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Old 01-01-2013, 09:09 PM   #29
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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.
All I can say is this:
I did not see the fire start, however I did watch the rig burn and could clearly see that the most damage, other than the ceiling was from the fridge area of the motor home. I spoke with the owner personally the following morning and he stated, "I saw flames outside at the fridge panel. When I went for the fire extinguisher I saw no flames inside, just smoke. When I got back to the external fridge panel the fire was so intense that I couldn't get close enough to bother with the extinguisher."

Are you more likely to die in a Norcold fridge fire than from falling on a beer bottle....I have no idea. But I do know, that these fires are "common", and are attributed to a few models of fridges, one that I own. It does concern me, and I will be looking for ways to diminish the threat.

There will always be naysayers to any issue. I personally know the owners of three units lost in fridge fires...I have no questions about whether or not these units are prone to defects. The only questions in my mind are: Why has the issue been allowed to go so long, and why haven't I already gotten rid of the one I own. Going to work on the second tomorrow.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:12 PM   #30
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When I had the first recall done on my 1200, the tech that was working on it discovered that there was no cap on the flue. They pulled out the fridge and the cover on the roof. All the wood was badly charred on the under side of the roof and surrounding area. They ordered a new cap from Norcold and it is good now. That is not to say my problems are over.
It is amazing that my coach didn't burn down. I had just bought it when I had the recall done.
It makes me wonder who was responsible for that cap being missing Norcold or HR when they installed the fridge. It leaves me to wonder how many other coaches are like that and if that may be the cause of some of these fires.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #31
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Perhaps reading the attached report might enlighten you.

Hope the PDF file gets attached
Interesting report. Yes, I suppose the fires could be caused by other factors. However I find it interesting that the Norcold brand is the one primarily with the reputation (and apparent documentation) while the other major brands, Dometic and the Amish replacement unit do not although Dometic has had its issues with fires; we had a recall procedure done on our previous TT fridge (Dometic) that was a direct result of overheating.
We have a Norcold 621 in our Winnebago, a single door unit, not one of the suspect models. However, I don't trust it. I too will keep a very close eye on it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:39 PM   #32
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My Norcold had the cap on the flue. The wood above it was charred from the heat comming of the flue. The area's down the side near the flue showed signs of heat exchange. Don't think because the cap is in place that you do not still have a problem. If the baffle area is using wood in place of metal to deflect the hot gasses coming from the flue and you want to continue to use this refrigerator than please pull it and replace the wood with metal. I have been told from my previous post that this was supposed to have been done on a previous recall but I can not speak on that directly.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:05 PM   #33
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Interesting report. Yes, I suppose the fires could be caused by other factors. However I find it interesting that the Norcold brand is the one primarily with the reputation (and apparent documentation) while the other major brands, Dometic and the Amish replacement unit do not although Dometic has had its issues with fires; we had a recall procedure done on our previous TT fridge (Dometic) that was a direct result of overheating.
We have a Norcold 621 in our Winnebago, a single door unit, not one of the suspect models. However, I don't trust it. I too will keep a very close eye on it.
Right it is an interesting report, it was one of the documents I found during my research. I agree certain Norcold models were problematic and to a much lesser extent, a few Dometic units needed modifcation. The figure I saw was for the Dometic models that could fail, only .01% actually failed.

So common sense precautions should be taken. Just like one does while driving, it is a dangerous world out there but we still go out.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:30 PM   #34
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Those of us who have watched or been notified that our coach burn are harmfully enlarging in numbers. My 06 Allegro Bus with Norcold, 1200 fully up to date, was burnt to ground July 6,2012. I'm now the owner of a resident refrigerator Newmar.

Thankful that you were not hurt or loss life. I'm bless to say we only loss material belongings.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:08 PM   #35
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Those of us who have watched or been notified that our coach burn are harmfully enlarging in numbers. My 06 Allegro Bus with Norcold, 1200 fully up to date, was burnt to ground July 6,2012. I'm now the owner of a resident refrigerator Newmar.. I'm bless to say we only loss material belongings.
Really sorry you were one of the reported 4000 RV's burned from all causes out of the estimated 10 million coaches out there. The growth of RV sales was reported to increase 15% in 2012 hence more are going on the road every day.

But the statistics do not really indicate a marked increase in the percentage of RV fires notwithstanding the recent Norcold incidents. Do you have documented statistics that indicate otherwise? If yes, please share them with us.

Thanks
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:11 PM   #36
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Here is my nickel's worth: I am retired from 40 years in manufacturing, with several companies during that time. The last 20-25 years the annual drum beat from corporate America is cost reduction...and more cost reduction. And after awhile all the practical cost reductions are gone, the next one is to move offshore, to save on labor. What does that have to do with Norcold? What is the root cause of these failures? Why did older units of the same design not have this problem? I tell you it is simply corporate greed and cost reduction. Norcold has redesigned and cost improved to the point that the gauge of material, and material quality are compromised. And rather that spend mega buck for a recall to replace the defective cooling unit, they put a finger in the dyke,a and the recall units are modules poorly design to shut it down when it fails. Not fix the root cause problem so the thing does not leak to catch on fire in the first place. I am not pushing the Amish cooling unit! But it is pretty easy to compare the diameter of the tubing, the weight of the cooling units. Or find an old RV and look at the coils on one of those...I rest my case.

P.S. I have purchased an Amish unit, and it did not fix my ref. problems. Next month I am installing a residential unit.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:18 PM   #37
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Here is my nickel's worth: I am retired from 40 years in manufacturing, with several companies during that time. The last 20-25 years the annual drum beat from corporate America is cost reduction...and more cost reduction. And after awhile all the practical cost reductions are gone, the next one is to move offshore, to save on labor. What does that have to do with Norcold? What is the root cause of these failures? Why did older units of the same design not have this problem? I tell you it is simply corporate greed and cost reduction. Norcold has redesigned and cost improved to the point that the gauge of material, and material quality are compromised. And rather that spend mega buck for a recall to replace the defective cooling unit, they put a finger in the dyke,a and the recall units are modules poorly design to shut it down when it fails. Not fix the root cause problem so the thing does not leak to catch on fire in the first place. I am not pushing the Amish cooling unit! But it is pretty easy to compare the diameter of the tubing, the weight of the cooling units. Or find an old RV and look at the coils on one of those...I rest my case.

P.S. I have purchased an Amish unit, and it did not fix my ref. problems. Next month I am installing a residential unit.
Yep, I think you have hit it on the nose. The residential unit is what I'm looking at myself. Currently trying to figure out how to add battery capacity to allow the boon-docking I like to do.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:04 PM   #38
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My Norcold had the cap on the flue. The wood above it was charred from the heat comming of the flue. The area's down the side near the flue showed signs of heat exchange. Don't think because the cap is in place that you do not still have a problem. If the baffle area is using wood in place of metal to deflect the hot gasses coming from the flue and you want to continue to use this refrigerator than please pull it and replace the wood with metal. I have been told from my previous post that this was supposed to have been done on a previous recall but I can not speak on that directly.
I think that's most interesting- wouldn't the flue be the responsibility of the RV maker rather than the fridge maker?

Surely Norcold didn't supply the unit with wooden parts- must have been done when the unit was installed in the RV.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:31 PM   #39
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Bingo, you got it. But in less you look how would you know. Not trying to say that it was anyones FAULT. Point being safety, check it out, someone in a Fleetwood Brand said their's was that way. How many others? Certainly anyone with a Travel Supreme on or about the 2004 Model Year and a Norcold Refrigerator ought to be up on their roof ASAP. From all the posts of folks worrying about the burner area and installing a fire extinguisher down there do they really think it will protect them from a fire starting at the top and spreading into the roof area? My entire reason for my interest in this is not to rag on Norcold but to prevent someone else from loss of life or property. Do I think that these type products come up short in design and proper venting, you bet I do. I am a RV'r I love this life and the freedom it brings. I understand what going to all electric does in the decision making process and I except this as a consequence of this particular problem.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:15 PM   #40
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I decided to change my Norcold 1211 that is one year old for an Amish unit. Ordered it today. Why take a chance?!
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:41 PM   #41
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Really sorry you were one of the reported 4000 RV's burned from all causes out of the estimated 10 million coaches out there. The growth of RV sales was reported to increase 15% in 2012 hence more are going on the road every day.

But the statistics do not really indicate a marked increase in the percentage of RV fires notwithstanding the recent Norcold incidents. Do you have documented statistics that indicate otherwise? If yes, please share them with us.

Thanks
I understand the value of statistical analysis, but you leave the common sense element out of your equation. For example you cite "10 million coaches out there". Thats how many have been built/sold, but how many of those are still in existence today? Of those that remain, how many just sit and are never or rarely used? Of those that are used, how many have this brand/model of fridge?

For this to be a meaningful and valid statistic you need to know how many coaches use this brand/model of fridge, how many days per year these coaches use those fridges, then determine how many had fires due to the fridge.

I get your point and agree that the odds of this happening are relatively low, folks should not over react, etc. However I bet the odds of it happening are much higher than you imply if you do the analysis correctly.

IMHO there is enough data to suggest that anyone with a fridge of this type should at least have it inspected thoroughly to ensure no unsafe conditions exist. Whether they choose to keep it as-is, add an extinguisher or replace the unit entirely is their choice.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:15 PM   #42
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My goodness - of course everyone with an ounce of common sense would check out there rig and ensure they are safe and do what is best for them. Who would suggest otherwise.

I am certian the group would just love to see your refined statistics.
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