View Poll Results: How much do you keep your Norcold on?
I Keep it on all the time! 13 30.95%
Just when its needed 28 66.67%
Never kept it on, becasue I don't have a Fridge! 1 2.38%
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:58 PM   #1
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Do you keep your Norcold running?

Hi all,

Just wanted to know if anyone here keeps their Norcold Fridge on all the time? Tried to search it, but no beans! How much juice does the small Norcold suck up if we keep it on all the time?
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:21 PM   #2
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Both mine are on full time. One's dedicated to beverages, the other is half full all the time with snacks.

The van is plugged in daily, but hopefully that will be a thing of the past soon when I can get some solar up there.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:37 PM   #3
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Our Norcold is now going on 16 years old. It's electric only, dual voltage. Seems to work fairly well on AC but the automatic changeover to 12v is iffy. We normally plug it in the night before a trip, pre-chill whatever goes into it, and hope for the best when camping without shore power. Sometimes it switches over and runs on 12v, and sometimes it does not. I've done a lot of research and have found replacement power modules and/or thermostat but they are not cheap. I'm dithering now over whether to try to replace what's broken or, instead, to bite the bullet and buy a new fridge. Whichever I do, I will not let the fridge run all the time, either on AC or on 12v. The new ones may be hardier, but mine does not appear to have been built with the idea that it would run continuously.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:19 PM   #4
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I have an Isotherm fridge and I leave it off with the door open when the van is not in use. My van is only for camping and not a daily driver.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:19 PM   #5
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Ours is on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Set at 3. We are shore powered and the rig is kept inside so its not a big deal. Fridges don't like to be turned on and off all the time. We head out at least every month so i just leave it running.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:32 AM   #6
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Mine is off until the night before travel when it's stocked and turned on at more or less the same time. It never occured to me to just leave it on and plugged in, because we only use it for trips and most of the stuff we carry is perishible so the fridge would be nearly empty.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #7
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Jage, as you see, you and I follow about the same procedure. Another reason we do this is because it uses less energy. But Adventureduo says that fridges do not like to be turned on and off. First time I've heard this and I would like to learn more. I've noted that the Norcold, just like our home fridge, cycles on and off in order to keep the temperature where it's been set, so it seems like a fridge is always turning itself on and off. But I can also see that when I turn on the Norcold after being off for a while, it needs to run longer to cool down. I'll bet there's a theoretical "break even" point where leaving the Norcold off for X number of hours or days puts less strain on it than leaving it plugged in, especially when empty. Adventureduo, what's the answer?
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:31 PM   #8
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I don't have a exact answer since im not a technician. I've always been told that having a fridge running to keep constant temp is much easier on them, than turning them off and on. Something about how the condenser can freeze from prolonged cooling phases and how it lessons its life instead of just cycling now and again. Who knows, like i said, just what i've heard and i don't know the exact details. Now i guess, it all comes down to how often you use the unit, if it's full or not and how old the unit is.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:30 PM   #9
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Ours is on all the time....

We adjust the temp as needed to reduce the electric load or to reduce temp. We take it extra cold when on shore power at home before a trip, and crank it back a bit for the trip.

With two solar panels we have seen no problem running the fridge full time.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:57 PM   #10
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These are built for RVs, so I'd like to think the designers took into account that they would be off for a matter of months perhaps.

We always ensure the door is left open until all frost and water have melted then evaporated after use.

And I think putting already cold food and drinks in as you turn the fridge on helps the starting temp be less extreme, thus avoiding the prolonged cooling phase of say, putting warm beer in a warm fridge and cranking it up to 11.
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