Jump to content

Monacoers Daily Digest


Scotty Hutto
 Share

Recommended Posts

Welcome to Bill D's Monacoers' Daily digest for *|date|*

To view this on the web click here: https://www.monacoers.org/newsletters/issue/524-monacoers-daily-digest/.  To respond to a post, click on the post title to be taken to that topic on the website.

Hello *|member_name|*, 

Here's what the Monacoers were talking about yesterday:

 

Index

2021 Monacoer’s Refrigerator Poll
Bob Jones
Oil Pan Replacement?
Dbircky
120 AC twist wire nut melted
wamcneil
Charging Chassis Batteries On Shore Power
directorsusa
120 AC twist wire nut melted
Ray Davis
Water pump indicator light
Bob Blackmon
Water pump indicator light
Steven
Water pump indicator light
Ivan K
Oil Quanity?
tmw188
2021 Monacoer’s Refrigerator Poll
Bob Jones
Oil Quanity?
Robert U
Oil Level Sensor Failure
mrbill1951
Ride Height Adjustment '08 Camelot?
RustyTools
Oil Quanity?
tmw188
Oil Quanity?
Dr4Film
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
cbr046
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
jacwjames
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Dr4Film
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
pennzo
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Tom Wallis
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Chuck B
Ride Height Adjustment '08 Camelot?
Frank McElroy
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
birdshill123
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
RNMCBR
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Gary M
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Dr4Film
Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Bob Jones

New Posts

2021 Monacoer’s Refrigerator Poll
Bob Jones

I'll bite, and probably get shot for this!

I really like my Norcold. It WAS a POS but one day I decided to fix the stupid thing. I found out the heater wire in the door was broken, fixed that in about 30 minutes. Then I got a wireless digital thermometer to measure the freezer temp and the fridge temp. At that point I started experimenting. 

I had several 120mm computer fans lying around so I velcro'd one so that it blew across the fins from right to left. That made an immediate and massive difference! I then did some more testing and realized that in order to get proper circulation (even temps) I needed one more fan blowing up from the bottom to the fan at the top. Again, massive difference. 

I went from running the fridge on #9 all the way down to number 2. In the height of the summer with 38c temps I set it to #3.

If I set it to number 5 (half way) it will freeze everything in the fridge compartment. Maybe I just got lucky? Average freezer temp on #2 is;

-15c and average fridge temp is 1c

It's now 22 years old and I shut the propane valve off on it a long time ago. I will replace it, probably soon, with a Whirlpool residential, but it will be a sad day. The reason? The Norcold is a power pig on AC and costs as much to run in one month as a modern fridge does in a year. No kidding. Of course, I'm partial to the Norcold because I souped it up for very little...and I may be the only person that has one that has, if anything, a problem with being way too cold. 


LED Conversion of Fluorescent Tubes - READ CAREFULLY... NOT as SIMPLE or CHEAPER??....
Jeff H
On 8/22/2021 at 3:28 PM, Tom Cherry said:

We have used the Camelot for almost 2 years equivalent....so it has not set in storage that much. I replaced some of the Fluorescent Tubes in 2017 and I knew that more were probably starting "age". In the OLD site, there was quite a bit of discussion that if you kept nursing along the OEM Fluorescent fixtures and the bulbs were aging....that had some impact on the expected life of the ballasts. 

There was also a lot of discussion about the RFI (EMF? or NOISE) associated with the Fluorescent tubes and their impact on the electronics.  Specifically the "clock" or chip that drives the Intellitec EMS as well as some of the 5 button TStats....and a LOT more problems on the Intellitec Multiplex circuitry....whether the full blown version on the Dynasties and above or the hybrid in the Camelots.

We were boondocking at a Cabelas in RIchmond and had noticed some failures.  For the record, we have 3 18" (2 bulb) fixtures up front in the living-galley area. I keep the front one OFF and we only use the center and rear one. There are also 3 fixtures in the bedroom. One 18" and two 12" ones. I had elected to only run one of the 12's and the 18 as that was way more than enough light.  I did not mention the Bathroom or the "hallway".  I have decided to DO THEM as well as the 18" also....

Bottom line....I did some research....and also did some replacing.....so this is MY experience and MY thoughts....others will differ and that is what makes us unique.  I am quite capable of rewiring or replacing or removing the fixtures or the ballasts and installing the LED Arrays. However, I had also done a major project for the church and learned some things from the Duke Energy experts....as well as a buddy who came across an interesting LED feature....not on ALL LED tubes, but more common now than before.

If you have 120 VAC Fluorescent fixtures and have had them for a while, odds are, you MIGHT have had to install a ballast. I have installed 4 ballasts at home as I do not want to have to rehang or find an equivalent fixture....the DW LOVES the kitchen one....so nurse it along.

With the newer technology LED Tubes, you can USE your existing Ballast....OR you can wire around it and feed the LED's 120 VAC line voltage. If you google "remove ballast for LED conversion", you will find many articles....all are simple and you can actually follow the color codes if you don't quite understand the schematic.  SO, that will be my NEXT replacement.....LED's running off Line Voltage at home.

OK....back on track.  There are TWO types of LED's for RV/Marine.  One is advertised as a 12 VDC or Ballast type. From what I read on Amazon, the light output from 12 VDC is reduced. The ratings were not that good. I read NO MORE and passed on this option.  DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH if that if your cup of tea.

Then, I found that the GE 12" tubes were priced at Lowes at the same or cheaper than Amazon and they are BULK Shipped and not thrown into a box and banged all over the country. So, I bought 4 of them. I decided to use the TWO 12" fixtures in the Bedroom and then switch off the 18" one.  We have the "Daylight" tubes....some original and some from 2017. The ones that I put in are "adjustable" in that you have THREE different temperatures....they come as COOL WHITE...which matches the LED's that I used when I converted the puck and socket lights to LED many years ago. The map lights are the only incandescent and I can't get the cover off....

I was PLEASANTLY surprised.....the two (2 bulb) 12 LED fixtures with Cool White put out MORE than a "smidge" (subjectively) than the single 18" and the one 12" (both are 2 tube fixtures).  DW is elated. MORE light....and she is now moving from the OMG, I want daylight to "Hey, CW is cool".

Here is the link to the Lowes 12" tube that I bought. They popped in easily and are starting instantly....so no issues.... BTW....the Lowe's price on the Fluorescent is $9 and the LED is only $13....  I think that the LED tubes for our MH used to be about twice that....but I might be wrong.... I am now saving 4 Amp Hours of my batteries....WOO HOO!....every little bit helps....

https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-Color-Correct-Technology-8-Watt-EQ-12-in-Daylight-Linear-LED-Tube-Light-Bulb/5000762909

I think, from watching, that the old ballasts will do an INSTANT start on the new LED's and there is certainly NO Hesitation.

BTW....  I GOOFED.  I was checking the "switch" on a tube and realized there is a TOP and a BOTTOM to the tube....there is a label on the tube, but I failed to turn them all UP. WOW....with all of them turned DOWN and shining....it is MUCH brighter. Pay attention to the label side and it should go UP.

Hope this is of interest....

Tom

Are your fluorescent fixtures 120Vac  or 12 VDC?  According to Lowe's website the bulbs are 120VAC.


LED Conversion of Fluorescent Tubes - READ CAREFULLY... NOT as SIMPLE or CHEAPER??....
BennieH

I never used the LED tube replacements for the fluorescents since they were not available 5 years ago when I converted ours.  I used the self adhesive Cool White/Daylight LED strips which are wired directly to 12v. All the ballast's were removed and then the LED strips were installed. We love the additional light from the LED's over the the old fluorescent lamps.

Haven't had a LED fail yet.


Charging Chassis Batteries On Shore Power
lake49068

Mike, had similar problem with my 2010 Neptune.  Will take some time to pull the info together so easier to respond via email.  Contact me at aghyobo at aol.com.

Adam


LED Conversion of Fluorescent Tubes - READ CAREFULLY... NOT as SIMPLE or CHEAPER??....
Chargerman

I also used the adhesive strips like Benny. After being advised by M&M that the ballasts could be causing the issues I was experiencing with my Intellitec I went the adhesive LED route. So easy to do and it only cost me approximately $2 per fixture to convert. Once I installed the LEDs I put a dab of silicone on the strips every few inches to assure they stay put. I have six fixtures and have not had any fail since the install 3 years ago. Also, my issue with 2 of my fantastic fans randomly turning on and off stopped after removing the ballasts. 


2021 Monacoer’s Refrigerator Poll
Dr4Film

Bob,

You didn't state what model of Norcold you have and what size. That would help to differentiate between the Norcold units that did work OK and the REAL POS's which are the four door Norcold 12XX which will never work as the cooling unit was undersized for the size of the fridge among other less than desirable problems which there are many. Not to mention one of the worst problems the NotSoCold has caused, thousands of coaches sitting in junk yards due to fridge fires.

By the way, I did pretty much the same as you listed above plus many more "fixes" only to have the POS continue to disappoint with its performance including costing me a LOT of time and money.

One of the BEST upgrades I ever did was to get rid of that POS back in 2012 and replace it with a Samsung RF-197.


2021 Monacoer’s Refrigerator Poll
Twomed

25 cu ft Whirlpool side by side...special order in 2006 when M would still build that way...also Sig paint scheme, dash, wheel.

Those  were the days...spin the wheel discount rallies...🥰


Oil Pan Replacement?
Dbircky

Just thought I'd send an update.  Used JB Weld after wire wheeling the paint and rust off (mostly)   Drained oil out first, it was almost time for a change anyway.  So far, no leaks, but will replace the pan the next time it leaks.   I was quoted $2,500 and up to replace.  There is little clearance between the hitch and the pan, no doubt the frame section has to be removed which is where the rear engine mount is.  

Now I'm at REV to get the Power Gear Leveling fixed.  Right rear fault code, tech said he thinks the panel is bad?  Also discovered after plugging into the 50 amp post that I was only pulling 30 amp (one leg dead)  switched posts, same.  Looks like the transfer switch croaked, but they said it's not made anymore.  Working on a replacement/upgrade idea.  Has anyone done this?

The new ones look really nice, but $$$$ and too much bling for me.

Thanks, for the help.


covering repair of interior side of entry door
6Wheels

Have you thought of replacing the panel with some form of sheet goods available off the shelf?


LED Conversion of Fluorescent Tubes - READ CAREFULLY... NOT as SIMPLE or CHEAPER??....
Tom Cherry
8 hours ago, Jeff H said:

Tom

Are your fluorescent fixtures 120Vac  or 12 VDC?  According to Lowe's website the bulbs are 120VAC.

Jeff, Gary and Dennis.... EDITED 3:05 Eastern

LATE BREAKING...I just received a call back from Optronics, who made my overhead fluorescent fixtures. They researched them....and could NOT determine the specs for the early 2000's units.

One SENIOR Tech said that he THOUGHT that the Ballasts were NOT ELECTRONIC. Therefore, the GE Tubes that I posted are not compatible with them.  He believed that the ballasts were more of the conventional "old style" where there is a preheater voltage to "start" the light and then it drops off to the run voltage. That would explain the two step or dim, then bright startup.

As we talked, he said that the 12 VDC Ballasts, he was told, was a different "Critter" than the AC Ballasts. All the info we have today primarily deals with that. Therefore, I am removing the tubes that I just installed and will look at other options....which are pointed out in my posts that follows.

Thanks to the folks that were involved and commented as they prompted me to do the research. The lights work great.....but the question is HOW LONG will that last. The Senior tech did say.....we used one brand (could not remember) and we also got some from a vendor in Taiwan....but based on his recollection....they were not electronic and the part numbers were so old that you could not find specs on them.

The overall comments about how they are made are correct. My ballasts are working and I only found a few cases where folks had lost the ballasts.  That may be good....but based on age, there COULD BE (no evidence) some failures.  Please read carefully.....

I should have used the original DISCLAIMER that Colonel Duckwitz always quoted when giving information on our Motorhomes.  Monaco NEVER made two alike. Purchasing ruled and Monaco would switch vendors for a penny. In addition, Monaco used whatever was "available" when the MH was made....which could be 3 year old items....especially in the last 18 months before the bankruptcy. (see this for HISTORY....which was discussed MORE on the original site...  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monaco_Coach_Corporation  )

Having said that, this is what I have found...

ThinLine and Optronics were two of the brands used. I THINK that Optronics bought out a company named LiteCo. There are posts on ETrailer about the "LiteCo 179" and it being 100% NON FIELD Serviceable. I tried to contact Optronics yesterday, but they were closed.....so here is what I know....as well as THINK...

LiteCo 179 was a fixture used by Monaco in "some?" 2005 models of HR. NOW....was that used in all 2005's and was that also used in both  Eugene, OR and Elkhart, IN? God ONLY knows. For a while, the same "model" was made in both and there were MAJOR differences...

Mine are Optronics 179 with a manufacturing date of late 2007. If you go here, this is shows the fixture from all sides.

https://rvinteriors.visonerv.com/cgi-bin/md/M361167/s7.pl  If you keep clicking on the picture, it will toggle between 6 or 7 views. That is what I have....mine were made within days of the one in the picture.

LOOK CAREFULLY at the construction, especially the bulb end caps and the back. This unit is NON SERVICABLE. There are requests for a replacement ballast on the various forums, but I did NOT find an answer. The bulb end caps are pop riveted (long ones) to a bracket. That bracket is then pop riveted to the back of the fixture. The Ballast is pop riveted to the back of the fixture. There is NOT ONE SCREW used in the assembly. Probably to prevent vibration loosening or maybe cheaper as the metal parts are stamped and punched and painted. The ballast is under the reflector. The reflector is held in place or "sandwiched" and does not appear to come apart...without drilling out the rivets from the back side.

There are also posts on other forums and the dimensions (back side fitted into roof) MAY not be compatible with later fixtures....but you might find an LED one that is totally surface mounted and does not have the fixture recessed into the ceiling. IF I get INFO from Optronics, I will post.

BOTTOM LINE....THEY WORK. I have 12 VDC Lights....NOT 115 VAC. Mine are Electronic, OR THAT IS MY ASSUMPTION.  One does NOT always watch and do high speed photography on a light fixture. I have TWO fixtures with older bulbs, which I keep turned off. The light comes ON instantly and then a few milliseconds later, it sort of "ramps up" and reaches full illumination. You have to watch it several times to pick up the transition. Therefore, I assumed mine are INSTANT ON. 

Having said that, I surveyed my three main home fluorescent fixtures. TWO, that I replaced, that were "Electronic" appear to be totally "instant on" in that there is no change in the light output. One is the same as in the MH. On with maybe 80% illumination and then instantly brightens to full power.

SO....the Optronics (179) that I have are the "two step".  I remember that some members in the older forum stated that if you allowed the tubes to go bad or flicker or have issues that could damage the ballast. True or NOT....I don't know. But, I decided NOT to push them and replaced them when they flickered or went out or had "internal burn marks".

OK....I MIGHT be living on borrowed time....but when I turn on the LED's they do NOT have the pause or two step operation. They light instantly to full power.

EDIT....

Called Optronics....they are "Researching" it and the techs may have been in HS when this was made. The lamp requirement is a F15T8. The T8 were 99%, from what I read, ELECTRONIC. There were two types....the Rapid (may have a pause as there is a preheat circuit) and the Instant Start. Here is a paper on that...

https://www.halcolighting.com/pdf/WP/T8-IS-Retrofit.pdf

Bottom line....Rapid Start gives you longer BULB LIGHT....as the INSTANT START gives you Shorter (higher voltage on start up....particularly bad where the light is turned on and off frequently). BOTH ARE ELECTRONIC. The GE Bulbs require an ELECTRONIC BALLAST....so if your fixtures have T8's in them....then "ODDS ARE", not guaranteed, that the GE's will work with them. 

NEXT THING....I did find out a bit more.  If you are NOT into adhesive arrays, then there is a "Direct" retrofit LED tube. It is about 2X the cost of the GE's....but MAY be available elsewhere cheaper. Here is the INSTALL for it....

http://m4sales.com/InstallT8.pdf

Basically, you direct wire your T8 sockets to 12 VDC and you keep the same style and internal "look". As I said, the install in the Optronics would be to do some "probing" of the terminals. You need ONE SIDE of the fixture to be GROUND (both pins on each tube socket or only one....they are internally jumpered). The OTHER side MUST BE 12 VDC and same....only ONE pin or BOTH. Obviously both the end tube sockets must be Parallel wired....and if you don't know what that means.....do some research before you disassemble and cut wiring.  The use of the side switch is optional, but I would do it.

SO>>>>>>as LONG as your fixtures WORK as in the Ballast is OK....then I would, PERSONALLY, do the tube if you want a "No hassle...no rewire" approach. BUT, if the ballast fails, then you have two options.....upgrade to the T8 Direct 12 VDC LED or go with the retrofit Array strips....

I think that is correct....but others might differ.....whatever works for you....as this did for me....

Hope this helps clear it up. My DW worked inside the MH cleaning after our trip. This was after I changed out ALL the ones that we used. She is ELATED....I guess that cool white and MORE illumination is more of a necessity as you get a little older...

CHECK ON YOUR BALLASTS....  IF your light fixture has a "T8 Bulb requirement", ODDS ARE...but NOT GUARANTEED, that you have an electronic ballast...Mine WORK. I KNOW that if you gutted the harness or the wiring that you could get to that is exposed, you would find a "Ground" or the Negative 12VDC. I THINK that the middle terminal of the switch MAY be the positive 12 VDC and the end is the switched. So, if you found both the positive and negative, then you could pull the tube and probably install the strips. I chose NOT to do that....but if I have issues, then that will be my next step.

Hope this clarifies some things. If anyone contacts Optronics and they can get the ballast info, that would be helpful....PLEASE POST...

Thanks,

 


120 AC twist wire nut melted
wamcneil
20 hours ago, ok-rver said:

I believe the cord reel is #6.  The house wiring has 5 or 6 solid copper wires twisted into a bundle with insulation around all of the wires. they look to be 14 ga or 12 ga for each wire. The bundle should be rated for the 50 amp service.

Where is this bundle of wires you’re talking about ???  
Are you talking about multiple strands inside a stranded wire (as opposed to solid wire)?

like others said, replace those wire nuts with something better!

cheers

Walter


Charging Chassis Batteries On Shore Power
directorsusa

Call me crazy, but why not mount a regular AC to DC charger permanently on the chassis batteries wired into a nearby house AC line so when the house is in charge mode on the inverter (when mine is in charge mode it turns inverter on which turns on AC in the house) it will always keep the chassis batteries topped up?

 

Jarred A.     04 HR Nav


120 AC twist wire nut melted
Ray Davis

Congratulations on a good find,  and thanks for the picture.

In the picture above It appears to be a connection of two cables of the same size to me.   One has different insulation causing it to appear slightly smaller.

However I don't see any #12 wires except for grounds.     I'm inclined to think the wire nut was never tightened properly.      

Repairs definitely need to be made with better connectors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


covering repair of interior side of entry door
D.Ellison
12 hours ago, D.Ellison said:

  

20210823_200715.jpg

20210823_200719.jpg

20210823_200739.jpg

 Not the best pics ,  I'm going to try again tomorrow when its sunny 


Water pump indicator light
Bob Blackmon

Does anyone have a source for the green led indicator light or the red incandescent would be fine too. I can make one out of a blank but would like the whole piece.


covering repair of interior side of entry door
Chargerman
40 minutes ago, 6Wheels said:

Thanks. I was hoping to keep it original so didn’t want to replace it with she goods. I will try the sites you listed for a replacement 

 

thanks!


GFCI at wall for shore power tripping
W7BE_Bob
Quote

Connect white neutral only, reset, TRIP!!!!!!!!!

BINGO! GFCIs also detect a neutral to ground fault condition even with appliances truned off. Remove the neutrals of each circuit in the panel and you should find the faulty circuit.


covering repair of interior side of entry door
Paul A.

Try this guy; Ken Sutton
Customer Service Representative
RV-REV Parts
800-509-3417

Or;

RV Parts & Salvage Yards


Water pump indicator light
Steven

Call Veurinks RV parts 616-965-9619.


covering repair of interior side of entry door
D.Ellison

thanks everyone.


LED Conversion of Fluorescent Tubes - READ CAREFULLY... NOT as SIMPLE or CHEAPER??....
W7BE_Bob

Excellent information. I haven't converted the MH fluorescents (yet) simply because our living area has 24 other ceiling and under cab lights that are all LEDs. Bedroom and bathroom are similar. 

FYI At home our high usage lights are LEDs which use 6.7x less power. In 2020 I wanted to leave the outside lights on at night for extra security. The LED cost savings per year for 3 60W lights was $65. The cost of the LEDs and switch timer was paid for in 6 months. The timer turns them on at sunset and off at sunrise. 


covering repair of interior side of entry door
redstickbill

Mr Ellison, Thank you for the photos, while I do not have an answer, I have some leads should the problem arise in my coach

Bill B 07 Dynasty


Water pump indicator light
Ivan K

Do you mean this kind?

Screenshot_20210717-132659_Chrome.jpg


Oil Quanity?
tmw188

I’ve owned this coach about 3 mo now so I went on the Cummins App and entered my ESN with that stupid band across it. So is this where I should get accurate info on my engine? It says 20 qt for the high capacity oil pan. This should be the correct info I’m assuming. Someone wrote 5.5 gal on the valve cover. It reads about 5/8” high on the stick. I pulled 2 qts out and now it’s reading at the correct level on the stick, which does put me at the 20qt amount. I need this info to be reliable. Any comments. 350 8.3 ISC 

54FE8D3B-F0E5-4AED-8277-CCCE3BC67896.png


LED Conversion of Fluorescent Tubes - READ CAREFULLY... NOT as SIMPLE or CHEAPER??....
Jeff H
5 hours ago, Tom Cherry said:

Jeff, Gary and Dennis.... EDITED 10:00 Eastern

I should have used the original DISCLAIMER that Colonel Duckwitz always quoted when giving information on our Motorhomes.  Monaco NEVER made two alike. Purchasing ruled and Monaco would switch vendors for a penny. In addition, Monaco used whatever was "available" when the MH was made....which could be 3 year old items....especially in the last 18 months before the bankruptcy. (see this for HISTORY....which was discussed MORE on the original site...  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monaco_Coach_Corporation  )

Having said that, this is what I have found...

ThinLine and Optronics were two of the brands used. I THINK that Optronics bought out a company named LiteCo. There are posts on ETrailer about the "LiteCo 179" and it being 100% NON FIELD Serviceable. I tried to contact Optronics yesterday, but they were closed.....so here is what I know....as well as THINK...

LiteCo 179 was a fixture used by Monaco in "some?" 2005 models of HR. NOW....was that used in all 2005's and was that also used in both  Eugene, OR and Elkhart, IN? God ONLY knows. For a while, the same "model" was made in both and there were MAJOR differences...

Mine are Optronics 179 with a manufacturing date of late 2007. If you go here, this is shows the fixture from all sides.

https://rvinteriors.visonerv.com/cgi-bin/md/M361167/s7.pl  If you keep clicking on the picture, it will toggle between 6 or 7 views. That is what I have....mine were made within days of the one in the picture.

LOOK CAREFULLY at the construction, especially the bulb end caps and the back. This unit is NON SERVICABLE. There are requests for a replacement ballast on the various forums, but I did NOT find an answer. The bulb end caps are pop riveted (long ones) to a bracket. That bracket is then pop riveted to the back of the fixture. The Ballast is pop riveted to the back of the fixture. There is NOT ONE SCREW used in the assembly. Probably to prevent vibration loosening or maybe cheaper as the metal parts are stamped and punched and painted. The ballast is under the reflector. The reflector is held in place or "sandwiched" and does not appear to come apart...without drilling out the rivets from the back side.

There are also posts on other forums and the dimensions (back side fitted into roof) MAY not be compatible with later fixtures....but you might find an LED one that is totally surface mounted and does not have the fixture recessed into the ceiling. IF I get INFO from Optronics, I will post.

BOTTOM LINE....THEY WORK. I have 12 VDC Lights....NOT 115 VAC. Mine are Electronic, OR THAT IS MY ASSUMPTION.  One does NOT always watch and do high speed photography on a light fixture. I have TWO fixtures with older bulbs, which I keep turned off. The light comes ON instantly and then a few milliseconds later, it sort of "ramps up" and reaches full illumination. You have to watch it several times to pick up the transition. Therefore, I assumed mine are INSTANT ON. 

Having said that, I surveyed my three main home fluorescent fixtures. TWO, that I replaced, that were "Electronic" appear to be totally "instant on" in that there is no change in the light output. One is the same as in the MH. On with maybe 80% illumination and then instantly brightens to full power.

SO....the Optronics (179) that I have are the "two step".  I remember that some members in the older forum stated that if you allowed the tubes to go bad or flicker or have issues that could damage the ballast. True or NOT....I don't know. But, I decided NOT to push them and replaced them when they flickered or went out or had "internal burn marks".

OK....I MIGHT be living on borrowed time....but when I turn on the LED's they do NOT have the pause or two step operation. They light instantly to full power.

EDIT....

Called Optronics....they are "Researching" it and the techs may have been in HS when this was made. The lamp requirement is a F15T8. The T8 were 99%, from what I read, ELECTRONIC. There were two types....the Rapid (may have a pause as there is a preheat circuit) and the Instant Start. Here is a paper on that...

https://www.halcolighting.com/pdf/WP/T8-IS-Retrofit.pdf

Bottom line....Rapid Start gives you longer BULB LIGHT....as the INSTANT START gives you Shorter (higher voltage on start up....particularly bad where the light is turned on and off frequently). BOTH ARE ELECTRONIC. The GE Bulbs require an ELECTRONIC BALLAST....so if your fixtures have T8's in them....then "ODDS ARE", not guaranteed, that the GE's will work with them. 

NEXT THING....I did find out a bit more.  If you are NOT into adhesive arrays, then there is a "Direct" retrofit LED tube. It is about 2X the cost of the GE's....but MAY be available elsewhere cheaper. Here is the INSTALL for it....

http://m4sales.com/InstallT8.pdf

Basically, you direct wire your T8 sockets to 12 VDC and you keep the same style and internal "look". As I said, the install in the Optronics would be to do some "probing" of the terminals. You need ONE SIDE of the fixture to be GROUND (both pins on each tube socket or only one....they are internally jumpered). The OTHER side MUST BE 12 VDC and same....only ONE pin or BOTH. Obviously both the end tube sockets must be Parallel wired....and if you don't know what that means.....do some research before you disassemble and cut wiring.  The use of the side switch is optional, but I would do it.

SO>>>>>>as LONG as your fixtures WORK as in the Ballast is OK....then I would, PERSONALLY, do the tube if you want a "No hassle...no rewire" approach. BUT, if the ballast fails, then you have two options.....upgrade to the T8 Direct 12 VDC LED or go with the retrofit Array strips....

I think that is correct....but others might differ.....whatever works for you....as this did for me....

Hope this helps clear it up. My DW worked inside the MH cleaning after our trip. This was after I changed out ALL the ones that we used. She is ELATED....I guess that cool white and MORE illumination is more of a necessity as you get a little older...

CHECK ON YOUR BALLASTS....  IF your light fixture has a "T8 Bulb requirement", ODDS ARE...but NOT GUARANTEED, that you have an electronic ballast...Mine WORK. I KNOW that if you gutted the harness or the wiring that you could get to that is exposed, you would find a "Ground" or the Negative 12VDC. I THINK that the middle terminal of the switch MAY be the positive 12 VDC and the end is the switched. So, if you found both the positive and negative, then you could pull the tube and probably install the strips. I chose NOT to do that....but if I have issues, then that will be my next step.

Hope this clarifies some things. If anyone contacts Optronics and they can get the ballast info, that would be helpful....PLEASE POST...

Thanks,

 

Thanks Tom

So

This is the label on my living room, hall, and bed room. fixtures:

image.thumb.png.68fca3d36973adc78143b3441369a767.png

Below is the ballast/starter?  Is this an electronic ballast/starter I am more familiar with the old school "black boxes".  The black wire is 12VDC positive from the switch the white is 12VDVC negative.  I measured the voltage on a working light and there is 12v across black and white.  There is 12v across the blue and red at the bottom of the picture.  Interestingly in the living room which has 3 lights there was 8.5 volts with the other 2 lights on, 10.5 with 1 light on and 13.8 with no other lights on.  I was surprised by the voltage drop.  One fixture wasn't working and the voltage across the red and blue at the bottom would start at 10.9 and then drop to almost nothing in 10 seconds.  So I will go out on a limb and say the ballast/starter is shot. 

image.thumb.png.d2894508ce1ff9dcfedd9fcb3cb3d8a0.png

So Tom, simply stated you have 120VAc bulbs in 12VDC fixtures (likely with electronic ballast) and they work.  Out of curiosity would a 120VAC fixture's ballast use a transformer to change the voltage to 12VDC? 

At that price it is worth a try at the very least.  Now to find them in Canada.


2021 Monacoer’s Refrigerator Poll
Bob Jones
6 hours ago, Dr4Film said:

Bob,

You didn't state what model of Norcold you have and what size..

I hate to do it to you, Richard - it's a 1200 LRIM 

I know, it's hard to believe, so here's a pic of the temps on a warm summer day on setting #2

For the record though, I'm in complete agreement with respect to the doors and everything else. There are many reasons to replace it. That will happen, but as it stands, the only reason right now is because it's a power pig!

20210824_113857.jpg


Oil Quanity?
Robert U

I have a 8.3 ISC 315hp that requires 22 quarts of oil. Dipstick is not accurate.

Bob U 2000 Dip


LED Conversion of Fluorescent Tubes - READ CAREFULLY... NOT as SIMPLE or CHEAPER??....
Tom Cherry
22 minutes ago, Jeff H said:

Thanks Tom

So

This is the label on my living room, hall, and bed room. fixtures:

image.thumb.png.68fca3d36973adc78143b3441369a767.png

Below is the ballast/starter?  Is this an electronic ballast/starter I am more familiar with the old school "black boxes".  The black wire is 12VDC positive from the switch the white is 12VDVC negative.  I measured the voltage on a working light and there is 12v across black and white.  There is 12v across the blue and red at the bottom of the picture.  Interestingly in the living room which has 3 lights there was 8.5 volts with the other 2 lights on, 10.5 with 1 light on and 13.8 with no other lights on.  I was surprised by the voltage drop.  One fixture wasn't working and the voltage across the red and blue at the bottom would start at 10.9 and then drop to almost nothing in 10 seconds.  So I will go out on a limb and say the ballast/starter is shot. 

image.thumb.png.d2894508ce1ff9dcfedd9fcb3cb3d8a0.png

So Tom, simply stated you have 120VAc bulbs in 12VDC fixtures (likely with electronic ballast) and they work.  Out of curiosity would a 120VAC fixture's ballast use a transformer to change the voltage to 12VDC? 

At that price it is worth a try at the very least.  Now to find them in Canada.

 

See the recent posts. You have SEVERAL choices....

Call Thin-lite and see if you can purchase the older ballast. Ask them what type they are....but I would suspect that they are the same style as mine. IF you have some new bulbs in a fixture that is working.....let it cool down or be off for a while. Then turn it on....if it is a two step process, then it is probably NOT electronic.

Then you can do one of the following....save buying a NEW fixture, assuming it will fit.  Optronics changed the fixture dimensions, or at least I was told that.

Retrofit with the "Stick on" array style. All you have to do is to identify Positive and Negative. I can't even see my ballast....much less remove it without pulling down the fixture and drilling out pop rivets.

Retrofit to an electronic 12 VDC Ballast. Then the GE bulbs should work. That is assuming that there is such an animal and Thin-Lite should be able to tell you.

Retrofit to the straight wired 12VDC tubes. They are twice as expensive....but you do not need a ballast....

Let us know what you find out from Thin-Lite.....that helps us all.

 


Oil Level Sensor Failure
mrbill1951

Agreed

I think I'll try cleaning contacts that someone suggested on IRV2 and see if that solves the problem.

I would think, and maybe I'm all wet, that a sensor would go out and stay out where as a connector could fade in and out.  It has shifted into gear without issues for the last three days sitting in my driveway.


Ride Height Adjustment '08 Camelot?
RustyTools

After resolving the issue with low ride-height on passenger side, I fell down another rabbit-hole. Except I'm the one that's going crazy in this one!

In researching the correct ride-height, I've come across many different measurement 'suggestions' as well as some "RTFM ya dummy" (that's short for Read The *Fancy* 😉 Manual) dictates for the rear.  Problem is, my Owner Manual doesn't state the correct height, nor are most of the suggestions consistent. I realize it is very important as to the height, and after all my recent turmoils under there, I want to get it spot-on. Several gracious folks have offered their information, which I appreciate, but because of the different years and Monaco's changes in measurement, which is the real McCoy?

Hence my question: What should be the correct rear ride-height for an '08 Camelot 40PDQ (no tag), and where exactly should it be measured from? (ie, plate top to plate bottom, frame rail to H-member, or?)

 

 


GFCI at wall for shore power tripping
ok-rver

I found the cause of the trip. Some have said they had trouble working thru my trouble shooting history. I will re-discuss the test that I very much miss interpreted. I had hooked up a TWO wire pig tail to the black and white and then red and white feeding the main distribution on the house side of the transfer relay and neither tripped the GFCI. What I missed was I did not connect a ground to the system. The every thing connected normal trip was because shore power GFCI was seeing zero ohms between the neutral and the ground. With the two wire pigtail, it saw the connection as open not knowing there was no wire to the ground.  I pulled the inverter, water heater, refrigerator, and several other wires of the neutral bus and still had trips. This morning I pulled the three left most and tested and now had an open circuit between the ground and neutral bus. I reattached the first two and still open. The third breaker/neutral was the engine heater receptacle in the engine compartment. Open this receptacle cover and it is a GFCI. Remove cover and as I am pulling the GFCI out, the neutral is loose from the clamp. The bare ground conductor is connected to a screw in the side of the metal box for grounding the box and routed directly behind were the white wire is connected. I rearranged the ground wire more at the bottom of the box and re-tightened the terminal to the white conductor and no more GFCI trip.  It does not appear that this GFCI had ever been used. 

Using the two wire pigtail without a trip gave me the false impression that the house wiring was OK. That cost me hours of trouble shooting. If this happens again, the first test would be with all the breakers OFF. If it still trips, the issue is up stream of the breakers OR I will check the resistance between the ground and neutral inside the breaker box. If ZERO ohms, I will know it is a grounding issue, not a power issue.

I count at least 4 GFCIs within the MH wiring being feed by my shower power GFCI. Some have said that stacking GFCIs will not work. Might be best not too. Not my building and I am obligated to have a GFCI supplying shore power. If every thing is connected correctly, stacked GFCI can work.

Pretty much always a solution. Just interpreting each bit of information correctly.


Running Norcold Frig off House breaker or inverter???
ok-rver

New to us MH. Updated Norcold with high temp monitor on coils. It has been working very well, knock on wood. Some where I read the ice maker uses a lot of power. From that and based on we would only make ice if stationary on shore power, I assumed that the frig would be plugged into the inverter receptacle in the rear box and the ice maker would be on the house wired receptacle. I would prefer not to have my LP gas solenoid energized when running down the road. Run the frig off alternator/inverter when driving and shore power when at camp site. Manually switch to gas when needed.

In reading thru some articles, this is not how the factory set up the system. Wondering how others have their's set up? 


Oil Quanity?
tmw188

I understand that could be the case, but if you read my post again it’s about the Cummins data on my motor says 20qts. It checks out with the dipstick. 


GFCI at wall for shore power tripping
W7BE_Bob

More that 0 ohms can cause a GFCI to trip.  GFCIs trip with 5ma leakage. That is about 24K ohms. 

Some types of GFCIs don't work in series but I've never had a issue, just something to be aware of. When doing my PDI for the current rig the 3 light tester showed a open ground on all of the kitchen plugs - Monaco had not connected a  ground wire and the original owner never checked.


Oil Quanity?
Dr4Film

I always have the service tech start with 20 quarts of oil first then top off if needed to bring it up to FULL on the stick. Plus they always install a full new oil filter.

This is on my Cummins ISC-350 engine.


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
cbr046

Let me start out by saying RESIDENTIAL REPLACEMENT IS NOT AN OPTION!
Making a long story long anyway, our Norcold 1200 has a hard time keeping 45F on an 80F+ day.  While traveling the inside temp goes to 55F-60F, depending whether it's night or day.  The cooling fins sit at 22F while camped, 37F while traveling.  The freezer back wall goes from -18 to +15 (sitting vs traveling).  At night the fridge will dip down into the high 30F's.  The collection tank (near the burner tube) will range from 100F to 148F (traveling vs sitting).  Performance is similar whether propane or AC.  The tank, fins and freezer temps were taken with a cheap IR gun that has proven to be inaccurate so consider those measurements"in the ballpark". 

The foil backed insulation had broken away on the boiling tube in two places.  I replaced that with galvanized ducting, 4" at bottom, 3" at top packed with rock wool. 

image.thumb.png.2e203d6aea5eadab624e5933de803b4e.png

These changes made virtually no difference so I added secondary material to the door seals (EPDM window sealing from Home Depot).  oo  Still no change. 

The graph below is from a Govee H5074 and (I believe) accurate.  You can see when I open the door for loading (Wed, Thu), traveling on Friday until 6pm and Sun 3pm -midnight Mon am.  Sat eve the flat line appears the unit was satisfied with the temp setting (not sure what happened there). 

1365195192_Norcold00Performance.thumb.png.dc3948872181abf5eecdb5461c6a37e0.png

Yes, it's 18 years old and old enough to vote.  I'd like it to be old enough to drink adult beverages. 

Maybe I should have packed the rock wool more loosely?

The symptoms suggest there's outside air getting inside the box.  When I had the unit out I sealed with alum HVAC tape anywhere around the box I thought air could go that shouldn't.  Is there any sort of check valve in the fridge compartment condensate drain?

There *IS* a small yellowish spot 1/2 size of a small woman's pinky fingernail on one of the tubes (boiling, AC or flue I don't remember).  If boiling tube it could point to a classic ammonia leak.  No odd smells anywhere.  And the unit works . . . . mostly. 

One friend suggested 12V might be getting interrupted while traveling.  Without a long pair of wires from control board to dash I don't have a way to check this going down the road.  I believe this possibility is pretty remote. 

I'm trying to rule out all possibilities before ordering a JC Refrigeration (Amish) cooling unit . . . . or from someone else (there's a company in AR?).  $1500 is a LOT of money! 

Am I missing anything?  Thoughts? 

And again, with all the traveling + boondocking and not wanting to run the generator continuously, or invest in high dollar solar + batteries, residential fridge is not an option.

Best,

- bob

 


Running Norcold Frig off House breaker or inverter???
Dr4Film

When the NotSoCold was in the coach, the fridge was plugged into a NON-Inverter outlet and the Ice Maker was plugged into an Inverter powered outlet.

Monaco did that so the fridge would automatically detect when 120 VAC power was severed and switch over to LPG. The Ice Maker would make ice whether parked or traveling IF the Inverter was on.

One day while in Alaska I decided to try running the fridge using the Inverter powered outlet but totally forgot what I had done. When taking a side trip from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula we stopped about halfway to have a leisure lunch at a restaurant. Upon returning to the coach the generator was running as the house batteries had been depleted due to the fridge running on the Inverter. You have to remember that the NotSoCold is an energy hog.

You can do that way but you have to remember to either turn the fridge off or switch it over to LPG or start the generator while you are NOT driving and not plugged into shore power.


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
jacwjames

Did you take the cooling completely off or just add tape.

My 1200 never did a good job.  I added a fan at the bottom, didn't help.  I resorted to putting remote temp monitors in both fridge and freezer and we'd keep cold blocks in the freezer we could move the fridge when temps went to ~50F.  It finally gave up the ghost, ammonia leak. 

But to get it out of the RV I removed the whole cooling unit.  I was surprised at how poorly they mated it to absorption plate.  There was a large gap, the adhesive they used was probably +3/8" thick with air gap.  I suspect that's why the unit never did cool well. 

Went with the Samsung RF18, I was impressed with how it kept everything cool in +100F weather with direct sun hitting that side of the coach. 

 


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Dr4Film

Bob,

Maybe you should talk to Bob Jones who has a Norcold 1200 that is performing beyond expectations.

See this post -

 


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
pennzo

The yellow spot is your culprit.   That's where the cooling system is leaking.   I've been fortunate, my 20 yr old Norcold is still kicking, 30° in the fridge and 4° in the freezer, on #7 setting.   I realize I'm on borrowed time,  but I understand your anxiety...however, everyone on this site has encouraged us to replace our NeverCold with a standard refrigerator. 


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Tom Wallis

I ordered a cooling unit from the company in AR about 3 weeks ago. Their name is RVcool and the owners name is Wick. Apparently they bought out Atco and the website still says Atco but if you call the number on the website you get RVcool. Wick told me it would take about a week to ship and they would charge my card at that time. On August 7th I got an email receipt showing they had charged my card $530 and I assumed my cooling unit had shipped. I called yesterday and was told it would ship today. I have looked at some of the reviews and complaints online for RVcool and I am understandable nervous at this point.

I hope this helps if you decide to order a new cooling unit.


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Chuck B

You are living on borrowed time.  What will you do if it catches fire in the middle of the night While you are sleeping?  Push the DW out of the bedroom window allowing her to fall on her head?  You probably will not make it to the front door while waking up and trying to determine what is happening.  If it catches fire, $1500.00 is a drop in the bucket to get back to normal.  By the time a fire department gets to your coach, it will be totaled.  Chuck B 2004 Windsor


Ride Height Adjustment '08 Camelot?
Gary M

Have u talked to Source Engineering in Oregon?


Ride Height Adjustment '08 Camelot?
Frank McElroy

For ride height, you measure from the bottom of the top plate to the top of the bottom plate where the air bags are mounted.  I looked in our parts file and I don't see a spec for a 2008 Camelot.  I'll update the file once I know the ride height numbers. 


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
birdshill123

Unless you change the cooling system the risk if fire is always present. No matter what you do the cost is what you called expensive.  JC refrigeration  could replace the cooling system with a 12 volt unit. Or you could install the Amish cooling unit. It still runs on propane. If you install anything that uses propane a fire extinguishing system should be installed.  More expense. 


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
RNMCBR

Bob,

If you haven’t done so already, you should check the seal between the cooling unit and the ref case. You should peel back the duct/foul tape and look for gaps and water stains, especially along the bottom. This would indicate moisture is condensing between the cooling unit and the ref case. If this is happening you could be experiencing cyclic freezing of the moisture which would cause cooling performance to fluctuate. If you doubt the seal integrity you can shoot some spray foam into the gap and then seal up with foil tape. 
Roy


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Gary M

Why not a residential? Cheaper than a $1500 Amish conversion.


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Dr4Film
6 minutes ago, Gary M said:

Why not a residential? Cheaper than a $1500 Amish conversion.

Gary,

A lot of people think they have to run the generator all the time or spend big money installing solar but I haven't done either plus I can and have boondocked with the best out there.


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Bob Jones

One thing I found out about our Norcold is that it is the only place on earth that defies the laws of physics!

Like everyone else, I could not keep it cold enough even on setting #9. It was not safe to keep ground beef in the freezer for any length of time. 

I had some extra 120mm computer fans lying around and put one blowing across the inside fins at the back of the fridge compartment. Next thing you know, all the pop and milk froze solid. 

I then bought one of those $25 wireless thermometer dealies that measures the temp in the fridge and the freezer in real-time and displays it on the wall. What I found was that the top of the fridge was well below freezing and the bottom was not. So, in a Norcold, hot air DOES NOT RISE. Thus the laws of physics cease to exist inside it. 

Because I had the temperature monitoring dealy I could determine exactly what worked and what did not. So this is what I found. Ideally, you want one 120mm fan blowing across the aluminum fins in the back. Then you want another 120mm fan on the bottom left of the fridge blowing straight across to the bottom right. On the bottom right you want one more 120mm blowing straight up to the fan blowing across the fins. In this way, you create a circular air movement inside the fridge. The hot air gets blown up to the fan that blow it across the fins. I only have two right now, one blowing across the fins and one on the bottom right blowing up to the one that blows across the fins.

Anyway, in my case, this reduced my fridge and freezer temps from setting #9 (max) to setting #2 (one up from the bottom). We had 38c weather here (100.4f) and I had to turn it up ONE setting to #3 and even that was risky because it will freeze the contents of the fridge. 

I don't know whether my 1200LRIM is special or anything. All I know is that is ALL that was required to make it freeze everything. My issue today is dancing around freezing the contents of the fridge!

I am certain that if I installed one more fan on the bottom left, blowing across the bottom to the fan that blows up to the one blowing across the fins, I would be able to run it on #1 (!!!!!!)

Here is a pic, in Celsius, of the 1200 LRIM on a typical 22c day (72f) with the freezer at -15 and the fridge at ~1c

BTW, This is running on AC. Also, BTW, all the other reasons to replace it are valid, such as doors etc. But in my case, it's really cold. And the answer, for me, was to get the air inside the fridge to circulate in a continuous circle which is very easy and cheap. Also, my fridge is 22 years old. I don't know if that is all that's wrong with yours, but in my case, my problem is the fridge is too cold and, as a result, runs much less. Go figure.

20210824_113857.jpg


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Bob Jones
3 hours ago, cbr046 said:

And again, with all the traveling + boondocking and not wanting to run the generator continuously, or invest in high dollar solar + batteries, residential fridge is not an option.

Best,

- bob

 

I'll probably get shot for this (I fear it as I'm 'new' to the site) but I was recently looking at the  Frigidaire # FFHT1425VV as someone else here used it. By the looks of it, it's plug n' play even though I have a furnace under my fridge (so did he). Up here, in Canada, that fridge is $850 in stainless and less in white. That's about $670 USD but it's likely to be cheaper in the US due to competition. Cheaper yet if you don't go for the stainless.

That fridge costs $40 to run per YEAR based on .12c per KWH. What that means is that it costs less to run that fridge for one year then it does for my Norcold for one month......

In my case, that fridge will pay for itself very quickly. But here's the thing, I know from experience that my 4 Trojan batteries will power the Norcold for about 10 hours, roughly. How long would those batteries power a fridge that uses a fraction of the power of the Norcold? Probably days. To me, that would be a massive benefit to anyone boondocking. 

Then you get the benefit of not having to deal with door seals, the complexity of it, the chance of a leak, and...most importantly, the fact that they are known to burn a unit to the ground very, very quickly. One guy on this site went through that and he won't set foot in a unit with a Norcold because it freaked him out that badly. Apparently these things burn very very fast. Scary fast from the sounds of it. 

If my Norcold was not performing so well, I would be down at the store right now buying a Frigidaire # FFHT1425VV as fast as I could. The power saving alone makes it pay for itself in about 1.5 years. The reduction in fire risk? Probably priceless. The reduction in load on the inverter? Massive benefit. Just my 0.02c worth. But it seems to me, that for boondocking, you want something that uses little power. Bear in mind, I refuse to run mine on propane because of the open flame in proximity to the flammable gases in the back of the fridge.....


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
SteveJ

I can only report what worked for me. I went with the JC Refrigeration 12v unit (compressor). Setting 2 is where I keep it - in Florida with 95-100 degree Temps outside. 0 to -3 freezer and 33 -34 in fridge. Did it last year and am not at all sorry. Drove to Indiana to have him install. On all the time, does not run the batteries down (4-6 volt) and now completely safe for those worried about fire. Didn't want the hassle of taking windows out and redoing all the surround - if it would even fit so I just ignore those people that say the ONLY way to go is residential. I have no inverter and didn't want all the cost involved to install. 12v works great.


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Bob Jones

@SteveJThose are really good temps for setting #2! 


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Gary M
50 minutes ago, Dr4Film said:

Gary,

A lot of people think they have to run the generator all the time or spend big money installing solar but I haven't done either plus I can and have boondocked with the best out there.

I agree there. Haven’t added any extras either.


Ride Height Adjustment '08 Camelot?
woodylmiller

Frank, I would like to know what the measurement is on the Dynasty.  I have a 2008 rolling chassis, coach was first sold in 2009 I guess.  ISM500 was built in May of '08.  Tire chart also lists it as an '08.  I have a slow leak somewhere on the Power Gear leveling, again, so maybe I'll check ride height while I'm fooling around with finding the leak.  One thing for sure, the coach lists to curbside in travel mode a little and I'd like to fix that.  Knock on wood the dreaded Kongsberg chassis multiplex is still going strong.

Woody Miller

09 Dynasty Regal IV


Ride Height Adjustment '08 Camelot?
Frank McElroy

Woody, ride height for 08 Dynasty is 9".  Same as mine.


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
ko7pjim
5 hours ago, cbr046 said:

Let me start out by saying RESIDENTIAL REPLACEMENT IS NOT AN OPTION!
Making a long story long anyway, our Norcold 1200 has a hard time keeping 45F on an 80F+ day.  While traveling the inside temp goes to 55F-60F, depending whether it's night or day.  The cooling fins sit at 22F while camped, 37F while traveling.  The freezer back wall goes from -18 to +15 (sitting vs traveling).  At night the fridge will dip down into the high 30F's.  The collection tank (near the burner tube) will range from 100F to 148F (traveling vs sitting).  Performance is similar whether propane or AC.  The tank, fins and freezer temps were taken with a cheap IR gun that has proven to be inaccurate so consider those measurements"in the ballpark". 

The foil backed insulation had broken away on the boiling tube in two places.  I replaced that with galvanized ducting, 4" at bottom, 3" at top packed with rock wool. 

image.thumb.png.2e203d6aea5eadab624e5933de803b4e.png

These changes made virtually no difference so I added secondary material to the door seals (EPDM window sealing from Home Depot).  oo  Still no change. 

The graph below is from a Govee H5074 and (I believe) accurate.  You can see when I open the door for loading (Wed, Thu), traveling on Friday until 6pm and Sun 3pm -midnight Mon am.  Sat eve the flat line appears the unit was satisfied with the temp setting (not sure what happened there). 

1365195192_Norcold00Performance.thumb.png.dc3948872181abf5eecdb5461c6a37e0.png

Yes, it's 18 years old and old enough to vote.  I'd like it to be old enough to drink adult beverages. 

Maybe I should have packed the rock wool more loosely?

The symptoms suggest there's outside air getting inside the box.  When I had the unit out I sealed with alum HVAC tape anywhere around the box I thought air could go that shouldn't.  Is there any sort of check valve in the fridge compartment condensate drain?

There *IS* a small yellowish spot 1/2 size of a small woman's pinky fingernail on one of the tubes (boiling, AC or flue I don't remember).  If boiling tube it could point to a classic ammonia leak.  No odd smells anywhere.  And the unit works . . . . mostly. 

One friend suggested 12V might be getting interrupted while traveling.  Without a long pair of wires from control board to dash I don't have a way to check this going down the road.  I believe this possibility is pretty remote. 

I'm trying to rule out all possibilities before ordering a JC Refrigeration (Amish) cooling unit . . . . or from someone else (there's a company in AR?).  $1500 is a LOT of money! 

Am I missing anything?  Thoughts? 

And again, with all the traveling + boondocking and not wanting to run the generator continuously, or invest in high dollar solar + batteries, residential fridge is not an option.

Best,

- bob

 

Could that be the periodic defrost in the door divider going off?


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
cbr046
1 hour ago, Bob Jones said:

I'll probably get shot for this (I fear it as I'm 'new' to the site) but I was recently looking at the  Frigidaire # FFHT1425VV as someone else here used it. By the looks of it, it's plug n' play even though I have a furnace under my fridge (so did he). Up here, in Canada, that fridge is $850 in stainless and less in white. That's about $670 USD but it's likely to be cheaper in the US due to competition. Cheaper yet if you don't go for the stainless.

And I'll be doing the shootin'!  I said no residential and now you've got me looking into it.  The Frigidaire is 13.9 cu ft, the Norcold 1210 is 12 cu ft.  More space for less energy.  The Fridgidaire website says 15A but I'm sure that's not right.  $668 USD at AJ Madison (picked at random). 

Our Interstate batteries were dry when we bought it in Feb so I question their integrity (Trojans are the GREATEST BTW).  No telling what the real capacity is on those or how many recharges are left.  Solar is only 70W (not enough for much of anything). 

So you "Res" guys run off the inverter until the batteries give out then crank the generator?  Sometimes I have folks camping right outside the gen exhaust, not to mention the interior noise, so as a general rule I avoid the on-board generator.  I use a Predator 3500 (23A max) but if run to capacity I have to refill it more often than I like.  In the winter I like electric heat (quiet) and that's 13A right there. 

I still like absorption refrigeration . . . but now I'm being tempted. 

- bob

 

 

15 minutes ago, ko7pjim said:

Could that be the periodic defrost in the door divider going off?

Only during travel?

- bob


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
Bob Jones

Hi Bob!

Don't get me wrong, I love my Norcold. But...it's a power PIG and when the weatherstripping on the doors goes you have to buy new doors ~$1,000 When the hinges go, you have to buy new doors. 

There ARE issues with it, none of which I'm faced with right now and mine is ice cold. I tossed around the idea of a Samsung install. A lot of work that I prefer not to do. Hard to get in the door. High cost. High weight. Big hassle (although, that is relative to what you get). I am one person so the Norcold is usually big enough. But every month I look at the power bill and realize I'm wasting power. It's usually around $100. If I put in the Frigidaire I am sure it would be ~$50. That's a 50% reduction. I've got a kill-a-watt on the Norcold right now so I will see, exactly, what it costs me to run that thing per month but I know it sucks almost 500 watts. That's HUGE in a motorhome. My modern TV's take 20-40 depending on screen size. Of all the things in my motorhome, there are two pigs, other than the AC, and that's the dehumidifier, 500 watts, and the Norcold, 500 watts. Everything else is very power efficient. 

Since yours appears to have an odd sealing issue...and you have it out, by the looks of it....and now you know about future expenses and the fire issue...and you know about how thrifty the Frigidaire is....All I can say is that, from the other guy's install, he had to do nothing but put a little bit of wood trim around it because it was a tiny bit smaller. To me, that's plug 'n play. For that matter, a guy could put trim on later. 

But at 130 pounds? With the doors on it? To me, that 'little' Frigidaire could be installed very easily through the front door. If a person takes the doors off it first it would weigh much less. To me, those are the real issues with a residential fridge. If people can get the Samsung through the door, and they have, how much easier would it be with that little fridge? And it's still bigger than the Norcold. And it uses WAY less power.....you could say...it's food for thought 🙂 Unspoiled food that you don't have to throw out or get botulism from!

I am probably the only person in the world with an ice cold Norcold running in it's more/less original trim. So I am unbiased, and, if anything, favor the Norcold because I made it do what, seemingly, no-one could. But the facts can't be denied. It's problematic and it's costly. The people slamming it are doing it for good reason and...at the end of the day, unless you replace that cooling unit, it's a serious fire hazard. And then there is the time you have to spend on the Norcold (still) and you may or may not even know what the scoop is. 

If you research that specific fridge you will find the Energy Guide sticker that says it uses $40 per year in electricity at .12 per KWH. That is $3.33 per month. No matter how you slice it, electricity is a recurring cost. Whether it's genset run time, battery time or whatever. The less used, the better. It takes a LOT of solar ($$$) to power a Norcold on AC. 

You can see the post from the guy that used that fridge (Kevin R) over here => When I saw that post I started researching that fridge based on it being PNP...

 


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
ko7pjim
6 hours ago, cbr046 said:

Let me start out by saying RESIDENTIAL REPLACEMENT IS NOT AN OPTION!
Making a long story long anyway, our Norcold 1200 has a hard time keeping 45F on an 80F+ day.  While traveling the inside temp goes to 55F-60F, depending whether it's night or day.  The cooling fins sit at 22F while camped, 37F while traveling.  The freezer back wall goes from -18 to +15 (sitting vs traveling).  At night the fridge will dip down into the high 30F's.  The collection tank (near the burner tube) will range from 100F to 148F (traveling vs sitting).  Performance is similar whether propane or AC.  The tank, fins and freezer temps were taken with a cheap IR gun that has proven to be inaccurate so consider those measurements"in the ballpark". 

The foil backed insulation had broken away on the boiling tube in two places.  I replaced that with galvanized ducting, 4" at bottom, 3" at top packed with rock wool. 

image.thumb.png.2e203d6aea5eadab624e5933de803b4e.png

These changes made virtually no difference so I added secondary material to the door seals (EPDM window sealing from Home Depot).  oo  Still no change. 

The graph below is from a Govee H5074 and (I believe) accurate.  You can see when I open the door for loading (Wed, Thu), traveling on Friday until 6pm and Sun 3pm -midnight Mon am.  Sat eve the flat line appears the unit was satisfied with the temp setting (not sure what happened there). 

1365195192_Norcold00Performance.thumb.png.dc3948872181abf5eecdb5461c6a37e0.png

Yes, it's 18 years old and old enough to vote.  I'd like it to be old enough to drink adult beverages. 

Maybe I should have packed the rock wool more loosely?

The symptoms suggest there's outside air getting inside the box.  When I had the unit out I sealed with alum HVAC tape anywhere around the box I thought air could go that shouldn't.  Is there any sort of check valve in the fridge compartment condensate drain?

There *IS* a small yellowish spot 1/2 size of a small woman's pinky fingernail on one of the tubes (boiling, AC or flue I don't remember).  If boiling tube it could point to a classic ammonia leak.  No odd smells anywhere.  And the unit works . . . . mostly. 

One friend suggested 12V might be getting interrupted while traveling.  Without a long pair of wires from control board to dash I don't have a way to check this going down the road.  I believe this possibility is pretty remote. 

I'm trying to rule out all possibilities before ordering a JC Refrigeration (Amish) cooling unit . . . . or from someone else (there's a company in AR?).  $1500 is a LOT of money! 

Am I missing anything?  Thoughts? 

And again, with all the traveling + boondocking and not wanting to run the generator continuously, or invest in high dollar solar + batteries, residential fridge is not an option.

Best,

- bob

 

Could the temperature excursion be tracking with outdoor temperature?


Time to Replace Norcold 1200?
cbr046
28 minutes ago, ko7pjim said:

Could the temperature excursion be tracking with outdoor temperature?

If you look at the temp curve in the OP you'll see it rising daily after daybreak, but the big upswings are during travel (Fri & Sun).  The sharp peaks with quick recovery are door openings.

Bob Jones I did "reseal" the doors with EPDM weatherstripping tape from Home Depot.  The hinges appear to be riding low, like there was a bushing in the lower hinge that is now missing. 

The unit is back in place.  Those pic was from a few weeks ago. 

- bob


To unsubscribe *|member_name|* click here:https://www.monacoers.org/settings/?area=newsletters

We welcome your comments and suggestions for our newsletter.  Please send comments to newsletter@monacoers.org 

Copyright © 2020 Monacoers, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...