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Old 08-16-2014, 07:21 PM   #1
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OMG My Norcold Finally Works

So many people have bad experiences at RV shops...I just have to tell you all about a good one.
I just left one of the best RV service facilities that have ever visited.
I was having trouble with my Norcold 1200 [ like almost everyone ] and was referred to a place called Ford RV Refrigeration in Benton KY. by a camping neighbor in Memphis TN. I called Ford, and after relaying my difficulty to Mr. Ford, was asked if I was close enough to bring my MH to his service center. Two days later, I'm hooked up at Fords Refrigeration with water and electric, right next to the repair shop, waiting for my 8:00 AM appointment the next morning. At 7:57 the next morning the repair tech knocked on the door and started working on my fridge. In a very short time he had diagnosed the problem and made suggestions as to the repair.
During this visit to Fords, I found out that most repairs are a lot less costly than most folks anticipate, and that in most cases, the replacement of the cooling unit or even the whole fridge are not necessary. Mr. Ford and his tech were both advocates of finding the REAL problem with my fridge, and not just replacing major components in hopes of solving the problem. I found out that Mr. Ford has been repairing RV fridges for 30 years and has it down to a science.
Check out the videos that Fords has on their website. RV Absorption Refrigerator Reconditioning Training Center. Watch them all...they are fun to see, very informative and just great.

Bill
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:24 PM   #2
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Sooo, don't keep us in suspense, what was the problem?
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:43 PM   #3
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A defective burner and a control board that was intermittent. The control board checked out fine, but was replaced after Mr. Ford and his tech quizzed me for about 20 minutes.

It now works better than it has in four years.

Bill
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:57 PM   #4
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Bill, I have mentioned Fords several times, seems people don't want to take the time learn how the system works, just throw parts at it and hope that fixes it.

I have been lucky, my 1200 maintains between 35-40 degrees in all conditions. It's reassuring the information from Fords is available it the need arises.

Fred
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:56 PM   #5
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And if we may ask, how hard was Mr. Ford on the wallett?
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:29 PM   #6
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Fred;
I wish I had seen your thread on Fords earlier...would have saved me lots of money. I replaced the cooling unit a few years ago, because, I was told it was bad. I did it myself, but still...what a waste.

Doug;
The control board he installed was a Dino, and it was a little over $250.00, with a 3 year warranty. I think the burner and orfice tube was about $70.00, and a few hours labor for everything. I really would have spent the money just for the education I got while I was there.

Bill
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:33 PM   #7
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I've also heard he is teaching how to repair fridges as well.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:56 PM   #8
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He teaches fridge repair online, and also sells all the equipment to service and recharge cooling units. There are 18 videos on his website [the link in my first post] that tell about checking and servicing your rv fridge. Some of the videos are just customer testimonials, but some of them are REALLY informative.

Bill
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:32 AM   #9
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Thank You, it appears you spent almost what it would cost to change it out for a res-fridge. I've been pricing them and their anywhere from $400.00 up to $1100.00, I think if mine ever takes dump, i'll change it out. We don't ever boondock, maybe a night in a wally-world, but even then we're on the genny. None the less, Thank You for sharing the info.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:55 PM   #10
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Yes Bill, it's really a shame so many people have been pushed down the path of switching to residential refrig units. Ford's gives straight forward information, without a lot of sales pitch.

Fred
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:52 PM   #11
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I think I would try to get mine fixed also instead of swaping it out for a residential fridge,I like the option of gas or electric.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:15 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing your experience, I think a lot of would prefer to keep our Norcold as long as we can keep them working and feel safe about it. We really have nad no issues with ours so far.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:05 PM   #13
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The previous owner of our 2003 Dutch Star replaced the original propane/electric fridge with a very small Aventi res fridge. Our existing inverter *could* handle the load while we're moving, but we found that the electrical outlet behind the fridge is not connected to the inverter, so the only way the fridge runs while we are on the road is by running the generator. The fridge will hold a safe temp for about 2 hours without power. On our recent trip to Tampa, we pulled into a rest area and ran the generator for 1/2 hour until the fridge returned to a proper temp.

I understand that larger residential fridges require their own inverter and additional batteries. Am I wrong? That's going to run much more than $400-1100. We are unwilling to give up the storage space, or spend that much money, so we'll be buying a new 7-8 c.f. gas/elec. fridge when we go fulltime next year.

Glad to hear of a reputable repair facility if we run into problems.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:43 PM   #14
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I've been looking for a residential fridge for about 2 years now. I could not find one that would fit in the enclosure since the 1200 sits right on top of the furnace, and goes clear to the ceiling.
I'm really kind of glad that I didn't find one. I really don't have the battery capacity with the two batteries that are under the entry step, and don't really want to do the modifications and wiring to install more batteries.
And, I really like the gas or electric features of the Norcold.
Thank goodness I got hooked up with Fords. I'm a happy camper again.

Bill
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