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Residential fridge with furnace below


Batmobile

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Hi! 

So happy to find this forum!

We are planning to replace our non-working Norcold in our 01 Diplomat with a residential Samsung. 

For those if you who also have the furnace below the fridge, how did you get the height you needed?

I don't want to remove the furnace. Can we reduce the room the furnace needs somehow?

Thanks in advance!

 

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I have.  a 2000 windsor. Whirlpool model FFTR1715LW. TOP MOUNT in 2013. Needed remove all mounding trim and feet levelers  .  It is a tight fit but I did not have to do anything else.  Also the price for it 2013 was $440.00!!!  Have not experienced any problems with ii.  

Hope this helps.  The NORCOLD WAS A PIECE JUNK.

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Elaine & Clarence,

Download this pdf from our “downloads” section. It’s a great write-up from one of our members @Bob Nodine on lowering the floor above the furnace and installing a residential fridge. 
 

I used this as my guide to install a Samsung RF18 fridge in my 2006 Diplomat.  Also, @Steven P installed a GE counter depth fridge in his Diplomat that has ice and water in the door, and I think he used this as a guide also.  
 

It can be done!  I’m hoping someone with a 2001 Dip will chime in with their experience. 

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Hi Batmobile, I have a HR 40' PDT coach with the Norcold 1200 over the furnace AND a mid-coach side door. As you enter the coach the fridge cabinet is on the immediate left and it shares a wall with the shower. There was no room to grow the fridge space side to side and only a small amount down encroaching on the furnace. 

I looked for residential units for quite awhile and found nothing that fit the space available, so I recently replaced my 1200 cooling unit with a 12vdc compressor from JC Refrigeration and am very pleased. Luckily the Norcold is in very good condition and needed nothing else besides a new thermistor. The old thermistor had shifted, like they often do as they age. BTW, I got rid of that old ice maker as well since it took up significant freezer space and we never trust the water as we move from place to place anyway.

-jamie

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11 minutes ago, Scotty Hutto said:

Elaine & Clarence,

Download this pdf from our “downloads” section. It’s a great write-up from one of our members @Bob Nodine on lowering the floor above the furnace and installing a residential fridge. 
 

I used this as my guide to install a Samsung RF18 fridge in my 2006 Diplomat.  Also, @Steven P installed a GE counter depth fridge in his Diplomat that has ice and water in the door, and I think he used this as a guide also.  
 

It can be done!  I’m hoping someone with a 2001 Dip will chime in with their experience. 

Thanks! This forum has given me new hope!

We we're ready to take out the old Norcold this morning but stopped when we discovered the furnace was there thinking "darn, now what?".

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You'll need to take some measurements first. Scotty and I have 06 Dips and they raised the ceiling that year so we may have more vertical clearance than you do.  Best to figure out how much space you're working with and go from there.   AJ Madison website has a search feature w dimensions and lots of brands to select from.  

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I would look into a  21 Whirlpool wrs321sdh as it’s only 66.25” tall BUT it’s not counter depth. I had to remover the driver’s window and lower the bottom platform 1”.

 

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Removing a side window is simple, remove the inside screws and only cost is new window sealing tape...$10.

Slid the new refrigerator in off a forklift... wife and me.

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6 hours ago, Robert U said:

I have a 2000 Diplomat 40ft and replaced the Norcold about 6 years ago. I installed a Whirlpool and lowered the floor down to 1 inch above the furnace. No problems with furnace.  Bob U

I did the same on a 05 dip, success, no problems, be sure to beef up the floor below the frig. with vertical 2x4 in critical places--John McClure 7076716036

 

7 hours ago, Batmobile said:

Hi! 

So happy to find this forum!

We are planning to replace our non-working Norcold in our 01 Diplomat with a residential Samsung. 

For those if you who also have the furnace below the fridge, how did you get the height you needed?

I don't want to remove the furnace. Can we reduce the room the furnace needs somehow?

Thanks in advance!

 

My response is to the whirlpool installation, I installed a samsung

 

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I brought my old fridge out and new in through the front door.   Removed passenger seat and unhinged the door for more clearance.  

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I have a 2005 HR Ambassador 37 PDD and just (in April 2021) installed a new Samsung R18 with furnace below.  Width-wise, just removed some molding.  There was 5" of space below floor holding the Notsocold 1200 that proved to be plenty of space (nothing above).  Now with the Samsung there is still an inch above the furnace cowling.  The new Samsung doesnt have the door handles that protrude into the walkway...just pull french doors from built in handles in bottom of doors. Old unit out and new one in thru side window behind passenger seat.

I love the new frig's space and how cold it stays (recommended 37 frig/0 freezer by manufacturer).  I don't know exact energy consumption, but it ran off inverter all day while traveling and still had battery power to spare using 4 x 6volt lead-acid batteries (ice maker off until on shore power).  So far I'm very happy I made the switch.

John H.

20210513_170049.jpg

Edited by biloxi_dad
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13 hours ago, JDCrow said:

How many had to remove a window? Front or side? Cost? 
 

 Anyone go through a door? We got our WD combo through the front door at 25” for the unit 

I had my 1200 removed and replaced with the RF18 by RV Renovators in Phoenix. The 1200 fridge had two large drawers underneath it. I had the drawers reworked into somewhat small but functional drawers. The RF18 was brought in through the largest living room window. Gas lines capped. some electrical re-work. Sealed up the old compartment from the outside elements (vents, chimney, etc.). All in all it was around 2K and appox $900 for the fridge. Good company to work with. They also added a 3rd A/C to my coach.  I've been very happy for 3 years. 

Good luck,

Ken 

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14 hours ago, JDCrow said:

How many had to remove a window? Front or side? Cost? 
 

 Anyone go through a door? We got our WD combo through the front door at 25” for the unit 

No window removal for me…. Notcold went out through the door, Samsung went in through the door. Like Steven, I had to remove the passenger seat, the grab bars, and detach the door scissors. I also had to remove the doors from both fridges. 

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If your furnace is a Suburban, that is a zero underclearance model.  That is, the furnace is rated to sit directly onto combustible material.  So, if it is sitting on 2x4's, you can remove them and place the furnace directly on the wooden floor.  You must bore another hole in the side of the coach to reposition the inlet/exhaust lower.  I covered the extra hole with a polished aluminum plate.  Specs for the furnace call for just 1" clearance above.  I welded a frame for the fridge to sit on.

On my 2000 Dynasty, these modifications allowed me to install an RF18 with only about 1/4" clearance to spare in height.

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I put this in our 2000 Dynasty, but it did not have furnace under it.

It did have a cabinet, which I removed.

Haier 16.4CuFt Quad-Door Counter-Depth Refrigerator in Stainless Steel

https://photos.app.goo.gl/7fsQXKyMM3gmRo9f8

 

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In our 2001 Dynasty we changed to a Samsung RF 18 in April and followed the advice on this forum and the change-out went well. Love the new fridge. I did like Van W. and took the furnace off the blocking and moved to floor, built new platform from steel strut like Steven P.,  and moved the gas piping and some water piping out of the way. Lots of measuring and studying the advice given on this forum and I'm sure you will be able to do the change to residential fridge.  Like Van W. moving the furnace exhaust by drilling the outside wall of the coach was a little nerve racking but the change was really worth the effort. Good Luck!

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The 2000 Diplomat has a lower ceiling height than the 2006 Diplomat so pay attention to what Van is telling you about the furnace type. Van installed a Samsung in his 2000 Dynasty and kept the furnace.

Also I would like to point out that in recent years the RV industry has moved to 12 Volt DC refrigerators that are built for the RV and marine market. Take a look at some of those and see if there may be one that will work for you.

 

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Like Van, I abandoned the support/bracing the old Norcold sat on, removed the floor the fridge sat on and built a new box style frame out of wood and added 3/4 " pressure treated plywood as the decking for the fridge. Since my coach is an 05, it doesn't have the added ceiling height others have. I brought it in through the drivers window. The Norcold went out the front door. Never had to remove any seats.

I advise you to measure twice every conceivable configuration for a fridge before buying one. This includes door swing, fridge drawer operation, etc. We had a customer with a Dip last year that wanted a residential fridge and we ended up having to convert his Norcold to a 12 v JC compressor type and abandon the propane. No Resi fridge was going into that space without taking a wall out. It had a rare Monaco floor plan that put the fridge in a tight hall way to where a resi fridge could not be moved into place. If we did get it into place the doors would have not been able to be fully opened and the bottom drawers of the fridge unacceptable.

It is the only coach I have ever run into that could not accept a typical 18 cu ft resi fridge. I forgot the floor plan and am wondering if it was custom made at the factory as I have never seen another one like it. I believe the Dip was a 2004. First and only fridge I have seen in a hallway. It worked fine as the Norcold has small 4 doors. Resi fridges with larger doors would not work and even a counter depth resi fridge could not be jockeyed into the hallway and into the space.

Your tape measure will be your best friend. When we do a resi fridge conversion we give the customer the dimensions and let them order the fridge of their choice from Lowes or Home Depot. I do not believe in buying fridges for customers and then up-charging them. We let the customer get the direct savings using sales, military discounts, etc.

One cautionary note: Double check the availability of fridges. Some are hard to come by right now. Our home deep freezer went out 2 weeks ago. Not one store had a deep freeze. Notta. None of them ( Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, Etc. ) . They said they had no idea when they would get one. We had to have our old freezer re-built.

 

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DW wanted the large drawer saved under our NoCold in our 04 Dynasty. Hoped the 65” tall 21 Whirlpool would fit but had to lower the floor 1”. Actually cut the floor out and replaced with 2” wide supports on either outside edges... foam insulation between to seal off the drawer below.

Unfortunately some of the photos were not saved in my writreup:

https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/28435086/print/true.cfm

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