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Old 07-15-2017, 01:30 PM   #1
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Residential vs Standard RV Refrigerator

I have read several threads on this and other forums discussing residential vs standard RV refrigerators. RV manufacturers continue to offer more and more residential refrigerators in all different types of RV. Many of the posts stated that residential units are by far safer and less prone to cause a fire.

I just read the following from another source this morning. Yet another thing the RV owner cannot just take for granted to be installed correctly or safely.


Forest River is recalling more than 1,400 model year 2014-2015 Coachmen RV Cross Country and Encounter recreational vehicles, and 2014-2018 Coachmen RV Mirada and Mirada Select recreational vehicles equipped with the residential refrigerator option instead of the standard refrigerator. The unused, but powered, wiring for the standard refrigerator was left with exposed wire ends.

If the energized positive and negative wires make contact, they may short circuit and possibly melt, increasing the risk of fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will disconnect the positive and negative wires from the battery, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on August 21, 2017.

Owners may contact Forest River at 1-574-825-8212. The recall number is 310-06212017-0455.

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Old 07-15-2017, 02:27 PM   #2
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Good info but I'm not sure it is really an RV vs Residential refer issue.

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Old 07-15-2017, 03:08 PM   #3
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fire hazard had nothing to do with our decision to go with a res. fridge when we bought new in the fall of 2015. we went residential simply because we...mainly me...were tired of stressing about the internal temperature. in hot weather I had trouble keeping the temps below 40f and we tried every trick in the book...internal fans, chimney fans, playing this way and that with the thermistor, seeking professional help. nothing seemed to work. the other reason was size. our res. fridge is so much larger. so we waved buh-bye to the std RV fridge and never looked back. we rarely boondock anymore and when we do it's usually an overnight in a parking lot. and it doesn't mean we won't have a problem or even a fire somewhere down the road but I'm a heckuva lot more relaxed than I used to be.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:37 PM   #4
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agree with above said. it's not the issue of residential fridge. between the two types of fridge, i can go with residential all day long.
our coach had two rv fridges consummed in 16 years. at the end of the last year, our rv fridge went kaput. tired of constantly checking cooling/no cooling and having to maintain the level whenever the fridge was in use, we decided to yank it and get a residentia unit. a few hundred green backs diy done. ever since, we have a cold fridge 24/7 and no worry about the fire hazard. a way to go...
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:15 PM   #5
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Please don't shoot the messenger! lol

The brief article quoted, referenced Coachmen only.
Hopefully, other manufacturers are not similarly affected.

As I had not read about this previously, I thought maybe the post would pass along the pertinent information to some of those owners that may still be unaware.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:16 PM   #6
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Yep, a very serious failure to properly install an item causing a potential fire.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:31 AM   #7
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The recall is for a different problem
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jim27358 View Post
The recall is for a different problem
Please disregard I hit the wrong key.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:56 PM   #9
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My Dometic 2 door fridge has not been working so well so I researched replacing it with a residential unit about 10 cubic feet in size. What I found is most of the units I was looking at in this size range is using isobutane, r600a, for the refrigerant. I suppose less flammable than hydrogen but flammable none the less.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:34 PM   #10
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We have a samsung and have not regretted the change not even for one second!!!!! Just changed inverter to a pure sine reducing the power usage.
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Old 11-23-2017, 03:54 PM   #11
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absoption refergeration if often used with free waste heat

Residential electric compressor type refrigerators are less expensive to operate. Smaller absorption refrigerators are mainly used for mobile application such as rv and marine.

Other than for mobile applications absorption refrigeration is used in industries that produce waste heat that can be used with absorption refrigeration systems.

Electric compressor type refrigeration is more efficient and commonly used in homes and industries that don't produce waste heat.

As for safety there is potential danger anytime using gas or electricity to heat a boiler, but perhaps less danger than riding a bicycle, driving a vehicle, motorhome, etc.
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Old 11-23-2017, 04:47 PM   #12
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The marine industry no longer uses propane, absorption refrigerators.

The ABYC has banned unattended propane appliances, many years ago. Boats use 12 volt, compressor refrigeration.

With 12 volt fridges being as expensive as absorption fridges, and residential fridges being more effecent every year, many are installing 120 volt fridges in their boats.
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Old 11-23-2017, 05:26 PM   #13
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There is a cadre of folks who are afraid of gas or propane appliances. They are the main supporters of the residential refrigerators. The rest of us don't sweat it as the chance of a fire is vanishingly small in a properly done system. Norcold cut some corners on the 1200 to prove that they could fail to make a proper system. The Amish cooling systems on the same boxes don't have the problems the stock units do. For a few dollars more they can be had with helium instead of hydrogen. Helium does not burn. The point is that it is not the technology it's the engineering that is the problem.

The engineering decisions are probably cost driven by the folks trying to get the cheapest unit they can put in an RV.

Residential refrigerators are sold by folks with DP's and 4-8 batteries praising them. They have the capacity to overnight with an RR. Problems arise when RR's are put into smaller units that don't have the extra battery capacity to supply overnight operation. They are also sold on cost of the RR ignoring the added batteries, larger charging system, AGS and Inverter. If all the RV is is a park queen it does not matter. OTOH for anyone who wants to regularly dry camp it means a lot of generator time just for the refer. Somebody will say solar but that assumes enough roof space and another fat bill for something mostly used a couple of weekends and a couple of weeks a year.

One makes their choice and pays their money but a RR in anything under 30 ft is an automatic no sale for us.
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:45 PM   #14
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Rather condescending, no?

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