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Windsor Frig Replacement


lindsey_27511
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I have a 2003 Windsor PBDD and the 2nd Norcold 1200 I installed in 2011 has crapped out. I thought about installing an Amish coil from JC Refrigeration but then the issue of door seals and hinges came up so I'm replacing the unit. And not with another Norcold! 

It appears I only have 28" depth and 65" height if I want to keep the drawer below it. I believe I'm limited to a counter depth model frig. And lowering the frig floor doesn't look easy as the sink drain runs through the back of the compartment behind the drawer (and just below the frig shelf).

Any hints or tips or frig models?

And I only have 26" of space between the frig cabinet face and the opposing wall.

What have other Windsor owners done?

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Like Richard has suggested, teh Kisher-Paykel would be the easiest to make fit but it is pricey.  https://www.ajmadison.com/b.php/Fisher+%26+Paykel%3B32+Inch%3BFrench+Door%3BRefrigerators/N~26+4294752969+4294794003+4294839066

There have been a number of other manufacturers that have made smaller refrigerators that may fit.  The best way to check is to go to the AJ Madison site, they have a filter where you can search by size.  https://www.ajmadison.com/refrigerators/all   

I installed a Samsung.  I have a furnace under my fridge and it required a lot of work but it worked (got some good advice from other owners who did this). 

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I faced the same dilemma . . . well, only 1 bad Norcold 1200.  In my case none of the 18 cu ft residential fridges would fit.  Then I came across a Dometic 1350 on Facebook Marketplace that was 1 yr old for 1/2 the price of a JC Refrigeration conversion.  It turned out to be a perfect fit despite the "specs" saying it wouldn't fit.  The Dometic is very similar to the 1200. 

Now I have a Norcold 1200 that needs a new home if anyone wants to resurrect it (the refrigerant portion is kaput).  It's all or nothing, not parting it out at this time.  Donations will be accepted.  Pickup is in Flowery Branch GA. 

- bob

 

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I also have a 2003 Windsor PBDD. I replaced my Norcold with a GE model GWE19JSLGFSS. I made the decision to remove the furnace to accommodate it. However, after the furnace was removed, my shop said they could make it fit if I wanted to put the furnace back. Since I had never used the furnace, I said no, go ahead. It does protrude about two inches into the hallway, but that has not been an issue. Did the conversion two years ago. 
 

image.jpeg

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Like you, wanted to save the drawer below. I thought I'd found one that would fit perfectly in the 1200 hole...ended up 1/2" to tall BUT it's not counter depth...had to take the driver's window out. Not that bad a job and a forklift helps to get it in. DW and I did it ourselves without removing the drivers seat.
Whirlpool 21 top freezer... WRT311FZDB/black, white, SS. It's now made in a side by side WRS321SDHZ that is 66 5/8" high. Whirlpool WRS321SDH is black.

Here is my DIY install...unfortunately some of the pictures are no longer available. 
https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...print/true.cfm

Here is more info on the side/side
https://www.whirlpool.com/kitchen/re...rs321sdhz.html

For those worried about boondocking with a residential...
This EnergyStar Whirpool 21 CuFt Refer has a energy guide of $44/year and 410 kWh/year or 1,123 W/day or 94 AmpsHours/day... So out of my 500 AH battery bank I can go 2+ days before getting to 50% and needing to recharge. 2 extra batteries are enough. $44/year is 12 cents a day... It's amazing how energy efficient they have gotten these things.
I have comfirmed the above with a KW meter...1.2 KW/day and it draws 8A DC measured before the PSW inverter...96 watts.

Edited by Ivylog
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Here are the pictures of our refrigerator replacement. Our old Norcold 1200 was still working and we were able to sell it to help offset the cost of the replacement. Both the old and new went through the front door, I removed the copilot seat and door. I was lucky and my furnace was not under the fridge. I removed the fold down door and lowered the fridge floor. After the test fit I put stop blocks in front of the rear wheels to keep the fridge from rolling forward. I also turned the front leveling feet backwards so the didn't protrude outward and was still able to level the fridge in the opening. Then we screwed blocking to the frame to keep the fridge from tilting forward and jumping the wheel stops. It's a very solid install. The old bottom door was cut to fit and is now on top. Last installed was the Fridge fixer. I bought the fridge from Costco and took five weeks to deliver.

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91 Fridge (2).jpg

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/26/2021 at 8:57 PM, cbr046 said:

I faced the same dilemma . . . well, only 1 bad Norcold 1200.  In my case none of the 18 cu ft residential fridges would fit.  Then I came across a Dometic 1350 on Facebook Marketplace that was 1 yr old for 1/2 the price of a JC Refrigeration conversion.  It turned out to be a perfect fit despite the "specs" saying it wouldn't fit.  The Dometic is very similar to the 1200. 

Now I have a Norcold 1200 that needs a new home if anyone wants to resurrect it (the refrigerant portion is kaput).  It's all or nothing, not parting it out at this time.  Donations will be accepted.  Pickup is in Flowery Branch GA. 

- bob

 

Bob,

 

I am interested in your decommissioned 1200LRIM if your door seals are in good condition. 

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On 12/26/2021 at 7:49 PM, lindsey_27511 said:

I have a 2003 Windsor PBDD and the 2nd Norcold 1200 I installed in 2011 has crapped out. I thought about installing an Amish coil from JC Refrigeration but then the issue of door seals and hinges came up so I'm replacing the unit. And not with another Norcold! 

It appears I only have 28" depth and 65" height if I want to keep the drawer below it. I believe I'm limited to a counter depth model frig. And lowering the frig floor doesn't look easy as the sink drain runs through the back of the compartment behind the drawer (and just below the frig shelf).

Any hints or tips or frig models?

And I only have 26" of space between the frig cabinet face and the opposing wall.

What have other Windsor owners done?

Here is a refrigerator meeting your dimensional requirements, but your below refrigerator drawer will need to be modified to accomodate the extra ~5 inches of height for this refrigerator.  The Everchill #BCD-455WTE is a true RV 12V refrigerator which is highly efficient compared to a residential unit because no inverter is required so you eliminate inverter efficiency loss and the price of this unit is very reasonable.  

https://rvbusiness.com/way-interglobal-intros-17-cubic-foot-12-volt-refrigerator/

If you elect to purchase this unit, Way Interglobal out of Elkhart, IN is the master distributor and has the lowest price:

https://www.wayinterglobal.com/collections/new-products/products/17-cubic-foot-12-volt-refrigerator

I am not affiliated with Way Interglobal.  I do love their products and have recently purchased a propane range from them.

 

If you prefer a power gobbling 120VAC residential refrigerator that will fit in your space with no cabinet modifications and your inverter can handle the extra load, consider this unit:

https://www.frigidaire.com/Kitchen-Appliances/Refrigerators/Top-Freezer-Refrigerator/FFHT1425VV/

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13 hours ago, CAT Stephen said:

The Everchill #BCD-455WTE is a true RV 12V refrigerator which is highly efficient compared to a residential unit because no inverter is required so you eliminate inverter efficiency loss and the price of this unit is very reasonable

Sounds like you are in the business of selling these grossly over priced , not so efficient refrigerators. My 21 Whirlpool draws 8 amps dc measured before the inverter or 96 watts but only when dry camping. Inverter loses are in the 3-5% range and The current draw of the Everchill Refrigerator for RVs # 324-000119 is 11 amps or 132 watts at 12 volts... smaller refrigerator drawing 30% more power. 

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7 hours ago, CAT Stephen said:

Yes Ray, when you look for alternatives to the Everchill, there is no competiton at that size and pricepoint for a DC refrigerator made for RVs.  Keep an eye on the Way Interglobal link I posted above as they are sell out within a few hours everytime they receive new stock.

 Thanks Cat, but I'm not in the market for a frig.   I just took a quick look at your link out of curiosity.   We have a 10 yr old Samsung 197 that I'm very happy with.               We haven't had any problems at all, it just purrs along on shore, gen, or our old Trace MSW inverter.  I swapped it out myself.  We hardly ever boondock so loses           aren't a great concern to us.

 However, it's good to have more options out there, competition and good old capitalism back at work.

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9 hours ago, Ivylog said:

Sounds like you are in the business of selling these grossly over priced , not so efficient refrigerators. My 21 Whirlpool draws 8 amps dc measured before the inverter or 96 watts but only when dry camping. Inverter loses are in the 3-5% range and The current draw of the Everchill Refrigerator for RVs # 324-000119 is 11 amps or 132 watts at 12 volts... smaller refrigerator drawing 30% more power. 

IvyLog, I am not in the business of selling anything.  I'm just an RVer degreed in EE (Electrical Engineering) who loves everything technology. 

Refrigerators do not run continuously (compressor or absorption) so a simple comparison of running compressor amperage (8A vs 11A) and running watts is not indicative of power consumption or efficiency.  What is relevant is watt-hours (wh / kwh) which is total power consumed over a period of time.   

True efficiency of the inverter must be utilized and continuous inverter energy consumption is present when your refrigerator compressor is not running .  Modern RV modified sine wave inverters on the market today run at ~93% efficiency (7% loss) (MSD will not work with some 120VAC compressor refrigerators) or ~90% efficiency (10% loss) in the case of a pure sine wave inverter.  Many lower end inverters have much lower efficiency.  All inverters consume substantial power continuously while powered on even when the refrigerator is not running due to FETs (Field Effect Transistors which invert 12VDC to 120VAC) and other electrical losses which are converted to heat.  Put your hand on the top of your inverter and you will feel the heat associated with this power consumption and other associated electrical losses.  Power inversion requires FETs that consume substantial power.  The larger the inverter capacity, the higher the power consumption by the FETs without load.  Thus when an inverter is on, even if the 120VAC refrigerator compressor is not running, the house batteries are being drawn down.

A 12VDC compressor refrigerator is superior for off-grid use in efficiency due to watt-hours consumed (versus a 120VAC refrigerator) as there is no energy loss from inverter overhead power consumption, inverter efficiency loss, and other electrical losses mentioned above.  For the on-grid use case having near continuous connection to shore power, a residential refrigerator is a good choice, especially if you are paying for the grid power (versus a gas absorption refrigerator in induction heating mode).    

The gap in the RV refrigerator market today is a lack of 12VDC refrigerators with large (residential sized) form factors.  It is exciting to see that some refrigeration manufacturers are finally responding to the demand in the RV market such as JC Refrigeration which sells 12VDC danfloss compressor conversion cooling units for the Norcold 1200 series and Everchill that has a variety of 12VDC true RV refrigerators that do not require an inverter.

Currently, 12VDC refrigerators cost more per cubic foot of capacity than residential 120VAC refrigerators due to the manufacturing volume of 12VDC refrigerators being lower.  A direct comparison of 12VDC vs 120VAC refrigerator cost in the off-grid use case is not accurate as 120VAC refrigerators require more battery capacity / more solar capacity / more inverter capacity / more solar charge controller capacity / etc that adds up quickly due to the overall higher energy consumption of a 120VAC refrigerator in the off-grid boondocking use case.

 

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