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Old 11-13-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
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Anyone change over to residential fridge?

Has anyone gotten fed up with Norcold, and their recalls, enough to change out the Norcold in favor of a residential refridgerator? I know it can be a big job, but think about the advantages. What am I missing?
Won't the generator handle the load while traveling? What gives?



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Old 11-13-2010, 08:43 PM   #2
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Before you decide to do it... make sure the new one will fit through the door!!!
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:56 PM   #3
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Before you decide to do it... make sure the new one will fit through the door!!!
The Norcold won't even go thru the door. It has to come out thru the windshield.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:17 PM   #4
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Fit is always an issue but other practicality concerns usually center on energy consumption. There are some good discussions on this over at the Az Wind Sun forums.

The upshot is that there has been a lot of improvement in household refrigerator energy efficiency in the last few years. You'll still need to be concerned about running a battery down but it can take a couple of days. The price difference, though, makes it possible to purchase a refrigerator, a solar system, an inverter, and a couple of spare batteries for about the same cash outlay as a typical RV fridge.

A compressor based refrigerator will come to temperature much faster than an absorption type and won't require as much attention to its being level.

So the decision is not as clear cut as it was in the past, I think.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:44 PM   #5
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You might need a new inverter and addtional batteries. It's on my list to have done. Norcold will go out, and RR will come in, through a removed side window on my Phaeton.
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:43 AM   #6
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Happened across a site with AC/DC compressor-based fridges designed for truckers while looking for a replacement for my Norcold. Seem promising. With a nominal drain of 24 watts (60 max), you could run quite a long time on batteries.

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Old 11-14-2010, 04:18 AM   #7
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Has anyone gotten fed up with Norcold, and their recalls, enough to change out the Norcold in favor of a residential refridgerator? I know it can be a big job, but think about the advantages. What am I missing?
Won't the generator handle the load while traveling? What gives?



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Actually, this has become quite common with the on set of all the RV frig fires. Quite a few Monaco owners have made the switch. As mentioned, you need to find a unit that will fit. Often a little cabinet work is required. Some models don't like modified sine wave inverters but this is due to internal electronics and not the compressor. A residential frig will keep cold for 8 hours so you could manage without the inverter. In the summer we always have the generator running while traveling to keep the dogs cool so the lack of inverter power is not an issue. The residential frig could be a disadvantage for those that do a lot of dry camping. By the way, I have read that many folks have had success with removing a side window to exchange the refrigerators. No matter how you get the frig in and out will require help and is best left to younger bucks.

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Old 11-14-2010, 06:01 AM   #8
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IMO it's a win win situation. The chassis alternator handles the load when traveling. Dont think I would ever go back to to rv fridge. If most camping is in Rv parks with FHU there is no need for a larger inverter, just a frig that is compatable with exhisting inverter, MSW PSW.
If you do more boondocking then an AGS system, larger inverter and battery bank may be needed. Match the system to suite your needs.
In our case we have an Amana refer that will run on MSW with two 245 AH AGMs combined with an AGS system to maintain the batteries. We do more boondocking than Rv parks and this fulfils our needs.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanL View Post
Fit is always an issue but other practicality concerns usually center on energy consumption. There are some good discussions on this over at the Az Wind Sun forums.

The upshot is that there has been a lot of improvement in household refrigerator energy efficiency in the last few years. You'll still need to be concerned about running a battery down but it can take a couple of days. The price difference, though, makes it possible to purchase a refrigerator, a solar system, an inverter, and a couple of spare batteries for about the same cash outlay as a typical RV fridge.

A compressor based refrigerator will come to temperature much faster than an absorption type and won't require as much attention to its being level.

So the decision is not as clear cut as it was in the past, I think.
I agree with everything you said, Bryan. I know people are doing this mod. I'm sure the $ will be close to price of new Norcold or even less.
So far, the upshot is what keeps me interested in the idea. I already know that it will be more efficient, that the res. unit will have to be a "counter depth" model. I know that I would have to figure out a way to keep it anchored down, and also a way to keep it closed. Thanks to air suspension, I dont' think the door latch will take much.
I hope to hear from someone who has actually changed out a Norcold 1200's model for a residential refridgerator, and if it was worth the trouble. Actual pros and cons.
Thanks for your response.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by nodine View Post
Actually, this has become quite common with the on set of all the RV frig fires. Quite a few Monaco owners have made the switch. As mentioned, you need to find a unit that will fit. Often a little cabinet work is required. Some models don't like modified sine wave inverters but this is due to internal electronics and not the compressor. A residential frig will keep cold for 8 hours so you could manage without the inverter. In the summer we always have the generator running while traveling to keep the dogs cool so the lack of inverter power is not an issue. The residential frig could be a disadvantage for those that do a lot of dry camping. By the way, I have read that many folks have had success with removing a side window to exchange the refrigerators. No matter how you get the frig in and out will require help and is best left to younger bucks.

Bob
I understand letting the young bucks do it. The cabinet work doesn't scare me at all, and we don't boon dock much, (maybe at a wal-mart once in a while) but it's not a regular deal. Thanks for your input.

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