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Old 07-02-2017, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default Fridge Swap - Residential Minifridge????Anyone?

So I have a 1997 Pleasure Way and I want to get a newer fridge. My rig has the original Dometic RM2310 3 way fridge and it's difficult to find replacement parts, and probably doesn't function all that well (haven't used it yet). I do know the AC heating element doesn't get power (it's good though...I took it out and had it tested), so i need to solve that mystery.

I am wondering if anyone has just swapped theirs out and added a nice little minifridge? The Dometic Replacement is $1,000; however, I can pick upa residential unit at Lowes for $70.

I would never run my fridge on 12V and likely won't run it on LP Gas since I am usually plugged in.

I also like that I don't have to be so "perfect" when leveling the rig.

Have any of you done this? Any thoughts on this?

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 07-02-2017, 06:27 PM   #2
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So I have a 1997 Pleasure Way and I want to get a newer fridge. My rig has the original Dometic RM2310 3 way fridge and it's difficult to find replacement parts, and probably doesn't function all that well (haven't used it yet). I do know the AC heating element doesn't get power (it's good though...I took it out and had it tested), so i need to solve that mystery.

I am wondering if anyone has just swapped theirs out and added a nice little minifridge? The Dometic Replacement is $1,000; however, I can pick upa residential unit at Lowes for $70.

I would never run my fridge on 12V and likely won't run it on LP Gas since I am usually plugged in.

I also like that I don't have to be so "perfect" when leveling the rig.

Have any of you done this? Any thoughts on this?

Thanks,
Mark
Quite a few have done it, especially on the Yahoo Roadtrek forum.

Downsides are that they take considerably more power than a 12v marine frig, which isn't an issue when plugged in, but you would have to cover that with inverter based power while driving, probably with the engine alternator supplying the inverter so you don't kill the battery.

Another downside is possible early failures because they aren't designed to be bouncing down the road all the time, but they are so cheap that is more of an inconvenience than cost.

You should check to make sure the ventilation for the condenser coils and compressor looks like it will flow to them well. You might need to add some baffles to direct airflow.
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:33 PM   #3
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Best low cost solution, go for it. Just keep frozen water bottles in the freezer, move to the fridge when traveling. The 3-ways are obsolete compared to the new 12v compressor fridges and not worth the money.
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:37 PM   #4
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Ok figured it out. My Thermostat is bad. What do you guys think? Replace the thermostat on my 20 year old fridge or just switch to residential and run off 110AC only?

GO!
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:56 PM   #5
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Ok figured it out. My Thermostat is bad. What do you guys think? Replace the thermostat on my 20 year old fridge or just switch to residential and run off 110AC only?

GO!
The coach is 20 years old. IMO, the best thing to do is replace the thermostat and drive on.
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:58 PM   #6
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Bypass the thermostat,(wire always on) and test it, see how long it takes to get under 40f. If it works, keep it, the cheapest and easiest solution.
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Old 07-02-2017, 08:07 PM   #7
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Bypass the thermostat,(wire always on) and test it, see how long it takes to get under 40f. If it works, keep it, the cheapest and easiest solution.
Do these vintage reefers use a NTC thermistor or a bi-metallic device?
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Old 07-02-2017, 08:30 PM   #8
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Dometic Thermostat dual AC & LP Gas - RV Cooling Unit Warehouse
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:54 PM   #9
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I'd probably go for something more higher end than a dorm fridge. Something like a NovaKool brand, which can handle AC and DC, so they can run from the battery directly, as well as from 120 VAC when the rig is plugged in. Amp draw is definitely an issue, so I'd look at at least 200 watts of solar and a MPPT controller to counteract it.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:01 PM   #10
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Conventional wisdom says that residential fridges tend to not hold up, since they are not designed for vehicular use. I have no data.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:01 PM   #11
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Conventional wisdom says that residential fridges tend to not hold up, since they are not designed for vehicular use. I have no data.
I agree... but in my second van I put one of those small dorm room fridges working off a deep cycle battery and inverter and it worked great for weekend use.

The biggest downside was the dinging of the electrical motor and pump inside the casing since all the insides are held up on springs. But since all that stuff is steel, no real damage occured to my knowledge. I even ended up taking that fridge and putting it in the third van since it worked so well! I sold it before any signs it was wearing out.

Considering it's price, it can almost be considered disposable every 3-4 years...


Random compressor picture

Would I trust it for full-time RVing? No.
Long 3-4 week vacations... Maybe.
Weekend outings... Sure!

That's just my opinion.

In your situation, I would just replace the thermostat... But really, at this point you have all the possible solutions, it just depends on how you use your RV.
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