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Old 10-28-2016, 10:44 PM   #1
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Dometic or Residential replacement?

Our Dometic four door refrigerator quit working last week while at a campground during a storm. Insurance has said they will probably cover it, the plexiglass skylight and the slide toppers.

My wife wants to look at installing a residential Samsung refer instead of another RV refer. We have a 5th wheel with no generator to power the Samsung on the road, I am not sure if our single 12V battery will provide enough juice or if our inverter will be sufficient either.

What does the forum think or recommend?
Both of us retired Spring 2016 & loving it
2011 DRV MS 36RSSB3 w/vanity slide
2015 GMC CC DRW 3500 Duramax
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:14 AM   #2
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You have an inverter with only one house battery? You can barely power the furnace for a night. How many wats is your inverter. To run a Samsung you need at least 2,000 wat inveter and at least 4 deep cell bats. With no gen to power the frig when not plugged in I don't think there is any advantage for you to switch to a Res frig. I replaced my Norcold with all new mechanicals behind the box with Norcold 821 Brand-new Amish Built CU - RV Cooling Unit Warehouse

My Amish unit has ran continuously for two years now (we are hull time) and no issues at all and freezes ice cream hard. With this unit you keep the original box. The install directions are pretty straight forward. I did not want to give up the propane cooling for when on the road and boondocking.
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Old 10-29-2016, 03:41 AM   #3
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Sounds like you do little to no dry camping. For a typical day of travel a RR will probably stay cold enough even if turned off. One battery may run it for the day, I would suggest to install a second battery for assurance, and appropriate inverter (~1500-2000w). The RR is wonderful, IMHO. I would upgrade to RR rather than putting more money into what you have.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:42 AM   #4
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My residential refrig is powered by a 1500 watt inverter and 2 batteries. It will run for a few days before we need the generator or shore power. I'd add a battery and a 1500 or 200 watt inverter and you should be good to go.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:48 AM   #5
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I'd fix the one you have and move on. They generally work pretty well, and being without the propane function would make no sense for our traveling style.
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Old 10-29-2016, 07:47 AM   #6
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Get the'll wonder how you ever lived with a Dometic or Norcold. You could stand another battery, but these things use very little power. We have a bottom freezer Whirlpool that uses two or three amps when running. As stated earlier, if you don't open the door, it would be fine for a days drive without any power.
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Old 10-29-2016, 07:52 AM   #7
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We put a rr in last year and it was the best move for us. We travel about 4 hours with out any power to the ref and everything stays cold.
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Old 10-29-2016, 07:54 AM   #8
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We recently replaced our Norcold with the Samsun. WHat a wonderful difference? SO much more room and functionality. I would never go back. I think you will be fine when traveling even if unit is turned off. I would load your things into the frig a day or so before travel so they are all cold. YOu could also put a couple of frozen gallons of water in if you are worried or if traveling long distance. TUrn off the ice maker when using battery as it uses more energy. GOodnluck with your decision.
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Old 10-29-2016, 07:55 AM   #9
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I am assuming that you have one battery and a converter. Most 5th wheels do not have inverters which require a transfer switch.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:05 AM   #10
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I would think a 2011 DRV 36 would have an inverter and at least two batteries. That's a big rig and a high end model.

I would also consider something less than an 18-20 cu ft Samsung. They are surely nice, but if your power (or space) is more limited you can put in a smaller residential. I used a 14.4 cu ft GE top freezer, Energy Star model in mine and it fits easily and uses only about 150 watts when running. It's still over 20% larger than the RV fridge (Norcold 1200 4-door) we had before and has all the residential advantages. Not to mention half the price of the Samsung.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:32 AM   #11
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If my 4 door Dometic gives me anymore trouble it will be history in a heartbeat!!. I'm not sold on Samsung residential. Have a friend who likes the Frigidaire in his Cedar Creek.

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Old 10-29-2016, 02:57 PM   #12
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A lot of, but not most, DRVs now come with res fridges/inverter. In 2011, he most likely has the room for 2 batteries, normal for DRVs, and maybe has an inverter--it would have been an option, or a later install. If factory, there would have been 2-6 volt batts on board. A lot of DRVs optioned with a factory inverter, have 2 batt compartments for a total of 4 batts.
Can't see much use for an inverter without at least 2 batteries to draw from, or its a mighty small inverter.
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Old 10-29-2016, 07:34 PM   #13
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Does t your truck charge your house battery as you drive? If not I would wire it so it does. Then install an inverter to power your RR. Personally I would stick with the rv type fridge but I do a lot of camping where hookups aren't available.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:23 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. Our unit has one 12v battry with room for another on the tray, it has the PDI 1300 watt converter with smart charge feature. The Samsung RF18 is almost the same size as the four door Dometic so fitment should not be an issue. Additionally, our truck does charge the house battery while running but I need to do the following:
1. Buy another battery
2. Purchase a 2,000 watt inverter MSW or PSW

We really like the propane feature of the Dometic but we very seldom camp off the "grid". We also have the Honda 3,000 watt generator to top off the batteries and it rides in the toolbox in the truck bed out of sight.

So, we will be wringing our hands and visiting with the service department people on November 3rd when we have an appointment for the insurance guy to inspect the fiver. Must say that we love this DRV Mobile Suites, a top notch unit and very comfortable so we intend to keep it for awhile.

Thanks again folks, you're the best.
Both of us retired Spring 2016 & loving it
2011 DRV MS 36RSSB3 w/vanity slide
2015 GMC CC DRW 3500 Duramax
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ace, dometic, replace, replacement

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