Norcold NRF30 error light

ENL1ENL1 Posts: 8Member
My Norcold NRF30 fridge keeps tripping out and the error light starts flashing. The battery is rated at 550 cold cranking amps, 690 marine cranking amps and 140 reserve capacity in minutes. Any suggestions on getting longer use out of the fridge (more than 24 hours) before it trips out? I've got an 80 watt solar panel.


  • grnH3grnH3 Posts: 161Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    If you use the search function, you will find others that had similar problems as yours. 
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 8,776Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    Agree, this is well documented here on the forum and there is a ton of info available via the search function.  
  • ENL1ENL1 Posts: 8Member
    OK, I searched the forum, but am still not sure of the longer term remedy. From what I gather is the following:

    1. Pre-cooling with shore power helps.
    2. Replacing wiring to the fridge may help?
    3. Upgrading the battery may help?
    4. Talk to Pleasant Valley about replacing the Norcold.

    Anything else I might be missing?

  • HellFishHellFish Posts: 261Member ✭✭✭
    I had nothing but trouble with my Norcold (2014 [email protected] Max).  I replaced the battery with a true marine deep cycle battery with 105 Amp hours...still had trouble (error light).  Once I re-wired it directly to the battery as per instructions you'll find on this site I have had no problems at all.  I suppose there are all kinds of ways for a thing to fail, but the wiring seems to be the issue in my case.  Good luck...I know it is frustrating to pay a significant amount of money only to have problems.
  • ENL1ENL1 Posts: 8Member
    Hellfish, I find navigating this website a challenge. Where do I find the re-wiring information?
  • HellFishHellFish Posts: 261Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    This search will get you some info:  

    Problem Identification help Norcold

    I wired directly from the battery to the plug on the side of the Norcold , with an inline fuse added (Amazon) just before the Norcold.  I twisted the wire (not real tight) so it was essentially one strand and ran it under the [email protected] using sturdy zip ties to hold the wire to the bottom of the trailer frame.  I drilled a hole in the Norcold compartment floor and fed the wire up through that.  Seal the hole very sure don't want water entering the hole.  I soldered all wire connections, wrapped with electrical tape, and then used spray rubber to seal the tape.  Shrink tubing would be good I suppose, didn't have any.

    BTW, the discussion thread talks about re-wiring from the converter (some call it an "inverter", which I think is incorrect) to the Norcold, not from the battery to the Norcold.  My way took more wire but I thought it would be more simple than poking around the converter and trying to find where to run the new wire.  Others can comment on how they did it and how complex that would be.

    You can attach the new wire (Lowes) directly to the battery posts, or put the right plug on the wires and plug into the solar plug on the side of the tub.

    This seems to have worked for me, as I have had zero problems with the Norcold since doing the mod.  I did it last year and have about 40 days of Norcold use since then.  Good luck with this.
  • TopExecTopExec Posts: 25Member
    I recently did the direct wire to Norcold NRF30 and solved the error light due to low battery/voltage. Before I ran the line the battery would be sitting at 12.5V and the compressor on the Norcold would kick on and drop the voltage to below the 10.3 shutoff, hence the error light flashing. Upgraded the batteries to 2 6V Golf Cart batteries from Batteries Plus with 235 AH capacity so I'd get about 3 days out of them at 95 degrees ambient temperature before the error happened. I'll run a test now I have direct from the battery (with a fuse inline & 10awg wire). The voltage drop on the few tests I ran so far have been about .15 volt drop when the compressor kicks on. A much improvement over the former wiring. I'm hoping to get 5-6 days now. I'll let everyone know once I complete a couple of tests.

    A few notes on the rewiring. 2015 [email protected] Max. 10 AWG Cable, Cable eyelet terminals soldered battery side. Inline fuse (from amazon) added (soldered) to the positive side near the battery. Wire run from battery compartment to the galley and zip tied to the undercarriage, Hole drilled at the rear of the galley/Norcold area and sealed with caulk after wire ran through. 2 quick connects spliced into the Norcold power cord and hooked to the 10 AWG Cable. Total time was about 3.5 hours at a relaxed pace.

  • LuckyJLuckyJ Posts: 90Member
    All this makes a lot of sence!  I will go for this!
  • WesleyWesley Posts: 172Member ✭✭✭
    What was the rating on the inline fuse?
  • TopExecTopExec Posts: 25Member
    I have a 10 amp inline fuse. It came with a 30 amp and I replaced it with the 10 amp after reading that it should be fused with an 8 amp fuse (couldn't find 8 so settled for 10 amp). I do carry additional fuses with me in case of any issues but so far, 2 trips with the direct wire (3 days & 6 days) with 10 amp, all is fine so far.
  • projectapolloprojectapollo Posts: 7Member
    Hi, newbie.  Just got a used 2015 Silver Shadow for a long Utah trip in 2 weeks.  Shakedown of unit reveals this same Norcold low voltage issue.  I knew something was weird when the Norcold was flashing low voltage with a freshly charged battery that is reading over 13 to 14v at the battery terminal (solar connected and charging) at the same time the Norcold is telling me low voltage.  Shore power works great.  Puzzling.  Glad I found this forum!  

    Anyhow my simple questions:
    1.  What style is the is the power plug on the side of the Norcold?  Where can I buy one for my planned direct wire solution (described here in this thread).  I'd like to leave the factory cord and plug untouched.  
    2.  Did Little Guy ever acknowledge this wiring design flaw and offer a dealer remedy?
    3.  I read in another thread that the 2014/2015 Norcolds seemed to be affected and that a replacement 2016 model fixed the issue using factory wiring.  Is that a confirmed solution?  I guess I could buy a replacement unit on Amazon as an alternative.  

  • TomDTomD Posts: 88Moderator mod
    I have a 2015 SS and have had no problems with the Norcold. Yet. 
  • stargazer7467stargazer7467 Posts: 269Member ✭✭✭
    i just recently rewired my Norcold with 10ga jacketed wire. Ran thru the wiring conduits under the trailer to the battery, works perfectly! No errors and the volt gauge hardly drops when on. Completely work the time.
  • MD11PlaneguyMD11Planeguy Posts: 260Member ✭✭✭
    I too wired directly to the battery, and yes runtime now 18+ hours on very little voltage.....EMPTY.

    Put food in it and make that fridge work on a hot day that is a whole different story.

     Since it has to run to keep up the cool... it now overheats. This even though I put the vent in the floor as recommended by NUCamp previously LG. Next step I am going to put a 12v fan on the ridge vent to help cool.

    The process of elimination: 
    Runtime longer with pre-cooled food before the error
    12.5 V at time of the error.
    The same conditions of atmospheric temp/time of day and the power source... fridge ran empty flawlessly.
    No difference galley open or closed.
  • projectapolloprojectapollo Posts: 7Member
    So, I did the rewire job.  10 ga wire from battery, under camper, up into fridge area, through a new Norcold DC plug (which was hard to locate).  I kept the original plug and wiring intact.  My one day stress test worked well (92F outside), no more errors and the 120w solar system kept up with the power demand.  I did have to watch some videos on cable crimping and get a crimper at Home Depot.  

    Lastly - the nice people at Nucamp got back with me on how the 2018's are wired.  They said they use 12 ga wire direct from the converter to the fridge.  That would appear to be a modification fro the 2016/2016 wiring discussed in this thread.    
  • projectapolloprojectapollo Posts: 7Member
    I head out on my first camper experience this Saturday to Moab UT for the Labor Day jeep safari and a trip around the White Rim road (Canyonlands NP - no trailer on this part of the trip) the following weekend.  I will be using the Silver Shadow for nearly two weeks of BLM dry camping.  Wish me luck!  I hope the Norcold stays cold for me!  I bought a back-up Yeti cooler, also.  
  • ShawneeKotsShawneeKots Posts: 67Member
    It seems to me that this situation is an engineering fail. With so many people experiencing Norcold failures, Little Guy should have issued a recall and fixed this problem through the dealer network at no cost to the consumer. I really like my Silver Shadow, but I live in a rural area, and professional help in rectifying this engineering shortcoming is difficult to obtain. I am not a happy camper!
  • TerenceTerence Posts: 6Member
    Wondered if anyone had any updates on this.  I too did the 10 gauge directly to the battery and am similarly disappointed that this whole issue was not simply called out by the company, if not to repair it to give better guidance - ended up four trips to the RV center trying to get a diagnostic.  Anyway since the rewire the unit does perform much better.  Tried to measure line loss/drop when the compressor kicks on and it seemed to be about .2 volts.  Not knowing much about electrical systems I'm still wondering how low my battery can go and still fire the compressor.  Is this the 10.4 threshold?  Maybe that's the wrong way to look at it.  Just returned from a month out west and the fridge performed nicely with 100 watts of solar, but, we were really skimping on using power for almost anything else at night like the fantastic fan.  I only have on standard wet deep cycle at the current time.  Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
  • stargazer7467stargazer7467 Posts: 269Member ✭✭✭
    10 gauge straight to the battery, no more issues ever.
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