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Old 02-01-2014, 07:51 PM   #1
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Nocold 1200 Failed

I'm fairly new to these forums and have had my wonderful Monaco Windsor for only a few months. I was reading about all the problems and safety issues with the Nocold 1200's last week and preparing myself mentally for the issue to pop up with mine thinking it would be months or if lucky years away.

Yesterday morning I awoke to the refrigerator beeping and has the dreaded NO CO error. A quick trip to the local RV dealership and I was informed I need a new refrigerator.

This puts me in a difficult position...normally I'd just say fix it, meaning put the OEM parts in and make it work again. However, I have no intention of fixing a known defective product from a company that has never taken responsibility for a bad and dangerous design and hasn't even re-designed the unit to eliminate the problems, but just keeps on selling them. I was already not sleeping well knowing that thing was 10 feet away...no way I'm gonna fix it back to the original design.

Now I have to decide to go with a Samsung Refrig that might barely fit and which the RV dealer tells me WONT fit. (I measured...he didn't.) OR I can go with the Amish cooling unit which the RV dealer is reluctant to do. Either way I'm forced to take a risk and spend thousands, with the possibility of more later.

Not fun.

Swinging towards the Amish cooling unit as I'm not keen on the RV dealer removing my windshield, especially after the young tech told me he cracks most of them that he touches. God only knows how expensive that would be.

I'm in the Seattle area. Anyone who's faced this in the PNW area and found someone really good at doing Residential or Amish Cooling unit conversions, please let me know who you used. I like Poulsbo RV a lot, but they seem a little over their head on fixing this in what I consider to the the RIGHT way.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:23 PM   #2
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I've heard that some MHs have a very curved roof over the refer but for the most part, with some good woodworking, I think the Samsung 197 can be fit into the Norcold 1200 opening.

I went the Amish cooling unit route with my previous Winnebago but really didn't enough consistent improvement to make me happy. Now, I still think that did have something do with the there being too much dead air space behind it but I'm not sure that was all the problem.

BTW...My Samsung required about 3" more height be cut out of the original opening and sticks out about 2" further than the original. Given the location it wasn't any loss. The funny thing is that if I need to remove and move shelves I have to take the right door because I can't open it up enough due to a wall. No big deal since I haven't found a need to do that anyway.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:42 PM   #3
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If you follow the installation by FreeByrd and find a Mobil RV Repair man in your area to help with the installation of the Amish unit.
Also if you go on the Amish web site there are other installations by people that may help.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
I've heard that some MHs have a very curved roof over the refer but for the most part, with some good woodworking, I think the Samsung 197 can be fit into the Norcold 1200 opening.

I went the Amish cooling unit route with my previous Winnebago but really didn't enough consistent improvement to make me happy. Now, I still think that did have something do with the there being too much dead air space behind it but I'm not sure that was all the problem.

BTW...My Samsung required about 3" more height be cut out of the original opening and sticks out about 2" further than the original. Given the location it wasn't any loss. The funny thing is that if I need to remove and move shelves I have to take the right door because I can't open it up enough due to a wall. No big deal since I haven't found a need to do that anyway.
My 1200 is only 2 inches from the ceiling, so lowering the cabinet floor it's mounted on would be necessary. I've measured the section of the cabinet below which contains the aquahot heat exchanger for the bedroom. My calculations are that it would JUST fit. My concern is that I'd have to get a really good cabinetmaker to do this because it is so close, also that Id have a big job if the heat exchanger were to require service because it would be sandwiched VERY tight under the fridge, and the fridge cabinet bottom might have to be removed to get to it.
From what I've read, which is extensive, a lot of the performance problems people have had with the 1200's were the result of bad installation by the RV manufacturer. Aside from it failing, our 1200 has never performed badly...always plenty cold. I'm confident that with the better cooling unit and a careful installation, it will work better than ever. I AM, however, concerned about finding someone who's competent to install it correctly. I am certain that I'm not.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:50 PM   #5
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Here is another post that the member replaced his with a Maytag.
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/out-g...tag-81685.html

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Old 02-02-2014, 07:30 AM   #6
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I went the Amish way on mine and I am very happy with it. When we got up today the temps were 9 degrees in the freezer and 37 in the fridge with a setting of 4 on the Norcold. Best move we have made, no cabinet mods or windshield removal needed... Just make sure who ever does the install knows what they are doing......

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Old 02-02-2014, 07:41 AM   #7
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If you call David Force of Amish Cooling Units he will recommend an installer in your area.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:50 AM   #8
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Sorry about your Norcold issues, but I've learned it is many times a rite-of-passage in the MH world. In our case the fridge is in a slide. That made it impossible to accommodate the extra inch of height on the RF197. We found a number of shorter, 33" wide, options, however. In the end we chose the Whirlpool ED2FHEXVS because it has water and ice dispensed in the door. Just took a lot of looking and investigating -- there are lots of options out there. \ken
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricotec View Post
My 1200 is only 2 inches from the ceiling, so lowering the cabinet floor it's mounted on would be necessary. I've measured the section of the cabinet below which contains the aquahot heat exchanger for the bedroom. My calculations are that it would JUST fit. My concern is that I'd have to get a really good cabinetmaker to do this because it is so close, also that Id have a big job if the heat exchanger were to require service because it would be sandwiched VERY tight under the fridge, and the fridge cabinet bottom might have to be removed to get to it....
Excellent reasons to look at other options. As I said, I knew there were some situations the Samsung didn't work but I didn't know the exacts...now I know better.

Not to dismiss those that have had good-great servicer from there Norcold 1200 series, as a full timer (and yes, full timers also use the Norcold) and with my previous experience with it...never again. Even the previous year as a part timer and after the ACU was installed along with some mods to the area to better control dead space I grew to hate it. 3 recall boards in 4 months was too much thus I went the ACU both for safety and performance. I felt safer but not happy.

Then we got our DSDP with the 1201 LRM and it killed a board in 3 weeks, got it replaced, ran it for about 3 more weeks and then it just died. LOL. The good news was that we got a portable cooler/freezer with this unit and had already scheduled its replacement at Brad and Halls in Elkhart, IN. We had to go about 3 weeks without the Norcold.

So...I guess you can figure out my level of appreciation for Norcold products. Again...there are many folks that will be able to say they have had pretty darn good service from them.

I'm not trying (too hard anyway) to be some kind of apostle for residential units. We don't boondock much at all so we didn't have any issues with batteries. We even wired it into our inverter system.

Here are some random things that might help in your decision.

For the Winnebago, in total dollars it cost us a total of about $1700 in 2012 to have the ACU installed at the factory in Shipshewana, IN. Great job! That was arranged by Dave Force and I find him to be a great resource and the man to listen to. Nothing but praise for him. The Amish installers did a fantastic job and tried to tweak the refer enclosure (non-slide) to help it perform better and we added a couple extra fans. All was done in about 4 hours.

For the DSDP (also non-slide installation), in total dollars it cost about $3500 for our swap out. We arrived on a Sunday evening in early May 2013 and had access 30 amp service at their facilities. Monday was the measurement phase, getting materials, removing the old and rough installing the new. By the afternoon we were back in our coach. The next day they brought the coach back in to the shop and did the final fitting along with another project they were working of installing a stacked washer and dryer. They took wood samples to send to there local cabinet maker to use to match the trim work needed to finish the job. We came back to Nappanee for some service 3 weeks later. Ran up to B & H (30 minutes) and they installed the trim. The trim was a perfect match.

In our case we did not have to take out any windows or even remove chairs. We did have to remove the head banger TV the previous owner installed though. By removing the Norcold and the Samsung doors, the units went in and out the door. It was tight but it worked.

Our Norcold sat over the forced air furnace and we had the platform lowered about 2" because the Samsung is a tad tall for Sandee. It was worth it even though it added a couple hours of labor. In retrospect, even if we couldn't have lowered it, we would still go with this model.

So...there are some experiences you can toss into your planning stage. I certainly would support any decision to get rid of the Norcold CU just from a safety standpoint. After that...it is really a personal preference based on expected usage and gut feeling.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricotec View Post
I'm fairly new to these forums and have had my wonderful Monaco Windsor for only a few months. I was reading about all the problems and safety issues with the Nocold 1200's last week and preparing myself mentally for the issue to pop up with mine thinking it would be months or if lucky years away.

Yesterday morning I awoke to the refrigerator beeping and has the dreaded NO CO error. A quick trip to the local RV dealership and I was informed I need a new refrigerator.

This puts me in a difficult position...normally I'd just say fix it, meaning put the OEM parts in and make it work again. However, I have no intention of fixing a known defective product from a company that has never taken responsibility for a bad and dangerous design and hasn't even re-designed the unit to eliminate the problems, but just keeps on selling them. I was already not sleeping well knowing that thing was 10 feet away...no way I'm gonna fix it back to the original design.

Now I have to decide to go with a Samsung Refrig that might barely fit and which the RV dealer tells me WONT fit. (I measured...he didn't.) OR I can go with the Amish cooling unit which the RV dealer is reluctant to do. Either way I'm forced to take a risk and spend thousands, with the possibility of more later.

Not fun.

Swinging towards the Amish cooling unit as I'm not keen on the RV dealer removing my windshield, especially after the young tech told me he cracks most of them that he touches. God only knows how expensive that would be.

I'm in the Seattle area. Anyone who's faced this in the PNW area and found someone really good at doing Residential or Amish Cooling unit conversions, please let me know who you used. I like Poulsbo RV a lot, but they seem a little over their head on fixing this in what I consider to the the RIGHT way.
I installed a Samsung RV197 in our gasser 2 years ago, and we would never go back.

Many of your fellow Monaco owners have installed residential refrigerators. I learned a lot from them. Do a search for "residential refrigerator" here on iRV2. If you don't want to install the RR yourself, the threads will at least give you an idea of what might be involved so you can make a better choice in finding a pro to do it for you.

The Samsung RF197 is getting hard to find, but it is a counter-depth model with a depth of only 24 5/8" with the doors off, so it will fit through a lot of doors. If it doesn't fit through the door, you will probably be able to get it into a SIDE window. Side windows are a lot easier to remove and reinstall than the windshield - and a lot easier to get a reliable seal.

A big advantage to the Samsungs is they will run on MSW. The drawback is they are taller than most and require a location where you can get a 70" height. That can be difficult if you have a furnace or electrical panel below the fridge.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:20 PM   #11
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I would recommend the Amish cooling unit. I replaced mine as soon as we bought the MH even though the old Norcold was working fine. I spent about $1250 including new heating elements and fans, and installed it myself with help from a friend. I have since had to replace the main control board which cost me $185.

I considered the Samsung RF197 but didn't want to take out the front windshield to do it! I feel good about the decision I made!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumps View Post
Sorry about your Norcold issues, but I've learned it is many times a rite-of-passage in the MH world. In our case the fridge is in a slide. That made it impossible to accommodate the extra inch of height on the RF197. We found a number of shorter, 33" wide, options, however. In the end we chose the Whirlpool ED2FHEXVS because it has water and ice dispensed in the door. Just took a lot of looking and investigating -- there are lots of options out there. \ken
I checked that one out and it was too deep. If mine was in the slide it would be ok, but mine is in a hallway, which is kind of narrow so my choices are limited.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:30 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the great feedback. Anyone having good or bad experience with the Amish solution please chime in....pretty much know the Samsung would be great once the thing was inside and installed...but wary of getting the wrong people to do it. Still weighing my options. Called David Force and he sent me a list of people in our area that he recommends...the RV dealership that we bought the RV from is on the list so I'll call them tomorrow. Will keep you all informed on how it all goes.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:24 PM   #14
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We are thinking about converting to a Samsung from the Norcold also. Norcold is getting close to 7 years old, and would rather change it out at home than on a trip somewhere.
Have any of you installed a Samsung in a Fleetwood Revolution? These have a one piece windshield, so I dont really want to remove it.
We are not near the coach now, so cant measure entry door etc.
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