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Old 04-30-2013, 10:52 PM   #1
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
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Samsung RF197 Install with Propane Heater

I know many of you have installed the Samsung RF197 in your coach, but there are a few coaches with the heater under the Norcold limiting the space for the install. I thought some might like to see how I installed mine. Lots of thanks to Bob and Richard for ideas that made this job easier.

The standard RF197 is 69 3/4" tall with the wheels in place. My coach had 70 3/4" from the top of the heater to where the refer doors will clear the roof (ceiling light and speaker).

The below picture is the cabinet once the Norcold was removed. I used Bob's idea of removing the floor with a small hydraulic jack. I jacked the floor up in a couple of places and it broke loose. I sawed it in half and pulled it out. Monaco did not spare the staples!




This photo shows the propane heater and a couple of issues that had to be overcome. The drain pipe had to be rerouted around the front of the heater and some lines and wiring tied up against the wall.





In this photo, I removed the pink insulation and replaced it with 3/4" foam board. I also rerouted the drain line. The two large white connections are removable unions. If I need to pull the heater, it will be tough, but doable.





This is a photo of the electrical for the refer, remounted on the edge of the exterior door. The upper outlet in the upper box has one plug run off the Magnum 2000 inverter. The lower outlet in the upper box is for the new Magnum 600 inverter.

The lower box has the original shore power line that does not run through the 2000 watt inverter.

If you look closely, there is a metal frame (angle iron) now mounted over the top of the heater. It's the same level as the heater and supported at the four corners. It basically creates a set of parallel rails that will allow a matching frame attached to the bottom of the refer to slide in with no floor being used.



Here is the frame made out of 3/4" square tubing that mounts to the bottom of the refer. By removing the refer wheels, I was able to shorten the overall height of the refer by an inch. I was able to use three refer frame screws to attach the frame to the bottom front of the refer and drilled two holes through the rear of the refer frame to connect at the back. I used two sided tape along with the screws to attach the frame to the bottom of the refer.

Once the frame was on, I used a furniture dolly as others had suggested to move the Samsung around the coach. With the square tubing frame and rail system, I was able to easily slide the refer in and out while fitting everything.




This photo shows a mount I screwed to the upper right rear of the refer. It is accessed through the original refer roof vent. The roof vent is framed in aluminum from the factory. I added an arm from the roof vent frame to this bracket to secure the top of the refer. I also used two sided type to assist in holding this bracket on.




This is the refer installed. I made the front rail system adjustable. Once the refer was in place, I was able to add shims to both front rails to lift the refer and make it sit flush in the cabinet.

I removed the wood trim that was at the top of the Norcold and turned it sideways, changing the trim from 2" to 3/4". I used black door edging foam around the sides and top to seal the gap between the frame and refer. It worked out to be a perfect fit.

I locked the refer in place by running a bolt through the rail system in the left rear corner (accessible through the exterior vent door) and through the rail system at the front of the refer.





I really scored here. The frame with large louvers that was originally below the Norcold and provided air intake for the heater was just the right size to still fit under the new refer without cutting it down. I left off the base/height adjuster cover that came with the Samsung.

The original frame with louvers used large 2" wide louvers that were actually attached to the back of the frame, not inside of it. I removed the louvers and ripped them in half lengthwise, giving me two louvers finished on one side. I cut their length by about an inch and then glued them back inside the original frame. I took a left over louver and made two spacers to keep the now thinner louvers straight. In this photo the louvered frame is just laying up against the reefer. Tomorrow I'll probably attach it with the same latches Monaco uses on their drawers to hold it in place.




This is a close up of the newly designed louvered door.




This is a side view of the installation.



I fired up the Samsung and it was at temp in about two hours. I checked the heat at the rear several times and could hardly notice any. I'll probably leave the outside access door alone to allow more air flow since this was a tight fit. I'll put some door screen over the vents on the inside to keep the bugs out.

I also fired up the heater. It produced very little heat under the refer. Most of the vents on the heater are air intake vents. Only the front edge of the heater box got warm. We rarely use this heater.

This project was not hard, but very time consuming. It took me four full days to remove and replace the refers. There was a lot of exacting measurements and metal fabricating.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:48 PM   #2
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Nicely done, all the planning work show in your fine craftsmanship.
? Are you planning on running new Refrigerator on the 600 watt inverter. That may be close on the start up wattage. Ones the compressor is running the wattage will drop will with in the 600 watt inverter range some were close to 100 watts or less.
Just thinking
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:43 AM   #3
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Looks great Don, nice description and photos.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:20 AM   #4
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Nice installation. But we would expect that from you! What will happen when Samsung discontinues that model. RV'rs are installing the Samsung in many different MH's. I bet Samsung is wondering why they are selling so many RF197's.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:40 AM   #5
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Nice job. You may have inspired me to finally make the change. Did you happen to take measurements or make some sort of blueprint for the metal work?
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:59 AM   #6
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Great job, Don!

I come over to Moorpark occasionally to have breakfast or lunch with a Kodak friend who I worked with in the film industry.

On one of those trips in the future, I will contact you to stop in and see the install in person.

You will now wonder why you had not done this conversion years earlier.

Safe travels.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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Don, once again you have shown your skills in making great mods to your rig. I am hoping to install my 197 sometime this summer. I bought it at Sears Outlet (left side has a deep and ugly scratch but for 800.00 I am happy, it will be covered) in Atlanta about 6 weeks ago while I was home for the weekend.
I am still living in the rig while working down in the Tampa area, but sometime in July I should be home for about 3 or 4 weeks R&R and I will begin my install then when I have access to all my tools and equipment. Between you and Bob I am truly inspired to get this done. I do have one question, did you set up another set of bats for your 600 or you using the normal coach bats. I do not dry camp for the most part and I am plugged in either at home or at a campground when I am working so I am thinking about just using the converted plug where the ice maker plugs in for road use. I am just not sure about that yet.

George
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:18 AM   #8
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Nice job and great report. I got to see first hand how one was done while in Anaheim last month. The neighbor took several days as well. They were amazed at how much room it had inside. We have a Dometic that works well so far. The freezer will hit -2 and the refer will stay around 33-34 except in direct hot sun.

I am curious to see how you build a lock, knowing the quality of work you do.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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Thanks guys.....It's amazing to open the doors and have cold air blow out on you. The Norcold never did that.

Richard....If you're in the area call and stop by. If your friend doesn't mind we can all do lunch.

I picked up two more batteries today. The Interstate battery store actually dissuaded me from buying two new ones. They had identical Interstates that were reconditioned. Mine are 3 years old and I think they would probably have issues with the two new ones if I went that route. The batteries were only $52.00, but the great state of California charges a $35.00 per battery core charge if you don't turn any in.

I was hoping to start welding up the brackets to add the two batteries tomorrow, but looks like my daughter is going into labor tonight!
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyEOD View Post
Don, once again you have shown your skills in making great mods to your rig. I am hoping to install my 197 sometime this summer. I bought it at Sears Outlet (left side has a deep and ugly scratch but for 800.00 I am happy, it will be covered) in Atlanta about 6 weeks ago while I was home for the weekend.
I am still living in the rig while working down in the Tampa area, but sometime in July I should be home for about 3 or 4 weeks R&R and I will begin my install then when I have access to all my tools and equipment. Between you and Bob I am truly inspired to get this done. I do have one question, did you set up another set of bats for your 600 or you using the normal coach bats. I do not dry camp for the most part and I am plugged in either at home or at a campground when I am working so I am thinking about just using the converted plug where the ice maker plugs in for road use. I am just not sure about that yet.

George
George,

We are just running the Samsung from the original inverter and it has worked without issue for almost two years now. You do have to make sure you don't over load the 20 amp breaker on the inverter with hair dryers, toasters, etc. That is the main reason Don went with a separate inverter system for the Samsung. I have to admit I am envious of his extra inverter and two more batteries.

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Old 05-04-2013, 04:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diplomat Don View Post
Thanks guys.....It's amazing to open the doors and have cold air blow out on you. The Norcold never did that.

Richard....If you're in the area call and stop by. If your friend doesn't mind we can all do lunch.

I picked up two more batteries today. The Interstate battery store actually dissuaded me from buying two new ones. They had identical Interstates that were reconditioned. Mine are 3 years old and I think they would probably have issues with the two new ones if I went that route. The batteries were only $52.00, but the great state of California charges a $35.00 per battery core charge if you don't turn any in.

I was hoping to start welding up the brackets to add the two batteries tomorrow, but looks like my daughter is going into labor tonight!
Don,

Great job. We have come to expect that from you.

I do have two comments:

1. I would not have installed insulation back on each side wall. I would have left that space open for air. When we had the Samsung running in the garage I could feel heat on each side of the Samsung with my hands.

2. If you flip the louvers over on the vent at the bottom you will not be able to see the furnace on the inside as you walk by. I first installed the louvers as you show in the photo and did not like seeing the guts of the furnace as I walked by the frig. I went back and flipped them over.

Bob
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:46 AM   #12
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So Don, Did you daughter's labor go ok? Is she and the new grand baby doing well? Left in suspense here!! Hope everyone is out and happy!
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:29 PM   #13
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No baby yet....They will start inducing her tomorrow evening (Sunday) and should have a new grand daughter by Monday.

Bob....I know what you're saying about the louvers. The photo I posted was a bad picture. The vent was laying against the frame (unattached) at an angle and showed the guts. When I cut down the old louvers and added them to the frame, I used three times as many louvers, 3/4" apart. Once it was attached and vertical, you can't see what's behind it unless you're down on your knees. I also put screen door mesh on the back side to keep bugs out.

I'm hoping the insulation isn't going to be an issue. I couldn't leave the ugly walls alone (being so anal). There were 3/4" wood braces all the way up the wall in several spots on both sides, so the insulation is inside of those braces, which would have blocked some air flow. I'm leaving the exterior side vent open on mine. I glued screen door mesh over the vents to keep bugs and some dirt out. There will be some drafts during windy weather, but I'm not too concerned about it. I also left the upper vent open.

I have no heat at the back even in 90 degree weather which we had yesterday. Now that you mentioned it, I will reach from underneath and see if I'm generating any heat on the sidewalls. The way I looked at it, I have as much space around the refer as I do on my counter depth built in refer in the house. I really wanted insulation against that exterior wall to keep the heat down.

My water isn't filtered to the ice maker, so I removed the outside exterior door, mounted a small water filter and just cut the lines on the back of the refer to attach. It worked out great, easy to access.

The inverter project was completed today. The hard part was running all of the wiring (Romex) under the coach and back to the inverter. I was able to install the new inverter upside down on the roof of the bay, above the 2000 watt Magnum.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:46 AM   #14
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No baby yet....They will start inducing her tomorrow evening (Sunday) and should have a new grand daughter by Monday.

Bob....I know what you're saying about the louvers. The photo I posted was a bad picture. The vent was laying against the frame (unattached) at an angle and showed the guts. When I cut down the old louvers and added them to the frame, I used three times as many louvers, 3/4" apart. Once it was attached and vertical, you can't see what's behind it unless you're down on your knees. I also put screen door mesh on the back side to keep bugs out.

I'm hoping the insulation isn't going to be an issue. I couldn't leave the ugly walls alone (being so anal). There were 3/4" wood braces all the way up the wall in several spots on both sides, so the insulation is inside of those braces, which would have blocked some air flow. I'm leaving the exterior side vent open on mine. I glued screen door mesh over the vents to keep bugs and some dirt out. There will be some drafts during windy weather, but I'm not too concerned about it. I also left the upper vent open.

I have no heat at the back even in 90 degree weather which we had yesterday. Now that you mentioned it, I will reach from underneath and see if I'm generating any heat on the sidewalls. The way I looked at it, I have as much space around the refer as I do on my counter depth built in refer in the house. I really wanted insulation against that exterior wall to keep the heat down.

My water isn't filtered to the ice maker, so I removed the outside exterior door, mounted a small water filter and just cut the lines on the back of the refer to attach. It worked out great, easy to access.

The inverter project was completed today. The hard part was running all of the wiring (Romex) under the coach and back to the inverter. I was able to install the new inverter upside down on the roof of the bay, above the 2000 watt Magnum.
Don,

Hope everything goes well with the daughter and new baby.

Since you have the outside vents open I would think you have plenty of air circulation to keep the Samsung cool.

Above the existing inverter would also be my choice of a mounting place for the second inverter. I believe I have seen all electric coaches like the Signature with two Magnum PSW Inverters mounted piggy back.

Bob
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