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Old 10-05-2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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Refrigerator question

We are on our 'trial' run in a 2005 Holiday Rambler Endeavor and as you may guess we are finding all kinds of new things. The first is confusion over how the refrigerator works. Our previous coach had a 3-way refrigerator that operated on AC (shore power), DC (coach battery), or LP gas. This unit has a Norcold 1200 2-way refrigerator which says it operates on AC (shore power or generator) or LP gas. Our confusion is what do we use when we are going down the road? Do we have to run the gen all the time or have the LP gas on? Neither is very appealing. The gen uses diesel that drops our mileage, and I don't feel comfortable from a safety standpoint having the LP gas on. Can anyone enlighten us on this issue.

Thanks.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:07 PM   #2
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I think yours might use an inverter when running down the highway, with the alternator supplying power to the batteries, my HR imperial is that way, although I don't have LP option, but have residential fridge instead.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:07 PM   #3
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We have the same fridge as yours and we do not worry about running propane while travelling down the highway. I think that they are designed to use while moving. I do turn it off when I stop for fuel for safety reasons.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:14 PM   #4
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There is no reason to be concerned about using propane while driving (gen or propane are the only options, so pick propane). If you stop to fuel and you have a gas engine you should shut down the fridge while fueling. If you have a diesel this would not be an issue. The fridge is designed to work on propane while driving so let it be. Some owners who have a good inverter have been able to move the fridge plug to one that works on the inverter and keep the fridge powered up on 120V while driving. This saves propane but does not necessarily provide any other benefit.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:20 PM   #5
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Most RVers run propane on the frig while traveling. A few think the unit ill burn to the ground if you use the propane while moving...really no difference in operating while stopped. Lots of horror stories, wives tales and urban myths anout units exploding, but none can be substantiated. Norcold had some issues and had a few units catch fire and it would have happened moving or stopped.

So go ahead and enjoy the barley pop cold and the ice cream frozen.

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Old 10-05-2011, 06:28 PM   #6
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Ok...I am following this thread and want to be clear about which to use when you have a 3 way fridge. Gas is ok while traveling down the road
but wouldn't DC setting be better while traveling since the motor running
is rechargeing the batterys at the same time?
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:44 PM   #7
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Ok...I am following this thread and want to be clear about which to use when you have a 3 way fridge. Gas is ok while traveling down the road
but wouldn't DC setting be better while traveling since the motor running
is rechargeing the batterys at the same time?
If your batteries do indeed recharge from your engine alternator battery power would then be cheaper but not necessarily better. Just don't stop for an hour or two and leave it on DC........you may have to push-start your rig.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:26 PM   #8
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We always ran ours on propane when driving but shut it off when refueling. You have two outlets in the vent opening on the outside of the coach. One is ac to operate the fridge when on shore power and the other is ac also but tied to the inverter and works the icemaker. I guess you could reverse the cords so the fridge works off the inverter but I would just set it on "AU" for automatic and it will switch automatically to ac when you hook up to shore power and back to gas when you unhook.

Make sure the recall has been done. It should have a yellow tag somewhere on the back, if I remember correctly. You'll have to remove the vent cover to see it.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:37 PM   #9
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Bob & Gail, as this is a new to you unit, make sure the Norcold has the latest recall done. It is dangerous to use it otherwise.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuckels11 View Post
We are on our 'trial' run in a 2005 Holiday Rambler Endeavor and as you may guess we are finding all kinds of new things. The first is confusion over how the refrigerator works. Our previous coach had a 3-way refrigerator that operated on AC (shore power), DC (coach battery), or LP gas. This unit has a Norcold 1200 2-way refrigerator which says it operates on AC (shore power or generator) or LP gas. Our confusion is what do we use when we are going down the road? Do we have to run the gen all the time or have the LP gas on? Neither is very appealing. The gen uses diesel that drops our mileage, and I don't feel comfortable from a safety standpoint having the LP gas on. Can anyone enlighten us on this issue.

Thanks.
Please don't let your generator sit unused for long periods of time. If you do you will surely have maintenance issues an may even have to replace the generator windings. The windings will accumulate moisture that will eventually cause them to fail if you don't bring them up to operating temp periodically to burn off that moisture. That is why Onan says to run the generator once a month at half load or greater. The current through the windings heats them up and burns off the moisture. We only use our coach about once a month so welcome the opportunity to use the generator for something other than running it in the driveway.

To use or not to use propane while driving is a personal decision and I will not touch that one. I will say that the Norcold will operate on propane while moving and is designed to do so . The reason for not using propane while moving is for fire safety in the case of a collision. If you are not in an accident it is just as safe moving as standing still. Fire safety folks point out that the inertia of items connected to the propane system could move in an accident and shear the propane connection. They are most concerned about the black iron pipe that distributes the propane throughout the coach. A tee connection along the backbone of the black iron pipe could shear in an accident.

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Old 10-06-2011, 06:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by nuckels11 View Post

The first is confusion over how the refrigerator works.

Our confusion is what do we use when we are going down the road?

Can anyone enlighten us on this issue.

Thanks.
Your Norcold will work with either 120 VAC, 12 VDC with the inverter running supplying 120 VAC to the fridge or LPG. You have an Eyebrow control on the front where you can choose between Automatic - 120 VAC - LPG. Generally, most people will choose the Auto mode. This mode will automatically choose between 120 VAC or LPG depending on whether 120 VAC is present or not. The default is 120 VAC otherwise it will switch over to LPG. The other settings are there to manually choose either 120 VAC or LPG in case you want to force it to use specifically one over the other.

You can run the fridge on shore power, generator power, battery power with it plugged into an inverter driven outlet or LPG. I would NOT recommend running it on battery power unless your engine is running and the alternator is supplying full voltage to the house battery bank. If you happen to stop the engine and forget to remove it from battery power, it will suck your batteries dry very quickly which is very harsh and too extreme on a house battery bank.

The fridge should be normally plugged into the non-inverter driven outlet. The ice maker should be plugged into the inverter driven outlet. Once 120 VAC has been removed from the coach, and the AUTO mode has been selected, the Norcold will detect the missing 120 VAC and switch to running on LPG.

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Originally Posted by nuckels11 View Post

The gen uses diesel that drops our mileage, and I don't feel comfortable from a safety standpoint having the LP gas on.
The generator does NOT drop your mileage. Your diesel engine will obtain the same MPG on any road trip whether your diesel generator is running or not. The only difference is that when you have the generator running, you will need to refill the tank more often. However, some people get frugal with exercising the generator BUT if you don't routinely use or exercise the generator, when the time comes that you do NEED it, and it doesn't start or hiccups, coughs, then quits, you will soon learn to USE it or LOSE it. Generators will work better when used, don't be afraid to put HOURS onto the generator.


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Old 10-06-2011, 01:46 PM   #12
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Thank you all for all the useful tips and suggestions. Our Norcold has had the fixes made which were under recall - thank goodness! While most have suggested just using the LP when on the road, I think the suggestions for 'exercising' the gen is a good idea that we hadn't considered. Thanks again for all the help! Everytime you change coaches it seems to be another learning experience.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:16 PM   #13
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Your frig will run on 120 AC from gen or shore or LP. I doubt that you drive for more than 8 hours straight. I also doubt that you open and close the frig often while driving. We went to a presentation from Mac the Fire Guy and he explained why it was a bad idea to leave the LP on while driving (accident, broken lp line = bomb). So now I travel with LP off and don't run the gen just for the frig. The frig will stay cold for 8 to 10 hours if you are not opening and closing the doors. We have been doing this for a year and have not have any problems with frig temp at the end of a day of driving
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
The generator does NOT drop your mileage. Your diesel engine will obtain the same MPG on any road trip whether your diesel generator is running or not. The only difference is that when you have the generator running, you will need to refill the tank more often.
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I've heard of trick questions, and I'm sure that's a trick answer(although no smiley face). Idling effects your mileage, running your generator effects your mileage, a tank leak effects your mileage; and infinitum. If you use the tried and true formula of miles divided by gallons, then all these type things effect your mpg. Did I miss something?
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