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2021 Monacoer’s Refrigerator Poll

Scotty Hutto

RV Refrigerator Poll  

91 members have voted

  1. 1. What type fridge came on your coach from the factory

    • Norcold / Dometic / Other Absorption
    • Residential Fridge
  2. 2. Have you changed your fridge out?

    • No
    • Yes
  3. 3. If you’ve changed your fridge, what brand did you go with?

    • Amish (JC Refrigeration)
    • Dometic
    • Norcold
    • Fisher-Paykel
    • GE
    • Samsung
    • Whirlpool
    • Other Residential
    • Other Absorption

This poll is closed to new votes

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Had ours changed out in 2012 after spending WAY too much time and money trying to keep food from spoiling, stuff in the freezer frozen and the ice from forming a huge ice block in the bin. Not to mention the doors falling off onto my feet when the plastic hinges broke.702153358_SamsungRF197Fridge.thumb.jpg.e7b5e48546c8aeb80fcf8dca7ed24346.jpg

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We went thru 3 (yes, three!) NotCold frigs in the first year in our Endeavor. Fourth failure wasn't under warranty so we put in a Samsung. And when I removed the final NotCold, I was shocked to see the amount of charred wood next to the flue/chimney.

When we bought our Camelot, one of the big selling points to me was that the PO had already replaced the original Dometic with a Whirlpool.


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Our Norcold never really performed well but we learned to live with it.  It finally failed in 2018 but since I was in the middle of building a house so wasn't in a rush to fix.   By luck though I purchased a Samsung RF18 on clearance at Lowes  for ~$850 (with the ultimate goal of putting it in the coach) and used in the house while we were building.  Finally installed in didn't replace until Sept 2019.  Have not a chance to give it a good test yet but I am sure it will work fine. 


It was a slightly harder install since I wanted to keep the furnace.  Thanks to Bob Nodine & Van Williams for the advice during the install.

Edited by jacwjames
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Both the RF197  & RF18 are counter depth and the same width as the Norcold, they are taller.  So if you have the headroom it can be a pretty simple install.  They also work well with MSW inverters while others don't.  Current price on a Samsung is ~$1500 (but can buy them cheaper on sale).

The Fisher & Paykel is another option but it's MSRP is $4350. 

More brands are becoming available so it pays to shop around.

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From memory about 5". 

Not a problem if you have a drawer underneath you mind loosing. 

I had a furnace.  Lower the furnace 1 5/8" to the floor, which meant I had to drill 2 new holes in the side of the motorhome for the intake/exhaust and install a larger cover plate on the outside.  I removed the shelf and the supported the refrigerator ~1/2" above the furnace but left it all open underneath for airflow.  Just barely missed the light cover in the front of the fridge when I open the door and had to trim the facia piece over the pocket door track to be able to open that door. 

But I'm a happy camper now.

You can go the the AJ Madison site and they have a good filter that can show you what is available based on the dimensions.


If you would be satisfied with a smaller 2 door fridge it opens up more possibilities.  But the Samsung at +17 cu ft is about 50% bigger then the Norcold.  Plenty of room for cold beer and frozen ice cream (neither of which I had in the Norcold)!

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Purchased our 03 Dynasty in 2013, replaced our Refrigerator in 2015 due to all the fire hazard warnings and wanted piece of mind. Put in a Samsung for the size and also worked with the inverter, something about a Sine wave (I cannot remember, getting old).  Best change out we did, we don't dry camp. Turn on the refrigerator, and 2 hours later it is up to temp and can start loading food, sometimes cannot get a site that really level and that is no longer as big an issue. 

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Samsung RF18 here also in summer of 2019. Although we downsized from our last coach that had a 25cuft fridge. Nice fridge but coach was a piece of junk.


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1 hour ago, Military RVer said:

How much taller are they?

My Installer dropped the floor 7 inches from where the NotSoCold sat. However the RF-18 is just under an inch taller than the older RF-197 that I had installed.

Actual height of the RF-18 is 70 13/16 inches. The RF-197 version that I have is 70 inches in height.

1 hour ago, jacwjames said:

The Fisher & Paykel is another option but it's MSRP is $4350.

Jim, I believe that you can purchase a counter-depth Fisher-Paykel for similar to the Samsung with French doors for under $2500. Still quite a bit more than a Samsung but in some cases if the height of the Samsung won't work the Fisher-Paykel would fit without any major modifications.

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In our previous coach, an 03 Dynasty, the Notcold 1200, gave it up back in the summer of 2013.   Replaced it with the Samsung RF197 and it's still working fine as far as I know.  The install wasn't too bad, since there was no furnace underneath.   The old notcold came out in pieces; getting the new RF197 in was the trickiest part.

I learned from the experience that French-door reefers are more convenient than the Side-by-sides.

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There wer several residential refrigerators that would fit my  current opening with only minor mods. I decided on a Frigidaire FFTR1022QB which, once removing the doors, fit thru my door opening. (current model FFET1022UB)

I did a ton of research before replacing my Norcold RV refrigerator and this one came out #1 by far. If you plan to make the conversion, here are some things to consider.
1. These fridges are not built-ins and will require clearance for air circulation. The Frigidaire needs only an inch on either side, which is probably all you'll have anyway. The back only requires 2" clearance. Other brands wanted far more. Don't be tempted to skip that. They do call for 12" on top, which is impossible for a MH. Instead I installed fans (see #2 below).
2. Operating temperature. Other brands I looked at said their fridge wouldn't operate below 60 or above 90 degrees, and warned against using in a garage. No such restriction on the Frigidaire. Just keep it between 10 and 110 degrees, per the manual.
3. It fit my existing opening with only minor modification.

1. I installed a separate 120v outlet controlled by a switch inside the MH so that I could easily turn the unit off when not needed without going outside to pull the plug (some units do not have an on/off switch).
2. I chose not to seal off the existing outside openings. I put a screen on the lower opening and installed 3ea. 12v fans in the upper vent to assure good air circulation. I used the 12v wiring from the old Norcold and put the fans on a thermally controlled line with a separate switch inside my MH.
3. In the back, I anchored the unit by putting 2 lag bolts through the bottom metal rails of the refrigerator into the flooring.
4. Inside, I attached (using 3m 3M Scotch 4910 VHB Tape 2 sided tape) 2 metal brackets to the top of the refrigerator and then screwed these to the wood above the refrigerator. I then trimmed around the perimeter of the fridge with black plastic L channel which I purchased from Display Products online ( Extrusions by Display Products Online). This can be purchased with the tape already attached.


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After having problems with 2 Samsungs in our house, and really wanting water and ice in the door, I opted to install a GE. We have been very pleased so far.  I removed the Norcold and did the swap myself. We were able to use the door to get all through.  


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The used Dynasty that we bought in 2002 had the Norcold 3 way fridge (683 I think), that we loved. It was reliable and would keep frozen stuff frozen, but was small.  It was good for us as we do a fair amount of dry camping and I don't like running the generator a lot.  When we started looking for a Windsor in 2013, a 3 way was high on our list of wants and a residential fridge was not an option.  When Don Smith put his 2002 Windsor on the Monacoers forum for sale in early 2016, it had already been converted to the Samsung RF 197.  At the time, that was a compromise for us, but I installed 680 watts of solar and now feel residential fridge is the only way to go.



2002 Windsor PST

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In my previous Diplomat, I changed the Norcold out with a JC 120 volt. It worked good but you cannot control freezer temp and bottom temp individually. In my current Diplomat I changed out to Samsung RF18. I gained the extra 5 cubic feet of space plus have different temp controls. I bought my RF18 from Goedeker's online for 1098.00. So it was only a few hundred more than the JC retrofit. I am really liking the Samsung.

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A Norcold came with our all electric 2004 Executive and we had nothing but problems with it from day one when we picked it up in Coburg in May 2003.  Monaco ended up replacing the Norcold with a Whirlpool in Sept 2003, changing out the drawer below and putting in a cabinet above the frig.  We have been very happy with then Whirlpool as it is twice the size of the Norcold.



Larry & Ellen Clark

2004 Monaco Executive SBW 42

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I have a 2005 HR Ambassador with the 4-door Norcold reefer.  After I purchased in 2017, I took it to an authorized Norcold repairman and he made some changes  that made it work better, but would like to swap it out for a residential.  I don't feel comfortable doing the changeout myself.  Furnace is below frig and want to keep it.  Does anyone have suggestions as to where i might take it to have the changeout?  I live in Biloxi, MS.

John H.

2005 HR Amb. & Jeep toad

Edited by biloxi_dad
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