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Old 11-23-2011, 04:10 PM   #15
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take windshield out to install one
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Old 11-23-2011, 04:16 PM   #16
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I have 2006 Discovery with Norcold 1200 unit and am not happy with it's operation. I was thinking of replacing it with a residential unit but how do you get it inside? The door is only 26" wide and all the residential units I have looked at are much deeper than that.
The Samsung RF197 series refrigerator is a counter-depth model that does not have the premium price normally associated with such units. With its doors removed it will easily fit through a 24" opening.

However, the problem is that the Norcold 1200 series will not fit through the same door. Our remodeler hired a "windshield expert" to come in after the Norcold had been disconnected and pulled out of its hole. The windshield was removed and replaced and the two refrigerators exchanged all in one afternoon.
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Old 11-23-2011, 04:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshidemantle View Post
I have 2006 Discovery with Norcold 1200 unit and am not happy with it's operation. I was thinking of replacing it with a residential unit but how do you get it inside? The door is only 26" wide and all the residential units I have looked at are much deeper than that. Of course maybe the amish cooling unit would be an answer.

Jack
Samsung makes a counter-depth, French-door model (RF197) that is 18 cu ft and is only 24.5" deep with the doors off. The RF217 is 20 cu ft and is a little over 25" with the doors off. Both are available in various colors from Lowe's, and exact dimensions are given on the web site. However, with a DP that has the door at the very front, make sure the fridge will make the bend at the top of the steps and clear the overhead TV cabinet. The other good thing is these Samsung refrigerators will run off a MSW inverter. The downside is both these are several inches taller than the Norcold 1200 and will require serious modification of the cabinet for them to fit.

Other RV owners are installing different models that require less height, but they are deeper and require removing a window (or possibly the windshield) to get them inside. Some other models may run off MSW, but most others require pure sine wave.

There are several threads about installing residential fridges on the RV Systems and Appliances Forum. Do a search for "residential refrigerator" or for "Samsung RF197."
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Old 11-23-2011, 04:44 PM   #18
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I sure am glad I have a Dometic.
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Old 11-23-2011, 05:14 PM   #19
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I had my fridge fixed in Nov 2010 for the recall. Since then I have received four letters from them about the recall. I have called them three times with my info and even sent photos of the fix in two of the four letters I returned to them about the recall. Just to be on the safe side, each time I receive the recall notice, I go out and check the tag, to make sure I have the most up to date fix. Seems like about every couple months I get their recall letter. Hopefully with my last response in 48 font size, red lettering and photos of tag they will finally figure it out.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:00 PM   #20
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Really, really hard to believe these guys are even still in business. We had a 1200 in the Bus that worked for 2 years, but then the problems started. Not enough cooling when driving and on gas, then not cooling when outside temps went up, and overall inconsistent operation. We replaced just about everything on the unit, with no improvement, and, of course, no help from Norcold. We finally replaced the cooling unit with the Amish unit. Guess what, SAME PROBLEM. Since I did the Amish replacement I thought it might be me. David replaced the Amish unit under warranty and I had the second system installed by an RV Refrigeration specialist. Guess what, SAME PROBLEMS. I finally got it solved, though. Threw the junk in the trash and installed a Kitchen Aid 2 door household unit.

Obviously Norcold has MAJOR design problems with their 1200 units. Between burning down RV's, repeated recalls for solutions that don't work or use defective parts, and failure to correct the problems so obvious with their units by only putting on band-aids, Norcold looks to be a classic case of a company bent on self destruction. At least I'm now out of this fiasco.
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:36 AM   #21
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Interesting discussion folks. I'm an RV tech and we have one on our lot that the fridge burned. It's sad.

The latest "black box" has a bump about 3/4" x 1" right below the wires. Seems like on all the recalls I did, I'm now replacing faulty black boxes.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:00 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by rgreen45
Interesting discussion folks. I'm an RV tech and we have one on our lot that the fridge burned. It's sad.

The latest "black box" has a bump about 3/4" x 1" right below the wires. Seems like on all the recalls I did, I'm now replacing faulty black boxes.
What is the latest rev? Last I heard it was " E ". I still have " A" from last Nov. EEK. Also, can you tell us how you come to the conclusion that it's the black box and not the cooling unit and if you ascertain it is the black box , do you just switch out the box or do you need to replace the whole kit???
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:34 AM   #23
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What is the latest rev? Last I heard it was " E ". I still have " A" from last Nov. EEK. Also, can you tell us how you come to the conclusion that it's the black box and not the cooling unit and if you ascertain it is the black box , do you just switch out the box or do you need to replace the whole kit???
You can just switch out the box, but Norcold won't send you one. You have to go to an authorized Norcold repair shop. Their point is it is difficult to tell if it's the box and not the cooling unit, and they don't want any more fires.

If the RV tech diagnoses it as a bad box, he orders another from Norcold (Norcold won't allow the shops to stock spares, but I have heard of some places having extras). It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for the replacement box to arrive.

When our box went bad, it was easy for me to tell it was the box and not the cooling unit. The recall box tripped right after I replaced the house batteries. I inadvertently had left the 12V cutoff switch on while I replaced the batteries, and the voltage surge when I connected the wire to the battery apparently tripped the black box. I knew the cooling unit didn't overheat because it was off the whole time I was working on replacing the batteries. I bypassed the black box while I waited to have the bad one replaced, but I don't recommend doing that unless you're ABSOLUTELY sure it's the box that's bad.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:39 PM   #24
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Most do not come thru the front door....my 22 footer came thru the removed side window....just BARELY...plan B would be the windshield...The benefits of a residential fridge are so great I'd find SOME way to get one inside, but don't plan on the front door...
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:00 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Pigman1 View Post
Really, really hard to believe these guys are even still in business. We had a 1200 in the Bus that worked for 2 years, but then the problems started. Not enough cooling when driving and on gas, then not cooling when outside temps went up, and overall inconsistent operation. We replaced just about everything on the unit, with no improvement, and, of course, no help from Norcold. We finally replaced the cooling unit with the Amish unit. Guess what, SAME PROBLEM. Since I did the Amish replacement I thought it might be me. David replaced the Amish unit under warranty and I had the second system installed by an RV Refrigeration specialist. Guess what, SAME PROBLEMS. I finally got it solved, though. Threw the junk in the trash and installed a Kitchen Aid 2 door household unit.

Obviously Norcold has MAJOR design problems with their 1200 units. Between burning down RV's, repeated recalls for solutions that don't work or use defective parts, and failure to correct the problems so obvious with their units by only putting on band-aids, Norcold looks to be a classic case of a company bent on self destruction. At least I'm now out of this fiasco.
Has anyone heard, with any consistency, of the Amish rebuilt units failing as stated in the above post. I'm not saying it can't/hasn't happened, but it's the first time I seen it mentioned on this forum.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:21 AM   #26
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Has anyone heard, with any consistency, of the Amish rebuilt units failing as stated in the above post. I'm not saying it can't/hasn't happened, but it's the first time I seen it mentioned on this forum.
Earlier this year I used an Amish cooling unit in our Dometic, no problems and it sure was heavier than the old cooling unit. It's only been about 8 months but no problems noted, nor am I expecting any since it has a 5 year warranty.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:46 AM   #27
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Was told by Dave Force that there was a small run of bad units (+/- 6). The units were replaced and when bench checked, they were OK. The problem was found when the units were placed in an oven and found to be heat related.
He said they have found most of the problems are install related. The new unit does not mount at the same angle as the original and the insulation is different.
Would like to go with the RR but the 197 won't fit height wise and a Maytag will require an inverter change/addition plus possibly a couple more batteries.
Think I will pay Dave to do the change out and if there are problems all I will be out is a few gallons of fuel for the drive.
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:52 AM   #28
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Yes,

That is correct regarding the small run of defective Amish cooling units. They were able to isolate them quickly and get them replaced free of charge, etc. It was due to a contaminant that got mixed with the solution normally used inside the cooling unit.

The only worrisome aspect regarding an Amish built unit is to make sure whoever is doing the installation is knowledgeable on proper absorption cooling unit/fridge installations. If the unit is not caulked with enough mastic and sealed completely air tight around the edges, it will not operate correctly regardless of who manufactured the unit.

One thought I would like to toss out to people is the fact that if you have a marginally good operating absorption fridge and would like to have it work a little better, simply add more air flow to the rear cooling coils allowing the heat that collects back there to be removed quickly. Heat removal is the process used to produce the cooling of the stuff placed in the freezer and fridge. I had both of my rear cooling fans go south due to excessive noise & vibration. To replace them, it would have involved removing the fridge enough to reach the fans, something I did not want to do. I simply added four horizontal box fans to the roof-top vent which I can manually turn on if needed or they come on automatically using the existing snap disc. I generally have them on 24/7 unless the outside temps are cold enough. You can barely hear them running and they provide 300 CFM of air movement, much more than the OEM fans were providing originally. It has made a world of difference to the temps in the freezer and fridge compartments. I also use a couple of small box fans to circulate the cold air within the fridge compartment too.

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