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Old 01-09-2016, 09:44 PM   #1
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Conflicted about getting residential refrigerator

The upgraded french door refrigerator is beautiful, and similar to mine at home. I would love the extra space it offers. But there is one thing I can't quite get my head around. Just how long can you keep perishables in the refrigerator if you're not hooked up to power or running a generator? Can someone please describe to me how you can suffice for several days without being able to convert over to propane? We frequently stay off the beaten track or in the national parks. We're out all day hiking and photographing, so we're not home during the daytime to run a generator. Would it be wise for us to get this upgraded electric refrigerator, or do you think we'd be better off with the standard 12 cu.ft. Norcold refrigerator? Maybe we'll be better equipped to make this decision for ourselves if some of you can describe your usage and how it works for you. Thanks so much. We're about ready to order our unit but just have a few things left to work out in our minds. (The other is the dishwasher.....but I read a great thread on that!)
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:34 AM   #2
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The Residential Fridge will run off the installed 12VDC to 120VAC Inverter. If your TV is wired properly, while traveling the TV will supply voltage to the RW and the Inverter to keep the fridge functioning. As for Boondocking, the time the fridge will run without recharging the batteries depends on how many and what size battery bank you have.
We have 4 Group 27 Deep Cycle batteries and can run for several days with out a problem. If relying on the OEM 2 batteries, probably 24 to 36 hours max, that's without opening the fridge.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:47 PM   #3
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We never boondock so in our particular case we love our residential fridge. On our last 5er we had to buy a mini fridge to supplement the gas/elec. RV fridge as we would always run out of cooling/ freezer space, but that's not an issue any more with the residential electric. If we did (boondock) I would try the stock setup first then if necessary, upgrade to an additional battery setup like Michelle & Ann.
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:04 PM   #4
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I never thought I'd want or like a residential refrigerator. The RV refrigerators are so much more costly to repair and smaller. Besides the fact that if you do have a problem it might be 60 days before you can get them fixed. Sometimes it feels like the RV industry holds us captive due in part to the lack of options

Now that I have a residential refrigerator I don't think I'd go back. It can be replaced within a weekend with a replacement from any big box store for much less money. You might have to get creative with battery usage but that same battery pack can be used for other things too.
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:49 AM   #5
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mhs4771.....I looked on our invoice, and if we get the residential refrigerator upgrade, it comes with 2 Group 31 batteries. Did your RW come with the Group 31 batteries, or did you just go out and replace them with the Group 27's? I guess we have some research to do about batteries! But to be able to run it for 'several days' off the batteries sounds pretty good.....I think we could deal with that! Thanks for your help! Oh.....did you have to request the wiring be done a certain way, or is that just the way it's usually done to use the TV to supply the power?
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:59 AM   #6
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Rosey.....in our 30 ft. TT we only had an 8 c.f. refrigerator. That was a nightmare! We really cook when we travel, so having a larger refrigerator will certainly be an improvement. We wouldn't boondock for very long.....no more than a week, so we could probably be okay with the residential fridge. Thanks for your input!
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:14 AM   #7
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The invoice says Group 31, but I don't think that's what installed any more, but can't be certain since the OEM batteries installed have NO MARKINGs at all. So it's anybodys guess what they actually are. My two Group 27s are very close to the same size as the OEMs and was able to fit them all into the compartment.
Generally if you get a TV with the full Trailering Package it comes with that wiring, but in some cases there's a fuse that needs to be installed to supply power to that charge line.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:15 AM   #8
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Dave and Ginny.....good point about replacing it. I have read about problems with the smaller RV refrigerators over the years, and how costly they can be to repair. Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:17 AM   #9
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To everyone.....just a general question. Let's say for instance that the batteries are nearly run down. Approximately how long would it take using a generator to charge them up fully again? Are we talking 1-2 hours or 4-5? We won't have the Onan built-in generator, but we'll have (2) companion Honda EU 2000 generators.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:28 AM   #10
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OK, here's my take: The Inverter is actually an Inverter/Charger, charging the batteries when running on Shore or Generator, plus you have the built-in Converter which also charges the batteries while on Shore or Generator Power. If the batteries are nearly run down, you will need the power from those two Hondas to run both charging units leaving little for anything else. Exactly how long I don't know.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:27 PM   #11
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I will not have another rv type fridge, ever....
too much spoiled food thrown out too many recalls and fires from them!

I think it is the luck of the draw as far as what batteries you get... on our 13 38gk we only had one battery and should have had 3... had to hound the dealer to get the three batteries that should have come with the residential fridge... and it still wasn't enough for the rv, much less the fridge...

in fact, there were post on here from others about only getting one battery and that the mfg only put in a small battery for the delivery and the dealer was supposed to put in the 'good' batteries...

Would recommend a replacement to a good set of Trojan 6 volts in a series connection for better battery backup. That's what's in our current coach and works well ! Marine / Recreational Vehicle – MR | Trojan Battery Company
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:35 PM   #12
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I personally would not go back to the Norco fridge because of size and price. I see they have now come out with a larger model.this is one of the reasons I added the generator also for ac. I have 3 interstate AGM,s and if I boondock for a few days I just throw in my 2 extra 30lb bottles in the truck. It would be nice if I could build a flat 200 gal propane tank that could mount under the trailer to run the generator
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:14 PM   #13
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Well, for a slightly different opinion!

Now that we camp almost exclusively in full service campgrounds a residential fridge would be nice, but our RW was a show unit and came with the Norcold fridge.

We are happy with it and there is enough storage to go for a week or two between shopping trips. I've had propane fridges in RV's since the mid 70's and we've only had to replace one cooling unit in that time (about the same frequency as what's happened in the units in our home with compressor failures).

We've done lots of camping in non-serviced Provincial, State and Territorial parks in the past and having a propane fridge provided one less worry, and it's always nice to hear the sound of the burner running when I disconnect the power cable when hitting the road preparing to move to another campsite.
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:20 PM   #14
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Agree, our Norcold with ice was a huge upgrade from our old 8 cf 2 door. It has done great for us, and pretty much hassle free. The residential would be nice, but we have no complaints.
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:43 PM   #15
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We have the 4 door Norcold so far so good, lots of space
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:56 PM   #16
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My guess is that most people on the forum are happy with whichever unit they have, Norcold or residential. There are pros and cons for each one but since most of our rigs are fairly new we haven't experienced the downside of having to replace the Norcold. The cost of the replacement unit is around $3300.00 and that does not include labor and or the 5 men you will need to remove and replace. You could probably shop around and get that figure lower but it will never be as inexpensive as going to a Big Box store and buying a residential replacement for $400 - 1,000. When my SOB rv fridge went out we were luck that the recall fix shut off the burner when all the ammonia leaked out of the cooling unit. It was a 8cf Dometic and it was $1,600 for replacement. You can just about forget replacing just the cooling unit. I tried to remove the old cooling unit before purchasing the new cooling unit and I would have almost destroyed the box getting it out..........so not worth it. It only took 3 of us to remove and replace the 8cf and it was straight across from the door. I can't imagine trying to get the 12cf over the island and through the door. I believe the wave of the future will be residential, for cost reasons.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:02 PM   #17
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Another comment, partially related to your fridge question.

If you plan to do some boondocking, you will probably be traveling with full water tanks and partially full waste tanks. We have a 36RL that tends to be "pin heavy" and I also note that the sticker on my entry door says a full fresh water tank adds over 800 lb., it's all in front of the axles. The waste tanks also load up the pin weight.

If you spec the RW for the residential fridge and you order the genny as well (with the 40 lb. propane tanks), it will significantly increase the pin load, even more if you add extra or larger capacity batteries.

Not sure what tow vehicle you have, we don't have a problem with a F-450 but if you have a SRW it may be a problem. A RW owner we know had a SRW and had to run with tanks empty to keep within his truck specs, he's now gone to a dually.

Just another consideration to put in "the mixer" for decision making.
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Old 01-16-2016, 02:17 AM   #18
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almcc.....good info......thanks!

Thanks everyone! We finally went with the residential refrigerator.....just ordered our unit yesterday! No turning back now! :-) I appreciate all of your help!
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Old 01-16-2016, 02:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almcc View Post
Another comment, partially related to your fridge question.

If you plan to do some boondocking, you will probably be traveling with full water tanks and partially full waste tanks. We have a 36RL that tends to be "pin heavy" and I also note that the sticker on my entry door says a full fresh water tank adds over 800 lb., it's all in front of the axles. The waste tanks also load up the pin weight.

If you spec the RW for the residential fridge and you order the genny as well (with the 40 lb. propane tanks), it will significantly increase the pin load, even more if you add extra or larger capacity batteries.

Not sure what tow vehicle you have, we don't have a problem with a F-450 but if you have a SRW it may be a problem. A RW owner we know had a SRW and had to run with tanks empty to keep within his truck specs, he's now gone to a dually.

Just another consideration to put in "the mixer" for decision making.
My RL with 6500w gen washer dryer 3 batteries additional invertor 40 lb tanks full fresh water and empty other tanks and fulltiming loaded storage weighs in at 4280 pin weight
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Old 01-16-2016, 03:47 AM   #20
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My DW is a 50 Amp Queen so we always are connected to power every night as we travel the country.
We would love to have a Residential Refrigerator but since we bought our RW off the lot as a year end model we got a great deal, but it had a Norcold Refrigerator.
We have also had many RV Type Refrigerators over the years and had many years of good service out of them.
If our Norcold fails we will change out to a Residential Refrigerator but until then our Norcold meets out wants and needs so we will take care of it and hope it gives us many years or service.
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