2002 Winnebago Journey DL Refrigerator replacement
After years of fighting the norcold original I decide to replace the unit with a residential style.
The issue I had was my wife did not want to give up the sliding Cabinet next the fridge.
While I was at the winter RV show I noticed a Gas A that had a new whirlpool fridge and thought I think that might fit.
After some research I found whirlpool wrt111 in stainless and order it and ice maker option.
Be sure you get the right icemaker it was a painful process with Bestbuy to get the right one they send 2 wrong ones I ended up with HH Gregg saving the day and having the proper icemaker option as I had removed he old one.
So here are my steps:
1. Remove front passenger chair for easier entry
a. I think this might be optional but I did not want to scrape the chair
2. Remove the oldfridge there is a bracket on the top that you have to get to from the roof vent or you can do as I did and just yank it out(not recommended)
3. The old fridge has 12volt, gas and 110 volt
a. Cap the gas no longer needed
b. The 12 volt is not needed but in our motorhome there was not light in the area so I added an exterior light and repurposed this connection.
c. The outside cover I taped off the vents with gorilla tape
d. Ok now the drain pain I got hose to run outside but so far I have checked the fridge for over 2 weeks and the amount of moisture in the pan is about 1 paper towel so I do not think I will actually drain outside seems pointless this I will continue to monitor
4. Preparing for the new fridge mine was about ½ wider than the current option but there was about 2 inches extra in the width of the cabinet
a. Cut the wood to open the area I marked with sharpie and used a mutlitool with a metal cutting blade it was a slow but controlled cut.
b. Repeat for the top
c. The back of the cabinet has a plastic pan I left in place and put a true 1 inch thick board around used screws to fasten to sides and face.
d. Make sure the icemaker and power cords are installed and loose on the fridge I got mine all the way in and realized the power cord was zip tied to the top and would not reach the plug in
5. Now the next step is getting into the cabinet mine was a truly tight fit took some adjustment
i. I put mine in place with the doors off made lifting easier with the help of my wife.
6. Now leveling and fastening to cabinet.
a. I made 2 L-shaped brackets to go over the frame on the back basically to make a pinch point to fasten the bottom the 1 inch board I added shims to the board to level the fridge and screwed this all down tight using spax screws(if you have never used them that are the best lag screws made)
b. Now I went to the front I made spacers all the way to where the base sits and screwed to the face with mending plates. I left space on each side as to create air flow for the heat to travel out.
c. Now at this point unless the fridge jumps up it cannot go forward or backward and is held down the l-shaped brackets I made.
d. I was still a little concerned so I put a couple of corner braces at the top( I would not do this again it is a painful process and I think provide no value
7. Now the electrical
a. Our coach has a converter and has many circuits to convert but it also has power management (turns things off to save power when you reach the 30 amp limit if you are on 30 am service.
b. Basically what I did is take one set of 15 amp receptacle banks and moved them to the fridge circuit and moved the fridge to where that was at on the converter panel.
c. It required drilling a couple holes on the electrical panel and running a jumper wire.
8. Now water hookup
a. Mine was easy I just took off the hose adapter and it was all ready to use.
9. Trim and clean up
a. The trim matched a stock trim at Menards almost identical so I used a few trim pieces the bottom I made a cover out of window screen to cover the 2 gaps for air flow.
b. Nailed all together with trim nails with a brad nailer.
10. Pictures attached.
11. Producing ice at first I thought there was and issue but you just have to wait 24 hours once it starts going it works well but it takes a long time.
12. Power usage most of the time 1amp when it is running which is crazy low.
13. No more warm food, slushy ice or any of the other issues we dealt with before in the never cold.
14. Tons more storage I know the never cold said it held 7.5 cf but this new one holds at least double the old one.
15. Happy Wife happy life!