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Old 07-12-2008, 11:24 PM   #1
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Norcold N841 experience?

Looking at replacing the Dometic in my Argosy. I am considering the Norcold N841 3-way. The specifications look good, BUT...

Anyone used one and willing to report on quality, etc.?

Can this be installed in my '77 Argosy - assuming the cabinets are going to be re-done? I am mainly concerned about of the gas heat exchanger, venting, etc.

Thanks.

M
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Old 07-13-2008, 01:47 AM   #2
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Not sure I can help with your question but I just installed a 641 in mine today. I wanted to get the 841 but was concerned about the height. After getting it in place I would say the 841 would have been very tight. You will have to trim the upper vent about 3". I raised the unit about 2" and the evaporator is about an inch from the side wall so you may have to move it inward a little to clear.

As far as Dometic vs Norcold, they are pretty much the same.

Not sure why you want a 3 way, 12v will kill your battery pretty fast but if your not worried about that check the wire size you have, they ask for 10ga up to 20' of wire and 8ga for longer runs.

Good luck, keep us posted on your project.

Ron
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ifihadtime View Post
Not sure I can help with your question but I just installed a 641 in mine today. I wanted to get the 841 but was concerned about the height. After getting it in place I would say the 841 would have been very tight. You will have to trim the upper vent about 3". I raised the unit about 2" and the evaporator is about an inch from the side wall so you may have to move it inward a little to clear.

As far as Dometic vs Norcold, they are pretty much the same.

Not sure why you want a 3 way, 12v will kill your battery pretty fast but if your not worried about that check the wire size you have, they ask for 10ga up to 20' of wire and 8ga for longer runs.

Good luck, keep us posted on your project.

Ron
Ron - thanks for the input. Couple of questions, tho'...

1. Is the 841 simply too tall, or does it need to move out from the sidewall a bit? If so, about how much?

2. How much hassle was it to trim and fit the venting for the unit?

3. Is the back of the unit (gas absortion unit) accessible from the outside hatch door if needed?

I wanted a three way to operate on 12V while driving, and part time when camping in the boondocks. I am planning on installing a 245 AH (8D) and have a Honda 2000 to keep it charged.

On my last trip, I found that fridge and stove top (no furnace or water heater used) consumed a entire tank of LPG in about 6 days. A lot of the time was spent driving, so gas consumption was happening while driving - could have been operating on 12V with an assist from the TV alternator, and with less propane consumption and zero risk of dangerous propane leaks.

Mike
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:57 PM   #4
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I installed the 641 so I don't have first hand experience with the 841 but from what I can tell the difference is in the lower fridge part and not the freezer. Therefore I'm assuming the placement of the parts of the GAU is relative to each unit.

My original was a Dometic rm100 and stood 55 1/2 at the top of the unit. The 841 is 59.6, based on that you will have to trim about 4" off the vent, if your replacing the cabinets then I wouldn't think this would be to hard fully exposed. I shimmed the 641 up about 2" and the top of the GAU is about an inch from the wall so if it went up another 4" I would guess the refer would have to be moved inward one to two inches to have clearance from the wall as it starts to curve in. I wasn't willing to give up the space, if you are then I believe it will work. If you have it exposed, cut out a cardboard template the height and depth of the 841 and see how it fits. The dim are 24" dp x 59.6" H, the overall height with the front mounting flange and trim is 61.5 according to the installation manual.

The outside hatch is just fine, full access just like you have now.

Good point on the 12V, I wasn't thinking about traveling just kicking back with a cold one

Funny you should mention propane leaks, I'll be posting this later with pictures but I was working on my furnace lubing the fan bearings when I took off the propane line the nut had been wearing on the side of the furnace to the point of exposing threads and not only that it was cracked to boot. Nice to know we had a potential major leak under the stove, guess someone has been looking out for us. It would be a good idea to check yours as well.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:11 AM   #5
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Just a quick note about 3-way refers:

Per the Manuf. specs (both Norcold and Dometic): the 12VDC element is not meant to cool the unit, but merely to maintain the cool interior temps that were in place from either 120VAC or LP operation. And yes, the 12VDC element will take your battery down in the blink of an eye without any external charge source like the TV charge line or a solar charging system.

Also, the rather large wiring requirement is to avoid any voltage drop when connecting to your batteries and as we all know.....if the voltage drops on a constant load....the amperage goes up proportionally!

Perhaps something to consider in your purchase decision.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ifihadtime View Post
I installed the 641 so I don't have first hand experience with the 841 but from what I can tell the difference is in the lower fridge part and not the freezer. Therefore I'm assuming the placement of the parts of the GAU is relative to each unit.

My original was a Dometic rm100 and stood 55 1/2 at the top of the unit. The 841 is 59.6, based on that you will have to trim about 4" off the vent, if your replacing the cabinets then I wouldn't think this would be to hard fully exposed. I shimmed the 641 up about 2" and the top of the GAU is about an inch from the wall so if it went up another 4" I would guess the refer would have to be moved inward one to two inches to have clearance from the wall as it starts to curve in. I wasn't willing to give up the space, if you are then I believe it will work. If you have it exposed, cut out a cardboard template the height and depth of the 841 and see how it fits. The dim are 24" dp x 59.6" H, the overall height with the front mounting flange and trim is 61.5 according to the installation manual.

The outside hatch is just fine, full access just like you have now.

Good point on the 12V, I wasn't thinking about traveling just kicking back with a cold one

Funny you should mention propane leaks, I'll be posting this later with pictures but I was working on my furnace lubing the fan bearings when I took off the propane line the nut had been wearing on the side of the furnace to the point of exposing threads and not only that it was cracked to boot. Nice to know we had a potential major leak under the stove, guess someone has been looking out for us. It would be a good idea to check yours as well.
Thanks, I guess I need to look at a unit and consult my tape measure. I boondock in some remote paces in Montana and the NW for weeks at a time, and felt that a bigger fridge would save some trips to town, and 12V would help out with propane consumption. The big unit sucks down about 18 Amos per hour, so I would have to use genset for 120V AC and charge the battery.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Just a quick note about 3-way refers:

Per the Manuf. specs (both Norcold and Dometic): the 12VDC element is not meant to cool the unit, but merely to maintain the cool interior temps that were in place from either 120VAC or LP operation. And yes, the 12VDC element will take your battery down in the blink of an eye without any external charge source like the TV charge line or a solar charging system.

Also, the rather large wiring requirement is to avoid any voltage drop when connecting to your batteries and as we all know.....if the voltage drops on a constant load....the amperage goes up proportionally!

Perhaps something to consider in your purchase decision.
Thanks. I called Norcold support and got the skinny on the 12V usage. I have an emerging idea about a solar system, but I would like to get the basics done inside first. The big reason for the AS is to cook for myself. So the fridge is a key appliance. I cannot stand cafe food for more than a few days.
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