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Old 06-06-2014, 02:14 AM   #15
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I wish to share simple anecdotal information. During my last east coast venture, I had a jack failure. I remembered finding an rv salvage yard a few months before that was located in Kentucky. Fortunately, visone-rv was only a couple hours away. Great guys and great same day service replacing my jack with one that they had salvaged.

While I waited, I walked around the salvage yard and I was blown away by all the refrigerator fires. I asked to owner if they were engine fires and he said, "nope, most of em are fridge.". If you google them, find their address and go into satellite view, you will notice dozens of class a rvs destroyed by fire. Anecdotal, I know, I am just sharing a personal experience.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:49 AM   #16
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Kudos docj!

Now that manufacturers are offering more models with a resi fridge option, more and more new owners will be given the opportunity to choose which type of refrigeration best fits their needs. Many people purchase park models, trailers or 5th wheels and simply park them in campgrounds on a semi-permanent basis or an indefinite time period. A resi fridge makes perfect sense for those types of users and even better sense for those full timing. On the other hand, boondockers and those constantly on the move, or perhaps the off-grid crowd will most likely favor an absorption type unit.

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Putting aside all fire concerns, a residential fridge in an RV provides more consistent refrigeration and provides nearly 50% more storage space in the same physical volume with similar weight. Cost of the device is also far less.
Agreed. However, depending upon the end user's type of usage, a resi fridge may be out of the question for them. Yes, resi units are initially less expensive to purchase - the hidden costs are involved in the ability to power them - Again, based upon the user's needs and of course what type of RV they have.

It's not cheap to purchase enough solar equipment and batteries to keep up with the 120v demands of the motorhome. Inverting from 12vdc to 120vac is horribly inefficient at roughly 10amps of DC for every 100 watts of AC - thats horrible. Yes there are some whom have the endless budgets to allow for covering their entire roof with solar panels, solar charge controllers, installation of multiple inverters, and of course, having enough "real estate" in their unit to install oodles of batteries capable of powering 1/2 of a county - but those types of "deep pocket" RVers are an extremely small percentage of the overall number of RV owners.

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I'm not saying that absorption refrigeration can't be improved; in fact, what I'm saying is that it ought to be improved so that it is worth considering compared tp residential units. However, at present the two principal manufacturers, Norcold and Dometic, produce fridges that are essentially the same as those being sold decades ago. IMHO given the performance and price of their products I can't see why very many people would want one.
Absolutely. Change is difficult for manufacturers it seems - The re-tooling and re-engineering is costly but competition is what drives them. Over time, as the resi fridge units become more widespread in the offerings from the manufacturers, you can rest assured that the absorption refrig players will have to step up their products to compete.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:03 AM   #17
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I walked around the salvage yard and I was blown away by all the refrigerator fires. I asked the owner if they were engine fires and he said, "nope, most of em are fridge.". If you Google them, find their address and go into satellite view, you will notice dozens of class a RV's destroyed by fire. Anecdotal, I know, I am just sharing a personal experience.


I have observed the same fact but there are those that choose to bury their head in the sand much like an ostrich does when it doesn't want to face reality or when danger approaches.

You are never going to change the minds of those people who choose to ignore the problem or worse yet blame it on something completely irrelevant until it happens to them personally. Then they suddenly become the "experts".

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:49 AM   #18
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Purchased 07 Discovery with Norcold side by side. Norcold colling unit junk. Wife & I swapped out with a NEW Amish cooling unit. $1200.00 from RVCoolingUnit.com
Fast replys via email, fast shipping and quality cooling unit. Took an afternoon to install but worth every penney!

RM
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:11 AM   #19
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Just out of curiosity, since you seem to know all of the facts, how many of the 2.7 million refrigerators were made prior to the reduction in coil wall thickness, and how many after?

Arlin,

I have never claimed to know all the facts nor would I ever make such a glaringly hyperbolic statement (I'll leave those to the fear-mongers). The 2.7 million figure, according to the attorneys suing Norcold are the # of units that are effected in the recalls and have the potential fire danger to them. Since the lawsuit is about cooling tubes rupturing and there were many Norcold units excluded from this class I would say that they are looking a the thin-walled units but this is only speculation on my part.

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Old 06-06-2014, 10:22 AM   #20
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Ah, but you can't expect to sway folks here with facts. Their minds are already made up.



I posted similar findings about the lawsuit a few months ago. I came to the same conclusion. It's 99.9994 hype.

You are correct but it's just so frustrating to see how the internet has actually speeded up the dissemination of false rumors and specious claims. It seems that what should have been a great equalizer (the internet's access to vast quantities of facts ability to check facts) is actually dumbing many people down. The irony is the rumor mongers, "who read it on the internet", really feel they are the enlightened ones preaching that the end is near while us heathens have our heads in the sand.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:20 PM   #21
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Well normally I just observe but on this subject I have the following thoughts.
1. How many Dometic Absorption style refrigerators have been know to cause fires in Motor Homes and if there are some that have what are the model numbers of these units.
2. If it is just the Norcold Brand refrigerator that seems to be having a problem then wouldn't it be great if as this happens we could have Model No and date of Manufacture and let the RV community decide which product they would desire in their respective motor homes and by doing so either Norcold would get busy and design a cooling unit that would not cause any of the above problems.
3. It is not always the tubes on the Norcold that causes the problem there has been a few incidents of the venting being the issue.
4. In my own particular situation my Norcold died in the performance of it's duties and when I removed it I was shocked to see that it was trying to catch the ceiling on my Travel Supreme on fire, this was not in a slide so there is only one access point on the side and one on the roof. It is very difficult to see behind the refrigerator where the vent exits on the refrigerator and how it is impacting the surface areas around it. Suffice to say in my case and the way we use our motor home I installed a samsung and we have never looked back nor would we ever buy a motor home with a Norcold without the caveat that it be changed out to something else or a residential in the negotiating price.
5. My point in posting all this is for all of the RV family not to get caught up in he said she said but to be concerned that a manufacture that has made many refrigeration units, and not all of them are involved, seems to have a problem and they seem not to want to do anything about it.
Good luck to all the RV community have fun and stay safe in your travels...
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:00 PM   #22
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If it is just the Norcold Brand refrigerator that seems to be having a problem then wouldn't it be great if as this happens we could have Model No and date of Manufacture and let the RV community decide which product they would desire in their respective motor homes and by doing so either Norcold would get busy and design a cooling unit that would not cause any of the above problems.

It is not always the tubes on the Norcold that causes the problem there has been a few incidents of the venting being the issue.

Suffice to say in my case and the way we use our motor home I installed a Samsung and we have never looked back nor would we ever buy a motor home with a Norcold without the caveat that it be changed out to something else or a residential in the negotiating price.

My point in posting all this is for all of the RV family not to get caught up in he said she said but to be concerned that a manufacture that has made many refrigeration units, and not all of them are involved, seems to have a problem and they seem not to want to do anything about it.

Good luck to all the RV community have fun and stay safe in your travels...
There are four main models involved in the Norcold Recall, the 1200, 1201, 1210 and 1211.

By virtue of the fact that Norcold has issued 2 different recalls for the same problem neither which have permanently fixed the problem they have basically admitted that their product DOES have a major problem otherwise there wouldn't be a need for a recall would there?. That's because the Norcold fixes are only temporary band-aids. That's why some people just don't get it nor do they have a clue. They continue to go about their RV lifestyle figuring that it won't happen to their Norcold fridge.

I am now taking the approach that it is their RV and their Norcold fridge. They can choose what they want to do or do nothing at all.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:11 PM   #23
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Same here

"I am now taking the approach that it is their RV and their Norcold fridge. They can choose what they want to do or do nothing at all."

Well said!
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:38 PM   #24
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Steven
Facts are impossible to come by as when Norcold pays off victims of these fires a part of the settlement is an agreement to not disclose information about it. Yes, it would be awfully nice to have the facts and more or less determine some probability of a fire. Since no one else seems to be able to get statistics on the actual number of Norcold fires, but you are cautioning about folks lack of 'facts', perhaps you could advise how many Norcold four doors have been sold and how many of them have burst into flames? With that precious information (kept from us by Norcold) it wouldn't matter if lots of RV fires were falsely claimed to have started in its Norcold, as we would have the facts. Blame Norcold, not the victims.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:12 PM   #25
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For the second time we had to opt for the camper and leave the MH at home because a few days before leaving on our yearly fishing trip the safety mechanism "red light" kept us from turning on our Norcold 1200. Because of liability issues the dealer must send in the non-working unit and have it replaced with another. Then we found the heat sensor was bad. Long story short. I'm tired of having a refrigerator interfering with our plans. It's ridicules. The dealer after replacing the heat sensor said the insulation was getting bad and to expect Norcold to call us and tell us to turn the unit off until all new insulation could be installed. Great, we plan on leaving in two weeks and the dealer said he's booked and can't get to us until July. I would have never envisioned a refrigerator causing this much frustration. So, now we wait for this warning call from Norcold. And, do we leave on our month long journey or be hog tied again because of a refrigerator?
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:25 PM   #26
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Everyone has to evaluate their own level of risk (or frustration - see above) and make decisions that they can live with. I am not adverse to risk, I use to race cars, but I don't like to take what I see are uncontrollable risks. I won't have a Norcold, I won't run Goodyear RV tires and I won't jump out of perfectly good working planes.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:44 PM   #27
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I would have never envisioned a refrigerator causing this much frustration. So, now we wait for this warning call from Norcold. And, do we leave on our month long journey or be hog tied again because of a refrigerator?
Lucky You!

Sounds like another NotSoCold is about to be added to the landfill.

Frankly, when reading the various threads that people are posting here about residential fridges in RV's I realize that there is a flood of people asking more questions about converting to residential fridges than ever before in the past.

I wonder why that is? Could it be that people are getting fed up with the POS Norcold fridge that does not perform as well as their residential they have at home?

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Old 06-07-2014, 06:37 AM   #28
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update

"Just a few words to answer some questions and tell of the latest. The Halon did discharge as it was supposed to. The fire inspector stated that using Halon against Ammonia mixed with Hydrogen under high pressure will have no effect and can actually cause the fire to accelerate. The Halon being under high pressure itself, has almost the same effect as blowing an air hose on the fire. This was actually very disappointing news to me but this certified fire inspector has dealt with this situation many times he told. I will say this, he was very very adamant about Norcold and stated that the insurance company's are always filing law suits against Norcold.


I don't understand Paul's device. It sounds like if the unit gets hot his device will turn of the electric heaters or propane? My question is this, what happens when the unit is at normal temperature and the tubing breaks or starts to leak (spray) under high pressure? When the leak occurs when the unit is on what is there to prevent the same tragedy that I had?


In reality, get these fire starter kits (Norcold) out of all motorhomes!!!!!!!!!!!!!


We have been cleaning everything salvageable for the past 3 days morning to late at night. The smell is terrible and burns your eyes. Our personal belonging insurance is $3000. which is not a drop in the bucket for anyone who has one of the homes on wheels.


PS: the 2 smoke detectors did work perfect it was just that Diane got up just as the smoke was starting to enter around the sides of the fridge.


Dave Knotts
Saying: This happens in 8 minutes or less, don't let it happen to You!!!"
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