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Norcold 1200LRIM Replacement


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Norcold 1200LRIM Replacement

Our Norcold 1200 was 21 years old and served us well , until ... 
Recently , one thing after another started having problems . 

Decision time : Keep putting money into something that 'might' keep doing the job without more problems or 
replace the unit with a new residential fridge .
We considered the amount of work involved and also eliminating the possible fire potential of the Norcold . 
We finally found a Frigidaire that would fit into the compartment , with room to spare , 
in the color we wanted and about a half foot smaller capacity than the 1200 .
Ordered it and picked it up 4 days later . 
That's phenomenal , considering there's currently an appliance shortage in the US . 

Unpacked , we parked it under the patio awning until the Norcold left an opening .
Plugged in and in less than a couple of hours was close to freezing in the fridge compartment .
DW loaded it with the Norcold contents and I started disconnecting electric , both 12 & 120 , gas and water . 

Looking at the weather forecast , I saw less than favorable temps coming that would not be nice for the Frigidaire .
Over morning coffee , a plan was hatched to remove the Norcold one day . Clean the compartment and finalize all connections .
The next day would see placing the Frigidaire in the compartment .

Tear out :
Disconnect everything : electric , gas and water . 
Freeing the Norcold from its travel bonds : 2 screws in the bottom plate in the aft compartment , 
3 screws , each , top and bottom front edges .
Slid the unit forward until almost all out . 
I then placed a floor jack under the center of the unit to aid in lowering it to the floor and moving it through the coach .
In our coach , the furnace is located under the fridge . That puts the fridge about a foot off the floor .
The Norcold 1200LRIM weighs in at 244 pounds with the doors . 
I removed the doors and anything else that was detachable prior to pulling the unit out of it's cubby .
That still left a pretty hefty weight to handle . 
Once we had the unit out of its cubby hole and in the middle of the floor , I removed the cooling unit and associated parts .
That crept up on a hundred pounds and went outside .
Left was the fridge box itself which just happened to fit through the coach entry door . 

Next came the cubby clean up and preparation for the Frigidaire . 
Monaco had installed unbacked , pink fiberglass insulation on the side interior walls of the cubby .
I  removed that and stuffed some of it into a couple of heavy duty trash bags .
One of which I pressed into the roof vent opening and the other to insulate the side wall vent opening .

The next day ...
While DW emptied the Frigidaire , I removed the coach entry door , jam and all . 
That gave us a couple inches more than the Frigidaire is wide . 
A moving blanket over the front of the fridge and a 2 wheeled dolly under its nose , 
along with a ratchet tie-down wrapped around and tightened .
I pulled and guided , while DW helped lift from the bottom . One step at a time .
Once inside and placed in front of the cubby , we tilted the unit so I could place the floor jack under .
Up about a foot or so with a slight push and the Frigidaire was home . 
I re-installed the entry door .
We left the Frigidaire unplugged overnight to insure all fluids would reach the right places .
After I plugged it in again , it again only took a bit more than a hour before the fridge was 34°.

I still have to finish trim the cubby . We're considering options for filling the space left . 
That will determine the finished look .
That space is about 25" deep , 9" wide and about 65" tall .  

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WOW Congratulations good job. Years ago I thought different, but with todays battery, charging options, solar and inverter  technology (and especially ifffffffffff you are already equipped to power the fridge when off grid ??????????) and subject to how much and how long you may dry camp INCLUDING COST DIFFERENCE, A REPLACEMENT RESIDENTIAL FRIDGE SOUNDS MORE REASONABLE then it used to.  

 If I ever had to replace my RV fridge Id take a hard look at one of the 12 VDC powered units. In addition to my adequate solar and battery power I might consider adding a DC to DC charger for driving long cloudy rainy days. Of course, if one didn't have enough solar and battery capacity and dry camped, then LP  remains a choice.

 You have been busy

Best wishes have a happy Memorial Day, remember those who gave all so we remain free...

 John T

 

 

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Changing to a residential refrigerator is a lot of work.  I changed ours to a residential refrigerator a couple of years ago after our propane unit leaked.  Ours was a 4 door model and the RV replacement was over $4,000 plus shipping.  I found an 18 cu ft energy efficient residential refrigerator that the energy guide listed 1,000 kw a day on sale for $500.  I added the necessary solar and batteries for less than the difference and no more propane.  For us it was worth it and the refrigerator works better. It is a bit of work but you will likely be glad you did it.

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3 hours ago, oldjohnt said:

WOW Congratulations good job. Years ago I thought different, but with todays battery, charging options, solar and inverter  technology (and especially ifffffffffff you are already equipped to power the fridge when off grid ??????????) and subject to how much and how long you may dry camp INCLUDING COST DIFFERENCE, A REPLACEMENT RESIDENTIAL FRIDGE SOUNDS MORE REASONABLE then it used to.  

 If I ever had to replace my RV fridge Id take a hard look at one of the 12 VDC powered units. In addition to my adequate solar and battery power I might consider adding a DC to DC charger for driving long cloudy rainy days. Of course, if one didn't have enough solar and battery capacity and dry camped, then LP  remains a choice.

 You have been busy

Best wishes have a happy Memorial Day, remember those who gave all so we remain free...

 John T

 

 

Thanks John . :)

 We considered 12 volt units , but , for us ,  residential just made a lot more sense . 

We boon-dock about a week or so in a years time and our generator works a charm . 

For the most part we're hooked up to shore power . 

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47 minutes ago, Randyretired said:

Changing to a residential refrigerator is a lot of work.  I changed ours to a residential refrigerator a couple of years ago after our propane unit leaked.  Ours was a 4 door model and the RV replacement was over $4,000 plus shipping.  I found an 18 cu ft energy efficient residential refrigerator that the energy guide listed 1,000 kw a day on sale for $500.  I added the necessary solar and batteries for less than the difference and no more propane.  For us it was worth it and the refrigerator works better. It is a bit of work but you will likely be glad you did it.

The switch is a bit of work and yes, I used muscles that had been at rest for a while too long . ;)

Ours was a 4 door model , also . We checked for direct replacement , but , the $4500 tag for the cheapest unit had us looking at every other option .

DW seems pretty happy with the new fridge , so , yes , I'm glad we made the effort . :)

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5 hours ago, Pat & Pete said:

The switch is a bit of work and yes, I used muscles that had been at rest for a while too long . ;)

Ours was a 4 door model , also . We checked for direct replacement , but , the $4500 tag for the cheapest unit had us looking at every other option .

DW seems pretty happy with the new fridge , so , yes , I'm glad we made the effort . :)

I hear you about muscles and the effort to get the old out and the new in.  I had to do it by myself.   When our refrigerator quit we were in need of a new one quickly.  The one we found was at a Lowe's about 60 miles from us.  We stuffed the new refrigerator in the back of a Subaru and hauled it home.  It stuck out the hatchback. After the struggle getting the old one out we had a difficult time finding someplace to get rid of it.  Did you block off the outside vents?

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1 hour ago, Randyretired said:

I hear you about muscles and the effort to get the old out and the new in.  I had to do it by myself.   When our refrigerator quit we were in need of a new one quickly.  The one we found was at a Lowe's about 60 miles from us.  We stuffed the new refrigerator in the back of a Subaru and hauled it home.  It stuck out the hatchback. After the struggle getting the old one out we had a difficult time finding someplace to get rid of it.  Did you block off the outside vents?

Fortunately , friends were in camp for a weekend visit when we rec'd. word of our new fridge being held for us at Menards , about 7 miles away . He offered the use of his GMC pickup . I took him up on his offer and we made work of it . He also loaned us the use of the floor jack that was used for the in and out of the fridges . 

And , yes , I blocked off the outside vents with HD trash bags containing some of the pink fiberglass insulation I removed from the inside walls of the fridge compartment . Works great as not a hint of cold can be detected inside . Temps reached 32 degrees here last night . 

I'll leave the OEM outside covers how they are , both the side vent and roof vent . I can't imagine finding anything better to replace them , anyway . ;)

There just happens to be a camp worker here that does scrapping and such . He happily took the old Norcold to its final resting place . 

Edited by Pat & Pete
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  • 5 months later...

A late update ...

Just to take this thread to an end , below is a pic of how I finished the cubby alongside the new fridge . 

I made the two doors from the wood panels we saved off the front of the Norcold 1200 . 

I found matching 'screen' on the internet so I could tie them in with the doors for the washer/drier cabinet .

DW is happy with the outcome and that makes me happy . ;)

006.jpg

Edited by Pat & Pete
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