Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Section for discussion of Chinook interior and appliance issues, repair or installation.
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Astrodokk
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Re: Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Post by Astrodokk »

Ok thank you.
2000 Ford E350 415CI/6.8L V-10 Triton Chinook Concourse XL Club Lounge
chin_k
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Re: Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Post by chin_k »

I don't know if it is a viable alternative for our cases, but instead of get rid of the old frig entirely, another option is to replace the back mechanism (propane/AC/DC) with a DC compressor. I see there is a youtub video on this here.

I don't know if the refer transplant can be done inside the coach.

I called Dometic and found that mine was also in the recall, and never have the kit installed. I call a RV service shop (Dometic does not ship the kit to me, even if I can install it myself), and they want me to drop off my rig there. They will then call Dometic to have the kit send to the shop, and have it installed when it arrived. They would not let me bring my rig home while waiting for the service kit, and told me it will take at least 5 days in the parking lot. :roll: I called someone else instead.
2000 Concourse dinette, on 1999 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis
btexpress
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Re: Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Post by btexpress »

Regarding the recall kit: Just call the Dometic recall hotline (888 446-5157) if that's what's in your rig. They will want Model #, Product # and serial # of the fridge. I think they will want your RV vin# and personal info. They can give you a list of repair shops they have on file or you can find your own. After selecting an RV repair shop that will do the install just call the recall hotline back and give them the name and address of the shop you chose. I personally would pick one that would do it by appointment, eliminating having to leave it there.

Regarding converting to a compressor style: An interesting concept and I would love to utilize the existing core. I watched the video and came away with a couple of thoughts. One is that the conversion would be almost impossible on the Premier or Concourse models due to lack of working space. The fridge has to come out to access the back and that's a big problem.
The other is that you have to choose between an AC or a DC compressor unit. I would want an AC/ DC combination so you can run DC while driving or boon docking and AC when plugged in like the Vritrifrigo 120 model.
chin_k
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Re: Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Post by chin_k »

I worry about the lack of space, but it can be done if the fridge can be removed into the coach area completely , maybe using the dinette area... need to see how big it really is. If someone have the luxury of time, maybe started with that option, and if it can be done, then order the parts, if not, then cut it in half.

I am not too worry if it is only available in DC, since there is a converter that you can use if you have access to shore power. If it is only available in AC, then it is a hassle since most of our rig does not come with a inverter to run AC appliances, and it is a real hassle to fire the genset just for the fridge.
2000 Concourse dinette, on 1999 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis
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Blue~Go
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Re: Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Post by Blue~Go »

Another thing to consider is that an absorption fridge is a fair bit smaller inside than a typical DC compressor fridge. That's because it has room for a combination fireplace/pachinko machine on the back side ( :lol: ). A purpose designed unit such as one made by Vitrifrigo, Isotherm or etc. will either be smaller overall for the same interior space; or give you more interior space for the same exterior size (such as Paul's DP2600 which is over 8 cubic feet and fits in the original space).

I went the opposite direction as the original hallway felt uncomfortable and cramped to me (smaller capacity; vastly smaller overall footprint).
1999 Concourse
pdemarest
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Re: Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Post by pdemarest »

Echoing Blue's comment about useable capacity of a Vitrifrigo vs. a Dometic 3 way fridge. The original Dometic had 6 cubic feet inside while the Vitrifrigo has 8.3 cubic feet. In addition, the unit is deeper so it allows for larger items than the Dometic, which has the "Pachinco" machine intruding into the inside space. Yet another advantage is that the Vitrifrigo only takes about 2 hours to cool down once you turn it on and can hold proper temperatures inside in 105 degree heat.
"
Paul Demarest
2003 Premier V-10
deppstein
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Re: Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Post by deppstein »

In an effort to "recycle" Board Index Topics (rather than create new one's that overlap), I'm picking up this thread to talk about the work I just had done to refurbish the OEM Dometic RM 2663 3-way Frig in my 2004 Premier. I just returned from having this work done by JCRefrigeration (The Dutchaire Folks) in Shipsawana Indiana. Given my use parameters, I decided that their propane gas/electric model 2652 was what I needed--I don't have enough constant solar to go all electric.
Cutting to the chase--I can't say enough good things about these guys. They were incredibly helpful and responsive in all of our email correspondence, and, having now seen their assembly process, I am very impressed with the quality of their product. In addition, the install (done by them at their shop) was accomplished without having to remove the frig from the Rig. They removed the old Frig, laid it on the lowered dinette to replace the rear guts, and re-installed "neat as a pin.' The original control board (already a Dinosaur Upgrade) was left in place and runs the new unit. The whole job took less than 2 1/2 hours...but still, in my mind, worth the trip from Boston and back...hell, twist my arm anytime for a little Road Trip!
In addition to installing all new "guts" they put in a thermostatically controlled vent fan as well as a fin fan for circulating air inside the frig (on a manual switch, it draws .32 A). The whole thing cost me around $1100.
I've had the frig on constantly since I left 6 days ago, and it is running perfectly...so well in fact, that I can maintain proper temp with a setting of "2"...was never able to go lower than "3" before. But the biggest advantage to having this work done is the peace of mind I now have that the pipes are solid, not rusted (as was the case with my old unit). My old Frig was 17 years old, and the useful life of those babies is listed as 15-20...so I figured it was definitely time--BEFORE having to deal with a Frig Fire...yes, that post a while back caught my attention big time.
For those of you that have decided to go the "regular" electric Frig route...they make those units as well.
David
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Blue~Go
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Re: Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Post by Blue~Go »

Good deal! It's so nice to find places that do careful, tidy work. I'm like you, and will (have) travel(ed) great distances to go to those sorts of places.

***********

I'm curious about how you said they were able to just pull the fridge out and put it on the dinette. I'm pretty sure there would have been no way to get mine out without removing the L-shaped countertop from the sink side of the kitchen (because it would have run into that before clearing the fridge hole). Now I'm only about 90% sure because after measuring, what I did was pull the refrigerator out a foot, saw it in half, and then remove the two halves out the door 8-)

Do you have the L-shaped counter on the kitchen side? I know most of the Premiers had a straight kitchen (and sometimes a smaller fridge); but yours is one of the newer ones where they started to blur the lines a bit more, IIRC.
deppstein wrote: March 1st, 2022, 12:42 pm For those of you that have decided to go the "regular" electric Frig route...they make those units as well.
Just a note: If by "make" it means that they would put an electric compressor "guts" into the original absorption fridge body, I would probably not go that way. Reason is, absorption refrigerators are comparatively very shallow inside due to the fact that there is a whole chimney plus the pachinko machine of tubes, etc. on the backside. A "same sized" (outer dimensions) designed-as-a-compressor-fridge unit will have much more space. Just as an example, my original absorption refrigerator in my Concourse (RM-3663) was ~6 cubic feet. The Vitrifrigo DP2600 that fits in the same hole is just over 8 cubic feet, so 33% larger capacity. (Or, conversly, a Vitrifrigo DP150 is 5.3 cubic feet and you have room for many inches of additional insulation, plus a new drawer above or below - I've installed two of these for friends in place of the old 6-cubic-foot absorption style.) There are other brands, just, I know these two and I mention them as they are equivalent in that they both have a separate freezer door, not just a plastic "doorlet" inside the main door.

That's not to say your route was not a really good choice; but just that converting an absorption "shell" to compressor has some big compromises (presuming that's what they are doing - just say the word if they are building entirely new refrigerators and I will edit this).

PS: I like that you tacked onto an older thread with the same general topic. I noticed on a lot of forums they heavily encourage you to start a new thread instead, but then you end up with seventeen threads on the same topic, and many older gems of info get lost due to the scattering.
1999 Concourse
deppstein
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Re: Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Post by deppstein »

Blue…no need to edit…you are correct. The Dutch Aire folks do put either a 120v or 12v compressor-type unit onto the back of the existing box. So, from an inside space utilization standpoint there is clearly some compromise. That said, it does seem like they build their units specifically for the road (isolaters, thicker tubing) and to be very efficient (battery consumption in mind). On the JC Refrigeration website there is a pretty good Q/A section that talks about all of this.
As to how they managed to get the original box out and the new one in—can’t say how…but they did (I asked if I could hang around and watch, but they said no due to their insurance rules/people in the shop thing)And yes, my 2004 Premier does have the L-shaped counter with double sink and two drawers above the electrical box…and my Frig is the 6 cu ft RM2663.
David
Jlfchinook
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Re: Replace refrigerator 2000 Concourse

Post by Jlfchinook »

I have run refrigerators on 6 different motor homes the last 40 years on propane and 120 without any trouble at all, yes I am old but have used norcold and dometic units. Have two Chinooks and a Tiffin which I run the same way at the present time. Always run gas while moving and 120 when parked. Could be just lucky but they have always worked fine for me.
2000 Concourse, 2001 premier
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