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What power to use for Residential Refrigerator?


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Going to have a new home build and decided to replace the Nocold 1200. I’ll be homeless for at least 6 months or so.  I was wondering which power to use invertor and shore power. I don’t want to have to switch power source every time I’m ready to get on the road. I have read posts to use invertor power. So, when on shore power don’t the transfer switch to shore power, so there won’t be no invertor power. Am I missing something here? How do you keep power on for the refrigerator? Is this going to be a lot of rewiring? Thanks in advance!

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Depending how long your trips are you could just use shore power and let the fridge coast while on the road.  This means no boondocking. 

Just being creative . . . . but why not wire a 3-way switch (like for household lights) with inverter hot on one leg, shore hot on the other leg, and common going to the refrigerator hot.  It's still a manual change but switching over would be instant.

- bob

 

 

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Your coach should be almost identical to mine.  I installed a Samsung RF18 residential refrigerator and it was the best mod ever.  Behind your fridge is a double 110v outlet.  One plug is 120v from shore power and the other is from the inverter.  You are correct.  Plug it into the inverter socket and then you never have to move it.  When on shore power the inverter has a pass through and when on batteries the inverter will operate it.  

There is a catch to this.  If the refrigerator you choose does not operate on modified sine wave power, it will not run well on batteries unless you have a pure sine wave inverter.  The Samsung runs fine on modified sine power because it inverts the power.  

Link to detailed install:  http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/samsung-refrigerator-install-in-2004-monaco-signature-356096.html

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Slightly off topic but here's a link for Samsung RF18HFENBBC Power Usage

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/samsung-rf18hfenbbc-power-usage-277840.html

I thought it would be handy for peeps like me trying to decide on absorption vs residential.  Our Notsocold went belly up Friday.  We do a lot of boondocking so was leaning absorption.  Now I'm wondering how to go out with the old and in with the new . . . . without removing a window!

Confused in Georgia,

- bob

Edit - Gotta nix that idea . . . . Heater is under the fridge and only have 65" to play with. 

Edited by cbr046
added a PS edit
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I converted my norcold 1200 last July to a compressor 110 vac .8 amp will run at least 48 hrs on batterie’s.

stays cold at -12 in freezer and 37 in refrigerator on number 2 setting .

when driving runs on alternator/ inverter.

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19 minutes ago, cbr046 said:

We do a lot of boondocking so was leaning absorption. 

I made the mistake of not going residential sooner because we boondock often during the summer. A modern residential is very energy efficient…1.2 kw/day or 8 amps DC (less than 1amp AC) 40% of the time. I power a 21 cuft Whirlpool with a 1000W PSW but a Samsung will operate on a 750W MSW inverter (or your current inverter) and will come in the door by taking its doors off.

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To answer your question, all the outlets that can operate on the inverter must go through the inverter, so it can supply power when needed (no shore or generator power).  When you do have shore power, it just passes through the inverter.  So, if you plug the new residential refrigerator into an inverter outlet (many use the ice maker outlet) you will have power when on Shore Power, or while driving down the highway, as long as the inverter is turned on. 

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We are planning to change our Norcold 1200 to a residential refrigerator . I am wondering if it would be a good idea to plug the refrigerator into an appliance 6’ extension cord to be able to unplug it from inside the coach. We just returned from a 4 month tour and 3 days out the Norcold crapped out on us! We bought a dorm sized refrigerator and drilled a hole in the left side “cabinet wall” of the frig to bring the extension inside from the refrigerator area so as to not overload the kitchen circuit. Would it be any advantage to plugging the residential frig into that same extension? Or, after the install of the residential frig, can you access the electric plug without pulling out the frig…or do you need to access the plug???

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Thank you everyone for the great advice. Sound like the inverter power outlet is the way to go. The wife is not to happy about loosing the bottom draw 🤕.

I went with Hisense 17.2-cu ft Counter-Depth Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator with Ice Maker (Stainless Steel) ENERGY STAR

Model #HRB171N6BSE  I can it in thru the front door. Door opening on the Monaco is 25 5/8. I’ll have to check on the PSW or MSW power.

Bob,

3-way switch is a great ideal. Awesome!

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19 hours ago, cbr046 said:

Slightly off topic but here's a link for Samsung RF18HFENBBC Power Usage

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/samsung-rf18hfenbbc-power-usage-277840.html

I thought it would be handy for peeps like me trying to decide on absorption vs residential.  Our Notsocold went belly up Friday.  We do a lot of boondocking so was leaning absorption.  Now I'm wondering how to go out with the old and in with the new . . . . without removing a window!

Confused in Georgia,

- bob

Edit - Gotta nix that idea . . . . Heater is under the fridge and only have 65" to play with. 

If your furnace is Suburban, it is rated for ZERO clearance on its BOTTOM side.  Many of the Suburbans are mounted on "stilts".  Remove the stilts, mount furnace to floor.  Use holesaw to add additional thru-wall hole for relocated in/out air/exhaust.  This gave me just barely enough room to install Samsung RF18 in my 2000 Dynasty.  There are many threads on this forum and iRV2 describing this modification.  Best modification to the coach interior I ever made!

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On 10/13/2021 at 12:27 PM, cbr046 said:

Depending how long your trips are you could just use shore power and let the fridge coast while on the road.  This means no boondocking. 

Just being creative . . . . but why not wire a 3-way switch (like for household lights) with inverter hot on one leg, shore hot on the other leg, and common going to the refrigerator hot.  It's still a manual change but switching over would be instant.

- bob

That's a good idea on an older coach, where the inverter is a basic model without an internal transfer relay.  eg: my 1993 Dynasty.
I'll likely use this method if I ever replace my Norcold again. (I put in a new Norcold after I bought the coach, so mine is after the majority of the fire prone ones.
My main issue is my coach only has battery space for two GC2 batteries, so not much reserve capacity.
I don't boondock much, other than an overnight stop on the road, so it's not a big deal right now, but the fridge running on inverter would probably require more battery capacity.

 

 

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On 10/13/2021 at 3:14 PM, cbr046 said:

Slightly off topic but here's a link for Samsung RF18HFENBBC Power Usage

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/samsung-rf18hfenbbc-power-usage-277840.html

I thought it would be handy for peeps like me trying to decide on absorption vs residential.  Our Notsocold went belly up Friday.  We do a lot of boondocking so was leaning absorption.  Now I'm wondering how to go out with the old and in with the new . . . . without removing a window!

Confused in Georgia,

- bob

Edit - Gotta nix that idea . . . . Heater is under the fridge and only have 65" to play with. 

I had the same situation. Installed a Whirlpool 17cf, top freezer unit from Home Depot. Had to lower the refrigerator stand a couple of inches. Still had required clearance from heater. Uses about 100ah/day from battery. 
Another option is the Amish cooling unit from JC Refrigeration in Indiana. You can get them in 120v AC, 12v DC or combo with propane. Any of them use a lot less battery than a residential unit. You still only have 12cf capacity, though. 
https://jc-refrigeration.com

Ed             
‘05 HR Ambassador 

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12 c f should be enough for us. Lots of room even when I load up everything. JC Refrigeration is probably the way we will go. Just trying to figure out who I can get to help me install it properly. Worst part I was in Northern Indiana two weeks ago.

- bob

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I was thinking about the JC Refrigeration at first but my door seal was ripped. Norcold don't sell the door seal anymore but they will sell the whole door and it wasn't cheap. For the same price as JC Refrigerator you would better off putting in a residential Frig in and bring the coach up to date.

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I installed a Samsung Rf18 in place of my Norcold after it crapped out. 

Should have done it a long time ago as the Norcold really did not perform, we kept temp monitors in the freezer and fridge and if temps in fridge got too high we'd move freezer blocks in to keep cool.  It was a struggle, no telling how much food we threw away over the years due to spoilage. 

I do have 325 watt solar which helps and found I could get by running the generator ~1 hr a day to get batteries to 90% before going to bed and would be ~+75% when I woke up.  Not a big deal since I would run the AC until after dark to get the coach cooled down and then shut the generator down.  Alternator will keep batteries charged while driving and will be at 100% when I'd stop and sometimes wouldn't have to run generator at all.

What impressed me was when I was in Wy in July temps got to 105F with sun beating down on the side of the coach with refrigerator.  I was running both AC's to try and keep the coach cool, which was a struggle.  Normally I'd have my awnings out but it was way to windy so sun beating down pushed inside temps to +85F but the refrigerator stayed cold and kept dropping ice all day long. 

My wife was getting ready to go on a trip last week so I plugged in the fridge, the fridge was down to 38F within 1 1/2 hr and freezer down to -4F within 3 hours and the ice tray was 1/3 full the next morning.  Never saw that with the Norcold. 

I have both the inverter outlet and the 120 volt outlet behind the fridge, keep it plugged into the inverter outlet.  But I wanted some flexibility and redundancy so I installed a small 1000 watt PSW inverter in the bedroom and reworked the original refrigerator circuit so I can power it via the small inverter.   This type of mod was explained by Bill G, he actually used the Block Heat circuit so he could turn it off/on using the switch at the dash.  I simply installed an oultet and put a plug on the wire feeding the  circuit.  I can then plug the small inverter in to help charge the batteries.  The inverter also can charge (at 25 or 55 amp) the batteries so if I am boon docking I could use the smaller inverter for the fridge, keep the original inverter off, and when I have to charge my batteries both inverters will improve the charge time.   Just did the install and haven't seen the improvement in power consumption and charging yet but hopefully I will soon. 

Edited by jacwjames
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Exactly the same as the above post in our 04 Dynasty but 10 years ago. Put in a 21 Whirlpool and the 2nd charger puts out 100 amps reducing my generator time from 2 hours to 1-1.5. Did add extra batteries so the refer power is stand alone or can be combined to the house batteries. Best mod ever and should have done it sooner…bought into the no boondocking with a residential BS.

Edited by Ivylog
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