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Old 10-10-2014, 11:10 PM   #1
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Fridge

Tempted by 2007 Intrigue for full time. Have had a class C a while back and a 5th wheel more recently. Has a dual power four door RV fridge in it. We plan to spend 3-4 months semi boon dock in AZ over winter and traveling the rest of the year. I told dealer I want a household fridge and he is saying we would be real unhappy with it. What have you experienced?
Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:24 PM   #2
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We installed a residential refer which replaced a Dometic. So far, I see no downside to having the change on our '02 Intrigue.

If I were you, I would buy the coach and live with current refer until you have problems or decide you really like the coach. Then start looking for someone to change it out.

If you boondock a lot, there is a learning curve which is easily overcome
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:31 PM   #3
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Most report very positive results with the residential fridge.

For heavy boon docking, I'd review the house AH bank size. Usually X's 2 8D, and being a 2007, could still be stock/OEM and nearing end of life. Easy to expand the total AH bank at the time of replacement. Usually not a good idea to add new to old batteries.

If you go the residential fridge route, suggest adding a smaller PSW inverter dedicated to the fridge. Don't have to do this, but it allows you to turn off the larger full house inverter to conserve AH consumption, and still runthe fridge.

Or, you could also just toss solar panels and a controller, say 800 watt plus, and probably only need to run the generator for the convection oven and or roof AC.

IMO, the salesman was not wanting to be bothered with a fridge swap out!

Best of luck on your search, and the Intrigue is a well regarded coach,
Smitty
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Old 10-11-2014, 05:57 PM   #4
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We've had our Samsung residential fridge for about 2.5 years now. Couldn't be more happy with it. The dealer is just trying to get out of doing it for you. The Samsung pulls only 1 amp at 120 volts (12 amps at 12 volts). It's also 50% larger than the Norcold 1210 and has real defrost that works!! I don't think the original Samsung is being made any longer but you may be able to find one somewhere or they may have a replacement for it.

Here's some info regarding my install.

Samsung Refrigerator Install

I assume you have heard about the class action lawsuit regarding the Norcold? There have been numerous fires caused by the Norcold, some completely destroying the motorhome. You might want to look into it.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:33 AM   #5
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I've read that RF18HFENBSR is Sammy's replacement model. I have not taken time yet to compare the published exterior dimensions to verify. Still the same format and 17.5 cu. ft.

I think with the above recommended dedicated small inverter and solar you'd be set. Esp. if you winter boondock here in AZ.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:45 AM   #6
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If the refrigerator has four doors, it is probably a Norcold. Some Norcolds have had recalls due to reports with fires--I'd check that issue out. Assuming there is no recall, a gas refrigerator works well--ours is over 20 years old and still going. Since you are looking at an 2007 Intrigue, it should have an AquaHot/Hydrohot, so your space heat will be fueled by diesel, which leaves the only appliances using propane will be the refrigerator and stovetop, and propane should last a long time. The main issue with gas refrigerators is capacity. The 4-door Norcold has 12 CF capacity. The smallest residential refrigerator I've seen is the Samsung discussed above, which has about 18 CF--a big difference.
The other issue with gas refrigerators is the fact that the back of the refrigerators are exposed to the elements due to the gas flue. If your ice maker water line is not well insulated on the back of the unit, you could have problems with the line freezing in cold weather. A residential refrigerator does not need an exposed back side, so it is not an issue.
I've never heard of any problems with a residential refrigerator other than making sure the batteries have enough capacity to run the refrigerator overnight. If the batteries are in good shape, that should not be a problem.
While we have kept our gas refrigerator going with maintenance, our next coach will have a residential refrigerator. No issue having to clean the burner/flue, more reliable, bigger capacity, and no freeze problems.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:59 AM   #7
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OK, I took the time to look at the .pdf's, here are the links:

http://www.samsung.com/us/system/con...sxaa/RF197.pdf
Discontinued model.

http://www.samsung.com/us/system/con...F18HFENBSR.pdf
Replacement is 1/16th inch wider and 11/16th taller WITH DOORS AND HINGES ON. Core case is the same height as the prior model.

Interesting to note that the new model has slightly less interior space and uses a bit more juice to run. I have a feeling that Samsung addressed the defrosting issue that some folks have had where ice was building up and stopping the circulation fan in the prior unit.

Less interior space means more room around the evaporator and more power consumption could be bigger defrost heating element.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:35 AM   #8
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We have a 2002 CC and have had no problems with our refrigerator. It's a propane/electric. We have found turning it off while driving is not a problem and have forgotten to turn it back on for up to 15 hrs and have not had a problem with stuff thawing out. I would check all the recall notices prior to laying down the cash and make sure that they've all been taken care of. Here's one site I know that there are others. You can also get the manufacture,model, and serial numbers off of the refrig and run those numbers too.
Good Luck
Country Coach Allure recall
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumper9x9 View Post
We have a 2002 CC and have had no problems with our refrigerator. It's a propane/electric. We have found turning it off while driving is not a problem and have forgotten to turn it back on for up to 15 hrs and have not had a problem with stuff thawing out. I would check all the recall notices prior to laying down the cash and make sure that they've all been taken care of. Here's one site I know that there are others. You can also get the manufacture,model, and serial numbers off of the refrig and run those numbers too.
Good Luck
Country Coach Allure recall
Pumper,

I am curious why you choose to turn your refrigerator off while driving? Thanks,
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Old 10-23-2014, 02:20 PM   #10
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As the OP asked about the ability boondock with a residential fridge, to validate what the salesman said, I answered in that direction.

As more was appropriately mentioned about the danger of the Norcold 1200 series, I'll toss in another $.02.

I'll condition this by stating that we are probably going to shift over to a residential fridge at the first of the year. Not because because we are having any problems with our modified Norcold 1200 (See below) but because we want more space for cold and freezer storage.

IMO, do not trust the mickey mouse series of recalls from Norcold, their one band aid after another, and none of the handle the root cause - inferior and or contaminated tubing used on the cooling coil. Even with recalls done, I believe the risk of the Norcold stock cooing coil is too great to take.

Before we added our Solar Panel and larger bank of Lifelines (1200W of 48V panels feeding 800AH's of house batteries), we went ahead and made the following modifications of the Norcold 1200 to support longer off grid boondocking:

>Amish Cooling Unit
>Added switched controlled additional pancake fans. I turn them on when in high heat of humidity conditions, and the fridge is working harder.
>SS30 Halon Extinguisher
>Smoke Detector behind fridge

If we end up not doing the residential fridge route, I'll also add the ARB board.

Again IMO, the Amish Cooling Unit and ARB control board, provide a very safe running propane or electric refrigerator.

I highly recommend anyone wishing to retain the Norcold 1200 series, due their own research. The modifications to make it safe are not inexpensive - but how much is yours, or a pet, life's worth?

End of my $.02.

And OP, the Intrigue is a fine coach. If not that one, keep on looking. Hard to go wrong with a good well maintained CC!

Best to all,
Smitty
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