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Old 06-07-2014, 06:12 AM   #29
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Another Norcold story

Sorry about the loss of your MH. Glad you awoke before it was worse.

My Norcold is coming out!

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Sally, Hailey (Shih Tzu) and Me!
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:33 AM   #30
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People can believe what they want about Norcolds, they start fires, the don't start fires. Peoples houses burn everyday because the still overload sockets and that will never change. I got rid of my Norcold because I HATED their non customer service and it just didn't cool well. I think the MH manufactures are getting away from Norcold for the same reason......buyers don't want them. I also got rid of LP in my new MH as it is also as one less fire hazard to put up. That is the choice I made. I would rather replace a couple of extra batteries every 5 years than constantly refilling an LP tank at $4. a gallon.

I am so sorry to hear of your loss and money spent for a fire system that did not work for what yo thought it would do. What a shame. Your experience is learning tool and I am a believer.

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Old 06-07-2014, 06:36 AM   #31
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I can't imagine what you have been thru. Losing your beloved Bluebird and the trauma of such an event must be terrible.
Thank you for the heads up. We have a RR simply because we don't like to carry propane but I am sure that sharing your experience will make others re evaluate their options.
Best of luck recovering from this terrible event.
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:56 AM   #32
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Having re-read your posts, I believe you are well meaning. A buddy put in our Samsung 197 and we have never looked back. Besides the fire fear--which is, I think, greatest on the four door Norcolds like we had, the danged thing really did not work well at all. Red light went on and service guy said it was the 'fix' at fault and removed it, fridge worked okay (soupy ice cream) but then we worried about not having the black box and fires. Norcold wouldn't do anything w/o the old black box, and service guy was being a service guy and not helpful.
As I understand your point, you are asking that people act logically about an extremely emotional issue? Looking at your photo you don't appear to be an idealistic teenager. In this age when the majority of forwarded emails I read that get me fired up in agreement turn out to be bogus, your call for logic and reason seems a bit naive. But I wish you luck, since Norcold is effectively blocking our access to the very information we need to make an informed decision.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:33 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Selah2 View Post

I can't imagine what you have been thru. Losing your beloved Bluebird and the trauma of such an event must be terrible.
Thank you for the heads up. We have a RR simply because we don't like to carry propane but I am sure that sharing your experience will make others re evaluate their options.
Best of luck recovering from this terrible event.

You need to read post #1 of Ernie's thread. He still has his beloved Bluebird and hopefully with a residential fridge inside.

Ernie was posting the tragic situation that happened to a friend with a coach who is a member of the American Coach Yahoo Group.

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Old 06-07-2014, 09:49 AM   #34
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as i see it, the major complaint about norcold refrigerators is that they dont cool in hot weather. the fires can be dismissed by attorneys as not an issue, in my opinion, one is too many. especially if caused by manufacturing defects.
but the fact seems to be that norcold cannot fix the problem.
after six attempts to repair the unit, (recall) i gave up and installed an amish unit, simply because i dry camp a lot. works great, even at 110 degrees.
btw i have observed quite a few problems caused by the circuit board overheating.
mostly just the board burning in spots, or a small fire, but i believe these were caused by low power and extended run time. like in a permanent cg setup.
imho the only repair that works is to replace the cooling unit, or even the entire refrig.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:02 AM   #35
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Our Norcold was not working well. Called the serviceman and he came to inspect the fridge. Noticed green coloring on the cooling unit. First thing he did was pull the power and disable the fridge so it would not work. He said that the next thing would be a fire.

Replaced the fridge with another Norcold and it is working fine.

We missed being a statistic.
Gordon and Janet
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:22 AM   #36
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We are very sorry for your loss. It was stories like yours that lead us to change ours. Why take the chance?

We are full-timers and the upgrade last week made an instant change for us. The absorption fridge is old technology and cannot compare to residential fridges. More room, more convenient, less power, better looking, and colder. In a few years even low end coaches will not have these in them. Ours went in the pile with the VCR.

Good luck, and we wish you well. Thanks for sharing your tragedy with us.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:35 AM   #37
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A serious question

Being that Bluebird ceased production several years ago and since nobody has asked this question: what year was the coach? I think I've only seen a handful of Bluebirds. Lots of their school busses though. It sucks to lose a rig and all your personal stuff. On the other hand it's only stuff and nobody was injured.

If you contact the law firm handing the CA suit against Norcold I'm sure they'll be happy to add you to the list. So +1 on that list and the second or third Norcold fire to effect a member on this site in the 3 years I've been here. Given the number of members we have that's still a vanishingly small percentage.

Halon, From a reliable source:
At high temperatures, halons decompose to release halogen atoms that combine readily with active hydrogen atoms, quenching flame propagation reactions even when adequate fuel, oxygen, and heat remain. The chemical reaction in a flame proceeds as a free radical chain reaction; by sequestering the radicals which propagate the reaction, halons are able to halt the fire at much lower concentrations than are required by fire suppressants using the more traditional methods of cooling, oxygen deprivation, or fuel dilution.

Halon, accelerating a fire? Sorry, that does not smell right. It didn't work and that's regrettable. But he was not representing proven facts. It's more likely that your high temperature cut off was disabled or failed for some reason and heat was still being applied after the halon discharged and dissipated.

BTW, our Norcold keeps our ice cream, and everything else in the freezers right at -18F, and the refer box right around 34F. I fooled the thermistor with a layer of foam coffee cup (insulation) between it and the fin. AKA The Muddypaws Mod. And I've had two near fires caused by a residential refer and another real fire caused by a converter/charger. My brother in law lost his brand new fifth wheel (and house) to a probable converter fire- on the evening before they were supposed to fly to India for their honeymoon! I could go on and on about all the fires I've seen first hand and about the refer fires I haven't seen, but what's the point?

Calling someone an ostrich is not helping to make your point. In a debate the first one to start slinging names is usually the one who has already lost out to logic and facts.
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:32 PM   #38
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Folks, I was posting, as Richard stated about a fire reported on The American Coach forum. I have a Dometic side by side in my coach. I do plan on an upgrade in the very near future. I just have to recover from an interior remodel, 10 new batteries, new transfer switch, new EMS, and the 2nd grandson' graduation from high school, which, I drove the coach 3500 miles from Texas to Montana and Brenda flew up and back. Whew- gotta get back to work.
Bluebird ceased production in 2009. The company was bought and sold quite a few times. There was a large auction of inventory. Parliament coach bought the intellectual property.
My coach is a 97 model, 43 feet in length. When I get my residential refrigerator, my 17,500 watt generator can handle any load with ease.
Ernie Ekberg, Prevost Liberty XL Classic
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:32 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Pa Uon View Post
.....The absorption fridge is old technology and cannot compare to residential fridges.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Absorption refrigeration using ammonia has been around for decades and is still used as the preferred refrigeration source for many large commercial warehouses. Ammonia is 100% friendly to the environment, cools better than any CFC based refrigerant by being 25% more efficient than anything else including R404, it requires much smaller plumbing and mechanicals than CFC based refrigerants, and it's cost is pennies on the dollar compared to any other refrigerant.
Originally Posted by Pa Uon
More room, more convenient, less power, better looking, and colder. In a few years even low end coaches will not have these in them.
More room - agreed.
More convenient - thats debatable, depending upon how you intend to power it 24x7 AND whether or not you boondock more than not.
Less power - no way is there even any comparison. Your resi refrigerator is costing you 100watts every hour running. If you're using an inverter to power it then it's costing you 10 amps DC every hour it's running. The absorption based units use less than 5 watts of power at 12VDC, plus propane costs. Replenishing the batteries on a constant 10amp draw basis for the resi fridge on an inverter will far exceed the costs of the absorption based units. Before someone jumps in and says SOLAR is the answer let me say that not everyone can afford to install a solar system costing upwards of $4000.00 and up.
Better looking -agreed.

I'm not a huge fan of these absorption based refrigerators. A lot more design needs to be incorporated to help prevent the problems they have. However, most units I see that have failed have never even been serviced, had the boiler area inspected (rust/corrosion), flue tubes/baffle cleaned OR even had the roof vent off to check for any ongoing issues. A bit of diligence and common sense needs to be applied to maintenance AND operation. As another poster mentioned above, I've too seen my fair share of converters, inverters and transfer switches that have almost caught a coach on fire (in some cases I wondered how they didn't catch on fire), owners trying to change their own batteries and hooking up 4 12v batteries as 48volts or hooking them up backwards and watching them smoke, or furnaces, which are under the refrigerator in many cases which haven't even been serviced to remove lint, dustballs, paper towels that may have been sucked in. Not many people realize that MOST RV LP based furnaces have no intake filters so they ingest about anything that will fit.

There are a variety of things that go wrong on our RVs.. the refrigerator is just another appliance in the same list, yet unfortunately, is blamed all too often.
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:18 PM   #40
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94-Nemar; I have a VCR for you if your interested. That was great technology at the time too.
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:23 PM   #41
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You won't find them in high-end coaches anymore because something BETTER came along.
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:27 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by 94-Newmar View Post
The absorption based units use less than 5 watts of power at 12VDC, plus propane costs.
I'm not sure where you got this number, but what I've read is more in line with the 1.5-2 amps estimated in this article. That amounts to ~20-25 watts which is about 1/4 the power draw of a residential fridge.

RV Converters and Amp Draw - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

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