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Old 04-06-2021, 09:50 PM   #1
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1200 Series Norcold Fridge Removal

Hello everyone I'm new to this site so take it easy on me LOL. I have owned my 2004 Winnebago Adventure 38G with the workhorse W22 chassis since September 2009 and Just love it. I have always serviced everything my self from Chassis repairs to coach repairs. I'm a retired licensed auto tech by trade and enjoy fixing and repairing almost anything. I have the original 1200 series Norcold fridge with ice maker that I've taken well care of, and yes the recall has been done. I've added extra fans to the inside and outside to make it more efficient It hold a nice 35-38F temperature.
Now I know the fridge is getting old and at some point it will have to be repaired or replaced just wondering how the fridge is removed from the coach. Will it fit through the side door or side window? I also thought I heard the front windshield (hope not just had new windshields put in last fall) I haven't done any measurements yet but wondering if anyone knows what's involved.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:24 AM   #2
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On my 07 Itasca Meridian Winnebago made sure it would not move! Access through the outdoor panel on each side is a very heavy duty steel bracket. The bracket is home to two bolts that make sure the frig does not move. Now one would think that, that would be enough. Oh no Winnebago thought more was needed so there are two metal straps on the top of the frig. from the wall of the coach to the top of the frig. each held in place by two sets of screws. I took the not so good route as removing those screws, I had a choice of removing the whole vent system on the roof or cutting the screw to get to the screws. I choose the cutting.

I did, to me alot of research on the removal and addition of new units. The removal of the 4door norcold, If I remember could be done through the front door after the removal on frig doors and heating stuff in the back. I was told that the only way a new norcold of the same size could get in was through the windshield. So right away that option was out.

I as for a residental frig I felt, that I was not a good enough wood worker to make it look good, plus room was very questionable. So that was out for me

I decided to go with a JC Refrigeration replacement cooling unit.
https://jc-refrigeration.com/

As I never dry camp and am always plugged in it made sense for me to go with their 120v. replacement cooling unit. My wife and I were able to do all the work are selves as there is nothing tough about it. I am very happy with my decision to go this route. Turned frig on yesterday after a short winters nap. On setting 4 frig 34 freezer 4

I would recommend to anybody that this the way to go.

Good Luck safe travels
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:46 AM   #3
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

If the 1200 has adequate storage capacity for your needs then you may want to consider installing one of the JC Refrigeration compressor-type cooling units.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:19 PM   #4
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To remove a 1200 the folks who have done it say they had to remove the doors and remove the cooling unit from the fridge. Then it would fit through the door.
Do your own measurements now to prevent a last-moment surprise.
You can make your Norcold last longer by performing the annual cleaning procedures.
Mine is a 1999 model and runs great; I installed an ARP Fridge Defend unit 4 years ago and the extra blower fan made such a difference I had to reduce the temp setting to prevent milk from freezing.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:33 PM   #5
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Ray , can you elaborate on the ARP Fridge Defend making the unit cooler ? Im under the believe its just an alternative for the Nor cool black box
As I have a 1210 4 door in my 05 Winne . And do a considerable amount of off the grid camping
That said I was considering up dating the cooling unit to the JC /Amish with propane .
As there are times it gets a tad warmer than i like .
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:12 PM   #6
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The ARP fridge defender also includes some fans (2) to be placed on the cooling unit side to move more air, probably accounts for better cooling, lower temps. I replaced mine with the JC DC compressor. This allows me to 'boondock' if I want and no problems when I am plugged in. Draws about 7 to 10 amps (DC) so no worries going through the night. Run the genny in the AM to make coffee anyway so charged right back up. Could re-charge with solar but haven't gone that route - yet!
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:29 AM   #7
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Thanks we do a lot of off the grid camping so I would probably go with the complete cooler unit or complete new fridge
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:48 AM   #8
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I had the JC Refrigeration Amish Cooling Unit installed on mine when the Norcold unit went out. The new unit is so much more robust. They did the repair on the floor of the coach, I laid down some plywood to protect the tile floor. No reason to remove the fridge from the coach. It fit right back in the same hole, looks original instead of patching in something new. While it wast out of the hole, I cleaned the cavity out and installed new insulation.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:59 AM   #9
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Yes I will measure the fridge soon for future reference I have removed the fridge to clean and install extra fan to the back of the fridge I have it on a toggle switch so when we dry camp I can turn it off at night when outside temperatures drop. I also installed a recirculation fan inside the fridge this made a huge difference on fridge operation. The Defend by ARP looks like a great safety device thanks!
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:14 AM   #10
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Thanks Tony Mac I have replaced a cooler unit in my daughter's trailer about 5 years ago but unfortunately she sold the trailer the following year so not sure how long the cooling unit replacement lasted.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:17 AM   #11
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There are a number of replacement cooling units on the market. Personally, the rig was designed to use an ac/lp cooling unit for a reason. On my 2000 HR Endeavor the Norcold/Dometic worked great the entire time I had it. Don't know if the cooling unit was ever replaced before me or not. My gurrent coach has the same Norcold, and the previous owner replaced the cooling unit the year before I got it. The replacement can be done inside the coach. The fridge comes out, the old cooling unit comes off and the new one put on. The previous owner said he helped the tech do it. The entire job took 4 hours and was about $1300. Personally I like the LP option and would not give it up. If your invertor fails (like mine did this year) you can still use LP going down the road.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
To remove a 1200 the folks who have done it say they had to remove the doors and remove the cooling unit from the fridge. Then it would fit through the door.
Do your own measurements now to prevent a last-moment surprise.
You can make your Norcold last longer by performing the annual cleaning procedures.
Mine is a 1999 model and runs great; I installed an ARP Fridge Defend unit 4 years ago and the extra blower fan made such a difference I had to reduce the temp setting to prevent milk from freezing.
Thanks Ray,in yes I always clean behind fridge, roof vent, and burners every year I also installed a temperature probe inside the fridge so I can check inside temp's with out opening the door I find this helps a lot I don't have to open door to see if fridge is cold. I know I can change cooler unit without removing fridge from the coach but if I have to remove cooler unit before I can get it through the door there is no sense in removing it from the coach. Just curious if someone has removed a fridge from the coach at so time and how they got it out.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amosnandy View Post
There are a number of replacement cooling units on the market. Personally, the rig was designed to use an ac/lp cooling unit for a reason. On my 2000 HR Endeavor the Norcold/Dometic worked great the entire time I had it. Don't know if the cooling unit was ever replaced before me or not. My gurrent coach has the same Norcold, and the previous owner replaced the cooling unit the year before I got it. The replacement can be done inside the coach. The fridge comes out, the old cooling unit comes off and the new one put on. The previous owner said he helped the tech do it. The entire job took 4 hours and was about $1300. Personally I like the LP option and would not give it up. If your invertor fails (like mine did this year) you can still use LP going down the road.
Yes I agree LP is a great option to have for sure
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Journey cat View Post
Ray , can you elaborate on the ARP Fridge Defend making the unit cooler ? Im under the believe its just an alternative for the Nor cool black box
As I have a 1210 4 door in my 05 Winne . And do a considerable amount of off the grid camping
That said I was considering up dating the cooling unit to the JC /Amish with propane .
As there are times it gets a tad warmer than i like .
You are right the ARP protects against the cooling unit overheating and will cycle the fridge off/on as necessary to do so, especially when parked at an excessive slope (3°side-to-side,6°front-to-back are limits).
When you purchase the optional blower-type cooling fans they cause the cooling unit to operate much more efficiently.
I only bought one blower fan and the results were pleasantly surprising. I chose to place the fan near the bottom of the cooling coils blowing up through the coils.
If you wish you may buy the fans from Amazon and connect them directly, either with a thermostat or to run continuously whenever the fridge is running.


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