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Finally Ditched my Norcold 1200 LRIM (am I the last holdout?)


Bob Jones
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One member pushed the fridge to the side and built a narrow broom closet on the other side.  Nice usage of space.

I'm still holding out but my Norcold died a year ago.  I came across a much newer Dometic (take-out from a camper).  It still sucks in 90F temps but is better for boondocking, which I do a lot.

Are those doors reversible?  Would seem to be better access.

- bob

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13.9 cubic feet. Just a little larger inside than the Norcold. Very nice. You’ve got to move out some of the CocaCola and make room for beer. 
LOL 

Three years ago my Nocold quit. Wasn’t wanting to do a lot of carpentry work either. Went with the Amish 120volt conversation. Did it myself. (About $1,200 us).  Still the same refer but totally electrical now. Very small wattage used. I’m happy with it but I would put in the same unit you have if I was doing it today. Best Buy has them for $600us. 
Jim  2000 Monaco Dynasty 40’ 2004 Liberty Toad

Edited by Fasthobie16
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Wow.  From a personal and moderator standpoint it is great to see….”I upgraded” rather than….”OK, what do I need to do”.  This site is dedicated to helping fellow MH’ers “improve the quality of their MH experience”.  

Your write up is great.  You put checks in all the boxes and it sounds top notch…..and there is no “one letter grade reduction” for not using a Samsung.

Thanks for sharing

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7 hours ago, Bob Jones said:

Well....it finally happened. And mostly due to this site because someone posted up a model of fridge that fit in the hole without a lot of carpentry work. But, just to be clear, my Norcold 1200 LRIM from 1999 was still working.....and the freezer was -18c and the fridge was 1.4c - after installing the rows of fans for the fins inside, an adjustable thermistor (Snip the Tip) and a separate circulating fan to keep the fridge evenly cold. 

So why ditch it? My hydro (electric) bills were way too high for living in a small elongated box! I calculated (and I am NOT kidding) that the Norcold was using $40 of electricity per month to keep it at those temps and the new fridge uses under $4 per month. No kidding. The new fridge costs $40 per YEAR and the Norcold cost $40 PER MONTH

And of course, there are the host of other reasons that everyone knows so well. 

This is on my 2000 Diplomat. I know everyone (and their dog) installs the Samsung RF18. But I also see that most people take 3 days to rework the cabinet and many have taken out their front windows or used a forklift to put them through the side windows. I didn't want to do that all that work and I am ONE person so an 18 cubic foot fridge is way overkill.

But the fact is, my hydro bill last month was +$130. To me that was ridiculous. When I started out, before 'fixing' the Norcold, they were in the $55 range. Waste, waste waste!

Anyway, I went with the Frigidaire FFHT1425VV. I wanted to do it two years ago but the reviews of the fridge during the pandemic were atrocious. At that time it was $850 but given the reviews, there was no way I would do it. I then looked last year but the price had climbed to $1,200 (!!) This year it was on sale at $919 CAD including shipping and the reviews were much, much better. So I ordered it up. 

Despite it's small size I still had to remove the doors and one of the feet to get it through the door. The good news is that it weighs nothing. The widow (+70) across the way helped me install it 🙂 No kidding. I used a floor jack to lift it up instead of making a dolly. I *still* had to make a 1" Plywood floor for it to sit on and I through bolted it on the backside although I would never count on them for keeping it in place. I'm going to installed two U-bolts, one at the bottom front and one at the top and use a ratcheting tie down to keep the doors and the fridge in place when going down the road. There is *NO* way it will ever come out with that system in place. 

I used insulating foam hand cut to size for the outside vent and I bundled up the installation from the inside of the cabinet and put it in a garbage bag and forced it into the roof vent. I then used the same insulating foam to create a new 'ceiling' in the compartment so that it's fully insulated. Because the fridge is a bit smaller than the opening in the cabinet there is no need for concern about air circulation. I'm going to leave it open. 

But you know what is really weird? It's considerably warmer in the motorhome now. I think it's not only going to save me $37 a month in hydro, I think this winter it's also going to save me from more hydro that would otherwise be used to heat the motorhome. The heat it's taking from the fridge gets reused to heat the interior. But I find it off that it's so much warmer in here now than when the Norcold was installed. Perhaps because that cabinet is no longer effectively open to the outdoors? 

Anyway, this fridge, according to my kill-o-watt, uses 70 watts of power when running. And it does not run much. The Norcold? 500 watts on a constant basis other than when it went into a defrost cycle. That's huge. Plus, even though my Norcold ran at -18c in the freezer, as this one also does, the fact is that frozen food in this one is rock solid hard. Like concrete. Here's some pics, nevermind what's in the fridge, it was just stuff lying around 🙂 I'm very pleased with the quality of the fridge. I did reverse the doors and it worked out well. Did I mention it weighs nothing? The Norcold weighed a ton. Massive weight savings there. Btw, I had to disassemble the Norcold to get it out. Completely strip it including the cooling unit. And the backside of that thing was grungy and mouldy and stank. It was nasty. But...not a trace of burnt wood in the cabinet after 20 years and my dad used to run the thing on propane....a lot! It seemed a shame to throw out a perfectly good cooling unit but anyway, it's gone now!

20221007_230503.jpg

20221007_230521.jpg

Nice job with the fridge. We really like the residential fridge that our rig came with as well. 

Biting my tongue on your dietary choices though. 🤔

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Bob, great job with the install. I posted about our install and I see your door is also left hinge. We selected the Hisense HRB17 refer that gives us about 50% more space. I had to relocate the smoke detector as it was in the way of the refer door.

It works like a champ and we love it.

 

image.jpg

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6 minutes ago, 96 EVO said:

Gee! Between giving you brand new water pumps, and helping you install fridges, I think you better marry the widow across the street 😁!

Don't give her any more ideas....she's 72 or 73 !!

It's all I can do to keep her hands off me 🙂

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Great job!

I read all these fridge threads just in case something happens to my 1402. It still works great outside of the ice dispenser quit and I haven't tracked that problem down yet.

My 1402 is in a slide so unfortunately I'd have to do carpenter work even to get your refrigerator to fit. Everything is too tall.

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13 minutes ago, FishAR said:

Great job!

I read all these fridge threads just in case something happens to my 1402. It still works great outside of the ice dispenser quit and I haven't tracked that problem down yet.

My 1402 is in a slide so unfortunately I'd have to do carpenter work even to get your refrigerator to fit. Everything is too tall.

I'm in the same boat!

The NDA1402 has always run great, and I just recently installed a Fridge Defend, with an extra cooling fan on the backside.

But yes, it's not terribly efficient!

Edited by 96 EVO
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Replaced our NDA 1402 a few years ago with a Whirlpool. Took the NDA out in pieces through the front door. That monster is incredibly heavy. Went through too many ice makers and ice maker problems as well as other components.

The Whirpool has far more space and plenty of room at the top. Tight in the back but that is fine.

I still have the inverter outlet in the back but never plugged it into the inverter. It barely reaches 42 degrees in three or four hours of traveling and generally, we will be starting the generator anyway. 

Having Ice and water in the door was my one must. The doors keep closed easily with one of those large wire wraps that I always seem to forget what they are called. A couple of twists and it holds fast.

The new refer passed through the driver's window with ease and a bit of ingenuity but simple enough and it weighs about 1/4 of what the original did.

This refer to nearly doubled the storage space. If you would like the write up I can give you a link.

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Better yet. 

Residential Refer installation in 2008 Endeavor, SKQ. Refer in slide out.

With a scaffold from HF, the new refer was laid across it at the driver's window height. A piece of plywood bridged the gap with a moving blanket to prevent scratches and it was easily pushed inside without removing the driver's chair. Two people inside to catch it and set it upright. The passenger seat was out to make things easier. Of course, the drivers window was removed. A very simple job with two people for safety. 

 

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I think the new fridge looks great. A few years back I went with the RF18 but being single the one you picked would have worked great for me. 

 

Good luck

 

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On 10/8/2022 at 7:09 AM, Fasthobie16 said:

13.9 cubic feet. Just a little larger inside than the Norcold. Very nice. You’ve got to move out some of the CocaCola and make room for beer. 
LOL 

Three years ago my Nocold quit. Wasn’t wanting to do a lot of carpentry work either. Went with the Amish 120volt conversation. Did it myself. (About $1,200 us).  Still the same refer but totally electrical now. Very small wattage used. I’m happy with it but I would put in the same unit you have if I was doing it today. Best Buy has them for $600us. 
Jim  2000 Monaco Dynasty 40’ 2004 Liberty Toad

I can see your point about maybe going the residential frig route. I went that direction but wish I had known about the 12v conversion before making the decision to a Whirlpool 17cf. I like it but it uses 80-100 a/h per day, about half my total usage. I believe but not sure the 12v conversion on my Notcold might use considerably less. Starting to do more dry camping. Overall, I’m happy though.

BTW, I asked a cabinet maker to make something to fill in the side gap since the Whirlpool is narrower than the Notcold. He surprised me with a really nice slide out pantry.

For the OP. Check baby products stores for cabinet safety latches for the doors. Note mine in the image.

Ed          
‘05 Holiday Rambler Ambassador

6E811CC1-6496-4F14-91DF-FBAE948126CC.jpeg

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There are many more out there running the Norcold's. Just had someone contact us today to work on their Norcold. I sent them to Lazy Day's. 🙂

I wont allow my techs to touch a Norcold. I do not want to be inserted into the law suit stream if their coach burns down. Doesn't matter if it isn't our fault. If there is a law suit the lawyers list every company that looked, touched or worked on it. 

 

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