We picked up our new fridge from PPL Motorhomes … a beautiful new Dometic RM2820. By purchasing the fridge through a local dealer, avoiding the shipping costs by picking it up with our Dodge truck, and with slaDE installing it himself, we saved over $800! That’s quite the savings on such an important and expensive appliance. Because an RV fridge should be shipped and stored upright, we needed to take the tonneau cover off and empty out the truck bed. Made for ease of transport, to be sure, but the vibrating sound of the tie-down ratchet straps still had me nervous with the thought of a heavy fridge becoming dislodged mid-trip.
JP from the drop zone helped slaDE maneuver the old fridge out of the slotted hole, replacing it with the shiny new silver fridge. It seemingly was an almost perfect fit. However, we discovered that 1/16th of inch had to be shaved off the side wooden cupboard edge. That meant we had to: find ourselves a roto-zip (not a tool we normally travel with :)), remove the current new fridge, saw off the necessary wooden girth, vacuum up all the wayward sawdust and refit the fridge before hooking it up to cool and then use. Phew! I think slaDE and I have had enough for one day. Tomorrow we’re in search of a roto-zip!
Lessons learned in our fridge replacement?
• Remove all drawer pulls and oven handles before navigating the fridge through a narrow pathway
• Disconnect all cables before removing the fridge, and take note (or a photo) of how they were connected and orientated
• Use a piece of carpet to drag the fridge out of the trailer instead of placing it directly on the wooden floor
• Protect the wooden cupboards from being gouged (thankfully ours are black — a Sharpie marker works wonders on hiding any slight blemishes!)
• Shopping around and self-installation really paid off
• Researching and learning from other people’s mistakes was very helpful (airforums.com — The Airstream Knowledge Sharing Community)
• slaDE says that replacing an RV fridge is not as difficult or involved as it sounded to be. Common sense goes a long way!
• Move slowly if you are going to replace the refrigerator yourself. Don’t feel rushed or pressured, especially if the fit is not perfect and modifications need to be made.
• Have a vacuum cleaner handy if modifications need to be done
• Don’t be afraid to ask a Professional for help (i.e. we called the Airstream Service Department for advice and input — that’s a biggie for me).
• Have a backup plan. If installing the new fridge yourself turns out to be a complete nightmare, have a place where you can take it to for installation by a Professional.
• Have a go-to friend with a spare fridge where you can store your food in until replacement is complete (or use an ice chest)