15B - Dometic RM2510 5.0 cf Refrigerator Cooling Unit Leak - Very Strong Ammonia Odor - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-26-2019, 02:31 PM   #1
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15B - Dometic RM2510 5.0 cf Refrigerator Cooling Unit Leak - Very Strong Ammonia Odor

Sometime during the journey home on our most recent trip through the beautiful high desert in Eastern Oregon, the cooling unit of our Dometic RM2510 5.0 cf refrigerator, (fridge manufactured in 2009; installed in our 2010 15B) leaked causing a very strong ammonia odor with yellow residue on the outside fridge vent door.

We are considering a rebuilt cooling unit (if we can locate one), but recognize it’s costly compared to replacing the entire fridge with a new one. Another option is replacing with a new fridge however, we are having difficulty finding a replacement fridge for the RM2510 that (a) fits through our door and (b) fits inside our existing fridge recess area. Preliminary measurements have us questioning the process of removing the existing fridge & it fitting through the door. The listed fridge measurements appear wider than our door opening?

This was quite an alarming experience, thankfully we were not inside the unit when this occurred. The fridge is now turned off and our trailer has been aired out.

We’ve absolutely adored our little trailer for the past 6.5 years & are anxious to get back on the road making memories. This is just a hiccup in our journey.

Any repair/rebuild/replacement advice or ideas for this fridge issue will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:56 PM   #2
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They still make (or at least sell) the RM2510 (a version of it called the 2R) as far as I know. The critical measurement is the width, since the door of the trailer is about 22 inches wide. How about the Dometic "Coolfreeze" as an alternative? Looks like a 2-way fridge with the same outer width as the RM2510, or close to it. The height might be different though, haven't checked.

https://www.campingworld.com/dometic...waApbDEALw_wcB
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:01 PM   #3
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I see the "Coolfreeze" is only three cubic feet. Not sure I could cope with that after having five cubic feet.
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jc journey View Post
Sometime during the journey home on our most recent trip through the beautiful high desert in Eastern Oregon, the cooling unit of our Dometic RM2510 5.0 cf refrigerator, (fridge manufactured in 2009; installed in our 2010 15B) leaked causing a very strong ammonia odor with yellow residue on the outside fridge vent door.

We are considering a rebuilt cooling unit (if we can locate one), but recognize it’s costly compared to replacing the entire fridge with a new one. Another option is replacing with a new fridge however, we are having difficulty finding a replacement fridge for the RM2510 that (a) fits through our door and (b) fits inside our existing fridge recess area. Preliminary measurements have us questioning the process of removing the existing fridge & it fitting through the door. The listed fridge measurements appear wider than our door opening?

This was quite an alarming experience, thankfully we were not inside the unit when this occurred. The fridge is now turned off and our trailer has been aired out.

We’ve absolutely adored our little trailer for the past 6.5 years & are anxious to get back on the road making memories. This is just a hiccup in our journey.

Any repair/rebuild/replacement advice or ideas for this fridge issue will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
RM2510 Dometic Cooling Unit - Amish
https://rvcoolingunit.com/RM2510-Dom...it-P10973.aspx
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
They still make (or at least sell) the RM2510 (a version of it called the 2R) as far as I know. The critical measurement is the width, since the door of the trailer is about 22 inches wide.
New RM2510
https://www.rvpartscountry.com/Compa...rigerator.html

This story reinforces the need to have the rear fridge area sealed well from the inside cabin. Keeps out combustion gases, heat and ammonia in the case of a leak.

Speak with ETI. They may have been removing the door and the cooling unit to fit the fridge.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
New RM2510
https://www.rvpartscountry.com/Compa...rigerator.html

This story reinforces the need to have the rear fridge area sealed well from the inside cabin. Keeps out combustion gases, heat and ammonia in the case of a leak.

Speak with ETI. They may have been removing the door and the cooling unit to fit the fridge.
I saw the one you linked Dave, but I'm assuming it's cost prohibitive. I would much sooner replace the cooling unit for around $600-$700 vs paying 2K for a new fridge.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:56 PM   #7
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At one point I had a discussion with Reace about replacing my RM2510. He didn't indicate any problem with installation and gave me a price. I decided to go with repair, but in hindsight, I should have bought the new one, because repair cost a little more than half the price of new.
I think I was quoted about $1,200 CAD. That $1,944 USD price quoted in the link is absurd. I was told by my local RV service that the price I was quoted was excellent.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:38 AM   #8
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I saw the one you linked Dave, but I'm assuming it's cost prohibitive. I would much sooner replace the cooling unit for around $600-$700 vs paying 2K for a new fridge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
That $1,944 USD price quoted in the link is absurd.
I didn't say it was economical. Simply showing that a new RM2510 is apparently still available if someone would like to buy one.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:58 AM   #9
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Before replacing the cooling unit, check your door seal. The gasket is not replaceable - you need the entire door, which, the last time I checked, was $300.00.
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:32 PM   #10
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Before replacing the cooling unit, check your door seal. The gasket is not replaceable - you need the entire door, which, the last time I checked, was $300.00.
Great Information, thanks so much, Jon!
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Old 09-27-2019, 02:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
At one point I had a discussion with Reace about replacing my RM2510. He didn't indicate any problem with installation and gave me a price. I decided to go with repair, but in hindsight, I should have bought the new one, because repair cost a little more than half the price of new.
I think I was quoted about $1,200 CAD. That $1,944 USD price quoted in the link is absurd. I was told by my local RV service that the price I was quoted was excellent.
A quick call to ETI a few days ago confirmed that unfortunately, they do not have any units (in our size range) that will fit through our door. You are correct, ETI's price quotes are excellent. They have done extensive work for us over the past 6.5 years. Their workmanship & customer service are always top notch! We are spoiled having a 5.0 cf refrigerator, tough thinking about a smaller 3.0 cf unit, not to mention the excessive hole that would be left in the cabinetry. This too shall pass. Thanks so much for your input.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:36 PM   #12
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We have an RM2510 in our 2011 '19. Have had no end of trouble with inadequate cooling. There are threads on adding fans, narrowing the air flow path, etc. Finally decided we needed to do something. So, we had an "Amish" cooling unit installed, well they rebuilt our cooling unit.

It cost $600. They have no rebuilt units for the RM2510 so they need your old cooling unit to rebuild. We live in our trailer so we decided to drive to Indiana to have the work done. Very satisfied with their service. The RM2510 did come out and go back in the Escape 19 door. Don't know about a '15.

The cooling unit did help the refrigerator, but didn't solve all of our cooling issues.

I could not find another 'fridge that would reasonably fit the opening of the RM2510, and couldn't find a compressor 'fridge (DanFos) that would reasonably fit.

If the RM2510 is in good condition and you've been pleased with it, an "Amish" rebuild would be a good step.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:48 PM   #13
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If the RM2510 is in good condition and you've been pleased with it, an "Amish" rebuild would be a good step.

What do they do that couldn't be done by another shop? Keeping an eye on this thread and knocking on wood.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:45 PM   #14
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What do they do that couldn't be done by another shop? Keeping an eye on this thread and knocking on wood.
Supposedly, they have had enough experience working with absorption fridges that they know the optimum charge for the unit.

" After years of testing, they formulate the charge to perform at a higher cooling performance..They do not charge with just the same old charges that only gives minimum cooling."

https://rvcoolingunit.com/RM2510-Dom...it-P10973.aspx
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:50 PM   #15
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Supposedly, they have had enough experience working with absorption fridges that they know the optimum charge for the unit.

Now I wonder how they know they've achieved optimum without using any modern technology.
I suspect the Amish are used by lots of opportunists.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:30 AM   #16
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We have an RM2510 in our 2011 '19. Have had no end of trouble with inadequate cooling. There are threads on adding fans, narrowing the air flow path, etc. Finally decided we needed to do something. So, we had an "Amish" cooling unit installed, well they rebuilt our cooling unit.

It cost $600. They have no rebuilt units for the RM2510 so they need your old cooling unit to rebuild. We live in our trailer so we decided to drive to Indiana to have the work done. Very satisfied with their service. The RM2510 did come out and go back in the Escape 19 door. Don't know about a '15.

The cooling unit did help the refrigerator, but didn't solve all of our cooling issues.

I could not find another 'fridge that would reasonably fit the opening of the RM2510, and couldn't find a compressor 'fridge (DanFos) that would reasonably fit.

If the RM2510 is in good condition and you've been pleased with it, an "Amish" rebuild would be a good step.
Hugh: You may have seen my thread where I tried many things to get a colder RM2510. I have been successful. I have a summary in post #89. Three keys were proper propane pressure, cleaning jet, and insulating/sealing big gaps around rear of fridge. Have you done these? The propane pressure not dropping below 11” w.c. with 50% of trailer BTU’s in use is critical. That will put your system pressure with no load around 12” w.c. +/-.

Refrigerator Test
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by currinh View Post
We have an RM2510 in our 2011 '19. Have had no end of trouble with inadequate cooling. There are threads on adding fans, narrowing the air flow path, etc. Finally decided we needed to do something. So, we had an "Amish" cooling unit installed, well they rebuilt our cooling unit.

It cost $600. They have no rebuilt units for the RM2510 so they need your old cooling unit to rebuild. We live in our trailer so we decided to drive to Indiana to have the work done. Very satisfied with their service. The RM2510 did come out and go back in the Escape 19 door. Don't know about a '15.

The cooling unit did help the refrigerator, but didn't solve all of our cooling issues.

I could not find another 'fridge that would reasonably fit the opening of the RM2510, and couldn't find a compressor 'fridge (DanFos) that would reasonably fit.

If the RM2510 is in good condition and you've been pleased with it, an "Amish" rebuild would be a good step.
Thanks so much for the great information. Our RM2510 is in very good condition. We have removed the leaking cooling unit and have decided an Amish rebuilt cooling unit is the way to go for us.

We are pleased to hear you are very satisfied with the service you received in Indiana. Do you have contact information for the specific company you used?

We are also looking for additional Amish Cooling Unit company recommendations based on positive user experience if anyone else has some to consider.

Thanks so much!
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:22 PM   #18
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Haven’t used them personally but have heard good things. This could have been who Hugh went through too but hopefully he’ll weigh in.
https://jc-refrigeration.com/

There is also National RV Refrigeration
https://fixyourfridge.com/
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:11 AM   #19
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When I was getting ready to order my 17 there was such a huge level of anxiety over Dometic refrigeration that it made me stop and "look". I decided on ordering the smaller of the options … a 3.4 cu/ft (I think). No complaints with that model but there was with the next size up … the 5.0 cu/ft. I felt pretty smug for a couple years when I noticed that my ice cream was a little soft and the refer temps were getting too high to keep my 1/2 and 1/2 for very long. Gotta have it for my morning coffee … ya know. I got to looking at my refer door …. pushing it in "more" closed seemed to make the seals fit better. About this time someone complained about their refer door coming off while traveling. Yikes! That freaked me out so I installed a couple flat eyes in the framing each side mostly for traveling and a cinch strap. Refer / freezer became noticeably colder but now my propane regulator was squealing when anything propane was on. Inspection showed that my pigtails had lots of hairline cracks in them …. replacement of both REALLY seemed to help and the cost was pretty low. Now my refer wolrks like it is supposed to.
I also keep my drinks in the back of my pick up in one of those coolers that the manufacturer claims that a single block of ice will last a year or two …. you know the models. The only trouble I have now is when Jim Bennett is camping near buy and is thirsty …. No matter, I appreciate his friendship so much that I'll drink a warm beer or a Scotch with no ice anytime no problem. Sometimes you just gotta "man-up".

Another issue that isn't all that serious (yet) is due to my lifestyle I find I have to put my trailer in storage for about 6 months at a time - I shut off my propane at the tanks. Upon my return, my cook top works and usually my heater … but everything else propane wont start maybe for as long as 24 hours. Luckily, several re-starts and perhaps additional re-starts has gotten things rolling again …. I must have a slow propane leak somewhere …. but where? Owning an RV is such a learning experience!!!

Tom

Never mind …. I'm so happy I bought my Escape!
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