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Cold Feet & Warm Beer (or how to remove a 4804 refrigerator safely)
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Hello Fellow Barthmobilers,
We finally decided to send our Dometic 4804 three-way(only one way works)to the scrap heap. We presently have a DMC 4101 sitting beside the coach. We're fairly confident that our solar generator & panels will run the new 12V compressor(Dometic 4101)model while driving on the highway without the need for the generator or propane to be operational.
Thinking the easiest way to remove the old 4804 frig(which is heavy)is to take it out one of the 1993 Breakaway right hand windows behind the passenger's seat. Of course, that would be after the framework of the windows would be removed. I've taken measurements & I don't think the refrigerator will go out through the front door, mostly due to how the dashboard is configured & the door, although it has a 1/2" clearance it is tapered at the top.
Has any member ever removed a frig from a Breakaway or Regency coach & how did you do it safely without doing any damage?

Thanks so much,
John
 
Posts: 55 | Location: Central Pa. | Member Since: 03-24-2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/23
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Ahh, the commonality of challenges to recreational toys. Fortunately Chris Craft built an inch and a half removable panel in the door opening for the 35 and 38 models so refrigerator or stove could be removed. Not so for my friends' 410s. Their solution was a Sawzall for removing and replacement was a narrower fridge (door removed for entrance) with a wine rack to fill the void. Good luck, Tim
 
Posts: 1069 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Member Since: 10-09-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 6/19
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We had to completely disassemble our old refrigerator to get it out of the coach . Took it out one piece at a time . Only had to remove the doors to get the new residential apartment size 9.8 cubic foot refrigerator in place .


Harold
Cat
Sam Miniature Schnauzer
3.8.2009 - 9.24.2021

93 30ft Breakaway
9209-3823-30BS-11B

KE5WCW
 
Posts: 626 | Location: Mooringsport,LA | Member Since: 05-30-2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/23
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Not sure how it is with a coach but with a cruiser the top goes on last which makes it easy to install big things. The 45 through 60s have a pattern in the cabin top, visible with the headliner removed, that can be cut out for removal of engines and transmissions, and while it is open why not update the heads and galley? Repair of frp is relatively simple but matching 50-year old gel coat can be tricky.
 
Posts: 1069 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Member Since: 10-09-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 6/19
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I found a picture of our old Dometic refrigerator after removal Mechanic


Harold
Cat
Sam Miniature Schnauzer
3.8.2009 - 9.24.2021

93 30ft Breakaway
9209-3823-30BS-11B

KE5WCW


 
Posts: 626 | Location: Mooringsport,LA | Member Since: 05-30-2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/11
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Just pull a window and slide it in through there, have done that hundreds of times.


Billy & Helen Thibodeaux

Retired from Billy Thibodeaux's Premiere RV, Inc. Scott, LA 70583 I-10 Exit 97
The Farm is near Duson, LA I-10 Exit 92 then N 1 mile on right
Three Full 50 Amp RV Hookups !
billynhelen@me.com
Data Tag: 9404-3908-36XI-2C
1994 Sovereign 36' Widebody on Spartan IC (Mountain Master Lite) Chassis.
Powered by Cummins ISL9-450
Onan 8,000 Quiet Diesel Genset
Toad: 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Diesel with M&G Car Brake
 
Posts: 377 | Location: 1mile north of I-10 Exit 92, Duson, LA USA in The Heart of CAJUN COUNRTY ! ! ! | Member Since: 05-14-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello All,
Thanks Billy 53, Harold, & Tim for your kind responses. We finally got the new refrigerator installed after a few major delays. Unfortunately as we were unpacking the 4101, we discovered two noticeable cosmetic dents on the top edge of the left hand side. These dents wouldn't have been noticeable since the frig would be installed in a cabinet, but I thought it wise to call Dometic first thing Monday. After playing around with their automated phone system, I finally got to talk with a human being who informed me that any dents cosmetic or not, automatically voided the warranty. But they had no hesitation in sending us a new frig. Ironically, they shipped it with the same trucking company who probably damaged the first one. This time it was perfect & we installed it.
Billy 53, if one has the muscle or help, I'm thinking the most efficient way to go is removing one of the windows, but since we now had the time & helpers are sometimes hard to find, we decided to go with Harold's method. I carefully disassembled the old three-way Dometic unit, making sure that I didn't release any ammonia or Freon, & took the pieces out the front door, although this method makes a heck of a mess. As far as installing the new unit is concerned, I just removed the frig doors & the shelves & the 4101 easily went through the front door. So thanks Harold.
Lastly, Tim, always appreciate the boating references. I can at any time glance out the window & see our CC Catalina Cruiser "sitting on the hard." I found out we didn't have the time nor money to run & maintain both the Barth & the Chris Craft at the same time. My wife of forty five years enjoys RV-ing a bit more than boating, but I really miss the water & don't have the desire to sell the boat.

Good Luck,
John
 
Posts: 55 | Location: Central Pa. | Member Since: 03-24-2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 6/19
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Happy to hear you have it changed out . Let us know how the new one performs . Smiler


Harold
Cat
Sam Miniature Schnauzer
3.8.2009 - 9.24.2021

93 30ft Breakaway
9209-3823-30BS-11B

KE5WCW
 
Posts: 626 | Location: Mooringsport,LA | Member Since: 05-30-2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/23
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Thumbs UpAll's well that ends Swell!
 
Posts: 1069 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Member Since: 10-09-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Official Barth Junkie
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/24
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The absorbtion style refigerator was originally designed by Servel. It is a very old design predating Freon. It was based on the properties of a common gas, ammonia. (Liquid ammonia and ammonia products are the #1 fertilizer used for many years, good household cleaner, too) It is naturally produced by decomposition processes, later, widely synthesized by combining hydrogen and nitrogen at high temp and pressure using the Haber process.

Because it liquifies at fairly low pressures, it was the first widely used refrigerant. Commercial ice houses used mechanical compressor ammonia systems for many years.

By eliminating the compressor, Servel systems could be made small enough and safe enough to use in residential units. This was done by combining enough hydrogen gas with the ammonia in the system to essentially create an ammonia percolator to move the liquid around. They are still widely used today on RVs and residential units all over the world.

Advantages, they can run on any heat source, propane burner, 12V or 110V electric, or boiling water.

Disadvantages: They are slow to cool, don't make ice well. They must be kept fairly level to allow the liquid to drain properly. The hydrogen and ammonia gases inside are flammable. While they should never leak out, if they do and there is a propane heat source there could be a fire. This has become a safety issue for many RV owners.

I personally know of many Servel units over 50 yrs old. Because ammonia is corrosive to copper, Servel units must be made with expensive noncorrosive components. When they do fail, the hydrogen and ammonia will leak out. In the absence of a flame they just blow away. Hydrogen is odorless and nontoxic. Ammonia is stinky and toxic in high concentrations but environmentally harmless. If they don't ignite, no big deal.

Sadly, modern manufacturers save money by making the cooling systems cheaper and thinner. The newer units are often much lower quality and more likely to fail and leak than the older ones, hence the recent safety concerns. Some of the European producers are still making good ones.


9708-M0037-37MM-01
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 325+ hp
 
Posts: 5212 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/11
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Glad y’all got her in! Please share yopur operating experience with the solar system. To efficiently keep your house batteries charging properly while driving I highly recommend a DC-DC charger, inexpensive and very effective. We recently installed a Renogy in our Sovereign.


Billy & Helen Thibodeaux

Retired from Billy Thibodeaux's Premiere RV, Inc. Scott, LA 70583 I-10 Exit 97
The Farm is near Duson, LA I-10 Exit 92 then N 1 mile on right
Three Full 50 Amp RV Hookups !
billynhelen@me.com
Data Tag: 9404-3908-36XI-2C
1994 Sovereign 36' Widebody on Spartan IC (Mountain Master Lite) Chassis.
Powered by Cummins ISL9-450
Onan 8,000 Quiet Diesel Genset
Toad: 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Diesel with M&G Car Brake
 
Posts: 377 | Location: 1mile north of I-10 Exit 92, Duson, LA USA in The Heart of CAJUN COUNRTY ! ! ! | Member Since: 05-14-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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