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Old 08-12-2019, 02:17 PM   #1
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Install Residential Refer?

My 2003 Dutchstar 3802 refer sucks. The Dometic is approximately 5' tall and 2' wide. It is in a slideout. Can a house refer be installed?
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:23 PM   #2
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Yes. Done all the time. Measure the opening size and go shopping. Samsung is one common brand that is used.
On top of the refer you will need to add an inverter, batteries and possibly some wiring to get a 120VAC dedicated circuit to the refer.
What is wrong with your Dometic? RV refers by and,large are quite reliable.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:28 PM   #3
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I replaced my RV Frig about 5 years ago with a Haier from Lowes. I install a pure sign wave inverter and run on two batteries. It works great, I would not go back to the old RV frig. With the inverter I installed a fuse at the batteries and ran all elect lines in conduit. I think I could go at least 8 hours on my two batteries. i
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:40 PM   #4
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I removed my Dometic last year and installed a residential, 5ft tall, 2 ft wide. I also made some other mods and updates to support the frig. Its all documented on my web site:

Residential Frig Replacement – 1999 Southwind 35S


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Old 08-12-2019, 03:06 PM   #5
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Domtic

Our original Dometic failed last year and was replaced with a new model by Camping World. The new one has thicker wall for increased insulation which drastically reduce room inside. It is 80 outside now and the coldest it gets on a 5 setting is 37.
I am aware that a pure sine wave inverter and a generator auto start should be added. Our coach has 4 coach batteries now.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikester View Post
My 2003 Dutchstar 3802 refer sucks. The Dometic is approximately 5' tall and 2' wide. It is in a slideout. Can a house refer be installed?
The size reads like an 8 or so cu/ft fridge. With a bit of luck you should be able to squeeze 10 cu/ft residential in the same footprint. I had a 6 cuft Norcold that died and I replace with a Magic Chef. Lost a small never used storage area over top of the old fridge. Had to trim maybe 1/2 off one side of the alcove for the width.

Grab a tape measure and head on down to the local appliance store and start measuring.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:08 AM   #7
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There are several residential refrigerators that will fit your current opening with only minor mods. I decided on a Frigidaire FFTR1022QB (now Model # FFET1022UB) which, once removing the doors, fit thru my door opening.

I did a ton of research before replacing my Norcold RV refrigerator and this one came out #1 by far. If you plan to make the conversion, there are some issues.
1. These fridges are not built-ins and will require clearance for air circulation. The Frigidaire needs only an inch on either side, which is probably all you'll have anyway. The back only requires 2" clearance. Other brands wanted far more. Don't be tempted to skip that. They do call for 12" on top, which is impossible for a MH. Instead I installed fans (see #2 below).
2. Operating temperature. Other brands I looked at said their fridge wouldn't operate below 60 or above 90 degrees, and warned against using in a garage. No such restriction on the Frigidaire. Just keep it between 10 and 110 degrees, per the manual.
3. It fit my existing opening with only minor modification.

Installation:
1. I installed a separate 120v outlet on a switch so that I could easily turn the unit off when not needed without going outside to pull the plug (some units do not have an on/off switch).
2. I chose not to seal off the existing outside openings. I put a screen on the lower opening and installed 3ea. 12v fans in the upper vent to assure good air circulation. I used the 12v wiring from the old Norcold and put the fans on a separate switch.
3. In the back, I anchored the unit by putting 2 lag bolts through the bottom metal rails of the refrigerator into the flooring.
4. Inside, I attached (using 3m 3M Scotch 4910 VHB Tape 2 sided tape) 2 metal brackets to the top of the refrigerator and then screwed these to the wood above the refrigerator. I then trimmed around the perimeter of the fridge with black plastic L channel which I purchased from Display Products online ( Extrusions by Display Products Online). This can be purchased with the tape already attached.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:00 PM   #8
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Doing that tomorrow

Our '04 Essex has a Dometic 1204 that I believe to be the original equipment. The reefer is currently cooling to 50 degrees and the freezer to about 10 degrees. Food is spoiling and I can't have a cold beer. Tomorrow we are taking it to the shop in Alva, FL to have a Samsung residential refrigerator/freezer installed and are supposed to be able to take it home on Friday. We also have to replace the Inverter with a Pure Sine inverter. This is the expensive part. There is wood work to do, some plumbing to move and who knows what else, to get the new fridge to fit. But it'll all be worth it to have some hard ice cream or cold beer for a change.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:27 AM   #9
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Seems I see most install another inverter to power the fridge. Is this really necessary if you have a big enough inverter and the battery power to back it up? I ask because I am thinking of doing the fridge upgrade, but also adding inverter and battery power, along with 1200w of solar. Thanks for the feedback.....
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TractorTom01 View Post
Our '04 Essex has a Dometic 1204 that I believe to be the original equipment. The reefer is currently cooling to 50 degrees and the freezer to about 10 degrees. Food is spoiling and I can't have a cold beer. Tomorrow we are taking it to the shop in Alva, FL to have a Samsung residential refrigerator/freezer installed and are supposed to be able to take it home on Friday. We also have to replace the Inverter with a Pure Sine inverter. This is the expensive part. There is wood work to do, some plumbing to move and who knows what else, to get the new fridge to fit. But it'll all be worth it to have some hard ice cream or cold beer for a change.


I don’t know if the newer Samsung’s require the pure sine wave. We installed a Samsung RF197 about 8 years ago (we full time) and it has been running fine on our Xantex 2000 watt mod sine wave.
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:27 PM   #11
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I believe the reason for seperate inverters is that many older inverter/chargers, besides being MSW, draw 3 to 5 amps just being on. That's around 100 AH for a 24 hour day.
Over a 24 hour period that's as much or more energy then the fridge itself uses.

So rather then go thru the expense of replacing the original unit, with its great charging section, the pick up a 1000 watt PSW inverter just for the fridge. My PSW inverter draws 1/2 an amp, if the fridge compressor is not running. Thats only 12 AH for the 24 hour day.

If you need to leave an inverter on, make sure its not a vampire, sucking your power away.
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