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Old 07-18-2021, 06:04 PM   #1
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Fridge on the fritz

I have a 2005 journey DL with the norcold double door fridge with the ice maker. I replaced my 12v batteries with 2 6v and was unaware until recently that I was supposed to have 4. Rookie move I know. I have chased demons with my fridge since I did this. I have checked the gas pressure at the fridge I have checked the roof vent as well as the flu and replaced the fins in the flu. I also checked the fans, and replaced those and added a third one and replaced the igniter. Could bring under powered by the 2 6v instead of 4 be my issue? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:39 PM   #2
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Could bring under powered by the 2 6v instead of 4 be my issue? Thanks in advance.
How? I assume you're either running it on propane, or running it on shore power. So, how is having 1/2 the normal amount of DC amp hours in your battery bank effecting your Fridge?

Are you dry camping without shore power but running it off of an inverter? If that's the case, yes, not enough battery could do that but I seriously doubt you are trying to run it off of an inverter.

Most importantly... you have not even explained what problems your are having with the fridge.

A 17-year old fridge could just be "done." It doesn't have to have anything to do with how many house batteries you have or when you last fueled your RV or any other coincidental thing.
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:49 PM   #3
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It runs perfectly fine on electric either shore power or generator power but barely stays cool on gas. A fridge that’s just done wouldn’t work at all. I’m aware how fridges work and it being 17 years old could affect the prognosis but it doesn’t explain how it works on one power source but not on the other.
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Old 07-18-2021, 09:08 PM   #4
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Excuse me if you already know and did it correctly but you can not just put in two 6 volt batteries in place of the 2 12 volt as the 6 volt need to be wired in series to produce 12 volts. Check the dc volts going to the frig without being hooked up to ac and see if you are getting 12 or 6 volts. You do not need 4 6 volt batteries as it should work just fine on to 6 volts...just wont have as much run time.
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Old 07-18-2021, 09:31 PM   #5
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Ok that was my question. I’ve done a ton of work trying to troubleshoot this thing and that’s the last thing I can think of. Like I said it works great on shore power or with the generator but running on LP it won’t even keep frozen stuff frozen. Keeps my propane bill low but my diesel bill is through the roof when I’m dry camping. Pretty frustrating really.
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Old 07-18-2021, 10:33 PM   #6
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And also I did wire the batteries in correctly and my volt meter on the wall shows 12.5 volts. Just trying to pinpoint what is causing my fridge to not work properly on gas when it works great on electric.
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Old 07-19-2021, 04:18 AM   #7
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Moto559-

First off, welcome to winnieowners!

The same company that runs this Web forum has another, older forum at:

http://www.irv2.com

That forum has lots of posts concerning Norcold and Dometic absorption refrigerator diagnosis and repair. There is an iRV2 member (handle: "Old-Biscuit") that handles a lot of these questions. Here is a link to a Web search of iRV2 posts with the terms "Old-Biscuit," "Norcold," "electric," "not" and "propane" in them. Some clues may be in the listed posts. If not, I'd roll over to iRV2, join up (you can use the same handle and password) and post there. You should hear from "Old-Biscuit" shortly.

Finally, you should add a signature to your user profile. It usually includes the year, make and model of your coach, but can include other information. A signature is appended to each post. To create/edit a signature, click on the "User CP" link in the orange bar at the top, then click on "Edit Signature."
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Old 07-25-2021, 05:46 PM   #8
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Since the refer works fine with shore or generator power, the problem is with the propane heating unit. Your 12v amp needs are miniscule with the refer, just circuit board and sensors.
I would look at the burner jets, are they sooted up? Are you getting good flame? Is the chimney obstructed in any way. Is the propane line delivering enough gas from the tank?
These norcold units just need to heat that solution in the cooling unit, one way or another. Sounds like the twin electric elements are working. The propane is usually foolproof. Just light the pilot and the flame goes on. It should be easy to troubleshoot.
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Old 07-25-2021, 05:50 PM   #9
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Looks like you have done the usual troubleshooting, which would leave the circuit board itself. It might malfunction in such way to not keep the flame going long enough. And there is a recall unit that will shut propane off to avoid fires. I think some of the early installed units did nor work properly. I initially got a recall unit version C which had to be replaced with a version D.
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Old 07-25-2021, 06:07 PM   #10
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While we can sometimes get things going again, I like to be more methodical when looking at things which I don't know all that well.

With the internet, we have lots of info available if we can look in the right corner to find it!
One way to start on fixing a frig without lots of guessing is to find the model number on the frig that WE have. That cuts the chase way down as we are not chasing the troubles that might happen on somebody else's frig!

Once we have the correct make and model number, going to a search of the net can often lead to the exact troubleshooting chart to do a good job of fixing things without blundering all over changing parts that are still good.

This might be a really good place to start as they are the folks who built the frig:
https://norcold.com/ac-dc-refrigerators-faq/
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Old 07-25-2021, 06:27 PM   #11
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IMO, this is your opportunity to upgrade to a residential refrigerator.

IMO, your biggest mistake would be to spend money on your NeverCold gas frig unless you are a hard core BLMer.

If you have a Dimensions quasi-sine inverter it will power you new residential refrigerator just fine.

For more information you can copy this link to your browser search bar:

imnprsd residential refrigerator site:winnieowners.com
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:28 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by imnprsd View Post
IMO, this is your opportunity to upgrade to a residential refrigerator.

IMO, your biggest mistake would be to spend money on your NeverCold gas frig unless you are a hard core BLMer.

If you have a Dimensions quasi-sine inverter it will power you new residential refrigerator just fine.

For more information you can copy this link to your browser search bar:

imnprsd residential refrigerator site:winnieowners.com
Not necessarily true Partner. There are some residential fridges that do NOT LIKE MSW juice! I know, I just did it with mine. I installed a 10.1 Cu.ft. Magic Chef in place of our ailing N-109 Norcold and, I was ASSUMING it would run just fine on my Magnum 2012 ME Inverter/charger. Nope, not happening. It wasn't 'till I had the new fridge completely installed, complete with modified facia to not only make it look like a factory install but, that facia helps keep it in place while we're tootling down the road, that I found out by reading the manual:

1. The refrigerator IS NOT to be used in an RV
2. This refrigerator IS NOT to be used with an INVERTER

Well, that sucked big time. Long story short, I ordered up, received and installed a PSW 1000 Watt inverter with a built in transfer switch. ALL BETTER NOW.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:35 AM   #13
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Our double-door Norcold developed an intermittent cooling unit clog two months out of warranty. Worked with a mobile RV tech to replace with a new norcold unit, and got good service out of it for 9 years.

Then in November of 2019, it developed a leak in the cooling piping, yellow gunk and strong ammonia smell in the outside access opening. Whew, we were on electric and not propane, so no fire.

We don't do that much boondocking, so decided to go a different route. Considered getting a residential refrigerator, but size limits would make it very difficult to install. So we chose to replace the cooling unit with a JC Refrigeration compressor cooling unit. Cost was around $1000, took me and a mobile tech about 3 hours to make the switch.

Once I got it dialed in for settings and such, cooling is very fast and consistent. No worries about the leveling, no propane used, so no fire danger or issues with propane going out while driving, we even get ice cubes while driving, and much colder in freezer. Even in the hottest temps (116 so far this year). Very happy with the unit.

And with monitoring, found that it uses about 66 watts of power when running, easily handled by my 1000w inverter, and 4 6v GC2 batteries. (with it running about a 25% duty cycle, we can boondock without changing usual routines)
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:34 PM   #14
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FIRE UP: The Dimensions inverter is not a MSW like your Magnum. They call it a quasi-sine inverter for this reason. ...But I would agree a Magnum MSW inverter is not going to power a residential refrigerator very well. Further, I understand many of Samsung French Door type refrigerators are not lasting very long.

My GE Refrigerator Model #GTS16GSHCRSS has been working flawlessly for 6 years now. Same goes for my GE-Profile microwave and LG-LCD-TV.

What I will not do is run a heated blanket with my Dimensions Inverter unless the blanket uses an old fashion rotary dial. This is a different subject, but maybe this tip will help others know the digital heated blanket need a PSW inverter or they can catch fire!

What I would like to know is this: If you want to keep your Dimensions Quasi-Sine Inverter, would you be better off choosing an refrigerator WITH "inverter technology" vs. the old style refrigerators which do not advertise this capability, but have always used some sort of circuitry to handle "dirty power?"
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