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Old 01-30-2012, 12:21 PM   #1
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Refrigerator conundrum

Hi all. I have a 26 ft TT that I live in full time. I only move it 6-8 times per year right now. My dometic refrigerator went out on it and I have economically replaced it with a $90 mini fridge placed on my dinette for the time being. I am contemplating whether I should replace it with a new dometic or place a residential mini fridge in its place? Last summer in tx it was 107 consistently for 2 months. I have heard that rv fridges only get 40 degrees below the outside temp. Is this true? And could camping world modify my fridge opening for a mini fridge? Any thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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Many many people have replaced their RV fridges with residential ones. What you lose is the ability to run on LP, so if that is important to you, an RV fridge is in your future. Personally, I'd replace it with a residential one. CW could do the work, but all the money you save by buying a residenial unit will go to CW to install it. If you're even slightly handy with a hammer and a screwdriver, you could probably do it yourself and save a bundle.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:42 PM   #3
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It is true that absorption (typical RV) refrigerators will suffer when they can't get sufficient cooling. Often folks in hot temperatures will use a solar powered fan (like computers use) to help move air through the refrigerator fins.

In truth, all refrigerators suffer when the environment gets hot. They have to do a whole lot more cooling and many aren't designed for extremes (much like the difference between household and RV rated CO and smoke detectors).

Pulling an RV fridge is not that hard to do. You will be disconnecting a gas line and 12v DC power and maybe an AC plug. The biggest challenge, though, is finding where they put all the screws to hold it in place.

If you keep to a simple standard household refrigerator, you can often get one the size of a typical RV fridge with a solar system and battery upgrade and still come out ahead of the cost of an RV fridge. If you spend most of your time with electricity available, then you can be way ahead in cost terms by avoiding the battery and solar.

Try to avoid features like auto-defrost and water connections as they can up the energy requirements and add complexity.

You might need to be a bit creative about how to secure a new household refrigerator in place in the RV as they may not like having screws run through their walls. Proper ventilation is a must as well and many will tell you the necessary clearances for top, bottom, and sides.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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There are 7-9cuft over/under fridges at Menards starting around $279..
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:05 PM   #5
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Definately do the residential thing. If you move, it will stay cool for several hours, and if you worry about it, use a small invertor to power it while you travel. You already have a 12v in the cabinet behind the unit, so, you are all set. You won't be disapointed with the upgrade to residential...
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:07 PM   #6
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Thank u all for your replies. Y'all have confirmed what I was already thinking. I will attempt an install this weekend. I just have to figure out how to block the propane and cap off the 12 volt source to the area.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #7
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How do I close off the gas supply that runs to the back of the fridge compartment?
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Victoriaten View Post
How do I close off the gas supply that runs to the back of the fridge compartment?
I traced the gas supply hose for the fridge back to the manifold where it was attached. I disconnected the hose and put a pipe plug into the manifold. Shut off the LP gas valve at the tank while disconnecting the hose and installing the plug; turn the gas back on and test the plug for leaks with soapy water.

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