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Old 06-29-2020, 07:48 PM   #1
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Refurbishing. Replace Norcold fridge with residential?

We are refurbishing a newly purchased 2008 Monoco Camelot. Having read a bit about refrigerator fires, should we consider sinking 1K$ into a new residential refrigerator?
Also, any other owners of similar rigs out there? Any other words of advice?

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Old 06-29-2020, 09:02 PM   #2
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I don't have a Monaco but I replaced my fire hazard 7 years ago, one of the best moves we made. I the 7 years it has never been turned off.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:10 PM   #3
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Greetings and welcome to iRV2.

Not to shut down your inquiry... but do you think it's terminally unique? There are currently at least 4 running threads about replacement refrigeration, at least one of which is in the Monaco owner's forum. You might find the info your need (without reinventing any wheels) quicker with a search.

The primary issues with replacing your absorption fridge: getting it out, finding a new unit that will kind of fit, getting the new refrigerator into the coach, doing some custom carpentry / cabinet work to make the new unit fit and or look right, and repairing any damage you did along the way.

Ancillary issues: inverter power to the new fridge, if desired, and water line for icemaker if not already in place. Door locks to keep it closed while under way.
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:43 AM   #4
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A Samsung is the refer of choice partly because it runs well on a MSW inverter but the biggest problem is it’s 5” taller... if you have the room residential is the way to go. If the heater is underneath then putting a new 12v or 120v cooling unit in the 1200 is an option. Old and new will go through the door with their doors off. Getting rid of my NoCold 1200 was the best mod ever!
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:11 AM   #5
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Many have replaced their fridges with residential units, but there is an alternative. If your present fridge has adequate capacity for your needs then you might consider replacing the cooling unit with a compressor-type from JC Refrigeration. It's available in either AC or DC operation and eliminates the fire hazard associated with absorption-type fridges. It's an easy replacement so you don't have the hassle of making a residential unit fit the space. Just something to think about.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:17 AM   #6
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Our Norcold did a poor job of cooling from day one and finally crapped out. I replaced with the Samsung late last year. Haven't got to use it a lot but I'm sure it was the right choice.

My rig did have the lower headroom with the furnace underneath the fridge. The install was harder then most but well worth it.

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Old 06-30-2020, 09:59 AM   #7
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I think fridge fires are but one of several reasons for replacing an absorption fridge with residential. The residential will be frost free, have consistent interior temperatures rather than wide variations, provide a substantially greater interior volume for a given physical size, and have much better insulation (more efficient). IMO, unless you have a specific need to retain LP gas as a power source, going to a residential fridge is a major improvement in most RVs.

Many articles about fridge replacement feature 18-21 cu ft monsters with water-in-door and other elegant features, but you can get a lot of benefits with a more modest apartment-size fridge that fits the opening nicely. Maybe even smaller outside while still expanding the cooled volume. I installed a 14.6 cu ft GE in mine and had space left over for a side pantry. That's still 20% larger than a Norcold 12xx and all the benefits I cited earlier in this post.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:18 AM   #8
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And just to give another side: DW did NOT want an 'ugly' stainless steel refrigerator replacing the Norcold 12xx that had doors that matched our coach interior! Just another person's viewpoint. We had JR Refrigeration replace the absorption unit with a 12v compressor type and it works great. We are down to a #2 setting and the freezer is -15 and the refrigerator part is 37 degrees. Always cold. So it is possible to rescue a Norcold if you don't want the hassle of changing.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:28 AM   #9
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As was previously stated there are many threads on replacing the refrigerator with residential.

I've done it and would never look back, what I will say however is that is is very difficult to find anyone who has made the change that wishes they hadn't, wants to go back to an absorption fridge or has much (if anything) bad to say at all about having a residential fridge in their coach

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Old 06-30-2020, 05:31 PM   #10
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We are new members and still learning about the site. Sorry to ask a redundant question and grateful for the info from you and the past threads.
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:48 PM   #11
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Its a great change. But do not buy Samsung way to many problems. Read here about problems and then go to the web and just do some searches. Safe Travels
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:40 PM   #12
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It cost us considerably more than $1,000.00 to install one in our motorhome. We have a 2009 Safari Cheetah. Our fridge is in our slide and a Samsung would not fit as it is too high. We installed a Fisher Paykel residential. It is a very nice fridge. We gained an extra 5cu. ft. of space with a residential fridge. One of our best mods. I did check with the manufacturer and they said it requires true sine wave power to operate correctly so that was another expense as well. Residential fridges also consume a lot less power than RV fridges when running on 120 V.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by wfullerton View Post
We are new members and still learning about the site. Sorry to ask a redundant question and grateful for the info from you and the past threads.

Like I said, not trying to discourage your participation here... there is lots of info on both common topics and relatively obscure things; and problems and questions change only a little bit over time. That's how a search can help - the previous answers are probably still valid.

You can get a grasp on the scope of the work, can compare pictures to your reality, confirm or deny that a certain unit will fit, etc. You'll be in a great starting place with specific questions and concerns and the advice and help you get will be more directly focused on your modification work.

You also might consider a thread in the Monaco Owners Forum and changing the title to something like "2008 Camelot, change out fridge?" That will increase the likelihood that other Camelot owners will see your post and offer their experiences. There are a lot of nooks and crannies here at iRV2 (over 200 individual sub-forums) and nobody knows your coach like someone who already owns one. The Monaco forum rocks. https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115

The amount and depth of knowledge here is amazing, as are the folks who step up to help out. You can get both the historic knowledge and current advice at the same time... heck, you might even meet Elvis! (or a reasonable facsimile )

Safe travels and happy miles to you and yours.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:08 AM   #14
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We replaced our Norcold 8cf this week. It had never given any trouble but it just sprung an ammonia leak one morning. We didn't mess around pulled it out the next day. Replaced it with a 10cf Magic Chef fhat we bought from Home Depot for less than 400 dollars. It is a heat exchange unit, cools really well and it was an almost perfect fit in the spot where the Norcold 8cf was. Now I just have to anchor it down and attach some kind of strong, but still attractive door latch, maybe the one that Everchill makes, or the small grabber latches that release when you pull hard enough. Tiffen uses those for its residential fridges.

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ace, fridge, norcold, refurbish, replace

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