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Topic ClosedReplacement Fridge / Sway Bar issue

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shoestring View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Replacement Fridge / Sway Bar issue
    Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 11:39am
Just got back from our maiden voyage in our 2011 176 (new to us).

We loved the R-Pod and had a great time in Fruita/Grand Junction camping, riding bikes and checking out dinos with our two small boys.

Fridge died about 1/2 way through trip and will be replacing it with either a dometic (only options are bigger or smaller than our current set up) or a norcold (same size). Anyone have any thoughts on this? Going to go with a 3 way energy source so we can keep fridge on battery when driving (what the original dometic had).

Also, one of our sway bars was lost on the trip!!! it's a valley brand hitch/bar set up and I understand they are out of business. anyone have any tips on where I might find a used bar so I don't have to replace the entire hitch/bar set up.

thanks!
2017 Toyota Highlander XLE
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lostagain View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 3:47pm
We replaced our Dometic with a Norcold last year.  The Dometic died - or I should say the price on a replacement part that may or may not have fixed it was ridiculously expensive.  We got a 3 way so it could run on battery too, but I later found out it was not necessary.  You will run your fridge on gas and AC.  The power requirements and the limited cooling ability on DC simply don't make it worth it.  When we are plugged in, which is rare, we run AC.  When we are traveling, we run on gas all the time.  In some places you may need to turn the gas valve on the tank off for a few minutes while you refuel, then open it again when you pull away from the pumps.

The DC wiring requirements for the Norcold to be connected to a TV are a huge hassle also.  It requires heavy gage wire and a special circuit.  Quite frankly, it was not worth hooking up.  As for the wiring requirements of the Dometic, you should probably check them out to make sure that it's really worth hooking it up.  When I was going though the replacement effort, I spoke to a guy who specializes in repair of RV appliances.  He said the DC for refrigerators in trailers is a waste of money. 
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Fred & Maria Kearney
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 4:25pm
thanks lostagain - that was the issue with mine too...to replace the part on an old fridge was nearly half the cost of buying a new one. But I guess I don't totally understand your point about not using DC - I'm working with Safari RV in reno (live in Truckee), but they didn't mention that the hook-up to DC would be a problem. If I have DC, won't I just use it when driving (like I just did to Colorado...lots of hours)?

On another point, are you generally happy with the Norcold?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 5:43pm
I can't say for the Dometic.  I really didn't investigate their 3 way as they were so awful to deal with that I decided to buy a Norcold.  Sometimes I shoot myself in the foot.  I got a Norcold 3 way on Amazon for a very good price.  When I went to install it, I found that it had a quick plug that had both AC and DC in it, but there was no clear wiring scheme.  I went to several Carson City RV shops and no one recognized it.  Finally, DJ's RV in Carson City installed it but without the DC cooling circuit connected.  (The fridge needs a low amperage DC to run on gas and that's on a different circuit.)  I figured out what the problem was when I spoke to a guy who is the go to person for this sort of thing in the Reno area on the telephone.  The fridge is designed for installation in a full RV like a class C.  I got the wiring diagram to connect it to the TV, but it just wasn't worth the hassle.  It works fine on gas.

If you would like the TV connection wiring diagram for the Norcold, I can send it to you via email.  If the installer didn't say anything about the DC, you may want to ask about it.  Also, you are welcome to pm me and we can arrange a telephone call and I can explain this a little better.  It's a little complicated.  Also, you're welcome to come and see the installation since we're practically neighbors.
Never leave footprints behind.
Fred & Maria Kearney
Sonoma 167RB
Our Pod 172
2019 Ford F-150 4x4 2.7 EcoBoost
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