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Norcold, not so much

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HenryJ

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2018, 06:00:16 pm »
All the complaints about the refrigerator gave me a big  worry since, for first time the RV has been parked in never never land and no electric for first time.  Refrigerator off several weeks.. Today RV came home in prep for trip to Ft McCoy to meet up with other PC owners... Well I put my refrig temp gauge in to see how things went in freezer... Here we are 6 hours in and it is 20 degrees... It is set at #9 which is coldest and now I may need to cut back to 7 or 8... It is cold as can be. What I did was I put some frozen items that I wanted to take but are not affected by defrosting in to assist with the cooling process. It worked beautifully. Plus ac was on in RV too. I cannot complain at all. I am delighted that it got nice and cold so my frozen items can travel with no pain.  My 20016 delivered July 26th  had not been left in hot and no ac or no refrigerator before. I am pleased with the restart. Now I feel a lot better about my take off Monday. Wash the dog Saturday. Looking forward now.
My refrig is the elec or lp gas model. Now I wish for a little bigger but wont happen. It is not in a slide but in a non slide area.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 06:39:25 pm by HenryJ »
Patricia
A new day has dawned now only traveling with Miss Elle . Jim will be watching over us.

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Joseph

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2018, 07:29:34 pm »
After I installed the exhaust fans I just completed a 2 month road trip starting in temps of 120 degrees and many places in the 101-105 range. Above 105 I had the fans running at 50% and the fridge set at 4. once the temps were down to 105 or less the fans were down to roughly 25% and the fridge was never set above 2.  Once temps were in the 80s to mid 90s I had the fan running maybe at 10% and still set at 2. During this entire time my fridge was in the 34-36 degree range.

I normally set the fridge at 7-9 if it was upper 90s to keep the fridge under 40 degrees. If it was in the 115-120 range all bets were off to keep it under 50. 



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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2018, 09:03:05 am »
Hi Joseph,

According to your data, your additional fan(s) mounted behind the fridge via the outdoor access panel(s) yielded great results.  I wish you would write an article in the Tips & Tricks section.  If you decide to write one, please include many detailed pictures and your source for your fan speed controller and fans.

Our 11 year old Norcold fridge has never been an issue, but since we are spring & fall travelers in hot climates, we have never camped in temperatures over 90 degrees with our PC.  We generally set the fridge between 7 and 9.  Our fridge is not inside a slide-out which means the fridge vent is in the roof, not the wall.  I don't know if that makes a difference in fridge performance when temps are triple-digit.  I would like to see exactly what you did to yield such great results with your side-mount ventilation condition.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 09:05:21 am by Ron Dittmer »
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biglegmax

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2018, 12:34:16 pm »
Hi Joseph,

I agree with Ron. It would be wonderful if you would fill us in with all the modifications you have made. I'm to the point of replacing mine, which really is a waste.
I'm sure PC is fully aware of these issues, and could correct them if they want.
Doug

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Joseph

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2018, 01:05:15 pm »
Ron, correct me if Im wrong but being that your unit does not have a slide your fridge is a top vent, correct?  From all the info I could find the top vent units draft the heat much better than the side draft that is used in a slide.

Our fridge developed an ammonia leak a bit over a year ago. Due to the class action results there was an extended warranty given and I received a new unit in regards to the cooling unit itself so mine is essentially only a year old.  I also believe that for most who dont live in a hot area (triple digits) this may not be needed. When I first installed the fans they were super loud so I added a rheostat to control the fan speed. This made all the difference regarding noise and required fan speed.

The next time I pull the cover I will try to get some decent pictures and post what I did. There are several sites basically showing the same. I just added a rheostat for more control.

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Joseph

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2018, 01:09:45 pm »
Big, this isnt a PC issue so much as an issue with ammonia type units (especially those in slides) installed in any brand motorhome. Im betting any builder would shy away from making any mods on something they dont have the ownership of the warranty.


Next time I pull the cover I will take some pics and post what was done. Its an hour job and all in for around 50 dollars if not a bit less.

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biglegmax

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2018, 06:17:02 pm »
Joseph,

Looking forward to the pictures, when you get the chance.
 I've had these refers in older trailers, and I don't remember ever having these issues. I don't blame PC for the product, its not theirs, but, I do believe it would be to their advantage
to tell potential customers that there is a really good chance this refer will not work correctly when outside temps hit 90. It would be a great time for them to up sale and make everyone happy... including their bottom line. Or, I guess continue using a product that they know is not up to par.
Doug

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Time Aweigh

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2019, 10:35:46 am »
UPDATE:
I tested the resistance of the thermistor in the Norcold fridge (model N621). Placed the sensing unit in an ice bath and instead of reading 30 - 32 kΩ it was reading 56 kΩ. At that resistance level the control board is thinking the fridge is about 13F. A second test at the upper range in 85F water gave a resistance of 15.2 kΩ which translates to 50F. No wonder it was always warm! No error codes on the control display.

We were at the PC factory for warranty work on the fridge and the Norcold rep inspected the unit. He did complete the installation that PC had not done (insulation above the fridge and upper baffle) yet did not perform a simple check of the thermistor with a multimeter. It took me all of 5 minutes! He did look inside the fridge cabinet so I naturally assumed he knew what he was doing as a factory rep.

Hopefully the new OEM part that arrives next week will solve this problem. A $20 part that was apparently bad from the factory cost us plenty of headache and a lot of spoiled food.

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biglegmax

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2019, 08:46:35 pm »
Was your refer having performance problems all the time? More specific, when outdoor temps varied/ high and low?
Doug

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Time Aweigh

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #39 on: May 20, 2019, 02:51:46 pm »
Doug,
Yes, it has been bad from the start which is why we detoured to Elkhart on the way home from the Duluth rally last summer.

At first the best I could get was about 40-42 when first chilling it at home before a trip. We went to central FL in June so it was hot outside, and also went to Duluth with night temps in the 50's. The temp inside the fridge yo-yo'ed regardless of ambient exterior temps. We never put anything in the fridge part was not pre-chilled or in the freezer without being already frozen.

I installed a second exhaust fan at the upper vent that was wired to work with the lower fan. That did help a bit. The Norcold rep met us at the PC factory and said the original installation was incomplete. There was no insulation installed in the enclosure above the fridge, so this void filled with hot air. He stuffed it with insulation and also installed a baffle to direct the rising hot air off the boiler tubes and fins to the side vent. He liked my fan installation also. Again this helped a bit more. We could now get 37 in the fridge compartment yet it would not hold it. I keep a thermometer inside and I would get 50 with never having the door open. The boiler tubes were cold when they should be hot. I powered off the unit, then turned it back on. The boiler kicked on immediately and began cooling. Same results whether on electric or LP.

So more googling and I found the article on the thermistor that the factory rep said he checked. The new part is due for delivery in two days; I'll update the results. My brother-in-law's 2007 PC with Norcold has given him great performance; keeping ice cream rock hard. I hope ours will do the same soon.

Bottom line:
-PC did not install the Norcold properly by failing to properly insulate.
-Norcold rep did not check the thermistor though he did complete the installation. Knowing that we were mid-trip I would have expected a more thorough inspection on a warranty work call. I would also expect a follow-up from PC to ensure I was satisfied with the results. That did not happen.

RV's are tiny little towns with one resident supporting the appliance store, the sanitary sewer system, the power grid, the water company, motor pool, handyman service, and communications network. They will never be perfect when delivered. I have fixed a leaking water valve, covered bolt threads and smoothed fiberglass penetrations to prevent chafed wiring. re-routed battery cables, installed a steering stabilizer and removed the bathroom sliding door that was pulling away from the ceiling. These little challenges are fun to resolve.

We love our 2552 and feel the PC is the best buy on the market.
 

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Denny & Barb

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Re: Norcold, not so much
« Reply #40 on: May 21, 2019, 05:43:20 pm »
Winnebago has started to use both the Norcold and Nova-Kool compressor fridges in their Paseo, Travato, View/Navion. and Fuse lines.
All the units now have 200 amp solar systems standard but still using the smaller Group 27/31 12V batteries.  All seems fairly well since
the change early in 2018.

Even though I fought Winny's compressor refrig, I think in the long run, it's the way to go.  Just add a few hundred watts of Solar, and some 2 or 4 good Walmart deep cells, and the peace of mind would be good. My refrig costs less than $150 to replace if it craps out. Unlike the $300 if yours goes south on you.

Denny and Barb
Your Word our Lord is a light to my feet and a lantern to my path...  Ps 119