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Old 03-03-2016, 06:35 AM   #1
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Refrigeration concerns

I currently have a Norcold n611 refrigerator in my Designer 5th wheel. When it gets hot out I have problems with it staying as cold as I think it should. Never been as happy with it. Added the fan in the rear of the frig. Has anyone tried replacing the rear cooling unit and did it work?

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Old 03-03-2016, 07:03 AM   #2
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There are a few things that I've found that bear on an RVs fridge ability to cool well. The first is how you park the unit. Is that reefer on the South side and in the line of direct sun beating on it? If so, it has to work very hard to keep up. Then that fan in the rear of it - a single fan may not have enough cfm* to pull cooler air past the fins. On a now gone 5er with a big Dometic fridge I needed to replace the existing fan with a bank of three with lots more cfm. I also replaced the non operating thermistor with a thermostatic 'gadget'** I found at Home Depot. I also had to add a fan inside the fridge. I used one of those found on the 'net for about $20. It's a couple very small but common 12V computer fans but the maker put it in a nice bracket and gave you instructions on how to wire it up. Oh and those rear of the reefer fans - they too were common 12V computer fans that I found on the Newegg*** website and installed on a home built bracket. My problems went away.

Yes, you can replace the cooling unit, but 'fixing' air circulation is the first order of the job.

*cfm = cubic feet/minute

** 'gadget' = Master Flow Manually Adjustable Thermostat for Power Vent-PT6 - The Home Depot

***Newegg for fans = CPU Fan, CPU Coolers, Heatsinks and Water Cooling - Newegg.com

Dave W along with my DW, Susan and our poodlepups, Callie & Molly,2011 Ford F250 6.7 CCLB, 5er Hitch Option w/B&W Hitch,,Ride Rite air bags, 2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')w/disc brakes
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:34 AM   #3
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Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 29,621
I had the same problem with my Norcold 1200. I replaced the cooling unit with one of the Amish-built units but still wasn't satisfied with the performance. I ended up adding a LOT of external cooling and a FridgeFix fan bar inside. It is finally doing what I want!

Look at post #25 in the link below:

Fridge vent fans

I also added another fan just below the coils blowing air upward!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:46 PM   #4
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Odds are the cooling unit itself isn't the problem, though fans do help. The cooling unit either works or does not - there isn't any real in-between where is sort of works. Or at least that is not a situation that lasts for more than a few days (i.e. a refrigerant leak).

More likely, the fridge was installed in a sloppy manner and heat is getting around the sides and top, due to inadequate sealing around the fridge or improper baffles behind the fridge (helps direct heat up and out). This is an all-too-common shortcoming at the RV factory. Your fridge probably has extensive instructions on how it is to be installed, but the factory guys don't seem to bother with that.

The other common problem is blockage in the upper part of the "tower' where air rises and vents out the roof. Wires, bird nests, debris, whatever, may be interfering with the air flow. If your fridge is in a slide and has to vent out the side wall near the top, odds are it isn't ever going to cool real well. You need large fan(s) on all the time to make that type of installation work very well.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:47 PM   #5
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If your refrigerator is located in a slide out, check the vent system. there's a chance the coach mfg. didn't follow Dometic's install instructions.

Ops, Gary beat me to it.

Fred and Bonnie
2005 Dolphin LX 6375
Abby, Ruffles & Scarlett, "The Cats"
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