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Old 09-13-2020, 02:55 PM   #15
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Much of this has been well-covered already, but I'll add my 2 cents.

Replacing an RV fridge with a residential isn't all that hard but by the time you do the R&R and the cabinet mods the expense builds up. Not bad if you can DIY, though, and I did my own (as have many others here). Bringing it in thru the entry door was one of the decision parameters when I chose mine; careful measurements were a big part of the plan. Shopping around for the exact right fridge was a big part of my task. Fridge makers have detailed dimensions on every conceivable part of their fridges, so its a natter of measuring your openings and researching the ideal fit.

Inverter and batteries don't need to be a big deal, especially if you mostly use campsites with electric and typically travel less than 6-8 hours between campsites. Or if you often run the genset while driving. 200 AH of battery capacity and a 1000W inverter will get you between campsites in most cases. Especially if you aren't opening the fridge door every 20 minutes. If you expect to camp off-grid overnight, though, I'd double or triple the battery amp-hours.
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Old 09-13-2020, 05:49 PM   #16
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I added a res fridge in my 09 Journey. To get it in the door, had to open it 90-degrees plus by removing the door stops and removing the passenger seat. Installed the 18cuft Samsung - removed the fridge door, freezer drawer, all shelfing and it fit fine. I needed a 33" counter depth fridge and the Sammy was perfect. The outlet feeding the old Norcold 1200 was fed by the inverter and powers the fridge with my four group 31 AGM batteries with no issues even while driving.
Did it myself and strong son in law helped get it in and the old one out. It is a very simple job as power and plumbing for icemaker should already be there. There was lots of wood to attach securing devices so the fridge is extremely secure. Interesting - the Samsung weight was virtually identical to the Norcold 1200 weight. Good luck,
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:59 AM   #17
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You have all helped me a ton! Thank you.

My experience with norcold refrigerators was from our boat, which would switch from 12 v dc to 120V ac when plugged into shorepower. This was obviously clouding my thought process a bit for some reason.

That said, the norcold refers in the RVs will all have a 120v ac circuit supplying them?
I donít own a motorhome, the plan is to purchase one in a couple of years.

At this point, I donít have anything but questions!
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:11 AM   #18
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Before you purchase a residential refrigerator do your home work. A few years ago I replaced a Norcold 1200 with a Samsung 18 in my Discovery. With the doors on the refrigerator removed there enough clearance to get it though the entrance door with the entrance door removed. I was able to leave the door frame attached. The Samsung was about a half inch narrower than other brands available at that time, which was helpful. The coach already had an inverter setup with the outlet right by the placement of the refrigerator. I would rate it as one of the best improvements we made on our motorhome.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:19 AM   #19
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I have had several Norcold fridges and had one fire which I caught going down the road and saved the coach. Other than that they gave pretty good service depending on where we were camping weather wise. We changed the failing Norcold for a Samsung rf18 last winter. Used the booth window to send the old one out and new one in. Might have been able to tear them down for the front door but the side window is a breeze to remove. We have a 4 battery bank with 2000w inverter so the rf18 works great. Just like home, ice cream is rock hard and twice the room inside. We love it.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:32 PM   #20
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Residential refridgerator

I just went through this process with my 2003 Newmar Mountain Aire gasser. I watched some very good videos about installation. I have the furnace below my fridge. If I would have went with the Samsung it would not have worked. The fridge I got was a Hisense 17 cuft bottom freezer counter depth which was about 1" shorter than the Samsung. I installed the floor (I used 1/16" metal) 3/8" above the furnace and when I opened the door I missed the ceiling light by no more that 1/16". Whew. So when you measure look at the ceiling light and ac ducting. The only problem with having one door is that I can't open it fully so the bottom drawer only opens a little but good enough. Very efficient fridge as well.
So remember to measure everything. I'm guessing that Newmar either has different furnaces or its probably that the diesel pushers may be taller. Also, the doorway was 24.5" and the fridge without doors was about 24". The Nevercold was also about 24" and came out easy enough.
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Old 09-16-2020, 07:00 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by vito.a View Post

Wiring- This can be a challenge. Many class A motorhomes will have a double outlet behind the RV propane refrigerator. One of the two outlets is shore power and the other is inverter power (originally used for the Norcold ice maker). When you install the residential refrigerator you simply plug it into the inverter powered outlet. This works well because most inverters have a pass through when connected to shore power. Easy!

However, some coaches will not have an inverter outlet behind or near the refrigerator. In this case some wiring may be in order. On our Windsor I discovered that both the shore power circuit breaker load center and the inverter load center were right next to each other. I simply removed the refrigerator wire from the shore power circuit breaker and added a 2' jumper and ran it behind the load center to a new circuit breaker installed in the inverter load center. Easy! Only took 15 min.

Hope this helps!
Most will only have a single outlet behind the refrigerator if the factory installation was the propane refrigerator including those with the icemaker. The reason for this is that the refer would run just fine on propane when no shore power was available and would automatically change over to electricity when shore power is present.....so many did not have an inverter outlet as the propane fridge only needed AC when plugged in as those refers were very inefficient on AC power, which is a big issue when running on batteries but on shore power.....not so much

Not too big a deal, when I first did the change-over I moved the non-inverter circuit for the refer to the inverter subpanel and then we had power anytime the inverter was running.

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Old 09-17-2020, 07:16 AM   #22
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All of this is great info, thank you all.
I donít own a motorhome, the plan is to purchase one in a couple of years.

At this point, I donít have anything but questions!
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