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Old 12-07-2020, 10:07 AM   #1
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RV Fridge or Residential

Hi All-

After much research, and your help, we are close to pulling the trigger on an Eagle 319MLOK. Best combo of weight, length and features for us.

The last decision is the religious one about fridge type. We will be camping in the midwest during summers. I've seen a lot of comments pro and con for both types of fridges. We don't really need a giant fridge, so the 12-13CF RV fridge is big enough.....however, we're seeing that they don't necessarily cool as well.

Also on the other side, we're hearing the residential fridges can be more prone to vibration types of breakdowns. That 319RLOK has a rear kitchen, so this fridge will get some vibration.

Yet the residential fridges cool well, are spacious, and maybe good for resale value.

Do any of your experienced types have any good real world advice for us???

Thanks for your help as always!!!! 2021 camp season cannot get here soon enough!
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:25 AM   #2
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My 17 Northpoint 375 has a residential fridge in it and we've had no issues with it. Living in Michigan we have some of the worst roads around. I think the newer trailers have Whirlpool where mine is a Fridgidare. Our fridge is located right over the axles so I think that location would be more vibration vs the rear of the trailer that would end up with more up and down bounce. Our fridge is programmable and has the water/ice in the door too.
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:41 AM   #3
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Your decision should include whether you intend on camping without 120 volt electricity. You may need a fridge that works on propane.
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:43 AM   #4
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Residential fridges have been in use for years, particularly with the high end rigs. I doubt vibrations and bouncing are issues. We never had any trouble with the SAMSUNG in our PINNACLE and I bounced it down the road for about 25,000 miles.
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:47 AM   #5
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We have a 2017 355MBQS with the residential fridge, have traveled to every state west of the Mississippi with it, it is the one thing we have not had issues with. We don't really boondock but with our propane generator and 2 deep cycle batteries I feel we could. Traveled Washington state to Ohio this past summer, drove straight thru except for a few hours in a Walmart parking lot in Wyoming, no problems with the batteries or fridge running the entire time. Don't think I could go back to a propane.
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Old 12-07-2020, 11:09 AM   #6
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We have a 2020 Eagle 319 MLOK with the RV fridge...a Dometic and we like it. We camped this summer in 100+ deg heat and the fridge stayed under 38 deg temp and no melted ice cream. There is a lot of bounce in the back of the 319 and I felt the rv fridge would work better for us. You have to get yourself familiar with proper closing of the doors....as in be sure the center flap is closed. Ours seems to have been installed correctly and doesn't take long for initial cooldown.
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Old 12-07-2020, 11:11 AM   #7
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Depends on your camping type. If you boon you will need LP. If you spend long hours on the road, you will need plenty of battery power to keep the a residential fridge going, solar wouldn't hurt either.

Rv fridges have been used forever. The only time they have cooling issues is a failed item or the factory didn't install it correctly, especially in slide outs. It's mostly incorrect factory installation. I've only ever had RV fridges and rarely had an issue and never had any cooling issues. I boone a lot so I have to have an RV fridge. Trailer sometimes sits a week in a field with no hooks unattended. Fridge runs on LP just fine. A residential fridge would need plenty of battery and solar power to run a week with no hooks.

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Old 12-07-2020, 11:56 AM   #8
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Love the residential frig and would never go back to propane. Cools very fast, makes ice and love the extra room. I have towed approx 6k miles with no problems. As far as the batteries, I have dual batteries and have towed for 8 hours with no issues. Your truck will also put power to the batteries When traveling if wired correctly
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Old 12-07-2020, 04:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RipinSC View Post
Love the residential frig and would never go back to propane. Cools very fast, makes ice and love the extra room. I have towed approx 6k miles with no problems. As far as the batteries, I have dual batteries and have towed for 8 hours with no issues. Your truck will also put power to the batteries When traveling if wired correctly
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Old 12-07-2020, 04:28 PM   #10
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To me it really comes down to your camping style. Residential Frigs need 120V AC power to work. A really good battery bank and an inverter, might get you through 24 hours (maybe).

Propane, uses a little bit of 12V power for the controls, and the propane for the cooling aspect.

If you have a generator, you an use it to top off the batteries a couple times a day.

What I understand, the inverts need more power than what the TV can provide, so as you drive, it will drain down your onboard battery bank.

Happy Camping
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Old 12-07-2020, 04:31 PM   #11
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Residential fridges have been in use for years, particularly with the high end rigs. I doubt vibrations and bouncing are issues. We never had any trouble with the SAMSUNG in our PINNACLE and I bounced it down the road for about 25,000 miles.
I agree with Grumpy. Our 2015 36KPTS also came with a Samsung 18 cu ft residential refrigerator that has been over 15000 trouble free miles. I really don't think you will have much in the way of issues from the vibration. As many others have chimed in if you are going to boondock a lot you may want to go the other way.
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Old 12-07-2020, 04:35 PM   #12
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I really like our residential fridge. Works great. Cools off super fast when I pick it up from storage. Weíve done 10 hr drives in hot temps without issue. Iíve got 2 6 volt batts, but we did it with the stock 12v batts as well. Only issue is the boondocking as mentioned above. Iíve got a champion gen thatíll run that and one AC without issue if need be. Iíd imagine though that minus the gen, it could easily make it overnight and a little more if a certain 10 year old didnít stand there with the door open making choices.
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Old 12-07-2020, 06:47 PM   #13
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I found this video very interesting about residential refrigerators in RVs.

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Old 12-07-2020, 08:40 PM   #14
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Interesting video, but the issue of taking the slideout out just to get the fridge out goes back on the trailer manufacturer. To me, that didnt look like a jayco model. My Northpoint has an entry door large enough to get the fridge out. Of course you have to take the doors off the fridge to get it out, but show me a residential home that you dont have to do that. I delivered a lot of fridges back in the day, and the amount of fridges we DIDN'T have to take the doors off could be counted on one hand. Pretty much EVERY fridge we had to take the doors off of it, WHICH DOES NOT VOID THE WARRANTY, and most of the time we were taking the doors off the hinges of the customers house.
And IF you have to take the slide out to get the fridge out, I'd bet you have to take the slide out to get the seating furniture out of it too.
I'd much rather have to replace a residential fridge vs an RV fridge. Much cheaper.
I really doubt my residential fridge was made to the size of the hole it sits in inside the slideout. If you have to replace it, you dont get one larger than the the hole it fits in. Here's an idea, let's get a fridge for our house that's thicker, wider and taller than the old one. Now we have to raise cabinets, or cut the bottoms down, that are mounted over the fridge, make the hole wider for the new one by cutting the countertops and narrowing the cabinets, having to move walls,.....
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Old 12-08-2020, 07:28 AM   #15
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My 20 Pinnacle has an outside access door to the back of the fridge. Hopefully that would eliminate the need for removal for most repairs. Do the newer Eagles also have the access door? I think the door was introduced on the 20 models, at least for the Pinnacles. We didn't really look at a NP or Eagle.
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Old 12-08-2020, 07:35 AM   #16
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Slides do not need to be removed. You remove the doors off the frig at it will fit thru the entrance door. Removing and replacing any RV frig is not an easy task.
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Old 12-08-2020, 07:54 AM   #17
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My 20 Pinnacle has an outside access door to the back of the fridge. Hopefully that would eliminate the need for removal for most repairs. Do the newer Eagles also have the access door? I think the door was introduced on the 20 models, at least for the Pinnacles. We didn't really look at a NP or Eagle.

Ď19 Eagle here.... no exterior access panel. Would be nice for peace of mind. Getting mine out would be tricky due to the island. Maybe without doors, itíll scoot around it though. Hopefully I donít need to find out in the near future.
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Old 12-08-2020, 10:45 AM   #18
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Would never go back

After owning travel trailers and a number motorhomes with the RV refrigerators, and now our North Point with a residential unit, I will never go back to an RV style fridge.

We put some long miles going from Seattle to Dallas and back this year and no issues. Stores more food, easier to regulate the temperature and no issues with our over 12000 plus miles on the road in the past year.

We added 4 Six Volt batteries and have a portable generator if needed for back up. So far not needed.

Just like any RV, make sure your refrigerator doors are secured, other wise you will find 18 cubic feet of food on the floor!
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Old 12-08-2020, 06:28 PM   #19
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My fridge is not cold and how do you light the furnace
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Old 12-09-2020, 08:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breckenridge2003 View Post
Hi All-

After much research, and your help, we are close to pulling the trigger on an Eagle 319MLOK. Best combo of weight, length and features for us.

The last decision is the religious one about fridge type. We will be camping in the midwest during summers. I've seen a lot of comments pro and con for both types of fridges. We don't really need a giant fridge, so the 12-13CF RV fridge is big enough.....however, we're seeing that they don't necessarily cool as well.

Also on the other side, we're hearing the residential fridges can be more prone to vibration types of breakdowns. That 319RLOK has a rear kitchen, so this fridge will get some vibration.

Yet the residential fridges cool well, are spacious, and maybe good for resale value.

Do any of your experienced types have any good real world advice for us???

Thanks for your help as always!!!! 2021 camp season cannot get here soon enough!
I have a 321RSTS 2017 unit, I have put 0n it about 18,000 miles, from FL to Alberta Canada to Maine etc, we ordered the residential side by side, no problems with the fridge working , but you will need a healthy battery bank, and not car batteries, T-105's or even better Lithium, and if you travel a lot, a Sterling Battery to Battery Charger would be even smarter choice , and if you want to go over the top Lithium Phosphate - like Battle - Born Battery's even better with solar, now that being said-- I have took out the residential fridge, and relocated it made more space for the kitchen, and down sized to half the size and love it, plenty of space for the 2 of us for sure, the weight of the residential fridge caused problems in for the slide, lot more to that story.....so I relocated the smaller fridge between the frame rails just forward of the kitchen slide---happy camper--- heres some photos. And yes you can in this model 5th wheel take the fridge out, I did it by myself-- it fit no problem threw the camper door-- just take everything off the unit---its now at our home doubling as a second fridge--and yes I have solar--but just 400 watts, and this little fridge with just 400 watts of solar only producing 250 ish daily this time of yr, lasted 14 days un hooked--so I am in good shape--and if I was traveling down the road--the sterling battery charger would also charge the battery bank.
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