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Old 11-10-2021, 11:50 PM   #1
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Default Replacing fridge in a Roadtrek 200

The fridge in our '01 200V kicked the bucket with a big puff of ammonia. So far as we can tell, the only aperture the fridge fits through is the front passenger door. Removing it wasn't fun. I am going to borrow my neighbor tomorrow for additional muscle power to lift the new fridge in. We have a Norcold 412 ready to install. So far as I can tell it is an exact dimensional match to the old Dometic. Wriggling it through the door will be the proof.

My question: Is there a magic way to get the new fridge in easily? Coils up, or down, or facing forward, etc?

And how were these vans built? How and when was the fridge installed? I thought the fiberglass body was attached to the chassis and the interior built inside the body. How did they get the fridge inside?

Bill
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Old 11-11-2021, 12:06 AM   #2
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Yup, right front passenger door. I did remove the interior trim from the door in addition to the seat, it helped quite a bit. I can't remember pulling the dog house cover but we may have.

We replaced the Dometic in our '00 with another Dometic. The new one performed very well, maintaining a 70* spread from ambient if required if we mostly stayed out of it(quick openings for beer excepted).

Sorry, can't remember the orientation when installing, though it wasn't too bad with the door panel removed, and obviously the seat.
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Old 11-11-2021, 03:51 AM   #3
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Oy, I hadn't considered taking off the door trim and removing the seat. The arm rest on the door was a significant obstacle. I guess I have some prep to do before my neighbor comes over tomorrow.

By dog house do you mean the engine cover? That did not seem to be in the way.

There are no direct Dometic replacements now. The Norcold appears aimed at that niche.
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Old 11-11-2021, 07:44 AM   #4
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I replaced my Dometic in my 2000C200V about a month ago. I can't remember if I turned the passenger seat. I may have turned it so the seat back was toward the center of the van and tilted it as far as it would go. I remember trying just to tilt it all the way back with it facing forward.
I do remember that we had to turn it on one side and lower the leading end as we went out the door. We didn't remove any of the van parts. You must remove the refrigerator door before it will fit out of the van door.
it's a close fit, but we didn't scrape against anything on the way out. If you are worried about that you could wrap a blanket around it, but that will make it harder to handle. There's not much to hold on to.
-Joe
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Old 11-11-2021, 10:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbill View Post
Oy, I hadn't considered taking off the door trim and removing the seat. The arm rest on the door was a significant obstacle. I guess I have some prep to do before my neighbor comes over tomorrow.

By dog house do you mean the engine cover? That did not seem to be in the way.

There are no direct Dometic replacements now. The Norcold appears aimed at that niche.
Thinking back, I did not remove engine cover.

The seat is easy.

I do not recall having to remove the fridge door.

The door panel is a bit futzy, try finding a Utube for it. It lifts up to release from the door frame so none of those one time Christmas tree holders to deal with.

BTW, if considering better speakers for the doors this would be a good time to do it with one panel already removed.

interesting that Dometic dropped that model.
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Old 11-11-2021, 09:01 PM   #6
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Removing the refrigerator door made it much easier to get the new fridge into the van. The door has to come off anyway to insert the trim panel, so that was no extra work and trivial anyway.

But I have to retract my statement that a Norcold 410/412 is an exact dimensional replacement for a Dometic RM2453. The Norcold is taller! It doesn't fit!

Dometic's published cabinet height is 36 9/16". However the fridge actually fits a 35 3/4" tall cabinet and that is the size of the cabinet Roadtrek built for it. The Norcold is 36 1/2" tall.

The RV dealer we worked with to get the Norcold is researching shorter fridges. But I don't want a significantly smaller fridge. Now that the Norcold has been wrestled into the van I am inclined to rebuild the top of the cabinet to accomodate it. The body of the fridge fits into the cabinet just fine. The extra tall part is the control panel. The panel is not very deep. I just need to trim out an inch or so of the top of the cabinet for the fridge to slide home. The fridge's face flange lines up with the top of the cabinet. Then I can cover the cutaway in the cabinet top with a piece of maple.
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Old 11-12-2021, 01:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbill View Post
Removing the refrigerator door made it much easier to get the new fridge into the van. The door has to come off anyway to insert the trim panel, so that was no extra work and trivial anyway.

But I have to retract my statement that a Norcold 410/412 is an exact dimensional replacement for a Dometic RM2453. The Norcold is taller! It doesn't fit!

Dometic's published cabinet height is 36 9/16". However the fridge actually fits a 35 3/4" tall cabinet and that is the size of the cabinet Roadtrek built for it. The Norcold is 36 1/2" tall.

The RV dealer we worked with to get the Norcold is researching shorter fridges. But I don't want a significantly smaller fridge. Now that the Norcold has been wrestled into the van I am inclined to rebuild the top of the cabinet to accomodate it. The body of the fridge fits into the cabinet just fine. The extra tall part is the control panel. The panel is not very deep. I just need to trim out an inch or so of the top of the cabinet for the fridge to slide home. The fridge's face flange lines up with the top of the cabinet. Then I can cover the cutaway in the cabinet top with a piece of maple.
I had to remove the bottom runners on the replacement, the old one did not have them installed either.
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Old 11-13-2021, 11:15 PM   #8
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This refrigerator does not have any removable parts on the bottom.

My idea for modifying the top of the cabinet worked out. Pics attached.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20211112_125246.jpg (101.4 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg 20211113_142553.jpg (117.7 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg 20211113_160331.jpg (94.4 KB, 28 views)
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Old 11-14-2021, 12:18 AM   #9
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Looks good.
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Old 11-14-2021, 10:36 AM   #10
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Nice install.
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Old 11-18-2021, 04:13 PM   #11
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I just went electric. No more worrying about level. Way cheaper.
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Old 11-18-2021, 09:29 PM   #12
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Stinky what did you install.
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Old 11-19-2021, 02:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinky View Post
I just went electric. No more worrying about level. Way cheaper.
Have never had a problem with level owning this van 20 years.

The overriding criterion was direct replacement with minimum fuss. It didn't quite work out that way, but close enough. With 3-way there is no additional demand on the battery when boondocking. Switching to a compressor fridge might require upgrading the battery, not to mention more extensive cabinetry work. These are not issues I want to delve into since we are on the verge of selling the van.
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Old 11-19-2021, 11:21 AM   #14
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I find the organization of posts and replies on the site confusing. That said someone asked what I installed. The cubby that the old Dometic lived in will fit many small fridges on the market in the 3 to 4 cubic foot range. Lots of them for $200 +-. I found a Whirlpool that works nice. Hold it's temperature w/o fluctuating much. Quiet. The door doesn't fly open. I have 200 Amps of lithium and I can run the van for 4 daze w/o recharging. I may be unusual in my power consumption profile. No microwave. No coffee maker.
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