Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Refrigerator, stove, furnace, water pump, air conditioner, microwave, water heater, fans, lighting
User avatar
Mark
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:03 pm
B190 Year: 1997
WBCCI: 0
Location: I get my mail in Carson City, NV

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by Mark »

So I'm thinking of replacing the fridge in my rig. The Norcold is the one to get?
If it ain't fun - it ain't done!
EricZ
Weekend Camper
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:07 pm
B190 Year: 1993
WBCCI: 0

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by EricZ »

To replace my Dometic RM2310, I chose the Dometic RM2354 over the Norcold N300.3. Both looked like they'd fit okay (though see note below); both had top-mounted controls (which seemed an improvement over the RM2310).

First, some model info (please verify, but this is my understanding):

Norcold (now part of Thetford Corporation):
N300: runs on 110v AC or propane, white trim
N302: runs on 110v AC or propane, black trim
N300.3: runs on 12v DC, 110v AC, or propane, white trim
N302.3: runs on 12v DC, 110v AC, or propane, black trim

Dometic:
RM 2351 Americana: runs on 110v AC or propane (though presumably still needs 12v DC for control system)
RM 2354 Americana: runs on 12v DC, 110v AC, or propane

Pluses I saw for the N300.3 (actually, the entire N300 series):
The N300.3 has the advantage that it can run on propane without the need for 12v power.
The RM2354 requires 12v power even when running on propane; this could theoretically drain the house battery if left unattended for long periods. (A small solar cell could address this nicely, however.)

Pluses I saw for the RM2354:
The RM2354, on the other hand, can be set to automatically switch from propane to AC power when AC power is available. This saves me the trouble of manually switching, eliminates the possibility of forgetting to switch back to propane when I unplug the van, and makes regular trips to refill the propane tank unnecessary (I leave the fridge running year-round).

The RM2354 also has an automatic door latch (the N300 might as well, I don't know). Unlike the RM2310, no action is needed on the user's part to latch the RM2354 door closed. I thus can't forget to activate the latch and have the door open when I turn a corner (dumping a bottle of orange juice out of the fridge, which then spilled on the carpet... perhaps you can see why I like this automatic latch).

I did find that the RM2354 had a control box (containing a circuit board) that bumped against a plumbing drain pipe in my 1993 Airstream 190 (other years might route that drain pipe differently; even another 1993 Airstream 190 might be different enough that it would work without an issue). I considered modifying the drain pipe, but ended up relocating the control box instead. Despite this issue, I'd still choose the RM2354 if I were starting from scratch.

The RM2354 does not include the decorative front door panel. Though Dometic told me I could simply reuse the one from my RM2310, that door panel didn't fit the RM2354. It was easy, however, to get a piece of 1/8" mahogany plywood (my notes show I had the lumberyard cut it to 26.25" x 19.625", but measure your refrigerator to be sure), spray it with clear acrylic sealant, then lightly sand the surface (I repeated the spray-sand process a few times). Total cost (including sealant): $4.13. (I'd intended this as a cheap temporary solution, planning to later replace it with a nicer piece of oak plywood with a better finish; however it looks okay, so I've never done anything further.)

In case it matters to others, I found that the RM2354 did not have a cutout for tall bottles in one of the interior shelves (despite all the marketing photos showing it did), and that the door shelves were slightly narrower (but deeper, I think) than those in the RM2310.

Lastly, I noted that in my 1993 Airstream 190, the sides and top of the fridge are exposed to the hot air from the coils and burner chamber on the back of the fridge. This is contrary to the manufacturer's installation instructions; it might reduce the ability of the fridge to function well in hot weather. I'm considering using very carefully cut sheets of polyisocyanurate rigid foam insulation (i.e., Thermax, R-max, etc.) to fill these gaps at the top, left, and right of the fridge. This would keep the hot air from surrounding the fridge and also significantly increase the unit's insulation value.
User avatar
skater
Site Admin
Posts: 2335
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:00 am
B190 Year: 1991
WBCCI: 13270
Location: Annapolis, MD

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by skater »

The Norcold not switching automatically to electric surprises me, because our Norcold does. There are two settings: Auto, which uses electricity if available and propane if not, and propane only mode. The auto mode will switch back to AC when the power is restored. But we likely have a different model, too.

Of course ours also requires 12 volt power for the electronics when its running.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
User avatar
jafarTheVan
Weekend Camper
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:22 pm
B190 Year: 1990
Location: California

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by jafarTheVan »

It seems the last time this thread wads active was 7 years ago. I initially couldn't find this with search and posted here.

I have a 1990 B190 and am wondering if I can fit a Norcold N300.3R as a replacement with my Dometic RM2301. Reading above, it looks like it is doable.

Searching online, the only place that carries this fridge is adventurerv website (product link). I am wondering if this fridge has discontinued and if people have used a new fridge from Norcold? Thanks.
"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears." -Rumi
User avatar
Millennial Falcon
Weekend Camper
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:14 pm
B190 Year: 1994

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by Millennial Falcon »

jafarTheVan wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:51 pm
It seems the last time this thread wads active was 7 years ago. I initially couldn't find this with search and posted here.

I have a 1990 B190 and am wondering if I can fit a Norcold N300.3R as a replacement with my Dometic RM2301. Reading above, it looks like it is doable.

Searching online, the only place that carries this fridge is adventurerv website (product link). I am wondering if this fridge has discontinued and if people have used a new fridge from Norcold? Thanks.
Try looking for a NovaKool R4500. It's a near drop-in replacement for your dometic. You probably do not need the 110volt AC option. You can see my post about it at: https://www.b190.com/viewtopic.php?p=13171#p13171
User avatar
jafarTheVan
Weekend Camper
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:22 pm
B190 Year: 1990
Location: California

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by jafarTheVan »

@Millennial Falcon I might go with the compressor fridge at some point, but I have one AGM 100 ah battery without solar set up and I don't think it would be sufficient resources. What is the amp draw on 12v for maintaining let's say 35F if outside is 70F?

It looks like Nocrold N300.3R has been discontinued. There is only one website (adventurerv.net) that has it in stock. It seems like the newer version of N300.3R is Norcold N305.3R.

Here's the sizes of the fridges:

Dometic RM2301 (original fridge): 2.7 cu. ft., 30-3/8" H x 22-12/16" W x 22-1/16" D

Norcold N300.3R (discontinued): 2.7 cu. ft., couldn't find the dimensions

Norcold N305.3R (not available now due to Covid - backorder): 2.7 cu. ft., 29-3/4" H x 20-1/2" W x 21-3/8" D

Considering that N300.3R was would fit in my 1990 model, do you think it is a safe assumption that Norcold N305.3R would fit as well? the fridge size apart, the absorption unit size is important as well? I just want to make sure if I order this fridge which will be delivered in 4-5 weeks (shortage due to Covid), it would actually fit. If there are other ways I can check this out before ordering, please let me know. Thanks.

PS: I called several RV repair shops and was told by at least two of them that these RVs are considered antiques at this point and a lot of them were reluctant to deal with it!
"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears." -Rumi
User avatar
Millennial Falcon
Weekend Camper
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:14 pm
B190 Year: 1994

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by Millennial Falcon »

jafarTheVan wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:24 pm
@Millennial Falcon I might go with the compressor fridge at some point, but I have one AGM 100 ah battery without solar set up and I don't think it would be sufficient resources. What is the amp draw on 12v for maintaining let's say 35F if outside is 70F?
Your amperage would be ridiculously small with an outside air temp of only 70 degrees. I have the NovaKool R4500, and I have 200AH of lithium and 300 watts solar. So, I do have a much more robust power set-up than you do. However... the fridge uses 4.4ah but only when it is actively cooling, which is not that often.

In Florida, I keep ice cream frozen in the freezer portion... and I keep my food/beer at around 37 degrees in the fridge on my current setting. During daylight hours, my solar set-up produces far more than the fridge draws... but even so, the entire fridge operates for around 30ah to 35ah over a 24 hour period in the Florida summer. If you're operating in cooler environments, I'd bet you get away with around 20ah per 24 hour period unless you're constantly opening/closing the fridge.

And, if you get even a small single solar panel... it would be more than enough to run the fridge during the daytime hours (which is when you're most likely to see it turning on and cooling).
User avatar
Kentuckian
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:52 pm
B190 Year: 1993
WBCCI: 0
Location: Kentucky, USA

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by Kentuckian »

I have just removed my working 2012 Norcold 302.3R (3 way) and am looking for a new home for it if anyone is interested. I just switched it out for a Nova-Kool R4500 compressor model.
1993 Airstream B190
BelaVanTe
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:59 am
B190 Year: 1994

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by BelaVanTe »

Kentuckian wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:47 pm
I have just removed my working 2012 Norcold 302.3R (3 way) and am looking for a new home for it if anyone is interested. I just switched it out for a Nova-Kool R4500 compressor model.
I could be interested. Where are you located? I’m concerned shipping could make this cost prohibitive. I have a ‘94 B190 and just learned the fridge doesn’t work at all. 😕
‘94 B190 acquired in September 2020. Location: Denver, CO. Three furry CO-captains (2 canine and 1 feline) plus Capt. Zissou, my human husband.
User avatar
Kentuckian
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:52 pm
B190 Year: 1993
WBCCI: 0
Location: Kentucky, USA

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by Kentuckian »

Sorry, but I just found a home for the frig. Thanks for your interest.
1993 Airstream B190
User avatar
jafarTheVan
Weekend Camper
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:22 pm
B190 Year: 1990
Location: California

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by jafarTheVan »

Thanks for giving the estimates on amp usage of the fridge. That really helped me in making my decision. I am planning to order Novacool R4500 and install it.

Based on my search, I found these three online retailers: campervan-hq, suremarineservice, citimarinestore. Do you remember where you ordered it from?
Millennial Falcon wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:47 am
jafarTheVan wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:24 pm
@Millennial Falcon I might go with the compressor fridge at some point, but I have one AGM 100 ah battery without solar set up and I don't think it would be sufficient resources. What is the amp draw on 12v for maintaining let's say 35F if outside is 70F?
Your amperage would be ridiculously small with an outside air temp of only 70 degrees. I have the NovaKool R4500, and I have 200AH of lithium and 300 watts solar. So, I do have a much more robust power set-up than you do. However... the fridge uses 4.4ah but only when it is actively cooling, which is not that often.

In Florida, I keep ice cream frozen in the freezer portion... and I keep my food/beer at around 37 degrees in the fridge on my current setting. During daylight hours, my solar set-up produces far more than the fridge draws... but even so, the entire fridge operates for around 30ah to 35ah over a 24 hour period in the Florida summer. If you're operating in cooler environments, I'd bet you get away with around 20ah per 24 hour period unless you're constantly opening/closing the fridge.

And, if you get even a small single solar panel... it would be more than enough to run the fridge during the daytime hours (which is when you're most likely to see it turning on and cooling).
"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears." -Rumi
User avatar
Millennial Falcon
Weekend Camper
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:14 pm
B190 Year: 1994

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by Millennial Falcon »

I bought mine from a Marine Supply store in Miami... if you are anywhere near a coastline, you can look at yacht/boat suppliers as well as RV shops. I did not order online, I found a store that had it in stock and was listed as a distributor on the NovaKool website: https://www.novakool.com/distributors and then I picked it up in person.
User avatar
jafarTheVan
Weekend Camper
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:22 pm
B190 Year: 1990
Location: California

Re: Norcold N300.3 refrigerator

Post by jafarTheVan »

Thanks. It turns out that it is out of stock across the US for now. I just placed an order with one of the distributors and it will be ready in 8 weeks! Covid effects!
"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears." -Rumi
Post Reply