Refridgerators

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Dave M

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Posts
7
Hello all -

I just had my first overnighter in my "classic" RV.  A couple of months ago, I bought a 1975 19ft Nu Wa and have been in the process or renovating it. 

I was out for my first overnighter and pretty much everything went well, with a couple of exceptions, the main problem being the fridge.  This unit has the original fridge in it.  I tried to fire it up via the electric mode and could not get anything to happen.  It did not even sound like anything was going on.    Honestly, I was not totally surprised.

I don't think I will ever camp in this RV without electrical hookups.  So, I am wondering if there is any reason I could not just pull the existing fridge and replace it with a large, electric mini-fridge.  Obviously I would have to do some framing around it but thats OK and I feel confident given the work I have all ready done.

My main reasons for wanting to go this route are cost and ease.  From what I hear, RV fridge repairs are pricey and I can get a comparable size mini fridge, brand new for about $100.  It also just seems easy to pull the old one and slide this in compared to trying to find someone who can do the work, and do the work in a timely fashion.

Like I said, I don't think I would ever be at a campsite that does not have electric hookups, so I am not worried about having a propane option. 

Are there any major negatives to this?

Thanks in advance.

Dave.
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
How long did you let it "run?" The RV refrigerators don't have a compressor like the one you have in a house. So, depending on your hearing it won't make any sound. Do you have voltage to the heating elements? If not, then check the breakers. When running you should find a temp increase at the vent, due to the heating coils. Hard to trouble shoot things without being there.

You can replace it with a cheap electric ( cap off the propane line). Yes, new ones are expensive. I wouldn't give up hope unless you do a little checking on your existing one.....
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
I was out for my first overnighter and pretty much everything went well, with a couple of exceptions, the main problem being the fridge.  This unit has the original fridge in it.  I tried to fire it up via the electric mode and could not get anything to happen.  It did not even sound like anything was going on.    Honestly, I was not totally surprised.

RV fridges are absorbtion cycle fridges, not compressor cycle.  They do not make any discernable noise or vibration.  They are simply a flame burning.    Try turning it on an leaving it run for a day.  No cooling by then, and you do have a problem with AC power at least.  Next try gas operation. 

A fridge does take time to cool down.  When it does, the main compartment should be in the mid forties, the freezer in the 10-20 range.  No there is no temperature adjustment.

If all fails, let an RV shop take a look at it.  It may be repairable.
 

Jeff

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Posts
8,965
Location
SD/AZ
While your plans are to have electricity available how about traveling? We are on the road enough that an all electric refrigerator would need a source of portable electrical power for a good amount of time. It is much more convenient and economical to have propane available for that purpose.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Yes, all  fridges have thermostats to maintain proper temps.  Home fridges have temperature controls that allow one to adjust the temperature at which the thermostat will hold the fridge compartments.    My RV Dometic fridge at least, does not have such a control
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,620
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Carl,
My Dometic (2002 New Dimensions model) has 5 temperature choices. No degrees indicated - just colder or warmer, like a residential fridge.  However, Dave M's circa 1975 fridge may be like yours - just on or off.

Dave M,
There could well be something simple wrong, as others have suggested. Most obvious would be a blown fuse/breaker for the 120VAC electric mode. A burned out heating element would also be a fairly simple repair.  Did you try gas (LPG) mode?  That is pretty much independent of electric mode - different heat source altogether.  And does it perhaps have a 12VDC mode as well?

As for replacing it with a small compressor type fridge, sure.  The downside is when traveling. It will stay cold enough as long as the door remains closed, but open it for a cold drink ata rest stop and all bets are off.  A mini-fridge might be able to run off an inverter, which might solve that issue.  Your alternator can re-charge the trailer battery as you drive, so you shouldn't need extra batteries as long as you don't make any long stops without shore power.

 

King

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Posts
354
Location
MA
My class b has a small Norcold ref.  It has a compressor and operates on 120 ac at 0.4 A, and 12 dc at 4 amps.  It doesn't have a propane option.  It cools quickly and maintains cold well keeping frozen food in the top sub-compartment well frozen.  It cycles on now and then, and would last for several days on the house batteries.
Art
 

Gasser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Posts
173
Location
Ada, Oklahoma
My Norcold had temp settings from 1 to 9.  If I have it on 8 or above, my soda gets Ice crystals in it.  these things work dang good and I have run my fridge for a total of 15 days and only used about 3/8 to 1/2 of a tank of propane.  I do pre-cool it with dry Ice to get it going before a trip.  The other thing is, it just looks good in my coach.  With the wood panel doors, it matches all the other wood work. 

FWIW



 
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