EPDM Coatings
RV LED Bulbs offer Sponsored by Spotless Water Systems Sponsored by RV Upgrades width= Composet Products EVDO

Author Topic: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities  (Read 1965 times)

sheltie

  • ---
  • Posts: 532
Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« on: June 23, 2012, 09:39:32 AM »
Like just about everyone else who has one, my Norcold fridge is just about ready to give up the ghost.  I'm interested in an Amish colling unit as a replacement but can't find anywhere if it is both electric and propane.  Since I use the fridge while on the road, I like to have the propane capability.  I know I can use the generator but it seems to me to be an overkill when another source may be available.

Do the Amish units have propane AND electric and what do other owners use as a power source other than generator?

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 40614
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 09:48:41 AM »
I'm curious - how did you determine the Norcold is ready to go? They usually work until they quit.

The Amish-built cooling unit package for the Norcold 1200LR includes two new fans+ switch and two new electric heating elements.
http://rvcoolingunit.com/1200LR-Norcold-Brand-New-Cooling-Unit-pkg-Amish-Built-w-2-new-fans-Fan-Switch-and-2-new-elements-P2330865.aspx

A residential fridge can run off inverter and battery as well as generator.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

John From Detroit

  • ---
  • Posts: 13713
  • ^My New Home^
    • Diabetics Forum
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 11:22:32 AM »
I think he wants to know if it will run on propane, not just electric,

And I believe the answer is yes, using the original NORCOLD burner and control board.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

sheltie

  • ---
  • Posts: 532
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 11:37:42 AM »
I'm curious - how did you determine the Norcold is ready to go? They usually work until they quit.

The Amish-built cooling unit package for the Norcold 1200LR includes two new fans+ switch and two new electric heating elements.
http://rvcoolingunit.com/1200LR-Norcold-Brand-New-Cooling-Unit-pkg-Amish-Built-w-2-new-fans-Fan-Switch-and-2-new-elements-P2330865.aspx

A residential fridge can run off inverter and battery as well as generator.

In our case the device that shuts off the fridge when it overheats activated, shutting off the fridge.  The repair person then told me that the heating tubes were the most correded elements she's ever seen and the whole unit could last anywhere from one day to a year or so.  She did a great job replacing the insulation but I'm on borrowed time with this unit.

I only have two coach batteries and my inverter is 300w.  I suspect that isn't nearly enough to operate a fridge.  What size would I need and aren't inverters battery "eaters"?  There's a lot I don't understand about batteries and inverters!  I've also been told on another forum that the Amish units also have propane and electric capability which is the way I'd probably go.  Maybe.

maverickbbd

  • ---
  • Posts: 764
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2012, 12:05:07 PM »
I am on day number five running my new Amish cooling unit for my NearCold 1200LR. 

Yes it does run on propane and electric. 

I just turned the setting down to a 3 this a.m. 

Once again the mountain and the super cold bands are blue on my Coor light.
Tom, Cheryl & Blossom (coonhound mix) Formerly of Bellingham, WA.
2005 Winnebago Journey 36G
350 Cat  w/ aero turbine muffler, afe air filter on FL xc custom w/ 4ea Koni fsd's & Safe-T-Plus.
'94 Jeep Cherokee Sport toad
Falcon All-terrain w/ S.M.I. stay and play
FMCA 397030
WIT   129107

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 3536
  • Life is good in Fallbrook!
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2012, 12:42:38 PM »
Once again the mountain and the super cold bands are blue on my Coor light.

The thermometer of a real RV'er!!
2013 Phaeton 36GH
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchick2014
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 40614
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2012, 01:29:04 PM »
Quote
I only have two coach batteries and my inverter is 300w.  I suspect that isn't nearly enough to operate a fridge.  What size would I need and aren't inverters battery "eaters"?

A typical modern residential fridge uses around 500 watts when running, but you would have to check the rating on yours. If it is given in amps, then amps x 120v will give you approximate watts. The inverter would have to be somewhat more than that to allow some margin, say +25% greater to be safe. So maybe 650 watts? Or better yet, 1000? Not much price difference anyway.

As for inverter being "battery eaters", no more or less so than any other high-amp usage. 500 watts @ 12v is about 42 amps, so yes it sucks amps fast. You would probably need more batteries if you needed to run very long on them without an other 12v source. However, when driving your engine alternator is providing 12v at a steady rate, so the batteries aren't a factor. The inverter, however, still has to be big enough to handle the wattage.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

sheltie

  • ---
  • Posts: 532
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2012, 02:09:45 PM »
Gary,

That's pretty much what I thought, so thanks for confirming it. 

I read on one forum recently - perhaps this one - from a person who has been in the refrigeration field for over 40 years that the ammonia/absortion fridges commonly used in RVs were perfectly safe.  While I don't doubt what he said, I'd like to get away from the ammonia aspect if I can.  Do the Amish cooling units do away with ammonia or is this an ongoing part of the system?  Also, I've seen a zillion references to "residential" fridges and some implied that they have both propane and electric capability.  Am I misunderstanding what they are saying because I don't know of any fridge I'd buy for my home that has both, but I've been wrong before.  Is the word "residential" mean something different for RVs than it does for houses?

Denny

shakenbake

  • ---
  • Posts: 156
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2012, 02:28:41 PM »
I recently installed a whirlpool residential fridge in my coach.  It draws around 150 watts while running and 300 when in defrost mode. Keep in mind that part of the time it draws no current at all when the compressor is not running. I have 460ah of batteries. The fridge has ran as long as 48 hours on just the batteries/inverter. Now I have twice the space and none of the cooling problems all for less than a replacement Amish cooling unit. Needless to say I am very happy with going the residential route.

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 40614
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2012, 02:42:45 PM »
The ammonia/hydrogen cycle is pretty much standard for absorption fridges, but there is a recently begun move toward using a less corrosive chemical, i.e. helium. I believe that Atwood has a helium model available now, but it is only available in 6 or 8 cubic ft, not the more popular 10 cu ft size.
http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=42787.0

"Residential" fridge means one that would be used in your typical house. They are compressor driven, not absorption cycle fridges. There are absorption fridges made for purposes other than RVs, e.g. off-grid homes (e.g. solar or geothermal or wind power), but those are not mainstream "residential" products (unless you happen to be Amish).

Absorption fridges can use any heat source to operate the cycle- it doesn't have to be propane or electric.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Jim Godward

  • ---
  • Posts: 5166
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2012, 05:03:09 PM »
Gary,

Here is a source for many absorption refers.http://www.gasrefrigerators.com/
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
2001 Dutch Star
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Belgrade, MT

Two gone rvn

  • ---
  • Posts: 61
  • 2002 Fleetwood Jamboree, 2000 Dakota 4x4
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2012, 08:08:54 PM »
Installed one three years ago and it works perfect.  Easy to install.  i did not want the residental unit as we boondock lots and this was the perfect solution for us.  buy it with confidence and it will last!!
George
On the road to someplace

Jeff

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7890
Re: Amish Cooling Unit Capabilities
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2012, 03:14:34 PM »
After running an 11 year old Dometic that we had replaced the cooling unit on at 5 years we now have a Norcold 1200 that works hard on 90 degree plus days to keep things cool. Fans are wired to run continuously and the setting is on 7 or 8 ( of 9) to keep things cool.


I was convinced that a residential frig was in store for the old Tradewinds but after reading so much about the "Amish" replacement cooling units I am not sure what we will do. We are in IL headed for NEw England so we have a few months to decide as an opportune time would be when we come back through Elkhart this fall. The installed price at the factory is less than the delivered price anywhere else because of freight and several have said they accomplish it in a few hours.


My concerns over the residential fridge is a furnace under our 1200 that would require going quite high to accommodate a reasonably sized residential unit that Sue would not appreciate. We have a fairly good sized battery bank in this coach but use lots of power already while boondocking.


I'm glad we have a couple of months minimum to make up our minds. I'm going to add another fan and if that takes the load off the cooling unit I may just leave it alone for now.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 03:18:13 PM by Jeff »