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Old 01-13-2016, 09:49 PM   #1
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Residential Refrigerator

We are looking to buy a 31 or 32 foot Tiffin MH. We really like the Allegro 31SA. We are wondering if we bought a used 32CA could we use the savings to upgrade it. Our specific question is could we replace the gas/electric one with a residential refrigerator. In so doing could we get the extra battery's and the pure sine wave inverter? Has anyone tried this and if so what did it cost? Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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Old 01-13-2016, 09:53 PM   #2
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Expect to spend $4000 or so, unless you d-i-y.

Kent & Sue & Belle
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:44 PM   #3
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Double check on room for the batteries.

And the biggest thing, can you get the RR into the coach.
When we bought ours, the saleman made a comment that Tiffin
installs the fridge BEFORE the front windshield so they can bring it in through the windshield opening. It is very posible that you cant fit it through your entry door. But you know what what they say when a salesman talks.....


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Old 01-13-2016, 10:58 PM   #4
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I helped a friend put a Samsung triple door refer in his Monaco. We had to take out a side window to get the old one out and the new one in. Took four of us and a pickup parked beside the rig. Other than that it wasn't a problem.
I was considering doing the change with our DSDP as the Dometic needed new door gaskets and you had to buy new doors to get them. Would have cost more than a new apartment size refer. But we traded the whole rig in and the new, to us, one came with a 21 cf Jenn Air double door unit.
Extra batteries were not needed for the friends unit but he did have to get a new inverter as the old one was partly fried so he got a PSW unit. A lot of the refers will run just fine on a MSW inverter. The Samsung's seem to be fine with a MSW inverter.
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Old 01-14-2016, 01:20 AM   #5
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In 2013 we ditched the Norcold and had the Samsung 197 installed. The Samsung was on sale for $1049 (400 off) and had the Magnum 2812 PSW inverter installed $1500+- and $750 total for the install by Kustom Coach Works in Junction City. This is not my install but it looks the same, love it.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:38 AM   #6
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To update what Dan said - Tiffin actually delivers the fridge to the coach before the slides are installed. Easier to get the fork lift through the large slide openings than the windshield.

In the Phaeton's, if they need to replace a refrigerator, it is done through the driver's side window. I don't know how large the driver side windows are in an Open Road but that would be a preferred route rather than a windshield.

Doesn't buying a new one sound better already?
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Old 01-14-2016, 02:55 PM   #7
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Also worth mentioning...The O.P. did not state "why" he assumes he needs extra batteries and a PSW upgrade. Does he have plans to do extensive Boon-docking or travel more than 6 hours at a time? I often have my Dometic off-grid for 3-4 hrs. at a time and will use the genset in hot summertime trips. My food doesn't warm and spoil in the least; and a better insulated residential unit would be 3-fold better insulated.

FWIW: He may or may not be aware that these boxes are very well insulated appliances; that can be off-power for half-a-day until he reaches his day-to-day destination. I know of several owners who solely use campground pedestal power for the fridge operation and have no problem whatsoever in keeping the food contents well frozen and refrigerated while they are driving. The compressor runtime is not 100% of the time; with door openings more problematic than ambient air temps.

Boondocking use would suggest genset use or additional batteries; but the O.P. did not delve too far into his intended Rv-ing demands. So, we are merely guessing at this point.
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Old 01-14-2016, 03:19 PM   #8
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The Samsung RF197 and its successor the RF18 have been popular with RVers partly because they are counter depth (24" box). With their doors removed they should fit through many MH doors.

As for PSW vs MSW inverters, I personally can't imagine anyone buying a MSW inverter these days unless they are on a really tight budget. It's impossible to predict which of your devices won't operate properly with an MSW inverter and you could cause serious damage just trying it. JMO
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:06 PM   #9
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Spending this week at the Red Bay Service Center, they were changing resi refer in an Open Road (not sure of the model), through the drivers door. If no door, remove drivers window.
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Old 01-17-2016, 04:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RVingGuy View Post
We are looking to buy a 31 or 32 foot Tiffin MH. We really like the Allegro 31SA. We are wondering if we bought a used 32CA could we use the savings to upgrade it. Our specific question is could we replace the gas/electric one with a residential refrigerator. In so doing could we get the extra battery's and the pure sine wave inverter? Has anyone tried this and if so what did it cost? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Lots of people have changed out their RV absorption refrigerators for residential. It can be expensive to have it done ($4000-$5000), but it's not too bad ($2000 or less) if you can do it yourself.

I don't believe Allegros had an optional inverter, so you will probably have to add one. I would only add one that is PSW. You probably can get by with an inverter only and keep your existing converter/charger provided the charger is 3-stage.

The bad news about batteries is that it's difficult to add them to a gasser because the batteries are usually mounted on a tray under the steps rather than in a compartment the way they usually are in a diesel pusher. Because batteries give off flammable hydrogen gas when they are being charged you can't just put them in a storage bay somewhere because the compartment has to be vented.

The good news is two 6-volt batteries will power a residential refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours without the batteries going below 50% charge. We did fine with 2 batteries after I added a residential refrigerator to the MH we used to have, and that's all we have now on our 5th wheel. The other good news is the alternator will keep the batteries charged indefinitely when you're on the road.

When converting to a residential refrigerator, you will need to find one that fits the space available. Lowe's has fairly detailed info on their website on dimensions. That's a good place to start looking for a refrigerator that will fit.

AFAIK, both Whirlpool and Samsung will provide warranty coverage for refrigerators installed in RVs, but I don't think Frigidaire will.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:28 AM   #11
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Buy what you want (31SA), not what you don't really want just because it is cheaper. You'll be happier and money ahead in the long run.

We very quickly realized that trying to find a newer used Tiffin that was just ok, was not gong to save us that much money vs. ordering exactly what we wanted to start with (contrary to the "buy used because you save so much money" mantra around here).

Tiffin gassers have changed a lot over the last few years, from body style to options available (outside TV, residential fridge, sumo springs, are a few of note) so be cognizant of that........ 2014/2015s are very similar (Sumos available option mid 2015), 2016s get the 6 speed Ford and on the 31/32SA you get a bigger sink in the head and a different (better) medicine cabinet set up.

If your order a 31SA you can also get the 24k chassis (doubt if you will find one used at this point) that gives you over 3,500#s of CCC that you'll never use but never have to worry about what you carry (note the 24k nets you about 1500#s of CCC as the chassis weighs 500#s more than the 22k). Your can also order a Winegard pre-wire if you want a Traveler installed vs. the Dome option so you don't throw away a $2000 option if you really want a Traveler.

We put 8,000 miles and 135 nights out on our 31SA in our first year of RVing!


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