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Old 01-01-2013, 07:51 PM   #15
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Does anyone know if the fridges were on gas or electric when the fire started?
The unit in this situation was indeed powered by shorepower at the time of the fire. I would be very interested to see some statistics regarding the fires and related power source.

I have the Nocold 1200 in my rig. It's only 1.5 years old but I'm really considering a residential replacement as I type this. Even spent an hour or two today looking at options.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:52 PM   #16
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What's the most effective extinguisher to fit behind the fridge ( I worry about our dog )
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:53 PM   #17
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Sorry for people who lost thier units, but statistics do not support that Refrigerators are a major cause of RV fires as some post seem to imply.

And an insurance company asks what kind of refrigerator is installed???? hmmm - in more than 48 years of RVing I have never been asked that question - but that is just my experience. Certainly not saying it is not done but statisrically speaking I say why would they? I suspect traffic incidents and other factors would be a larger concern re insurance claims.

Here are some things to ponder:

Based on my google search results, which of course has a margin of error and was done within 30 minutes, so treat the results and comments below accordingly, but it revealed that 65 to 75% of RV fires are caused by 12V system related situations.

This leaves lets say 30% for other causes, such as space heaters, smoking, 120Vac faults, hot water heaters, microwaves, propane stoves, engines systems, gasoline leaks, leaky propane systems, generators and yes refrigerators and other devices.

I read that in 2011 there were about 4000 RV fires and that a number of those fires initially attributed to the refrigerator, were in error as the source of the fire. So 1200 fires were caused by non 12V causes which only a small fraction were attributed to the refrigerator. A burnt area around the refigerator does not necessarily mean that was the cause of the fire according to forensic fire investigator reports.

According to studies, about 8,5% of US and Canadian households in 2010 had RV's with a growth rate of 15% projected for 2011 and 2012 because of the aging population. So based on 2010 figures, this represents 8.5% of about 120 million households in the US and Canada, this would be about 10 million RV's. Of the 10 million units, only 1200 fires were due to non 12v sources, This represnts .00012% of the probability of having an RV fire caused by non 12v fault causes.

This is about the same percentage of being killed in an auto accident and lower than being killed by a gun in the US. And this statistic only refers to having an RV fire not caused by 12v sources.

I did not find any stats on actual fires caused by refers, but based on the above the figure would be a very small percentage of risk, given only some Norcold units are culprits and a much lower percent of Dometic units.

Of course my findings might not represent reality, and I encourage others to do their own search and see how it relates to mine.

Having said all of this, I will keep an eye on my refer area and make certain it is clean, maintained and inspected.

So happy RVing and keep the beer cold whatever way suits you best,
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:54 PM   #18
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If you have a NORCOLD, and it is involved in the recall, there are only two choices:

1 replace the cooling unit with an AMISH cooling unit.

2 pull out the NORCOLD, put in a residential refer.

Having the recall done is NOT an option. The fix is just an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:11 PM   #19
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If you have a NORCOLD, and it is involved in the recall, there are only two choices:

1 replace the cooling unit with an AMISH cooling unit.

2 pull out the NORCOLD, put in a residential refer.

Having the recall done is NOT an option. The fix is just an accident waiting to happen.

+1 I could not agree more.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:13 PM   #20
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I full concur with Mr Libero's comment: " Having said all of this, I will keep an eye on my refer area and make certain it is clean, maintained and inspected."

To be forewarned is to be forearmed. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. etc. etc. etc.

Until I had to replace mine due to a failure of the cooling unit previous inspections of the area directly behind the refrigerator had not provided any evidence of the problem that was found up above. So if you have the two door access models on the side get up there and inspect, if not get up on the roof and remove the refrigerator roof rent and look down in from the top to keep from having surprises later.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:13 PM   #21
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Wonder what happens to all the units that folks pull out!
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:25 PM   #22
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I just had my nor cold worked on and a new part added to it
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:28 PM   #23
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1. replace the cooling unit with an AMISH cooling unit.
That's what I did after 9 years using the OEM cooling unit. The refer was on elec at the time in the side yard. I didn't discover the failure for a few days/weeks, and it was a leak of ammonia. The recall sensor did it's job.

The fire risk is higher when on propane due to the flame being present.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:33 PM   #24
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Libero, I thank you.

It is like someone yelled fire in a theater, or "dont buy a Ford, they made the Pinto Firewagon in 1973".

My Norcold is a model 821 and chills great and keeps icecream hard in all weather.

It is a 2011 so is outside the boundaries of the recall both by year and model number. I have had 3 rigs with Norcold that performed just as well.

I have monitored the heat in the chimney (cool) and at the A/C and propane heat sources (warm, not hot).

I'm just fine and not worried, but alert.

Just sayin....
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:37 PM   #25
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A burnt area around the refigerator does not necessarily mean that was the cause of the fire according to forensic fire investigator reports.
Umm, really? Gee, what could it be, spontaneous combustion? I mean seriously, if it's charred around the fridge vent it was caused by some component of the refrigerator system. I suppose it could be caused by a malfunction of the electrical system of the fridge, but given the history of these things I doubt it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:50 PM   #26
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FYI...
I just retired from The US Navy, took my son to look at a few new 2013 RV's,
The Winnebago Tour at $400,000 plus, and an Itasca around the same price...
Most of the new Rv's include a modern side by side, high end fridge..
non LP, just AC units that run like the one in your home...
I bought 2 RV's, One Winnebago Vectra, and another.. a 2006 Bounder..
both had Norcolds model 1200 side by side w/updates, and/or replacements..
I don't like modifications....
You know what they teach us in the navy ? Safety, Safety, and more safety..
I scrapped the two AC/DC/Lp units for a couple of small Kenmore units that fit perfectly in their spots...
So I can sleep soundly, and one less thing to deal with.
We got enough headaches with the less than courtous drivers on the road, and poor gas mileage on our units.. who needs a fire breathing fridge..
Happy New Year, and smooth sailing ...
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:55 PM   #27
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Umm, really? Gee, what could it be, spontaneous combustion? I mean seriously, if it's charred around the fridge vent it was caused by some component of the refrigerator system. I suppose it could be caused by a malfunction of the electrical system of the fridge, but given the history of these things I doubt it.

Perhaps reading the attached report might enlighten you.

Hope the PDF file gets attached
Attached Files
File Type: pdf RVRef-Fires-1.pdf (554.6 KB, 179 views)
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:07 PM   #28
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What's the most effective extinguisher to fit behind the fridge ( I worry about our dog )
The cooling warehouse sell an automatic fire extinguisher that you can Kay down and generally aim at the heating tube at the back of the fridge.
I figured it cheap insurance. I also figured the odds of a fire are probably as stated in one of the above posts.
Having said that I'm glad I now have an all electric coach
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