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Old 09-21-2020, 08:52 PM   #1
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Fridge keeps shutting off

Hello everyone! I have Norcold N7V refrigerator that keeps shutting off on me when it runs on propane and need advice. Situation is I stay in the camper all week and go home Thursdays nights or Friday mornings. When I come back on Monday, the fridge has shut itself off. It is still kind of cold like it shut off maybe saturday night/ Sunday morning. When I get to the camper at the end of the day during the week I always check to make sure it stayed on during the day and always does. I fire up my generator for a couple hours to run the air conditioning and phone booster for a bit at the end of every day and it always switches to propane automatically like it should when I shut the generator off. My propane is only running the fridge during the weekends and when I get back the propane level has not gone down much so I dont think a leak is the problem. It also shuts off everytime I tow the camper like maybe the bumps are creating air bubbles maybe? I never had this problem with my last camper. This is my first season with the new camper. It is a Coachmen Catalina 243 rbs
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:27 AM   #2
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I have the same problem with mine which is a Dometic. When I unplug from electrical and it is set to auto, it will work until it needs to relight. Then it gets the check light to come on. I have decided to live with it, what I do now is unplug my electric and manually put it on propane, that has worked for me so far. Next time you leave put it in propane and see what happens, in other words take it out of auto. Iíll be watching this thread also interested what members may say.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:40 AM   #3
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How is the battery? It needs the 12v to light. I know the parasitic electrical drains on some trailers will kill a battery sometimes in several days. Do you know approximately how long it runs on propane before it shuts off?
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:46 AM   #4
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I have the same problem with mine which is a Dometic. When I unplug from electrical and it is set to auto, it will work until it needs to relight. Then it gets the check light to come on. I have decided to live with it, what I do now is unplug my electric and manually put it on propane, that has worked for me so far. Next time you leave put it in propane and see what happens, in other words take it out of auto. Iíll be watching this thread also interested what members may say.
This fridge only has an on/off button. It does the changing itself. My last camper had the option to shut off auto and run on straight propane.It also relights itself just fine during the week. I'm stumped lol
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:52 AM   #5
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How is the battery? It needs the 12v to light. I know the parasitic electrical drains on some trailers will kill a battery sometimes in several days. Do you know approximately how long it runs on propane before it shuts off?
My batteries are newer 6 volt deep cell hooked to two 100 watt solar panels. They only drain about 1/3 over night with an inverter hooked to them for my cpap, cell phone charging, heater running at night, and fridge. When I go home at the end of the week, I literally unplug everything the only thing left on is the fridge. The solar panels completley recharge the batteries during the day. I think it runs s 24-36 hours before it shuts off over the weekend
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:56 AM   #6
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My batteries are newer 6 volt deep cell hooked to two 100 watt solar panels. They only drain about 1/3 over night with an inverter hooked to them for my cpap, cell phone charging, heater running at night, and fridge. When I go home at the end of the week, I literally unplug everything the only thing left on is the fridge. The solar panels completley recharge the batteries during the day. I think it runs s 24-36 hours before it shuts off over the weekend
then you have an ignition problem. It should try and light 3 times, if no ignition is proven it will lock out. I would check your igniter and burner . tube, your problem is a little different then mine, make sure your spark gap is correct. I really don’t think it’s a battery problem but that black box maybe your problem. You can find them on ebay
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Old 09-22-2020, 02:48 PM   #7
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A tip

This won't solve your problem, but it may be useful for understanding how warm it's getting.

Take a small plastic cup, fill it mostly full with water, and freeze it. Once it's frozen, place a penny or washer on the frozen top surface.

When you return after an unexpected outage, the washer will be in one of three states.
At the top: Freezer did not get warm enough to thaw
At the bottom: Freezer thawed completely
In the middle: Freezer thawed somewhat, but not completely

The feature of this technique is that it's a telltale in circumstances where there was an outage but the freezer resumed working and was below freezing when you returned.
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:25 PM   #8
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And needs battery for control panel and fan.
I killed my battery once and refrigerator shut down.

I also wonder this especially since you mentioned running the generator.
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:53 PM   #9
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This fridge only has an on/off button. It does the changing itself. My last camper had the option to shut off auto and run on straight propane.It also relights itself just fine during the week. I'm stumped lol


Did you see the ytube on your 1 button? It shows how to place it into propane mode by holding the on off button in for about 20secs. The light should turn to orange then your on only propane. Iím probably wrong but did you try that?
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:17 PM   #10
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I did not. I only read the owner's manual and it says nothing about that. Thanks for the info! I just tried it and it worked. I will try that on Friday when I leave. I'm pessimistic since the propane mode is already on when I leave, but I'll keep my fingers crossed
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:19 PM   #11
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That is what I suspect, but it doesnt explain how it works during the rest of the week, unless running the generator a couple hours a day somehow gives it the boost it needs
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:22 PM   #12
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But I am confident my battery is not dying during the night. I run many things off battery at night during the week and only burn a third of the battery. Then during the day my solar panels charge ot back to 100%
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
This won't solve your problem, but it may be useful for understanding how warm it's getting.

Take a small plastic cup, fill it mostly full with water, and freeze it. Once it's frozen, place a penny or washer on the frozen top surface.

When you return after an unexpected outage, the washer will be in one of three states.
At the top: Freezer did not get warm enough to thaw
At the bottom: Freezer thawed completely
In the middle: Freezer thawed somewhat, but not completely

The feature of this technique is that it's a telltale in circumstances where there was an outage but the freezer resumed working and was below freezing when you returned.
Good thought. Another way is to fill a water bottle half way and freeze it. When your going to be gone lay it on its side. It will tell you if it got too warm.
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:47 PM   #14
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I did not. I only read the owner's manual and it says nothing about that. Thanks for the info! I just tried it and it worked. I will try that on Friday when I leave. I'm pessimistic since the propane mode is already on when I leave, but I'll keep my fingers crossed
let us know if it works, I like the penny thing to try also. Manual are garbage there all generic. Also is that a 12 volt compressor unit? Or does it run off an invertor? Where is your unit at a CG or boondocking? You must be boondocking correct?
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:48 PM   #15
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Theoretically the two solar panels should provide up to 40 amps a day.

The batteries fully charged should have ,110 amps available. SO, should be ok. For a weekend.

An inverter is a terrible energy hog. If not turned off they can consume 25 or more amps per day on standby.

If the inverter is wired incorrectly they will try to charge the battery.

A cpap, not the issue, uses double or more energy wired as yours is on the inverter. Best to get the factory dc cord if available and add a dc outlet near the bed.

I would guess that your battery may not be charged 100%. Without a monitor it is hard to tell.

To leave the fridge on you are leaving the disconnect on with all the parasitic loads.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:07 PM   #16
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My guess is it is a battery discharge issue...

you can prove/disprove by taking a voltage measurement of the battery(s) when you return near dark... so solar is not charging

without a constant 12V at the fridge, it will turn off and not restart until you hook up power again...
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:12 PM   #17
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let us know if it works, I like the penny thing to try also. Manual are garbage there all generic. Also is that a 12 volt compressor unit? Or does it run off an invertor? Where is your unit at a CG or boondocking? You must be boondocking correct?
Yes 12 volt and yes boondocking
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:20 AM   #18
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Yes 12 volt and yes boondocking
more then likely you have WFCO convertor, I would change that out to a progressive with the charge wizard. I have never seen one of mind ever go into bulk charging mode of 14.4 volts, so running your generator to charge your batteries you really only charging them at 13.6 volts. With the progressive you would be able to manually put it in bulk charge and have them see 14.6. I know you said you also have solar, but still you need to use the generator to get up to atleast 95% of Charge. It would be quicker with the progressive. Iím not a fan of 12 volt compressors at all, they are energy hogs. Also I couldnít find any info on your model, dose it have an automatic heat strip for moisture control? If you do unhook it, another voltage hog , that you really donít need. These are just some my conclusions from reading this thread
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:06 AM   #19
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The battery has to be about dead for it not to work a refrigerator. From your description it doesn't seem like that should be happening. As noted above, check your voltage without solar attached, and see what you have. If your voltage is good, then the problem is elsewhere..
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Old 09-23-2020, 12:58 PM   #20
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If your propane turns off maybe the sensor the flame
Uses ,clean it with sandpaper and you should have no more problems
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