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Old 12-24-2015, 06:37 PM   #1
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Norcold in Freezing Temperatures?

Any feedback on how a Norcold fridge performs in freezing temperatures? Let me explain the reason. We will be traveling south for 3 months from SD the first full week in January, and for the first couple of days, the nightly temps will be below freezing and could be single digits or minus temps. The first couple of nights (perhaps more) we'll be staying in motels. The MH is winterized and don't plan to add any water until we are well out of nightly freezing temps (one reason for staying in motels). Will be stocking up the freezer and the fridge before leaving which will be running on gas. Pretty sure the interior of the MH while parked will fall below freezing during the night which means the other supplies we stock in the MH will probably freeze during the night. Just curious on what to expect from the Norcold and is it okay to run it in freezing temps? Thanks
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:17 PM   #2
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FWIW I have never heard of a problem using the refrigerator in below freezing temperatures.

If you have a Motor Home I think you will find it worth your while to set the furnace to something like 40 deg when you are parked to make the temperatures inside manageable while driving. There is a lot of thermal mass there to bring up to something comfortable with engine heat. I would also consider running the generator when starting off so I could power an electric heater or two in the front of the unit. Partly as a comfort issue and partly to control frost and condensation. It's easier to be ready if you need it than it is to be frozen and blind trying to find a pull off. ;-)
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:05 PM   #3
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Evap refridgerators don't do well in freezing temps,the refridgerant has to be heated to perform, the colder it is outside the more performance degrades
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:01 PM   #4
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I glad you started this thread, I'll be making a similar trip. My take away is to pack the staples and canned stuff before leaving but hold off on the perishables until far enough south.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:45 PM   #5
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Milehghcty
If the night temps are below freezing you can do one of two things put your perishables and other fridge items in a cooler or leave then in the fridge without it running. We have a LP fridge at our camp and this technique has worked well for years during winter months.
We also store all liquids (from apple juice to maple syrup, etc.) in food grade plastic bottles. If it freezes you won't have to worry about broken glass. We do not store any canned goods (non-juice) that would freeze..be aware of bulging cans

Let us know how your trip works out for you.
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:22 PM   #6
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Davidjb -- if the evap fridges don't do well in freezing temps ... is it harmful to leave it running overnight ... or should I turn it off when we stop and restart the next morning? Yes, traveling in a Georgetown MH. I thought about leaving the heater on a low temp over night, but since the MH is winterized didn't want to waste gas if I didn't need to since we'll be warm in a room. Good idea to put the fridge stuff in a cooler and take in with us. Probably can do that as well with all canned goods/containers ... we may leave in a box instead of pack the cabinets/pantry ... then just pack in a room with us. Assume the freezer stuff we can just leave in the freezer as should stay frozen. This is our first year starting out in a cold climate so will be a learning curve ... already sounds like there will be some inconvenience for a couple of nights. Thanks ... all good info!
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Old 12-25-2015, 01:55 PM   #7
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I set the heat in my class c 32ft. at 45 and it doesn't use that much gas. My 9 gal. tank will last about 4 weeks at 45 degrees.
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Old 12-25-2015, 01:57 PM   #8
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I started a thread about this last October. Search for the thread Refrigerator Problem in Cold Weather in the Appliances section.

Unrelated to that, I had a problem with my Dometic refrigerator. I started it and it ran fine in near freezing weather. I left the coach unheated overnight. The next morning the main compartment was cold but the freezer was no longer below freezing. With the coach below freezing the main compartment stayed cold so the thermostat did not call for it to run. When I turned on the furnace and left the refrigerator door open the refrigerator and cooled the freezer compartment again. I posted a thread about this and will post it here if I can find it. I'm not at a computer so it's harder for me to do it.

Packing your food in an ice chest is a good option, or just buy when you get south.
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milehghcty View Post
Any feedback on how a Norcold fridge performs in freezing temperatures? Let me explain the reason. We will be traveling south for 3 months from SD the first full week in January, and for the first couple of days, the nightly temps will be below freezing and could be single digits or minus temps. The first couple of nights (perhaps more) we'll be staying in motels. The MH is winterized and don't plan to add any water until we are well out of nightly freezing temps (one reason for staying in motels). Will be stocking up the freezer and the fridge before leaving which will be running on gas. Pretty sure the interior of the MH while parked will fall below freezing during the night which means the other supplies we stock in the MH will probably freeze during the night. Just curious on what to expect from the Norcold and is it okay to run it in freezing temps? Thanks
I've mentioned this on the Forum more than once, and have been scolded by some for using an unvented heater, but I've used a catalytic heater in RVs for several years. Mine is a Big Buddy Heater, is essentially 100% efficient, will run for many days on a 20 lb. bottle of LP, and has kept my 33' 5th wheel livable into the teens. It burns very cleanly, never sets off the CO detector, and they're used by thousands of ice fishermen in spaces a lot smaller than an RV. They have low-oxygen and tip-over protection. They can be operated on 1 lb. screw-on LP bottles, 20 lb. or larger bottles, or connected to the RV gas supply as I've done. No electrical connection is needed, so it won't deplete the RV battery. Buddy heaters are portable, so could also be used wherever supplemental heat is needed. We hardly ever use our RV furnace anymore because of its inefficiency and heavy drain on batteries.
So go ahead; tell me I have a death wish, but first, get a little information.

Big Buddy Portable Heater
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:26 PM   #10
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temps below 10-15 for 10-20 hrs will stop the coolant from working, dips in temps dont seem to matter. just get into warmer temps asap
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