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Old 07-25-2016, 09:34 AM   #1
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New to Rving, questions on boondocking generator use

We are brand new to the RV world. We just purchased a 2016 Winnebago24J View. We will be traveling from Iowa to Florida, but our first night out we need to stay in a hotel. How do we keep food in frig cold, do we run the generator all night?
Also the next day we will be driving to a zoo and parking the RV for the day, again, how do we keep things cold? Generator or what? As I said we are brand new to this and are unsure of what to do.

The refrigerator is a Norcold LPG/110V, so runs on electric as well as propane.

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Old 07-25-2016, 09:38 AM   #2
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New to Rving, questions on boondocking generator use

What type of fridge?
If it is a propane/electric then propane will kick in when no electric.
I would assume it is a propane/electric in a class C but could be wrong.

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Old 07-25-2016, 09:39 AM   #3
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Welcome to irv2. Your answer will depend on what type of refrigerator you have. Does it run on propane as well as 110 ?

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Old 07-25-2016, 09:39 AM   #4
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your inverter is there for just that reason, to use your battery power to run your fridge and any other items when youre not plugged in or your generator is not running
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:51 AM   #5
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Your View probably has the same refrigerator as my Itasca Navion, a Norcold 3150. This is a 3 way refrigerator, meaning it will operate on LP, 120V AC, or 12V DC. The 12V DC mode is meant for use only while the engine is running as it will kill your batteries in just a few hours if they are not being charged by the alternator. The LP mode is the one that should be used while the engine is off and there is no shore power connection. Operating in LP mode your fridge will run for at least 2 days before the batteries need to be charged (the fridge always consumes SOME 12V DC power as the fridge control panel runs on 12V). The LP system also consumes some 12V power to hold a solenoid valve open so LP can flow to the fridge burner.

So in summary switch the fridge to LP mode when you park at the hotel or the zoo and you should be fine. Just be sure the LP switch is "ON". It's in the cabinet over the fridge.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:30 AM   #6
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For a 2016 your fridge should switch automatically. Check your manual. Most new Views have 100w solar to keep house batteries charged and therefore inverter powering several items in the RV. Inverter would pick up the fridge if propane is off or out
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:28 PM   #7
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you state in your question that it is a norcold LPG refrigerator. Run it on propane. I run my frig on propane when driving all the time. I have used the propane when we are at campgrounds that don't have powerful electric so I can still use my AC and not trip fuses.
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:32 PM   #8
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OP stated he has propane/110 fridge. It will automatically switch over to propane when you lose electricity.
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:50 PM   #9
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You mentioned that the frig is a Norcold . It should run OK on propane and should switch over automatically between 110 volts and propane.

I would recommend verifying that it is running ok on propane, especially if you've had the propane turned off for a week or so.

I do this by lighting my stove to make sure there is propane in the lines, then switching my frig to propane.

Good luck with it.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:34 PM   #10
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Force the fridge to gas by selecting gas rather than auto in order to make sure it switches over. Leave the house batteries turned on, and turn off everything else in sight. If you have a 12v to 120v inverter, make sure it is turned off, fuse removed, etc. There will be very little house battery power consumed by morning and also very little propane. When you start it up in the morning, the vehicle alternator will begin recharging the house batteries, and you will be fine. When you get to a camp, plug in the shore power and select auto and leave it there and it will run on shore power (which will also charge the batteries thru the 120v to 12v Converter) and when you unplug should switch automatically to gas.

If you are new to RV's and especially the View, be sure and always plug the shore power cord into the receptacle in the cord compartment when you stow it, as that is your generator "transfer" method. That outlet is the generator power out that you need to plug into.

You have one item that does drain a fair amount of 12v, and that is the solenoid operated gas valves. Some owners place a strong magnetic in the right place on the valve and unplug the valve. Saves power. Other issue is that the gas valves you have are notorious for failing.

Join the View/Navion Forum on Yahoo if you have not already. Lots of knowledgeable people well versed in that vehicle, on there.

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Old 07-30-2016, 06:52 PM   #11
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Another thing I didn't see mentioned above, it will take the fridge/freezer several hours to get cold so make sure you start it up the day before you want to use it. I put a small water bottle half full in each to see when the freezer freezes and if the fridge is cold or gets too cold.

Also, make sure the propane tank valve is on. It may take the fridge some time to get gas through the line to it if the tank has been off. I can speed mine up by lighting a burner on the stove for a minute or two.
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Old 07-31-2016, 06:54 PM   #12
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We leave the Norcold fridge switch in the "Auto" position all of the time. Don't have to worry about it then. Even if there is a power outage at home, or at the campground, the fridge will switch to propane automatically.
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:45 PM   #13
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Make sure the valve on the propane tank is turned on.
Make sure house battery switch is turned on.
Make sure the refrigerator is in auto or gas, and make sure the gas indicator light is solid.

You should be set.

As has been said, make sure everything else 12 volt is turned off. An inverter draws power when it is on, even if it's not powering anything, so turn it off too. The refrigerator will run by itself for a long time if batteries are good and there is propane in the tank.
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Old 08-01-2016, 05:31 PM   #14
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Try to be sure the coach is parked level - absorption refrigerators should not be operated when not level.

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