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Old 07-16-2019, 12:10 PM   #1
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Home type Frig in RV, Now Questionable

FYI,

When buying our Phoenix RL336 last year, it came with a residential refrigerator and inverter, I considered it was a big improvement over the gas/elect frig in our last RV, now I'm having second thoughts. The gas/elect ran for almost 10 years and never gave a problem, unlike the res/frig we have now.

Last weekend we left town for a week at the lake, frig was packed with food. Once arriving the wife asked had I activated the inverter to the frig because items in the frig seemed warmer than they should be. I checked the inverter and yes it was on, said give it some time to get cold because it was a warm day. The trip was a little over an hour and the frig has never been off since purchase, always plugged in when not in use. Well it never began to cool, so we returned home the next morning before the food spoiled.

I contacted the (H) manufacture last Wednesday, still in warranty, today is Tuesday and still no serviceperson has shown or called.

Now after some internet reading, the Question is, are these Refrigerators built for RV'ing, Designed and Constructed for Highway travel? Ours failed after only 14 months and a few thousand miles.

cruisin
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:15 PM   #2
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This is only my opinion. These are "Residential" refrigerators. They are not redesigned, not reconfigured, and not manufactured to be bounced around in a RV for 6-8 hrs, 5000 miles or whatever your travels are. These are designed to be placed in a "Home" and nothing more. It doesn't surprise me in the least that these are starting to fail more and more.
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:25 PM   #3
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I absolutely would not have a residential fridge in a camper that I moved around. If it was going to sit on a lot year around with shore power, then fine. They put them in because they are a lot cheaper and bigger than conventional electric/propane models. I'll be glad when that fad runs it's course. Too many problems.
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:29 PM   #4
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Im confused. Your post says it has always been on and never been unplugged. Why would it not already be cold if it was always on and always plugged in?
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:00 PM   #5
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I would pull the fridge out and check to see if there is power to the plug and make sure the battery switch is on. Then pull the fridge and see if there is power to the plug. Our inverter looked like it was on but was not letting power go through to the inlet
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:10 PM   #6
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Does the light come on when you open the door? We have had one for 13 months and love it.

So far.
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:16 PM   #7
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Did you try and bypass the inverter? Just rinse an extension cord from the power source directly to the fridge.
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:17 PM   #8
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That should be run an extension cord.
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:23 PM   #9
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Smile Home type Frig in RV, Now Questionable

We have a Whirlpool refrigerator and overall has worked good, until about a month before the 1 year owning our camper. Called Whirlpool and they sent
a repair person out within a day or 2. The fan had mostly stopped working, replaced the fan and it is working great! ( located in the freezer) I have no problem with a residential....
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:26 PM   #10
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Residential Frig in LaCross TT

I have one in my camper for over 3 years now. We are retired and travel 6k miles per year. Not a single glitch! I did modify my one ton with a 6ga charging wire to the TT batteries. This wire is protected on both ends with a 50A circuit breaker. When the truck is running, the dual 12v TT batteries are charging. I ran a second connector on the bumper for this purpose! the connector is a portable winch connector. It snaps in place and has never became unplugged during our travels. The TT batteries remain fully charged and the inverter in the trailer plays well with my setup! I do have a continuous duty 12v solenoid under the hood that allows me to open the circuit if stopping for lunch or fuel, even though my diesel truck has two batteries itself! Love my French door, bottom freezer SS residential refrigerator!
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:30 PM   #11
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one of the most common problems is that people turn on the inverter (which in my rv the inverter light goes on ) but they forget to turn on the battery power to the inverter we have had ours for 3 years no and no problems
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:33 PM   #12
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RV Frig

I had residential refrigerators in the last 2 RVís without a problem. I have an Insignia refrigerator in my current RV and it stopped working on my third trip within 3 months of ownership. Aside from it not working, the Geek Squad could not repair it because it is likely the compressor and they are not qualified to replace the compressor. From there, it is a dead end because the appliance manufacturer really does not know how to deal with RVís and you are on your own from there. I would put an RV refrigerator in next time and purchase it from my RV dealer.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:14 PM   #13
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I have had a residential fridge in my Heritage Glen for 3 years. we have had over 10k miles and no problems. I love the added size.. Took me a while to catch on to putting the spring loaded bars inside to keep the food from sliding around while traveling.. but now it is perfect
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:18 PM   #14
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Here is my experience: I have a residential refrigerator in my 5er and it runs fine as long as my batteries are up or I am hooked up to 110. When connected to 110 it is not using the inverter, only when 110 is lost does it go on the inverter - when driving down the road. When I first start a trip all is good because my 2 deep cycle batteries are sufficient, but when the batteries discharge to below a certain point (11.5V) the inverter shuts down by design. I have a Dodge Ram Diesel with dual batteries and dual high output alternators, but my truck still only provides a trickle charge to my RV batteries when driving. A trickle charge is less than what is needed to run a residential refrigerator. In order to get more running time, I would have to add more batteries or find a way to increase the charge from the truck. Not sure you can increase the charge from the truck due to ampacity limitations of the wiring harness. Discouraging if you need to run off batteries for an extended period.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:22 PM   #15
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Two biggest reasons I love my trailer is the Auto Level and the Residential Refrigerator. The Refrigerator has not been off since May, 2016, when we got it. It runs flawlessly. It is on inverter only when in transit, sometimes up to 8 hours. Four 6V batteries and an inverter and it has never lost even one degree.


Some of them are bad, I guess.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:23 PM   #16
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residential refrigerator in 5th wheel is going on 5 years.
residential refrigerator for home failed within 2 years and had to be replaced. at least the extended warranty refunded the purchase price.

i cannot prove this but i very strongly suspect the home refrigerator was a victim of a nearby lightning strike. trailer has EMS and surge protection. house now has whole house surge protector installed.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:33 PM   #17
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My family has been in the kitchen business for 70 years.

As to refrigerators they are not built like thy used to be. They are somewhat fragile at best. Smaller components. More efficient.

If you want the old fashioned kind that is built like a tank they are available for $10,000. That is not what is in your rv.

The only for sure is that they are cheaper than a larger rv gas /electric. My 13 cu ft unit is $2500. 21cu ft residential refrigerators are available for $800.

Worst case a residential fridge will not make the night on an inverter.

For folks that do not travel much residential fridges are great. Running a #6 wire from the tv to the tt is a good plan.

A residential refrigerator is a heat pump that also heats up your rv while running. Another disadvantage.

Get what suits you best. We traveled about 7,000 miles last year.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:41 PM   #18
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We have dual 12v batteries and factory wiring on the TV. we’ve traveled over 36 hours, 20 towing and 16 walmarting, and batteries showed full charge when we arrive at first campground.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:41 PM   #19
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5 years, 100,000 miles thru the U.S., Canada, and Alaska and 'narry a problem with our 'residential' fridge... I don't think there is a dime's difference in 'how' one is 'built' versus the other, especially if you've ever dismantled either one to find little difference...

our sons also have a camper, which we tow, which came with a RV fridge... couldn't stand it's lack of space, and it's 'cooling' effectiveness. Changed it out with a much large CF 'apartment' fridge, which runs on 120v, and have been very, very happy. For the little 'travel' time, it's no big deal between when it's plugged up, and when it's not. ICE is a simple answer to keeping a big 'cooler', well, cool, while traveling.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:54 PM   #20
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also, have you compared the prices between 'RV fridges', and regular ones...my goodness!!! I'll stick with a good 'ol household type fridge....
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