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Author Topic: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?  (Read 1387 times)

Back2PA

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In this post I related problems a friend is having with his fridge - it has since been determined the fridge is dead. They never dry camp and so have decided that a residential fridge is the way to go. I told him he can just use the old power receptacle unless he finds the fridge not staying cold enough on long drives, at which point he can look into a small inverter.


Question, for those that have replaced a Norcold 1200, which residential did you choose and are you happy with it? He'd like the largest fridge that will fit, but has a furnace below so it has to fit in the hole


Other questions: how did you secure it, trim it out, and keep the doors shut during travel? Any other tips?


Thanks
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 07:50:00 PM by Back2PA »
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
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Rene T

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2019, 09:31:06 PM »
What they need to do is take measurements of the hole you have now and then go shopping for one that will fit. You may also want to reinforce the floor a little.
I purchased mine at Sears. I think it was a Kenmore. I'll have to look tomorrow.

Mine has the coils on the back and not under the fridge. I specifically wanted that style because I could insulate all four sides of the fridge to keep cold air and bugs from coming into the RV. Mine is in a slide so it has 2 vents on the slide out wall.

I was able to fasten it down through some of the framework on the bottom of the fridge and I also anchored the top using some angle iron

My 1st picture is what I use to hold the door shut. The 2nd picture shows 2 different length of brackets. The short one holds the door shut while traveling and the 2nd bracket is for holding the door open so mold doesn't have a chance to grow when we're not using the RV. .
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 09:36:27 PM by Rene T »
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Back2PA

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2019, 09:46:49 PM »
Thanks Rene.


If the coils are at the back and you closed off the original vents, how does air circulate over the coils? Did you leave a gap at the top?
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

Rene T

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2019, 07:54:49 AM »
Thanks Rene.


If the coils are at the back and you closed off the original vents, how does air circulate over the coils? Did you leave a gap at the top?

 I did not close off the original outside vents.  If you did, you would not get any circulation which you need.

My thought was if the condenser coil was under the fridge, you would need the sides, top and bottom wide open to a  certain extent for air circulation.   Fridges need a certain amount of clearance all around just for circulation.  On mine, I wanted to box in the fridge all around as tight as I could for looks. I know there are many members who have their condenser on the bottom and will feel differently.

Found this on the internet:


How do I measure space for a refrigerator?
Clearance-Diagram

Samsung RF23J9011SR

Sides: You should leave between " to 1" of clearance between the walls and cabinetry.

Rear: You should leave a minimum of 1", and preferably 2" of clearance. Typically, because of the electrical or water connection, this will help push the fridge out slightly away from the wall, but 1-2 Inches is ideal.

Top: A minimum of ', and ideally 1 full inch of clearance above.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 08:00:24 AM by Rene T »
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Back2PA

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2019, 08:07:54 AM »
Thanks. Did you make those hold open and closed bars? Also, how many cubic feet is your new fridge?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 08:27:21 AM by Back2PA »
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2019, 08:53:27 AM »
Measure, measure, measure! Length, width, height, depth, door swing, and drawer-pullout (if a bottom freezer model). The fridge manufacturer websites have all these measures and more.    And since getting a large fridge on/out of an RV is often a challenge, you also need to measure the entry door opening and compare to fridge dimensions with its doors off.

It is impossible to recommend a size or style without considering the floor plan of the target RV. In addition to the size of the "hole in the wall", you also need to consider the space in front of it, e.g. any cabinet opposite that might interfere, and how/where the door(s) will open.

Re the size question, the Norcold 1200 is only 12 cubic ft, so even an apartment-size fridge is going to be a lot larger.  It's tempting to try to fit a 20+ cu ft model in (and sometimes that is practical), but even 15 cu ft is a huge improvement. To find fridges smaller than about 18 cu ft, he may need to inquire about "apartment size refrigerators".


Many Norcold 1200 installations already have an inverter-powered outlet in place for use with the ice-maker, which uses 120v power even though the fridge may be in LP gas mode.
Gary
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2019, 08:57:13 AM »
There are several existing topics (with photos) concerning residential fridge upgrades and a Search should find them.  Also this one in the Forum Library that deals with a Norcold 1200 replacement:


http://www.rvforum.net/miscfiles/Residential_Refrigerator_Install.pdf

And my own story about replacing my 1200 with a GE 14.4 cu ft model:
http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,91893.msg829660.html#msg829660
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 09:09:34 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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Rene T

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2019, 08:59:46 AM »
Thanks. Did you make those hold open and closed bars? Also, how many cubic feet is your new fridge?

Yes I did make them. My 3rd picture is of a bracket I had kicking around. I removed a metal shelf years ago and these brackets held the shelf up to the wall.
I think my RV fridge was 7.5 cu/ft and the residential fridge was almost 11 cu/ft
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 09:01:43 AM by Rene T »
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2019, 09:08:14 AM »
My approach was the opposite of Rene's. I closed off the sidewall and roof vents and bought a model that circulates air underneath, up the back and out over the top.  Exactly what home kitchen installations mostly do.  I used a decorative metal grill at the top so there was no visible gap, but if you look closely at your fridge at home you will likely see that it too has a small gap at both top and sides.

The difference in the two approaches is venting waste heat outside vs inside. Back in the day that may have been significant difference, but modern "Energy Star" fridges are highly efficient and don't put a lot of heat back into the room.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 09:09:49 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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Bobtop46

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2019, 10:56:36 AM »
Back2PA.  I found the limiting factor to be the size of your front door.  You need a fridge that with the doors off will fit thru the front door. 

I used the samsung RF18 or. 

Check under your current rv fridge for more space.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,117905.msg1068942.html#msg1068942
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Back2PA

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2019, 07:54:11 PM »
Update, my friend has had a local RV repair outfit working on his residential fridge install for awhile. I realize every install is different, but for those who have installed a residential fridge, about how many hours do you think you had in the install, including removal? Thx
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

Rene T

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2019, 08:51:56 PM »
Update, my friend has had a local RV repair outfit working on his residential fridge install for awhile. I realize every install is different, but for those who have installed a residential fridge, about how many hours do you think you had in the install, including removal? Thx

I'm real fussy and very picky on my finished product.  I think it took me 3 days.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Back2PA

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2019, 04:44:31 AM »
I'm real fussy and very picky on my finished product.  I think it took me 3 days.


Thanks Rene, that's about what I figured. I told my friend it was a couple day job and the place he took it (that supposedly has installed several) has had it a couple weeks fussing around . They were due to leave today and just yesterday finally got the fridge firmly attached but cabinet work not completed. As they went to leave they now have a slide that won't retract (not the shop's fault but could have been discovered and addressed a week ago). They have reservations to come visit me in PA then to VT for a month workamping, and our visit, which has been planned for months, is now in doubt.  :(
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2019, 09:44:47 AM »
I fussed with mine for a couple weeks too, but the actual labor for the fridge was probably about 16 hours.  I spent more time deciding how to handle the various details than actually doing the work.  Add to that several hours to re-wire for a dedicated pure sine inverter for the fridge cause I did not want to use the existing modified sine source, and another several hours for the pantry I built to take advantage of the space I freed up.  If I were to do another one just like it, I'll bet I could do the fridge remove/replace, cabinet mods, inverter install and new pantry in 24 labor hours.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

garyb1st

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Re: Norcold 1200L-RIM - replacing with residential fridge, which one?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2019, 11:11:18 AM »
We have a Unique 13 cu ft 12v refrigerator.  It's expensive compared to a residential but the install is pretty easy.  Just connect it directly to the battery.  No inverter or extra batteries required.  For me the difficulty was building a pull out pantry and securing the refrigerator.  As Gary Wizard mentioned, much more time researching than actually installing/building.
Gary B1st

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