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Old 03-10-2015, 11:41 PM   #1
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Norcold 1200 on Inverter? (2003 Windsor)

Hi All,
My wife and I recently decided to stop driving with the propane on, but I'm surprised that the Norcold 1200 doesn't work with the inverter. It works fine with AC shore power and the generator, but when the inverter is on, only one of the two outlets in the fridge panel have power. Is this typical?

The manual is vague on this, and actually mentions something about the ice maker for during travel. This just seems confusing to me, and I've never actually used the ice maker (but we have one in the coach).

To make things more confusing, I looked at the manuals online for the windsor (I didn't have my manual handy, but was looking at Manuals) and they have 2002 and 2004, but no 03. I eventually looked at my copy and the other two, and they all had different inverter usage instructions, and the 03 is the only one that mentions ice maker operation.

So does anyone else have an 03 windsor and has used the fridge using the inverter? Any advice?

thanks
Jason.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:31 AM   #2
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You either have a choice of an all electric house with 8 house batteries or propane and shore power.
There is no justification for turning off the propane whilst driving. (Unless you are in the Chesapeake Tunnel)
What was your reason, safety?


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Old 03-11-2015, 12:38 AM   #3
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Yep, too much draw to run off the batteries so they usually wire them as per the OP's post.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:34 AM   #4
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I run our Norcold 1200 on inverter when traveling. Propane when stationary. It draws quite a bit of power on the inverter, although I have never measured it but the batteries go down quickly.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jreich888 View Post
Hi All,
My wife and I recently decided to stop driving with the propane on, but I'm surprised that the Norcold 1200 doesn't work with the inverter. It works fine with AC shore power and the generator, but when the inverter is on, only one of the two outlets in the fridge panel have power. Is this typical?

The manual is vague on this, and actually mentions something about the ice maker for during travel. This just seems confusing to me, and I've never actually used the ice maker (but we have one in the coach).

To make things more confusing, I looked at the manuals online for the windsor (I didn't have my manual handy, but was looking at Manuals) and they have 2002 and 2004, but no 03. I eventually looked at my copy and the other two, and they all had different inverter usage instructions, and the 03 is the only one that mentions ice maker operation.

So does anyone else have an 03 windsor and has used the fridge using the inverter? Any advice?

thanks
Jason.
Monaco did not want the Norcold connected to the inverter because the amp draw is very high. The drain on the batteries and the resulting load on the alternator will lead to premature alternator failure. The one outlet behind the Norcold that is connected to the inverter is for the ice maker only. If you must run the Norcold while traveling and want to keep the propane shut off then you must run the generator.

Bob
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:18 AM   #6
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When I bought my rig the Norcold and the ice maker plugs were swapped. I always ran the norcold on the inverter while driving. As I learned more about my rig, I found out the norcold draws about 80 amps at 12 volts. Way too much for the battery system. After reading the forum I swapped the plugs the way they should have been and now use propane while driving to run the norcold.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:41 AM   #7
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It works fine with AC shore power and the generator, but when the inverter is on, only one of the two outlets in the fridge panel have power. Is this typical?
Completely normal.

As others have said, too much battery draw to run the refrigerator heater off of the inverter.

The icemaker, however, draws much less power: there is a small electric heater to free the ice from the mold when it's ready to dump the ice, and a very small electric motor to actually dump the ice. Also, if you have an ice/water dispenser on the door, that requires AC power to work. All of those loads are well within the abilities of the inverter, so there is a separate outlet to allow using those features on the road or while dry camping.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:34 AM   #8
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Thanks all for the advice, I'll have to try the ice maker and see if it will work for us. Otherwise I guess we'll run the generator some of the time we're on the road.

Regarding the propane, yes, we decided to drive without it purely out of safety concerns, about what could happen in an accident (or even a blowout) with all the propane lines running around the coach.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:32 PM   #9
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Mac the Fire Guy who recommends travelling with propane off has stated that unless you are going to be driving 8 hours leaving the refer off will not cause a problem. For us 4 hours is about max driving time and we don't open and close the refer door while driving so things in the frig are cold and thing in the freezer are still solid.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:41 PM   #10
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I used the Norcold on propane while driving 14 yrs and 140k miles, never thought it to be a safety issue, My current coach has a residential refer using inverter or generator.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:42 PM   #11
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Ps from previous post, I also use the propane furnace while driving in cold weather.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:06 PM   #12
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Regardless of whether you have turned off the main valve at the LPG tank or not if the accident is such that the tank ruptures you are done and fried anyway.

I remember one accident in Florida back in 2010 on the I-10 freeway where the coach had a front tire blowout which forced them off the right side of the road into a patch of woods. All occupants died as a result of the LPG tank rupturing.

Here is a post I happen to find regarding this specific accident.

Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: Recent 3 Fatality 1-10 Florida

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Mac the Fire Guy who recommends travelling with propane off has stated that unless you are going to be driving 8 hours leaving the refer off will not cause a problem.
That's great for him! But he must have a different refrigerator than I do, because mine would never last 8 hours, even with the door closed. It gets far too warm, and then takes many hours to cool down again. Every rig is different, and even the same rig is likely to behave differently if operated by two different owners.

But my point was that there are lots of other hazards that are more likely to occur than a serious propane fire due to an accident or tire blowout.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:12 PM   #14
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All occupants died as a result of the LPG tank rupturing.
And all would've still died if the valve was closed. Like you and I both said, if the tank ruptures, all bets are off and any precautions are moot.
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