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Old 10-27-2021, 11:49 AM   #1
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12v JC Refrigeration up grade

I have a 20 year old Dometic 1492 2 door propane/AC refrigerator. It works reasonable well, and generally keeps Ice cream cold. It does struggle some in hot temperatures. It does use a lot of power on AC, and take a wile to get cold when 1st turned on. The refer portion is the most spotty temp wise, but it works.



I have been thinking of doing the upgrade to the 12V compressor style from JC refrigeration. I would do the install my self with an employee who is also a mechanic. I am mechanically inclined as well. We have 2 very long 40 day trips coming up in the next 12 months ( across the country, and back), and I am worried about the old unit failing mid trip. I also like the idea or a real compressor. I am sad to give up the propane option, but do have 1200 watts of solar.



Before I place the order, is there anything else I should be thinking of. Has anyone has a problem (with this unit or the install), I should be aware of. Is it crazy to change out a working fridg? I am not interested in a Residential FYI.



Thanks
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarylandRich View Post
I have a 20 year old Dometic 1492 2 door propane/AC refrigerator. It works reasonable well, and generally keeps Ice cream cold. It does struggle some in hot temperatures. It does use a lot of power on AC, and take a wile to get cold when 1st turned on. The refer portion is the most spotty temp wise, but it works.



I have been thinking of doing the upgrade to the 12V compressor style from JC refrigeration. I would do the install my self with an employee who is also a mechanic. I am mechanically inclined as well. We have 2 very long 40 day trips coming up in the next 12 months ( across the country, and back), and I am worried about the old unit failing mid trip. I also like the idea or a real compressor. I am sad to give up the propane option, but do have 1200 watts of solar.



Before I place the order, is there anything else I should be thinking of. Has anyone has a problem (with this unit or the install), I should be aware of. Is it crazy to change out a working fridg? I am not interested in a Residential FYI.



Thanks
There's a few videos on youtube by DIYers. They seem to cover most concerns..... I'll be doing the same in the very near future!
Please post your experiences
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:09 PM   #3
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I had JC install a compressor conversion in my Dometic 1292. While the fridge worked reasonably well my concern was with the fire hazard that these duel fuel units represent. I let JC make the determination as to whether it should be a 12V or 120V. He looked over my electrical system and recommended the 120V noting that it would be slightly more efficient and better suited to my configuration. I suggest that you talk to them before choosing which way to go. We are very happy with the conversion. It works good and we gained peace of mind. BTW, we don't boondock which was a significant part of the decision.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:28 PM   #4
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No comment on refrigerator... but you will most likely need extra time.. to seal and replace any rotten wood or insulation... make sure you take time to add extra insulation and reseal with a lot of eternabond tape..
Also you may want to seal up top vent and insulate..
There is a possibility that there will but a mess behind old unit.. and on mine.. I had to add insulation around shower where it meets refrigerator hole.. I think I used 1/2 a roll.. then added reflexive bubble wrap insulation... and 1/2 roll eternabond tape.. and 2 tubes caulk..
SO just expect that... good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:06 PM   #5
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Have you looked at GE and Furrion replacement refrigerators? I am studying these as a replacement for my Norcold N611. They appear to provide 10 cu ft of cold space and may fit in my existing frig footprint.
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:07 PM   #6
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I have a 2004 Norcold 1200, last year I got the 120v JC conversation and installed it myself. It pulls .9 amps after reaching normal temps. It was night and day where as the fridge works 10 times better now! JC has a 5 star rating on Google. During the install you can get tech support, but it may take a day or to for them to respond via email. They have a small forum on their web site to see others who have had questions about their install. Get a few extra cans of foam and foil tape for the install. Foam nozzles can get blocked easily. They also have videos you can watch on the website. The more diy info ahead of install the smoother it goes. The other thing that can get a little confusing is the final wiring from your old circuit board. It’s amazing that your fridge is still working.
Good luck!
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:20 PM   #7
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Click image for larger version

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Couple of pics during install, one after all old stuff was removed from the back. The other is with new compressor installed. The reason you see lots of foil tape is to help clean up the old fridge from age and deterioration.
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:26 PM   #8
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We also had a 1492..started to go wonky up & down grades over the Rockies.. Swapped out for a Samsung 18cf residential..
If JC had the conversion back then, would have went that way.
NOTE!
With a compressor driven fridge.. They DO NOT CARE if Your RV ain't perfectly level..! Win Win in the hills!
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aviator37 View Post
Have you looked at GE and Furrion replacement refrigerators? I am studying these as a replacement for my Norcold N611. They appear to provide 10 cu ft of cold space and may fit in my existing frig footprint.

I believe the 1492 is actually 14 cubic feet, and has an ice maker. It also has cherry wood doors that match my cabinets,and unlike a residential fridge has latching doors.
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:35 PM   #10
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I believe the 1492 is actually 14 cubic feet, and has an ice maker. It also has cherry wood doors that match my cabinets,and unlike a residential fridge has latching doors.
True.. For the residential Sammy 18 [and others], The "Fridge Fixer" latch system works like a charm..
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
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True.. For the residential Sammy 18 [and others], The "Fridge Fixer" latch system works like a charm..

I happen to own one of the Samsung counter depth units at my office, I like everything about it, except the dumb Ice maker in the freezer. Ice everywhere all the time.
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:59 PM   #12
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I happen to own one of the Samsung counter depth units at my office, I like everything about it, except the dumb Ice maker in the freezer. Ice everywhere all the time.
Yup, so I just turn the icemaker off until the bucket gets near empty..
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Old 10-27-2021, 02:03 PM   #13
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We had the 120 vac version installed in our Norcold 1200LRIM. JC Refigeration did the install at there factory. I made the appointment with them a couple of months in advance. We booked a week at the Shipshewana Campground North and arrived there the evening before the install. We went to their facility the next morning and they had us in and out in about 2 1/2 hours. Very knowledgeable and efficient staff. They let me observe the whole process and it was amazing that they could do it that fast. We spent the rest of the week site seeing while I evaluated the operation of the refer. I had them come to the camp site to make a minor adjustment to improve the performance. Since then we have had excellent service from our Norcold.

My unit was also working okay, but at 18 years old, it was just a matter of time before it failed so I made the change in my timeframe rather than risk an emergency down the road. Before I had to set my temp on 7 or 8 to maintain proper temps. Now it is working perfectly on a setting of 3.
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Old 10-27-2021, 09:33 PM   #14
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I did the 12VDC conversion myself on my last RV last summer. What used to take all night to get the fridge to reach temp for a trip, now only took a couple hrs. Night and Day difference. I did have to upgrade the 12V wire from the power invertor to the fridge to a heavier wire. As stated earlier, no more concern of the off leveling. Our camping habits have changed this yr, and with the 2 yr old 110/LP Dometic fridge inabilty to maintain a constant food compartment temp with normal use, I am considering doing the 110AC conversion because I dont want to deal with cabinet alterations or have unsightly gaps around the fridge installing a res.
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