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 > Changing refrigerator cooling unit...New or Refurbished??

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SJ-Chris

San Jose, Ca

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Posted: 11/14/20 06:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Summary: When replacing the cooling unit on your refrigerator, would you go with a refurbished unit ($450) or a new unit ($650)??

Here's the story...
I have a 2015 Thor Majestic 28a. The refrigerator is a Dometic DM2852RBX (8 cubic feet).

Recently it stopped cooling on either propane or electric. I tried all the troubleshooting things I could to no avail. The heating element is good (as I can feel the stack getting hot on either propane or electric).

So I took it to my RV repair shop. They diagnosed it saying the cooling unit was bad. They told me they recommend replacing the entire refrigerator (~$2200 for the new fridge which includes their 40% markup, plus ~$500 in labor).

I asked them how come they don't just replace the cooling unit. They said "they can't find parts for this particular unit". I spent 2 minutes googling and immediately found the parts (refurbished or new cooling units). I suspect replacing the entire refrigerator is a much higher profit for the repair shop which is why they recommended that (...thanks a lot, right??).

I've decided I'm going to fix it myself. I'm pretty handy. There are several youtube videos showing start to finish and it looks pretty straight forward. I pulled the refrigerator and layed it down on a blanket on my couch. Then I removed the existing cooling unit being careful to label everything and take lots of photos. It only took me 40 minutes to do so and it came out super clean which I was happy to see! I wanted to make sure I could remove it successfully without damaging the refrigerator unit BEFORE I order the new cooling unit (...figuring worst case if I couldn't get it out or if I broke something I could just buy a new refrigerator for ~$1600 and install it myself).

I'm going to order a replacement cooling unit. The online company sells REFURBISHED ones for ~$450. I'm told by the company that these will perform similar to the existing one that originally came with the refrigerator. OR, for ~$650 I could buy a brand new UPGRADED design that they say will have better performance and be able to keep the refrigerator colder especially when it happens to be 100 degrees outside. They also say it should last longer.

Do any of you have any experience or opinion as to how much better the NEW replacement unit might be over a refurbished unit (in terms of its ability to keep the refrigerator cold)?

Thanks in advance!
Chris


San Jose, CA
Own two 2015 Thor Majestic 28a Class C RVs

12th Man Fan

Flower Mound , Texas

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Posted: 11/14/20 06:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to check into the Amish built cooling units. The quality of these units are supposed to be superior to any OEM unit.

If you continue on the route you are going I would say to use the new unit rather than the rebuilt one since your rig is only 5 years old, It will probably be in service many more years, and I just don't trust most rebuilt products.

* This post was edited 11/14/20 07:48pm by 12th Man Fan *


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RobWNY

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Posted: 11/14/20 07:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just watched a mobile RV repair Tech do this on Youtube. Here is the link Refrigerator Cooling Unit Replacement. Maybe it will be useful to you. He did say he had trouble finding a parts distributor that had a new unit to sell to him.


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Ron3rd

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Posted: 11/14/20 07:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Amish units have gotten a lot of praise here. There's one in particular that's supposed to be the best, can't remember the name but others will chime in. You said you're handy and that's great. It's not rocket science


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agesilaus

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Posted: 11/14/20 07:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you mean Omish or Amish?

As for the fridge this is what happened to our Norcold. It was working fine on both 120 and propane. Then one day it was not. After various troubleshooting I narrowed it down to the 'eyebrow board', the one in the door itself. Replaced that and has been working great. $150 on Amazon. I got some excellent advice here and never would have figured it out without it. That dealer is not to be trusted.


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SJ-Chris

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Posted: 11/14/20 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ron3rd wrote:

The Amish units have gotten a lot of praise here. There's one in particular that's supposed to be the best, can't remember the name but others will chime in. You said you're handy and that's great. It's not rocket science


Yes, the online cooling unit company sells new Amish built units. The salesperson (who was incredibly helpful and sounded like he has been in the business for 30 years) says it performs much better (keeps things cooler) than the refurbished units. BUT...I can't tell if that is just a sale's pitch or not. :-) That's why I'm checking here to see if anyone has any experience between the two. I certainly don't mind spending $200 extra *IF* it is going to actually cool better (and last longer).

-Chris

time2roll

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Posted: 11/14/20 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am generally in the new camp unless you plan to sell the RV within the warranty period of used.


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SJ-Chris

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Posted: 11/14/20 07:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Seems like a good time to also change out the heating element, right??? It is 5 years old. Putting in a new heating element only costs ~$35 and I've already got it all apart anyways so it is simple to do. No brainer to also replace the heating element, right? (...unless you tell me those last forever and I should just keep the existing one...)

Thoughts? Thanks!
-Chris

Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 11/14/20 07:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The DM2852RBX was a short production run (built outside the US) while Dometic built a New Production Plant in Elkhart.

Here is a NEW Amish Built replacement co........odel
RV Cooling Unit Warehouse....$665


They also have 'reman' for $545

I would go with NEW

And a new element also while access is wide open


Question:

What troubleshooting did you do?
Disconnect thermistor
Direct wiring of element to force cool the fridge


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rhagfo

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Posted: 11/14/20 07:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ron3rd wrote:

The Amish units have gotten a lot of praise here. There's one in particular that's supposed to be the best, can't remember the name but others will chime in. You said you're handy and that's great. It's not rocket science


This is where I have gotten both of my replacement cooling units. One was for the refer in out 86 King of the Road. The other was for our current 5er. The latest was a new improved design, and works great. Great coustomer service.
RV Cooling Unit Warehouse


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