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Old 01-16-2013, 10:37 AM   #43
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If an RV has neither a generator nor a large battery bank/inverter setup, then one is pretty much limited to propane-fueled absorption cooling units for cooling during transit. In the RV marketplace as of this 5 minutes, that limits one's selections to Norcold and Dometic, right? Perhaps the market is ripe for some company to introduce an alternative brand, but to my knowledge none exists today for the RV manufacturers to use.

Absorption refrigerators are not a new thing. Servel marketed gas-fired absorption refrigerators back in the 50s and 60s - some of these are still in operation after all these years. My point is that they can be made to work reliably, and many of the older RV fridges exemplify this point. We had an old 3-way Swedish-made Dometic in a 1978 Jayco Cardinal pop-up that was still working fine when we sold the pop-up in 1996.

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Old 01-16-2013, 12:47 PM   #44
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The Norcold Fridge in my 1993 TT works just fine.

Servo was the name of the company that made house old gas fridges in the 50's and 60's.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:53 PM   #45
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Servo was the name of the company that made house old gas fridges in the 50's and 60's.
No, it was Servel. HERE is the brand history.

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Old 01-16-2013, 12:58 PM   #46
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No, it was Servel. HERE is the brand history.

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Yup, your right. Hay, I was close. I was trying to remember it from memory and my memory ain't what it used to be.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:03 PM   #47
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I was trying to remember it from memory and my memory ain't what it used to be.
It took me awhile to think of it as well.

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Old 01-16-2013, 06:03 PM   #48
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My mom had a Servel for 37 years, (20 in the kitchen, and 17 in the garage). It was still going strong and cold when she passed away in 1997. We let it go with the house when we sold the place. To my knowledge, it never had a service call in all those years, it ran on natural gas, and the only thing electric was the light bulb inside.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:53 PM   #49
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How can I find out if the recall has been done on mine?
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:22 AM   #50
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How can I find out if the recall has been done on mine?

You can find the information about the Norcold Hotline on these recalls from this link - Norcold Recall.

However, you should be aware that the Norcold Recall Kits do not fix the design defect that causes the fire - they simply attempt to put a bandaid over the problem. The Recall Kits are on their sixth or seventh version - I think Rev E or Rev F at this point - and the prior verions have proven bad and subject to failure. I had four recall kits installed and each one failed within an hour of leaving the RV repair facility. Fires and failures of the cooling unit may occur as a result of the failure of the Recall Kits - mine did.

There has been a class action lawsuit filed as a result of these issues and you can check the following link out for information - Norcold Fire-Prone RV & Boat Refrigerator Lawsuit. If you have a Norcold unit you might want to contact them for information....

Best of luck to you. While I am not an engineer, nor am I offering anything other than an opinion, I suggest that all RV owners who own a Norcold unit consider switching from their unit to a residential electric if possible, or switch out their cooling unit for one of the Amish cooling units that do not appear to have this design defect in their cooling unit. A Halon fire suppression system behind the refrigerator is good, but not fail-safe. And at the very least, 1) get a fire extinguisher in their coach's bedroom and 2) know how to operate their escape window in their bedroom and be assured that they can get out of it if a fire breaks out while they are sleeping. Not to be an alarmist, but being prepared can save your life in an instance such as this. Just check out YouTube and search for Norcold refrigerator fires and you'll see why this is so important to do.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:20 AM   #51
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As far as I can tell, the Norcold 10 cf refer has never been recalled. Ours has worked well so far.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:43 AM   #52
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I agree with what many have said. The only ones to really benefit from this will be the lawyers. This may be the end of Norcold!
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:50 AM   #53
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I agree with what many have said. The only ones to really benefit from this will be the lawyers. This may be the end of Norcold!
If their fridges are causing fires, that may not be a bad thing. Our NT has a Norcold fridge and I worry every time we spend the day away from the CG.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:06 PM   #54
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I wonder what percentage of Norcold units has failed? If the units are failing at the rate indicated all of us with Norcold units would be experiencing failurers. This reminds me of the "Squeaking Wheel Gets the grease".

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Old 01-18-2013, 03:33 PM   #55
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I have to say after learning about this problem I'm thoroughly freaked out! We have a Norcold Refridgerator and our model number is N821F. The N821 is in the recall but what about the fact that I have an F at the end? I'm one of those OCD people that check every knob on the stove is turned too the off position three times before I go to sleep and that my toilet's not over flowing (don't laugh it happened to me, stupid pedal got stuck and water kept running so much it was coming out of the bottom of the carriage ) Anyway this is just one more worry to add to my list now! It particularly scares me because we're full timers which means my dog (kid whichever!) is almost always in the RV. People who have replaced there fridge with a residential how hard is it? I've found a nice fridge which is the exact dimensions of the one we have but our Fridge is "built in" to the wall and set off of the floor. Also I saw it say the fires can happen even when on "shore power" which I assume is electric, how if it's on electric power can it still catch fire?!
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:40 AM   #56
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I have to say after learning about this problem I'm thoroughly freaked out! We have a Norcold Refridgerator and our model number is N821F. The N821 is in the recall but what about the fact that I have an F at the end? I'm one of those OCD people that check every knob on the stove is turned too the off position three times before I go to sleep and that my toilet's not over flowing (don't laugh it happened to me, stupid pedal got stuck and water kept running so much it was coming out of the bottom of the carriage ) Anyway this is just one more worry to add to my list now! It particularly scares me because we're full timers which means my dog (kid whichever!) is almost always in the RV. People who have replaced there fridge with a residential how hard is it? I've found a nice fridge which is the exact dimensions of the one we have but our Fridge is "built in" to the wall and set off of the floor. Also I saw it say the fires can happen even when on "shore power" which I assume is electric, how if it's on electric power can it still catch fire?!
If you check other posts on iRV2 regarding Norcold you'll see that many people have repaced their Norcold units. Some people have created instructions on how to do so - some have even created YouTube videos of the process. So there is a lot of information out there that can be of assistance if you do a little looking. However, most of what I have seen done has been related to the Norcold 1200 4 door refrigerators, so I don't know how much that applies to you.

Knowing about the problem is 90% of the solution - so don't freak out, take some actions that you believe will protect yourself. Have a great fire extinguisher and know where it is. Contact Norcold's recall hotline. If your unit is under recall make the decision if you want to have the Recall Kit installed, or change out the refrigerator to the residential electric. Take some action that you are comfortable with for your particular circumstances.

As it relates to your question regarding fires happening on shore power, the answer is yes they do. I'm not an engineer, but as I understand it, when the tubing on the cooling unit boiler fails and releases the gases, both amonia and hydrogen are released under very high pressure - approx 4000 PSI. These two gases when mixed together are both potentially flammable and explosive in open air. One of my failuers when it occured shot flames several feet out the side of the coach with a huge BANG! The RV tech had walked away from the side of my coach when the explosion occurred - but had he not he would have been badly burned. He was able to get the fire put out and save the coach. The second failure just involved the discharge of the amonia and hydrogen resulting in the telltale yellow residue. One happened on propane, one happened while on shore power.

I hope this information proves to be of assistance.
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