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Old 09-09-2019, 08:25 PM   #31
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I have an absorption fridge approximately 2 years old. I've had no problems cooling at altitudes up to 10,000 feet on propane for weeks on end or ambient temperatures of 100, though the high temps have the fridge at it's limit.

That said, a replacement fridge will be a compressor, most likely.

Truck Fridge has pretty decent pricing.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:31 PM   #32
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Default Dave, thanks.

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Originally Posted by D&J Phillips View Post
Clear write-up & I get that you aren't happy with the absorption reefer's performance but, unfortunately, you still failed to answer my question - what this mysterious "source" is that you don't want an open flame near?

Here is your quote:
Absolutely correct, however, I'm not going to have an open flame right next to the source...... huge difference.
This is what I am unclear about - what are you saying?

Beyond that, last year we went to Yellowstone at 8-9000ft and had no problems with ours. BTW, I run mine on 12v when driving because it seems to cool better when driving for some reason (I think it has to do with the wind while driving blowing the heat away from the boiler?), and when I get to a campsite I switch to propane if boondocking or, if we are in a campground with a hook-up, I will use 120v.

Actually, I would like to upgrade to a compressor unit someday but I don't want to spend the money upgrading our electrical system right now.

I do wish you wouldn't treat all of us that use a 3 way as if we just can't comprehend the advantages and assuming we are lying to you when we say ours works fine - not cool.

Basically, you decided to make the upgrade and are busy trying to get all of us to agree with your choice. OK, I agree it is a good upgrade.

Dave

Dave, I appreciate the choice I made, yes, I know it will work.

Regarding the source...the propane burning flame for the absorption refrigerator.... I am eliminating the possibility of an electric fire and the live burning flame source.

It will be strictly on battery power when I'm not plugged in.
So, I won't have to be concerned about being level, gas stations, tunnels, or anything else.

All of the wires on the Dometic refrigerator were not robust enough to handle the electric load, I imagine it was poor quality construction....... I really hate cheaply built products.

Let me give you an example;

We have a Cuisinart Food Processor that we purchased in 1981.... with a 28 years warranty... still working perfectly. And, a Sunbeam mixer that is from my parents, in 1948, 71 years ago..... get my point..... yeah, they know how to build quality, they just usually don't...

My new replacement refrigerator MSRP, a 3.5 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer is $1,569.. and I've seen them for as much as $1,800.... Fortunately, I'm getting it at the wholesale price of $1,272 but, think about it, it's a 3.5 cubic foot box and it's not even frost free...... it's just well built.

I'm glad for you that your experience at altitude is fantastic. I hope you never have to find out or experience what we did. Let me tell you that when everything goes sideways and your camping trip is about just trying to save your food in the middle of nowhere... it's not fun and stressful.

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....
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:08 PM   #33
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I very seriously doubt that all the wires in Dometic frigs is not able to handle the load, it just makes no sense based on them not catching fire all over the place or others finding the issue.



Quote:
Regarding the source...the propane burning flame for the absorption refrigerator.... I am eliminating the possibility of an electric fire and the live burning flame source.

Just how does not having propane for the frig eliminate the chance of an electrical fire in a pure electric refrigerator?



My guess would be that you are in the extreme minority of class b owners who don't like having one. We would replace ours instantly if something happened to it, as the thought of staying in hotels woulld take all the fun out of traveling for us.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:45 PM   #34
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Default Relative risk and management.

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Originally Posted by booster View Post
I very seriously doubt that all the wires in Dometic frigs is not able to handle the load, it just makes no sense based on them not catching fire all over the place or others finding the issue.






Just how does not having propane for the frig eliminate the chance of an electrical fire in a pure electric refrigerator?



My guess would be that you are in the extreme minority of class b owners who don't like having one. We would replace ours instantly if something happened to it, as the thought of staying in hotels woulld take all the fun out of traveling for us.
I never said that I don't like having a Class B. What I said was that I didn't like having "failing mechanical systems" and the refrigerator has been VERY INCONSISTENT since we purchased the RV.

If I didn't like it I wouldn't have purchased it and certainly would not have driven it over 23,000 miles across the USA and back.

As for my refrigerator issues; they're real issues and it's not helpful to trivialize it. The wires on the old Dometic did burn and it was very close to an open flame source and combustible material..

This is a very serious issue; it doesn't matter that you don't agree.

I'm told that many RV's have burned up and caught on fire from faulty wiring and the fact that even a small electrical fire can certainly turn into a major one especially with a propane flame adjacent.

It's a matter of degrees... sure, could there be a problem with a faulty electrical device and could it catch fire, I suppose anything is possible. However, it will be a much greater magnitude with the propane flame and gas burning in the background than just a small electric motor that burns itself out. I would think that it's much less likely for that to happen than having the propane and gas right there fueling the fire.

It's easy to make speculative remarks from the computer, but, the only people with "direct knowledge" on this are my RV shop person and me.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have found this problem before it caused any serious incidents.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:11 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
I never said that I don't like having a Class B. What I said was that I didn't like having "failing mechanical systems" and the refrigerator has been VERY INCONSISTENT since we purchased the RV.

If I didn't like it I wouldn't have purchased it and certainly would not have driven it over 23,000 miles across the USA and back.

As for my refrigerator issues; they're real issues and it's not helpful to trivialize it. The wires on the old Dometic did burn and it was very close to an open flame source and combustible material..

This is a very serious issue; it doesn't matter that you don't agree.

I'm told that many RV's have burned up and caught on fire from faulty wiring and the fact that even a small electrical fire can certainly turn into a major one especially with a propane flame adjacent.

It's a matter of degrees... sure, could there be a problem with a faulty electrical device and could it catch fire, I suppose anything is possible. However, it will be a much greater magnitude with the propane flame and gas burning in the background than just a small electric motor that burns itself out. I would think that it's much less likely for that to happen than having the propane and gas right there fueling the fire.

It's easy to make speculative remarks from the computer, but, the only people with "direct knowledge" on this are my RV shop person and me.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have found this problem before it caused any serious incidents.

We have all been over this way too many times, but you constantly whine about your van and have indicated repeatedly you would never do it again. We just don't hear that from most anyone else, as we all can see the benefits greatly outweigh any downsides.



Nobody said you weren't lucky to find it, if it truly was as you portray it, but remember you yourself claim to not have skill and understanding to fix these things, so how are you so unquestionably qualified to evaluate the damage, cause, and potential hazard? I know you will quote "professional opinion" but we also have been down that road.


Nobody is trivializing anything, that I see, but a lot of this does not make sense and giving overall, scare the masses, type warnings seems very overblown. As was mentioned there are millions of propane frigs out there and many of them are Dometic, but we don't hear anything about wholesale fires everywhere.


To tell folks that getting rid of propane makes it less likely to have an electrical fire is pretty odd in my book.


As far as speculative remarks are concerned, read your first post where you asked for opinions or did you do that just to stir things up again?


If you want better opinions, then post some pics when this stuff comes up, so we can see what is going on. I think many members here can pretty easily look at burned wiring and tell if it was damaged by being close to a heat source or from an electrical issue. It would also allow us to see if the wiring was in the original routing as it was from Dometic, as it is very likely a frig with all those issues has been out several times over the years. RV mechanics or DIYers may or may not be adequately careful about getting the wiring back where it belongs.


I think the bottom line for me is the old timer line "If you can't handle the answers, don't ask the questions."
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:08 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
We have all been over this way too many times, but you constantly whine about your van and have indicated repeatedly you would never do it again. We just don't hear that from most anyone else, as we all can see the benefits greatly outweigh any downsides.



Nobody said you weren't lucky to find it, if it truly was as you portray it, but remember you yourself claim to not have skill and understanding to fix these things, so how are you so unquestionably qualified to evaluate the damage, cause, and potential hazard? I know you will quote "professional opinion" but we also have been down that road.


Nobody is trivializing anything, that I see, but a lot of this does not make sense and giving overall, scare the masses, type warnings seems very overblown. As was mentioned there are millions of propane frigs out there and many of them are Dometic, but we don't hear anything about wholesale fires everywhere.


To tell folks that getting rid of propane makes it less likely to have an electrical fire is pretty odd in my book.


As far as speculative remarks are concerned, read your first post where you asked for opinions or did you do that just to stir things up again?


If you want better opinions, then post some pics when this stuff comes up, so we can see what is going on. I think many members here can pretty easily look at burned wiring and tell if it was damaged by being close to a heat source or from an electrical issue. It would also allow us to see if the wiring was in the original routing as it was from Dometic, as it is very likely a frig with all those issues has been out several times over the years. RV mechanics or DIYers may or may not be adequately careful about getting the wiring back where it belongs.


I think the bottom line for me is the old timer line "If you can't handle the answers, don't ask the questions."
I'd just like to say that a lot of people are seriously considering getting rid of the propane refrigerators.

From a pure safety standpoint, you don't have to worry as much in gas stations and other places.

Plus, regardless of the inconsistent performance and elevation issues, these things are a pain.

If you like yours and want to keep it, fine.

I never intended to alarm or scare anyone. They can make up their own minds about the pros and cons of the absorption refrigerators.

I don't have any respect for Dometic and they had no reasonable replacement for my unit.

Instead, I had to do a lot of research on finding a model that would work in my cabinet. Originally, the RV shop said that they didn't know if I'd be able to even find a suitable replacement refrigerator. I researched and found the Nova Kool.

Even Norcold USA didn't have one on their website.
I recently learned that Norcold USA is the parent company of Nova Kool although they run as an independent company in Canada. They got purchased by Norcold USA a few years ago.

Again, I'm not trying to start any arguments with you. We obviously look at things quite differently. Again, I don't work on my coach. I just use it.

By the way, I never said anything about being qualified to evaluate the safety risk of the refrigerator... rather, I'm reporting to you and others about what my RV shop told me and showed me.....

You don't believe what a trusted professional tells you?
It's like questioning what your personal physician or lawyer tells you....That is WHY I hired my RV shop to do it.

I want a single source of responsibility. . they will find and fix this problem......

One more thing, let's just say that they "screwed up" and later my new replacement refrigerator catches fire and is completely destroyed.... and burned up my RV completely for a total loss.

..Who do you think is going to be more credible.... someone who worked on their own coach in a do it yourself environment or a professional contactor with a business that's been around since 1981..... that's 28 years.... I ask that question because the insurance company that would pay the claim on a total loss would probably ask for the documentation on how and when it got replaced.......

I don't know about you, but, I'd rather present them with the documents that a professional shop did the work...

Do you see where I'm going with this???
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:31 AM   #37
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Default my $0.02

Before this gets too vitriolic, I'd like to point out one important issue with absorption refrigerator installations.

They highly depend on a steady flow of cool air to dump heat into.

My first cab-over camper 'fridge worked fine... and then it stopped working after being in storage for a while. Then I found bird's nest built right on top of the coils. I'm sure the bird thought it was the perfect place to build a nest, until it drove off.

Many RV owners encounter poor performance with absorption refrigerators, and modify their installations with a fan kit to move more air past the coils.

Also, parking with the 'fridge vent facing the sun reduces performance.

And parking with the 'fridge into an oncoming wind causes the flame to sputter and burn poorly, reducing performance.

Parking on a slope causes the flame to contact the side of the flue, overheating parts of the flue and reducing its performance.

And then there are the safety issues.

So poor installation, poor ventilation, and too much sun, all can render a perfectly functional design to not perform adequately.

Then, of course, there are plenty of installations that perform very well.

So let's not compare someone's problems to another when they rig is totally different.

It's been said before you say anything bad about someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. Then when you do -- you'll be a mile away.

And you'll have their shoes.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:49 AM   #38
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So a few points:

First, my comments (and others) about performance at altitude were not made to question anyone who has experienced bad performance. But I believe it's important for others to see that poor performance at high altitudes is not a given so that each can take the time and evaluate the performance of their own unit under these conditions and not jump to the conclusion that they should replace their fridge until they've tested it.

Second, the concern about burnt wiring is a valid one. If wiring was burnt because it came into contact with the burner flame, there's a design or installation problem. But if it wasn't burnt because of flame contact the issue that some were trying to raise was that it was important to determine what caused the wires to burn.

Third, no one was questioning the OP's desire to replace the fridge. Many of us stated in replies that it was our intention to go that route when our fridge went. The biggest benefit the OP can bring to all of us is to, in the future, document the modifications that were made and inform on the success of the installation including what tweaks, if any, needed to be made.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:45 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
I'd just like to say that a lot of people are seriously considering getting rid of the propane refrigerators.

From a pure safety standpoint, you don't have to worry as much in gas stations and other places.

Plus, regardless of the inconsistent performance and elevation issues, these things are a pain.

If you like yours and want to keep it, fine.

I never intended to alarm or scare anyone. They can make up their own minds about the pros and cons of the absorption refrigerators.

I think you need to calm down and think back a bit of time.


I have had an compressor frig much longer than most folks and before they showed up all over the new model class B's, approaching a decade. I did put it in myself, several times actually as I learned the ins and outs of making it work right. We on the forum have walked many folks through the procedure quite a few times and helped them troubleshoot DIY, factory, and RV dealer installs.



I was the one that answered most of your questions on how much power they take and if you had enough battery. But now you are telling me I can keep my absorption frig because I don't understand the benefits of a compressor unit? Don't you read what has been posted by all of us, or don't you comprehend it?



I am here to try to help, and I have tried to help you, but you just don't seem to understand that and think anyone without his name on an old workshirt in an RV repair business knows more than those that have been fixing and building stuff like this for decades. Maybe they know more, maybe not, but from the number of "professional installs" of things that wind up here on the forum as "why doesn't this work right", I would say the pros certainly do make mistakes, as do all of us as we learn.


Go back through all the posts on this and other forums related to compressor frig factory (they are pros too) or by RV shops, and you will find lots of problems with them. Mostly venting, some other stuff like not being able to find the ones that had the thermostats wired backwards, or rattling, etc.


A lot of people have tried to help you on this forum, but all you do is turn on them and tell them they are wrong in their opinions and call them inferior to the pros in all respects, and then harp on for days about how evil everyone is.



I have to say it is exhausting. Perhaps you should just go talk to your professional installer about all this and leave us here alone as we are just idiots anyway, right? I am sure he will praise you exuberantly about how you are saving the masses from dying in a propane caused electrical fire.


Moderators, have at it, most all of the pages of this thread should be canned.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:16 PM   #40
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I think you need to calm down and think back a bit of time.


I have had an compressor frig much longer than most folks and before they showed up all over the new model class B's, approaching a decade. I did put it in myself, several times actually as I learned the ins and outs of making it work right. We on the forum have walked many folks through the procedure quite a few times and helped them troubleshoot DIY, factory, and RV dealer installs.



I was the one that answered most of your questions on how much power they take and if you had enough battery. But now you are telling me I can keep my absorption frig because I don't understand the benefits of a compressor unit? Don't you read what has been posted by all of us, or don't you comprehend it?



I am here to try to help, and I have tried to help you, but you just don't seem to understand that and think anyone without his name on an old workshirt in an RV repair business knows more than those that have been fixing and building stuff like this for decades. Maybe they know more, maybe not, but from the number of "professional installs" of things that wind up here on the forum as "why doesn't this work right", I would say the pros certainly do make mistakes, as do all of us as we learn.


Go back through all the posts on this and other forums related to compressor frig factory (they are pros too) or by RV shops, and you will find lots of problems with them. Mostly venting, some other stuff like not being able to find the ones that had the thermostats wired backwards, or rattling, etc.


A lot of people have tried to help you on this forum, but all you do is turn on them and tell them they are wrong in their opinions and call them inferior to the pros in all respects, and then harp on for days about how evil everyone is.



I have to say it is exhausting. Perhaps you should just go talk to your professional installer about all this and leave us here alone as we are just idiots anyway, right? I am sure he will praise you exuberantly about how you are saving the masses from dying in a propane caused electrical fire.


Moderators, have at it, most all of the pages of this thread should be canned.
Listen, I didn't mean to be antagonistic about this and if you are happy with the your current refrigerator please continue to use it.

As I previously stated, we would frequent mountain locales and at least my experience is that the propane refrigerator system did not work above a certain altitude. It caused a lot of problems for us, our food was spoiling and we were scrambling to get all of this under control. I don't need this kind of vacation.

Yes, I know that many people said that they had a propane refrigerator and it worked at 10,000 feet. I personally called a number of companies, Dometic and Norcold... they said 5,500 feet was the maximum limit.... after that no guarantees period.

Listen, as I have said before, I enjoy using the RV when it's completely operational.
I don't work on my RV, cars or other mechanical devices. Obviously, a lot of people on this forum do and I greatly respect your skills.

My RV technician is not some "old guy" whose been around forever...he's a very tech savvy individual who is very trained in modern RV systems.

I am grateful that you did let me know about the Victron 712 Smart battery monitoring system. I am having one of those shunt based systems installed. It will pair via Bluetooth to my cellphone, so, thank you for this.


It was a great suggestion and I'm doing it.

Let me say that I know what my limitations are and that's WHY I actually do listen to a number of people .... you included....

It was how I discovered the Nova Kool refrigerator. Yes, I feel more comfortable with the professional install... I couldn't do it myself.

I had a terrible experience with a neighbor who purported to be handy enough to fix something on my RV when I first got it. He caused more damage and I had to take it to my RV shop for remedial repairs... and he claimed to be working as a RV mechanic!

I'm lucky to have found a really good shop that is family owned, in business since 1981, have met the owners, and have a good business relationship with them....it's hard to find people like that..... and when you do, you don't want to go anywhere else.....

I would definitely be screwing things up if I worked on it myself.....

Enjoy the rest of the week....
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