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Imoski

Residential vs RV Refridgerator

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So, our Norcold N811 is dead

Whole we wait for a service tech to tell us how much to replace it I wondered what people's views are on replacing an RV refrigerator with residential one?

What sort of additional batteries / inverter would we need to power it for, say, 6 hours whilst travelling?

Be interesting to hear!!

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Well, we would have nothing else. Really disliked the rv fridge. Now ours stay cool, food fresh, while traveling. Now we limit our traveling to 400 or less miles with no power to it. But we don't open it either during thid time.

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I replaced my Norcold 811 a few years ago. Best mod ever. I added a 1000 watt inverter to run it while traveling and boondocking. Uses about 3 amps starting and less than an amp while running. Found out while traveling if you keep the door closed it doesn’t drop much in temperature driving for 8 hours. 
I used a Frigidaire Fftr1222QM as the replacement. That model has been superseded with this model FFET1222UV. Check the dimensions and see if it will fit your cabinet opening and that you can get it through your coaches doorway.

Edited by DesertMiner

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My trailer came with a residential fridge along with a 1000 watt inverter and two 12v batteries. During the day traveling I do not turn the inverter on and at the end of the day everything is still frozen. If we are planning on boondocking for the night I turn the inverter on. I wouldn't like an RV fridge anymore. My freezer gets so cold that a bottle of 40 proof (20% alcohol) froze solid!! Yes, I like my drinks cold.......

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Considering the safety issues of RV absorption refrigerators, their uneven cooling, and the fact that we've had the cooling unit on our Norcold 1210 replaced once, already, we will be ordering our new rig next month with a residential refrigerator. The basic residential configuration comes with a 1,000 watt inverter and is intended for two 12V batteries. We'll be ordering the manufacturer's solar option which comes with 300 watts of panels mounted, a 2,000 watt inverter, battery monitor, regulator/charger and transfer switch. Should keep the frig going even if we loose power for longer than overnight (as was happening in California over the past month).

Rob

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17 hours ago, Imoski said:

So, our Norcold N811 is dead

Whole we wait for a service tech to tell us how much to replace it I wondered what people's views are on replacing an RV refrigerator with residential one?

What sort of additional batteries / inverter would we need to power it for, say, 6 hours whilst travelling?

Be interesting to hear!!

I still have a Dometic RV refrigerator that I replaced the cooling unit with  new Amish and it cools way better than the original unit.

With that being said we also have a chest freezer and sometimes a dorm refrigerator running that we travel with and power it off a 1800 watt inverter and when going down the road the truck keeps the trailer batteries charged. If we are going to be dry camping for long periods we don't have the chest freezer or dorm refrigerator running. And normally if we are traveling and think we will be dry camping we don't use the dorm refrigerator because they won't hold the cold like a chest freezer for overnight stops. It all depends on how you want to travel.

Denny

 

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Obviously this is a matter of personal preference based on ones equipment (Batteries, Solar, Charging) and requirements as EITHER  fridge works. Each has advantages as well as disadvantages WELL DUH.  There's NO Right or Wrong answer to this one, what's best for one rig may be the opposite for another persons rig...……... 

I have used BOTH and actually I'm dry camped in my RV right now which has one of each (Residential + Absorption)

If you EITHER have adequate battery and re charging capacity (Solar or Genset etc)        Orrrrrrrrrr

Without battery and recharging ability you can turn off a residential fridge for x amount of time before you're plugged to shore power again, a residential can serve you just fine

HOWEVER if you have limited battery or re charging capacity (solar or genset) and do a lot of dry camping an Absorption is a good choice.

 Of course each will use what best suits their equipment and lifestyle. Gotta love choices and options

 John T   

 

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Already had a Magnum inverter and a bank of 6-volt batteries so it was a "no brainer" to swap out our 4-door Dometic for a Samsung residential.  Love it. More room and cold food and beverages. Should have did it a long time ago.

Later,

J

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Have had both.  Love our residential fridge.  I recognize it needs more battery capacity, and plan accordingly.  Would recommend anyone with a residential fridge to have 2 batts if just using between campgrounds, 4 if you want to do an overnight Walmart stop along the way.  We have equivalent of 6, along with a 2k generator to top batts off if needed.  Drycamped this summer a couple times a week each by just running generator about 3hrs each day to replenish from fridge, microwave, TV, etc etc day. 

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 I'm one of those that have no need for a residential fridge. The wife and I live out of a 8 cu ft Dometic fridge.  There is always a store close by. The first cooling unit lasted 18 years and the second one also works as designed. Fridge stays at 32-36 degrees and the freezer stays between -5  to -15. But.........the fridge was installed properly and all the clearances are at or better than Dometic's specs. We spend most of the winter off grid with 500 watts of solar and 4 GC2 batteries. Never a worry about 12 volt power.

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interesting reading here.

lets here more from those who have done both.  good and bad each way.

i plan on buying a new 5er in the next couple years.

yes to solar prep. (save a bit on gasoline costs).

yes to installed gen. ( a gen hanging off the back just looks funky).

???? on the reefer. (never known any with problems with a two way deal, ver a 120 volt unit).

yes to more than two propane tanks. 4 if possible. (seen too many run out and get very cold).

yes i boon-dock mostly, heck very rarely have i been where i could "hook-up"

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"travel all day without the fridge even running"

This is very dependent on the residential fridge you have.  Our residential fridge warms up in five hours so the freezer is in the 20s.  You have to test it.  We have a wireless thermometer, so we know.  

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24 minutes ago, Mntom said:

So, you're telling me that if the ice cream is still hard it is warming up?

Could be.  Without temperature readings it is hard to quantify how much each fridge will warm when shut off.   BTW - the hardness of the ice cream depends upon the ingredients in the ice cream.  Not all ice creams are made alike.  

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i deliver food stuffs to a fastfood chain. and in our trucks the freezer temp must never get above 10F. the cooler temp must never get above 38F. that is the air temp, the product is colder.

at home  i keep my freezer below 15F, and cooler below 35F, but then i have this problem where if any food is just "off" i get sick.

you and most will not.  but i will.   i used to be able to eat most everything.     not now.

so for my health, i dump a lot of "old" foods. and take are on all food handling. so to me a proper working reefer is a must.

even all my dishes go through a sanitizer.  (used to be a machine called a "dishwasher").

and no i am not a nit-picky clean nut case.

so reading good and bad about both styles is good info to me. at the cost of a new rv, i want to make sure i get the best i can for my needs.

sure i am leaning toward a 120ac style. but as i boon-dock mostly it just brings up a question on how they work with no shore hookup for 120 ac.

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4 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

BTW - the hardness of the ice cream depends upon the ingredients in the ice cream.  Not all ice creams are made alike.  

very true,

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54 minutes ago, Mntom said:

So, you're telling me that if the ice cream is still hard it is warming up?

It sounds like your fridge is probably OK without power longer than mine, which is all I was saying.  Residential fridges are not all the same model, size and specs, so why act like your test case of one fridge applies to everyone's fridge?  I actually put in a remote thermometer, because I like to know for sure.

Fridge thermometers come in multi-packs under $10 on Amazon.  Ones with two wireless sensors, one for the fridge part and one for the freezer, start about $16 on Amazon.  You can choose to use your ice cream to know if the meat in your freezer is safe to eat, while I will use a thermometer in the freezer.  Especially since we rarely have ice cream in the freezer.

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34 minutes ago, chirakawa said:

Had a butcher tell me one time to use your nose to see if meat was safe to eat.  🙂

That would NOT work for me since my sense of smell is nearly non existent. On really bad days I can't even smell bleach.

Linda

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Once meat is frozen  and if the freezer is full it's not going to go bad in a few hours of driving time.  You won't even notice a thaw on it.

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We had a Norcold 1200. I upgraded it with Amish Cooling unit, because I did not trust the Mickey Mouse series of recalls... We did add, along with the Amish Cooling unit, the rear Halon SS30 Extinguisher and a dedicated rear of the fridge smoke detector. And, we bought the ARP board, which I think is a good addition for any three way fridge, but did not install it. 

We started to see failures of the 1200 in other areas. And since we had upgraded our battery bank, added solar and Inverter - decided to switch to residential Samsung RF18 instead of putting more funds into the 1200. 

IMO, the Norcold 1200, even with Amish Cooling Unit - is still a less then ideal 3 Way Unit. 

For those with non Norcold 1200's? Well, I do see lots more flexibility and 'non grid' capability of these units. If you have a fridge that size wise meets your needs - I recommend you consider your RV'ing style, and not be shy of retaining a 3 way fridge!! All IMO, factor safety first - any reservations, spend funds on a mod to residential.

Our decision was two fold. We had spent as much on fixing our 1200, as it would have for a Residential. And when indications came in that we needed to again spend these funds, well... As well as, we were spending up to 7-9 months a year traveling. So a larger fridge and freezer, was a no brainer for us... (Though, we do miss our two junk drawers we lost in the swap out to the Samsung RF18)...

No right or wrong on this, just choices... Consider what you feel is important to you. BUT, if any doubt about the SAFETY of your fridge - well, get rid of it...

Best to all,

Smitty

 

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How long will it last, most of the posts are missing a critical piece of info, ambient temp around the unit.  8 hours in a MH with a generator running the A/C to stay at a nice 72 is completely different than 8 hours in a dark travel trailer going down the road in August in AZ heat.

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If you don't want to go to the expense of a recording remote thermometer such as a SensorPush, put an ice cube in a zip lock bag & stick it in the freezer.  If it is still an ice cube after driving, things are OK, a puddle or lump in the bottom of the bag indicates a thaw.  Useful in your home freezer to discover power outages... 

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21 hours ago, vermilye said:

If you don't want to go to the expense of a recording remote thermometer such as a SensorPush, put an ice cube in a zip lock bag & stick it in the freezer.  If it is still an ice cube after driving, things are OK, a puddle or lump in the bottom of the bag indicates a thaw.  Useful in your home freezer to discover power outages... 

$15.99 for this one instead - https://smile.amazon.com/AMIR-Refrigerator-Thermometer-Wireless-Temperature/dp/B07B9N71VC/ . 

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