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Author Topic: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??  (Read 8171 times)

2dalake

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Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« on: December 05, 2010, 07:27:02 AM »
DW is pressing me to replace the Norcold with a residential fridge.  I'm as concerned as most about the multiple recalls and the fire potential and we both have experienced the poor cooling distribution of an RV fridge. 

Based on my measurements, only a counter depth fridge will fit the existing space (they are expensive for sure).  I would likely add a 1000watt PSW inverter dedicated to the fridge and a couple of golf car batteries for that inverter. 

I have read posts where folks have replaced the absorption unit with a residential but not in a Journey.
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SargeW

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 07:58:59 AM »
Im sure it's possible, I just don't believe it's worth the bang for the buck. Even a dedicated set of batteries will get hammered putting a load like that on them on a daily basis. Especially if it's hot out and requires more cooling. It sounds like a pretty expensive project by the time you do the cabinetry, electrical, and purchase the refer, inverter, batteries, and provide a place to carry it all and add the weight to the rig. All for something that has a minuscule possibility of a problem.

The big buses that run them are usually expected to be plugged in or running a generator all the time. I think I would trade the rig in instead........
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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010, 08:36:36 AM »
Gary - I'm thinking along the same lines as Marty.  Here's the details from the residential fridge Winnie is putting in the new Tour/Ellipse.  That fridge is rated at 10 amps or about 1200 watts - that's a hefty power requirement.  My Norcold 1200 pulls about 700 watts when running on inverter.
--John
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RCtime

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2010, 09:03:29 AM »
http://rvcoolingunit.com/1200LR-Norcold-Brand-New-Cooling-Unit-built-by-the-Amish-P13259.aspx

Have you considered the amish built cooling unit replacement.

It would be a cost effective and definatly an upgrade to the Norcold cooling unit that is plagued by the recalls
Edit: Fixed link.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 11:17:46 AM by Tom »
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2dalake

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2010, 09:50:36 AM »
All good points and we may not do anything.  I am just pondering the possibilities (l have to admit that, like John, I like projects that give me an excuse to diddle with the motor home). 

Some things I've considered if we were to do this:

. we rarely boondock except for an overnight in a Walmart while traveling.  Running the fridge on an inverter while underway should not be problem since the batteries are being charged while running.  When we do stop for the night, we usually run the genset until bedtime so fridge inverter time should be minimal.  Finally, I have an auto gen start that will start the genset if the batteries drop below a set value.  In a Walmart lot, I can override the 'silent time' function for the AGS since the generator is not going to disturb anyone.  Actually, my existing 1500watt inverter would probably work but it is modified sine wave and I understand fridge compressor motors are not fond of that.  I've considered replacing that with the Prosine 2000Watt but not sure how easy that would be in terms of wiring changes, etc.

. Here's Lucy (on RV.net and on the Tiffin owners forum) has a blog about their residential fridge upgrade done by Custom RV near Red Bay, AL.   They found a fridge that fits the 1200 LRIM opening with minimal mods and they do install a separate 1000W Prosine inverter dedicated to the fridge.  I believe they disable the auto defrost function and the owner has to initiate a defrost cycle manually when on shore power.  It is pricey......I believe they paid $4300 which included the fridge, the inverter and all the labor. 

I will certainly look into the Amish cooling unit.  I've noted some posts about that but have not done are real research.  Is it supposed to be build better and, therefore, safer from a fire potential?  Is it is simple swap with the existing Norcold unit....a DIY project if you get a gorilla to help you remove the fridge?

2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

Terry A. Brewer

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2010, 08:05:53 PM »
Read about my success in converting to residential refrig.... http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=32067.0


Best mod I've done by far.

Ken & Sheila

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2010, 09:12:04 PM »
We removed a 4 dr Norcold and put in a Kenmore (LG) 19 Cube top freezer. High efficiency, 1/2" higher than the Norcold and 3" inches narrower. No major cabinet work was needed and we were able to keep the drawer under the frig.
I originally was going to use a separate inverter to run the Frig to avoid the parasitic loads on the inverter. Later I decided to rearrange my inverter sub-panel and put all the circuits with parasitic loads on one side (3 circuits) and the frig and circuits with no parasitic loads on the other feed (4 circuits). I then took the feed from the inverter to the side with the parasitic loads and rerouted it up to a compartment in the Kitchen where I installed a separate switch so I can "Turn Off" the side with the parasitic loads (this was necessary because my inverter sub-panel is in the "basement"). I am using a 2800 watt Magnum Inverter which has dual 30 input and output when on "shore" power.

I haven't measured the actual current draw, but while boondocking overnight it hardly made a dent in the power stored in my 765 amp battery pack.

Since I changed my batteries to AGM in the process, I spent as much on batteries than the frig and its installation combined.

While this was not in a Winnebago, it really should be much different.

ken


« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 09:17:39 PM by Ken & Sheila »
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John Canfield

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2010, 08:15:51 AM »
Read about my success in converting to residential refrig.... http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=32067.0

Very nice Terry!  I suppose you had to add some kind of keeper to keep the doors from flying open?  I would also be a little concerned about stuff shifting around on shelves that have more surface area, but I guess Betty has that figured out.  At this point, I'm satisfied with our Norcold (hmm, or am I? - we just spent about $900 this summer getting the cooling unit resealed - 8 hours of labor) - if our Norcold goes belly up, I will seriously consider a refit with a residential unit. 
--John
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2dalake

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2010, 08:30:48 AM »
Very nice Terry!  I suppose you had to add some kind of keeper to keep the doors from flying open?  I would also be a little concerned about stuff shifting around on shelves that have more surface area, but I guess Betty has that figured out.  At this point, I'm satisfied with our Norcold (hmm, or am I? - we just spent about $900 this summer getting the cooling unit resealed - 8 hours of labor) - if our Norcold goes belly up, I will seriously consider a refit with a residential unit.

There you go, John.  Another opportunity to diddle with the motorhome  ;).
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

2dalake

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2010, 08:40:50 AM »
We removed a 4 dr Norcold and put in a Kenmore (LG) 19 Cube top freezer. High efficiency, 1/2" higher than the Norcold and 3" inches narrower. No major cabinet work was needed and we were able to keep the drawer under the frig.
I originally was going to use a separate inverter to run the Frig to avoid the parasitic loads on the inverter. Later I decided to rearrange my inverter sub-panel and put all the circuits with parasitic loads on one side (3 circuits) and the frig and circuits with no parasitic loads on the other feed (4 circuits). I then took the feed from the inverter to the side with the parasitic loads and rerouted it up to a compartment in the Kitchen where I installed a separate switch so I can "Turn Off" the side with the parasitic loads (this was necessary because my inverter sub-panel is in the "basement"). I am using a 2800 watt Magnum Inverter which has dual 30 input and output when on "shore" power.

I haven't measured the actual current draw, but while boondocking overnight it hardly made a dent in the power stored in my 765 amp battery pack.

Since I changed my batteries to AGM in the process, I spent as much on batteries than the frig and its installation combined.

While this was not in a Winnebago, it really should be much different.

ken

Can you provide the fridge model #?  One of my concerns is the depth of the space for my Norcold.  I have only about 25" from the back wall to the front edge of the cabinet.   Was the Kenmore a 'counter depth' unit?   Does the fridge cabinet fit entire in the space with only the depth of the doors outside of the enclosure?

Thanks.
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

John Canfield

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2010, 12:30:10 PM »
Quote from: 2dalake link=topic=38469.msg357551#msg35755p m1 date=1291645848
There you go, John.  Another opportunity to diddle with the motorhome  ;).

There's no diddle money left!  The new-to-us Rubicon is getting all of the diddle funds (and then some) while I get it ready for off-road.  The Rubi is turning into a giant money sponge  ::)
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catblaster

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2010, 05:56:30 PM »
Has anyone considered keeping the norcold box and swapping out the absorption unit for a remote compressor and condenser unit, maybe in the basement and with a fan and evaporator in the box??  It would be a project for sure.
Will and Jane
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Terry A. Brewer

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2010, 03:42:49 PM »
John

>>The Rubi is turning into a giant money sponge<<


J.....Just
E....Empty
E....Every
P....Pocket

I own a 2003 Rubicon & fortunately the prior owner emptied all his pockets for the upgrades before we bought it.<G>


On the refrig we use a bunji cord to keep doors closed & those expandable rods that Camping world sells to keep the food from moving.

John Canfield

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2010, 04:31:15 PM »
Terry - was the red nose and antlers part of the upgrade?  ;D  Looks good, now you need a winch.
--John
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carson

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2010, 04:53:49 PM »
Com'on John.. anybody can see that the red nose is an anti-collision radar system'

  The  antlers are super-secret antennae to detect Aliens (UFO's) chasing you. In that part of the World one has to be prepared.... ;D

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SargeW

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2010, 09:41:01 PM »
That 2" receiver on the front may just be for a receiver mounted winch..........
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Indian Creek

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2010, 10:13:29 PM »
That 2" receiver on the front may just be for a receiver mounted winch..........

Anyone know what happened to the original thread?  It was getting interesting, then all of the sudden I was in a Rubicon.   ???
Dave and Linda
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John Canfield

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2010, 07:26:10 AM »
Yeah - we drifted a little - mea culpa  :o
--John
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FrontrangeRVer

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2010, 10:03:37 AM »
RCTime beat me to my own response! 

There have been several RV.net members that have replaced their cooling units with the Amish built cooling unit with very good success.  When our Norcold 1210 quits cooling, that's probably what we will do, as even though we don't boondock much, I want the boondock capability!   ;)
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RLSharp

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2010, 05:32:45 PM »
What exactly is the "Amish built cooling unit?"  When I do a Google search, it seems that all I get are typical RV cooling units. Is there a difference and, if so, what is it?
Richard & Linda
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Ned

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2010, 05:44:40 PM »
Richard, see this web site for information on the Amish built replacement cooling unit for the Norcold 1200 refrigerators.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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RLSharp

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2010, 06:14:59 PM »
Richard, see this web site for information on the Amish built replacement cooling unit for the Norcold 1200 refrigerators.

Thanks for the link, Ned.  I thought that the Amish were using some type of cooling other than the absorption cycle used in the typical RV. It does appear that the Amish manufacturers are making a higher quality unit than Norcold. One disadvantage might be if you had a fairly old unit and wanted to update the electronics and other hardware not included with the Amish cooling units.

I will have to keep the Amish units in mind, just in case I have to repace my cooling unit.
 
 
Richard & Linda
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2010, 10:03:20 PM »
While traveling we choose to use velcro strips to keep the refrigerator closed. While not traveling only two small pieces (2" x 3/4") of velcro on the cabinet are visible. See attached photos.


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2dalake

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2010, 07:13:14 PM »
At this point I am learning that the fairly shallow enclosure that Winnebago builds in coaches with the Norcold fridge is not deep enough to accomodate many residential fridge options, even those of counter depth.  Folks that have been doing the most recent Norcold recall report that Winnebago is one of a few manufacturers that leave so little room between the rear of the fridge and the exterior wall, that the fridge must be moved forward a bit to allow room to work.  Not so on many others.

While we will continue to investigate all options, we will have the most recent recall done and deal with the current fridge if/when the cooling unit fails.


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Indian Creek

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Re: Anyone put residential fridge in a Journey??
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2010, 07:58:20 PM »
At this point I am learning that the fairly shallow enclosure that Winnebago builds in coaches with the Norcold fridge is not deep enough to accomodate many residential fridge options, even those of counter depth.  Folks that have been doing the most recent Norcold recall report that Winnebago is one of a few manufacturers that leave so little room between the rear of the fridge and the exterior wall, that the fridge must be moved forward a bit to allow room to work.  Not so on many others.

While we will continue to investigate all options, we will have the most recent recall done and deal with the current fridge if/when the cooling unit fails.
That makes sense to me 2dalake.  I think that's where we're at,  due to our 1211lrim being in that shallow space on the slide.  If we go with a deeper fridge, it might not let the slide close all the way.  For now, we'll do the recall and keep our eyes and ears open.
Dave and Linda
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