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Old 07-11-2016, 12:02 PM   #1
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21 first trip: thoughts and issues

After picking up our 21 on 6/20 and making a meandering 3500 mile trip home it seems like time to shore some thoughts and experiences.
Towing: Our lifter 21 towed very much like our old Casita 17, I could tell little differences, even in wind. Our 2014 F-150 4X4 [eco boost] got 11mpg in the mountains and 12mpg in more flat country. These numbers are again, almost identical to Casita towing.
Border Crossing: We crossed twice and each time took 5 minutes or less. We had two dogs and told the guards that we had dogs and paperwork, they did not ask to see the paperwork. We were asked about weapons and a couple other things but they did not look in the truck or trailer. Quick and professional.
Camping: We did boondocking and national parks and RV parks. If you are on the road around a major holiday like July 4th..... get reservations way ahead if possible as things get rather crowded.
Solar power: Our solar far exceeded expectations. We did 3 days in rainforest with little sun and in spite of some microwave use ad regular lighting use, we never got much below 80% on solar. [This is after an initial repair listed under issues]

Issues: Solar; Our inside control panel was not working right initially as it had a symbol for the inverter showing [panel is not hooked to inverter] and would not go above 90% charge. We stopped before leaving Canada and Reese quickly changed out the panel and we were fine on solar after that.

Water pump: Our pump would often not shut off when the water demand stopped. I called Tammy and she emailed adjustment instructions. After a little tinkering, the pump shuts off fine.

Fridge: We had issues. Initially in cool Canada, we were getting 34-35 degrees at night and 44-45 in the day with the fridge set on "5" As we got farther south it got worse even though temps were rarely above 85. Daytime highs in the fridge were high 40's and not getting into high 30's till after we went to sleep. We tried it on gas, 120, and solar with similar results on all. Also the exterior blue light on the door would go off and on at different times but the interior lights always showed the unit on. By the time we got to WY [about 1/2 way home] we had to start using an ice chest for all our cold food. We kept it running to monitor performance and the last night the temp only got down to 48. The coldest the freezer got on the trip was 13. Rease said we could not likely get it repaired on the road and should take it to a Dometic warranty place when we got home. Tomorrow I will take it in.

None of the problems we had had anything to do with Escape's construction or attention to detail as they were all with installed components. The detail and construction are all much superior to our old Casita. The fridge issue was very frustrating but hopefully Dometic will get it squared away.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post
After picking up our 21 on 6/20 and making a meandering 3500 mile trip home it seems like time to shore some thoughts and experiences.
Towing: Our lifter 21 towed very much like our old Casita 17, I could tell little differences, even in wind. Our 2014 F-150 4X4 [eco boost] got 11mpg in the mountains and 12mpg in more flat country. These numbers are again, almost identical to Casita towing.
Border Crossing: We crossed twice and each time took 5 minutes or less. We had two dogs and told the guards that we had dogs and paperwork, they did not ask to see the paperwork. We were asked about weapons and a couple other things but they did not look in the truck or trailer. Quick and professional.
Camping: We did boondocking and national parks and RV parks. If you are on the road around a major holiday like July 4th..... get reservations way ahead if possible as things get rather crowded.
Solar power: Our solar far exceeded expectations. We did 3 days in rainforest with little sun and in spite of some microwave use ad regular lighting use, we never got much below 80% on solar. [This is after an initial repair listed under issues]

Issues: Solar; Our inside control panel was not working right initially as it had a symbol for the inverter showing [panel is not hooked to inverter] and would not go above 90% charge. We stopped before leaving Canada and Reese quickly changed out the panel and we were fine on solar after that.

Water pump: Our pump would often not shut off when the water demand stopped. I called Tammy and she emailed adjustment instructions. After a little tinkering, the pump shuts off fine.

Fridge: We had issues. Initially in cool Canada, we were getting 34-35 degrees at night and 44-45 in the day with the fridge set on "5" As we got farther south it got worse even though temps were rarely above 85. Daytime highs in the fridge were high 40's and not getting into high 30's till after we went to sleep. We tried it on gas, 120, and solar with similar results on all. Also the exterior blue light on the door would go off and on at different times but the interior lights always showed the unit on. By the time we got to WY [about 1/2 way home] we had to start using an ice chest for all our cold food. We kept it running to monitor performance and the last night the temp only got down to 48. The coldest the freezer got on the trip was 13. Rease said we could not likely get it repaired on the road and should take it to a Dometic warranty place when we got home. Tomorrow I will take it in.

None of the problems we had had anything to do with Escape's construction or attention to detail as they were all with installed components. The detail and construction are all much superior to our old Casita. The fridge issue was very frustrating but hopefully Dometic will get it squared away.
Thanks for the awesome post......

so sorry you had component issues..... too bad they weren't caught in final tests by ETI..... but i guess these things happen.

When we bought our Casita new in 2011 we did a test camp nearby the first night, and the fridge was bad. Casita swapped it out the next day... so I feel your pain point.

so great to hear about the happy towing and solar experiences.

good luck with the fridge. Fingers crossed you get an easy quick fix.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:23 PM   #3
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What refrigerator model do you have?
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:30 PM   #4
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What refrigerator model do you have?
RMD 8555 I think. Not at home at the moment to check
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:42 PM   #5
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So you have the old style dual door Dometic, the one that Dometic replaced RM8555 with?
If so there are several threads here Dometic RMD8555 Frustration
on making it perform better, one involves letting the internal thermister hang loose inside, making sure you have water in the overflow cup in the rear which you probably did not if this was your maiden journey. Both of these will help cooling.
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:43 PM   #6
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RMD 8555 I think. Not at home at the moment to check
if it is that one, then I LOVE the idea of "integrated airing" in the door design

I dislike having to jam something in the door to keep it open, when it is off and the RV is stored.

it is mentioned here:

RMD8555 2-Door Refrigerator - Dometic Corp

and i also like hidden buttons, so my hip doesn't change the settings!

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Old 07-11-2016, 02:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So you have the old style dual door Dometic, the one that Dometic replaced RM8555 with?
If so there are several threads here Dometic RMD8555 Frustration
on making it perform better, one involves letting the internal thermister hang loose inside, making sure you have water in the overflow cup in the rear which you probably did not if this was your maiden journey. Both of these will help cooling.
I did put water in the cup. I just got the trailer three weeks ago and the fridge is the old style that has been replaced Is that possible?
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:10 PM   #8
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Let me clarify, you have the classic style, not the 2017 newer style refrigerator. The original Dometic was single, replaced with double door model in 2015. Now with 2017 there is even a newer model, another Dometic but different series due to the wider door in the 2017 model.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:22 PM   #9
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Let me clarify, you have the classic style, not the 2017 newer style refrigerator. The original Dometic was single, replaced with double door model in 2015. Now with 2017 there is even a newer model, another Dometic but different series due to the wider door in the 2017 model.
aha. of course. I knew that.

silly me.

still hoping the new model fridge in the 2017 21' has the airing-hold-door-open feature.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:26 PM   #10
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Most Dometics have that feature.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post

Fridge: We had issues. Initially in cool Canada, we were getting 34-35 degrees at night and 44-45 in the day with the fridge set on "5" As we got farther south it got worse even though temps were rarely above 85. Daytime highs in the fridge were high 40's and not getting into high 30's till after we went to sleep. We tried it on gas, 120, and solar with similar results on all. Also the exterior blue light on the door would go off and on at different times but the interior lights always showed the unit on. By the time we got to WY [about 1/2 way home] we had to start using an ice chest for all our cold food. We kept it running to monitor performance and the last night the temp only got down to 48. The coldest the freezer got on the trip was 13. Rease said we could not likely get it repaired on the road and should take it to a Dometic warranty place when we got home. Tomorrow I will take it in.
We must have been lucky! We picked up our 5.0 TA 4 days after you and just got back to Maine yesterday. Our fridge was on 5 and on propane most of the time, and our freezer averaged 11 degrees and the fridge between 34-38 degrees. This was even when the outside temps were in the mid 90's.

We were pleasantly surprised after the tales of poor performance. Hopefully yours is an easy fix.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:00 PM   #12
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Our RMD 8555 does just fine on temp despite the mid-90s. The temp goes up from opening the door a lot when fixing a meal but otherwise it cools well, despite the fact that it is only supposed to cool well up to 90F.

The problem I am sometimes having now though is not being able to get it turned off. Hoping that does not get worse as it took a few tries today. I recall someone else having that problem. Don't know what to do when that happens because even on gas, with gas off, it will use the batteries to try to start.

The temperatures you are getting, Thumper-tx, obviously indicate a repair needed as others are giving good reports on this refrigerator for the most part. The bad reports were mostly on other models.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:33 PM   #13
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Hope to be reporting good results soon however our RMD8555 performed sub par during our 3 week trip in May to Canada then WA, OR, ID (mild outside temps)with average fridge temps 42-44. Going in to get the coupler fixed and having the fridge diagnosed soon.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:47 PM   #14
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Ross, you were one of the only ones reporting trouble with this refrigerator. I expect you were using propane somewhat. We have our good performance with electric, if that makes any difference. I should mention that anyway. We only used propane early on and there were cool temps at the time. Getting good numbers in hot temps with electric but they will go right up with door opening much.
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:18 PM   #15
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We get very good results running on electric when available, propane when not, and battery when in transit. We'll count our blessings!
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:46 PM   #16
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I dropped the trailer off this morning and was told that it would be a "few days" before they had it checked out. The service guy said they would run diagnostic test first and if necessary they would run it for a few days and monitor temps. I am hoping this is fixable and not a chronic issue.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:50 PM   #17
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Hate to tell you but another new 21 owner just went through the exact same thing and left their trailer for 2 weeks. Although the tech stated he didnt think the temp was adequate Dometic did not offer to replace any parts.
Just heard from them and they said with the thermistor left hanging now and though camping in "some pretty warm weather that seems to be helping."

A few others have had their main circuit boards replaced. Please let us know what your diagnosis is.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:22 PM   #18
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Hate to tell you but another new 21 owner just went through the exact same thing and left their trailer for 2 weeks. Although the tech stated he didnt think the temp was adequate Dometic did not offer to replace any parts.
Just heard from them and they said with the thermistor left hanging now and though camping in "some pretty warm weather that seems to be helping."

A few others have had their main circuit boards replaced. Please let us know what your diagnosis is.
We will see how it goes but I can tell you that if I have a brand new $30K trailer and I cant go camping without taking an ice chest, I will be REALLY ticked and it will certainly kill my warm fuzzy feeling about having bought an Escape.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:40 PM   #19
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We will see how it goes but I can tell you that if I have a brand new $30K trailer and I cant go camping without taking an ice chest, I will be REALLY ticked and it will certainly kill my warm fuzzy feeling about having bought an Escape.
We keep a plastic container that will hold a block of ice, or bags of ice, in the refrigerator at all times. Irma is so frustrated with both refrigerators the RML and now we paid $250. more to change it to the RMD. I checked with an independent frig tech and he said they are "weak".

It's not a coincidence that ETI switched to a wider door in the 2017 model so they can load a refrigerator that has been historically a better performer. Time will tell.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:53 PM   #20
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We will see how it goes but I can tell you that if I have a brand new $30K trailer and I cant go camping without taking an ice chest, I will be REALLY ticked and it will certainly kill my warm fuzzy feeling about having bought an Escape.
Since you are in Texas, did you get the Texas edition? I believe it has extra cooling fans installed....
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