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Author Topic: Problems with Norcold refrigerator door  (Read 3851 times)
wmillis
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« on: May 24, 2013, 08:29:47 am »

On our recent 7000 mile trip in our 2011 2552 the hinge broke off on our Norcold refrigerator door. It was plastic and just seemed to fail. I thought that I could simply buy a new hinge at Camping World and fix it easily. What was I thinking? A whole new door had to be purchased. Fortunately Carol at PC had one in stock and was able to ship it to me when we arrived home. Then I got to thinking. If she always has one in stock then I'm probably not the only to have this happen. In fact on the forum there was one mention of this hinge failure. Have others had this experience or is it a rare failure? Bill
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2013, 09:26:46 am »

Had the same problem 7,000 miles ago, and did a fix that i will try to describe. Ours occured when a shelf dropped down and i pulled to open the door and the hinge broke.

If you look at the underside of the broken hinge --if it is like ours -- it is not solid but has a honey comb shape, the same honeycomb should be on the door where it broke. My fix was to use epoxy to fill the honey honey comb and but a 1 inch steel screw though the hinge part and door and into the middle of the epoxy spaces  filled. I first glued the hinge to the door with super glue then i drilled a hole for the screw though the two pieces and screwed the two pieces together, then i withdrew the screw filled the honeycomb with epoxy and then replace screw quickly before the epoxy set.

No problem since and have eposied the door shelves to they do no fall out. Be sure the get the epoxy for plastic. Be sure that the placement of the screw does not infringe on the door.

Hope this helps.

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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2013, 11:34:13 am »

We had the same problem while traveling in Florida.  Called Norcold.  They shipped a new door to the nearest repair shop.  The shop replaced the door, all at no cost to us.  Thumbs up to Norcold for customer service, but a thumbs down for design.
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2013, 11:44:18 am »

We had the same problem while traveling in Florida.  Called Norcold.  They shipped a new door to the nearest repair shop.  The shop replaced the door, all at no cost to us.  Thumbs up to Norcold for customer service, but a thumbs down for design.

Ditto from me, two doors in two different motorhomes.
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2013, 12:00:31 pm »

I called Norcold "customer service" and they refused to deal with me. Said I had to go through a dealer. That started the whole nightmare as I tried Camping World in New Mexico. They gave me the wrong part number which proved to be an issue when I showed up in Oklahoma City where I foolishly expected the hinge to be waiting. Silly me. Carol at PC was the only one of many contacted who knew immediately what my problem was and how to fix it. I should have called PC first but I knew that I was out of warranty and thought that I could get the part while on the road. Norcold gets an F in my book for product design and assistance. Phoenix Cruiser gets an A minus. They would get an A if they used another product.
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2013, 12:41:02 pm »

The fridge (& freezer) door is a problem on many different types of motor homes and travel trailers.  I think the door hindges are breaking when the door is allowed to swing open too far with the added weight of stuff, and the speed at which it goes.

Our PC2350 with no slideout, by chance our fridge door is protected from that damage.  It hits the soft bed before swinging all the way open.  But we have to watch out for our freezer door, especially when opening while driving or parked on hills.

Don't let your fridge and freezer doors swing open all the way with force, because there is a whole lot of stress on those hindges when it finally stops.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 12:46:20 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2013, 02:05:50 pm »

The problems with hinges is an often recurring topic on the Yahoo View-Navion group forum.
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2013, 02:23:50 pm »

We also had the same problem. You would think that after replacing
all those doors they would find it cheaper to install a metal hinge, at least
the lower one. I don't agree with you this time Ron, feel this to be an
reacurring  mfg. defect, not to be blamed on how I pack my refer!
That has happened too often, and not counting the lost food.
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2013, 02:58:20 pm »

I don't agree with you this time Ron, feel this to be a reacurring  mfg. defect, not to be blamed on how I pack my refer!
Frank, I think you misunderstood my point.  I totally agree that it is a faulty design.  RVers should not need to be careful letting a door swing away.  I was only trying to explain the cause and how to prevent a failure.

Unless you want to keep fixing hindges or replacing fridge doors, you need to be careful with the door swinging open.  Thats all.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 03:07:21 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2013, 05:32:50 pm »

In my case the door was packed lightly and not allowed to swing open. It was opened slightly and the bottom hinge let go. Very poor design. How many of us have had this happen at home? I suspect none. Norcold has not exactly come up with a winning design for this hinge which is so crucial in the operation of the door.
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2013, 06:41:08 pm »

Curious this comes up again. We had the same issue last year and, GOOD FOR US, Carol shipped a new door and it was waiting in Denver when we got there. She (and the rest of the PC group) are tops in my book.

Another set of problems came up when I de-winterized Wednesday. As I've been winterizing our boats and motorhomes for over 30 years and never experienced this, I think I got some bad anti-freeze last year. Even though I blew all the water out with 40 PSI of compressed air and filled the system with Anti-Freeze as usual, the shower faucet, Galley side sprayer and exterior shower head split. Only the bathroom vanity was OK. pulling hair out

But, true to form, Carol shipped new fixtures to me in time for me to replace them and leave for our trip tomorrow as planned.

That, folks, is Customer Service and after sale support par excellence. ThumbsUp
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2013, 06:56:40 pm »

This seems to be a very Hot topic.  The door in our 2350 fell off while driving. Drove home with the door duct taped in place. Norcold sent a new repair kit. Once it was installed, I added Baby Safety Straps to the fridge, and freezer doors.  I bought the straps at KMart for $3.00.

Here is a link to the company
.http://www.albeebaby.com/safety-1st-lock-release-fridge-latch.html

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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2013, 08:06:39 pm »

In my case the door was packed lightly and not allowed to swing open. It was opened slightly and the bottom hinge let go. Very poor design.
It is absoutely a poor design because we are having this discussion.

The point I was trying to make earlier is that....
It is conceivable that "at some prior time" a fully loaded fridge door swung open to that horrible point,  could initiate a minor crack that could grow over time & vibration to the point of failure.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 02:05:29 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2013, 04:46:47 pm »

The hinge on our previous 2350 broke twice.  The first was within the warranty period, and Norcold sent us a new door.  The second time was outside the warranty period, and Norcold wouldn't do anything.  I kept contacting Norcold, but they said they wouldn't do anything since it was not in warranty - even they knew the hinge design was a problem.  The last person I talked with said he "would pass on my comments".  Yeah, right...  I fixed the last break with J-B Weld.
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2013, 05:41:15 pm »

So what I'm getting out of this string is that everyone with a new PC (or new Norcold door) should set a reminder for about a month prior to the expiration of the warranty on the Norcold, check for hinge cracking or damage (which sounds likely) then call to replace the door under warranty. THEN set a reminder for when the new door is out of warranty, check for damage... and repeat as necessary.

I guess when there are only a few players in the market, you don't have to worry about design defects.
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