Refrigerator : Amish Cooling Unit

Our RV absorption refrigerator has given us trouble since we obtained Dora. It's OK until it gets hot out. Above about 85 or 90F it struggles and seems to have gotten worse over the years, or our memory has. All this in spite of the modificaitons made. Denise gave up and said we must do something. I know of two ways to improve 'fridge performance 1) put in an "Amish" cooling unit or 2) replace it with a "Danfoss" compressor 'fridge. Rumor has it that the "Amish" units improve performance noticeably. Is that enough? A compressor 'fridge would solve the problem but would need at least one additional solar panel. Overall more complex (risky) and expensive.

Hugh could not find a compressor 'fridge that fit in place of the old one without some cabinet work. Also, the solar panel we have is unknown so matching it, to use one solar controller, would be tricky. For option two the whole absorption cooling unit is replaced. The cooling unit is all the machinery that cools, the whole 'fridge minus the controls and insulated box. We decided to pursue the new cooling unit first, less expensive, less work and has a good chance of working. If it's not adequate we'll find a compression 'fridge and modify as needed.

Hugh started emailing with David Force at the RV Cooling Unit Warehouse who, via their website, has an "Amish" cooling unit for our Dometic RM2510. Well, not a new unit but one re-manuactured from an old one. Oh, but ours has three retaining holes to bolt in place. Very rare and basically unobtainable! "But you can send in your unit to be rebuilt" and added "turn around at the factory is about 3 days". Three days is not bad at all but a week shipping each way means we're without a 'fridge for going on three weeks, not acceptable. But 3 day turn around? How about if we brought the 'fridge to you and have it rebuilt? "Sure." Schedule? "Don't know, contact the factory in Shipshewana, IN." We did and they were very helpful saying they could rebuild it within 3-4 days, anytime, don't need an appointment. OK, so we started driving east.

We made it to Shipshewana June 9, 2019 and dropped off the 'fridge Monday AM at Pines RV Refrigeration. (They only work wholesale so call RV Cooling Unit Warehouse to get started.) They even helped us lift the 'fridge out of Dora 'cuz we can't lift it ourselves.

Northern Indiana, around Elkhart, is the center for the RV industry. The Amish, I understand, use absorption refrigerators in their homes. That's how they got involved building cooling units. Shipshewana is a center for the Amish. The two combined led them to re-building RV cooling units.

Ruben from Pines RV Refrigeration called Tuesday afternoon to say our 'fridge was ready. Wow, less than 36 hour turn around, great service. We went by Wednesday morning and had them help lift it back into Dora. Back to the campground to finish hooking it up. It works.

So far we've seen little hot weather to test the new unit. But a few days coming back across Northern Texas and eastern New Mexico. Temps up to about 90F. Not a great test but gave some indicaiton. It seems to work better. We didn't have to turn up the refrigerator control to keep it cool. This wouldn't have happened before. We'll find some too hot weather sometime this summer and have a better idea. But, Denise is convinced it's working much better.

We're very happy with the service we received getting this Amish cooling unit. It seems to have helped noticably. It'll take some hot weather for better testing, but so far so good.