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Old 09-25-2017, 12:05 PM   #1
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Residential Refrigerator Issues Poll

We are shopping for our first RV - an upper end 5r. I've spent my entire adult life working on refrigerators and recently retired. Many of the 5rs we are exploring come with residential style refrigerators as opposed to the gas/electric/Norcold/Dometic models. I'm wondering what types of issues some are seeing with their residential units. When I first saw them in RVs, my radar went up since I'm not sure how well they can stand the jostling.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:38 PM   #2
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My 16/3721 has a Samsung 3 door, I have had 0 issues, Love It!
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:26 PM   #3
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Depends a lot on how you plan to use your rig. If you plan to boondock at all you will need a bigger battery bank and a generator or solar to power a residential fridge. They normally come with an inverter to power off batteries when you are not connected to shore power. Your tow vehicle should have no problem keeping the battery charged to run while you are actually towing. A residential fridge is lower cost than an RV fridge but the cost of the inverter offsets some but not all the difference. Friends with residential fridges have been happy with their choice but I opted to stay with a RV fridge.
Zack and Donna plus Millie
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2012 F-250
"Life is too short to stay indoors, enjoy the ride!"
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:04 PM   #4
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Just came back from a 75 day, 11,000 + mile trip. The residential fridge was on, continuously, the entire trip, including while towing. Not a single problem with the fridge. If you boondock with a residential fridge, you with need a battery upgrade and solar or a generator.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:04 PM   #5
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We're on 2 1/2 years with ours and runs 24/7 365 and love all the extra space and freezer that actually freezes ice cream.
Michelle & Ann
2018 Chevy 3500HD High Country DRW 4X4 Crew Cab w/Duramax/Allison, Formally 2010 Montana 2955RL, Now Loaded 2016 SOB, Mor/ryde IS, Disc Brakes & Pin Box, Comfort Ride Hitch, GY G114 17.5 Tires.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:50 PM   #6
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Agree with AZ traveler regarding how you plan to camp

But we have 15- 353RL with a res frig - Samsung. Love it and not issues
Steve & Lisa
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:57 PM   #7
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Had our res frig over 2 years full timing no problems love it
Art and Linda
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Old 09-30-2017, 05:44 AM   #8
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While we don't have one, and I've never had any issues with RV refers, others have. I've personally heard of just a few folks that have had issues with residential ones though. Considering the numbers of either kind in RVs over the years, I'd say it's a wash between the two. Before taking delivery of either kind, you should insist insist on it be running for a day or two (along with doing a thorough inspection of everything else!).
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Old 10-02-2017, 03:43 PM   #9
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we love ours

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Old 10-02-2017, 04:17 PM   #10
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I took out the RV refer from my 2000 3280rl and installed a residential with a 1200 watt inverter. DW loves the much bigger unit. Would never go back.
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:16 PM   #11
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My two Montana's had RV frigs, but when we made the transition to a MH it had a residential. Even though I was impressed with how big it was inside I still was a little worried. After several long months on the road I am convinced it is the only way to go. It works just as good as our home frig.
Previous: 2008 Montana 3400RL & 2014 3725RL
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Old 10-09-2017, 02:42 PM   #12
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ANY residential refer will be bigger, better and more efficient than any RV 12v/propane refer.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:05 PM   #13
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3 seasons, no issues yet
Jason & Wendy
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cw3jason View Post
3 seasons, no issues yet
X2 , plus cheaper Electric bills
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:24 PM   #15
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We are recreational campers ... don't need a stick house mega sized fridge ... have always been perfectly happy with gas absorption fridges in any of our RV's. No need to invest in an inverter, more batteries, nor solar as we can always flip over to propane.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:03 PM   #16
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We have the 2018 Norcold Gas/Electric and wish every day it was a residential electric. I'd say like others, unless you boondock extended periods go electric residential.
Jeff & Lori Banning + the Yorkies Lucy and Ricky
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:51 PM   #17
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We really like the residential refrigerator but we have had issues with our Samsung refrigerator. When it defrosts the drain hole gets clogged with ice and then water runs under or into the crisper drawers. After researching the issue I found out that the Samsung refrigerator is just poorly designed (coming from the opinion of refrigerator repairmen). There is a somewhat MacGyver fix on YouTube that I'm going to try. I'm done with Samsung products though, I've had too many issues with all their products.
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:45 AM   #18
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That issue with the drain freezing is common to all the trio style reefers - Whirlpool, Maytag (really a Whirlpool), LG, Samsung, even GE but not many of the GE trio around. The problem is the small piece of metal that hangs off the defrost heater down into the drain is too short. It also migrates away from the drain during repeated heating (defrost) cooling cycles. If the drain stays clogged (frozen long enough, the ice/melt water will back up into the cover panel/fan assembly and create a huge mess to deal with. When that happens, it requires a day or two turned off, cleaned out and doors open to clear the ice so that it can be taken apart without destroying the cover panel. Once that is done and the drain all cleared, then a probe can be added to the heater to scavenge heat during defrost to keep the drain warm. The probe should not be tightly bonded to the heater - it will migrate if tight. Hang it lightly over the heater and let it hang several inched down the drain. Think "shepherds hook". the best material is an old thermostat sensor (zinc plated copper). A piece of aluminum or copper #12 wire will work if nothing else is available. Bing this "refrigerator drain freezing".
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:50 AM   #19
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BTW, while searching the web I ran into this.
Way too much heat will be scavenged off the defrost heater and may melt some hardware. Be cautious. Keep the probe only in light contact with the heater, 4" tail into drain, and make sure your not running the temperature below 0 degrees in freezer.
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:11 AM   #20
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At the 4 minute mark this vid shows one of the oldest issues with the modern Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag trio reefers - the "duckbill" drain air trap. It's made of rubber that gets sticky and clogged easily. Get this pee trap kit replacement for the "duckbill" -- Whirlpool part# W10619951. All pee traps do require maintenance. Clean them annually. The guy in the vid puts the same "duckbill" back on. If you leave it off, a very small amount of warm air may get into the freezer. For many, many year ref & frzr did not have any pee traps, just a straight tube going to a pan under unit. Pee traps and "duckbills" make the units slightly more efficient.
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