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Old 06-05-2014, 07:08 PM   #1
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Another Norcold story

For you folks that have these time bombs: its' not if- it is when- your coach will catch fire. From the American coach forum:

> Thank you each and Everyone for your grateful thoughts and Heartfelt concerns. Diane and I are physically ok but emotionally over whelmed with all there is to deal with. It happens so fast and one thinks that it will probably not happen to them since their fridge seems to be working so well. Diane got up at 1:30 to find smoke coming out around the fridge, I ran outside to find flames coming from the fridge vent. I felt that at any moment the Halon suppression system would go off and extinguish the flames. I called 911. I ran back inside to get a few belongings and smoke was filling the RV fast, it was toxic and choking. We got out! Outside, the flames were now roaring up the sidewall and making crackling sounds like a camp fire, we now knew that this was the end of the Rv that we had loved so much.. I took several photos which I will post asap. To watch this tares your guts out and you are helpless.
>
> If I had replaced my norcold with a residential I would still have the motor home that I loved so much, today.
>
> It was never about money, it just worked and I guess the idea seemed unnecessary, What a lesson to learn the hard way! We pay thousands for RV insurance it only costs a few hundred to almost guarantee No fires.
>
> Sorry for the preaching, I wish that I had paid attention to the sermons of past.
>
>
> Dave Knotts
>
> No more RV
>
> in: Foley, AL

I have a 4 door Dometic and have been researching residential.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:21 PM   #2
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Like the others who have made the change, I preemptively removed my perfectly working Norcold and installed a Fisher & Paykel and I am glad that I did, for many reasons, fire hazard just being one of them.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:25 PM   #3
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Where is the American Coach forum? I would like to read the full thread,
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:48 PM   #5
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you might have to join this forum.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ernie Ekberg View Post
For you folks that have these time bombs: its' not if- it is when- your coach will catch fire.


PLEASE stop the unfounded fear-mongering hyperbole.

It's a shame that anyone loses a coach to fire but from what you posted we have no idea what started the fire. Guessing that it was a rupturing of the coolant lines is specious at this point. The more you investigate these fires the more likely you will find that it wasn't that reason at all.

Here are the known facts about the Norcold Fire hazard. According to the attorney's involved in the class action lawsuit there have been just under 250 PROVEN fires from ruptured coolant lines out of the over 5,000 fires that have originated near the refrigerator. That means the vast majority of the fires that people claim to have been a Norcold fire actually turn out to be something different.

Now let's consider that about 250 fires have occurred out of the 2.7 million Norcold Units that are considered to be "time bombs". That means .009% of these so-called "time bombs" have actually caught fire over a 12 year time span.

Now also consider that Maytag just has a recall of nearly 2.5 million refrigerators where there were over 1,800 fires in 20 months and you can see that the chance of having a Norcold fire is actually pretty darn slim.

The bottom line is when you look at the actual FACTS you won't be so inclined to believe that these things are ticking time bombs anymore than you will believe there is a monster in your closet.

Let's stop fear mongering and embrace a rational, fact based discourse about these events. Pretty please.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:42 PM   #7
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Another Norcold story

I'm not into fear mongering. The overriding reason we got it is that I can hold 50% more beer now.

Want to buy my Norcold?
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Let's stop fear mongering and embrace a rational, fact based discourse about these events. Pretty please.
Sounds good to me. To clarify...if we believe the mfr. there have been 250 fridge caused fires. Over what period of time?
You mention 2.7 million Norcolds ...that seems like an awful lot for an RV industry that produces around 300,000 units of all kinds a year...many without fridges and many with competitor fridges. Exactly how many of the 2.7 million claimed units are still in service? If we don't know those answers then any claimed % of "fire causing time bombs" will be ficticious.
Do we know what caused all the rest of the fires with any specificity...could some have been related to poor maintenance of the fridge/gas system that would not have happened if the fridge were residential?
I'm not coming at this from any point of view. I just don't think the facts you've related are meaningful unless quantified better and sourced properly. With the recent GM fiasco...I'm not overly trustworthy of mfr. "factual analysis" . But I also know that a few incidents can get blown up our of all proportion.

My new RV will be arriving with a conventional ammonia fridge in a couple of weeks since the residential option was not an option. I would have ordered a domestic had it been available for the convenience alone. If I become convinced that there is a significant safety issue...I'll still find a way to put one in. I'm not there yet but stories like Ernies friends do keep on coming.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenNSteph View Post

Here are the known facts about the Norcold Fire hazard. According to the attorney's involved in the class action lawsuit there have been just under 250 PROVEN fires from ruptured coolant lines out of the over 5,000 fires that have originated near the refrigerator. That means the vast majority of the fires that people claim to have been a Norcold fire actually turn out to be something different.
No, all this demonstrates is that the other fires can't be proven to be related to the fridge. It, in no way, proves that they weren't related to the fridge. Not being able to prove something is not the same as something not being true.

Quote:
Now let's consider that about 250 fires have occurred out of the 2.7 million Norcold Units that are considered to be "time bombs". That means .009% of these so-called "time bombs" have actually caught fire over a 12 year time span.
Just before the recent recession the RV industry was producing around 600,000 units per year; the current rate is around 400k/yr. Not all of these had Norcold refrigerators subject to recall or fire concerns. Your claim that there are 2.7 million Norcolds in use is without proof and is way above the highest possible number.

I'm not sure why you feel obligated to defend Norcold or RV refrigerators in general. The absorption refrigeration concept isn't a bad one and probably made sense when RVing meant camping out in the wilderness. However, for many people today that is not how their RVs are used and, furthermore, residential refrigerators don't use much more electricity than do the rather inefficient Norcolds when supposedly running on gas.

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.

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.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:20 PM   #10
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Sounds good to me. To clarify...if we believe the mfr. there have been 250 fridge caused fires. Over what period of time?
My initial post gave this information.

The 250 fridge fires does NOT come from the mfr. It comes from the legal team leading the class action lawsuit against the mfr. They want to have the highest number of fridge fires possible and they have tried to contact every person who has had an RV, Boat, Cabin, Off Grid Mfr. Home fire and owned a Norcold.

The period of time according to the attorneys is 12 years of negligent manufacturing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
You mention 2.7 million Norcolds ...that seems like an awful lot for an RV industry that produces around 300,000 units of all kinds a year...many without fridges and many with competitor fridges.
I never said they all went to the RV industry. Norcolds are sold to the boating community, to manufactured homes that are designed for off grid living, to backwoods cabins, etc. etc. etc.




Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Exactly how many of the 2.7 million claimed units are still in service?
Just like any other manufactured product, no one knows how many 2003 Maytag washers are still in service.




Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
If we don't know those answers then any claimed % of "fire causing time bombs" will be ficticious.
Not True, the claim of the OP was that they all will catch fire. Using his hyperbole I showed just how ludicrous this claim was.


Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Do we know what caused all the rest of the fires with any specificity...could some have been related to poor maintenance of the fridge/gas system that would not have happened if the fridge were residential?
Not all of them, but we know that more than 60% of the others were not caused by ruptured Cooling Coils, which is what the lawsuit is about. The rest cannot be determined with specificity.

You mention residential refrigerators as compared to Norcolds and what I posted before was the Maytag Example. It has had more fires in 20 months than the Norcold units have had in 12 years. Yet we consider the residential to be safer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
I'm not coming at this from any point of view. I just don't think the facts you've related are meaningful unless quantified better and sourced properly. With the recent GM fiasco...I'm not overly trustworthy of mfr. "factual analysis" .
I suggest that the next time you read the post through twice. You probably would have caught the fact that the statistics I gave were from the lawyers suing the mfr. They have put the best spin on it, used as many provable cases (proof is what matters) that they have. This isn't Norcold talking this is the people who want to sue them and win money. If they had more examples they would gladly show them but they don't.


Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
I'm not there yet but stories like Ernies friends do keep on coming.
Yes they keep coming, repeated over and over and over until they take on mythic proportions. The only problem is pretty soon he might get a fire inspectors report that says the fire started "under" the Norcold when a invertor shorted out. This scenario has been played out over and over too, the only problem is you will never hear that it wasn't the norcold but the invertor.

This is why I ask people to stop the fear-mongering. The last post I saw here was a fire that started in the engine compartment of a DP. They had pictures of it just after it started and finally the coach up in flames. Yet three people posted stating it was probably a norcold fire and then on another RV board someone posted that it WAS a norcold fire.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:39 PM   #11
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No, all this demonstrates is that the other fires can't be proven to be related to the fridge. It, in no way, proves that they weren't related to the fridge. Not being able to prove something is not the same as something not being true.
The rules of logic state that the person making the claim has the burden of proof. If it wasn't this way then you could say Santa Claus exists because I can't prove that he does not.

That is why the lawyers state very clearly that they have just under 250 PROVABLE fires. The rest have been proven to be other fires or are unknown but you cannot claim that a unknown fire was started by X, because you do not know it to be true.



Quote:
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Your claim that there are 2.7 million Norcolds in use is without proof and is way above the highest possible number.
#1) Your reasoning is false because you are only counting the Norcolds used in RV's. That's just part of Norcold's production. They are also used in boats, manufactured homes for off grid living, cabins, Etc. etc.

#2) The 2.7 million units is not my claim, it is in the statement of fact from the class action lawsuit. This number came from the attorneys suing Norcold who certified it as being a true number. They derived it from Norcold's subpoenaed records. The attorneys who are suing Norcold have no reason to lie and in fact would prefer that this number be as low as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by docj View Post
I'm not sure why you feel obligated to defend Norcold or RV refrigerators in general.



I am defending rational thinking that uses facts rather than emotions. This has nothing to do with Norcold but with my frustration with all of the false internet rumors.



Quote:
Originally Posted by docj View Post
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.

I'm not sure why you feel obligated to defend residential refrigerators.


I think you really read something into my post that isn't there. I agree with everything you said (well not the 50% part but let's not quibble). When my norcold dies I am putting in a residential refrigerator, they are superior in every way. But that doesn't change my post one iota.

Facts are facts. The norcold fire scare has been so overblown with no data to back up the claims that they are "time bombs" and "will" catch fire that it's frustrating for someone like myself who cherishes rationalism and empiricism to see. I can easily put forth the facts about Norcold and still say that residential refrigerators are far superior because both of those statements are factually based.

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Old 06-05-2014, 11:48 PM   #12
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Well put

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.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:53 PM   #13
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I have yet to see a burned up Newell, Prevost, Marathon, Millennium or any of the conversion type buses. Why? Because they never use absorption fridges.

BTW, they generally use huge multiple inverters.

I'll stick with my residential and enjoy the cold beer, frozen ice cream plus the 50% increased capacity which is generally stocked full all of the time.

It's always the same people stating that threads like this one are just "fear mongering" whenever there is any post of a RV fire or a story about someone losing their prized possession to a RV fire.

I would like to see more people preaching fire prevention versus fear mongering.

Remember that once a fire starts no matter where it started, it only takes 4-5 minutes before the RV is a total loss.

So much for the guys Halon Fire Extinguisher that he had in the fridge compartment. Just another false sense of security.

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Old 06-05-2014, 11:53 PM   #14
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My initial post gave this information.

The 250 fridge fires does NOT come from the mfr. It comes from the legal team leading the class action lawsuit against the mfr. They want to have the highest number of fridge fires possible and they have tried to contact every person who has had an RV, Boat, Cabin, Off Grid Mfr. Home fire ........... :

I find it very hard to believe they attempted to contact every owner. I have owned three different motorhomes with the recalled refrigerators. They never contacted me. Norcold had no difficulty finding me for purposes of the recalls, and they had absolutely no difficulty finding me regarding the fire that was caused by an erupted cooling coil (verified by my service company AND Norcold). The only difficulty that Norcold had was in deciding whether to supply a new coil (their initial offer), or a complete new refrigerator. After it was pointed out to them that the fire occurred less than four weeks after the recall was performed they decided on the new refrigerator. I was fortunate that the fire did not do more damage than it did.

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?

All I know is that I will NEVER own another RV with a non-residential refrigerator.


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