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Old 07-08-2014, 10:59 PM   #57
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What that really is:

This is what those really are: http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Drive-Coo...d+drive+cooler

Yep, a 3.5" hard drive cooler. Those fans turn high RPMs and are hellaciously noisy. A 120mm fan makes less noise and moves more air while using less current. 200 & 230mm fans are virtually silent. If I was going to do the external fans again I'd use two 230's in place of the 4 120's. Maybe the ones with blue LEDs so I could tell when they're running. Red LEDs would be a problem I think.......

Use a bigger low RPM fan if you value the quiet.

I'm not saying there's any connection to 1ciderdog's problem but one of the worst factory installs I've seen so far was a friends Winnebago. There is so much dead air space around the back and top of the refer that it barely works even with a huge external fan, and the Muddypaws mod. He may have had it fixed by now but I don't know for sure. I installed a HD TV and DVD system for them but I suggested they to take it to a real shop to have the refer re-installed properly.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:43 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddypaws View Post
This is what those really are: http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Drive-Coo...d+drive+cooler

Yep, a 3.5" hard drive cooler. Those fans turn high RPMs and are hellaciously noisy. A 120mm fan makes less noise and moves more air while using less current. 200 & 230mm fans are virtually silent. If I was going to do the external fans again I'd use two 230's in place of the 4 120's. Maybe the ones with blue LEDs so I could tell when they're running. Red LEDs would be a problem I think.......

Use a bigger low RPM fan if you value the quiet.

I'm not saying there's any connection to 1ciderdog's problem but one of the worst factory installs I've seen so far was a friends Winnebago. There is so much dead air space around the back and top of the refer that it barely works even with a huge external fan, and the Muddypaws mod. He may have had it fixed by now but I don't know for sure. I installed a HD TV and DVD system for them but I suggested they to take it to a real shop to have the refer re-installed properly.
Are you still out there....
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:57 PM   #59
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Steve,

Muddypaws is surely still around here someplace.

Here's an update to some FACTS that people should read just to refresh their memories.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/norco...ml#post2239693

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:59 PM   #60
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Steve,

Muddypaws is surely still around here someplace.

Here's an update to some FACTS that people should read just to refresh their memories.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/norco...ml#post2239693

Dr4Film ----- Richard
He has actually be sent to the showers by the manager if you know what I mean... still a considerable time out remaining.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:27 AM   #61
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In August 2014 our Dometic in our 2007 Fleetwood Expedition quit. When it was pulled for Service, we saw a charred mark 4.5" from the back of the refrig, about the size of a baseball with 18" scorch marks up the wall. We were told we were lucky as the fire started but the non-flammable gas escaped because of the burning which ended up extinguishing the fire! This was NOT the original refrig in the MH as I wanted a side by side and the Dealer traded the Norcold out in 2007.
We ended up buying a replacement Dometic refrig: $4250 plus 10 hours labor for working on the old unit, removing it and replacing with new refrigerator.....and with 2-3 wait time, we looked at other RVs and bought one with a residential refrigerator!
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Old 10-18-2014, 11:41 AM   #62
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Visiting with friends , in Kelowna B.C., another couple, they know but I don't, has just lost their MH to a fridge fire, in the past few weeks . I have no info on brand, OR if Norcold, or recalls done etc. I'll be helping winterize the first couples coach this afternoon, and will get details and re-post.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:39 AM   #63
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Still fires

Saturday morning about 6:00am my Norcold 2100 had a fire. At 3:00am I noticed it was not working and at 5:30 I went for dry ice. On my way back to the coach, I saw fire. Smoke alarms did not go off, one week old batteries. I got my wife out first. Then had her go back for money and computer. I went to the hose and put fire out. Two fire extinguishers did not work at all. Picture included. The mean part is it was almost 5 years old. Insurance pays for everything but the Norcold, known defect. It had both recalls and was up-to-date. From what I understand, Norcold will not even replace the frig. I have to buy a new one at $5600 and then may get money back from Norcold from lawsuits years from now. To make it even more fun, I will have to be out of the coach for two or more months. We full-time and then they cannot start work until mid November. That means three months living in motels. Full side slide is burnt and has to come out.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:22 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGrosman View Post
Saturday morning about 6:00am my Norcold 2100 had a fire. At 3:00am I noticed it was not working and at 5:30 I went for dry ice. On my way back to the coach, I saw fire. Smoke alarms did not go off, one week old batteries. I got my wife out first. Then had her go back for money and computer. I went to the hose and put fire out. Two fire extinguishers did not work at all. Picture included. The mean part is it was almost 5 years old. Insurance pays for everything but the Norcold, known defect. It had both recalls and was up-to-date. From what I understand, Norcold will not even replace the frig. I have to buy a new one at $5600 and then may get money back from Norcold from lawsuits years from now. To make it even more fun, I will have to be out of the coach for two or more months. We full-time and then they cannot start work until mid November. That means three months living in motels. Full side slide is burnt and has to come out.

So very sorry to hear this. I've spoken to far too many people like yourself who have faced the exact same circumstances. The point that people on this forum continue to miss is that even if you have had the high temperature sensor kit installed, the risk of explosion and fire remains. There is a design / manufacturing defect in the product that is not resolved by the recall kit, so your risk of leak, fire, explosion remains regardless of whether you have the kit installed, or not.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:23 PM   #65
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A major story regarding the Norcold class action litigation was just published today by Forbes Magazine on the Forbes.com website. I thought you might be interested in reading about the status of the class action litigation, as well as some of the facts associated with the case.

Exploding RV Refrigerators Spark A War Among Plaintiff Lawyers

Forbes.com
Daniel Fisher – Forbes Staff Writer
11/06/2014

Margarite Nix was asleep on the couch in her 40-foot house trailer in Sacramento, Calif. earlier this year when she woke to see flames shooting two to three feet out of her refrigerator. She shouted to her 80-year-old husband, John, and they both rushed past the flaming icebox to the door.

“We just barely made it out,” said Margarite, 86, a retired California state employee. “The smoke was black by the door. I was having trouble breathing.”

Dressed only in nightclothes, the Nixes watched their trailer burn, taking with it all their possessions including furniture, clothing and family photographs. “It burned up everything,” she said. “Fifty-three years worth of stuff we had.”

Similar incidents have occurred thousands of times over the past decade, according to the Nixes’ lawyer, Terrence Beard, as refrigerators that operate on a potentially explosive mixture of hydrogen and ammonia leak and catch fire, torching recreational vehicles and mobile homes and causing at least one death. Most of the refrigerators were Norcold brand units manufactured Thetford Corp., which is owned by the pioneering private-equity firm Dyson-Kissner-Moran. DKM’s owners, the Dyson family of New York, have earned enough from Thetford and other businesses to fund a $250 million foundation, multimillion-dollar gifts to Cornell and Washington and Lee colleges as well as a Le Mans automobile racing team.

“This is a public-safety issue,” said Beard, a Pittsburg, Calif. trial lawyer who got his start in postal-worker dog-bite cases and won a $500,000 settlement in a Norcold case last year. “These refrigerators are burning up at a rate of three to five a week.”

Not only is Beard locked in a legal battle with DKM, but he’s also fighting class-action lawyers who were once his allies. Attorneys atZimmerman Reed and Ridout Lyon & Ottoson earlier this year negotiated a $33 million settlement with DKM that would pay the average Norcold owner $57 — new, the refrigerators cost $1,000 to $4,000 — and do nothing to force the company to change its design.

A federal judge late last month rejected the first version of the settlement, saying there were glaring conflicts of interest between most of the representative plaintiffs, who stood to make much more under the deal, and the rest of the 575,000-member class.

The class-action lawyers aren’t giving up, however. They defend their work by saying there is a high risk of losing in court or driving DKM into bankruptcy – even though a DKM spokesman told FORBES there is no risk of bankruptcy for the company – and they reject Beard’s criticism as coming from a trial lawyer with no experience negotiating class actions.

“While Mr. Beard presents this as a slam-dunk, can’t-lose case that shouldn’t be settled, the results at trial suggest otherwise,” said Hart L. Robinovitch, a partner in Zimmerman Reed’s Scottsdale, Ariz. office. (Beard lost his most recent Norcold case at trial, but the verdict was overturned due to jury misconduct and last year he negotiated a $500,000 settlement for his clients.)

Norcold, of course, denies it makes a defective product, although the company has issued several recalls, under National Highway Traffic Safety Administration prodding, to install fail-safe switches and pressure-relief valves to prevent fires. It says it has a better than 80% rate of compliance with those recalls, far greater than GM has achieved for its defective ignition switches. Like most defendants in class actions, it says it has agreed to settle to remove the uncertainty of litigation. “The highly responsible activities by Norcold, Thetford and Dyson- Kissner-Moran throughout the recall process speak more highly than any words could do,” said Larry Weis, a firm spokesman.

Beard disagrees, and said the class action is the only way to establish legal liability for the alleged design defect in all of Norcold’s refrigerators.

Beard has obtained from Thetford and filed with the court “incident logs” showing the company has processed thousands of claims since the late 1990s, many them over leaks and fires. A company engineer also testified in a 2012 deposition that Norcold has paid claims on more than 800 fires allegedly caused by its 1200 series refrigerator since 1999. The total payout for all claims since 2001, according to that spreadsheet, is over $60 million.

Yet the company hasn’t changed the design that a Thetford employee acknowledged in testimony lies at the heart of the problem, a metal boiler tube that can crack, allowing flammable gases to escape. (Sweden’s Dometic Group makes refrigerators with a similar design, which have also been the subject of lawsuits and an NHTSA recall.)

Orion Keifer of Applications Engineering Group Inc., a forensic engineer working for the plaintiffs, traced the problem to a weld in the boiler tube that corrodes relatively rapidly even as the rest of the metal looks fine.

“It’s been going on a long time, and it’s continuing,” said Keifer, who said he works for both defense and plaintiff lawyers. “We haven’t seen documentation there’s been extensive research by Norcold to figure out why it’s happening.”

Most of the lawsuits against Norcold so far have been subrogation claims by insurance companies seeking to recover the money they paid out for fires.

“We’re talking about an RV or a mobile home – it takes maybe eight minutes for the whole thing to be destroyed,” said Craig Evezich, a Seattle-area lawyer who has handled a number of subrogation cases over Norcold refrigerator fires. Consumers don’t often sue, because they either have insurance to cover their loss or “they don’t have insurance and they don’t have any money, because they just lost their trailer,” Evezich said.

Beard has handled four cases so far, including the lawsuit by the Nixes, but he doesn’t believe individual lawsuits will force Norcold to change its design.

“If you’re looking at a systemic remedy, to fix the ones that are out there, to fix all of them, you’re never going to get that through individual lawsuits,” he said.

It was to obtain a verdict declaring the Norcold design defective that he turned to the class action, a court-overseen method for combining the claims of many consumers into a single lawsuit. Beard said he recruited Zimmerman Reed and Ridout Lyon & Ottoson to join him in the class action and convinced two of his clients, Jeffery and Susan Etter, to serve as named plaintiffs. The case was filed in state court in California last December and after six mediation sessions this year, the class-action lawyers announced they’d reached a deal. Norcold would pay $33 million to owners of its series 1200 refrigerators and N6 and N8 models, minus $2.5 million in administrative costs and legal fees of up to 25%.

Beard and the Etters objected to the settlement once they discovered the class-action lawyers had agreed to a fraction of the $700 million cost of replacing the allegedly defective boiler tubes. On Oct. 14, U.S. District Judge Josephine L. Staton in California rejected the preliminary settlement, saying Zimmerman Reed and Ridout Lyon & Ottoson had negotiated separate payouts within the same overall deal that would give eight of the named plaintiffs as much as $68,000 on top of the class benefits. All of the representatives also owned 1200 series refrigerators, which stood to get 25 times the payout of other units, setting up a second conflict with the rest of the class, Staton said. Since the settlement specifically excludes people with personal injury or damage claims, who would still be free to sue on their own, the judge said the eight named plaintiffs likely are precluded from representing the class.

The judge also said the class-action lawyers had a fatal conflict of interest because they simultaneously represented the named plaintiffs in their suits and the class. Finally, she criticized the lawyers for negotiating a cy pres payout of uncollected sums toInternational Association of Firefighters, a group she said was too far removed from the litigation to share in the proceeds.

Robinovitch said a revised settlement “will address the judge’s concerns by taking out the individual settlements.” When asked if there would still be a conflict, since he might be inclined to accept a lower settlement for the class in exchange for higher offers for his individual clients, Robinovitch said: “I disagree with your interpretation of the settlement or the existence of a conflict.”

One mystery surrounding this case is how much Dyson- Kissner-Moran has earned from its Norcold business, and thus how much it might be willing to pay. The company firmly denied it is in financial trouble and indeed, the outward signs of prosperity are strong. Founded by Charles H. Dyson, the son of British emigrants who worked in the Roosevelt administration and later ran Textron TXT +0.43%, Dyson-Kissner-Moran launched into the then-new field of private equity in 1954 and by the time of his death in 1997 the New York Times reported it had $600 million in sales.

DKM is now run by his son Robert, a Cornell MBA who with his brother John, also a Cornell grad, gave $25 million in 2010 to found the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. The family gave $2.5 million to Washington and Lee, alma mater of Robert’s son Chris Dyson. Father and son have raced cars at Le Mans, and Chris now runs Dyson Racing, which fielded a pair of Bentley GT3 cars in this year’s Pirelli World Challenge.

Beard estimates, based on sales figures the company has provided showing 60,000 units per year and revenue of $1,000-$4,000 per unit, that DKM has sold $3 billion worth of Norcold refrigerators since the late 1990s. Weis called that estimate “grossly inaccurate,” but declined to provide any further information. In a heavily redacted court filing, DKM indicated its revenue is significantly less than $700 million a year.
Beard also thinks DKM is highly profitable, although the company’s chief financial officer, Mark Chamberlain, told the court “essentially all assets worth securing” have been pledged to DKM’s lenders and the three annual installments of $11 million was the most it could pay without defaulting on its loans.

Weis said there is “absolutely no risk of bankruptcy,” however, and he said DKM still earns enough to invest in research and development and new products.

Beard wants to take the class action to trial, of course, so he can try and get a verdict of liability that would help him with his individual cases. He said he “worked together fine” with the other lawyers until mediation, “when they basically decided to sell everybody out for what I considered an inadequate amount of money.”

“My opinion has been discounted because I am not part of the class-action club,” he said. “Our obligation to the class, and our obligation to the system, is to litigate these cases,” he continued. ”If there is a risk, the risk is on us. The risk is our attorneys’ fees. But that’s our job.”

Exploding RV Refrigerators Spark A War Among Plaintiff Lawyers - Forbes
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