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Old 10-02-2010, 08:54 AM   #1
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Changing RV refrigerator to domestic refrigerator

I am going to change the Dometic frig to an electric only frig. I have tried to find out what the A B Cs of changing it out is, but have not found any yet. Can someone help me? A. You need to???????
B. You need to???????
C. Etc.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:47 AM   #2
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Hello George and . We are glad to have you join us and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. I am sure you will enjoy the website and forums. Good luck, stay safe and keep us posted.
The transition can be done if you are willing to not need refrigeration when boon docking (no power or generator use) or have a large bank of batteries and an inverter to power the domestic refrigerator.
First you will need to remove the original refrigerator, measure the rough opening and see if there is available additional room by modification of opening to accommodate the new refrigerator dimensions. Also notice the lower and upper vent openings in side and roof of the coach. These will need to be blocked off with a change due to the fact that a domestic refrigerator does not need them and in fact will allow drafts, bugs and debris to enter the coach.
The suspension of your coach will have a lot to do with the life span of a compressor driven refrigerator. These compressor motors are supported on springs and a rough riding coach will shorten the compressor's life and will soon become noisy as the springs weaken or motor jumps off of these springs and the motor falls against the can it is in.
If you change to a domestic style refrigerator, there must be devised a way to secure it into the cabinet without damaging the sealed system. Also the doors will need to be secured or they may come open in transit. This will take some research specific to the make and model of refrigerator used. There are some generic ways to do this but are difficult to describe without many pictures or in person. You can do a search for previous discussions on this topic by clicking on the "search" button. Good luck.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:25 AM   #3
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It is very doable. Heres what we have.
Amana mod. #ABR1922FES. Will operate on MWS or PWS
Onan Equinox 2000 watt inverter/charger with AGS
2- 245 AH AGM batteries.
We have boondocked for over a month at a time with this set up and have had no issues.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:34 AM   #4
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The newer residential fridges have the cooling tubes on the sides and top, not the rear like the older ones did. You need to allow some air space for those places. Route your defroster pan line thru the floor (you may need to extend the line). We added a small 110VAC fan (cheapie "personal" fan from Wal-Mart) to help circulate the air over the compressor. Keeps them from overheating in the summer. We kept the roof top vent open. Secure the fridge well (don't screw thru the sides... we trashed one new fridge because we hit a line). I used a different method to hold our units in place but to do it again (and we are) I would use a set up similar to how my Microwave is held in place. I have a chain that goes over the top of our micro (for fridge I would add "L" shaped steel with a "cushion" of non-slip shelf material to protect the edges of the fridge cabinet from crushing), a section of non-slip shelf liner (triple layer) under the chain to keep it from slipping off and a hook threaded thru the floor of the cabinet that micro is in. I have a turnbuckle on one side (the accessible side) to tighten up the chain (it will stretch over time). The hooks have large washers both above and below the plywood floor of the cabinet. I used nylon insert nuts on the hooks but you can also use a dab of silicone to keep the nuts from loosening. The microwave weighs mush less than a fridge, but we feel this method is a better "fix" than the way we installed our fridge & freezer. BTW, we have used the same units in our RV since 2006 and we have put a lot of mileage on them. Only problem we have had was with the overheating in the summer. Compressor on the freeser got so hot I burnt my finger on it. Our little fan had crapped out and we forgot about replacing it. We had to shut down the freezer for several hours to allow the compressor to cool completely. Bought another cheapie fan from Wal-Mart and hooked it all back up. No problems since. Our fan sits right at the compressor blowing air on it. The fridge compressor sits even with the old RV fridge side vent/access panel.

We will be using the microwave's method of tie down for another under counter fridge (actually two of them) and a 12 Cf upright freezer. One fridge probably will be threaded thru a plywood core counter top... has a dishwasher under so I would have access but I also have to tie down the dishwasher... two screws thru the front edge of the countertop is not something that I will trust in case of roll over so I may wind up going thru the floor with both appliances. The other fridge and the freezer will thread thru the floor of the bus. We will have to tighten the chains from underneath the bus. I will most likely use two sets of chains (one towards the front and one towards the rear... two big "u" shaped tie downs). I wouldn't trust the fabric ratcheting tie downs for long term use.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:55 AM   #5
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Here are a few links to conversions by people.
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