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Old 01-11-2011, 09:38 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 36
Norcold 1200 Cooling Performance

I have only had this rig out for three trips so far. The first two were in 100+ degree temps. I don't know if I trust the cheesy thermometer in the fridge but the fridge temps seemed on the warm side. Also this rig only has 30 amp service and running both ACs tripped the main breaker a few times even with the power management system so I decided to switch the fridge to propane and it seemed like the burner never shut off once even at night. I actually noticed this in my driveway before leaving the burner never seemed to shut off even after the fridge had been running all night and it was only like 70 degrees. The second trip I left the fridge on AC the whole time and it seemed to perform a little better. The third trip was super cold and we were dry camping so it was on propane but I never noticed if the burner was shutting off but the fridge seemed plenty cold. One other thing I noticed is the burner flame is blue but the flame is a little loud and pops intermitently. My outside access door is off to the other side of the fridge so it is hard to access the burner to clean it properly with a brush. I did blow it out really good with compressed air but it didn't seem to make a difference.

I've been in 100+ temps before with my last rig which just had a normal single wide fridge and it seemed plenty cold still.

I am wondering if this fridge just doesn't perform as good or if it has issues. I also could be wrong but I though I noticed when I switched the fridge from AC to Propane I heard the cooling fans shut off. After reading the service manual I don't see how this would happen. I have also seen a little bit of frosting on the fins.

So basically I have all kinds of nagging questions. Even though the flame is still blue, could it not be putting out enough heat? Are the fans not operating in Propane mode? Are the fridge seals leaking? Does this fridge just not perform well in the heat?

By the way it had the first recall performed and I just picked it up from having the new recall performed today.

Can anybody recommend a good reliable thermometer for the fridge?

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Old 01-12-2011, 10:03 AM   #2
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Check the manual, but I believe absorption cycle refrigerators (all gas-RV type) can only hold a certain difference under ambient temperature, so the hotter it gets outside, the warmer it will be inside the box after a certain threshold. Ours works well up to 90, but starts to be warmer after that.
I believe our fan only works when plugged into AC, but not 12 volt.
You can get a fridge thermometer at Wal Mart. Also, you can try one of those indoor-outdoor units that has a remote, either wired or wireless.

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Old 01-12-2011, 03:00 PM   #3
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My Norcold 1200 LRIM also seems to run pretty much constantly in ht weather - whetehr gas or electric. I can see/hear the gas flame or see the amps on my rigs ammeter all day and well into the night. Might shut off in the wee hours. It stays cold, though, up until it gets to be 98+ outside.

Condensation on the fins is from air getting inside, either because the door is open a lot or the door seals are letting air leak in.

Norcold specifies that fridge temps be measured by immersing a reliable thermometer in water and checking after the water temp stabilizies. That's because absorption fridges are notorious for uneven cooling due to convection air currenst (or lack of them). Sometimes a battery operated fan in the fridge helps. Or re-arranging the stuff inside.
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Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:37 PM   #4
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Increase fridge temp.

I put one of those battery operated fans at the bottom. It really improved the performance of the fridge in hot weather. Camping World.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:35 PM   #5
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Another option for you. There is a temperature measurement built into the diagnostic readouts. Pressing "set temp" and "mode" buttons simultaneously will display the readouts. Press mode again to advance to next readout. I think that the third readout will display the temperature that the thermister is sensing.

Have a nice day - Darrel
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:47 PM   #6
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I have a 1200 and its work good in all types of heat or cold.
For seven years have always cleaned the burner flue and connections on board for AC heaters or 12v feed to controls.
The fans will cycle on and off on AC or while being used on LP gas.
If fans didn't work on either AC OR LP you would have to change the heat thermistor on cooling coils for fans.
People have had problems with temperature sensor on your interior fins when not cooling correctly.
Here is a link for 1200 for operation and proper installation of it.
The rear of fridge has to be properly constructed for heat to vent out roof with help of the two fans at top of coils. You may or not have baffles that should have been put in by coach MFG during installation.
Some people have added better venting for fridge with additional fans because of areas that you may visit.
There is now a second recall on fridge that Norcold says you need because the first one doesn't do the job.
You can avoid all this with a better designed cooling coils by Amish which do not need recalls and have a better designed coil for better cooling.
I have had first recall done and plan on replacing the cooling unit without getting the second recall because that may not work also thats why people are installing fire extinguishers just to save their coach from a fire that recalls are suppose to stop according to Norcold, ya right.

Welcome to irv2, stay safe.

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