About refrigerators ???

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by SAM 23, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. SAM 23

    SAM 23 New Member

    I have a question ........my fridge died in my R.V. and the replacement was $1,500 . Since we only use our R.V. for a couple of months during the year and then only at campgrounds where we have full hook-ups , I bought an electric only fridge for $ 160 and installed it myself . Do you think I will experience problems ?? Are the R.V. fridges built to withstand the bumping and grinding better than a regular fridge ??? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated ........Happy Travelling . :)
     
  2. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Re: About refrigerators ???

    I know several people who did what you did. Not good for resale, as folks want RV fridge, not Lowe's, but if it works for you and your happy about saving money, why not.
     
  3. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: About refrigerators ???

    You could have problems down the road from the shaking of the refer but at that cost, you could also replace it more than once. Since most refrigerators do get shipped with packing to keep the compressor from moving which is removed for sale, that is a very real possibility. I'm not sure how one could predict that happening as it would depend to a large degree on the roads you travel over and how much travel you do. The main down side is that if you ever trade or sell the RV it will mean a major decrease in the value, much more so than the cost of the refrigerator.

    One thing, a house refrigerator that sells for $160 can't possibly be as large as an RV one that costs $1500, or else someone give you an extremely high price for your replacement. To pay $1500 should get you one of the double door, larger RV refrigerators!
     
  4. SAM 23

    SAM 23 New Member

    Re: About refrigerators ???

    Thanx for your comments folks , I appreciate your input.
    Kirk .....your comments about size etc. , I got the electric only fridge at our local Walmart on sale . It has a small freezer for our steaks and shrimp and lots of room for our beer etc. It isn't quite as tall as our old one so I made a small shelf over it for storage ....mind you I did leave the recommended breathing space .
    The $ 1500 replacement cost was given to me by 3 different recommended dealers in Florida ( U.S. money) but did include removal of the old and installing the new . For the cost difference , the amount of time we camp and the age of our rig we are willing to give the electric only a try for now. HAPPY CAMPING !! :cool:
     
  5. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: About refrigerators ???

    $1500 sounds about right. The cost for a replacement fridge for my old Dometic (model RM 2807) is about $1100/$1200 not including installation. :( sure hope it keeps running. :laugh:
     
  6. rjf7g

    rjf7g Senior Member

    Re: About refrigerators ???

    I just paid $1,400 to have my old RV fridge removed, some wood re-worked underneath where the old fridge had leaked, and the new one installed...this is all for my 1992 Fleetwood Tioga. My 2007 Gulfstream Innsbruck 36FRS has a residential fridge, but it is a park trailer and stays put right where GTS put it in March.
     
  7. firestormpro

    firestormpro New Member

    RE: About refrigerators ???

    Hi
    First off you have devalued your RV by installing the cheap fridge. However if you are not going to Dry Camp or spend a lot of time on the road you will be ok. Many of the new High end units come with household refridgerators any how chk out the big deisel pushers but none of those people camp they RV which is a whole differant world, they back into paved or concrete pads and plug in. You will shake the compressor out of the house hold fridge on rough roads also pay attention to the air flow thru the condenser coils on the reefer as you may have to alter the venting that your RV fridge used. One other thing to consider is what keeps the food cold while you travel and how are you gonna keep the doors closed when on the road ? If you are goning to park in the same spot most of the time you should get years of use out of the household reefer but when you sell your camper you will lose more than you saved. Also who determined that your old reefer was junk was a cooling unit preformance test done I personally have 2 used RV reefers both diagnosed as junk both work fine and also there are very few RV fridges that can't be fixed often it is easier and more profitable to tell the costomer he needs a new fridge than to fix his old one. I am a RVIA Certified Master Tech I have worked for several major RV dealerships around the country and it is not that anyone is trying to cheat you but quite honestly many tech's have no idea how to fix what they are working on we live in a lowest bidder world and true mechanics have been replaced by fast part changers. So if the tech who looks at your product can't figure out how to fix it he tells the service writer it can't be fixed and gives a replacement est then the service writer hands the est to the customer and they agree or not on the final price very seldom is there any second opinions involved. Don't get me wrong for the most part this is not a bad setup because at current labor rates you may be better off this way consider this that a cooling unit diagnosis takes nearly a hour replacemnet takes about 3 hours and cost is about 800.00 so at 100.00 per hour you now have 1200.00 plus tax and shop supplies into a old fridge that could have been replaced for about 1600.00 and would be new with a full warranty and added value to the RV.
    Back to the subject if the household fridge works ok for you great but you may want to shop around for a correct fridge when you get ready to trade or sell your camper as you will lose a ton of value cause the next guy may want to dry camp. There are lots of used fridges out there I have 2, several RV scrapyards have hundreds to choose from and a 500.00 to 800.00 used frige will add nearly every peeny of value to your unit at resale cause any RV dealer in the world is gonna knock of the price of a new one from your trade in value and they are gonna take it off the real trade value not the number they show you. Anyhow good luck.
    Jim
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    RE: About refrigerators ???

    I have found IMO that most of the frigs we work on have either a bad board (which is most likly the prob) or they have a bad heating unit be it either 12volt or 120volt ,, my guys which do most of thier work onsight have found 8 outta ten units have bad boards or bad elements,,, just one thing to rember is that u'r Rv fridge uses amonia to cool it ,, i know it sounds funny but it takes heat to cool u'r unit,,, i would take a look at u'r fridge on the outside where u'r service door is ,,, there is a little black plastic box there ,, take off the cover of the box and look at the board inside ,, look realy close for any blistering of the board around 120 volt element connection (it will be labeled)..
    I have seen fridges replaced due to this ,, infact we have prob 4 at the shop right now taht were replaced due to this problem,, we bought them at auction and replaced the board and elements and they work great,,, gonna resell if ever need a replacement ,, and as far as labor ,, we only charge a $75.00 call fee and 1/2 hour daignostic time ,, but if we fix u'r unit what evr it maybe then we wave the diag, fee ,,, i like to think of it as customer gradification and it has got me alot of buss (phone rings all the time) but agian this is just MO :)
    But since u have already rplaced u'r unit with a home style fridge then ,, i hope u get the most outta it ,, if it keeps stuff cool then everyone is happy,, so IMO go for it it's u'r rig and u can do as u like ;)
     
  9. s.harrington

    s.harrington Senior Member

    Re: About refrigerators ???

    Replacement cost on a RM2652/2620 is $1270 plus shipping. RM2852/2820 is $1419 plus shipping. These are retail prices. Camping world can sell for less. So can I. Installation is any where from .5 to 1.5 hours depending on how much cutting or filling needs to be done.
     
  10. SAM 23

    SAM 23 New Member

    RE: About refrigerators ???

    WOW .........thanx a lot for the input folks , I really apppreciate it . It's too bad I hadn't met up with some of you when I had my problem. I don't think the problem was in the "board" but rather the compressor , the smell of ammonia was overwhelming . My 5th. wheel is a 1990 , 25' Shadow Cruiser which I have kept in immaculate condition (for it's age) . It's next home will probably be at a generator powered hunting camp somewhere or at a permanent campground site . We have certainly got our moneys worth out of it and have had a lot of fun doing it . I do have one more question though ....if you will allow me ....Do you really think I will have a problem with the compressor shaking around ??? We live in Canada and travel as far south as Florida in the Winter . Would it help if I put some packing around the compressor before travelling ??? As far as our fridge opening up during travel ....I made up a form of lock (cheaply) and as far as keeping our stuff cold during our travels ......we don't load our fridge until we get to our destination (customs you know) and then we only travel relatively short distances between campgrounds ........a cold beer still welcomes us at our new campground when we get there . Hope to meet up with some of you on the road , it's too bad but it's sometimes tough these days to meet good folks !!! :) :)
     
  11. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: About refrigerators ???

    SAM
    First of all, an RV refrigerator has no compressor but you are right in your thinking as the ammonia is the refrigerant that is used in an absorption refrigerator. They work by boiling a mix of ammonia and distilled water, along with some anti corrosive agents. That makes a hot liquid which then is allowed to change into a gas inside of the box and that action will absorb additional heat. That heat is then dissipated when the gas in cooled in a condenser which is located in the air flow through the refrigerator and the cooled liquid the returns to the boiler where the process begins again. The odor of ammonia is good indication that the cooling system is leaking and that can be replaced but it costs about 2/3 of what a replacement refrigerator would cost and you still have the old refrigerator. Let me assure you that the suggested replacing of the circuit board would only have cost you money and it would not have solved the problem. Sadly, there are many people working as RV techs who do not understand basic electricity or the principles that RV appliances operate on. Far too many of them just replace one part after another in the hope that something will make it start to work. That is one of the reasons that this former service tech. from another industry has learned to do most of my own work and I also have service manuals for any appliance that I can find one for.

    I really doubt that you will have problems with the compressor on the new unit as long as you do most or all of your travel on good roads. Most major highways today are not so rough that your compressor should do OK at least for a time. If I were to guess, I would think that yours will last at least for several years, assuming that you travel mostly on good roads. But it is just a guess and I doubt that anyone could do a lot more. I have moved a refrigerator more than once, but never several times per year so.............? As to travel with no electricity, just freeze a few jugs of water when you have power and place those inside of the cool-box and that should be just fine for a day of travel, especially if you do not open the door until you arrive. Just like the old ice chest type of cooler that we have all used in the past.
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: About refrigerators ???

    As far as the board goes ,, it's like i said before this is usally the prob or the element ,, but u kinda never said there was an amonia smell ,,, if there was one my guys would have never replaced anything that was not needed do to the fact that there was a smell ,, they would have then told u that the fridge needs replacing and then shot u one heck of a deal on a new unit installed and everything,,, i think of my service as i would my own unit i don't want to pay for somthing that is not needed and i have found that alot of my customers feel the same way,, they call someone else out for their prob,, but when the feel uncomfortable they then wait for my guy's to come ck on it ,, and being with the BBB here in TN we have not have a complaint against us in 18 years all have been positive also we are one of the only AAA repair facilities in Blount county ,, and it's not easy to meet AAA requirements,,,
    As for my techs if they have a prob ,, they call me out and i'll do the work myself ,,, we do not screw any customer at all the thing that got our bussiness is going beyond other services and charging less ,,, but we stand behind what we do ,,, i can't tell u how many times i have seen the look on customer's faces when one of my tech tell them NO CHARGE ,, call us agian when u need us,, In this day and age all people think about is money ,, but i base my buss.. on customer satisfaction and it has built me one helluva buss...
     

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