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Old 07-06-2020, 12:52 PM   #1
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Default Norcold Fridge in 1997 Roadtrek 190

I would really appreciate some help here.
Because it is a 3 way fridge can it run on electric power and/or Kodiak Inverter with solar panels? Starting up with propane is challenging. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Propane tank is over 10 years old so couldn't be checked during de-winterizing. Apparently this is Canadian regulation.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:48 PM   #2
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Nope. It can run on shore power but takes too many amps for solar. It pulls 13 amps plus. Clean your burner tube with alcohol. Should be some youtube videos on that.
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Old 07-06-2020, 05:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for your suggestions - much appreciated.
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Old 07-06-2020, 05:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Propane tank is over 10 years old so couldn't be checked during de-winterizing. Apparently this is Canadian regulation.
Interesting. Can't they even check the propane pressure (not the tank) at the inlet to the fridge? You could do that with a manometer yourself if they won't.

Do hbn7hj's cleaning first. I don't have a Norcold but on my Dometic they recommend cleaning the tube with alcohol and also with a small brush. They
also suggest soaking the burner jet (can be removed on mine) in alcohol and then blowing it out with compressed air.

If this stuff doesn't work it could be the pressure at the fridge. On mine there is a specific range the pressure must fall between to work efficiently.
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:04 PM   #5
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Thanks Gaylen - gotta come back to this tomorrow. This feels out of my league. What type of repair person could I call on for help - especially someone with an air compressor.
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Old 07-06-2020, 08:43 PM   #6
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If you're going to go to someone I'd recommend calling several RV service places. I'd ask them about the tank. In the US there are 2 types of tanks: DOT (like a barbecue tank that you get at a store) and ASME tanks. There's alot of discussion on this forum about the types but my understanding is that DOT tanks have to be tested and recertified every 10 years. ASME tanks are certified for life. Most RVs have ASME tanks and should not require recertification. Canada may be different. If they tell you that it has to be tested and recertified, ask them where you can have that done.

Then the RV place should be ok working on it. Then I'd have the RV place do a leak test on the whole RV system. If that's ok, I'd have them check the pressure at the fridge. There's often a port right there that they can put their gauge on. They can adjust that pressure. Have them clean the burner tube as hbn7hj recommended. Then have them run the fridge for several hours (or longer) to observe its operation.

Propane is a bit daunting and rightfully so. Every year I have a leak test done and every time I fill up I have the tech soap all connections/valves by the tank for leaks.
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Old 07-12-2020, 05:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips on checking connections with fill up LP tanks. I have a 1996 Roadtrek. The refrigerator seems to work better [faster initial and sustained cooling] with gas.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:12 PM   #8
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Maintaining a 3 way fridge is a Dark Art.

You may not have been level for a period of time & this causes the chemical agent to get "stuck..."

If it is from the 90's, during the service have them pull out & burp the machine - takes up to a day.

The pressure needs to be adjusted.

The system cleaned as above.
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Old 07-13-2020, 02:04 AM   #9
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Maintaining a 3 way fridge is a Dark Art.
Yes. There is a session of incense burning and chanting before we set out.
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Old 07-13-2020, 02:10 AM   #10
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Is that the secret Gallen?

Gallen is one of the few people I know who has consistently good value with his fridge.

I did not give away my 3 Way for free to spend $1229 for a DC Fridge without a lot of research.

In the Winter, my 3 way performed adequately, anything over 75% it didnt & then level parking is critical, a fan to blow over the coils & an exhaust fan to extract the hot air
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Old 07-13-2020, 02:17 AM   #11
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Ha! You are on the right track to replace a 3-way with a compressor. I will do the same when the time is right. I don't use my RV like many. For me it's a 4-5 day jaunt into a state or fed campground to "camp." If I were touring around the country, it would be a different situation. We're thinking about going back to the midwest to see kids/grandkids. I might make the conversion before that if we decide to go that route.
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Old 07-13-2020, 04:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Ha! You are on the right track to replace a 3-way with a compressor. I will do the same when the time is right. I don't use my RV like many. For me it's a 4-5 day jaunt into a state or fed campground to "camp." If I were touring around the country, it would be a different situation. We're thinking about going back to the midwest to see kids/grandkids. I might make the conversion before that if we decide to go that route.
If you are driving, no issue - the unit stays cool & the chemicals get flowing - its parking on uneven surfaces & hot weather is the main issues.

And if a person is willing to pull out their older gas units & burp them in order for 8-24 hours that run like new again - its the cumulative load of repeated off level parking for hours that reduces performance.

You got me thinking about a Margarita!
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