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Author Topic: Switching to Residential Fridge  (Read 473 times)

drisley

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Switching to Residential Fridge
« on: August 21, 2017, 09:54:40 AM »
Not in a big hurry on this, since our Norcold 1200LRIM is technically working. But...

Thinking of switching to residential fridge. Seems like many have done it and have been quite happy with it. Got a couple of questions, tho, if anybody knows...

First, our Vacationer has the furnace beneath the fridge. So, I don't think the Samsung RF18 that many seem to use is going to work due to height. What fridges DO work? Am I going to have to go with some little skinny fridge that looks too small for the space?

Secondly, my RV has only one house battery and no inverter. My initial inclination is simply not to worry about it. We have the generator, plus I think we could likely drive several hours with the fridge turned off and it wouldn't be any issue. Thoughts? Seems like adding extra battery and inverter would cost quite a bit. We don't boondock and doubt we have much (if any) of it in our future.

Lastly, if I have somebody do this for me... average cost? I live down in Florida, so there's many shops around who do this kind of thing. Came across Alliance Coach in Wildwood, but haven't called them yet. Just curious about the labor cost.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 09:57:13 AM by drisley »
2002 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36WDD
2012 Honda CR-V (soon to be the toad)
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Mile High

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Re: Switching to Residential Fridge
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 11:19:25 AM »
Many have done it, but I think they did the inverter work too.

I don't think I would have the incentive to do all that work.  We've always had good luck with absorbtion fridges in the past.  We like our residential we have now, but I do have to watch the batteries after it's parked for a day - never had to worry about that before.
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238
Denver, CO

Kevin Means

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Re: Switching to Residential Fridge
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 12:17:41 PM »
I can't help you with which brands might work for you, and the cost of having someone do the work will vary, depending on the quality of work and the complexity of the installation. However, if you decide to install a res-fridge, I think a 1000 watt MSW inverter and a second battery would be good investments. A single (typical) RV battery won't last long powering a fridge and inverter. 1000 watt MSW inverters are fairly reasonably priced and shouldn't be very difficult to install - especially if it were only going to power the fridge.

Yes, you could leave the fridge door closed and it will stay fairly cool for a few hours, but that would be your only option when not plugged in to shore-power. JMO

Kev
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Dance Chick

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Re: Switching to Residential Fridge
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 01:07:55 PM »
Don't know about which fridge to tell you might work as we have the Samsung RF18 and can't remember what we paid to have ours installed. I can tell you that our resi fridge in our other coach was not hooked up to the inverter. We traveled anywhere from 3 to 6 hours with no power on the fridge except for running the genny 30 minutes or so for lunch. Fridge and food were fine when we finally stopped and hooked up to power.
Gene, Gayle, & Oliver (the dog-but don't tell him)
2006 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDQ/2012 Honda CRV toad
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"And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance."

Lou Schneider

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Re: Switching to Residential Fridge
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 04:59:15 PM »
What is above the fridge?  My Damon motorhome also had the refrigerator mounted above the furnace, so I wound up removing the single door cabinet above the refrigerator to the gain clearance to install a standard height refrigerator.

I'm 6 ft. tall, so it actually wound up more convenient to have the refrigerator sitting on the pedestal.

drisley

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Re: Switching to Residential Fridge
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 08:32:02 PM »
What is above the fridge?
Nothing. The current fridge goes pretty much to the ceiling. Maybe couple inches of empty space there.
2002 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36WDD
2012 Honda CR-V (soon to be the toad)
Our Blog: RV Family Travel

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Switching to Residential Fridge
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 09:56:14 AM »
I installed a GE 14.6 cu ft top freezer model in place of a Norcold 1200 that sat on top of a furnace. The 15.5 cu ft model would have fit as well on height, but it needed 3/4" more space for the door to swing fully open and I didn't have that. You have to measure all directions very carefully to determine what will fit, and the fridge makers provide excellent specs for that purpose. The 14.6 model was indeed 5" narrower than the 1200, but I made the extra space into a slim pantry that turned out to be very handy for tall but slim items. Found out we have a lot of those!

There are quite a few models that can fit, so you have to look around. Look for "apartment size" models, since most stores feature the bigger (and fancier) models.

As far as inverter or not, you could indeed just go without if your trips are relatively short as you describe. However, adding a second battery and modest size stand-alone inverter for a fridge isn't difficult in most cases. It doesn't need to be expensive or fancy if dedicated to the fridge.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

drisley

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Re: Switching to Residential Fridge
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2017, 04:01:06 PM »
Did you do it yourself or have somebody do it for you?
2002 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36WDD
2012 Honda CR-V (soon to be the toad)
Our Blog: RV Family Travel

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Switching to Residential Fridge
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2017, 08:02:35 AM »
Did it myself, but this sort of thing is my hobby.

It depends on your handyman skills, but its generally not beyond fairly basic electrical and woodworking skills. Sometimes the hardest part is getting the new one through the door!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 08:04:11 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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