Amish built cooling unit - Dutchmen Owners

Go Back   Dutchmen Owners > Dutchmen Brand RVs > Toy Hauler
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-09-2014, 02:58 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
sundancer 87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tahlequah
Posts: 2,856
Oklahoma
Amish built cooling unit

We've seen reference made to the Amish cooling unit. The cooling unit (absorption unit), is the circulatory system of gas refrigerator used in RVs.

Many complaints and horror stories abound regarding Norcold refrigerators. Mostly, refrigerator fires, Norcold recalls and the recall 'fix' that many feel to be inadequate.

The premise for the fires seems to lead to cheap Japanese or some other 'ese' poor quality in the metal tubing used in the cooling system.

20 years experience living full time with gas refrigerators has shown me that the chemicals used in the cooling units eventually attack the insides of the tubes. I had a Servel refrigerator at one time develop a hole in a tube. The Servel was built in southern Indiana back in the 50s, pre 'ese' infiltration to the steel market. Over the years the early Dometics suffered the same problems. Holes were eaten into the tubes causing leaks release of chemicals, however, few caused the fires that we read about these days.

Enter the Amish cooling system. The Amish cooling units are being touted as the best cooling unit out there. Many owners are replacing cheaply built Norcold units with the Amish unit. Not to take anything away from the Amish work ethic but a few questions and thoughts come to mind.

I had an Amish built refrigerator at one time. It was advertised as being superior because it came from northern Indiana. In reality the refrigerator was a normal Gibson, White Westinghouse, Frigidare, and many other brand names. The refrigerators were purchased by the car load, the compressors and evaporators and all adjunct equipment were removed from the original box. A few modifications were made to the box to faciltate the installation of an absorbtion cooling unit. As was stated earlier, this box came from Amish country so the expectation of being well built was a given.
Having been led to believe this $2000.00 refrigerator was top dollar I wondered many times if the Amish had their own foundries and jigs and welding shops to build these units. After the unit died within the first year I figured the only thing the Amish did was to scrap out the Freon compressor and replace it with an absorption unit, which by the way, wasn't that great of a job.

Here again, not to diss the Amish but I know the name is used as a come on for quality for many things. This leads to a question or two.

Do the Amish built cooling units have American made steel in them? Is it only the steel that makes them the best? Are the Amish units actually manufactured by the Amish or is the name being bantied about to make us believe their unit is superior to the rest?

I'm sure this post will open a can of worms but that's ok, we've spent a lot of money on these RVs, some have been burned up because of the gas refrigerator and some of us want a better mouse trap.
__________________

__________________
2013 Voltage 3800, 2012 Chevy 3500 HD
2010 Yamaha V Star 950
2009 Yamaha Raider
Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Caravanners
sundancer 87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 04:12 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
sawpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Anacortes
Posts: 229
Washington
I might not belong in this conversation because I've never even heard of an Amish built unit, but I have seen plenty of Amish built products and spent time around the Amish.
I'll start by saying that the Amish for the most part have a very enviable work ethic. On the things they build for their farms most are very serviceable. The furniture they build is usually very sturdy and holds up quite well. But you get them out of their areas of expertise and things start looking like they come from China. They may assemble products with the goal of them holding up, but if the components are coming from the same sources as Norcold or Dometic then they'll probably hold up the same. I'm with Sundancer on this one. What makes the product better just because the Amish have "supposedly" assembled it?
__________________

__________________
Jeff
"All fisherman are liars, except you and me, and I'm beginning to wonder about you.
sawpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 04:30 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
sundancer 87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tahlequah
Posts: 2,856
Oklahoma
Jeff, on any RV forum almost anyone that has a problem with a Norcold unit will either install a residential unit or talk about replacing the cooling unit with an Amish one.

I agree with your above statement regarding craftsmanship of the Amish but this cooling unit seems way out of their area of expertise nor does it fit in with their lifestyle and beliefs.
__________________
2013 Voltage 3800, 2012 Chevy 3500 HD
2010 Yamaha V Star 950
2009 Yamaha Raider
Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Caravanners
sundancer 87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 05:02 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Lakeville
Posts: 17
Minnesota
Sundancer and all,
My experience with RV refrigerators is a bit limited. My first trailer had a Dometic unit, it lasted 11 years and sprung a leak. I took it out and sent it to the WORST rebuilder in America. After months I got it back it worked great for 2 years and I sold it. I thought $550 for repair was better than $2000 for a new one. It had been on the recalls and safety shields were missing when it came back. I bought another set of shields on the internet for $25 and installed, must be safe?

My point is that the original one lasted over 10 years (which I think is normal) The rebuild with very poor parts and workmanship seemed fine. The nature of evaporation units is self-destructing and they will all fail eventually. I don't believe the Amish label means much but if it makes you feel safer and comfortable and you feel it is a competitive value for the money that would be the way to go.

While I was waiting for mine refer to come back from the rebuilder I bought a sears regular type small refrigerator that fit in the hole for the "normal one." I used a bungee cord to hold it in. I bounced it over three states and it worked fine too! I sold it at a garage sale for most of what I paid for it.

Louie
__________________
Louie
2012 Denali 289RK
2001 Silverado 2500 HD
Louie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 06:09 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Camper2b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Nashville
Posts: 538
Tennessee
[QUOTE=sundancer 87;16437
I agree with your above statement regarding craftsmanship of the Amish but this cooling unit seems way out of their area of expertise nor does it fit in with their lifestyle and beliefs.[/QUOTE]

Lol, I agree.... however they use electricity, and they have a reality TV show! I will be doing my homework on this one. Hopefully others that have any experience with these Amish built cooling units will chime in. And thanks for starting this topic. I would like to see it move forward.
__________________
Slim
Former 2014 Vlotage 3200 owner
Camper2b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2014, 05:05 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Camper2b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Nashville
Posts: 538
Tennessee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louie View Post
Sundancer and all,
My experience with RV refrigerators is a bit limited. My first trailer had a Dometic unit, it lasted 11 years and sprung a leak

Louie
Dometic and Norcold... two different animals... yes both both work on same principle, one decent... the other "Norcold" especially the 1200 series very problematic over the years. Some have had good luck others disastrous. A Google search will confirm my statements. NORCOLD is in a large civil suit due to their product and its ability to perform safely as it should.

Honestly, I don't think anyone is buying a Norcold refrigerator other than the manufacturers because of their history. Manufacturers on the other hand, get a "good deal" ..The Amish cooling unit and its reviews is the only reason most are not replacing with something different. Whether or not the Amish cooling unit is what they say it is... I dont know and probably wont. I'm leaning towards throwing the Norcold out the door and going residential unless someone can convince me this is a bad idea.

BTW, I may have a 1210 model for sale soon... any takers... its brand new... msrp over 3,000.00. Send me a private message for more details.
__________________
Slim
Former 2014 Vlotage 3200 owner
Camper2b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2014, 01:24 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Charlotte
Posts: 175
North Carolina
I can't speak about quality of these parts but here's my thoughts… "If" the original ones supposedly last 10'ish years and new ones are 2K, I think I'll spend the money and just buy a new one. First, 2K is a drop in the bucket compared to what I paid for the damn toy hauler in the first place. Second, I have never had much luck with anything rebuilt. It doesn't matter if it's a floorjack, ac unit or anything else, they just never seem to work as good as a new one.

Mark
__________________

orangecrush is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Popular Tags
#coleman 5th wheel 243 255bhsl kodiak 1700bh apsen trail 1700bh tv mount 1991 2018 atlas 2018 denali 2901rl 3305 ac problem aerolite aerolite 282 dbhs. 2018 air bag air conditioning alabama awnins bathroom battery charging bike rack btu caulk; gasket charger chassis coleman diagrams disconnect drain dutchman dutchman endurance 3006 dutchmen electrical electrical inverter electric conversion floor floor bounce flooring fresh water tank fuel station furnace gray water tank hot water heater insert interior inverter landing gear lights bad ground switch lost panel modification owners manual panels propane pvc valve replacement roof brackets satellite hookup screws slide manual open solar specs needed structural fault switch thermarest aening tires voltage wall water heater water lines winterize wiring diagram
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Dutchmen RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×