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Old 01-04-2013, 07:51 AM   #1
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Residential type refrigerator

I was wondering if any National owners had replaced their absorption type refrigerator with a residential type? I'm also curious about anyone with a National that has changed their refrigerator cooling units to one of the "Amish" built cooling units.

I have an 06 Tradewinds with the problematic Norcold 1200LRIM model. Last year I noticed it was difficult to keep the refrigerator temp under 40 degrees when it got warm outside. I later had the refrigerator go into fail mode. The service tech indicated this occurred because the Norcold recall module and heat sensor had been installed incorrectly. I had this fixed and added an automatic halon fire extinguisher in the exterior refrigerator compartment for added protection against the fires these units are known to cause.

My Tradewinds has a furnace under the refrigerator so I may be limited in my choices of residential models. I also increased my battery capacity to about 520 amp hours and added a 100 watt solar system. My inverter is a 2000 watt Xantrex Freedom 458 which I believe is a modified sine inverter. Of course I have the generator to help keep the batteries charged and I'm also considering LED coach lighting to reduce battery load.

Any experiences with refrigerator or refrigerator cooling unit replacement on a National coach would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:12 AM   #2
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Opinions vary on Rv Vs residential--to me the decision revolves around the amount of boondocking you do--a week or two at Quartzsite is fine; months in the back woods is probably not. Recalls and fire potential are also a concern with Rv fridgs but folks "deal" with it.
The real challenge to converting is finding a properly sized resid fridge to fit in the space you have. So called cabinet depth or shorter fridges tend to be much more expensive to buy than the std sizes. Suspect smaller economy size fridges are available but they may not compliment your interior.
Increase bat size/AH will help. Solar also contributes but not as much as you would think [400 watts and above is needed to make much of a difference--but again boondocking is the issue here]. One final thought, some/many resid fridge control panels dont like the modified sine-wave inverters. Once installed, you may find a need to repair/replace the control panel with "MSW friendly" parts.
PS--many fridges are installed in RVs during construction phase. Again, depending on size and shape, you may have to take doors off the fridge or remove a window in your coach to swap out the fridges.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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I installed a samsung 197 in a 08 pacifica 40c. added 2 more 6v 4 a total of 6. no problem boon docking. will b in Q for 2wks.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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I installed a samsung 197 in a 08 pacifica 40c. added 2 more 6v 4 a total of 6. no problem boon docking. will b in Q for 2wks.
If you don't mind me asking does your Pacifica have the furnace below the refrigerator? If so, how much vertical clearance did you have for the frig? Any pics of your install would be greatly appreciated. Also, did your coach have room in the original battery compartment for the additional batteries or did you install them elsewhere? What is the total amp hour rating of your battery bank?

Thanks!

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:43 AM   #5
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frig is in kitchen slide, no furnace below. had to relocate furnace vents & rework all the utilities. the height of the opening is 70 1/2''. i needed to gain 8'', 4'' @ top & 4@ bottom. the battery campartment had room, just needed to add some angle to support 2 more batteries. here r a some pics. pm me if u want more info & pics.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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Very nice job. Thanks for taking the time to post them. Your installation in the slide out presented it's own challenges due to the size of the space. My refrigerator is not in the slide out but I definitely cannot relocate the furnace easily. I might be able to squeeze the refrigerator in above the furnace between the furnace and ceiling but based on my calculations I will only have about an inch before hitting the ceiling. I'm concerned about frig accessibility with it sitting so high. Decisions . . . Decisions!
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:35 PM   #8
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We had a New redesigned Amish cooling unit installed in our 1200LRIM last summer. Had some early issues but now it is great. We spend 95% of our time in State Parks in non-serviced sites so the residential was not a practical option. If we were the type that traveled from one power post to another power post I might have considered a residential.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
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We had a New redesigned Amish cooling unit installed in our 1200LRIM last summer. Had some early issues but now it is great. We spend 95% of our time in State Parks in non-serviced sites so the residential was not a practical option. If we were the type that traveled from one power post to another power post I might have considered a residential.
What were the early issues that you speak of?
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:17 PM   #10
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We replaced our old Norcold 1200 LRIM cooling unit with an Amish cooling unit last summer, and couldn't be more pleased. Intallation was relatviely easy, and the Amish unit, for us, works much better than the Norcold. We chose this replacement because we couldn't find an exact size residential replacement and didn't want to remodel our galley area.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
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I'm having my Norcold 1200 LRIMD replaced next week with a Samsung RF197. I have furnace below and according to furnace specs only need 1 inch space at the top. Read several other forum members who have done the swap out with furnace below, so hoping mine goes smoothly.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:39 PM   #12
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Picked it up from the shop on Friday temps just right-Saturday DW loaded it-Sunday off to Campground-Monday AM not cooling-OOPS! Back to the shop-several days of them communicating with the selling dealer then the manufacturer. Diagnosed as defective. New unit installed-works great- has not been shut off since it was install. Stuff happens.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:47 PM   #13
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Nice job!!
I replaced the original cooling unit in our Dutch Star with the Amish unit. Worked fine till late last year when I found the refer on gas and wouldn't switch to elec. Found that the heating unit had broken in two. If I ever have to replace the refer I'll look into the kitchen model. Right now a door gasket is broken, Domoetic no longer has them in stock and the one I did find was over $200!
No way can I take out the pantry for more room, the DW would not allow it so I'm limited on space.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
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frig is in kitchen slide, no furnace below. had to relocate furnace vents & rework all the utilities. the height of the opening is 70 1/2''. i needed to gain 8'', 4'' @ top & 4@ bottom. the battery campartment had room, just needed to add some angle to support 2 more batteries. here r a some pics. pm me if u want more info & pics.
ralph
Very nice job. I'm looking at a similar project in the near future.

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