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Old 10-19-2014, 12:36 PM   #1
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NORCOLD question...might be getting one

I'm looking at a 2006 MH with a 4-door Norcold refrigerator. Up until now, any discussions about them weren't something I followed closely enough, but close enough to know that more than one person calls them, "Nevercold".

Our current MH has a Dometic, and it's as cold as the house unit.

Can somebody tell me whether the problems with Norcold were universal across the board for all models and all years?

What were the problems and what were the fixes?
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:48 PM   #2
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I have a 2007 with a Norcold 4 door. No problems at all with ours. Make sure the recall has been done on the one you are looking at. Even in the hottest weather of this past summer ours has stayed cold and reliable. We have made no modifications to ours (other than the recall box) and it works well. Usually start it up the evening before we leave and it's plenty cold by morning.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:52 PM   #3
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Thanks, Tom. The MH is at a dealer's lot so he might not know about whether the recall was done or not. How would it be possible to tell?
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:56 PM   #4
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We had a Norcold 1200LRIM 4 door fridge in our coach when we first bought it. If you really like this coach, check to see if the Norcold recall work has been done. That is paramount.

We are not Norcold fans due to all of the issues we had with ours. In less than a year both refrigerator doors fell off. If it had just been a hinge failure we could have lived with that. But no, it was the doors themselves that failed to the tune of about $700 each. In the end, on Christmas Eve morning we awoke to a puddle in the bottom of the fridge and the strong smell of ammonia indicating that the cooling unit had failed. We immediately made arrangements to have a Sumsung RF197 residential fridge installed. Best thing we've done since we owned the coach.

If you really like this coach and everything else is ok, buy it. But know that sometime down the road, that Norcold will fail. This is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when and you should be prepared to deal with it.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Thanks, Tom. The MH is at a dealer's lot so he might not know about whether the recall was done or not. How would it be possible to tell?
The recall is a box that installs in the rear, visible with the outside service hatch open. Your dealer should be able to check this and verify it's existence. In the alternative, get the model, ser# and cooling unit number and give Norcold a call. They can check their records and advise you.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:09 PM   #6
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We have (had) the Norcold 4 door 1200. Just traded in the MH for new with a residential frig. It was trouble free for 5 or so years. Then we needed to replace the coils. This was done under an extended warranty and we were required to complete the recall with the safety "wart". The wart failed once and has since been replaced with the upgraded model wart. Other than that it is trouble free, but even on its best days it will not freeze ice cream hard. My suggestions: make sure the recall was completed! Put a refrigerator thermometer in the freezer once the frig has been on for many hours and check it after a few hours. If it is working fine it is a great frig. I think both Norcold and Dometic are equivalent units. My friend's Dometic is not problem free either. Like any other refrigerator, RV or residential, if it works it works fine. JMHO
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:18 PM   #7
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We our the new owners of an 04 Monaco Signature with a Norcold 4-door frig. So far it works just fine. Our previous TT was a 99 Arctic Fox which we bought new. The TT had a 2-door Norcold and it never gave us any problems.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
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We have the same 4 door Norcold and it has worked fine for us here in Las Vegas. The recall has been done on ours but it did shut off once when we had the RV washed and water getting inside the fridge outside vent and causing the shut off box to shut down.

We found the fix here on IRV2 and it consisted of running a strong magnet across the back of the black box and it reset ours and no problems since. It gets very cold and we usually set it between "4 and 6" to keep the refrigerator around 38 degrees. We did do the little update for around $40 and clipped a fan on the refrigerator coils to keep the air moving around. No Issues and works great.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:45 PM   #9
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Good replies, and thanks! I've just sent a message to the dealer and pasted the Norcold recall link to it, so hope to know more by tomorrow.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:49 PM   #10
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My Norcold 1200 works like a champ, but the fire risk that led to the recall applies to every single one of them made. Brand new ones have the recall modification installed from the factory, of course, but any already installed need to be retrofitted if that has not yet been done. I also suggest installing an ARP fridge boiler controller as an extra measure, but that's a different discussion (Search here on ARP for more info or go to ARPrv | RV Refrigerator | RV Fridge Control | Install by Cooling Unit | RV Fire)

As for fridge performance, too many 1200's were poorly installed by the RV manufacturer, leading to mediocre cooling and sometimes to early failures. Inadequate ventilation of the cooling unit and hot air leaks back around the fridge sides & top are the causes. Those installed in a slide-out are particularly prone to poor cooling because the top vent is much less effective in the sidewall than on the roof. Mine (roof vented) is one of the good ones, easily maintaining 0 F. in the freezer and 35 F. in the fridge. I have solid ice cream and ice cold beer in even the hottest weather.

My suggestion is to ask the dealer to demonstrate that the Norcold can maintain a minimum of 38 F. in the fridge and 5 F. in the freezer. If it can, it is probably fine. If not, consider replacing with a residential fridge or looking elsewhere.
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Old 10-19-2014, 03:37 PM   #11
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I suspect that there are many people this me who have been pleased with the 1200 Norcold and never contribute comments. On the other hand a failure that burned up my motor home would have prompted a tirade! Since the "wart" is installed on mine, I have no wish to change.

Have a nice day - Darrel
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrel View Post
I suspect that there are many people this me who have been pleased with the 1200 Norcold and never contribute comments. On the other hand a failure that burned up my motor home would have prompted a tirade! Since the "wart" is installed on mine, I have no wish to change.

Have a nice day - Darrel

Darrel, thanks for the very relevant response. Those of us that hear things don't have a frame of reference for what percent of Norcold owners have had problems. If the recall fixes the defect, and if most people are satisfied with their units after the recall fix, that's good to know.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:13 PM   #13
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Our friends had a Nocold..notice I said "had". They had the recall done on it and the coach burned up 6 months later. I would not trust the factory recall. There is a company that builds a aftermarket system that works 100% better. Don't remember the name but you might find reference in the product review thread
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrel View Post
I suspect that there are many people this me who have been pleased with the 1200 Norcold and never contribute comments. On the other hand a failure that burned up my motor home would have prompted a tirade! Since the "wart" is installed on mine, I have no wish to change.

Have a nice day - Darrel
I'm of the same opinion.
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