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Topic: All about the Magic Chef MCBR1010 refrigerator

Posted By: knightstar on 09/08/08 12:42am

... or as much as I have been able to determine...

Magic Chef Refrigerator, Model MCBR1010GS

Today (Saturday, 9 Sep 2008), I finally got the time to remove the box and packing material from the Magic Chef Refrigerator (the “MCR”) I purchased about 10 days ago.

Since some members here have voiced their concern about the power usage of this MCR, I want to find out just how power hungry this 120-volt AC refrigerator really is, or is not. I plugged an extension cord into an outlet in the garage and a Kill-A-Watt into the extension cord. I set the Kill-A-Watt to the “volts setting and verified the voltage was just slightly over 120. I then set the Kill-A-Watt to the “amps” setting. At 1 pm, I plugged the refrigerator into the Kill-A-Watt. The results are as follows:
1. An amps reading of 9.43 flashed on the screen, only momentarily. If I had not been watching the screen of the Kill-A-Watt, I would have missed this reading.
2. The screen showed an amps reading of 1.26 for a very short time, possibly only a few seconds.
3. The screen amps reading then varied from a low of 0.83 to a high of 1.05 for the next three minutes.
4. About 10 minutes later, the screen amps reading varied from a low of 0.91 to a high of 0.99 amps.
5. At 2 pm (one hour from startup), the screen amps reading varies from 0.70 to 0.73.
6. At 2:30 pm, the screen amps reading varies from 0.70 to 0.73.
7. At 3:00 pm, the MCR is running at 0.68 amps, with occasional excursions to 0.67 amps.
8. At 3:30 pm, the MCR continues to run at 0.68 amps, with occasional excursions to 0.67 amps.
9. At 4:00 pm, the MCR continues to run at 0.67 amps, till I got tired of watching the Kill-A-Watt.
10. At 4:30 pm, the MCR continues to run at 0.65 amps, till I got tired of watching the Kill-A-Watt.
11. At 4:45 pm, the is not running. It is drawing 0.04 amps. It has consumed 0.30 kilowatts.

OK, per the Kill-A-Watt, the MCR has operated for 3.75 hours and consumed 0.30 kilowatts of power at 120 volts, AC. Ambient temperature in my garage, where the MCR has been standing for the last 10 days, was about 75 degrees F when I connected it to AC power, and about 85 degrees F when I checked it at 4:45 pm. I haven’t yet purchased thermometers for this refrigerator, so I don’t know the inside temperatures, but I did set them at three-quarters of the way to the coldest setting. (I do have a thermometer in the motorhome, but it’s 91 degrees F outside and my body no longer performs well over 85 degrees F, so in the motorhome it stays, for now.)

12. Saturday evening: When running, the MCR continues to consume 0.68 to 0.71 amps.
13. Sunday morning: When running, the MCR continues to consume 0.68 to 0.71 amps.
14. At 1 pm, after 24 hours of operation, the MCR has consumed 1.22 kilowatts.
15. At 5 pm, after 28 hours of operation, the MCR has consumed 1.46 kilowatts.
End of test.

While I might well have missed a shut-down/startup cycle during the first four hours of operation (startup from ambient temperature) of the MCR, let’s just assume it was running the entire time. Since I would always perform a day-before-packing startup from ambient temperature with the motorhome plugged into its electrical circuit at home, it would seem appropriate to calculate the MCR’s electrical usage of 120 volts based on the 24-hour period after the first 4-hour startup period. Therefore, I would calculate the kilowatts as 1.46 kilowatts minus 0.30 kilowatts, which results in 1.16 kilowatts used for the 24-hour period. If I am not missing something in my calculation, it seems to me that’s an average usage of really close to 50 watts per hour.

Operating the MCR with an inverter doesn’t seem to me to be a problem, battery-wise. While the motorhome’s engine is running, the house batteries are being charged. If we overnight without being plugged into electrical power, I believe my three Trojan SCS225 batteries can handle the power requirements of the inverter/refrigerator circuit.

If we were not connected to electrical power for one night, or if we were boondocking for more than one night, we would need to run the generator if we wished to cook food on the stove. Yep, we have an electric stove. Am I worried about the amount of diesel fuel used by the generator? No, not particularly. The motorhome carries two 50-gallon fuel tanks.

Steve


Posted By: knightstar on 09/08/08 12:42am

OK, now let’s consider the mounting of this MCR.

When I looked at the Magic Chef in Home Depot, there was a cover sticking out 1.5 inches from the back of the MCR, with the compressor mounted just below, and under the back, of the refrigerator. It looked to me like the condenser coils were placed in this area. In another thread on this subject, Hurricaner (Sam from Hurricane, Utah) stated the condenser coils were in the sides of this refrigerator. Since I had already noticed, while the MCR was running in my garage, that the back and top of this refrigerator felt cold, while the sides felt warm, I grabbed a flashlight, laid down behind the back of the MCR and looked up at the copper tubing connections from the compressor. Here’s what I saw:
1. The copper tubing from the compressor disappears up, vertically, at the sides of the back of the refrigerator, with what appears to be the main connection on the right side (from the rear, the left side from the front).
2. When I say “disappears”, I mean everything is sealed at the back of this refrigerator. I can see a small amount of foam insulation poking out along parts of the seams.
3. Although the MCR’s operating manual says to clean the condenser coils, there are no condenser coils outside of the body of the refrigerator to be cleaned. (Well, that’s a plus, as I was wondering how I would clean the coils once the refrigerator was mounted in the motorhome.)

Later, I spent about 10 minutes checking the back, top, and sides of the MCR after it had turned “on”. The top part of the back, as well as the top, of the refrigerator stays cold. When I say “cold”, I mean it’s cooler than just touching cool metal. The sides, compared to the back and top, are warm. When I say “warm”, I mean not as cool as I had expected the sides to be. (I sure do need an infrared thermometer.) There’s a spot on the side (right from the rear, left from the front) about 12-inches in diameter, with its center about 1/3 of the way from the back, and its bottom about even with the top of the refrigerator compartment, where it’s just slightly (very slightly) warmer than the rest of the upper side of the refrigerator. If this is the heat given off by the condenser coils, this heat is a non-issue as far as I am concerned.

Oh, yeah, the depth of the MCR, from the back plate to the front edge of the unit is 24 inches. The doors add 3 inches at their center, their widest part. (The doors are curved.)

Steve


Posted By: knightstar on 09/08/08 12:43am

Now for the last question: Will the MCR run on the Tripp Lite inverter that Gdetrailer is using?

I cannot answer that until I receive the inverter, hook it up to the batteries, and connect the MCR to the inverter.

More to follow…

Steve


Posted By: knightstar on 09/08/08 12:43am

There’s just a little more info I wish to provide: my real reason for replacing the Dometic 2-way refrigerator with the Magic Chef refrigerator:

Although I wasn’t really happy with the cooling capabilities of the Dometic refrigerator, in checking with Dometic’s customer service, it would seem it’s not the fault of the Dometic refrigerator. Dometic’s customer service rep told me every time the refrigerator door was opened, it would take an hour to recover. We have this (now 3 1/2 year old) little girl. She wants water, then chocolate milk, then a carrot (She’ll eat two bites.), then a muffin (another two bites), then more chocolate milk, ad infinitem. (I stop a lot. I always feel good about a trip if we are averaging 45 miles an hour.)

No, I just lived with the cooling problem as it really wasn’t all that bad.

However, one other problem has really been bothering me. Every time I go to RV.net to look at the Tech Issues forum, I see these stickies threads about refrigerator recalls. Someone we know lost their travel trailer to a refrigerator fire. And then there’s the thread about fighting RV fires. That did it. Our daughter is just so precious to us, I decided the Dometic would be replaced with an electric-only refrigerator.

So, for those of you who might be considering posting a comment about how the MCR might have problems operating in our motorhome… Please, don’t bother posting, because I DON’T CARE.

And for those who might be considering posting a comment about the low probability of a fire from the Dometic refrigerator… Please, don’t bother posting, because I DON’T CARE.

Steve


Posted By: robatthelake on 09/08/08 12:51am

Keep Us up to date after You get it installed and are using the inverter.


Rob & Jean
98 Dutch Star Diesel Pusher ..07 Honda CRV AWD



Posted By: randrx2 on 09/08/08 04:34am

Does the MCR have a defrost cycle?


When someone says, "I'm not book smart, I'm street smart." All I hear is, "I'm not real smart, I'm imaginary smart."


Posted By: knightstar on 09/09/08 03:26am

randrx2 wrote:

Does the MCR have a defrost cycle?

According to the circuit diagram glued to the back of the refrigerator, there is a "defrost switch", so it does have a defrost cycle.I have no idea how often the defrost cycle operates.

With my trips being a max of two weeks, I certainly don't need to have the defrost cycle operational. On the other hand, this refrigerator uses so little power, I have no real desire to open up the plastic box which I believe contains the controls.
Steve


Posted By: knightstar on 09/09/08 03:29am

In a prior post in this thread, I said the refrigerator sides did not seem particularly warm when the refrigerator was operating.

Well, it’s 11:30 pm on Monday, Sept 8, 2008, and I am up because our LittleOne cannot sleep due to a stuffed-up nose. She wants to watch “cartoonies”, so I turned on “64 Zoo Lane” for her to watch.

Since I’m not a fan of LittleOne’s cartoonies, I am working on an experiment with the Magic Chef refrigerator in my garage. Since I found the MCR generates only a small amount of heat, I wanted to be a little more precise in measuring its heat output. Then I got one of those Aha! moments: Why not, since it’s still in the garage, put the box cover back over the refrigerator, start it, and measure the temperature at the top of the box.

The experiment: I cut a piece of the box off the bottom of the back of the box to allow air movement around the compressor. I cut a piece the entire width of the back of the box and 17 inches from the bottom. This opening in the box exends 6.5 inches above the top of the compressor opening. I placed the foam protective cover over the top of the MCR, placed the box back onto the MCR, and poked a hole in the top edge of the box about midway between the front and back of the refrigerator. I took the instant-read meat probe thermometer into the garage, placed it on top of the box, and left it there to get an ambient temperature reading: 75 degrees F. I plugged the MCR into the Kill-A-Watt and left it running. The ambient temperature in the garage remained at 75 degrees F for the entire one-hour test run. (Inside the house, with the windows open, it was a “cool” 74 degrees F.) Here’s the resulting temperatures in degrees F of operating the MCR covered by its box:
1. Midnight (beginning of the test run): side = 75, top = 75
2. 12:10 am: side = 86, top = 82
3. 12:15 am: side = 91, top = 89
4. 12:20 am: side = 91, top = 89
5. 12:30 am: side = 89, top = 89
6. 12:45 am: side = 89, top = 89
7. 1:00 am: side = 87, top = 87
8. 1:10 am: side = 87, top = 87
9. 1:20 am: side = 87, top = 87

Well, that’s interesting. I expected the temperature inside the box to rise. I didn’t know if the temperature would stabilize, but I certainly didn’t expect the temperature in the box to drop. Doesn’t really matter to me. What does matter to me is my previous empirical “heat” measurements seem to be confirmed by this test run.

To reiterate, with this MCR mounted into my motorhome, with very little clearance on the sides and top (way less than specified by the manufacturer), generates so little heat that it’s a non-issue for me.

I am really much more impressed by this 120-volt only refrigerator than I was when I purchased it.
Steve


Posted By: knightstar on 09/15/08 02:37am

It’s now after midnight, Sunday night, which really makes it Monday morning. I had hoped to have tried running the refrigerator with the Tripp Lite inverter by now, but PC Nation screwed up my order by shipping the inverter via FedEx Ground, rather than FedEX 3-day service. (That’s the third time PC nation has done that; thank you so very much, PC Nation.)

I did, however, receive the Mastercool infrared thermometer on Friday from Amazon, a week earlier than expected. Using the Mastercool this evening (Sunday evening), I plugged in the Magic Chef and recorded the temperatures of the unit while it operated from 8:40 pm to 10:00 pm. (I actually began the measurements at 8:30 pm, but it took me 10 minutes to make, and record, the first measurements. For the first three sets of measurements, I recorded temperatures to the tenth of a degree Farenheit. After that, I just rounded to the whole degree Farenheit. In writing this summary, I have also rounded the temperature measurements to the whole degree Farenheit, even if recorded to the tenth of a degree F. I recorded seven sets of temperatures between 8:40 and 10:00 pm, but not every 10 minutes as first planned, as it was taking six minutes to make each set of measurements.

The results of the temperature measurements were, well, unexpected. Since I had not operated the refrigerator for a week, I expected the sides, back, and top to register the same, i.e. ambient, temperature on all surfaces. That’s definitely not what the Mastercool infrared temperature unit measured as I selected different areas on the sides, back, and top to measure. So here’s the temperature measurements results:

For the top, I first measured in a 3x3 grid across the top. After the third measurement set, and because the temperatures didn’t vary by more than a degree, I just recorded one temperature. The top measured 80, 80, 81, 79, 78, 76, and 75 degrees F. No heat issues for the top.

For the back, I first measured in three spots, from one side to the other side, and from the bottom, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and the top of the back (a 3x5 grid). Since the temperature variances were so small, I only measured at the bottom and the top of the back after the third set of measurements. The back measured (bottom/top) 75/79, 75/79, 75/78, 76/77, 76/77, 76/75, 77/75. No heat issues for the back.

For the left side (from the back), I first measured in three spots, from the back to the front, and from the bottom, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and the top of the left side (a 3x5 grid). But here’s where the temperature measurements get interesting. I attempted to make each measurement at 12-inches from the surface and in the same place each time. Since the Mastercool is measuring a 1-inch in diameter circle at this distance, being off slightly in where I measured made a difference in the measurements, so for the first six measurement sets I took two measurements at each point in the grid. The bottom of the left side measured 73/73, 78/92, 91/95, 92/93, 88/92, 86/87, and 86. One-quarter of the way from the bottom measured so close to half-way up that I quit recording these temps. One-half way up measured 78/76, 95/95, 92/93, 90/90, 90/90, 90/90, 83/83. Three-quarters of the way from the bottom measured so close to half-way up that I quit recording these temps. The top measured 83/80, 83/83, 87/90, 90/93, 91/91, 90/90, 82/82. From startup to one hour and ten minutes later, the temperatures on the left side rise about 20 degrees F, then fall to about 12 degrees above the startup temperature.

For the right side (from the back), I first measured in three spots, from the back to the front, and from the bottom, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and the top of the left side (a 3x5 grid). As with the left side, here’s where the temperature measurements also get interesting. As with the left side, I attempted to make each measurement at 12-inches from the surface and in the same place each time. Also taking two measurements at approximately the same point, I found the right side did not have significant variances, EXCEPT FOR ONE SMALL AREA. Near the back, and about 12 inches from the bottom is an area that gets HOT just after startup and remains hot about one hour before it cools slightly. This area is only about two inches in diameter and you need to move your hand around the surface of this area to find it because it’s easy to miss with the Mastercool’s 1-inch circle in diameter measurement area. I only found this hot spot on my last measurement, so it’s the only one with two measurements. The bottom of the right side measured 72, 82, 92, 93, 90, 89, and 97/88. Notice that just off the little hot spot the temperature is 9 degrees lower. One-quarter of the way from the bottom measured 74, 84, 95, 91, 90, 88, and 87. One-half way up measured 76, 85, 95, 93, 90, 88, and 87. Three-quarters of the way from the bottom measured 79, 85, 95, 87, 87, 87, and 87. The top measured 78, 83, 87, 87, 85, 85, and 83. From startup to one hour and ten minutes later, the temperatures on the right side rise about 23 degrees F, then fall to about 15 degrees above the startup temperature EXCEPT FOR THAT LITTLE HOT SPOT.

Since the experiment with the packing box placed over the refrigerator showed the same rise and fall of the temperatures while operating, I would be very satisfied with a free space around the sides of the refrigerator as small as one-quarter inch because of the opening in the side of the motorhome at the back of the bottom of the refrigerator along with the vent in the top of the motorhome above the back of the refrigerator.

When I get the Magic Chef installed in the motorhome, I will be able to see just how much free space I have around the sides of the refrigerator.

Steve

* This post was edited 09/15/08 08:27am by knightstar *


Posted By: Gdetrailer on 09/20/08 05:46pm

Steve,

My hat is off to you! I wouldn't sweat the extra few degrees when on inverter, shouldn't be an issue, once operating temp inside the fridge is reached it should cycle as normal. I wouldn't normally start fridge on inverter anyway since it is connected to shore power at home. My main intention is to use the inverter while driving or overnighting so chances of the compressor overheating should be slim to none.

I also had observed that the compressor did not sound differently when on the inverter vs shore power. That compressor is really quiet running.

I had connected a clock to mine while testing, this allowed me to keep track of the compressor run time over a 24 hr period. The results was 7hrs of run time during every 24 hrs, keep in mind that this was with an empty fridge. In practice with a loaded fridge, the compressor actually ran much less than the empty test (didn't keep the clock connected once it was installed so this is an observation).

To set the load sense feature I used a 13W CFL light, this way the inverter will only come on when the load sense sees a load bigger than 13W. Worked like a charm, even the fridge light would turn on when the door opened. Inverter would shut down when the door was closed, that is such a cool feature. There is a slight delay when the door is opened but only very slight. The savings on battery draw is worth it.

Keep up the good work, hope you get the fridge installed soon.


Posted By: knightstar on 09/20/08 04:55pm

Testing operation using the Tripp Lite PV1250 MSW inverter:

Late Friday afternoon, Sept 19, I was finally able to run another operating temperature test on the Magic Chef refrigerator. Since a technician at a refrigerator repair facility told me the compressor was the part that got the hottest when running, I used an IR thermometer to track the temperature change of the compressor as the refrigerator was operated from a warm/cold start. By warm/cold start, I mean the refrigerator was at ambient temperature in my garage, not having been operated for about a week, and the compressor was “cold” at ambient temperature. The temperature of the compressor, at the points I tested with the IR thermometer, was 68 degrees F, rounded to the nearest whole degree.

I plugged an extension cord into a power outlet, a Kill-A-Watt into the extension cord, and the refrigerator into the Kill-A-Watt. Every ten minutes thereafter, for the next three hours, I measured the compressor’s temperature, at the center of the back of the bottom of the compressor, just below its label, using the IR thermometer held about 12 inches from that spot. Here’s the results, in degrees F, rounded to the nearest whole degree:
First hour: 87, 103, 116, 126, 132, 138
Second hour: 140, 143, 145, 147, 148, 149
Third hour: 149, 150, 151, 151, 151, 150

At the end of the third hour, that little (about 2-inch in diameter) HOT SPOT at the back of the right side (from the rear), just above the level of the cutout in the back side, measured 96 degrees F, rounded to the nearest whole degree. That’s just one degree lower than the reading for that HOT SPOT when I was reading operating temperatures of just the sides, back, and top.


OK, it’s Saturday and I’ve got everything ready to make an operating temperature test, measuring the temperature of the compressor, powered by the Tripp Lite PV1250 inverter. The inverter is located on the pavement just below the battery compartment in my motorhome. I have connected positive and negative test cables from the battery bank to the inverter. I have also attached a ground wire from the inverter to the MH chassis. I have plugged in an extension cord (Actually, I used two extension cords in series, as the MH is parked on its concrete pad in the backyard and the refrigerator is still in the garage.).

In the garage, I measured the ambient temperature of the compressor prior to applying power. The ambient temperature was 65 degrees F. I plugged the Kill-A-Watt into the extension cord, and the refrigerator into the Kill-A-Watt. The refrigerator’s compressor started up immediately and its operation sounded no different from when it was plugged into Sierra Pacific’s commercial power from its generating stations. (In my experience, Sierra Pacific’s supplied power has been really good and reliable, except for several instances of a goose flying into the power lines and one instance of a gentleman who was able to knock down a power pole with his vehicle.)

Every ten minutes, I measured the temperature of the compressor in exactly the same way as I did in Friday’s test. The results are, in degrees F, rounded to the nearest whole degree:
First hour: 85, 109, 126, 139, 148, 155

Notice that after operating for one hour on the inverter, the temperature of the compressor exceeds the temperature when the compressor ran for three hours straight on Sierra Pacific’s power. I believe someone made a post stating running a refrigerator on power from a/an MSW inverter would make the compressor run hotter than running it on shore power and that result is borne out by my testing.

This result is, for me, a non-issue as I will always power up this refrigerator, from a non-operating state, using shore power. It will run on shore power when I am parked in an RV park and it will run on the generator whenever I have to use the stove and/or microwave.

When traveling, I will run the refrigerator using power from the inverter. I don’t believe this will cause a problem as I expect the refrigerator to run for many fewer than 20 minutes each hour to maintain the “cold” settings in the refrigerator and freezer sections.

Steve


Posted By: 99damon on 09/20/08 10:19pm

Steve -- I'm contemplating replacing my Norcold with this or a similar unit. I was just now reading the instruction manual available from Magic Chef online, and it contains the following statement in BOLD type...

"This unit is not designed to be installed in an RV or used with an inverter."

I wonder what experiences (warranty maybe?) Magic Chef has had that would cause them to include this statement.

Can you shed any light? I know many others have made this replacement, and some RVs are built with residential refrigerators, so I'm not overly worried. But they broke out the bold print to discourage us RV'ers. Hmm.


Wayne
Fulltimers
1999 Damon Intruder 341


Posted By: Gdetrailer on 09/21/08 03:05pm

99damon,

I also decided to disregard the disclaimers in the manual. Basically its a coin toss, spend $1500 on a new RV fridge with 1 yr warranty that may last 4-5yrs or $300 on a household fridge void the warranty (thats what the BOLD print is about)and take a chance that it should outlast the RV fridge.

This isn't for the faint of heart, many folks on this forum have voiced their opinion of fear that I will be struck down by lightning or can't sell my RV with this type of fridge. My feeling is this, the home fridge so far has easily performed way much better than any RV fridge that I have used. If it lasts 3 yrs then it only cost $100 per yr vs $500 per yr for a RV fridge.

If I had to buy a RV fridge in order to sell my RV I would loose my shirt, not even come close to recovering the cost of the RV fridge. There has been many heated discussions but the bottom line is if it suits your lifestyle then buy a home fridge and don't sweat what others here think. If a RV fridge is your thing then buy a replacement RV fridge.

On edit, I am adding in my RV HINTS AND TIPS LINK

And my TRAILER REBUILD LINK if you would like to take a look at my rebuild.


Posted By: Hurricaner on 09/21/08 03:43pm

Gdetrailer, great job on the rebuild and the pdf file. The one thing that might be very helpful for some of these conversion guys is to go into more detail on your latch system for the reefer doors. It looks pretty trick but I don't quite understand it so I'm sure other people don't either. Maybe a few more pics.

Sam


Sam & Kari
Hurricane, Utah


2004 34' Damon Challenger 315


Posted By: Gdetrailer on 09/21/08 07:17pm

Sam,

I am currently adding some more photos to my document but not done as of yet. I will note to myself to take a few additional photos and possibly a sketch of the latch.

The latch it's self is one of those door latches you find on double doors. Mounts to the top or bottom inside and just slides up and down. I turned the latch on it's side for my use. I added a bracket and an additional button that pops up behind the latch when locked. This popup part could be ommited and the main part could be mounted on a simple block of wood. It is very simple, sturdy and fool proof.

Our old camper the fridge door latch had a habit of unlocking, once it spilled the contents on to the floor. Thats when I decided I could make a far better latch than what the RV fridges come with.


Posted By: bojumill on 09/22/08 01:36am

99damon wrote:

Steve -- I'm contemplating replacing my Norcold with this or a similar unit. I was just now reading the instruction manual available from Magic Chef online, and it contains the following statement in BOLD type...

"This unit is not designed to be installed in an RV or used with an inverter."

I wonder what experiences (warranty maybe?) Magic Chef has had that would cause them to include this statement.

Can you shed any light? I know many others have made this replacement, and some RVs are built with residential refrigerators, so I'm not overly worried. But they broke out the bold print to discourage us RV'ers. Hmm.


we put the same magic chef frig in ours about 3 years ago and it works great + Home Depot delivered it inside the motor home so i did not have to lift in the door + $299.00 is a lot better than $1500.00
Bob & Judy


Bob & Judy Miller
Pam the Watch Cat
1986 Pace Arrow


1989 Jeep Cherokee 4 wheel drive & Blue Ox Tow Bar



Posted By: SplatU on 09/22/08 08:02am

I just completed this conversion this weekend. It really went quite smoothly, though I mostly did it as a one person operation.
I had a 7 yr old Dometic 6cuft unit that lost it's coolant.
I was able to remove the old unit myself and get the cabinet all prepped for the new unit, made some final measurements and decided what model I'd go with.
With some minor surgery required to remove a couple upper trim pieces to make room for the larger fridge, the space was just right for the Magic Chef unit.
Good thing it was perfect, when I actually got the measurements on my cabinet area I was worried because it was bowed in slightly in the center. This turned out to not be a problem because the actual side to side dimensions on the Magic Chef are slightly smaller than the stated specs.
In the end, it looks great, works great,is huge compared to our previous unit, and since our TT never leaves it's site, it should fare well.


Posted By: Hurricaner on 09/22/08 08:18am

Quote:

Good thing it was perfect, when I actually got the measurements on my cabinet area I was worried because it was bowed in slightly in the center. This turned out to not be a problem because the actual side to side dimensions on the Magic Chef are slightly smaller than the stated specs.
In the end, it looks great, works great,is huge compared to our previous unit, and since our TT never leaves it's site, it should fare well.

Do you have any clearance on the sides? I'm sure you can get away with less the manufacture recommends(5") but I don't think you can get away with 0 as the sides contain the condenser.

Sam


Posted By: SplatU on 09/22/08 08:23am

Hurricaner wrote:

Quote:

Good thing it was perfect, when I actually got the measurements on my cabinet area I was worried because it was bowed in slightly in the center. This turned out to not be a problem because the actual side to side dimensions on the Magic Chef are slightly smaller than the stated specs.
In the end, it looks great, works great,is huge compared to our previous unit, and since our TT never leaves it's site, it should fare well.

Do you have any clearance on the sides? I'm sure you can get away with less the manufacture recommends(5") but I don't think you can get away with 0 as the sides contain the condenser.

Sam

Clearance on the sides is about 2" all the way up. Only the front face trim was close. I've left the roof vent and service door to help ventilate also.


Posted By: Hurricaner on 09/22/08 08:34am

Quote:

Clearance on the sides is about 2" all the way up. Only the front face trim was close. I've left the roof vent and service door to help ventilate also.
That seems to be enough to make them work. I'm sure you get some reasonable convection currents with the open back and top vent.

Sam


Posted By: wa8yxm on 09/22/08 11:48am

On the Kill-A-Watt check the following 3 numbers

First however unplug it, then plug it back in and set an alarm for 24 hours

When the alarm goes off read VA-Hours, KW-hours

At any time during operation read PF

Please post those nubers to this tread.

Thank you


Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377



Posted By: pfunk on 09/22/08 12:14pm

Awesome, I wouldt go for the 1500 replacement either. We have an residential under the counter fridge that we ussed to take camping all the time, never a problem 10 years old and still going strong,,,, Im just trying to fgure out ho to put it in one of the RV's storage compartments
The only thing I ever notice was when moving it arround, you could here the compressor bouncing (think the RV models have tighter springs maybe)


2000 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
300 Cat 6spd Ally


Posted By: Gdetrailer on 09/22/08 03:45pm

I have updated my RV HINTS AND TIPS with additional detail on how the latch is made and works. I also have added some photos of the fridge and inverter installation.

Document is 800K in size so it may take a little extra time to load.


Posted By: knightstar on 09/22/08 10:37pm

99damon wrote:

Steve -- I'm contemplating replacing my Norcold with this or a similar unit. I was just now reading the instruction manual available from Magic Chef online, and it contains the following statement in BOLD type...
"This unit is not designed to be installed in an RV or used with an inverter."
I wonder what experiences (warranty maybe?) Magic Chef has had that would cause them to include this statement.
Can you shed any light?

Hi Wayne...
I first became disenchanted with our Dometic two-way because, when running on propane, the ice cream in the freezer section would revert to a viscous liquid and leak out of the container. (The freezer section in this Dometic is so small, I had to place the ice cream container on its side.)

When I began investigating how to resolve this problem, I found the "Tech Issues" forum, which I had not looked at prior to this refrigerator problem. EVERY TIME I would go to the Tech Issues forum, I would see all those bolded thread titles, many with huge numbers of posts, about recalls of propane refrigerators due to a possible fire hazard.

We have a really cute, now 3 and a half year old little daughter. (Five pounds six ounces at birth, now at the 25th percentile height-wise, but still below the chart weight-wise.) I don't want to subject her to a motorhome fire if I can possibly avoid it.

After discovering, in the Tech Issues forum, that I could replace the propane refrigerator with an all-electric unit, I read everything I could find on the Magic Chef refrigerator I found at Home Depot. Then I purchased this particular refrigerator, tested it as best I could, and I haven't found any insurmountable problems with it.

Even if I have to replace this electric refrigerator every year, it's worth it to me to not have a propane refrigerator which just, possibly, might, under rare circumstances, cause a fire while our daughter is in the motorhome.

You could look for another electric-only refrigerator in the size you need if you are concerned about the Magic Chef.

I really hope you take the plunge because my research indicates this is a very viable replacement.
Steve


Posted By: knightstar on 09/22/08 10:50pm

wa8yxm wrote:

On the Kill-A-Watt check the following 3 numbers
First however unplug it, then plug it back in and set an alarm for 24 hours
When the alarm goes off read VA-Hours, KW-hours
At any time during operation read PF
Please post those nubers to this tread.
Thank you

Hi John...
Are you asking me, or someone who already has one installed?
If you are asking me, do you want the 24-hour test to begin AFTER the unit has been initially cooled down? (This test doesn't seem, to me, to make sense if it includes the initial 4-hour cool-down period in my garage.)
At least this test is simple. Those take-and-record every 10-minute tests were a real PITA.
Steve


Posted By: knightstar on 09/22/08 10:53pm

By the way, that Tripp Lite PV1250 is HEAVY. I didn't really pay attention to the weight, just the dimensions, when I ordered it. It weighs just short of 24 pounds. No wonder PC Nation "accidentally" shipped it ground instead of 3-day.
Steve


Posted By: airbusguy on 09/23/08 09:36am

Have you investigated why the owner's manual specifically states "not intended for inverter use", and "not for RV installation"?


Posted By: knightstar on 09/23/08 01:20pm

airbusguy wrote:

Have you investigated why the owner's manual specifically states "not intended for inverter use", and "not for RV installation"?

Hi airbusguy...
Yep, but I really don't desire to reiterate all that's been written about your question, so please read this thread in its entirety and then read this thread about replacing a propane refrigerator with an all-electric refrigerator. I believe, after you read the two referenced threads, you will find my answer, "I DON'T CARE!", is not a smart aleck answer to your above question.
Steve


Posted By: knightstar on 09/23/08 01:25pm

WOW!!! Just checked the Dometic recall list and my Dometic model NDR 1062 is, in fact, on the recall list for the latest recall from earlier this year. I am attempting to make an appointment, as I write this post, to get the recall repair completed. As soon as it's done, out comes the Dometic and on Craigslist it goes. (I wouldn't sell it without the repair being completed and I want a receipt to show the purchaser that the recall repair has been done.)
Steve


Posted By: Bonefish on 09/23/08 02:23pm

A real test would be to let you little girl open it every 10-15 minutes and get something out of it. Recording how it recovers under expected use conditions.

Bonefish






Posted By: Gdetrailer on 09/23/08 03:06pm

airbusguy writes ""not for RV installation"? "

GDE says, that is legalese to tell you that to do so will void your warranty.

Do you realize that your A/C unit is basically the same design as a home fridge?

The beauty of the home fridge is its simplicity, a compressor, some tubing, coils, thermostat, a simple fan. No crazy electronic boards, no ammonia, no gas, no puff the magic dragon.

There are better chances that these home fridges will outlast the expensive RV fridge.

To address bonefish's question, home fridges will have no problem with door opening, they stabilize very fast, get to proper cooling temps in less than a hr from a dead start.

Even better yet, no cheap $1500 plastic hinges to hold the doors one! Additionally a home fridge has a REAL TEMPERATURE ADJUSTMENT KNOB! No silly probe on the fins to make guesses as to where it needs to be.

You fire breathing RV fridge folks just plain kill me...


Posted By: The Texan on 09/23/08 03:37pm

Have been reading with interest, but now for my question. Ours is a Norcold 1200 4 door w/icemaker. Is there something out there that anyone knows about to replace it, as the MC 1010 is much smaller and being full timers, we need the larger frig.


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Where the wheels are stopped today



Posted By: Gdetrailer on 09/23/08 05:29pm

The Texan,

Well that would be a problem, assuming without searching for your model I am guessing yours is 12 Cu Ft?

There may be some 14 Cu ft home fridges but you need to do a lot of research. Basically you need to check out the fridges at your local stores. Most all will be frost free (this feature has some drawbacks), you might not be able to get a 4 door, most likely a 2 door. Ice maker may be optional in ththe small size fridges (the 1010 and clones of it don't offer icemaker.

Some issues, if you plan or need to go for several days without power the larger fidges (bigger than 10 Cu ft) may draw more power, making inverter/battery use limited or impossible. Ideally to run from an inverter the fridge current draw needs to be very low, the 1010 is about 1.8A, the Haier I used is rated 1.1A but when I measured the current it was only drawing .9A or about 90W.

If you are on a seasonal lot then who cares about the draw, shouldn't be an issue.

You will need to determine the maximum and minumum space you have to work with, some home fridges may be deeper than your current fridge.

If you like, you can take a look at a document I have been writing which has a lot of info on my conversion and some input from the forum. My RV HINTS AND TIPS LINK


Posted By: 99damon on 09/23/08 09:36pm

Knightstar / Steve -- I actually do plan to make the change, despite that sentence in the instruction book about RVs. I was mostly curious if anyone knew why Magic Chef would even insert that warning. I've never seen a "not for use in RVs" in any other consumer products -- not my flat screen TV, not my microwave.

I understand that we jiggle things around more than traditional houses, but most of us aren't four-wheeling across rutted out fields. FWIW, I've bumped small fridges on a dolly up and down stairs, dropped 'em on the ground and who knows what other abuse when I'm not looking, and they mostly run fine for many years.

So "I DON'T CARE" works for me. For me, fire worries aren't the main reason to switch, but I'm certainly not opposed to removing that risk, however small it may be percentage-wise. Thanks for all of this information.


Posted By: Hurricaner on 09/24/08 03:29am

Quote:

The beauty of the home fridge is its simplicity, a compressor, some tubing, coils, thermostat, a simple fan. No crazy electronic boards, no ammonia, no gas, no puff the magic dragon.

There are better chances that these home fridges will outlast the expensive RV fridge.

To address bonefish's question, home fridges will have no problem with door opening, they stabilize very fast, get to proper cooling temps in less than a hr from a dead start.

Even better yet, no cheap $1500 plastic hinges to hold the doors one! Additionally a home fridge has a REAL TEMPERATURE ADJUSTMENT KNOB! No silly probe on the fins to make guesses as to where it needs to be.

You fire breathing RV fridge folks just plain kill me...

The electrics have there place but lets not get carried away here. You cannot beat a Gas reefer for boondocking. They can be and are made to not use any electrical power at all and they are by far simpler than there compressor counter parts, there are no moving parts in an absorption reefer.

The problem is the idiots that make them. Absorption reefers should last 50 years and many of the older ones do. Don't blame the design for the piece's of******the manufactures proudly produce in the good old USA.

Sam


Posted By: wa8yxm on 09/24/08 11:34am

Gee... My Dometic has real hinges, A real temperature adjustment and though it does have a fancy electronic control board that is needed because it can auto-sense if I have shore power (And switch to it) and it also operates the propane safety devices and the ESI. Older units that did not have auto sense or ESI may well not have much in the way of control boards either (All you really need is a T-Stat for electric and a T-stat controlling a gas valve for Gas)

Many modern Friges in homes have computers in them that do a bunch of stuff.. Frankly I can not figure out why you'd need one with fancy electronics but they make 'em that way. Please do not ask me why


Posted By: racefan1965 on 09/24/08 05:05pm

I was going to say that my dometic has a separate temperature knob and metal hinges as well. Maybe it's something they have recently started to save costs.


Rick, Shirley, 3 dogs(Shasta, Baylee & Macy)
2003 Ford 250 Superduty 4x4LB 6.0 Diesel
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2006 Champion C46540 RV plug ready genset
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Posted By: Hurricaner on 09/24/08 06:27pm

I believe it is the Norcold that has the plastic hinges that break and cause the door to fall off, Dometics might burn your RV down but at least the door stays on. Not to difficult to figure out why people are looking at electrics.

Sam


Posted By: wa8yxm on 09/25/08 01:45pm

Well.. I think the dometic issue is highly overrated myself.. But I've not discussed it with someone who knows what the *)@# they are talking about


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