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Old 04-05-2016, 12:44 PM   #1
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Projects on our 2003 Revolution 40C

Hello all!

My bride and I purchased our new to us Revolution in October 2014. While not new to the world of camping, this was our first RV. Nothing like jumping in with both feet and going for a 40 footer!

When we purchased it we knew it needed some TLC. The purchase price was right to where we could put money into it while still being well below the NADA suggested retail pricing. Also, the stuff that needed to be corrected was not beyond my capabilities.

That said, I've gotten so much from this forum in how to tackle various items that I thought I'd attempt to give back to the community. Over that last 18 month or so I've worked on just about every part of the motorhome.

I'd also like to note that when we bought the motor home it had about 42,000 miles on it. Since 2014, we've put on over 20,000 miles and traveled as far as Alaska. We just love it!

Following the lead of GlennLever and zmotorsports (just to name 2 that I enjoy following), I'm using their format to chronicle all the stuff we have and will do to improve our Revolution.

Hope you find this thread of interest. Look forward to any and all comments.

Cheers!

Project Index

Basement Door Latch Painting Post #64

Dash Plate Replacement Post #88

DirecTV Install Post #58

Drain Vent Repair Post #123

Fan-Tastic Fan Repair Post #129

Front TV Replacement Post #32

Front TV Replacement - Part Deux Post #93

Headlight Restoration
Post #63

House Batteries and Intellitec Battery Control Center (BCC) Post #49

House Water Pump Replacement Post #39

iPad GPS Post # 60

Man Cave Series
Phase 1 - Organized those tools! Post # 133

Malfunctioning Thermostat Post # 51

New Flooring in the Living Area Post #69

Outside Faucet Replacment Post #111

Progressive Industries Surge Protector Post #66

Refrigerator - Norcold to Whirlpool Conversion
Chapter 1 - First Research Post # 2
Chapter 2 - How much space do I have? Post #4
Chapter 3 - Which model will work? Post #7
Chapter 4 - Finishing the Install! Post #22
Roof Top AC Unit Repair Post #103

SilverLeaf Monitor Install Post #143

Surge Tank Replacement Post #29

Wall Reattachment Post #76
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:56 PM   #2
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Project: Refrigerator Replacement - First Research

I'll be doing the project documentation in multiple smaller posts so please bear with me as I post them over the next several days.

The first project I'm going to cover is replacing our Norcold 1200 with a residential refrigerator.

This wasn't the first project we did on the motorhome but it is the one we really like the most.

My first step was to research what other iRV2ers had done with their replacements. It was a gold mine of information. I read over many threads and gleaned much good information to make my project go much easier.

I really enjoyed the threads by Nodine and Dutch Star Don. Very well done and I used many of their techniques in my unique situation. Thank you for sharing.

Next up: How much space do I have to fit a residential model refrigerator?
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:22 PM   #3
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I'll be looking forward to your post on the residential frig. I was once considering the switch. I have an 04 38B Rev. The popular Samsung that everyone uses, just wouldn't fit. It was an inch or so to tall. Below my frig is one of the heating units. It's been awhile since I looked, I think it was the heater, might have been something else. Whatever it was, it couldn't be moved. The ceilings in our Rev are 3-4 inches lower then most.........they increase the height in 05. Perhaps you don't have this problem with the 40 foot models. Will be interesting to see what you did.
I've since changed my mind, and I'm very happy with my Norcold.
Brian
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:19 PM   #4
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Project: Refrigerator Replacement - How much space do I have?

My bride and I made the decision to replace the Norcold in October 2015. After doing research mostly on iRV2, the first big question to answer is, "How much room can I make to accommodate the larger size of a replacement refrigerator?"

In our case, we had a couple of constraints working against us. Those constraints were:
  1. The front furnace is located under the existing Norcold refrigerator. Briefly thought about removing it but didn't think it was a good idea. Really glad we didn't remove it as we've had many days where we were boondocking in temps below 32.

  2. The refrigerator is partially located in the short hallway between the kitchen and bathroom area. The passageway is only about 30 inches wide between the refrigerator and stove/microwave so that limits how big the new refrigerator doors can be so they fully open.

  3. Because of the hallway restriction, that dictated a counter-depth refrigerator. I know others have installed 'standard' depth ones but after we mocked it up with cardboard, it stuck out too far into the hallway. We would have had to walk sideways to get past it.

In doing some rough measurements, I believed I could get the following dimensions:
Height - 69"

Width - 36"

Depth (from the outside wall the face of the refrigerator cabinet) - 24"
Of course, rough estimates weren't good enough so time to start pulling things apart. Let's go!


First step was to remove the old Norcold as pictured below. I removed the doors, shelves, and anything else I could to reduce the weight. Then slowly pushed it out of the cavity on to the dolly.




The next photo shows the cavity where the Norcold used to live.




Next photo shows what's inside the false wall on the right-hand side of the opening. Yep, I have room to expand the width once I move some of the cabling.




This one shows in better detail the cabling that needs to move on the other side of the vent pipe.




Here you can see what it looks around the furnace with the old deck removed. I have room to lower the deck and pick up a few more inches of much-needed clearance. I'll be dropping the deck to the top of the furnace like Dutch Star Don did on his install.



This photo shows some more cabling at the top rear of the cavity that will need to be straightened up.



With it opened up and doing more precise measurements, I'm able to eke out the following dimensions:
  • Height - 69 7/8". Gained some room and I know I'll need it.

  • Width - 36". Same as the initial measurement.

  • Depth: 25". Gained an inch over my first rough measurements.

Now that I've confirmed how much room I can make, the next step is to going shopping online and find the models that will fit the available space.

In my next post, I'll cover what models we looked at and what we finally selected to install.

Take Care!
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supercub View Post
I'll be looking forward to your post on the residential frig. I was once considering the switch. I have an 04 38B Rev. The popular Samsung that everyone uses, just wouldn't fit. It was an inch or so to tall. Below my frig is one of the heating units. It's been awhile since I looked, I think it was the heater, might have been something else. Whatever it was, it couldn't be moved. The ceilings in our Rev are 3-4 inches lower then most.........they increase the height in 05. Perhaps you don't have this problem with the 40 foot models. Will be interesting to see what you did.
I've since changed my mind, and I'm very happy with my Norcold.
Brian
Hi Brian,

Glad you'll follow along. As you'll see, I had an issue with height. Like in your case, the popular Samsung RF18 was a no go for me. Just not enough height unless I lost the furnace. Losing the furnace wasn't an option for us.

Take care!
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:30 PM   #6
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Why not post all the changes in one thread it would make it a lot easier for those who subscribed to keep up with it.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:09 PM   #7
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Project: Refrigerator Replacement - Which model will work?

Now that I know how much space I can create for a new refrigerator, let's see what models will fit.

The space I have to work with is:
Height: 69 7/8"

Width: 36"

Depth: 25"
After looking over many, many websites such as Home Depot, hhGregg, Lowes, Best Buy, AJ Madison, and many more, it boiled down to only 3 models would fit the space. Those models are:

So, which one did we choose to purchase?

This was tough. Some of our thoughts were:
  • We really liked the Fisher models as they were french door ones.
  • The Whirlpool model was good and had slightly larger storage.
  • The Fisher models were special order with about a 3 week lead time. Not a big deal but something to keep in mind.
  • The Fisher models were at least twice the cost of the Whirlpool one.
  • The Whirlpool model was in stock at my local Lowes with next day deliver if I wanted it that soon.

That said, we opted for the Whirlpool. We hit a sale while it was $500 off the normal $1499 price. Not too shabby!

One other major factor is I was able to go to the store and look over the unit and measure it. Good thing I did measure it as the stated dimensions were slight different from the finished product. The biggest differences were in the case. The center of the top and the sides slightly bowed out by about 1/4". Not that huge except I had a very tight space to place it.

Another thing I was able to do at Lowes is pull the front and back to see what I had to work with so I could secure the base to the new platform I was going to build. The Lowes appliance guy was very good in working with me as we partially disassembled the floor model.

In my next post, I'll cover the delivery of the new refrigerator into our motor home.

Stay tuned!
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:29 PM   #8
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I don't get it !!

Why would you prefer an electric refrigerator?
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:46 PM   #9
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Dave, are you going to install extra batteries? If so, where and what kind of invertor?
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:52 PM   #10
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Dave will you be installing additional batteries? If so, where? and what size invertor will you be using?
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Why not post all the changes in one thread it would make it a lot easier for those who subscribed to keep up wit it.
Hi JohnRR,

If I correctly understand your question, I thought about doing the refrigerator replacement in one single post. However, that would have been a very long post and one that would be tough to compose and for anyone to read.

So, I choose to breakup the install of the refrigerator in to smaller, easier to compose and read posts. All of the posts with be in this thread.

Going forward, I have many other projects that I have completed on our Revolution. Projects such as the TV upgrades, fresh water pump replacement, RO system install, surge tank replacement, etc that are much smaller projects and will fit into a single post that is relatively easy to compose and more importantly to read.

If I completely missed your question, please clarify for me.

Thank you for your comment!
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I don't get it !!

Why would you prefer an electric refrigerator?
Hi ByeTheWay,

Fair question.

For us, we value the increased capacity and more consistent cooling of the residential Fridge over the Norcold. Both my bride and I really, really love this upgrade and wouldn't want to go back to the Norcold.

Just a bit more on the cooling with our Norcold. It worked OK if it was relatively cool outside. However, as outside temperature increased so would the internal temperature.

I messed with the Norcold and did all the normal stuff such as making sure we loaded it properly, moved the thermistor to the correct position, made sure the fans on the stack were operating correctly, and even installed a fan inside the refrigerator part of the box to move the air around. It still was not uncommon for internal temps to hit the upper 40s and more. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but I just don't want to chance us eating food that may be on the tainted side.

Having the ice and water in the door is a bonus. As a side note, the water for the through the door ice and water dispenser are supplied by our Reverse Osmosis system. Another project I'll be posting about in the near future.

Thank you for your comment and for reading my thread!
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:47 PM   #13
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Dave, are you going to install extra batteries? If so, where and what kind of invertor?
6 Golf cart batteries fit in the compartment if you take the battery holders out.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:56 PM   #14
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Dave will you be installing additional batteries? If so, where? and what size invertor will you be using?
Hi SuperCub,

We have about 5 months of experience with running the Whirlpool. We're not full timers but do head out for a few weeks at a time. We do a combination of boon-docking and staying at parks with full hookups.

So far, the 4 (6V) Interstate batteries I have installed are doing a fine job with running the Whirlpool refrigerator overnight when boon-docking. In the morning when I get up, the battery voltage is still about 12.4 volts before I start the genny to recharge the battery and, more importantly, fire up the coffee pot!

On that note, a project on my list is to get a better battery monitor. Thinking about installing the Bogart Engineering TM-2030-RV one this year. Of course, that then leads me to think about adding solar or an automatic generator starter. Never ends!

The Whirlpool is actually pretty good at sipping power. During normal running, it pulls about 1.5 amps AC. During a defrost cycle, it pull more at around 7 or so Amps. When the compressor starts it pulls a momentary 11.5 amps to get the compressor going. Of course, during the night the refer runs much less because you're not opening the door and the external temperatures tend to be lower at night.

For the inverter, I did run the new refer on the coach's 2K watt MSW inverter/charger. It worked but the compressor ran just a bit noisier and much hotter than when running on standard house AC (or the generator). So, I decided to install a dedicated Xantrex 2K PROwatt PSW inverter. I also added the PROwatt transfer switch and just leave the inverter on all the time.

Refer runs like a champ on the PSW inverter with it cool to the touch and very quiet.

Thank you for your question and for reading my posts!
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40c, batteries, bcc, beltline moulding, directv, fantastic fan, led, projects, refrigerator, residential refrigerator, revolution, silverleaf, surge tank, thermostat issue, wall seperation



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