Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Case of The Broken Down RV Refrigerator

Several days back, we both noticed that one of the two refrigerators we have on board our 5th wheel was not working.  The ice cubes were melting.  Hmmmm, that was not a good sign.  Running through the typical trouble shooting led to the belief that the refrigerator had suffered a catastrophic failure.  And, as it turned out, it had done just that.  Finished, kaput, notagonnaworknomore!
With the outdoor grill cover removed, I inspected the components. 
I admittedly knew little about RV refrigerators.  That was then.....and this is now! I know one heck of a lot more about RV refrigeration units.
Much closer inspection revealed a yellow substance that was not present on the refrigerator that was still operating well.
Jeanette moved all of the second fridge food stuffs into the operating one.  She meticulously made everything fit.  Juices, water bottles and some happy hour drinks (beer, soft drinks, etc.) were relegated to other non refrigerated spots in the fiver.

So, I did what I thought would be a wise move and drove to the local RV supply place, up the road from our RV resort.  Once I explained the potential problem, the RV sales guy offered up a business card for a mobile RV tech who would look after us.  He came well recommended.

DISCLAIMER:  From here on, in my story, I will use some fictitious names to protect the idiots I had to deal with before I could finally resolve the refrigerator problem.  It will please me to provide you with the real names of the individuals and companies that played a roll in this story.  Simply send me a private email with your request.

So I begin with the mobile RV tech who was referred to me by the local RV supply place.  His fictitious blog name is Tom Foolery.  

Using the telephone number on the business card I was given, I called Mr. Foolery.  He said he was very, very busy but that he could possibly free himself to drop by our RV site later in the day,  one afternoon, late last week.  
Our two refrigerators on board our 5th wheel.   The non-working fridge is on the right.
By late afternoon of the call, Tom Foolery and his assistant RV technician, Bill Blustery arrived at our site.  When I first met them, I was suspect.  But, what the heck....these guys were referred to me by the RV supply place and I was led to believe they were great techs.

Bill Blustery was the first to look at the back of the refrigerator and acted out a very sorrowful scene that my refrigerator was 'toast'.  The yellow residue at the bottom of the boiler side of the cooler system was proof that the cooler system was shot.  He wanted me to wait for his boss, Tom Foolery to have a look before he could say any more.  Finally, and after quite some time, Tom Foolery got out from the driver's side of his truck - munching on some food - and proceeding....very, very slowly.... and very lazily, towards us.  Once he saw the yellow residue, he too cooed a sad tale that our refrigerator was 'toast'.  

What to do?  What to do?
A major problem!  The fridge is 'in need of some serious repair or replacement, according to the two RV mobile service techs. Tom Foolery began by telling me a long and drawn out tale about an RV couple, who are parked only a few sites down from us, who also faced the very similar situation we were now.

Along with his assistant, Mr. Blustery, the two techs began their 'song and dance' about what would be required to fix our problem.

1.  To replace the entire cooling unit would require several hours of labour and would, more than likely, cost close to the price for a brand new refrigerator.

2.  To remove and install a new refrigerator would require a couple of hours of labour.

3.  To remove the wood panels from our existing fridge and place them in the new fridge door would require another hour of work.

4.  With shipping and taxes, labour and more, the new refrigerator would cost $1,900 US dollars.

5.  Tom Foolery could order one and have it 'professionally' installed within two, three or maybe even four business days.  Uhmmmm!  

Tom Foolery and his buddy Bill Blustery were very cheery when presenting us with their solution.  They went on about the service they provided to the other RVers who suffered the very same issue we were now facing.

I was not amused!   The cost seemed stupidly high....and something about those two techs did not sit right with me.  Pushed to make a decision and pressured,  I too hastily agreed to have them order us a new refrigerator.  I should have told them I would get in touch.  Tom Foolery and his sidekick Bill Blustery left.  

Phew....thank gawd they were out of my sight!  But nothing about this sat right with me.  I was quickly distracted by having acted too quickly.  And I internally resolved to deal with it once our other planned activities would free me.

Jeanette and I did ponder what we had just been told by the idiot RV techs.  Considering the Canadian to US dollar exchange rate, that refrigerator would cost us better than $2,400.  We had to think this through some more....but, we were entertaining that evening and we had to get on with that.

Once our company left, Jeanette and I cleaned up and, when discussing the refrigerator issue before bed time, we both felt uncomfortable with the TV service techs and their nonchalant approach, as well as the incredibly high cost for a new fridge and their high labour.  It just did not sit right with us.

Off to bed!  I fell asleep quickly but one hour later, I was wide awake.  I could not get my mind off the refrigerator problem.  Although I tried hard to return to sleep, it was not to happen.  By 1:00 am, I was up, closed the bedroom door, made coffee in the galley, settled into our back salon, closed the French door, sat in a lazy boy chair with my lap top, sipped on my coffee and began what was to be an exhaustive night of research on and about RV refrigerators.  By 4:00 am, I was very well self-educated and had watched a mediocre U-Tube video production with great content on how to replace the cooling unit on our precise Dometic refrigerator. I chose to watch that 9 minute video three times over.  

I was convinced that I could be the RV tech and that I could successfully fix our existing refrigerator.  I was excited about the possibility of ordering my own cooling unit, removing the fridge from its place in the 5th wheel, taking it outdoors, and completing the work.  Of course, that could only be accomplished with the assistance of another person.  Our RV friend, Hector was at the ready (right from the get go) to lend a hand.  He too was excited about the fix.

My research also led me to review several RV refrigerator cooling unit fabricators; including OEM (original equipment manufacturers), new C&C manufactured cooling units with lifetime warranty and several companies that offered re-manufactured cooling units with 2-5 years warranty.

My very first priority, however was to telephone RV tech, Tom Foolery first thing that early morning to fire his sorry butt.  You bet!  I did call him around 7:30 that early morning to let him know that I would not be needing his services.  I was friendly and polite.  He played another of his foolish cards but I let him down gently.  We would not be doing business; pure and simple!

So, what had I discovered while spending the night on line?

1. A brand new Dometic refrigerator (identical to ours) could ordered and delivered to our site for the grand total of $1,150 US.

2. A brand new cooling unit (OEM manufactured - with lifetime warranty) could be delivered to our site for the grand total of $630 US (includes shipping and California State taxes)

3. A re-manufactured cooling unit (offering a 2 year warranty) would cost $575 with shipping and taxes. (A non-starter for us)

4.  To remove and install a brand new refrigerator would require no more than one hour of labour.  In actual fact, it is a 1/2 hour job.

5. To remove and install a brand new cooling unit would take an RV tech about 1.5 hours, from start to finish.  It would take newbies (like Hector and myself) between 3 to 4 hours.  And that is according to some WEB site stories I had read. 

What's a few hours of work between friends?  We were up to that.

IMAGINE THIS:  TOM FOOLERY AND HIS ASSISTANT, BILL BLUSTERY WOULD HAVE PURCHASED THE DOMETIC RV FRIDGE FOR LESS THAN RETAIL PRICE (say $900  wholesale)) AND WOULD HAVE MADE A COOL $1,000 ON THE INSTALL; REQUIRING NO MORE THAN ONE HOUR OF WORK, ON SITE.

Now.....I am not against entrepreneurship.  I am one...true and blue!  I have owned businesses and have been involved in large corporate businesses.  I understand the case for profit.  I understand the need for business to be able to cover its operating costs and pay its staff, while ideally earning profit for future growth.  I understand how businesses are taxed.  

And I certainly understand how tough it can be to operate a business, certainly through the up and down cycles.  I have been there!  I have worked 24 to 36 hours, non-stop at times, to meet a client's needs.  I have sacrificed family time and put in long, long days to keep my head above water.  So, I do not need a lesson on what it takes to own and operate a business.  I lived it!  And I also loved it; in spite of the risks, along with the trials and tribulations of ownership.

I appreciate the risks that business people take and how they put everything on the line to risk capital, sweat the uncertainties, and hope to make a living.  I also know first hand that were it not for small business, governments (and their workers) would not have an income source.  It is through small business that better than 80% of government coffers are fueled.  

That said, I support a fair price for fair service.  What I got from Tom Foolery and his sidekick, Bill Blustery was nothing more than attempted highway robbery scheme.  Buyer beware!!!!!  I feel sorry for the RVer nearby who got rooked by those two RV techs.  But, perhaps they are most happy with the service received.  Who am I to judge?  

UPDATE:  After initially posting the blog, I got to speak with the other RV owner who had his fridge looked at by Tom Foolery.  The poor fella got to spend over $2,000 for a re-built cooler (with a two year warranty), whereas our cooler is brand new with lifetime warranty. I did not have the heart to color our experience.  He just accepted that RV fridge repairs are expensive.  Imagine his expression had I told him what a brand new fridge would have cost him?  $1,150. Or that he could have had a brand new cooling unit for about $630 + install (2 hours labor).  
From my perspective though, a nickle in my jeans is better than in the jeans of somebody else.  I am always happy to pay for fair service.  But not to Tom Foolery and his sidekick, Bill Blustery - the bobsy idiot twins. 

Moving forward, we opted to order our brand new Dometic refrigerator cooling unit from a company called (and this is the real name of the company) ArcticCold.  I liked the information on their web site and I especially liked the fact that the cooling unit was brand new; manufactured with top grade steel materials, was built to high standards, met all OEM specs, came with a lifetime warranty and offered direct telephone tech support, during and after install.

Here is their link:    ArctiCold Refrigeration - We keep it cold


This is our new Dometic Refrigerator cooling unit from ArticCold Refrigeration.
So, once Tom Foolery and his sidekick, Bill Blustery were out of the picture, I got on line and ordered the precise model for our fridge repair.  The order was quick and convenient and, within seconds of having placed the order, I knew that the unit would be shipped from one of several warehouse locations in the US of A.  

To my great surprise, the 2nd email from Arctic Cold Refrigeration originated from St. Antoine, New Brunswick, Canada.  In fact, the manufacturing and business headquarters originate from that town.  A small business, ArcticCold manufactures new RV refrigeration cooling units for every make and model.  Working with a staff of 10, and in a 9,000 square foot facility, this company ships all over the world.  Impressive!

Our Canadian made cooling unit came with a lifetime warranty.  No other US company  that I sourced offered that.  Our tracking email indicated that our unit was shipping from a warehouse in Houston, Texas.  ArcticCold has several warehouse distribution centres in the US of A and Canada.  Our unit would arrive within four business days, via UPS ground, directly to our RV site in Caliente' Springs RV Resort.

Great! 
Preparing the refrigerator for removal
With the cooling unit ordered and with a confirmation that the unit was shipped and would arrive in four days, I spent a wee bit of time (very wee bit) to turn off our LP gas (propane), bleed the LP lines by burning the excess propane with our galley propane stove, disconnecting the 12 Volt, propane fuel line and the 120 AC.  Our RV fridge (and many others like ours)  are powered by standard 120 V, or (while disconnected from AC) on 12 Volt and propane.

We removed the freezer and fridge doors, all the shelves, and the screws that secure the unit to the wall and floor.  Once loose, we just had to sit and wait for the new unit to arrive.  It was slated for arrival this past Thursday afternoon.

We kept busy with other activities but when Thursday rolled around, we stuck close to our RV site to accept the new cooling unit.  The package would be about 5' in height, about 8-10 inches thick and about 3' wide.
 
UPS truck with no package for us......!

It was 2:00 pm last Thursday when the quick sound of a horn caught our attention.  The UPS delivery truck had pulled up to our site.  The young driver called me over and asked a question about what kind of package I was expecting.  When explained to him, it was clear that size of package was not on his truck.  Although he had the paper work and computer listing, nothing in his truck was indicative of the size of package we were expecting.

The driver called his warehouse and was patched to two other UPS trucks that could possibly have the misplaced cooler unit.  In short, the unit could not be found.  The driver took my telephone number and joked about how the UPS service would deliver, as promised, our cooling unit before the end of the day.  And, I expected to hear back from the UPS driver. He did say he would call me.

But no!  By 10:30 pm, I gave up waiting for the UPS driver to call, as he promised he would.  

Rant:  I don't understand how someone can say they will call but does not follow through - with good or bad news.  If you say you will call, then make the darned call!!!!!!

By 11:00 am this past Friday morning, the same young driver tooted the horn as he applied the brakes in front of our RV site.  He was jovial (nice young guy.....even though he did not return a promised telephone call).  He had our large (very large) package.  We carried it to the shade area under our awning.

I reminded the young driver about his promised telephone call and he sheepishly said that because he could not locate the package, he chose not to phone.  He now understands the importance of fulfilling a promise.  And, he was apologetic.  What he had not realized, till told, is that we gave up an evening outing while waiting for his late delivery.  Had he called us, we could have enjoyed our planned evening out.  Maybe, just maybe, he learned a small but valuable lesson.
Large package with our new cooling unit.
By high noon this Friday past, Hector and I got to work in earnest.  It took a bit of time to remove the new cooling unit from its packaging and followed by removing the wooden frame that protected it during shipping.
Removing the new cooling unit from the packaging.
The new cooling unit was robust and actually weighed more then the existing one.  Arctic Cold does state that its cooling units use a higher grade of steel over the OEM that came with the original refrigerator.  I like that!
Hector and I - removing the refrigerator from its framing in the 5th wheel.
With my earlier prep work, the fridge was quickly removed and placed outdoors.  We had lots of room to work around the unit.
Beginning the process of removing the screws that hold the cooling fins inside the fridge.
In spite of my research and U-Tube video watching - about the install - I was puzzled by one thing.  I quickly called Arctic Cold in New Brunswick (who offer 12 hour daily tech support), and was instantly connected to a really nice tech who listened to my query and provided clear and concise advice.  WOW!  Imagine calling a company; getting a real human voice and an instant connect to a tech who, within minutes, explained how to proceed.  It was fantastic service.
Awaiting the re-install of the second refrigerator.
With the electrical wiring free from the cooling unit frame, we had to remove the entire backing.  Although it may look ominous to the uninitiated,  it is quite simple to do.

BONUS:  There is another pleasant sidebar to this story.  When I was busy disconnecting the LP gas, 12 V, and AC from outside our 5th wheel, the RV neighbour - directly across from us - saw me and came over to see what I was up to.  Well, he quickly knew what I was up to.  Believe this!  This near full-time RVer is a certified RV refrigerator tech. When back home in northern Michigan, for the summer months, his principal work is to re-build RV refrigerators.  Holy Cow!  Am I blessed....or what?

So, Tom (his real name) saw the yellow residue and - after hearing my story about the two buffoon RV techs and my all night research - applauded me for taking on the repair myself.  He explained that changing out a cooling unit is no brainer when one is well informed.  He listened to what I had learned and pronounced me and Hector fit to do the job....and do it well.  What a guy!
This old and broken cooling unit had to be removed.
Although busy with some work camper tasks he had to do at Caliente' - as part of his agreement to work in exchange for free RV parking and services -  RV neighbour Tom did say that he could drop by (off and on) while Hector and I were working on the fridge.  And, his drop ins clearly saved us at least one solid hour of work.   Whereby I would have to go read the instructions on my desk top (PDF file) or screen a portion of the U-Tube video, he could cut to the chase.  And he did.
Getting to work - sourcing and removing the boiler heater rod.
Hector and I made quick time of our job and the old cooler was removed, the new cooler installed (procedure can be read on line) and by 2:20 pm (only 2 + hours after starting our job) the refrigerator - with the new cooler unit - was re-installed in our 5th wheel.

Oh.....and the fridge is working very, very well.   
Disconnecting some electronics stuff....
Once everything was completed (install, clean up, tools put away), we rewarded ourselves with a mid-afternoon beer to ward off the low 90 degree temperatures we had worked under; albeit in the shade of our awning and sun shade. 
Tom, the helpful part time RV refrigerator tech and neighbour to us.
I offered Tom some $$ for his time and expertise but a beer was all he needed.  He felt that Hector and I had performed our tasks very, very well.  And he again applauded us for taking on the job.  

When told of the high cost we were propositioned by Tom Foolery and Bill Blustery, he was surprised but not shocked.  He has heard more than his share of rip off RV tech stories.

So, there you have it!  We have a fully functioning set of RV refrigerators, once again.  And, following several hours of research and education, we saved ourselves 2/3rds of the cost offered by Tom Foolery for a brand new fridge.

You should know that an RV fridge is merely an insulated box with doors and shelves.  The guts of an RV fridge are the electrical circuit board (worth about $80 and easily changed out), the massive cooling unit (that we removed and installed) and a fairly simple LP gas and 12 V connection.  To throw out our fridge for a brand new one would have been ridiculously wasteful.

Had the lazy RV techs offered a cooling unit replacement over a new fridge; and at a reasonable price, they could have been awarded our service.  Acting like Jeanette and I were complete RV boneheads and trying to stiff us led to our incredibly rewarding learning curve.....and we saved some coin too.  

So....it's all good.  Back to RV living!!!!

Thanks for dropping in.

43 comments:

  1. Nice job on the fridge repair. Sure your story will also save me some money someday. Priceless having a good friend and nice neighbor to help make the job go a little easier. Hope you have a Great Sunday! I would like to know the name of these two hustlers to look out for.

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    1. I know you could do the cooling unit change out, if you had to, Allen. Hector's assistance was necessary and appreciated.

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  2. What a great Job that you guys got done. Research does pay off.

    We had our fridge replaced 3 years ago in Destin Florida. Camping World open New Years day. Jan 2nd it was replaced with a Dometic, that they had in stock.
    Our old one (Norcold) 13 years old had the same issue, but with the new fridge, tax and labor done in a day $1,600.00.(close to par with the Canadian dollar at the time) And they had to remove a window to take old the old and bring in the new one, and reroute an LP gas line. We did not have a spare fridge, but found a friend that had one and lost no food at all.
    We did not have the option of ordering and new cooling unit at that time because of the holidays.

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    1. The second fridge gave us the time to find a solution that would work for us. Your experience seemed necessary, given the circumstances.

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  3. Good on ya! Not sure I would be brave enough to take on that task, but thanks to modern technology and the wonderful world of blogging I always have a pretty good idea of where you might be, so it will just be a matter of hooking up and heading that direction. ;)

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    1. Glad to help out anytime, J B. And, yes, we are easy to find. If I hear some pounding hooves heading our way, I'll know you are looking for us. LOL

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  5. Chaulk one up for the do-it-yourselfer. You never know what you can do until you have to. Way to go! I bet those beers go down extra nice & cool because you did it yourself!

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    1. A couple of beers did go down nicely following our fridge repair.
      Thanks.

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  7. Congratulations on the repair! You are the first experienced RVer I know who has tackled this repair. Several years ago we had the cooling unit replaced in our previous MH in Oregon for $800 (rebuilt unit. It came with a one year warranty and after 360 days it failed. The Oregon company replaced it but we had to pay shipping from OR to AZ, pay a tech to do the work (about $300 as I recall) and pay to ship the old unit back to OR. It was another rebuilt unit with a one year warranty and it failed about a year and a half later after the warranty expired. At that time we replaced the refrigerator. I think the cost was in the order of $1400 - $1600 but this was several years ago. It was an expensive lesson.

    Please keep JB and I informed of your whereabouts. ;)

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    1. Holy shamoly! Unbelievable how your fridge story evolved.

      We chose a brand new cooling unit over a re-manufactured one. Based on your experience, we are glad to have taken the plunge to do a self-fix.

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  8. I hate hearing stories of RVers getting taken to the cleaners by Scam artists. If you noted talking to the other person that got scammed he was probably very senior or and executive type that doesn't know which end of a screw driver to hold. Glad everything worked out for the best for you.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. Our RV neighbour who was rooked by the RV techs, and who paid a ridiculous price was not very senior nor an executive type. He is a work camper at this RV park. He was not the least bit interested in asking me questions about how I resolved our fridge issue. He seemed pleased to have paid such a high price for what he believed was a great service.

      It is what it is!

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  9. quite the fridge repair saga you had to endure! good for you for stepping up and taking on this! it would seem like a daunting task for those of us who wouldn't even give it a try!

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    1. Sue,

      It is a manageable task for most folks, I believe. And it was rewarding to learn about the operation and installation process.

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  10. Great post!
    This is sure going to help someone else take on the easy to fix, yet spooky and unknown RV fridge.

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    1. Tom,

      I do hope our story helps out other RVers. And the change out is manageable for most folks.

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  11. Good for you Rene!! Mike and I were both saying we had never seen a 5th wheel with TWO refrigerators! We had a refrigerator fail in a 5th wheel and Mike with some muscle help replaced it.

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    1. Janna,

      The two refrigerators was a big selling feature. And what a bonus to have another fridge when the other fails.

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  12. Great job, Rene! I'm thinking it might have taken you longer to write this epic, successful story (and rants) than it did to replace your old fridge.

    Interestingly, I have a friend here at the Sands who is preparing to do exactly what you and Hector just did. Mel has his new cooling unit sitting in the box outside his rig right now. He has the exact same refrigerator you have, was quoted over $2,000 for a new one so he researched like you and is set to go.

    Again, congrats on doing it yourself and saving not only a ton of money but gaining the satisfaction of a job well done!

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    1. If Mel has any questions or needs a bit of help, let us know. Happy to help.

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    2. And yes, writing the blog took more time than what we spent on the fridge repair.

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  13. Wow! Great Job! Gotta love You tube and the internet! We are real newbies and am book marking this page! Thank you...beers were well earned :D

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  14. Good job Rene.... A lot of RV'ers live in fear of their refrigerators!

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  15. Any good R.V. Service Center would have told you over the phone what you need if you told them about the yellow stuff. Also always hire RVIA certified Tech.




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  16. I noticed you didnt have the recall done on this refer and probably your other one. I am a certified tech also and was wondering to if the new unit came with a baffle or was supposed to be swapped from the old unit. More info for you to track down. Tim

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  17. just remember the first time you needed help with your refrigerator you had no clue and needed somebody else's skill set to put you towards the right repair. The next time you need help you're going to need to call somebody again not everything is as easy as diagnosing an ammonia leak in a refrigerator.

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  18. just remember the first time you needed help with your refrigerator you had no clue and needed somebody else's skill set to put you towards the right repair. The next time you need help you're going to need to call somebody again not everything is as easy as diagnosing an ammonia leak in a refrigerator.

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  19. Really the refrigerator cooling unit failure diagnostic is a no brainer with the yellow or green residue it's not too hard to troubleshoot. that's why you're two "Fools" were able to spot it right away. just remember you had to call them to begin with to figure that out what happened the next time when its a furnace repair a water heater failure or air conditioning you're still going to have to call the RV service tech. His time, overhead and his skill is worth something don't be too hard on him you might him the next time. Good for you for taking the bull by the horns and fixing it. Remember initially you had no clue and needed somebody to help you. Those utube videos didn't write themselves a service tech gave you a freebie.

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  20. Really the refrigerator cooling unit failure diagnostic is a no brainer with the yellow or green residue it's not too hard to troubleshoot. that's why you're two "Fools" were able to spot it right away. just remember you had to call them to begin with to figure that out what happened the next time when its a furnace repair a water heater failure or air conditioning you're still going to have to call the RV service tech. His time, overhead and his skill is worth something don't be too hard on him you might him the next time. Good for you for taking the bull by the horns and fixing it. Remember initially you had no clue and needed somebody to help you. Those utube videos didn't write themselves a service tech gave you a freebie.

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  21. I replaced the cooling unit in my Norcold frig 1250dollars new frige 4300dollars to get frige out of home windshield has to be removed one estimate 800dollars to remove and replace windshield labor I am not sure did the cooling unit in the living room. I got my unit from Articold. It took 7 days to get it shipper by a fraight and I had to drive 70 miles one way to pick it up.

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    1. My husband is very mechanical and has always made his own repairs of any sort on our RVs we've been living in for 16 years. He diagnosed the cooling unit failure the moment he saw the yellow stuff. He found Arcticold's ad in the FMAC magazine. We ordered a new cooling unit for our Norcold 1200 on Dec 2 and it arrived by freight Dec 23 (21 days)! He read the instructions and watched their video twice before starting. It looked so simple which it would have been except for the fact that when he screwed in the second screw at the top left of the left hand freezer compartment, he somehow managed to puncture the boiler tube which it turns out is only a half inch or less from the screw hole. The hole itself is only 1/8" from the edge of the backing plate. They failed to mention that in the video and said nothing about making sure that "all" of the holes were lined up because of the danger of puncturing that very close tube at that location. Had they emphasized that in the video, he would have been way more careful at that point. It took Arcticold from Jan 4 to Jan 23 to get a replacement unit out to us and that was only after we agreed to pay $395 for the repair and $300 for shipping. Today, the 24th, we worked all day to get it back together and installed, moving at a snail's pace, checking and re-checking at every point. Just as before, the holes were not perfectly lined up (it isn't possible to know the line-up prior to sealing up the back), but we were now aware of the close proximity of that boiler tube and made absolutely sure to angle that screw to the right and away from the pipe. They did send us a new unit and they will make the repair to the defective unit and sell it locally at a discount. They (we dealt with Matt and Steve Cormier and the sales manager, Robert Jeffery) refused to respond to my emails asking how this could have happened. Their cooling unit is really beefy and we expect it will last a lifetime. Let's hope so!

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  22. Be sure to call the RV repair place that recommended those techs & let them know about your experience with them...... If it is the place on Acacia they should be interested to know

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  23. I have a RV Refrigerator that will NOT work on 110 house current replaced the electrode in the heat exchanger but it still doesn't work on elect. but will work on gas or LP

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  24. Rene, I just read the blog and like I said, you can do it. I hope to see both you and Hector at Caliente Springs again this winter. (your wives too)

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  25. My bro was once VP Sales for Dometic......we used to go around to functions and fix their fridges for free......long ago and far away.......:)

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  26. Good to hear stories where the good guys win.

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  27. It was good that you did your homework, but to act like RV tech are in business to ripoff the customers is just wrong. As in all business the are some bad company, as I being in the business for over 30 year you meet good and bad tech and the same for customers.

    As for as your cost on parts I your numbers are off, cooling unit can start at 360.00 up to 1,200.00 and that is just the cooling unit the price cost is on the model you have. The cost on the modular boards is all over, you have board that start at 59.00 up to 395.00 and that is just the main board on the back of the unit the is more board that make the unit run, and there is other parts that that make the unit work.

    As for as pricing the cost of work that guy was charging is to much, the cost should be a charge for a mobile fee because we are coming to you 129.00, hourly rate of 95.00. As for as you going by u tube all job the different some unit come out easy some are hard, so most of the time it take about 3 to 4 hours if you install the unit right, there is a good install and there is a bad install. Those hours are with Refrigerator install back in it's opening.

    If that company is that back you should have reported him to BBB and tell everyone his company name and his name. So hopefully he stop doing what he is doing.

    Best of luck to you and your wife and happy trails!!!

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  28. Great writing. Doubly so when I see New Brunswick mentioned, always a shock to see a reference to my home province when browsing blogs. I'm thinking you had a leak inside the fridge that accelerated the sediment issue described here: http://www.c4pinc.com/blog/solar-rv-refrigerator/ At least you're in no danger of a propane leak!

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