Norcold AC/DC refrigerator installation - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-10-2012, 06:15 AM   #1
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Norcold AC/DC refrigerator installation

I have an ice box in a scamp 13 and my wife's top request is for a refrigerator. I found a 0751 model Norcold that seems like a close fit. I have two questions. First, I searched the forum and found a little information, but does anyone have any helpful hints or "watch out for..." advice? Second, I need to keep it powered going down the road. What is the easiest way to check if the tow vehicle is charging the battery going down the road? I would also like to know how much current it is providing also but that is secondary. I have some ideas and will post if they work if I don't get advice from those who have gone before me. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:36 AM   #2
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The Egg Campers have Norcold's 12v and some are 12/120v. Most draw 2-3 amp while running and all you have to do to check is to plug in a voltmeter into a 12v outlet in the trailer while hooked up and see if the reading changes when you connect to your t/v. Or you can buy a tester for your plug, Etrailer sells them.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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......... I would also like to know how much current it is providing also but that is secondary. I have some ideas and will post if they work if I don't get advice from those who have gone before me. Thanks!
I am in the process of installing an ammeter between my camper battery and the wires installed to it. It is a 30 amp tractor ammeter. Most car ammeters are 60 amp, which makes it a little hard to read when current is small. I bought is off eBay for $10. You wire it in series with the battery.

With this ammeter I can tell if the battery is charging or discharging and approximately how much.

There have been many discussions on line about adequately wiring a TV to charge a camper battery, but the crux of it is that you need to use a fairly large wire to ensure the battery sees enough voltage to fully charge. It is counter intuitive, but the limitation is not the charging current, but the voltage at the battery that is critical.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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We have had similar discussions over on Rv.Net and yes the tv wiring is an issue, BUT, that said, another one is your tv alternator. Seems if you have the heavy duty tow package and at least 160 amp alternator the wiring is at least 10 awg. That is adequate enough to to charge your battery and equivalent to the gauge wire from your refer to your converter. Another option is switching your tv exterior lights to led, which should free up enough amps to keep the refer and battery going at night time also.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:49 PM   #5
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Here's a thread where there was some discussion about noise with the DE0751 Norcold: Norcold refrigerator noise

I have the DC0040, which is fairly efficient, but does have a bit of a rattle. I've pretty much gotten used to it now.

Also, the specs for the 0751 show 0.7 amps draw for 120 vac operation (84 watts) vs. 3 amps draw for 12 vdc (36 watts) operation. That would lead me to think that the 120 vac operation merely integrates a 120Vac to 12 vdc converter and that the compressor is really just operating on 12vdc. If that's the case, I wonder why you'd need the ac/dc version of the fridge? If your camper already has a converter for 12vdc operation the dc only version of the fridge seems like a simpler solution (no AC wiring).

Ron
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:17 PM   #6
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Here's a related fridge installation question:
How much venting should I provide for a 12v/110v fridge?

I understand that the propane/12v/110v units must be well ventilated due to heat ouitput; usually with an upper vent as well as a lower one. With a 12v/110v/ fridge can I get away with a single lower vent?

Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks, Steve
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:23 PM   #7
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There was none in my Egg Camper, I added a 2" circle vent in rear by the coils.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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Post absorption vs. compression

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Originally Posted by Steve_N_Janna View Post
I understand that the propane/12v/110v units must be well ventilated due to heat output...
Actually, propane/electric "absorption" technology requires convection air circulation. They are well ventilated due to cold air intake at the bottom vent and hot air exhaust at the top vent. No circulation = no refrigeration.

The AC/DC all electric refrigerators use a compressor, just like the regular fridge in your house. Many RV manufacturers claim that they don't require ANY venting to the outside.
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:19 AM   #9
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Hello Eric and Steve and welcome to the forum. When we ordered, Trillium came standard with a Dometic compressor fridge that they did not vent. As I recall the Dometic site said venting was required and recommended raising the fridge up about 1" and venting into the trailer. For power consumption reasons we ended up with a 3 way fridge.

Not venting will most likely shorten the life of the unit; if not the compressor, the electronic controls won't like it. Venting into the living space means a hotter space. Turn on the fan or AC and you are using even more energy remove that same heat. I would consider a side vent if it were me but at the very least I would go to the manufactures site and down load the installation instructions. Good luck, Raz
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #10
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I have an ice box in a scamp 13 and my wife's top request is for a refrigerator. I found a 0751 model Norcold that seems like a close fit. I have two questions. First, I searched the forum and found a little information, but does anyone have any helpful hints or "watch out for..." advice? Second, I need to keep it powered going down the road. What is the easiest way to check if the tow vehicle is charging the battery going down the road? I would also like to know how much current it is providing also but that is secondary. I have some ideas and will post if they work if I don't get advice from those who have gone before me. Thanks!

I have a 1993 13' Bigfoot, the previous owner put a newer Dometic refrigerator in place. It is a 3 way. We traveled for 2 months thru Canada and Alaska. We would run the fridge on the 12 volt while traveling, when we stopped for the night, and used the furnace, there was not enough charge in the quite new battery, to allow the furnace fan to run. when we stopped, we would immediately, switch the fridge over to gas. we stopped using the 12 volt, for the fridge, and ran the the fridge; while traveling, on the propane hookup. ( I know that the RV suggestions are, for not towing the trailer, and running a gas appliance at the same time ) , it worked for two cold months this way. My sisters Boler had the same problem, solved the same way.
Later Kenny
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:41 PM   #11
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........... We would run the fridge on the 12 volt while traveling, when we stopped for the night, and used the furnace, there was not enough charge in the quite new battery, to allow the furnace fan to run............Later Kenny
You need a really heavy gauge wire from the tow vehicle alternator to the trailer if you want to run the fridge and charge the battery at the same time. As I mentioned above, a smaller wire gives too much voltage drop and the battery won't charge.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:44 PM   #12
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If you have a 12v outlet, plug in a digital voltmeter. then you can collect data while towing, while unhooked and hooked to determine if you have a charge line. Cehck the draw of the refer while on 12v, if it is more than 3-4 amps then your charge probably can not keep up with the draw.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:31 PM   #13
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I ran the test Jim suggested with the voltmeter and my charge line from the tow vehicle easily ran the fridge and had enough power left over to charge the battery. I turned off all loads to the battery for a few hours, measured the voltage, turned on the fridge, measured the voltage (voltage on the battery went down), then hooked up the tow vehicle with the fridge still running and the voltage read the highest of all the readings.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:52 PM   #14
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Do not forget, while driving with lights on your draw will diminish, that is another reason to convert your rv exterior lights to led's outside, to allow more juice for the inside.
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