RV Refrigeration 101 2015

RV refrigeration is usually supplied by a propane – electric appliance:

  • They are expensive, it easy to spend $4,000 on a new one installed.
  • The modern controls are electronic, not cheap to fix.
  • The Anhydrous Ammonia cooling cycle is difficult to comprehend
  • The cooling system is a complete mystery to most RV repair folks and dealers.
  • The Repairmen / Dealers will sell you a new one; see item #1.
  • It is not uncommon to have an installation badly fouled up.

There is a solution to all of this if you can come to Shipshewana IN.   That is where the home of National RV Refrigeration is located.  It is owned by Leon Herschberger an Amish gentleman who was driven to learn the inner working of the propane cycle by the need of the Amish Community that shuns most electric powered devices.  I meet him several years ago during our 1st visit.  He not only rebuilds the cooling systems, he repairs the electronics and installation foul ups.

20150618_150028We woke up at 6:30 so he could get an early start and have time for him to do some testing.  This is the back of our unit after it had been removed for o’haul.  Our unit is located in a slide, not ideal as it really needs a roof vent to function 100%.  Ours is forced to vent out the side, compounding this problem the vent passage was stuffed with insulation and the electric “helper” fan was inoperative  due to it’s wiring being tied to the burner tube, causing it to fail.

The R&R and associated rebuild took about 8 hours.  Ours is one of the largest side by side units, no longer made as most folks are enchanted by 4 door units.  Our cost was $1450 (+ $4 for 2 containers of his wife’s strawberries).  His guarantee is 3 years.  We are very happy, we had ice the next morning.

About 30 minutes after we go home we were hit by another driving rainstorm.  The tire tracks in the picture are those made when I pulled out in the morning, changing sites proved that even fools sometimes have good luck.


Our friends The Schaffer’s were driven out of the campground that we stayed in last week, the river crested a 3’ above flood.  They are safe and dry in their son’s business property which is adjacent to the Purgatory Golf Club.  They sent this picture along.


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