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Residential Refrigerator replacement

Ernie Ekberg

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RV Doctor Central Point, OR did mine for $800. But Im going to have to do some modifications soon.

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Ernie, a bit difficult to determine the cost as each coach is different and each customer's needs are different.  On mine, I had to decide whether to remove, and lose, the lower drawer under the 1200LRIM. I chose to do that as the fridge would be too high for my wife if I kept it.  Also, the decision I made then required some woodworking to make the install complete to my satisfaction. You should most likely figure about $1000 for a basic install with the price going up should you need/want modifications. I left the LP line in the coach in the event I want to utilize that for a BBQ or firepit at a later date. I've attached a link to my install of the Samsung. I did it myself while we were staying at a campground in Alabama.  It took me about three days to complete the changeover.. The 1200 went out the living room escape window and the Samsung, sans doors, came in the same way.....Hope this helps....Dennis

Samsung Reefer Install

Edited by Executive45
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I had mine done by Billy Thibodeaux's in Scott LA back in 2012. We were Full-Timing back then so we needed it done quickly. It was very expensive at the time but they had the old out and new in the very first day they began the work and spent the next half day finishing up. It has been trouble-free ever since. I would check with Iron Horse in San Antonia TX. I have read many positive reports of having great service there at reasonable prices.

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Res fridge install prices are all over the map. There are many factors that influence the prices. 1.) Type of new fridge going in. 2.) How much prep work needed to fit the new fridge.

We have done several without any headaches and the jobs went smooth. But recently we had a customer come in for a resi fridge install and ended up not being able to do it. The floor plan on their coach simply would not accommodate a Resi Fridge. The doors wouldn't fully open, the furnace would have to be removed to gain height and because a countertop was in the way there was little clearance to even slide a resi fridge into place.

In the end we elected to convert his 1200 RIM Norcold to a resi unit. It eliminates the propane feature but converts the entire Norcold over to a resi fridge with a new compressor/cooling coil setup identical to a residential fridge. The cost for the conversion is about the same as a resi fridge install. This customer is scheduled this week for the conversion.

I prefer using a new residential fridge from the standpoint you get a lot more cu inch space but on some coaches a residential fridge simply wont work or fit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tom Johnson in Marion (now CW) quoted me around $700.  But it ran closer to $1000.  I purchased the Samsung.  I worked with the tech.  I posted this before.

The KEY to the install is not to "OVERTHINK" it.  

Do NOT put a surround or frame around the Res Refer.  I have seen expensive ulphostery frames and wood frames.  They are NOT recommended.  Leave the air gap as it it.

Make sure that the Res Refer is TIED DOWN.  Most do NOT want to drill holes.  I, and others....maybe Bill G), used 3M double stick tape.  I used the VHB and he used the Auto Emblem tape.  
Here is what me and the tech came up with.  FORTUNATELY....I can get to the back and top of my refer from inside the outside wall via the top side panel as I have the TWO vent panels.  He found that Monaco had a vertical brace or just a 1 X 2 running up one side of the interior.  I had made up angle brackets out of SS Angle.  I had also made a cross brace or a 1X2 strip to go on TOP of the refer.  We cut the brace so that it was tight against the left (from outside) sidewall and also tight against the right side wall.  The right sidewall had Monaco's vertical brace.  You can add that to one or either sides.  Then with the refer in place and the to brace pushed tightly against the right side vertical brace....he put down the brackets and "stuck" them to the top.  The brackets were on the back side.  SO, he screwed the brace (it was on the front side of the bracket) to the two angle plates.  That keeps the ref from moving forward.  If you need to get it out....you remove the scresws.  Then the brace.  I cut the SS brackets so they would ""clear" the front opening.  BINGO....it will slide out.

On the rear, you do whatever you need to do.  Adding a block or brace or whatever works.  My Camelot had a rear shelf. near the bottom.  ...which, in hind sight, he said he should have removed.  That blocks airflow to the rear (lower) intake grill.  We cut 4" holes (Hole Saw) to open that up.

Finally....the MOST important thing....  REMOVE ALL INTERIOR INSULATION.  That was because the Dometic or Norcold was supposed to be INSULATED.  The res refer needs AIRFLOW.

Next....insulate the roof vent thoroughly.  If none, then remove the two outside covers and insulate them.  Insulate the back side of the frame that they fit in.  I might have some pictures.  If you do NOT....then the Samsung (and others) will shut off when it gets cold.  The NEW refers required a warmer environment.  Mine stopped working three nights in a row in the mountains of NC.  After I insulated the covers and the frame....it works great.  That also provides protection from the heat.

Bill Groves has a unique situation in that he builds up heat and has added thermostatically controlled small fans so that he gets more air flow or that he moves the air so the interior air of the MH gets to the rear.  I don't recall other reports....but that COULD be a problem.  Most have way more "volume" of plentum back there and good side and top openings...

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