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Old 08-25-2019, 11:35 AM   #1
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RV to residential fridge compressor

There's quite a bit of speculation and a massive amount of discussion about removing the RV Fridge and installing a residential type.

I have a 2003 Monaco Windsor. The fridge is not in a slide, has a drawer and recently died.

I inspected the area behind the drawer and found 2 large bundles of cables which without moving, would not allow a residential unit to go in.

So...

I've been toying with the idea of changing the compressor system to the new 12v units. The reviews seem great, they take very little power and no remodeling the kitchen wall. (And no more fire in the wall)

Has anyone done this? Cost is a bit less than a residential solution and no windows or windshield need be removed.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:13 PM   #2
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I would go with the compressor type cooling unit from JC Refrigeration! If you're satisfied with the capacity of your present unit then there's no reason for the hassle you will have installing a residential unit! Jr is a great guy to deal with and really stands behind his products! JMHO
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SegwayGuy View Post
There's quite a bit of speculation and a massive amount of discussion about removing the RV Fridge and installing a residential type.

I have a 2003 Monaco Windsor. The fridge is not in a slide, has a drawer and recently died.

I inspected the area behind the drawer and found 2 large bundles of cables which without moving, would not allow a residential unit to go in.

So...

I've been toying with the idea of changing the compressor system to the new 12v units. The reviews seem great, they take very little power and no remodeling the kitchen wall. (And no more fire in the wall)

Has anyone done this? Cost is a bit less than a residential solution and no windows or windshield need be removed.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
I agree with Joe. If the existing fridge (probably 12 Cu ft) is adequate size then go with JC. I think they have both a 12 volt and 120 volt version of the retrofit.

I just recently replaced mine to a residential fridge. There was some minor cabinetry work but I did that easily. I almost went the JC route. One of the deciding factor was that the old original norcold fridge had a few cracks in the plastic housing which were visible when you opened the doors. Functionally, it was fine but cosmetically not so fine.
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:59 PM   #4
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Take a look at the pictures in post #3 and you can see how I rearranged the wire bundles. The Samsung RF18 is slightly narrower than your Norcold so you will have a couple of inches on each side.
Samsung refrigerator install in 2004 Monaco Signature

As long as you do not have a furnace under your refrigerator, then a residential will fit. I had to rearrange the large bundles of wires to the sides and the rear of the refrigerator compartment. I also lowered the floor the fridge sits on 3". I shortened the drawer and kept it.
However, you could go much lower if you do not want to keep the drawer.
Also, the new Samsung RF18 came in the front door without removing the window.
Let me know if you have any questions?
Hope this helps!
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I would go with the compressor type cooling unit from JC Refrigeration! If you're satisfied with the capacity of your present unit then there's no reason for the hassle you will have installing a residential unit! Jr is a great guy to deal with and really stands behind his products! JMHO
X2 on JC 12v unit I had mine installed last year and have been very happy with it.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:59 AM   #6
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I just received the JC conversion in Phoenix and will have it installed this week. hoping for tomorrow. :-)
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:31 AM   #7
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I also have a 2003 Monaco Windsor and will be traveling to Indiana (location of JC Refrigeration)next week to have them install the residential conversion kit on my Norcold. Have read a lot of good results about the JC Refrigeration conversion.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:50 AM   #8
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I can endorse JC Refrigeration in Shipshewanna,In. We drove up to the factory a month ago and had them do the job on our 2003 Rexhall. If there are some good mechanics around you, he will ship a cooling unit to you. We were within a days drive, so opted to have the experts install it. It was fun touring around the Amish area of northern Indiana while we were there. ( On our trip back, it got the freezer to below 0 deg. F. with a medium setting.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:40 AM   #9
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Which is better and why 12VDC or the 120VAC? I might end up converting my Norcold 1200 also.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:10 PM   #10
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This is just my thought...12 Volt because you don't need the Inverter running...everyone here that has one loves it. I will be able to tell you how well it works in 110F+ temps this week. It will be installed Wed.
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Old 08-26-2019, 07:15 PM   #11
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JC really pushed me to put in the 120v unit. He said the 12v is not a big enough system for the 1200. The 120v runs a lot , but freezer pulls down into the sub zeros. And the top shelf of the fridge will freeze things on 5. The unit did not nest right when I installed it and did not cool as it should have. Nothing in the video said anything about a trial fit so being alone and having already sprayed on the foam I continued. Ended up pulling it out a month later and redid it. Takes a good 3 days to bring everything in the freezer down below zero. So happy to have that absorbtion unit out of the coach even though it worked just fine. These units cool the fridge first then the freezers. It pulled down to -7 empty the first night.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:50 AM   #12
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The install doesn't look too bad in the video but I'm having a pro do it that JC recommends. They have done a lot of them. I guess I will know by Thursday. I guess I'm supposed to wait 24 hrs before starting it?
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
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JC really pushed me to put in the 120v unit. He said the 12v is not a big enough system for the 1200. The 120v runs a lot , but freezer pulls down into the sub zeros. And the top shelf of the fridge will freeze things on 5. The unit did not nest right when I installed it and did not cool as it should have. Nothing in the video said anything about a trial fit so being alone and having already sprayed on the foam I continued. Ended up pulling it out a month later and redid it. Takes a good 3 days to bring everything in the freezer down below zero. So happy to have that absorbtion unit out of the coach even though it worked just fine. These units cool the fridge first then the freezers. It pulled down to -7 empty the first night.
So any guess on about how long the 120v ac unit would run on the inverter with (4) 6 volt house batteries assuming average conditions and no other non essential power being used?
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:08 AM   #14
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There are guys on here with the 12 volt version used in 100 + temps in texas with fridge at 32-34 and freezer -3 to 0. That's why I went with 12v...straight off the batts with no inverter. I will give it a few day and let everyone know.
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