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Old 07-12-2019, 01:38 PM   #1
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Putting residential fridge in Monaco Windsor

Hi!
New here.
My husband and I are replacing our Norcold in our 2002 Monaco Windsor.
We "think" we have decided on the Samsung RF18. First, we wanted to see if anyone else has made the replacement in the same type of motorhome.
We would really love to avoid taking out any windows.
Looking for any helpful hints, recommendations, no-nos.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:01 PM   #2
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I have same coach and have considered doing the same. Will it fit through the door?
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladymac View Post
Hi!
New here.
My husband and I are replacing our Norcold in our 2002 Monaco Windsor.
We "think" we have decided on the Samsung RF18. First, we wanted to see if anyone else has made the replacement in the same type of motorhome.
We would really love to avoid taking out any windows.
Looking for any helpful hints, recommendations, no-nos.

Thanks in advance!
looks like you're new here. Welcome.

I just finished putting a RF18 in my 06 windsor. It would not fit through front door, and believe me we tried.

We have an emergency window behind the drivers seat. (sounds difficult, but very easy to take out) We took that out and removed a valance. Took doors off to fridge and it was very easy after that.

Our fridge is in the hallway, not a slide. We lost the cabinet above the fridge as the FR18 is a little taller than the old Norcold, but width and depth are very similar. Overall, a pretty easy change out. I had to re-work the electrical in the back and I added a switch inside the coach to turn all the power off to the fridge. Some floor plans have the furnace under the fridge, we do not.

Removing the old fridge, getting the new fridge in, re-doing some electrical and some cabinetry, and then securing the fridge so it wouldn't move around, I probably have 14 man hours into it. There are several ways to keep the doors from flying open while driving. Don't forget that part too.
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladymac View Post
Hi!
New here.
My husband and I are replacing our Norcold in our 2002 Monaco Windsor.
We "think" we have decided on the Samsung RF18. First, we wanted to see if anyone else has made the replacement in the same type of motorhome.
We would really love to avoid taking out any windows.
Looking for any helpful hints, recommendations, no-nos.

Thanks in advance!
I believe you will get some feedback from folks with the same year and model coach. I know several have made the swap. The 2002 Windsor has a lower ceiling height than our coach. On the Diplomat, which we own, 2006 was the first year for the increased ceiling height. I am not sure which year the Windsor went to the higher ceiling but doubt it was before 2005. The RF-18 is tall and if you have a furnace below the Norcold it will be a challenge to install the RF-18 and keep the furnace. It has been done but requires a custom platform. If you have the Suburban furnace it can be lowered for more clearance. I will include a photo of VanWill's furnace after he lowered it by making a special stainless steel plate. Van has a 2000 Dynasty and was able to install the RF-18 and keep his furnace. If your furnace is the Attwood brand then it requires more clearance and cannot be lowered. Some have kept the Attwood by building an open frame support that keeps the frig bottom 1 inch above the furnace allowing removal of the plywood floor.

We were able to get the old Norcold out thru the door and the new Samsung in thru the door. To do this we removed the passenger seat and covered the dash with a blanket. We did have the Samsung doors off and the freezer drawer out. We took the cooling unit off of the Norcold while it was still inside the coach. That made it lighter and more narrow. The Norcold weighs more than the Samsung. Our coach had a flat screen LCD television from the factory and did not have a large protrusion out into the pathway. If you have the old CRT television the cabinet could cause some interference. If it makes you feel any better I believe more refrigerators have been moved in and out of coaches thru windows than any other ingress/egress. Some have had the windshield removed but I would not go there.

Bob
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:19 PM   #5
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We bought a GE GTE18GSHSS. It is a 17.5 CU IN Top Freezer from Home Depot.
67 3/8 tall, 28" wide and 30 1/2 deep no handles.

We removed the doors and the narrow side was 26 5/8". My doorway was 29 wide so it worked out very well.

Removing the doors also meant we could not dent them while getting it inside and made it lighter to move.
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:18 PM   #6
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The killer for me getting it through the front door was the cabinet above the center of the dash. It holds a flat screen tv, so its forward enough you don't bump your head but something as big and rigid as a fridge will interfere. Additionally the top 2' of my door frame angles back keeping the fridge from being raised up high enough to clear the dash and not hit the tv cabinet. Even with the front seat out, that fridge was not going in.

Now with the way they built these coaches, maybe the next one down the production line would have allowed a fridge to get in the front door. Mine was that close.

We took the doors and all drawers out and I was surprised how light the RF 18 box is.
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:06 PM   #7
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Here is a thread showing a Samsung install. It is not in a Monaco but shows what may be required if you have limited headroom and a furnace underneath.

Samsung RF197 Install with Propane Heater


I also own a 2002 Windsor. I have already purchased a Samsung RF18 but have not installed yet. I have the furnace under the Norcold but I know that it can be done.

I have a writeup of one that was installed, I believe this was posted on the Yahoo Monacorers website in their files. If you are not a member I'd suggest you join as there is a lot of good information provided on this site.
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:14 PM   #8
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If your furnace is below, you will have a problem due to ceiling height, even lowering the floor closer to the furnace. My ‘05 Windsor has slightly higher ceilings than ‘02, but too close to use the RF18.
I ended up using a 2 door Samsung RT18. Shorter, but has same inverter compressor as RF18. Get addition!
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echo3 View Post
If your furnace is below, you will have a problem due to ceiling height, even lowering the floor closer to the furnace. My ‘05 Windsor has slightly higher ceilings than ‘02, but too close to use the RF18.
I ended up using a 2 door Samsung RT18. Shorter, but has same inverter compressor as RF18. Get addition!
My Norcold has crapped out so either way it is coming out. I'll do some measuring before I commit with the Samsung but based on my research I think it's doable. There's a 2001 Dynasty listed on Craiglist in my area that has the furnace and Samsung installed. It caught my eye because I saw the extended Stainless Steel plate for the furnace.
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
My Norcold has crapped out so either way it is coming out. I'll do some measuring before I commit with the Samsung but based on my research I think it's doable. There's a 2001 Dynasty listed on Craiglist in my area that has the furnace and Samsung installed. It caught my eye because I saw the extended Stainless Steel plate for the furnace.
Jim,

Van is a friend of mine and it is his lowered furnace in the photo I posted above. If you would like his contact information let me know. I believe you have my email address.

The link you posted above is in fact the install of a Samsung RF-197 in a 2005 Diplomat. The 2005 Diplomat had the lower ceiling height. DutchStarDon use to be DiplomatDon and has been a member here for many years. A few years back he traded his Diplomat for a Dutch Star and had irv2 change is handle.

Bob
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:31 PM   #11
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Bob,
When I get to the point of tackling the project I'll contact you re Van's contact information.

The write-up I have in my files provides all the information required, I can't remember the author but I believe it copies what Van did.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodine View Post

We were able to get the old Norcold out thru the door and the new Samsung in thru the door. To do this we removed the passenger seat and covered the dash with a blanket. We did have the Samsung doors off and the freezer drawer out. We took the cooling unit off of the Norcold while it was still inside the coach. That made it lighter and more narrow. The Norcold weighs more than the Samsung. Our coach had a flat screen LCD television from the factory and did not have a large protrusion out into the pathway. If you have the old CRT television the cabinet could cause some interference. If it makes you feel any better I believe more refrigerators have been moved in and out of coaches thru windows than any other ingress/egress. Some have had the windshield removed but I would not go there.

Bob
My Beaver has a cabinet with a drawer between the seats. Do you have that?
I am concerned about having to navigate over it.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:01 PM   #13
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I put a Samsung in our 2002 Windsor 38PBDD about 2 years ago. Overall it has been a positive experience. The furnace was under the old Norcold and it, as others have said, is a challenge. I lowered the furnace and did much the same thing that Nodine said Van Williams did on his coach to lower the exhaust and intake ports. I had a friend weld an iron frame to set the Samsung on without removing the wheels. I took out the drivers side window to remove the Norcold and put the Samsung into the coach. Not too hard to do. Rented a lift from an equipment rental place to lift and lower the fridges.

In the end, we had just enough room to fit the Samsung into the space. On the 38PBDD the pantry creates an issue for moving the Samsung into the space. The doors had to come off to be able to put the Samsung in. Getting the upper doors back on is not easy since there isn't much room to work with.

Another thing I did was to trim the wood that covered tracks for the pocket door that was next to the refrigerator. That allowed the upper right door to swing all the way open. Then the shelves and drawer on that side can be taken out.

One drawback is with the furnace under the Samsung,the the top shelf is too high for my wife to really deal with food on it. The Fischer Paykel might have been a better choice, but it is a bunch more money.

Until we had to leave the Windsor at the local Cummins shop recently, the fridge had been on continuously. No problems. A good appliance. Keeps the fridge at 32 and the freezer at -2. We don't dry camp a lot, so the 4 house batteries have worked well.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
My Beaver has a cabinet with a drawer between the seats. Do you have that?
I am concerned about having to navigate over it.
I have attached two photos of our coach ingress/egress, one from the outside viewing in and one from inside looking forward. I believe we removed the handrail in the second photo but that was 8 years ago.

Bob
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