At the beginning of the year, we replaced our defunct Norcold LM1200 12cu ft. RV refrigerator with a standard 22 cu foot Household refrigerator. It was pretty much a test to see if we could work with it instead of a gas/elec RV refrigerator so we just used an older extra refrigerator we kept in the basement for summer water melons and beer.
In the past 6 months of use, it has never been a problem for us and even when we have been traveling unplugged for 9 hours at a time the freezer still stayed below 15 degrees. We are very happy with the household refer and especially with the much larger capacity and far better internal layout and flexibility it has over any RV refer we have seen.
Since this was a test, we left some of the labor to finish off the installation until we were sure we were going to like it and that it would be a completely satisfactory solution, which it is. One of the things left to do was to seal off the outside venting that was there for the RV refrigerator. Although I wrapped each vent door in a trash bag and pinned it shut, it looked odd and the winds on the highway shredded them pretty quickly. With them unsealed it has been like living with a window open all the time so before summer gets really hot I needed to finish this off.
The main thing I was concerned about was air infiltration. A secondary concern was just plain insulation which is problematic on the bottom vent because there is only 1” behind the refer and the air being exhausted when the refer is running needs to be able to circulate back into the interior of the RV or the compressor will overheat and it won’t cool very well.
The upper vent door was no problem and I fully insulated it with part of a bat of pink fiberglass insulation glued over the 4 mil plastic film I first glued to the backside of the door to seal out all airflow through it.
I think that this will work fine for the summer. I may revisit this later, to see just how well it is actually sealed but short of pulling the refrigerator and sealing the hole from inside the RV I don’t see much chance of doing it any better.