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Old 06-17-2016, 06:30 PM   #1
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Default Dometic 3-Way Electronic Fridge Impressions?

Hello All!

My 99 Xplorer has a working 3-way Dometic RM2310. I hate the controls on the floor, and am considering an upgrade. There have been two more generations of the 3.8(?) cubic foot 3-way fridge produced since mine. The RM2350 is manual, with controls on the top of the fridge, but is no longer produced. The RM2354 is electronically controlled at the top panel, but is available only in black now, which I'm not crazy about.

What are people's experiences with the RM2354 electronic model? Do you like it? Is it reliable? Should I upgrade?

Thanks for your opinions.

Gerard
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:50 PM   #2
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Sure. The 2354 works fine. I gave it an idependent path to 12 volt power so that everything else could be off and it still run. I put a fan on the back which I seldom use.

The major problem I have had with it: When you load the door it will droop enough that the door latch will release in a left hand turn. A work around is to wedge a cushion against the door when traveling. I have installed an aftermarket latch for the coming season and will let you know if it works. We don't start traveling till September. Never had that problem with the 2310.
Harry 2003 C190P Roadtrek
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:47 PM   #3
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Sure. The 2354 works fine. I gave it an idependent path to 12 volt power so that everything else could be off and it still run. I put a fan on the back which I seldom use.

The major problem I have had with it: When you load the door it will droop enough that the door latch will release in a left hand turn. A work around is to wedge a cushion against the door when traveling. I have installed an aftermarket latch for the coming season and will let you know if it works. We don't start traveling till September. Never had that problem with the 2310.
Harry 2003 C190P Roadtrek
Does this automatic model restart the propane flame if it goes out? Ours has gone out several times during use, and if you don't know it and restart it manually, no more cooling!

The latch problem sounds like something fixable...maybe a minor problem?

Thanks,

Gerard
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:29 AM   #4
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Never had a problem with the flame going out but it does retry before turning the check light on. I suggest the following temperture sensor and have it in sight when driving.

https://www.amazon.com/AcuRite-Refri.../dp/B004QJVU78

The best thing I have done is put a 30 amp relay in line with the DC heater controlled by the alternator output. (Center tap on isolator) When the engine turns off, the DC heater is off. This means you don't have to do anything when you pull up to the gas pumps or stop off level for a short period of time.

The door thing is not minor when the refrigerator unloads on the floor in the middle of a city. The solutions are not difficult from keeping weight off the door, jamming the door closed with cushions or adding another latch. Maybe new models are fixed.
Harry
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:09 AM   #5
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I also have the same fridge. On this last trip, we noticed it didn't seem to be closing all the way. We used a piece of paper in the latch to make it close more completely. We are considering getting a new gasket, which (cheapest) would cost $117 + $90 installation, or a new door $220, + $45 installation. Other option is to keep using the paper.
Or I could buy a new fridge because I hate the controls on the floor also. You have to stand on your head to see if the flame is still on.
This is the original fridge in a 1997 RV. Would it be better to buy a whole new fridge, try to get a new gasket, or stay with the paper? Opinions?
Oh, and I found you can also replace this one with a RM2351 as well as the RM 2354.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:23 AM   #6
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I also have the same fridge. On this last trip, we noticed it didn't seem to be closing all the way. We used a piece of paper in the latch to make it close more completely. We are considering getting a new gasket, which (cheapest) would cost $117 + $90 installation, or a new door $220, + $45 installation. Other option is to keep using the paper.
Or I could buy a new fridge because I hate the controls on the floor also. You have to stand on your head to see if the flame is still on.
This is the original fridge in a 1997 RV. Would it be better to buy a whole new fridge, try to get a new gasket, or stay with the paper? Opinions?
Oh, and I found you can also replace this one with a RM2351 as well as the RM 2354.
The old RM2310 has a small rotating plastic catch, with two settings. Is yours still intact? Maybe the tight portion has broken?

Here is a link to the catch on ebay. I've been looking for one for a long time...Dometic doesn't make it any more, so it looks like this guy started making them himself.

If the link doesn't come through, search for RM2310 Latch.

Gerard

Dometic Refrigerator Travel Latch RM2301 RM2401 RM2310 | eBay
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:29 AM   #7
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Just an opinion but an RV needs a 3-way fridge. I, too, traveled many a mile with propane on and a flame burning. I got away with it but won't do it anymore. The hassle of turning off the flame before pulling up to the pumps is solved by putting it in DC mode while moving with a relay in the DC element circuit. The fridge remains on and starts cooling again when the engine starts.

I know people that do not turn off a propane fridge when they pull up to the pumps. I try to keep my distance from any RV at the pumps. Once, failing to turn mine off a stream of fuel flowed underneath my RV from a spill. I turned it off ASAP and never did it again.

Replace your 2310 with a 3-way fridge.
Harry
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:37 AM   #8
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I actually have a 3-way fridge now. I have been leaving it in propane, but find the flame goes out not infrequently. So I can use propane, electric (which I think is the house battery?) or 120? Is that right? And I should use the 120 because it will be charged as I drive? Have I got all this correct?
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Old 06-18-2016, 06:14 AM   #9
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Nope, you should use the DC setting while driving because the battery is being charged by the alternator. When the alternator is off the fridge should be turned off of DC which is the purpose of the relay.

Should you not have the knowledge to install the relay then when the engine is off you need to turn the fridge off at the fuel pumps.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:24 PM   #10
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If you have an electrical system to support it, seriously consider upgrading to a DC compressor fridge. My old rig had an absorption fridge, and although it worked well for what it was, I have NEVER regretted my decision to go with a compressor fridge this time around. The experience is just so much better in every way. I would never go back. All the issues discussed here just go away, as well as several others (such as leveling requirements). The power issue is real, but only if you dry camp.

If you do stay with a 3-way and have problems with running at 12VDC, one option is to run at 120VAC while driving, running through an inverter. Less efficient, but it doesn't really matter when powered from your alternator, and it addresses most of these issues.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:45 PM   #11
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Thanks to both of you for the education. I do dry camp quite a bit, but will look into a compressor fridge to learn more about them.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:54 PM   #12
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................................................. The best thing I have done is put a 30 amp relay in line with the DC heater controlled by the alternator output. (Center tap on isolator) When the engine turns off, the DC heater is off. This means you don't have to do anything when you pull up to the gas pumps or stop off level for a short period of time..................
That sounds like an ideal solution
I run the fridge off the inverter while driving. The inverter switch is within easy reach of the driver.

The nice thing about the older fridges is that they don't need any external power to run. The 12V wire on mine has never been connected.

Mine has the controls at floor level also
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:28 PM   #13
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one option is to run at 120VAC while driving, running through an inverter. Less efficient, but it doesn't really matter when powered from your alternator
just a comment that loading the alternator will have an effect on the MPG- motor power is used to turn the alternator so it does "matter" but the degree of concern is with the owner.
mpg, heat, hills etc.

2.) fire bad- esp for models with galley and fuel fill on the same side



have posted on strategy for better cooling incl external fans to move air past the fins, internal fan to move cool air around the food. and rotating blue paks from the freezer section to fridge to help keep cool esp when on 12 VDC ( driving). seals and insulation need to be checked.
pdf of fridge manual is available free and has basic checks


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Old 06-21-2016, 04:23 PM   #14
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Direct DC would have slightly less load on the alternator than inverter AC. Maybe 60 watts or so?

I use the load from powering the fridge to reduce the voltage the batteries see on long drives. I don't like to see them subjected to 14v+ all day especially if I start the day with batteries that are already fully charged.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:35 PM   #15
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You guys quickly got out of my comprehension range, but I'll use this as an opportunity to learn more about electricity.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:45 PM   #16
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I use the load from powering the fridge to reduce the voltage the batteries see on long drives....
the regulator should be putting out 14.8 volts DC...if the state of your electrical system is at 14.8 ( or so) then the regulator will keep it at that state.

if the load increases, then more power ( current, not volts) will be allowed to keep the state steady....you can load down the electrical system to lower the voltage ( at least on the circuit to which your meter is attached), but the charging system will respond to the imbalance and the alternator will drag on your motor

if you are worried about overcharging your batteries, use a disconnect switch- but 14.8 is the correct spec for vehicles on a 12 volt system.
at least most of our batteries are located away from the heat of the motor.


if you see voltages above 14.8, your regulator is suspect and should be checked.

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Old 06-21-2016, 11:49 PM   #17
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Is that the voltage you see on yours?
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:09 AM   #18
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I think the voltage you get all depends on the brand of alternator and the regulator they put in it, or programmed into ECM. Our 07 Chevy with the OEM Delco alternator would run at 14.4/14.5 volts once warm and batteries near full. Cold start it would be 14.8/14.9 volts. Super hot, it might go to 14.2 volts. My old Buick from 1996 runs closer to 14.1/14.3 volts, but I don't know if it is the original alternator.

The DC Power high output alternator was putting out 15ish volts cold and 14.7/14.8 hot, but I finally got them to send me a lower voltage regulator for it so now it is more in the 14.4 volt range, as that is what they promised when I ordered it. It is also a Denso style alternator and regulator, so it acts a lot like a smart regulator would. It periodically samples the actual output, and if the current is fairly low, it will lower the voltage from full charge voltage, and I have seen it under 14 volts fairly often. You can actually see on the volt and ammeter when it is checking the status, and will often visibly change the voltage and amps when it is done. Kind of fun to watch.

I much prefer to have the voltage in the low 14's than anywhere above 14.5 volts, as it is totally unnecessary in our vans because we drive them for long periods compared to commuter cars, and high voltage is not good for batteries once full. The short drive, cold start, vehicles need to get hit hard with voltage to get enough power stored in the battery for the next start. In a class B, almost everyone will be driving way longer than it will take to recover the starting battery.

We do have a cutoff switch to take the coach batteries offline, but the starting battery sees the voltage for many hours on many days.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:23 AM   #19
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.......................... I much prefer to have the voltage in the low 14's than anywhere above 14.5 volts, ...............
Same here. I also have a switch that will take the Aopec smart relay offline reverting back to the isolator I left in place. I've never used the switch as running the fridge is usually enough to bring the voltage down. That and heat as mentioned. I'll see 14.7v with a cold alternator but only briefly.
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