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Old 05-25-2020, 07:50 AM   #1
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Dometic refrig cooling units - best quality????

I'm 95% sure I'll be ordering a new cooling unit for my 2006 T-1950 this week. Has anyone done an evaluation of the different manufacturers out there?!?!? I see several manufacturers/remanufacturers. I'd probably go new aftermarket rather than remanufactured (I don't see new OEM as an option).

For those that are going to ask . Unit isn't cooling (or maybe cools a bit only when first started, but nothing when up to temp on the heating side). I have no chromate visible (poked around in boiler tube a bit) or ammonia smell, but it is making a popping noise at a regular interval several times a minute. I had it on 120V yesterday for several hours and nothing (absorber nice and warm/hot), I now have it on propane (had to shore up the gas lines to test propane, since I have them apart for other projects ). Have bypassed thermistor on 120V yesterday and will run 120V element bypassing lower board later today as a test.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:55 AM   #2
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I've got a new amish built (AKA pines and JC) cooling unit on the way.

I ran the fridge yesterday for a half day on propane and the freezer got down to mid 40s and then I hot wired it (bypassed the board) on 120V and it would only get to 50 after 8 hours. Either a leak or clog, unit is making a lot of noise. New adventure, I'll take pics (I have a lot of pics to share from my frame work too).
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:18 AM   #3
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Years ago I had that happen to me. An old guy told me to take it out and burp it. Haha. I took it out and set it on it's side then top then other side. Reinstalled it. It worked for several years then I sold trailer. Don't know how much longer it lasted.
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:23 AM   #4
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I thought about that, but I hate to try it and have it come back when we are on a long remote trip (going to AK if they open the border).

I have no evidence of a leak, but it could be a small leak in the boiler under the insulation. They say when you can hear them making noise, it is because of a small leak, loosing pressure, but I can see how a clog could make some noise too.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:20 AM   #5
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It seem to happen after sitting long periods of time. In your case it sounds like it's not parked for long periods. JohnB installed a unit in Vanhake sunline last year. I do know that one won't fit through door.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:59 AM   #6
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I'm expecting that I'll be doing the work inside the sinline, Which will be tight given that it is a T-1950.
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:04 AM   #7
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Hi Tod,

I bought a new replacement cooling unit and installed it last year on a friends camper. (2007 T286SR) Bought the new unit from here http://rvcool.com/

They have very good quality from what I can see. I also bought a new electric element to go with it. Did not want to take a chance on the old one being out of spec and creating issues with the new coil for such a low added cost compared to the cooling unit.

I see you ordered one from someone already, OK good. I agree, I really would not want a rebuilt unit if I plan to keep the camper a long time. I'm, assuming you have the RM2652?

I have a bunch of pics of the change out process if needed. This video from RVcool tells almost all on how to do this. See the RM2652 Installation Instructions

The only thing the video did not mention much is how the burner bracket goes on. The "right" way it flops on and all lines up. Duh! The "wrong" way, it looks like is supposed to go that way, but then looks like they have the holes in the wrong place. Called them up, and he says he gets call all the time on folks putting the burner on wrong and the holes won't line up... Take real good pics of yours exactly how the burner bracket comes off so you put it back on the exact same way. It will "almost" fit both ways.

I was able to get it out the door and did it in the shop floor. Yours being a newer Sunline, I would think it has the wider door, but maybe not.

Good luck, take pics and let us know how it goes.

John
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:54 PM   #8
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Thanks John, good info on RVCOOL, it seems like the Amish units and their units are about the same quality, what ultimately got me to choose Amish is that the owner of RVCOOL is reputed to be tough to deal with if there are problems. I have viewed his video though and it is really well done and really demystified the process.

That would be great to be able to get the fridge out of the camper and into the shop, if for no other reason than to not spread fiberglass around the camper (but the quieter AC in the shop and elbow room would be nice too).

It is an RM2652. I'll keep my eye on the burner bracket. I've started taking pics already. I was planning on a new element.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:24 AM   #9
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Hi Tod,

I did read about RVcool having some issues on support, may have been the same online stuff you find. But I found that not to be the case in my encounter. I was after quality and cost was not the main driver, although their cost is in line with the industry and I wanted a new coil, not a rebuilt one.

When I had issues on the bruner bracket I called them can made it to the owner. I explained my issues and assumed the cooling unit was made wrong and tachfully tried to explain how I could fix it but wanted to check first. In this case, I had it goofed and when I followed his instructions on how to do it right, it fell right in place.

I sense they are a semi small place, not sure how many employees, maybe 5 to 10 but they make good products. The quality of the build was better then the Dometic of years ago from what I could see. And the video did everything right expect the burner bracket, which is did not detail any on.

I thanked him and complimented him on the quality and the service as they did ship/pack it well and had a good core return policy. He really appreciated it as I could sense by his reactions on the phone, he has many calls with folks griping about something not right. His business is setup to sell and deal with the open public on a semi complex appliance. Everyone's I'm sure approaches how to do one of these rebuilds somewhat different and from different backgrounds and level of mechanical aptitude. Doing a fridge cooling coil replacement is not rocket science, but is may be further then some folks should attempt.

It all starts with who is doing the work, their background and level of patients in understanding. And the company selling it and what they will stand behind. And who is to say the original fridge did not have a level of out of tolerance in the making and they adjusted/fudged it to make it work at the factory. I was shocked they welded up the new coil and the mounting holes in the freezer compartment and the fridge fins lined up dead on. That takes a good jig and skill to weld that up and have it come out dead on.

And then there are personalities which differ. Each party needs to enter the conversation with tach, listen and not assume something is messed up.

Hope your install and coil comes out well. And want to hear it so we can know of a few good options for cooling coils. Anyone with a Sunline, the camper is old enough that someday they may have to deal with a fridge cooling coil and having a pool of good suppliers is a need.
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:50 PM   #10
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Good info, thanks. Did you get any info that suggested there is a quality issue with the Amish units? I’m Somewhat vested in them now, but I really have no concern other than I’m interested to see if you saw anything about the Amish units to cause a concern. I
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:17 PM   #11
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I myself have not seen the Amish units. I do not have anything negative to say about them. When I was researching, the RVCool unit came out better in my view. I had no prior knowledge of seeing them beforehand, so there was some level of risk. In my case, it worked out well.

Hoping yours will come out good too. When you get it, we can compare pics and see if we can spot any large or small differences that can be seen from the outside.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:20 AM   #12
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thanks John, I saw one comment of someone with an Amish unit that didn't work, but I don't know if it was new or remanufactured (both Amish and rvcool do both). Since we have quite a bit of info here I'll add some more.

Amish = Pines = JC refrigeration (different divisions of same company). JC refrigeration sells direct, their major retailer is: https://rvcoolingunit.com/ and sell on ebay (good prices, ship direct from factory).

New units from rvcool and amish are about $700, as far as I can tell they are the only ones making new, but both also re manufacture units. There are several other places that re manufacture units, price is about $500 once the core is returned.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:47 AM   #13
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Thanks for the JC refrigeration explanation, that explains a lot. I saw the rvcoolingunit site when I was looking. I did not figure out the connection.
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Old 05-30-2020, 12:26 PM   #14
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Unit is here, but I’m not going to even open the box to look at it today. Too nice a day to think about it.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:02 PM   #15
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I had to replace my cooling unit because the mine didn't work. you could smell the ammonia bad in the freezer. I was going to just remove the unit until I found it wouldn't fit out the door so I rebuilt it. The new unit was from RVcooling unit.com, came with everything I needed and works great. Boxed up the core, sent it back and got the refund on that is short order. the worst part was working in the close quarters of my little camper.
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