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Old 02-06-2014, 03:11 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffian View Post
Your Norcold may not be dead in the water.

The Norcold Owner's manual shows the "no-co" code as meaning "no cooling". It doesn't mean "Bury Me". The manual gives several possible repairs that will cost nothing.

A person wouldn't want to jump into something expensive untill he had checked the simple stuff.

Reading the trouble shooting section of the manual could get you another year or two use before having to take drastic action.

I found the manual online somewhere.
I was skeptical of the diagnosis and checked behind the technician. I reset the control board and started the fridge. A strong ammonia odor in the back of the fridge near the outside vent convinced me I wasn't being lied to. The thing is toast.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:15 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Jack View Post
tricotec,
I have a 2001 Monaco Dynasty with a Norcold 1200 LRIM that was working very well, but decided last year that I wanted to upgrade the refrigerator to a more efficient one. After removing all the insulation I was glad I did, as the heater element tubes and boiler assembly were in pretty rough shape as illustrated in the attached photos. I did a sizeable amount of research and due to the furnace being under the refrigerator, and the top of refrigerator next to the ceiling, it would have been nearly impossible to install a residential unit. Plus I do a fair amount of dry camping and one of my requirements was to have a efficient operating refrigerator without having to add more coach batteries or extra inverter to power the residential refrigerator.

I removed the Norcold and installed the Amish cooling and it was a pretty easy conversion, plus I was able to remove the original 2 ea. 120mm fans and add 3 ea. 12vdc powered 120mm fans onto a special built aluminum bracket that enhanced the cooling of the absorber and condenser coils for a more efficient performing Norcold Refrigerator. In addition, with the refrigerator removed, I was able to install an air deflector to the rear of the cooling unit to assure that I was getting the maximum air flow across the cooling unit and was also able to customize the exhaust venting in the refrigerator compartment that is responsible for directing and dissipating the heat out through the roof vent.

I hope the photos help give you an idea of what can be done to the Norcold 1200 series units to improve their cooling efficiency. During the summer with an 90 - 95 degree day I had the controls set at 4 and the freezer was around 4-5 degrees and the refrigerator was around 34-35 degrees.

I would strongly recommend the Amish cooling unit, as I feel I made the best choice for my application. And I know there are many others who have elected to install the residential refrigerators, but it really depends on what a person desires and how you use your RV.

Hope this helps, Good Luck and happy RV'g

Jack
Thanks for sharing your experience... looks like you did a great job. Just a few years ago I'd probably have done this myself and never looked back.

However I know we'll hardly ever boondock in this coach, and if we do we'll add some batteries and maybe solar. In the meantime I'll enjoy having a fridge that works, and that I don't have to worry about. I look forward to sharing our installation with everyone.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:55 AM   #31
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Amish conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Jack View Post
tricotec,
I have a 2001 Monaco Dynasty with a Norcold 1200 LRIM that was working very well, but decided last year that I wanted to upgrade the refrigerator to a more efficient one. After removing all the insulation I was glad I did, as the heater element tubes and boiler assembly were in pretty rough shape as illustrated in the attached photos. I did a sizeable amount of research and due to the furnace being under the refrigerator, and the top of refrigerator next to the ceiling, it would have been nearly impossible to install a residential unit. Plus I do a fair amount of dry camping and one of my requirements was to have a efficient operating refrigerator without having to add more coach batteries or extra inverter to power the residential refrigerator.

I removed the Norcold and installed the Amish cooling and it was a pretty easy conversion, plus I was able to remove the original 2 ea. 120mm fans and add 3 ea. 12vdc powered 120mm fans onto a special built aluminum bracket that enhanced the cooling of the absorber and condenser coils for a more efficient performing Norcold Refrigerator. In addition, with the refrigerator removed, I was able to install an air deflector to the rear of the cooling unit to assure that I was getting the maximum air flow across the cooling unit and was also able to customize the exhaust venting in the refrigerator compartment that is responsible for directing and dissipating the heat out through the roof vent.

I hope the photos help give you an idea of what can be done to the Norcold 1200 series units to improve their cooling efficiency. During the summer with an 90 - 95 degree day I had the controls set at 4 and the freezer was around 4-5 degrees and the refrigerator was around 34-35 degrees.

I would strongly recommend the Amish cooling unit, as I feel I made the best choice for my application. And I know there are many others who have elected to install the residential refrigerators, but it really depends on what a person desires and how you use your RV.

Hope this helps, Good Luck and happy RV'g

Jack
Thanks for your post Jack I have added to the other conversions in sticky top of forum.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:08 PM   #32
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OP - Good luck on upcoming new fridge!

For benefit of others reading this thread, I'll share what we did:

-Amish Cooling Unit
-Two extra pancake fans, one that I can control on/off in very hot weather, the other set to come on with the OEM fans.
-SS-30 extinguisher
-Smoke Detector, added behind the fridge within reach of the access panel

We wanted to retain the Propane option.

I'll also share that we returned to our home from a trip, for find a 18 month old residential fridge, no longer running. When the tech came to repair, he removed a relay switch that had melted. Said he replaces these two or three times a month. And, that yes he knew of fires as a result of the failure. (No recalls that I could find. And no federal warnings either. I reported the incident, as fires can kill.)

I'm not saying that this is the norm, but the tech said this same relay was used in many different brands. My message here is that Propane or Residential - ALL EQUIPMENT requires careful monitoring, and proper maintenance. (And yes, I have no doubt that Norcold 1200's have a higher percentage of problems then residential.)

Best to all, have fun, be safe,
Smitty
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:34 PM   #33
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I had my Not-So-Cold changed out this year to the Samsung 197. Got it at Best Buy and had it delivered to Amazing Creations in Junction City, Oregon. Install took 6hrs along with them installing the Magnum 2812. They when through a side window. Wife loves this frig, the ice cream is hard rock and my beer is cold
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:25 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffian View Post
Your Norcold may not be dead in the water.

The Norcold Owner's manual shows the "no-co" code as meaning "no cooling". It doesn't mean "Bury Me". The manual gives several possible repairs that will cost nothing.

A person wouldn't want to jump into something expensive untill he had checked the simple stuff.

Reading the trouble shooting section of the manual could get you another year or two use before having to take drastic action.

I found the manual online somewhere.
Our RV dealer pronounced it dead. Of course I have a healthy amount of skepticism, so I checked behind them and got a face full of Ammonia. It's really, truly dead.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:45 PM   #35
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Ok, the installation is done! Here are some photos... was not present for most of the installation so don't have many of the process, but very happy with the results. The folks at Elite Repair & Remodel in Harrisburg, OR did the installation. This is a great bunch of guys, and they did a first class job. They also fixed a leak in our bedroom slide while they were at it. They were kind enough to hook us up next to their building for the night and will complete the last details in the morning.

We could not be happier with the results. We'll be firing the unit up tomorrow when they open the shop to check it out. We couldn't turn it on this afternoon because it had been sitting on it's back prior to installation.

Before:

The NoCold.


Closeup showing top detail before removal.


Showing the bottom before removal. In our '05 Monaco Windsor there is a heat exchanger/air handler (for the AquaHot hydronic heat) under the fridge behind the wooden vent.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:51 PM   #36
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DURING:


Erik from Elite Repair & Remodel is reinstalling the driver's side window after the Nocold was removed and the Samsung brought in.


The Samsung, minus doors, sitting in our living room awaiting final installation.


The fridge compartment before the floor was lowered for the Samsung. The vents in the original outside door were sealed up and the roof vent for the NoCold was also closed up.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:59 PM   #37
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After:


The Samsung RF197ACPN fully installed. Notice the eyelets beside the doors, which are for straps that hold the door shut while on the road. Note how close the door is to the smoke detector. It just fits!


The Samsung with all doors open. Note that the left door only opens halfway due to the track for the front Bathroom privacy door. The shelves in the fridge cannot be removed in our RV without removing this door. This is practically the only thing I don't like about the new fridge and is a fair tradeoff for a reliable, cold and safe refrigerator.


Here is a closeup of the vent under the fridge. You can see that they lowered the shelf and cut the original vent louver down to fit the reduced opening.


The Samsung with the straps installed to hold the door closed in transit. I think I'd prefer Southco latches to this strap setup, but we'll see how it goes.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:19 PM   #38
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We also had our installation done By Elite. One thing we found was that the upper long strap they installed to hold the refrigerator door closed sometimes caught in the freezer door opening when the freezer was opened and closed. Of course it only happens when we are parked and the strap is unbuckled. I installed a small "L" hook about 2/3 the way up screwing it into the wood the strap is fastened to. Loop the strap over the "L" hook when we're parked and no more problems. The lower strap causes no problems.

To say we love our Samsung would be an understatement. We should have done it several years ago, so much better than the Notcold piece of junk we had and way more useable space also which is something the Amish fanboys don't have.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:52 PM   #39
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We also had our installation done By Elite. One thing we found was that the upper long strap they installed to hold the refrigerator door closed sometimes caught in the freezer door opening when the freezer was opened and closed. Of course it only happens when we are parked and the strap is unbuckled. I installed a small "L" hook about 2/3 the way up screwing it into the wood the strap is fastened to. Loop the strap over the "L" hook when we're parked and no more problems. The lower strap causes no problems.

To say we love our Samsung would be an understatement. We should have done it several years ago, so much better than the Notcold piece of junk we had and way more useable space also which is something the Amish fanboys don't have.
I'm not a huge fan of the straps they installed. They will do the job for now, but we may use a carefully sized bungee cord with hooks on the end instead. I worry a bit about how repeated installation and removal of the straps and/or bungee will affect the woodwork around the eyelets. I may have Southco latches installed on the doors to get rid of the straps later.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:02 AM   #40
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Looks good, now you can sleep at night
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:22 AM   #41
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I can now report that this fridge works very well with our inverter and batteries. The alternator on the engine handles the load of the fridge with ease. I might add that Erik at Elite Repair & Remodelling was very thorough, and checked out our electrical system to ensure we wouldn't have problems. He quickly found that a large solenoid that connects the coach electrical system to the Chassis electrical system to allow the alternator to charge the house batteries was bad. This would have prevented the fridge from running off of the alternator and would have caused a lot of problems on long trips.

A big Thank You to all the folks at Elite, and to the folks that pointed me their way!
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