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marandjwr 06-25-2014 04:35 PM

Norcold isn't cold
my fridge quit cooling on electric and gas side doesn't keep it cold enough even set on 9... no fault codes. Condenser gets hot as it should. Help!

TNTBaker 06-25-2014 06:39 PM

Make sure your vents outside are not clogged. That's the usual reason!

johnboytoo 06-25-2014 06:43 PM

Did it work before?
Anything changed since it worked before?
Assume you are level and have propane with bottle valve open?

sorry, going over the obvious as these are the things I've missed before...

our absorption fridge always took 24 hours to first cool... even got two fans - one for outside and one for on the fins...

lwg 06-25-2014 06:48 PM

Also icing in the freezer can cause all sorts of problems. We have to defrost ours about every 3-4 months (we fulltime). Makes a huge difference afterwards.

marandjwr 06-25-2014 07:14 PM

vents are clear...2 fans are running on the coils outside... defrosted a week ago worked fine until last night... plenty of propane... been at the same spot the last 4 months... anything else?

marandjwr 07-25-2014 04:06 AM

ok... fridge began working then it didn't, then it did, then it didn't... we have had our coach for just under 18 months... is the Norcold still under warranty? The service tech wants to start replacing parts to see which corrects the problem. This could get expensive and I'm ready, at this point, to just buy a residential instead of throwing money at this one.

atom ant 07-25-2014 04:17 AM

2 year warranty - its in your manual

ksaltman 07-25-2014 05:04 AM

My Norcold has some issues also. Mostly with the freezer. One side is OK one is not.

I bought an analog thermometer to report the hi/low temps but hasn't worked very well. I've fallen back to the "will it make a tray of ice test" and so far the left top WON'T, the left bottom will, right both top and bottom will. Strange......

Also outside, in the cabinet above, very hot, like its not getting vented correctly. Need to look outside and around what is easily viewable.

This seems to be an issue with many coaches though. Perhaps systemic like the awning install?

piper guy 07-25-2014 05:22 AM

In my coach, the cabinet above the fridge is warm, but not hot. If you go outside and go up on a ladder can you feel exhaust air coming from the upper grille plate?
If not, pull that plate off and see if there is something restricting airflow.
Don't have an answer for the upper left of freezer - sorry.

Happy Camper 07-25-2014 07:31 AM

We never could get our fridge to work properly, even after a factory visit. We ended up taking it out and putting in a residential. Due to the issues, Redwood reimbursed us for the costs.

johnboytoo 07-25-2014 01:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Welcome to the world of absorption fridges in a slide... the way they work is to absorb the heat out of the fridge.

had many rv fridges before that worked well, but none were in a slide.
This allowed the vents to be straight up and the heat could flow straight out...
while in a slide the heat must turn to get out and so the first rv we got with a fridge in the slide was hot and cold - we threw away a lot of food when it got above 40 degrees in there. (we used a bucket of ice to tell us when the freezer warmed and the cubes melted even though they may refreeze later)

The problem is two fold...
inside the fridge the air flow from the absorption fins does not circulate well and outside the heat does not evacuate the back of the unit well..

I tried all the fans,
but this interior one seemed to help the most and the four fan assembly pictured below blowing OUT the upper vent helped vent the heat...
but still opted for a residential in this and all future rv's... good luck

atom ant 07-25-2014 03:51 PM

I don't think it is a design problem. My last two fridges were in the slide and worked perfectly, at least as well as the ones we had with the roof vent.

I think it is hit and miss with proper installation, or the fridges themselves must be hit and miss.

0nTheRoad 07-25-2014 03:56 PM

Have had no problems with our Norclod either, other than when I flooded it while washing once.

I thought the luan partial blocking the upper vent was odd and asked our dealer about it, he explained that it was there to help force the hot air to the top to promote ventilation and said removing it would cause it remains as installed. He also said to periodically observe whether the fans located on the upper exterior were operating, he explained that they will only operate during high temps.

travelin' texans 07-25-2014 09:58 PM

I took the luan block out of mine due to the cabinet above the frig got extremely hot, no problems since, but gotten different answers from different techs as to whether or not it's needed, so for now I'm leaving it out if I put something back I'll design something from sheet metal.

hoosierguy 07-26-2014 01:08 AM


Originally Posted by travelin' texans (Post 32419)
I took the luan block out of mine due to the cabinet above the frig got extremely hot, no problems since, but gotten different answers from different techs as to whether or not it's needed, so for now I'm leaving it out if I put something back I'll design something from sheet metal.


The luan as there to make sure the fans force the air up past the fins, on the top rear of the refrigerator, to ensure proper heat extraction from the fins. With the luan removed, most of the air exits the vent before flowing past the fins.

I added some copper sheet from the top of the fins and curve outward towards the vent. This prevents the heat from going into the insulation and cabinet above the refrigerator (like you were experiencing). The two fans on the back of the refrigerator move quite bit of air up past those fins when the outside temperature is high.

These aren't just my ideas but rather ideas I picked up from Terry (The RV Professor) at last years Redwood rally.


travelin' texans 07-26-2014 01:54 AM

Thanks Guy
Your copper sheeting is along the lines of what I had in mind. Without the block so far frig has worked great in some VERY hot Texas panhandle heat so I haven't been in a big hurry to fabricate something, good winter project.

TNTBaker 07-26-2014 04:45 PM

Our rule with the Norcold over the last 20 years: Keep the beer near the fins. A full refrigerator is a happy refrigerator (air is hard to keep cold) and don't buy lettuce (it freezes every time). And as Jerry Seinfeld says: "NO SOFT CHEESES OF ANY KIND". THEN we were happy with it!! Haha. LOVE the residential fridge in the RW. LOVE the Norcold in the camper. It's a camping fridge IMO.

Jim & Mary 07-26-2014 04:58 PM

Ours is working great. Fridge is about 36 and freezer keeps everything including ice frozen. Except ice cream (and ice cream bars). Seems they're soft and mushy. Wasn't that way last time out (March). Doesn't seem to matter if propane or shore power. Any suggestions? Jim

TNTBaker 07-26-2014 05:15 PM

Seems like we had the best luck with ice cream bars in the DOOR of the freezer. Not sure why. Maybe the FLOOR is too warm? Sort of hit and miss. We learned to eat icecream bars quickly ;-)

marandjwr 07-26-2014 09:04 PM

Thank you all for your insights... so now explain the lack of fault code... if the fridge is going to spontaneously defrost, I would think there would be a fault code... shouldn't there?
Happy Camper, did your unit not work right from the get go or did it happen after some length of time.

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