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Residential Refrigerator Upgrade

The New Fridge

The New Fridge

UPDATE (1/10/2014): Here’s a comparison between a Dometic NDR1292 (12 cf) and a NDR1062 (10 cf).

After umpteen attempts (see our former fridge projects) to keep the temperature cold — and safe — in our Dometic NDR1292 absorption fridge, we finally threw in the towel as the Dometic fridge temps kept hovering in the mid-40s F.

In order to keep food safe, a refrigerator’s temp should remain at 40 degrees or below.

C’est la vie.

As I am beyond the heavy lifting stage of home repair, I solicited a number of RV forums for recommendations on RV service centers.

We settled on Master Tech RV in Elkhart, IN for $2500 ($2000 for labor & $500 for the new fridge).

The new fridge is a 11.7 cf Whirlpool WRT111SFA. While we would have liked more cubic feet (like one of those Samsung French Door models), we really didn’t have much choice. Since there is a propane furnace beneath the refrigerator cabinet, there was no way we could install a much larger fridge without moving the furnace — a really expensive project.

Residential Fridge Planner (click to open PDF)

Residential Fridge Planner (click to open PDF)

We arrived at Master Tech on a Tuesday and left on Friday.

In that time they removed the old fridge through our living room window, brought the new fridge in through that window, replaced the rotted wood floor in the fridge compartment, fabricated a pantry (an option we wanted), rerouted a plumbing vent, put in a new electrical outlet, and installed the new Whirlpool.

Southco SC-4320 Latch

Southco SC-4320 Latch

Finally, they installed latches on both the freezer and fridge doors to prevent them from opening while we’re traveling. So far so good.

On the other hand, Master Tech installers got dirt all over our new carpeting, cracked a Corian countertop, and mis-matched wood stain on the fridge trim and pantry door.

However, they cleaned our carpeting, sent our countertop out for repair, and said the wood stain would darken to match the other wood in two weeks.

The cleaning and repair are great, but I’ll be watching for that wood to darken.

Here are the installation photos . . .

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Until a few days ago, I was keeping track of the freezer and fridge temperatures with two, dial thermometers that I placed inside each compartment. These dial thermometers often fell off and it was a pain in the butt to keep opening the fridge to read the temps.

Solution: Chaney Wireless Dual Fridge Thermometer

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. nancy j #

    Hola Tomas,Jan & puppies,

    It sounds like you’re enjoying it all. The campgrounds you’ve picked out look very good. The fridge also looking good. How are dogs doing with the different camping areas? Are you able to explore any nearby towns?

    Keep on truckin’, love, nancy j

    September 9, 2013
  2. Sebastian Trost #

    I’m about to replace my fridge in preparation for full timing. How has the whirlpool worked out in the last 7months? We’re just up the way in Vegas (for now…). Thanks! Seb T (RV164 on IRV2)

    August 8, 2014
    • We’ve been living in our park model (not our RV) since April but up until then the Whilrpool was working fine.

      August 8, 2014
  3. Seb T #

    Thanks for the quick reply! I’ve been reading up for a few months and will probably be doing the install in a couple weeks. Looks a lot easier to not have to lower the floor. I cannot fit the Samsung, either.

    August 8, 2014

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