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Old 05-31-2020, 11:08 AM   #1
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Changing from RV to Residential Refrigerator

Need a little help /advise on changing 12' RV frig to residential frig. On 2007 40' Itasca Ellipse I think I will remove passenger seat and maybe remove screen door and have plenty room to enter . What about sealing around the sides and top of new frig and do you leave both outside doors open for air and also about fasten to floor any and all help/advise is appreciated.
should I strip old frig of parts that like circuit board, valves, ice maker, doors, latches and so forth. Thanks STEAMBOAT 99

PS I already have the old 4 door 1211 out in floor

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Old 05-31-2020, 11:15 AM   #2
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I sealed up the outside door and also the roof vent. I left the sides, top, and bottom open to allow airflow.

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Old 05-31-2020, 11:23 AM   #3
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I've helped with a number of the swaps ; RV to residential ; and always been lucky enough to get both units through the door .

For removal of the RV fridge the doors and hinges have to come off as do the ones on the residential to come in through the door .
Norcold cooling fans had to come off the rear of the 4 door unit ; that gave another 2" clearance for the entry door.
There maybe someone who could use the control board off the RV fridge, I wouldn't bother with the other items .

I've used 90 degree metal brackets , installed through the outside lower vent to secure the residential fridge ; be careful where you run the screws into the fridge
Leaving the outside vents open , depends on the model/brand of fridge you're installing .
Propane line caps are available for about a dollar.
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:32 PM   #4
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I've done two Monaco Diplomats and one Itasca Meridian. On all three, I left the roof vent intact. I also attached a small bracket to the upper corner of the refer, near the back, and then used an aluminum arm from the roof vent frame to the bracket in the refer. This way, it will never tilt/tip over. You're not going to get enough cold air in via the roof vent to be an issue. It also lets the new refer heat exit.

On the outside wall vent to the original refer, I sealed up the holes, but left it functional (removable) from the outside. The refer I installed in all three, were Samsungs with no internal water filter. I cut the water line, behind the refer, and installed an inline water filter, where it could be accessed by that outside door.

Often, if you disconnect the arm, at the top of the front door, it allows the door to swing all the way open (you may have to move the passenger side rear view mirror forward) and gives you another 2" - 3" of opening to work with. Save the side of the new refer box and place it along your dash to protect it for the install and removal of the refers.

Lastly, both my brother-in-law and I put our Norcolds on Craigslist. Mine sold for $300 and he got $350. They're still valuable to a lot of people for parts.
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Old 05-31-2020, 04:34 PM   #5
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If you part it out, I could use theplastic box around the control in upper right.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:41 PM   #6
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A residential fridge is designed to draw cooling air from the interior of the room (coach), usually under the fridge and across the evaporator tray, up the back side, then out over the top. The smart money stays with that design. If you choose that, you should seal the lower & upper outside vent panels. However, if you want to utilize outside air, seal all around the fridge to keep out critters and hot/cold outside air and leave the two vent panels open. I don't recommend that, but suit yourself.
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:14 AM   #7
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Maybe look at a marine refrigerator

I've seen one Norcold replaced with a marine unit. I like the 12V compressor that eliminates an inverter, and the standard door latches. I did not note the 'frige manufacturer.
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:38 AM   #8
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My only advice is to measure, measure, then measure again. It was by far the best upgrade for our old Dutch Star we ever did!!
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:54 AM   #9
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I did what Gary mentioned, insulated the enclosure, (sealing off outside air )
My FR18 frig. vents with inside air . Two years and running fine.

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Old 06-01-2020, 07:56 AM   #10
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I converted my Norcold to a residential style with a new cooling unit from JC Refrigeration. It works great and I didn't have to do any modifications to my RV. If you are having trouble figuring a way to put a residential into your RV take a look at this as another option.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:13 AM   #11
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skibumb, I am thinking the same way for my norcold 1200. Did you use the 110v only from jc? If so how did it go in
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:51 AM   #12
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convert fridge

I went with 110 v. conversion. about a day,s work. did it on kitchen floor. keeps ice cream hard. what else do u need?
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:11 PM   #13
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To keep a long story as short as possible -

Weekend before last, I was forced to upgrade my Norcold 1210. We put our motorhome in a monthly RV park for the summer in Lake Havasu, AZ. We had not had ANY problems in the 6 months + that we've owned our coach. I was worried about the high AZ temps, and purchased fans, etc. to assist the Norcold. Well, between our first 2 trips (2 weeks time), we returned to a stinky motorhome. The fridge failed in that time, and everything inside was rotten (note outside temps only reached high 90's in that time, not over 100 like is typical for AZ summers). I spent the better part of a day diagnosing and testing, only to find the freezer would get to about 26į at best, and the fridge portion would not cool at all. This lead me to a bad cooling unit.

In our group of 4 motorhomes (all friends), I am camped with a general contractor and his foreman. Fortunately they had their work trucks with them, so we had tools in the RV park for about anything. I read, and measured, and decided a Samsung RF18 resi fridge was my best option. I located one in Las Vegas (140 miles away), and drove to pick it up. I was back at the motorhome by 5PM, and completed at 1AM. So, this was about a 7 hour job with primarily 4 capable guys working pretty hard. We had to remove both front seats, the TV surround trim, and the door catch as mentioned above. Both Fridges BARELY, and I mean BARELY fit thru the door, but they did make it. 2 guys on each end, and a lot of bad language for a couple minutes.

I had to lower the fridge compartment floor almost 1.75" to basically sit on top of the heater below, and extend the cabinet opening up about 5.5". It all worked out, but it is a very tight fit. The fridge had to slide down the hallway, with the doors on and handles off, just to fit in place. I have only screwed the back of the fridge down for now. I plan to add the upper bracket as mentioned above. I was also thinking of expandable foaming in around the fridge (about 2" inside the front opening), so the back compartment is still accessible perfectly for the rear of the residential unit, and the roof vent can stay open. After reading some of the comments above, I am second guessing this. I liked the idea of sealing off the interior of the RV. I have a little unresolved situation there, but it is working and great. The interior room gained is incredible. The only real complaint I have (actually, the wife has) is that the upper shelves are very high. I am 6'2", and can reach no problem, but my 5' 10" wife is on tippy toes. That is the only negative thus far.

Oh, and there was a mirror on the living room side of the cabinet that became sacrificial. It was cheap anyway, so I am looking for something better to replace that. You can see the remnants of the double sided tape in the "done" pic on that wall.
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ramets View Post
My only advice is to measure, measure, then measure again. It was by far the best upgrade for our old Dutch Star we ever did!!

X2 on measuring. I had to build a platform to set the new fridge over the propane furnace. After sliding fridge in place everything looked good until I opened the door and it hit the fluorescent ceiling light. I had to remove the fridge and lower the platform one inch. Lot of work because I didnít plan correctly. I sealed the top vent and rear vents. Had I not done that cold air in the winter would have entered around the sides of the fridge as the new fridge didnít seal the opening like the old Norcold.


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