyman skills (I never have but I wouldn't hesitate to do it) or replace it with a residential fridge.
 

jubileee

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Dec 17, 2013
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My wife and I replaced the cooling unit in our Bounder 10-12 years ago. Was really dreading it. Turned out to be a piece of cake. Took about three hours. 1 hour actual work and 2 hours fussing/worrying/ triple checking.
 

catblaster

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Jan 11, 2010
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Kissimmee, Floriduh
The worst part is getting the fridge in and out of its hole and out of the RV If there is enough room in the RV the unit could be replaced without removing it to the outside.

I am surprised no one had made a replacement refrigeration unit that uses the LG linear compressor and conventional refrigerant. Nothing hard about making one with off the shelf parts.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I am surprised no one had made a replacement refrigeration unit that uses the LG linear compressor and conventional refrigerant. Nothing hard about making one with off the shelf parts.
Probably not the LG compressor, but there is a replacement cooling unit available from JC Refrigeration that uses compressor tech instead of absorption.  It is Option #1 on this web page:
http://jc-refrigeration.com/products/

While it seems a no-brainer if you typically run off 120v electric, an RV fridge with a compressor conversion is not in the same league with a residential fridge when it comes to perfromance.  It still relies on convection rather than forced air cooling (uneven cooling), still requires manual defrosting, and still has mediocre insulation in the walls and door.
 
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