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Old 06-02-2011, 05:59 AM   #1
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New fridge goes in through side window

Like many we were not satisfied with the performance of our Norcold 1200. Tired of seeing "no-co" error messages and just plain fooling around with the thing. After reading much valuable info here decided on a Samsung RF197 counter depth household fridge for a replacement. We ordered one from Lowes and paid for it with gift card earned from our Visa that we always pay before paying interest so it was free.

I had carefully measured the doorway and was confident the Norcold would go out and the Samsung would go in. DW and I dragged the old one out with a dolly and a few swear words but no damage. I removed the passenger seat, grab bars and pulled the little pin that allowed the door to swing all the way open. The new one arrived with two very nice guys from Lowes. They were careful not to scratch anything and even asked if I could tape a rag to the woodwork to protect it. Everything was going great! In the door NP until we discover that since it is taller than the Norcold it won't clear the TV hanging down between the windshields. Well maybe I can remove the TV but since the Lowes guys don't have time to wait, off they go.

I attempted to remove the TV after that but discovered the mount for it is very well constructed and not practical in my mind to remove. Now what? While pondering this I spot the side window on the passenger side slide out and get my tape measure out again. Looks like it will go but how do you get a 200lb fridge over six feet up in the air sideways? First idea was to borrow a front end loader (and the owner) to lift it but it didn't seem like it could maneuver it close enough and the guy is pretty busy with the loader. Second was to rent a material lift at only $46 or something a day. While telling my friend and neighbor this, who is in HVAC, he says we have three of those things don't bother renting one.

Here is how it went.

Lots of room!
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:10 AM   #2
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Continued

The only hang up was the fridge was not square in the window because either the MH or lift was not level. A few large shims placed under the forks on the lift corrected that.

I had already constructed a rectangular brace and place it behind the sofa so that any weight could be put on it rather than the sill or sofa back. We also masking taped the window and opening and placed old carpet on the lift and an old blanket in the window opening to protect the RV and fridge and allow us to carefully slide the fridge in.

I copied Brigadoon's idea for a home made dolly to slide the fridge into the cabinet. See this very good thread http://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/out-g...tag-81685.html We have not cut the cabinet out or figured out the wiring yet as I did not want to butcher anything before knowing the fridge would fit in the MH somehow.

More to come.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:37 AM   #3
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Wow!
That is one undertaking that I will leave with your.
DW would have a kitten nip if I tried something like that.

Nice job!
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:01 PM   #4
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Wow!
That is one undertaking that I will leave with your.
DW would have a kitten nip if I tried something like that.

Nice job!
Thanks Wayne. I had lots of help. We took our time and were careful so it was even easier than it looked. The fridge was also much lighter with everything stripped from it that could be reasonably done. Now if I can remember what screws go to what it can be reassembled.

I don't usually buy the extended warranty but in this case it sounded like a good idea.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:29 PM   #5
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I have to admit I like it when I see people attack problems and get the job done.

Looking forward to pictures of the finished project.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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Nice job Mark.

I would suggest to anyone doing this sort of retrofit, the house hold refer needs to stand upright for several hours before plugging it in. The compressor has oil that will drain into the lines and it needs time to drain back in to the compressor.

I'm in the process of getting prices on hh refers and will undertake this same project in a couple of weeks.
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:44 AM   #7
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Put the doors and shelves back in yesterday so we could plug it in and see if it still works OK. Thanks Jim, I had read that fridges need to sit back upright for a day and had it there for several. It is so close to the ceiling that the only way to get the bolts back was to roll it around so each hinge was under the vent. Then with a small mirror I could start each one then tighten with a palm size ratchet.

Th outlet for the original fridge was not on the inverter so I swapped the feed to an outlet on the outside of the cabinet that was. Both 15A breakers and the other one did not feed anything I thought needed to be on it. For some reason the microwave and the bath outlet you might plug a hair dryer into are on the inverter. Seems like those big draw items should wait for the generator.

I removed the old floor and drip pan after much struggling. Winnebago likes to use lots of rubbery caulk that hides screws. An automotive scissors jack underneath did the trick to pop it out. Now I am painstakingly disassembling the woodwork on the bottom of the cabinet to try to reuse it after cutting it down. Winnebago also like to use lots of Robertson square head screws.

Today is my day to brew some beer and maybe launch the boat later so I am taking a short break from the fridge saga.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:37 AM   #8
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Here is where we are so far. The fridge is in the cabinet opening temporarily to check the fit. We lowered it by about 3" and made a new floor. The grate for the cold air return had to be cut down to fit and the LP detector and central vac repositioned. A new switch for the aux fans that are in the top vent will be put in with them.

Next we will take it back out to screw and glue the floor. The 3/4" plywood gets molding and stain to try to blend it in. The fridge has angle bracket with screw down plastic feet that we will mount backwards and instead of the feet drill holes in the plywood floor and bolt it down. A couple of double nuts on the bolts should work if any leveling needs to be done but as it sits it is pretty good. A metal strap will be bolted to the floor in the back and attached to the rear of the fridge to hold it down in back.

One thing I have not worked out is what to use for trim molding around it. Black would be nice so we don't have to match the wood work.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:03 AM   #9
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Have you considered any latch modifications to make sure the doors and freezer drawer stay closed during travel? I noticed that most RV manufacturers seem to attach additional latches on residential fridges when they are used as original equipment. I'm not sure they are necessary; I'm just asking.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:14 AM   #10
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That sure looks like a lot of work so far.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:43 AM   #11
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I'm impressed! That's a lot of work but looks good. Can't believe the lift thing through the window! It's good you had pics. The drain pan needs to have a pipe going through the floor so water can drain out else it will be all over your floor when you move. Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Have you considered any latch modifications to make sure the doors and freezer drawer stay closed during travel? I noticed that most RV manufacturers seem to attach additional latches on residential fridges when they are used as original equipment. I'm not sure they are necessary; I'm just asking.
Yes from another thread I found latches but thinking of road testing it first to see what we need after it is complete.
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I'm impressed! That's a lot of work but looks good. Can't believe the lift thing through the window! It's good you had pics. The drain pan needs to have a pipe going through the floor so water can drain out else it will be all over your floor when you move. Thanks for the info.
Actually I can not find a drain pan on the new fridge. The original huge one in the back is history so we will have to play that one by ear.
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:42 PM   #13
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Finally finished.

First photo. It's done!


The left bottom with relocated LP detector, central vac and new switch for aux fans in ceiling. You can see the bolt through the new floor that is attached to the angle bracket originally designed for leveling feet. It is in backwards to put the bolt back farther and out of sight. The floor is 3/4" plywood stained cherry, a little darker than we would have liked but doesn't look that bad.

The next photo shows the bolt in the right side and return air grate we had to cut down to fit under the lower floor.

Two 120mm PC fans wired to the old Norcold 12V feed through the switch next to the central vac.

The strap at the rear attached to a screw on the fridge and screwed to the new floor. This should keep the back from jumping up. I made a screen to put in to keep out bugs and make the opening a little smaller.

Lastly the trim we made for the sides of the fridge. It is pine stop molding (for a doorway) spray painted black. We put foam window weather strip on the fridge side to prevent drafts and to not scratch the fridge. Three wood screws on each, countersunk with wood buttons to cover.
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:01 PM   #14
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Hi Mark,
Your work looks great. We have the identical reefer that we installed last February while we were in Tucson. It's one of the best changes we've made to our moho and very happy to be done with Norcold.......you will be too.
You're right in that the Samsung does not have a drain pan.
Suggest you block the access door behind the reefer. The Samsung is designed to pull air under the reefer and up the back. The open access behind the reefer will negate this required draft.
Remember to turn the ice maker off as it's not automatic and will produce lots of ice that will spill into the freezer.
Hope this helps you.
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