Monday, November 28, 2022


What is the cost of replacing my RV refrigerator?


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. He thrives on sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm of RV repair and maintenance with his team, customers, and virtual friends.

Be sure to check out his YouTube channel where he shares what’s going on in the shop and the product offerings in the store. Dustin is also very active on Facebook. Join his group, RV Repairs and Tips – What’s in the shop!

Dustin proudly operates the business alongside his wife, Ashley; but the true pair that run the show are their Boston Terriers, Arvie and Hitch.


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1 month ago

Replaced mine with a 12 volt unit from Shipsewana. Love it. Rock hard ice cream, consistent cooling in any temperature. Use it on Lithium batteries boondocking.

1 month ago

I would greatly prefer WRITTEN articles.

Ray Morgan
1 month ago

Look into the Amish replacement units, we had our Norcold unit replaced with one of the Amish cooling units, and have been VERY impressed with it. We also paid a little more for the extended warranty, it’s 5 or 6 years, I can’t remember which.

1 month ago

I have appreciated your past videos & articles, but found this video very unconvincing. The body language suggests that neither of you are convinced either. After replacing a couple of boards & having the first recall on our 1200 over the years, we had the cooling unit replaced at 7 yrs. Five years and a recall or two later, I replaced the Norcold w\ a residential Frigidaire as I figured the high-maintenance Norcold was about done. The residential pulls very little power & works great.

Ted VanTuyl
1 month ago

Hi Guys, I have a Norcold RM1200 that is showing it’s age with poor cooling. What are my options to replace it with a residential AC only unit? Any ideas?

1 month ago
Reply to  Ted VanTuyl

I have an Montana 3670 RL and I put a full size 18 FT Frigidaire in it if you are a full timer that is the way to go if it will fit. residential is the way to go

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

It costs a lot of money to do this Shipshewana conversion. In the end, you still have that smallish reefer. When our Norcold fridge died we replaced it with a $450 ac fridge that fit exactly in the same place. So far, we love it. A quick 24 hour test running off our solar panels, 2000 watt inverter, and two lithium ion batteries showed we’re still boondock ready,

Ted VanTuyl
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

What model refer did you replace it with? I have an older Norcold rm1200 unit I am thinking of replacing.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago
Reply to  Ted VanTuyl

It’s a Haier ha10tg21bsb. We got it at Lowe’s. $150 as opposed to anywhere up to $1700 for a new RV fridge. We couldn’t even locate a new RV fridge for sale near us. We’re currently in Houston. Hope this helps.

Don H
1 month ago

I hear you, gents. But I’ve got to tell you that when my Norcold 1201 started getting weak, I replaced the cooling unit (actually, my favorite RV shop did the work) and I’ve been totally satisfied with the result. And it’s been a couple of years since we did that. So there’s more than one side to this story.

Leonard Rempel
1 month ago

We converted our fridge to a 12V residential unit at JC Refrigeration in Shipshewana, Indiana. I could not be happier!
We kept the “Fridge Box”, and replaced the refrigeration components. WOW, consistent temperatures, Ice Cream cold freezer, no temperature variations, and the power usage is negligible with our current battery setup.
Why was this conversion necessary? A propane fire that nearly burnt down our 5’er!

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago
Reply to  Leonard Rempel

Our old 1997 Nash had a Norcold fridge that never needed any attention. We had it for 16 years. This is why I was really disappointed in the 10 year lifespan of the Norcold we just had to replace.

Bob S
1 month ago

Hi, you don’t discuss 12 volt or residential replacements. Aren’t those options as well? Thanks, Bob

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