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Old 06-24-2022, 12:43 PM   #1
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electric versus gas for norcold refers

Hi all,

Relative newbie.......having to learn, like most, the hard way. I had been running my refer soley on electric. Until that dreaded storm blew out my powerboard and fried just the ac side. Gas worked and keeps the refer a bit colder than electric. 3 on the freezer 35 on the fridge for the most part, even with these dang 100 degree texas summer days.

So my question is to all you experts. Is gas more economical than electric? I noticed a pretty decent drop in electric even though i am using the ac units more than before. I just did a run on gas for a test and using the stove to cook three meals a day, oven to make pizza, a 30 pound gas canister lasted three weeks. if anyone can share their thoughts i would appreciate it. As another point I am four miles from a propane, beer and bait store so it is easy to refill. Thanks.
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Old 06-24-2022, 12:59 PM   #2
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In theory it takes the same amount of "energy", on gas or electric. Typically gas is cheaper than electric, but that may vary pending on location.

Our frig just sips lp.
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Old 06-24-2022, 01:06 PM   #3
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Can't say gas is cheaper, but it does a better job of cooling on hot days. I always switched to gas when the temps hit 90 or better.
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Old 06-24-2022, 02:48 PM   #4
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Gas defiantly keeps the Norcold cooler over electric.. However, i find that the refer gets cooler faster on electric. I only go to AC or DC when getting ready to pack and when towing, then switch over to gas when settled in.
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Old 06-24-2022, 03:10 PM   #5
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When I am in a short term site, the ac costs me the same whether I use it or not so using gas to save money is a non factor.
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Old 06-24-2022, 03:15 PM   #6
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When I am in a short term site, the ac costs me the same whether I use it or not so using gas to save money is a non factor.
Certainly cost per kw would play into the equation. ~CA
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Old 06-24-2022, 03:35 PM   #7
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Mine seems to work better on gas, so I only run it that way. Maybe I need a new AC heating element, but so far we've been fine on gas.
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Old 06-24-2022, 03:43 PM   #8
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Certainly cost per kw would play into the equation. ~CA
Guess I don't get it. Short term camping sites don't charge by the kw, it's part of the overnight camping fee. So why use your propane when you have already paid for the electric? I'm probably missing something here, not the first time. LOL
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:06 PM   #9
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Guess I don't get it. Short term camping sites don't charge by the kw, it's part of the overnight camping fee. So why use your propane when you have already paid for the electric? I'm probably missing something here, not the first time. LOL
As was pointed out by Grumpy, the Norcold's function more efficiently on gas. I know mine does, especially in the blast furnace here in Texas. They really don't use that much either. I've noticed that if I switch from gas to AC only the freezer jumps up several degrees. I'll run the water htr. on AC, however, since we're playing on house money.
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:19 PM   #10
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As was pointed out by Grumpy, the Norcold's function more efficiently on gas. I know mine does, especially in the blast furnace here in Texas. They really don't use that much either. I've noticed that if I switch from gas to AC only the freezer jumps up several degrees. I'll run the water htr. on AC, however, since we're playing on house money.
I think the AC option in most RV water heater use is more of an assist but still suggested to use gas for heating water.. My RSTS points that out in the owners manual. I tried once with full on electric no gas and the water was lukewarm where the gas brings the water temps way up.
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:32 PM   #11
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Guess I don't get it. Short term camping sites don't charge by the kw, it's part of the overnight camping fee. So why use your propane when you have already paid for the electric? I'm probably missing something here, not the first time. LOL
You actually do get it and not missing anything at all. ~CA
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:56 PM   #12
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For some reason I seem to be the odd one out; I have yet to see a difference in refer or freezer compartment temperature with either of the two refrigerators I have had in my TT or my current HT fiver when comparing gas to electric. I did have to do some serious tweaking to get my present one to cool more efficiently because it was in a slide and had the classic lousy installation and baffle for slide venting. Once I resolved that mess, the cooling fan runs only in very hot weather, and the unit cools to the normal temperatures.
It does make some sense if the gas burner puts out more heat that it would make the cooling unit work faster/more effectively. I will say the only time I notice any reduced cooling is while driving long distances using gas - I assume the air currents disrupt the vertical chimney effect and the heat doesn't escape as well, resulting in less effective cooling.
I will agree that our water heater recovery is slower with electric, but the shut-off temperature seems to be the same. When we need rapid recovery, we use both with good results.
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Old 06-25-2022, 07:28 AM   #13
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For some reason I seem to be the odd one out; I have yet to see a difference in refer or freezer compartment temperature with either of the two refrigerators I have had in my TT
My que for knowing the difference between the Gas and Electric amount to a couple of things

1) I generally keep my thermostat set to coldest when on electric. That setting keeps everything chilled well. When i switch to gas with same setting, things in the refer begin to freeze.

2) Keeping ice cream in the freezer when on electric tend to soften after a day or two. On gas, ice cream remianns pretty solid.

3) Making ice cubes when on electric take over a day. When on Gas, about half day.

4) I enjoy a nice cold beer a lot more when i pull one out when chilled with Gas vs. electric.
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Old 06-25-2022, 07:52 AM   #14
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My que for knowing the difference between the Gas and Electric amount to a couple of things

1) I generally keep my thermostat set to coldest when on electric. That setting keeps everything chilled well. When i switch to gas with same setting, things in the refer begin to freeze.

2) Keeping ice cream in the freezer when on electric tend to soften after a day or two. On gas, ice cream remianns pretty solid.

3) Making ice cubes when on electric take over a day. When on Gas, about half day.

4) I enjoy a nice cold beer a lot more when i pull one out when chilled with Gas vs. electric.
You had me at #4, I engage the libation purely for it's medicinal properties only, however.
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Old 06-25-2022, 09:43 AM   #15
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My Norcold 2118 does run cooler on LP. Runs a long time on a tank. Furnace empties LP tanks way faster than I like!

Electricity is usually cheaper especially with current LP prices.

--TO USE ELECTRICITY OR LP?--
-- Multiply the cost per KWH of electricity X18, if the result is less than a gallon of LP, use electricity--
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Old 06-25-2022, 09:53 AM   #16
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My Norcold 2118 does run cooler on LP. Runs a long time on a tank. Furnace empties LP tanks way faster than I like!

Electricity is usually cheaper especially with current LP prices.

--TO USE ELECTRICITY OR LP?--
-- Multiply the cost per KWH of electricity X18, if the result is less than a gallon of LP, use electricity--
Earlier I was going to share the math as well, although without knowing what the cost per gallon of propane and the cost per kwh at any location makes it a challenge to determine which is more costly. In any case, I found that a gallon of propane is very close to the same energy of 27~28 kwh of electricity. ~CA
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Old 06-25-2022, 10:45 AM   #17
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I had run mine on electric exclusively until that power outage. Once i replaced the power board i don't think i tried electric until i was caught in the defrost cycle so i thought the ac heater element went bad as well even though i had ohmed it out. turned out to not be the case. . . . i have found downloading the service manual invaulable!!
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Old 06-25-2022, 10:49 AM   #18
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thanks for that math. . . because with the natural gas prices in a state of flux that is great to know.
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Old 06-25-2022, 10:51 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by kirkelli View Post
My que for knowing the difference between the Gas and Electric amount to a couple of things

1) I generally keep my thermostat set to coldest when on electric. That setting keeps everything chilled well. When i switch to gas with same setting, things in the refer begin to freeze.

2) Keeping ice cream in the freezer when on electric tend to soften after a day or two. On gas, ice cream remianns pretty solid.

3) Making ice cubes when on electric take over a day. When on Gas, about half day.

4) I enjoy a nice cold beer a lot more when i pull one out when chilled with Gas vs. electric.
Still learning this site but yes i sure enjoy a nice cold beer!!
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Old 06-29-2022, 12:17 PM   #20
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The refrigerant for the freezer and the cold box are the same circuit/tube. Just more contact surface where the cooling tube attaches to the freezer than on the cold box.
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