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Old 08-02-2015, 10:45 AM   #1
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DC power issue

I own a 2015 Sunset Trail Reserve TT, and having refrigerator issue. Refrigerator runs fine on shore power AC and propane, but when switching to strictly DC for traveling (being powered by tow vehicle charging rv battery I assume), it does not operate with DC. Refrigerator (Norcold N811FRT) On and Gas indicators blink once per second, indicating there is no AC power available. It has operated fine in this mode before, but now when when being towed, will only operate on propane. Any thoughts regarding this issue much appreciated.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:55 AM   #2
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Ummm I don't think they cool on 12v...

They cool using propane or an electric coil on an absorption boiler. The 12v is just the control voltage to operate the propane or AC functions.

For cooling while you travel you leave the power switched on and the propane on.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:58 AM   #3
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Have you actually measured your battery voltage? If it is low the control board may not turn on the gas.

FWIW no competent tech assumes anything. Measure or otherwise verify that conditions are what you think they should be. It sounds like you either have a DC or propane problem. That is all we can say with the data given.

FWIW 2 Above poster is correct. They do not use propane on AC.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:05 AM   #4
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DC power issue

Yep, I believe you are correct. I just looked at the online service manual for this model and it clearly states that model N81XX is a two way, AC power or LP gas. It uses 12v as the controller voltage and the DC voltage needs to be 10.5 - 15.4 vdc.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:11 AM   #5
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Welcome to iRV2.
Guess I've learned something today; I didn't think RV, 3 way fridges were available anymore, but I guess I'd better check the specs on that model to be sure.

As , nothermark , says , you need to check , your RV battery, condition & voltage and your tow vehicle , charge wire to the RV battery. The fridge may have a low voltage shut down or minimum voltage requirement, for proper operation.


EDIT: and once again my slow typing rears it's ugly head, I see , parkerbill ,has posted info on the fridge while I was typing.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:26 PM   #6
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LOL, Skip. There were two replies while I was typing my reply.
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:11 PM   #7
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I do not think Norcold (Or Dometic) still make a 3-way fridge, those were discontinued several years back.

As others have said 12 volt is used for control and display, 120 volt or propane for cooling only.. So your Fridge is working as designed.

YOU CAN install an inverter to run it off batteries but

Your tow vehicle WILL NOT CHARGE THE BATTERIES FAST ENOUGH

This is why they discontinued the 12 volt option for cooling.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:38 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the input, much appreciated. I guess I have to do some further investigating on the electrical system, which I am not very familiar with yet, as the TT is only 1 year old. When I bought the TT, one of the features described to me is that the fridge would run during travel without propane, as the tow vehicle would provide enough charge to do so. This was a huge plus to me and my wife, as her father was nearly killed in a propane explosion years ago (non RV related) and was in P'burgh burn center for over two months. On our first trip with this TT last year, the fridge ran exactly as described on a 6 1/2 hour haul, with no propane. I checked it every time we stopped, and it was running perfectly. So to be honest, I am not quite sure what I have. But once again, thanks to all of you for the input. Much appreciated!
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:35 AM   #9
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When the fridge is on 12v, the propane must be on too (I thought).
If the light is blinking (on mine), there's not enough propane.

My fridge does not run on just propane or just 12v. On just 12v, the light works and it will stay cold for many hours.
Also test battery for low voltage.
If it's bad, vehicle charge may be cannibalized.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvrver1970 View Post
When I bought the TT, one of the features described to me is that the fridge would run during travel without propane, as the tow vehicle would provide enough charge to do so.
If you have an inverter, as I said, it can be wired to power the fridge but the fridge is around 350-400 watts and your tow vehicle alternator can not push power to the trailer that fast. My Class A can not and the wires are much bigger.

Your salesman told you what he had to say to get you to buy,

Fridge should be able to maintain cold for up to eight hours even if turned OFF provided you do not open the door.

Propane is much safer than you feel it is.. Though a propane fire is possible to get it to explode you have to kind of work in it. Modern RV's have explosive gas (Propane) detectors and if that detector (Which can sense several gasses other than propane by the way) is alarming.. TURN OFF propane at tank (outside) Open doors and windows and keep clear till it stops alarming. Most common cause of propane explosion is the stove, NOT the fridge.. Stove burner turned on but not lit can cause a bulid up of propane in the RV.. Just the right amount and add a match or spark and .. Well you know what happens.

Have used Propane most all my life with no problems.
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