Wednesday, November 29, 2023


What is the cost of replacing my RV refrigerator?

By Dustin Simpson
Last week, our RV repair shop received the below voicemail from Bob regarding the cost of replacing an RV refrigerator:

Hi, my name is Bob. I have a refrigerator that is leaking yellow fluid by the burner. I’ve been told by another shop that the fridge is bad and needs to be replaced. Can you provide an estimate to replace the unit?

I have also watched videos online about replacing the cooling part on the back. Is that an option? I currently have a Norcold 1200.

Thank you, guys, and I look forward to receiving a call back.

Join me in this video as I sit down with my Service Manager, Zach. We share our thoughts and experience replacing the RV refrigerator’s cooling unit compared to replacing the full RV refrigerator unit.


More from Dustin

Read more of Dustin’s articles here.

Dustin owns and operates California RV Specialists, an independent RV repair shop located in Lodi, CA.



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Ed D. (@guest_258330)
1 month ago

I don’t think you are being very helpful suggesting that he replace the entire Refrigerator. They are between $4,800.00 and $5,500.00 to purchase brand new. Then you have the fee you are charged from the RV Technician for replacing it. By the time he gets done, he will have about $7,000.00 invested. To change out the Cooling unit is only between $1,800.00 and $2,500.00. Even if the control board goes down the road, it won’t cost more than 6 or $700.00 to replace. Still a far cry from $7,000.00. I don’t agree with your assessment.

Neal Davis (@guest_258329)
1 month ago

Thank you, Dustin!

Lynne Fedorick (@guest_258316)
1 month ago

About 6500 for a Norcold 2 way.

Gary W. (@guest_258289)
1 month ago

They never really answered the question, just danced around it with a bunch of excuses to just replace the whole fridge for $4500 ish plus shipping and labor.
Never said anything about the Amish cooling unit or the newer compressor conversion.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_258298)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary W.

True. Although I’m not sure if the Amish fix can be done with the larger four-door units.

When our 10 year old Norcold went bad last year on a 106° day, we frantically looked for a replacement (we were in Houston) but could not find one. Our mobile RV guy had been suggesting that we swap out our fridge for an AC unit. Wifey found one at Lowe’s that fit perfectly in the space and ‘only’ cost $450. They installed it and we’ve been happy campers ever since. It works well with our inverter so now we keep the fridge on while traveling.

Henry Blosser (@guest_258323)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

We elected to have our Norcold 2118 cooling unit replaced with a double 12-volt compressor unit by JC Refrigeration. It was around $2,000 total. We had them install it and they also installed a completely new 12-volt connection from the batteries. Additionally, we also purchased their wireless temperature monitor which monitors both refrigerator and freezer compartments. It only took 1 1/2 hours to complete the installation. We were very pleased with their work and the unit has performed flawlessly since then. The temperature stays at about zero in the freezer and 35 in the refrigerator. And that was in 105 degree outside temps.

Leonard (@guest_258337)
1 month ago
Reply to  Henry Blosser

We had JC Refrigeration do the EXACT replacement on our “No-Cold” refrigerator after it caught fire a couple of years ago. (less than two years old at the time.) The conversion works flawlessly! Highly recommend EVEN if your fridge is still working. At least now I can have ice cream on hand!

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