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Old 09-27-2014, 09:15 AM   #1
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Norcold Refrigerator Change Out

I just ordered a Samsung 197 refrigerator to replace my Norcold 1200 series. My new Samsung will be running off of my inverter/house batteries when I'm traveling down the road.
My question is, does my engine alternator charge my house batteries when I'm on the road?
Thanks,
RJ
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Old 09-27-2014, 12:12 PM   #2
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Yes, it is suppose to.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:40 PM   #3
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Only if the Echo Charger is working properly. From reading these forums, it seems the Echo Chargers have their share of issues. Ours doesn't work even though the LED indication says it does. Currently in the process of replacing it with the Magnum Smart Battery Combiner which came highly recommended.
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:53 PM   #4
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Normally your battery boost relay is activated by an oil pressure switch. If your engine is running the house battery bank is tied to the chassis bank efectivly charging both bank at the same time. When the engine is shut off the oil pressure releases the relay separating the two banks.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dale C View Post
Only if the Echo Charger is working properly. From reading these forums, it seems the Echo Chargers have their share of issues. Ours doesn't work even though the LED indication says it does. Currently in the process of replacing it with the Magnum Smart Battery Combiner which came highly recommended.
Good input to get this tested as part of your change over. And yes, as you drive you should be maintaining both chassis and house batteries. If your coach has a battery monitor (RC7 Remotes came in many of these rigs.), you can run a test. Leave your coach unplugged overnight with a power draw (maybe leave on several lights). Check the battery level in the AM. Then go out and drive your coach for a few hours. Checking the battery level after this, should see them having obtained more charge. Possibly even fully charged at the end of a two hour drive.

(I only mention the above simple test, as many people don't want to go do at the battery testing. It would at least give you a warm feeling that your house batteries are being maintained as you drive.)

I know that some people who boondock quite a bit and want to conserve battery power demands, sometimes add a smaller draw inverter, dedicated to the fridge. This allows you to turn off the main house inverter when not needed, and would save some battery AH draw. Good quality smaller inverters are not that expensive, so might be worth talking over with the installer to see how much extra it would cost to do so.

Best of luck on your Samsung install!
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:45 PM   #6
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Smitty has a couple of excellent ideas.

Couple of points though... the Echo charger is to maintain the chassis battery when the house batteries are at a sufficient 'full' voltage. Not the other way around.

Second, if you have a decent multimeter, check the house battery voltage with the engine not running, and then start it up. You should see it change from 12.x to probably around 14.x if there is a direct coupling to the engine alternator.

Third, the idea of a smaller inverter makes a lot of sense. As an alternative, you could shut down some of the breakers to non need systems. Still, the bigger inverter has got to be less efficient even at lower output than a smaller, quality unit. From what I've read, the Sammy will run on a modified sine wave just fine.

And we need pictures of the install por favor, or it didn't happen!
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:37 AM   #7
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Why run the refrigerator while running down the road???? We have a Norcold and shut it off while driving. 98% of the time we remember to turn it back on but I have left it off for up to 15 hrs and everything stays cold or frozen as long as we aren't in and out of the frig.
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:35 PM   #8
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Why run the refrigerator while running down the road????
Why not run it? If the charging system is working as it should, there shouldn't be any issues.
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