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Hello,

does anyone can tell me how to recharge the freon of the fridge? (if there is a way to do it)

All the best for 2012

 

Rodolfo

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Rodolfo, you don't specify the year and model, but I am fairly sure that all of the Dometic fridges used Ammonia as the gas, not freon. They are sealed at the factory and have no service valves. An authorized Dometic service center would be your best bet, but honestly, if the charge is gone, might be time to consider other options. I like the feature of running off of propane. Go Westy has used units for sale for less than probably the cost of shipping. Check on the The Samba classifieds. Many owners are swapping out there Dometics for modern electrical fridges. Truckfridge and Vitrigo come to mind. The fit in the stock location, have more room, modern efficient compressor, and run off of 12 volt or 110. mark

Hello Mark, thank you very much for your information. I did not know that the Dometic fridges were filled with amonia. I have the fridge that was installed originally, so I do asume it is a 83 and the model they used to put in. Anyway, I am looking around and looked as well into the web-pages of the names you send me. Even Dometic still make fridges that could fit in the original place.

Unfortunately I am always on business trips so not much time left to spend on my favorit toy. But will let you know what I finally will do. A fridge in the Westfalia is a pretty useful thing to have.

Rgds from the sunny Florida, Rodolfo



Mark and Donna said:

Rodolfo, you don't specify the year and model, but I am fairly sure that all of the Dometic fridges used Ammonia as the gas, not freon. They are sealed at the factory and have no service valves. An authorized Dometic service center would be your best bet, but honestly, if the charge is gone, might be time to consider other options. I like the feature of running off of propane. Go Westy has used units for sale for less than probably the cost of shipping. Check on the The Samba classifieds. Many owners are swapping out there Dometics for modern electrical fridges. Truckfridge and Vitrigo come to mind. The fit in the stock location, have more room, modern efficient compressor, and run off of 12 volt or 110. mark

Rodolfo, when you have time, if you could post a link to the Dometic that would fit in the stock location, that would be helpful. I have not seen any that would fit without modifying the cabinet. Over at the Samba, if you look here, http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=151300 far down on that page are some good links about the vanagon fridge. Are you sure your's is broken? They can be finicky to get working and make no noise really when they are running. Also, I did see on Fleebay, Go Westy is still selling used Dometics for $25 if. http://www.ebay.com/itm/VW-Vanagon-Westy-Camper-Dometic-Fridge-non-... We are in sunny south Florida as well.

The fridges are a little finicky, but do work. Although not up to what most of us are use to with our conventional fridges. They're pretty much bullet proof as there are no moving parts per say, just heating elements, 12 volt, 120 volt, and propane, depending on what you're operating them on.
They do need to be kept level for efficient operation when stationary. They can become inefficient/inoperative from the refrigerant migrating. This can be corrected by turning the refrigerator upside down for 24 hours or so.

Hello Mark, you are right the new Dometic refrigerators do not fit in the stock cabinet. There is a lot of changes to be done. (You can find the infromation on their web-page, which you probably know already) It even looks like, that the other ones you told me before fit with less changes. You made a very good question, is the fridge really broken? That I don't know for sure. If I find some time tomorrow I will see if I can get it out and see what can be done. By the way thanks for the other tips where to find information about them. Although it looks that the other fridges are more efficient. Will let you about the out come of my venture.

Well, may be one of these days we see on a camp ground. Thanks again and regards. Rodolfo
Mark and Donna said:

Rodolfo, when you have time, if you could post a link to the Dometic that would fit in the stock location, that would be helpful. I have not seen any that would fit without modifying the cabinet. Over at the Samba, if you look here, http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=151300 far down on that page are some good links about the vanagon fridge. Are you sure your's is broken? They can be finicky to get working and make no noise really when they are running. Also, I did see on Fleebay, Go Westy is still selling used Dometics for $25 if. http://www.ebay.com/itm/VW-Vanagon-Westy-Camper-Dometic-Fridge-non-... We are in sunny south Florida as well.

Rodolfo:

I guess it depends upon the yerar of your camper.

I've not been able to get the one in my 78' Bay window working myself, and was wondering how to start?

I've been told that mine in the 78' Westfalia is ammonia also... and that the ammonia crystals need some type of work to be done to them.

I'm located in Western NY State, can anyone recomend who I could have repair it? Jim

Hello Roger, thanks for your comments! The fact that they have no moving parts is the reason for them to have that extremly long life time.  So when I find some time I will take it out and as you say, turn it upside down for a day and lets see how it will behave. If it stays the same, well then I will have to buy a new one. Will inform you guys about the outcome.

 

Regards

Rodolfo

Roger Barkley said:

The fridges are a little finicky, but do work. Although not up to what most of us are use to with our conventional fridges. They're pretty much bullet proof as there are no moving parts per say, just heating elements, 12 volt, 120 volt, and propane, depending on what you're operating them on.
They do need to be kept level for efficient operation when stationary. They can become inefficient/inoperative from the refrigerant migrating. This can be corrected by turning the refrigerator upside down for 24 hours or so.

I forgot to add. They take a long time to cool off. Before you get carried away, plug it in on 110 over night and see if it is cool in the morning. Set a water bottle in there as well to get a sense of if the water cooled down. If the 110 works, it is just a case of sorting out the lighting on propane. All 3 systems use the same amonia cooling circuit. Just different ways to heat it. There is a 110 element, a 12 volt element, and then the propane fire box.

Two tricks we use are a cheap battery powered rv fridge fan to circulate the air, and we have two freezer packs we rotate daily top to bottom. Last we always plug the fridge in the night before we travel and cool the food down in our house fridge before packing. Well that is more than two tricks. Running the fridge on 110 or 12 volts seems to help starting it on propane. The suggestion is that you have hot air rising which seems to help. mark

I turned mine in a 360 rotation letting the ammonia to run all through the system and it was like getting a new fridge when I fired it up again!! I had a problem then with it freezing stuff and had to set it on the lowest setting then,the pilot light. Got 5 to 6 weeks out of a tank of propane.

Here's a little more on the Dometic fridge, details on how it works. I've herd about turning it upside down but never tried it.

https://sites.google.com/site/blakeheinlein/blake/dometic-refrigerator

Good luck!

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