Tips on replacing Fridge, please?

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Well, the Dometic in my home trailer decided the hot weather was too much (it never was swell) so I think that rather than mess with the comin' on two grand to replace it, the better way to go is with a stick-n'-brick 110V only. Watched a couple of vids on the subject, but (frankly) they seemed long on chaff and short on grain. So...anyone have lessons they learned in their process of making that switch? Many thanks. And as the Oirish say, may the every morn be glorious, may the road rise up to greet ye, and may ye never be forced to listen to a tribute band...
(I am being forced to listen to a Limp Bizkit tribute band right now from the bar across the river. damn cheap earplugs)
Many thanks. Safe travels.
 

maki2

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What specifically has you confused? You need the fridge, an inverter, a battery, solar panels, a solar panel controller and the various switches, fuses, wires and such. Plus of course doing the math equations to make sure you have enough power going to the fridge to keep it running 24/7.
 
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bullfrog

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Our motorhome is stationary and we have grid power so we simply bought the largest refrigerator that would fit through the door and in the space of the old 3 way. Some trailers you have to remove the big window to get the old refrigerator out as they won’t fit through the door. We filled the vent door on the side of the trailer and the roof vent with spray foam and duct tape, plugged the propane line and plugged in the new fridge after leveling it and letting it sit a day to make sure all the refrigerant was where it need to be. Note the fact we have grid power. If on limited solar using a 12 volt compressor refrigerator makes more sense even though it is not as convenient in some cases and almost as expensive as replacing your RV refrigerator if you consider the cost of the solar system to run it. It has been proven to work better on limited solar in my opinion and less likely to ruin a lot of valuable food and possibly cause food poisoning. If you have unlimited solar, don’t mind using an inverter with the chance of another component going bad and want to buy a cheap 120 volt refrigerator there are lots of threads here with the pros and cons as well as how to here. Currently we use a 3 way RV refrigerator along with solar and a generator when long term boondocking in our newer travel trailer. We also have a smaller camper trailer with limited solar that we will someday convert from an ice box to a 12 volt compressor refrigerator as we plan to use it in more remote areas where ice will not be available. A lot depends on your needs and what resources are available to you. You can increase air flow to your RV refrigerator in many cases and keep it working in hot weather. We have simply used a cheap box fan setting next to the side vent door pushing air in or small fans in the roof vent area to pull air out with pretty good results in 110 degree weather if you want to try a cheap fix.
 
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tx2sturgis

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Good advice above, and I did exactly this on my old class A when the absorption fridge cooling unit finally rusted out and failed.

Your best solution is to choose a fridge that has a mechanical thermostat ONLY, no digital controls, and if you plan on powering the fridge in transit or on solar you will need a battery or two and and then choose a good quality 'pure sine' inverter that has a 'sleep' mode that will power on automatically when the fridge calls for cooling.

The GoPower line of pure sine inverters will work. Others will also, if they have that feature. You will need at least 700 to 1000 watts to handle the start-up compressor surge.

You need all the electrical items, fuses, etc, of course, but you also need to make SURE you provide the new 120v fridge with ventilation cooling air to the sides (if it uses a 'skin condenser') or back (if it uses tubing and fins underneath or on the back).

You also need to secure the unit solidly to the cabinet framework so it stays in place when driving. I used a couple of ratchet straps up and over the fridge, secured to eye-bolts I installed in the floor of the cabinet area.

Finally, you need to provide a way to keep the door closed when traveling. If it has a latch, that should work, but most residential and dorm fridges use magnetic seals and you will need to provide a more secure method. I used a combination of velcro strips and a really large rubber band. Yes, it works!
 
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What specifically has you confused? You need the fridge, an inverter, a battery, solar panels, a solar panel controller and the various switches, fuses, wires and such. Plus of course doing the math equations to make sure you have enough power going to the fridge to keep it running 24/7.
Not really Confused...just looking for tips from somebody who's been through the hassle. You know, the "hmm...hadn't considered that..." sort of things that always seem to pop up.
 
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Our motorhome is stationary and we have grid power so we simply bought the largest refrigerator that would fit through the door and in the space of the old 3 way. Some trailers you have to remove the big window to get the old refrigerator out as they won’t fit through the door. We filled the vent door on the side of the trailer and the roof vent with spray foam and duct tape, plugged the propane line and plugged in the new fridge after leveling it and letting it sit a day to make sure all the refrigerant was where it need to be. Note the fact we have grid power. If on limited solar using a 12 volt compressor refrigerator makes more sense even though it is not as convenient in some cases and almost as expensive as replacing your RV refrigerator if you consider the cost of the solar system to run it. It has been proven to work better on limited solar in my opinion and less likely to ruin a lot of valuable food and possibly cause food poisoning. If you have unlimited solar, don’t mind using an inverter with the chance of another component going bad and want to buy a cheap 120 volt refrigerator there are lots of threads here with the pros and cons as well as how to here. Currently we use a 3 way RV refrigerator along with solar and a generator when long term boondocking in our newer travel trailer. We also have a smaller camper trailer with limited solar that we will someday convert from an ice box to a 12 volt compressor refrigerator as we plan to use it in more remote areas where ice will not be available. A lot depends on your needs and what resources are available to you. You can increase air flow to your RV refrigerator in many cases and keep it working in hot weather. We have simply used a cheap box fan setting next to the side vent door pushing air in or small fans in the roof vent area to pull air out with pretty good results in 110 degree weather if you want to try a cheap fix.
 
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Good advice above, and I did exactly this on my old class A when the absorption fridge cooling unit finally rusted out and failed.

Your best solution is to choose a fridge that has a mechanical thermostat ONLY, no digital controls, and if you plan on powering the fridge in transit or on solar you will need a battery or two and and then choose a good quality 'pure sine' inverter that has a 'sleep' mode that will power on automatically when the fridge calls for cooling.

The GoPower line of pure sine inverters will work. Others will also, if they have that feature. You will need at least 700 to 1000 watts to handle the start-up compressor surge.

You need all the electrical items, fuses, etc, of course, but you also need to make SURE you provide the new 120v fridge with ventilation cooling air to the sides (if it uses a 'skin condenser') or back (if it uses tubing and fins underneath or on the back).

You also need to secure the unit solidly to the cabinet framework so it stays in place when driving. I used a couple of ratchet straps up and over the fridge, secured to eye-bolts I installed in the floor of the cabinet area.

Finally, you need to provide a way to keep the door closed when traveling. If it has a latch, that should work, but most residential and dorm fridges use magnetic seals and you will need to provide a more secure method. I used a combination of velcro strips and a really large rubber band. Yes, it works!
This project is for my park model, not my little traveler, but the non-digital idea is one I hadn't thought about yet. Works for me. Many thanks.
 

abnorm

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I run my 9.3 CubicFoot apt size fridge on 600 watts of solar and 400+amp lead acid battery bank for 4+ years now
 

tx2sturgis

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This project is for my park model, not my little traveler, but the non-digital idea is one I hadn't thought about yet. Works for me. Many thanks.
Oh ok...park model. Stationary.

Ok then you can disregard the fridge and door securement tips but having a non-digital fridge means one less digital device subject to failure during power surges and spikes.
 
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I run my 9.3 CubicFoot apt size fridge on 600 watts of solar and 400+amp lead acid battery bank for 4+ years now
Hey, abnorm...you're a pirate, you probably know this. Which movie was it that Mae West said to the sailor "Is that a parrot on your shoulder, or are you just glad to see me?"
Been lookin' for that film for years.
 
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Problem solved. New Fridge, 110V, stand-alone, and will use the soon-to-be big hog-out in the wall for a brand spankin' new closet/larder...or a vertical isolation tank.
Still workin' on the design of THAT invention of mine.
But I gotta couple of weeks until it's delivered, so I can figure it out.
For now, we're just iceboxin' it.
Note to those having to lose a fridge: pal in the RV biz says they don't have to be recycled, per se...Dometic doesn't sell parts (like racks and things) except in spendy bundles, so some RV dealers will perhaps buy them off you for parts or to refurb the whole thing. This one went but four years before expiring, so it's in very good shape .
Anyway, this may be common knowledge in the community, but thought I'd toss it in the mix.
Safe travels, all! May there always be a wide shoulder to pull off on when you need it.
 

tx2sturgis

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Thanks for the closure and also the tip on reclaiming a non-functional unit for parts.

With the part supply problem, you never know, a dealer might toss you a few dollars for that old non-working unit.
 
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