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Old 02-18-2013, 11:08 AM   #1
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Dometic 1350 replacement

Has anyone replaced their Dometic 1350 with a residential refrigerator, I would really appreciate hearing how hard it was to do. I have about given up with trying to get this thing to cool properly. Dealers fixes and mods haven't helped much and I am tired of soft Ice Cream, no Ice and a warm refrigerator! We have a couple of friends who also have Prime Times with the Dometic 1350 in them and they don't work correctly either. I have the 5 year Dometic warranty but so far their warranty hasn't done anything to improve the performance of the unit either. The trailer is a 2012 model so everything it is just barely a year old.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:24 PM   #2
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Do you really want a fridge that only runs on 120v?
Have they checked the refrigerant charge? Maybe it wasn't properly charged from the factory. There is no reason it shouldn't work.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:03 PM   #3
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The trailer has been to 4 different dealers since I have owned it, that is less than two years. I have the extended Dometic warranty on the unit and it still doesn't work correctly. The forums are full of people who have problems with this unit. We have friends that we camp with that have the same unit, all have problems of different kinds. We very seldom do any dry camping so the issue of only having 120 power available isn't a major issue. With an inverter and a couple of 6 volt batteries the unit will stay cold when going from point to point. I believe a residential replacement could be installed for less than $2000. The replacement from Dometic is over $3000 and you still have soft ice cream, no ice and spoiled food.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:50 AM   #4
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We have one of the Dometic 1350 models and it has been great. I don't think it's supposed to be a zero-degree fridge so wouldn't expect hard ice-cream. Making ice works great as long as we don't stack the trays. The temp gage says 37 all the time in ours. What does yours say?

One thought I had: You did remove the little plastic piece that slides over the door latch (refer side) that is used to keep the door open for drying it out when it's not in use didn't you? You really wouldn't know it's there if you didn't know to look for it. (I can take a picture next time I'm at the storage place.)
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:53 AM   #5
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I only use the plastic piece when the trailer is in storage. The temp in the refer and freezer are fine when the outside temp is between 35 and 75. When the temp goes above 75 they both go up. At around 85 the freezer will no longer make ice and the refer can be as high as 50. When it is 75 outside and the thing runs its defrost cycle it can take an entire day for the temp to drop back down below 40 refer and 32 for the freezer. I keep the settings on the highest settings and the best it ever reads is about 40 and 24. I have tried fans inside and it has been worked on multiple times by different dealers who were Dometic authorized dealers. The service guys at the dealerships have nothing good to say about this model. If they ever get this one working I'd probably quit badmouthing it but so far I have lost a lot of food and have to carry power coolers to store food. That gets old on a long trip.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:11 AM   #6
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Oh we'll. Just a thought.

On your original question, just this year PrimeTime came out with the Sanibel 3501 which, near as I can tell, is the same as the 3500 except for the change to a residential refer. Perhaps you could get more info on that to figure out how hard it would be.

The symptoms on your current refer sound like the outside condenser fan isn't coming on. Do you ever hear a high-pitched whine (quite loud) when the outside temps are higher?

Did those 4 dealers tell you what parts they have replaced to try to fix this? (Why 4? Might be better to just keep the pressure on at one of them.)

Have you posted in the Dometic-owned forums? You'd really think they'd take care of this after you bought the extended warranty.

Have you tried the Good Sam's "Action Line"?

If only RV's had Lemon Laws like our cars do. (Yes, I know, they'd cost more then.)
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:04 PM   #7
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For the most part my LaCrosse is great, there are a few small items I would change but the refrigerator is horrible. I have spoken to Dometic customer service on several occasions but they always try to get back to the manufacturer not installing them correctly. I have had the installation checked twice to see that there isn't anything blocking the flue or vent. Changed the thermostat, had the flame checked twice, replaced a seal, replaced a latch, tried to get them to add a couple of fans for improved circulation, everything any dealer suggested has been done. Hasn't changed the temps one bit.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:08 PM   #8
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So they haven't replaced the condenser fan, or temp sensor, or control board. Does the condenser fan run when it's hot outside?
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:35 PM   #9
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Having trouble getting the four-door refrigerator in your slide-out to cool? If you are, you are not alone. The worse possible place for a manufacturer to install a large four-door refrigerator is in a slide-out and the manufacturers who insist on doing so almost never do it correctly.
What’s the problem? Simple, air has to pass over the coil at the top of the cooling coil. When the refrigerator is ducted through the RV roof, the coil is right in the path of air rising up from the bottom sidewall vent. Put the fridge in a slide-out and the air stays trapped and even with the dual fans spooled up, most of the air bypasses the coil on its way out of the top sidewall vent. Want to fix the problem? Here’s how to do it.
First, remove the top vent and using a piece of paneling or sheet metal, make a baffle (a wall) so all the rising air has to pass through the upper coil. Secondly mount a pancake fan of the type used to cool computers so that it blows air straight out of the top vent. One fan is good, two is better. You can buy 12-volt fans at Northern Parts or Radio Shack for just a few dollars. Since they need to run non-stop in hot weather, I would wire them to the hot and ground leads powering the refrigerator putting a 3 amp fuse inline with the hot lead.
Once you get enough air moving over the top coil, things improve rapidly in the fridge. If you are wondering how you know if adding fans will help, the most common complaint about the Dometic 1350 is the box temperature drops to about 50 degrees in hot weather and then stops. If this sounds like your refrigerator, fan power will help and making the modification runs less than $50.00. Yeah, the factory should have done it when they built your RV, but they didn’t so it’s up to you.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:52 PM   #10
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Steve's isn't in a slide-out. Mine is and it works great (so Sanibel must have done it right). Still good points to consider.
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