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Old 09-16-2019, 11:11 PM   #41
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Hi: I have a Dometic RML 8330 three way refrigerator. Does anyone know if they make a compressor refrigerator which is just a switch out?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:35 PM   #42
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Hi: I have a Dometic RML 8330 three way refrigerator. Does anyone know if they make a compressor refrigerator which is just a switch out?

Thanks in advance!
That's the fridge in an Travato so I'm assuming cabinet dimensions are what you are concerned with.

Norcold/Thetford make a T1030 which will fit and is very expensive. Most folks who have swapped out their 8330 have gone with a Novakool 3100. It's the correct width but not very tall. It's about the size of the Travato K fridge and is adequate. That's what I've done.

Novakool also sells a kit that is just compressor and coils and you could gut your old fridge and install new innards if you think you're qualified and lastly, there's a company, I can't recall their name, in the Midwest that will convert your 8330 to a compressor type for about $850 but they will not send you the parts. You have to show up at their door with an appointment and they will perform the work.
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:44 PM   #43
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Hi: I am thinking about upgrading the dometic rml 8330 to a compressor grade. Am looking for a reputable company in southern california who can do this for me. Any recommendations? Thanks!!!
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:46 PM   #44
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Hi: I am thinking about upgrading the dometic rml 8330 to a compressor grade. Am looking for a reputable company in southern california who can do this for me. Any recommendations? Thanks!!!

Coast RV Center

28404 Roadside Dr, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(81 889-8889 https://g.co/kgs/do11yM

Call Mark, Service Manager

Family owned since 1981...

Check out their website and reviews online
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:58 AM   #45
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What do the burnt wires have to do with propane, did the propane flame burn the wire?
Wires can also burn on a ac/dc unit.
I think propane catches fire easily..
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:01 AM   #46
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I don't know if you know that 'RV' stands for " Ruined Vacation".....

Listen, we're still having fun, but, I can definitely see a time when I'll be more than happy to just sell it and move on....

I'm sure that will happen because I'm in my late 60s and my wife is in early 70s......

I don't need this kind of unnecessary stress in my life..... I'd rather just go to a hotel and restaurant. Let me tell you that a lot of the money I've spent would buy some really nice vacations without all of this baloney.

I think that I'm pretty much at the point where I've replaced almost all of the major systems on the RV .. except for the roof air conditioner, which seems to be working fine.

My only consolation is that a rig like mine brand new in 2019 would probably sell for $150,000... It's our little gem and it's a beautiful luxury coach on the road. I'm just customizing it to how I want it to function.

Unlike a lot of you hobbyists, I am paying a professional to get all this done. My choice, I know my limitations.

You wouldn't represent yourself in a legal case as your own attorney or practice medical procedures on yourself, and I don't work on my own RV. I'm smart enough to know what I can do which is why I have a professional mechanic.

Enjoy your RV and travels..... this will be my one and only RV... once I sell it, never again....

Sad story, think about selling your Roadtrek before the AC break. Best of luck
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:13 AM   #47
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Bad wiring can cause fires, propane or no propane. There ARE millions of homes with wiring and some of them burn down as a result of bad wiring. So its not surprising that bad wiring is a cause of many RV fires.

Propane is a different danger. It is under pressures, pools in low spots when it leaks and it ignites easily. It can certainly create or add to a conflagration and there are plenty of examples of that happening.

The reality is that the biggest danger for any RV owner is drivers, either themselves or someone else. All the other imagined risks pale by comparison. But if someone hits you and you have all your propane pipes pressurized you are upping the ante on the possible danger. A minor accident that knocks a connection loose can quickly turn life threatening without any warning.
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:51 PM   #48
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Bad wiring can cause fires, propane or no propane. There ARE millions of homes with wiring and some of them burn down as a result of bad wiring. So its not surprising that bad wiring is a cause of many RV fires.

Propane is a different danger. It is under pressures, pools in low spots when it leaks and it ignites easily. It can certainly create or add to a conflagration and there are plenty of examples of that happening.

The reality is that the biggest danger for any RV owner is drivers, either themselves or someone else. All the other imagined risks pale by comparison. But if someone hits you and you have all your propane pipes pressurized you are upping the ante on the possible danger. A minor accident that knocks a connection loose can quickly turn life threatening without any warning.
Ross, I agree.

I don't know if you are aware, but, the new Roadtrek RS Adventurous doesn't come with a propane refrigerator. They now feature an AC/DC model.

I think that a lot of people are now recognizing that the disadvantages of the 3 way absorption refrigerators with elevation, leveling and safety issues are falling out of favor, especially when you consider how solar power and battery technology is making the compressor refrigerator more palatable in the RV world.

I don't know, but, I suspect that the less complicated compressor refrigerator is going to last longer, it has less moving parts and doesn't require the same level of care. It's all about maintenance. Just my opinion.
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:27 PM   #49
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Ross, I agree.

I don't know if you are aware, but, the new Roadtrek RS Adventurous doesn't come with a propane refrigerator. They now feature an AC/DC model.

I think that a lot of people are now recognizing that the disadvantages of the 3 way absorption refrigerators with elevation, leveling and safety issues are falling out of favor, especially when you consider how solar power and battery technology is making the compressor refrigerator more palatable in the RV world.

I don't know, but, I suspect that the less complicated compressor refrigerator is going to last longer, it has less moving parts and doesn't require the same level of care. It's all about maintenance. Just my opinion.

The benefits of compressor frigs have been known and understood for a long time by most people, but the resistance to using them has been mainly based on the need for power system upgrades to run them for long enough periods without shore power, as mentioned. More power and solar availability have made the power issues much less of an issue the last few years and brought more of the RV users and manufacturers to the conclusion it is now worth it to switch on many RVs.



A compressor frig is not less complicated than an absorption frig and they have many more moving parts than the absorption frig which has almost no moving parts. The doesn't mean absorption frigs are less trouble, though. Compressor frig reliability has been quite good so far, with not a lot of issues once the install issues get worked out. It will be a long time, like 20 years, before we know if the long term survivability is as good as absorption frigs which often last decades.


With the trend toward using vehicle fuel for heat and hot water, and the use of more electric cooking devices, propane frigs will continue to disappear in new designs, I think, as propane will also be eliminated once most of the uses are gone. I do hope they do have option for a small propane removable bottle, though, as we use the van propane on a tether hose nearly every day we are traveling for cooking, and hate the tiny littel throw away bottles.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:22 PM   #50
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I have an Etrek with no propane at all. My solar panel provides enough power to keep the refrigerator running indefinitely, a least in the summer. The only absorption refrigerators I have experience with were stationary and just used propane. But I understand that the three ways use a lot more electricity than my compressor fridge does. Which is why some people run their propane while driving.

I suspect propane, like other fossil fuels, will eventually disappear. But, unlike the refrigerator, you need a lot of battery juice to replace it for cooking and/or heating. And, of course, people use it to recharge their batteries as well. My guess is it will disappear from upper end coaches shortly, but it will be a while before that works down to the low end units.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:50 PM   #51
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Most TT and 5ers are used on grid in trailer parks and see fewer moves than the typical class B. Thus the TT manufacturer avoids the $1k or so cost of a decent battery bank, controller and panels to accommodate an off grid compressor refrigerator for the smaller number who want it.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:41 PM   #52
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But I understand that the three ways use a lot more electricity than my compressor fridge does.
True, IF operated on electricity alone. When operated with LPG, they use a small fraction of the electric power compressor fridges do. In days of yore, when LPG units had no control circuitry, they used NO electric power.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:46 AM   #53
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True, IF operated on electricity alone. When operated with LPG, they use a small fraction of the electric power compressor fridges do. In days of yore, when LPG units had no control circuitry, they used NO electric power.
Good point. I still have the original Dometic 2310 that came with my 1997 PW and the only time electricity (120v or 12v) is employed is when you are in "Elec" or "12v" mode. In LP mode it utilizes a piezo spark lighter to get it going. And in terms of leveling, the manual states that you should not have noticeable sloping of the walls.....in a more comprehensive doc, states that the bubble of a bubble level should touch the center level circle and need not be perfectly centered.

All that aside, if it ever goes on me, I'll probably bite the bullet and add more solar, a lithium battery bank, new charger/controller, etc. and get a compressor fridge.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:51 PM   #54
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True, IF operated on electricity alone. When operated with LPG, they use a small fraction of the electric power compressor fridges do. In days of yore, when LPG units had no control circuitry, they used NO electric power.
Yep. I must really be getting old(er?). I remember when you lit them with a match. Same for the hot water heater. Seems like we didn't worry as much back then and just enjoyed rving, accepted the fact that occasionally they blew out and kept on truckin'.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:09 PM   #55
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Seems like we didn't worry as much back then
Worried about different things. Like running out of propane or draining the car battery to run lights because there was no separate coach battery or "exercising" the generator to keep it operable or charging the battery between trips or ...

I have one fuel to refill - diesel. If my tank is full it will handle charging, hot water and heat. With a solar panel, as long as I am in the sun I don't even need the diesel for the small stuff like lights and refrigerator.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:08 PM   #56
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Yep. I must really be getting old(er?). I remember when you lit them with a match. Same for the hot water heater. Seems like we didn't worry as much back then and just enjoyed rving, accepted the fact that occasionally they blew out and kept on truckin'.
Speaking of getting older, when I was a lad, the family had a natural-gas-powered Servel absorption fridge. It was wonderful, chugging along without so much as a hitch for years and years. It was replaced by a compressor fridge only when we needed something larger. How's THAT for old?

Apologies for going so far OT, but nostalgia had to have its day.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:40 AM   #57
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lmittell, in the 1960s in Southern Oklahoma where I grew up, the regional natural gas company manufactured and then sold nat gas air conditioning units. Essentially they operated just like the Servel refrigerators you described. That began about fifty years ago and many of those units are still in service in my old home town. The blower motors are electric, of course, but the cold coil operates not that much differently than a rv lp refrig. And yes, it gets hot in that part of Oklahoma with 100 degree readings common in the summers. Changing, replacing or modifying the blowers is not a big deal.

Not to get off subject, but the point is that gas absorption refrigeration has been around a long time. I have read that those Servels are still often found in hunting cabins in the woods a lot of places. The Arkla gas air conditioners are still cooling in a lot of places in Oklahoma, Northern Louisiana and Arkansas.

That being said, the Servels and Arklas are stationary and not being bounced around like in a rv and they are level all the time.

The on topic point is this: lp refrigeration has been around a long time and is reliable and some of us just prefer it. I love the 3 way refrig in my Roadtrek and it keeps the food cold on the hottest days around here. Compressor refrigerators are great in an rv just like in my house. It is simply a matter of personal preference.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:12 AM   #58
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2x on the childhood Servel. In an RV, compressor just seems more tolerant of the abuse.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:10 AM   #59
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When we bought our first house in the 1980s, its outdoor A/C unit had a capped-off gas line running to it. Apparently, the house (then 20 years old) originally had a gas-powered A/C.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:33 AM   #60
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Additional Off Topic....sort of....

I believe when I hiked into Fort Bowie in So. AZ that the fort had an ice house. I thought it was to store blocks of ice but the ranger explained that they produced ice via the absorption process. That was c.1870. Surprised me as I had never heard of that. It was before I owned the PW.
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