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Old 01-11-2015, 02:05 PM   #15
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I replaced the Norcold 1201 cooling unit with an Amish cooling unit in my previous Winnebago. Pretty much a waste of money except for the piece of mind about a fire hazard. In all fairness, this could have been caused by a poorly designed enclosure with too much dead air space.

HOWEVER...when I got my DSDP I knew I wasn't going to repeat that so went with the Samsung 197...no looking back now!
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick327 View Post
Is this only for double door fridges or does it pertain to ALL Norcold fridges? I have Norcold single door plus freezer door fridge. Should I be worried? I have had zero trouble with this unit and it cools just fine.
You should check the Norcold recall list to make sure your fridge is not included.

Having said that. My Norcold was the same as yours. When it finally failed, we switched to a residential fridge mainly due to the economics. The residential fridge we chose cost about $500.00. The two batteries we chose to add to the house battery bank cost about $250.00.

We boon dock quite a bit. The electric fridge is hands down a far better fridge. Lots more storage capacity, and does a far superior job of cooling.

Quite frankly, I do not understand all the hoopla about fridges. I think the propane fridge made perfect sense years ago when electric fridges were power hogs and took up a lot of space. The electric fridges of today are self defrosting, thin wall design, energy efficient and use very little power.

Now that solar power is so affordable, I think the propane fridge is a thing of the past.

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Old 01-11-2015, 03:11 PM   #17
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After our Norcold 1200 failed and would no longer cool in our 2008 Allegro Bus, I replaced the cooling unit with an Amish one. Worked fine for about 8 months and it failed. They replaced it immediately under warranty and I had this one professionally replaced. Worked for a few months and failed again. I threw it out and put in a Kitchen Aid Residential. I learned slow, but I learned. Never again.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:03 PM   #18
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I wanted to replace my norcold N821 with a residential unit but it would stick out into the hallway about 4" further than the norcold. Just didn't seem like it would be worth the hassle.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:26 PM   #19
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I replaced the Norcold unit with the Amish unit. In my Journey, the fridge is in a slide and the top of the fridge exhausts thru the sidewall and not the roof as it would if it weren't in a slide. Bottom line was the Amish was better but did not work well in the summer as I couldn't get the fridge to exhaust properly thru the sidewall. At the end of last summer, replaced the Norcold with the Samsung RF197 and haven't looked back. Did the work myself - both the Norcold and the Samsung came thru the front door - with the stop removed and with the doors off - with an inch to spare. Not a difficult install but had to remove a small storage cabint that was above the Norcold.
My recommendation to you would be to go Residential and I believe I am echoing the sentiment of those that have done the conversion. I would also suggest that there are many owners who went the Amish route - as I did - only to end up installing the residential unit. The Norcold may not be properly vented or the door gaskets might be deteriorating - either of which will result in substandard performance with any absorption model. You avoid these risks with a residential fridge.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
I wanted to replace my norcold N821 with a residential unit but it would stick out into the hallway about 4" further than the norcold. Just didn't seem like it would be worth the hassle.
Pirate, You are right that the doors are about 4" thick but they hinge at the outside. So if you have the room you can inset the fridge into the cabinet to minimize the impact. I picked up over an inch with my install of a Whirlpool WRT111.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:55 PM   #21
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I did go with the Amish Cooling Unit, added the SS30 Halon extinguisher and a smoke detector too. I added a few extra cooling fans, one that I control via toggle switch, the other set to come on via thermocouple as needed.

We wanted to retain boondocking capability, and I liked the dual usage capability of electric/propane.

The unit is now performing well, and I recommend it for those that wish to retain propane capability.

And I always feel that is the key thing to decide - how will you use your coach? For emergency situations (Earthquakes/Fires/Etc.) do you want propane capability, or are you fine with electric and running of generator as needed. These are choices, and IMO, the only wrong choice is retaining a Norcold 1200, AND NOT DOING THE AMISH COOLING UNIT UPGRADE. (I can't stress how much I personally feel the Norcold recall (all of them, and I've lost count, and stopped doing them - were Mickey Mouse. Disgusting they're allowed to get away with this and no one goes to jail.) I also recommend the ARP board too. (Which I have not installed, but see my next comment.)

All that being said, we'll be changing to the residential Samsung unit probably this year. What has changed for us, is that since I did the Amish Cooling Unit install, I've also now added a more robust battery bank and oversized solar panel system. (X's 4 L16's Lifelines for 800AH; 1200W 48V of high efficiency panels, MidNite Classic 150 Controller.) We also upgraded to Magnum 2800 PSW, for lots of reasons, but one was a Lifeline Setting for charging too.

My wife is becoming more and more unpleased with the lack of power of the Propane Stove Top, and instead of going to a better propane unit, I'm going to go induction stove top.

This will allow me to remove the propane tank completely, and use that space for other things. (I'll keep a few portable bottles for our Amazing Campfire In A Can, as well as to feed our Heat Buddy. Have a small one now we used with the Weber Q.)

So things change, and thus my feeling with our current electrical system, we'll be fine with an All Electric Coach...

But to be clear, I feel the Amish Cooling Unit is a solid improvement and worth the extra cost just for safety alone - if remaining Propane capable is important to you...

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:02 PM   #22
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There have been as many people who have installed the Amish units that have had good results as those that have had lousy results.

An interesting statistical fact. I am glad I made it into the "good results" 50% of Amish Cooling Unit owners.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
Why fool around with spending money on "stuff" attempting to make a poorly built POS work better. It won't.



There have been as many people who have installed the Amish units that have had good results as those that have had lousy results.



The ARPrv device is definitely worth the investment IF you have a good running RV absorption type fridge. BUT it won't help a poor unit run any better. It will only possibly prevent it from torching your RV and making you crisper critters.



If you want a good working fridge then install a residential and be done with it.



Residential fridges have been used in RV's longer than most people realize. The were first introduced in the high end coaches and eventually found their way into other RV's because they WORK.



How often have you had to have your home fridge replaced or serviced as compared to your RV fridge?



Invest your money in something that works instead of something that you may THINK will work.



Dr4Film ----- Richard

To answer your question my 1986 absorption refrigerator still works perfect but I have had to replace my home refrigerator 3 tim s since then!
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:01 PM   #24
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MotorPro,

Chances are, based on your success with your 1986 RV absorption fridge, that it is most likely a small unit and not one of the large 4 door models that have had thousands of failures and many more additional problems that have plagued RV owners.

Glad that you are pleased with your small fridge.

I really love our large 18 cu./ft. Samsung RF197 fridge which stores 50% more than the POS that it replaced. Plus it keeps our food REALLY cold and food REALLY frozen versus having to throw spoiled food out every week.

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Old 01-11-2015, 09:57 PM   #25
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"MotorPro"......Yes, the two door refers work fine and we're all glad you're happy with it. This discussion is not about the smaller refers, but the 12 cubic foot models. The problem is, they took the cooling unit that is used on yours and tried to stretch it out for use in the four door models, rather than redesign a more robust unit.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:45 AM   #26
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Quote:
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I wanted to replace my norcold N821 with a residential unit but it would stick out into the hallway about 4" further than the norcold. Just didn't seem like it would be worth the hassle.
look for a counter depth refer. The samsung everybody is talking about will fit in a 24" cabinet without sticking out more than the doors are thick. I installed a samsung rf297 witch is 36" wide and has the ice and water in the door that DW wanted. its installed in a tight hallway but not much less room than the Nevercold left
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:05 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
I wanted to replace my norcold N821 with a residential unit but it would stick out into the hallway about 4" further than the norcold. Just didn't seem like it would be worth the hassle.
We had the same concern. Our fridge door opens into the hallway with less than a couple of inches to spare.

For the smaller single door Norcold fridges, there's literally dozens of residential fridges that will replace it. We were able to find a few that would fit perfectly.

We finally chose on price.

The residential fridge we installed fits exactly the same as our old Norcold.

Jim
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:19 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmac View Post
I replaced the Norcold unit with the Amish unit. In my Journey, the fridge is in a slide and the top of the fridge exhausts thru the sidewall and not the roof as it would if it weren't in a slide. Bottom line was the Amish was better but did not work well in the summer as I couldn't get the fridge to exhaust properly thru the sidewall. At the end of last summer, replaced the Norcold with the Samsung RF197 and haven't looked back. Did the work myself - both the Norcold and the Samsung came thru the front door - with the stop removed and with the doors off - with an inch to spare. Not a difficult install but had to remove a small storage cabint that was above the Norcold.
My recommendation to you would be to go Residential and I believe I am echoing the sentiment of those that have done the conversion. I would also suggest that there are many owners who went the Amish route - as I did - only to end up installing the residential unit. The Norcold may not be properly vented or the door gaskets might be deteriorating - either of which will result in substandard performance with any absorption model. You avoid these risks with a residential fridge.

Sounds like my experience. Amish unit worked a few months, then failed, I was told Amish unit working fine, my "box" was dead. Then I installed the Samsung R197. Glad I did, great improvement.
We don't boondock, and I didn't buy extra batteries. Hit the "super cool" button an hour before we unplug, turn on the generator for an hour at lunch break. Never any problem.
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