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Old 07-13-2020, 06:18 PM   #1
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Looking for Ideas for an RM 8551 fridge replacement

Well, I知 sad to say that after 3+ frustrating years with our Dometic RM 8551, the RV repair facility has said the fridge has packed it in, not cooling to keep food safe.
SOOOOO, I知 looking for ideas for a replacement that would fit.
I saw the 3 page post from a couple of years ago, but no one really came up with a REAL replacement.
Any ideas?
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:10 PM   #2
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Would you consider a reefer/freezer that operates on 12volt DC a "REAL replacement", or do you require /desire LP gas operation?

IOW, would you consider a 'Danfoss compressor' type unit (all-electric operation), or will you only consider an 'absorption type' unit (allowing operation on LP gas)?
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:15 PM   #3
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I知 leaning more towards a traditional absorption fridge, as we do a lot of dry camping. And in Canada, the nights can get cool, so we would need plenty of juice to look after all our needs. Hence, we池e staying away from compressor fridges, although they are tempting.
However, we strong argument, we might be persuaded to look at other options.
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:34 PM   #4
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Nope, not gonna try to 'sell you' on an all-electric solution if your use-habit is already geared toward lots of propane operation.

IF you want to 'sell yourself' you can look at the Nova Kool website for complete specs to find unit(s) of competitive size fitting in your existing cutout:

Nova Kool, refrigerators, freezers, Marine, RV, Truck

AFAIK all current absorption type units use the same basic technology and control system concepts; while there's detail differences between brands they all offer the same benefits and suffer similar foibles .... it's hard if not impossible to find a any brand that is immune from complaints, and hard to discern that the frequency of those complaints among different brands is significantly different over time. Web research reveals no shortage of advocates and detractors for all brands (and that holds for 'compressor type' units, too).

There are of course aftermarket vendors of various 'upgrade kits' for absorption units, alleging to offer better / more reliable operation. I've no experience with any of those, knocking-on-wood the ancient RM2454 absorption unit in my '05 Casita is still satisfactorily operating.

Insofar as absorption types, it strikes me as pretty much a 'pay your money, take your chances' and 'some get lucky, some don't' situation. Good Luck!

Just as a matter of curiosity, do you know if the poor performance and now failure of your RM8551 is based in inadequate rear ventilation, it's control system(s), or has it lost refrigerant?
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:11 PM   #5
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Since you have a first generation Escape, the aircraft style door's width is going to be your most restrictive factor. Not many frig's will fit through that opening.
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tworainy View Post
Well, I知 sad to say that after 3+ frustrating years with our Dometic RM 8551, the RV repair facility has said the fridge has packed it in, not cooling to keep food safe.
SOOOOO, I知 looking for ideas for a replacement that would fit.
I saw the 3 page post from a couple of years ago, but no one really came up with a REAL replacement.
Any ideas?
We have the same refrigerator . Check Norcold . The cabinet size may be different especially in height . Measure the width you have for your doorway . Remember you can always remove the door on the refrigerator and go sideways maybe to get into your trailer . If you have to change height and width cabinet dimensions, can be done just need to get the new fridge in . Read the paper work with new refrigerator and make sure the cabinet is insulated and the clearances are correct . Very important for operation . Pat
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:03 PM   #7
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Centex, thanks for your push. Visited the Nova Kool factory this morning, as I was in the neighbourhood. I've crunched numbers and read a lot since yesterday, and have decided to go for a Nova Kool R3800 to replace our Dometic RM8551. My wife swears the Dometic didn't work well from the get-go. Going to put the savings into solar!
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:42 PM   #8
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Before you install anything new be sure that the cavity is insulated. Well insulated. Mine had no insulation, nada! I pulled the refrigerator and installed foam board on all sides except the back. On the rear I fabricated an aluminum raceway to exhaust heat out of the roof vent. It is an acceptable refrigerator after five years of messing with it.
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:47 PM   #9
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So I got our 17B Tamago home 2 days ago with our lousy Dometic RM8551 fridge replaced with a Nova Kool R3800. The repair shop installed it last Friday, apparently with proper insulation around it, and ran it on DC all weekend. The fridge was cold on Monday when he called me to pick it up! In fact, I picked it up a day later, and it was STILL cold...and there was still juice in the batteries (though not much).

Now comes the true test...fine tuning the temperature and road testing it!

As for the install, it was an easy fit with a little space left above the fridge to fill with a spacer.
Nova Kool R3800 was also considerably cheaper to purchase, at C$1399 plus taxes.

I will keep the forum apprised of my experience with this set up.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tworainy View Post
So I got our 17B Tamago home 2 days ago with our lousy Dometic RM8551 fridge replaced with a Nova Kool R3800. The repair shop installed it last Friday, apparently with proper insulation around it, and ran it on DC all weekend. The fridge was cold on Monday when he called me to pick it up! In fact, I picked it up a day later, and it was STILL cold...and there was still juice in the batteries (though not much).

Now comes the true test...fine tuning the temperature and road testing it!

As for the install, it was an easy fit with a little space left above the fridge to fill with a spacer.
Nova Kool R3800 was also considerably cheaper to purchase, at C$1399 plus taxes.

I will keep the forum apprised of my experience with this set up.
Interested please update ! Pat
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:26 PM   #11
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We are still trying to keep our fridge working and are looking for a couple of parts, is it too late to purchase them from you?

Thanks.
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:11 AM   #12
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The only part I have left is a new door lock tab/clip that I ordered from the UK. Offers?
(https://rvpartsexpress.com/product/d...b-rmx-rml85xx/)

Otherwise, you could check with Tedco RV in Langley to see if they still have it for other parts.
Good luck!
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:25 AM   #13
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Thanks, I called Tedco and they have tossed the fridge. I did replace the latch earlier with:

https://bastens.com/products/dometic...idge-latch-lef

Thanks again.
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