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Old 07-10-2014, 01:32 PM   #1
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Refrigerator question

We have a 184BH and normally relay on our electrical hookup to power the fridge. I have never tried to use propane to run the fridge, honestly, I cant even remember how to start the darn thing.

Q: Which is more efficient (gas or elec) at cooling the contents of the fridge?

I did notice on a really hot day a few weeks ago, the fridge seemed to be on the warmer side. It was packed pretty tightly i must admit, so proper cold air circulation may have been somewhat compromised. It did manage to get much cooler once I cleaned out some of the unnecessary stuff. Is this common or should i be concerned.
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:13 PM   #2
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What brand fridge do you have? Mine is a Norcold 110v AC or propane. There is a selector switch that says Auto-Off-Gas and another one that says 1-2-3-4-5. To run on propane I slide the switch to Gas. In Auto, it will run on 110v AC power if available first and switch to propane if you lose power.

I feel that the fridge gets colder faster on gas but when I'm paying for electricity at my state park campsite I run 110v AC.

Look in the mods section for "Fridge fan on Steroids" for my way cool circulating fan mod I did recently.

The efficiency of the fridge also relies on the "chimney effect" of the air entering the grille behind the fridge at the bottom and exiting through the vent on the roof. The fridge in your house uses a fan to blow air across the condenser coil and the one in your trailer uses the principle of "hot air rises". The condenser coil is located near the roof and if you install some fans above the coil to augment the chimney effect you can realize efficiency gains especially in hot weather.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:52 AM   #3
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Do a search for previous threads about the fridge in a 184BH not working well. A few of us have posted in the last few years about it. These refrigerators do not have the normal exhaust through the roof, they have a bottom inlet and a top outlet about halfway up the side of the camper. I had to install a powered fan at the top outlet to draw the air up and out, otherwise, after the outdoor temps get above the 80's, the fridge will have a hard time staying in the safe cooling zone. The fan on the outside and a small battery powered one on the inside will help, but, the way they have these refrigerators installed IMHO is a problem and you cannot trust the fridge to keep food safely. Unfortunately I have had to keep food in a cooler and just put drinks in the fridge. I like alot of things about our 184BH, but, the lack of cooling from the A/C and the refrigerator have really ruined our experience with these campers especially since we felt we would be improving the experience after moving up from pop ups.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:37 AM   #4
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Our camper has the fridge on a slide so it also has the vents on the side instead of the roof and we have not had a problem keeping things cold and/or frozen
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlindsay001 View Post
Do a search for previous threads about the fridge in a 184BH not working well. A few of us have posted in the last few years about it. These refrigerators do not have the normal exhaust through the roof, they have a bottom inlet and a top outlet about halfway up the side of the camper. I had to install a powered fan at the top outlet to draw the air up and out, otherwise, after the outdoor temps get above the 80's, the fridge will have a hard time staying in the safe cooling zone. The fan on the outside and a small battery powered one on the inside will help, but, the way they have these refrigerators installed IMHO is a problem and you cannot trust the fridge to keep food safely. Unfortunately I have had to keep food in a cooler and just put drinks in the fridge. I like alot of things about our 184BH, but, the lack of cooling from the A/C and the refrigerator have really ruined our experience with these campers especially since we felt we would be improving the experience after moving up from pop ups.


Been camping 6 yrs now with Norcold fridges and never had any issues.... I check the temp everytime I open the fridge (I have alittle hanging thermometer).

I had friends who kept their fridge working all summer, when they got home, they plugged it in the house power and left stuff it in... they got instances where the fridge would build ice and lose it's cooling capacity. They had to shut it off for a day and start it over.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:49 PM   #6
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I have the same arrangement re:fridge on a slide out. I installed an temp controlled DC fan in the compartment set to 80deg f. In over 3 years of great service from the Norcold, the fan only came on once followed by another strange noise.
A close inspection revealed another muffin fan higher up in the compartment that had to a factory addition cause mine is a new rig.
Go figure?
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:03 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. didn't know how the fridge got cold without a fan. It all makes sense now when I look back at our particular circumstances and weather at the time. It seams increasing the convection effect by fan should help.

Cheers Fellas!
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