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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Cooling Pack Replacement, Interior Fan and Pics!

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bbnate804

Delaware

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Posted: 03/10/07 03:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After doing some looking here and talking to a few people i went ahead and spent the money to replace the cooling pack in my 89 Hideaway. I wasn't able to find a ton of information on the matter so I'm gonna go ahead and do my best to show the process. I'm sure every camper and fridge is differet but this is what it took for me to get the job done.

Tools
Surprisingly to me, basic hand tools were all it took to do all the work. Screwdrivers, pliers, cutters, wire strippers, and a wrench. I did use a drill and a saw for some wood working having to do with fitting the fridge back in easily and mounting a couple switches.

Supplies
A tip from a member here, and a phone call to RVcool and 3 days later I had a replacement cooling pack for my Dometic 2401. RVcool also sent some of that thermastic caulk needed for the install. A trip into twon for foil tape, a tube of silcone caulking, and a pair of switches. Stopped by the local computer shop and found a couple of 80mmx80mm pancake fans with blue LED's for inside on the cooling fins. 2 for $9, and the fans are rated at .14A per fan.

The Tear Down
Started out disconnecting all the power on the camper 12v and 120. Double checked to make sure both propane bottles are turned off and went back in to burn off any excess gas at the stove top. Back outside again 3 power sources to disconnect, 120(grey plug at right), 12v(under the white plastic casing), and disconnect the propane line. Make sure to tape off the propane line to keep anything from getting in the line.
[image]
[image]

With that taken care of back inside it was time to start. First order was getting the door off. I never realized the upper pin would just thread out(green arrow), so instead I ended up taking the whole bracket off. The door came off none the less but I left myself with more work come time to put the door back on and get it aligned properly. Lesson learned, just unthread the pin [emoticon]
[image]

Now that the door is off you can easily get to all the mounting screws in the face of the fridge.
[image]

From here it was just a matter of muscle and finesse. The hole for the fridge is very tight so there's hardly any room for wiggling around. If you've got somebody who can help, its a big help to have somebody outside watching to make sure nothing is hanging up. The fridge itself isn't extremely heavy but its an akward load. Not a lot of room to dance around inside a TC. Ahead of time I'd pulled the table and cushions from the dinnette so I could set the fridge down. I didn't take any pictures of this part but the fridge would not fit through the door with the front metal trim/face on. Removing the face was just a matter of 6 screws and pulling it off.

With the fridge in the garage it was easy to see why it had quit working. Rust had eaten up a good portion of the cooling pack. Three screws and some tape are all that hold the cooling pack to the fridge(red circles). A small screw holds wire to the cooling pack and has to be removed. Unhinge the sheet metal/insulation from the chimney stack(green circle) and pull the heating elements from their tubes on the chimney. At the bottom of the chimney inside the box where the propane burner is, there's a sheet metal "key". All it is is a piece of sheet metal with a round hole and a couple slots. On the end of the tube are a couple of small ears that the key slides over to hold the burner box up to the chimney tube.
[image]

Remove the 2 screws holing the thermostat wire to the cooling fins. Then remove the 6 screws holding the fins to the cooling pack. Pull the 2 screws at the back of the freezer box and your ready to pull the pack off the fridge. I circled the 12v and 120 heating elements that have to be pulled off the chimney. They couldn't be seen in the earlier picture.
[image]

Here's a shot of the new cooling pack next to the old cooling pack. I was tickled with the new pack. I didn't have any trouble with the fit or mounting, everthing was right where it should've been.
[image]

New cooling pack fit into place and foil tape all around the edges of the new insulation to get a nice air tight fit. Time to start going backwards putting everything back the way it was.
[image]

Adding cooling fans for inside circulation. Taking ideas from some of the others on the board this is my spin on the fan progect. Glued and wired together I tried to glue small nuts to the fins and use small machine screws. After several failed attempts at the gluing I gave up and switched to a drill bit. Four small holes drilled in the fins and 4 zipties later I had cooling fans mounted. If you choose to mount them like I did make sure you put the cooling fins back in the fridge before you put the fans on for good. If not you won't be able to reach the screws that holds the fins to the fridge. Wires pulled through the same hole as the the thermostat wire and caulking applied to the back for an air tight seal. LED fans were the same price as a similar sized fan so I'm gonna give them a go. If it seems like they're drawing enough on the battery to make a difference I'll cut em out.
[image]
[image]

Overall this was not an overly complicated progect. With time and patience its pretty straight forward. Hope this helps anybody who might end up in my shoes later on down the road. Surely not a progect to be afraid of. Well worth the money I saved by doing it myself. Thanks to the guys who helped with the fans and to the kind fella who pointed me towards RVcool.

Total cost
cooling pack $400
foil tape $5

2 fans $9
2 switches $6
caulking $3

* This post was edited 03/10/07 04:06pm by bbnate804 *


2003 GMC Sierra 2500HD 6.0 4x4
1989 Hideaway 951RD
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bluefishgary

Middle River,MD

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Posted: 03/10/07 04:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good job!!!


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Philcapt

Troy, NY

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Posted: 03/10/07 04:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did the same thing a couple of years ago.I got my unit from NuCold in Arkansas. After all of the hassle the co. gave me etc the unit only lasted about a year and a half


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Spott

SE Michigan

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Posted: 03/10/07 04:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't need to do this and hope I don't have too but I'm glad I know where to go for a tutorial.
Great write up and photos.

Thank you for taking the time to document everything.


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Reddog1

El Dorado, CA

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Posted: 03/10/07 08:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great write up, with good photos.

I had mine replaced about two years ago. The labor was $100. It works fine today. After seeing it done on mine, I would not hesitate to do it myself, if it ever needs to be done again.


Wayne

ogrer

Norwood On

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Posted: 03/11/07 05:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very well done, you could be a technical writer!

Excellent Job, I have seen manuals that could not measure up to this.

Bob


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bbnate804

Delaware

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Posted: 03/11/07 08:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

glad to help. i could've done loads more as far as pictures go but i think that what i've posted covers the worst of it. i feel special now, i made it into the tcu thread. just to update...... when i went out to the camper this morning i had camper made icecubes in the ice tray. the blue led's in my fans had all gone out. i'm guessing that maybe the led's don't take well to the cold. the led's were definetly fun while they lasted. what kind of temp should i expect to see from the fridge portion when run at max?

Reddog1

El Dorado, CA

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Posted: 03/11/07 10:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bbnate804 wrote:

i feel special now, i made it into the tcu thread.



You are special, your efforts will help others, not to mention you are now in the Thread of Fame.


Wayne

JoeChiOhki

Sauvie Island, OR

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Posted: 03/11/07 06:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great tutorial on how to do a cooling pack swap, I'm bookmarking this for when the time comes and the G.E gives up the ghost.


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BradW

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Posted: 03/11/07 06:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good info and write-up. Added to the TCU Thread.

Thanks,
Brad


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