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Old 07-06-2014, 02:03 PM   #1
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Norcold 1210 refrig cooling during travel

Ok, just returned home from another weekend trip with my new Lifestyle LS36fw fifth wheel with a Norcold double door 1210 fridge. It still cools poorly during travel. Initially I thought it was a door leak due to the poor design of the latches. I did make some adjustments to the doors/latches and while it did not help the cooling issue, they do open and close much, much more tightly and easily now. This has not made any difference to the cooling, however.
As always, the fridge is precooled to 37 degrees on LP, stocked (not overloaded) with ALL pre-cooled items. By the time we started the 90 minute trip, weather moved in and the outside temps dropped to 73 degrees. Despite that, the fridge temp gradually climbed to 50 degrees during our 90 minute trip. The burner was burning strong, no error messages, etc. The unit precools great on LP prior to a trip, cools great while at our destination running on a/c OR LP, and then warms back-up again on the journey home.
This is the case on a 90 minute trip OR a 7 hour trip. In fact in May, the temp was nearly 60 degrees during a 6 hour trip. I cannot get the fridge to maintain a safe temperature during travel. Originally, I thought that is was a door leak but I'm sure that is not longer a possibility. I thought maybe it was a wind turbulence issue down the sidewall but I am leaning away from that, as well.
I have even made sure that both roof vents are closed during travel just to make sure there is not some type of venturi effect on the fridge.
The rig tows perfectly level, too.
I can't imagine taking it to the dealer as they are not going to tow it around to duplicate the problem and it cools fine while parked.
If anyone has any suggestion, please advise. Thanks! Phillip
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:25 PM   #2
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Is the refrigerator in a slide? IF so then you do not have a roof vent, only a bottom and top vent on the wall of the slide. Typically there is enough negative pressure while traveling at the sidewall (since intake and return are on the same sidewall) to prevent good airflow up thru the refrig venting.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94-Newmar View Post
Is the refrigerator in a slide? IF so then you do not have a roof vent, only a bottom and top vent on the wall of the slide. Typically there is enough negative pressure while traveling at the sidewall (since intake and return are on the same sidewall) to prevent good airflow up thru the refrig venting.
X2 my thoughts. Our temp may go to 40-42 degrees while traveling for 3-4 hrs.

Fred
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
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Sounds like a classic venturi (negative pressure) issue. Does it have an ice maker? If so, it may have a leak around the wiring harness and fill tube. It should be pulled and all ports sealed tightly.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:49 PM   #5
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To me it sounds like the "typical" mode of operation for a Norcold aka NotSoCold.

Good luck with trying to solve the problem. You are not alone, there are many others with the same question and similar posts on this forum. Do a search and you will have plenty to read.

After 9 years of lousy performance, headaches and hundreds of dollars in extra fans, thermistors, control boards, my time, etc. in addition to throwing out thousands of dollars worth of food over that time period it is now in the junkyard and has been since 2012.

I will never own another Norcold product and will never have another RV fridge.

Hope you are able to solve it before you throw a lot of money and time at it like I did.

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Old 07-06-2014, 06:10 PM   #6
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Moderators, Can any post about an absorption refrigerator take place without the refer nazis completely ruining anything informative and productive with the thread? Constantly watering down any productive troubleshooting conversation with mindless drivel such as above will most certainly prevent future readers of the thread to be able to find questions to their answers.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions. I really thought it was a venting issue due to wind turbulence not allowing adequate cooling. So I installed an air scoop on the bottom vent which would pick-up air and force it out the top. I tested it with a leaf blower and it worked great in as far as my feeling the air coming out of the top vent. I also wanted to make sure that much air would not blow out the pilot. It did not.
I have tested it twice - once in typical hot FL weather and this weekend after a thunder storm with outside air temps in the mid 70's during a 2 hour drive. It made no difference in either case.
Now I'm starting to think it is a lack of sealant in the manufacture of the unit where the cooling fins come into the refrigerator box. I think I will seal up and give that a try next. I will let you know. Phillip
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:25 PM   #8
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94-Newmar,

Sorry that you feel that way but everyone is entitled to speak their opinions. At least that was what I originally was lead to believe when joining this site.

My suggestion for the OP was to read about what all of the other folks that have experienced the same EXACT problem had to say. He can do a search and spend hours reading about more drivel.

I have read and followed most of them. From what I can see there hasn't been anyone that has come up with a long term permanent fix. Lots of ideas but generally the OP's eventually end up with far more frustrations than fixes.

JMTCW.

BTW, I am already on thin ice with most moderators here. If they want to bar me from the site so be it. My gain their loss.

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Old 07-07-2014, 11:48 AM   #9
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Richard, I for one appreciate your insight. Having an alternate view presented is good data IMHO. I know you have been thoroughly frustrated by the NotSoCold, but hang in. Your solution is not a "One size fits all" but it is fer-shur a viable alternative.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdpm View Post
As always, the fridge is precooled to 37 degrees on LP, stocked (not overloaded) with ALL pre-cooled items. By the time we started the 90 minute trip, weather moved in and the outside temps dropped to 73 degrees. Despite that, the fridge temp gradually climbed to 50 degrees during our 90 minute trip.
Just wondering about the insulation on your Norcold. I am one of the bunch who have taken theirs out for a residential refer and on the side of mine, clearly written on the silver foil was a warning not to damage the insulation. It cautioned that the refer was vacuum sealed any
punctures would result in loss of performance.

I am not suggesting that you pull yours out to check (not yet anyway), but it is strange that your refer will gain 13 degrees in 90 minutes. Usually I would expect that over 6~8 hours. You might want to try cooling it down to 37 and then shut it off just to see what the actual temp gain is over 2 hours or so. Use a remote bulb thermometer so you do not have to open the door. It's a thought.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:10 PM   #11
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Richard, I for one appreciate your insight. Having an alternate view presented is good data IMHO. I know you have been thoroughly frustrated by the NotSoCold, but hang in. Your solution is not a "One size fits all" but it is fer-shur a viable alternative.
I agree, different solutions should always be offered. My residential refrigerator in my previous stix&brick was purchased new. In 9 years we had 3 ice makers, and one defrost thermostat. Newer refrigerators are not without repair problems. My 14 year old Norcold had a nearly new Amish cooling unit. So far, all I have noticed is I will have to address the icemaker . The compartment is constantly icing.
As of yet I have not had any food go bad. The fridge area fluctuates from 30_36 degrees depending on humidity. Out west, the thing worked great. Once we got back to Ohio, the high humidity, constant rain, and stifling heat has made the fluctuation I mentioned earlier.
The cost of a new refrigerator, the wiring and modifications to our new inverter would be far too much for me to consider switching. We live in fulltime, and we know we can't put in hot leftovers, or overload the refrigerator. Its a small trade off for the lifestyle.

What you are describing as a problem is usually ventilation or insulation. That is the culprit 95% of the time.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:57 AM   #12
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Moderators, Can any post about an absorption refrigerator take place without the refer nazis completely ruining anything informative and productive with the thread? Constantly watering down any productive troubleshooting conversation with mindless drivel such as above will most certainly prevent future readers of the thread to be able to find questions to their answers.
These kind of posts are from those that did not know how to resolve the problem(s) they had and so they have went the route they have and feel this is the only fix. They have the freedom to post, so as long as it does not violate our rules, even if it is not helpful. Most of us just over look this and we don't want to start an argument that will get a thread closed and/or privileges taken away for violating the rules. It is their opinion and they may or may not know these refrigerators have been around for over 300 years and still used today; not only in the RV industry but in buildings that have no power grid. When these are used in a level or moving environment, stocked properly and working as per design they are more dependable than any compressor driven refrigerator. Many times the installation of the refrigerator is wrong and it will never operate properly and as stated, air flow (too much or too little) when traveling can be a problem if everything is not right with the unit and install.
I have seen many very old absorption refrigerators still operating very well and will freeze fresh food products if turned up too high. They have been installed, used and maintained properly during their life. I also know that out of every unit that has continuing problems, there are hundreds of units that have never been serviced for any problems.
You will always hear of the bad many times over hearing of the good news. It is just our nature to complain when things go wrong and take for granted and just go on having fun, without complimenting, when things are working right. After awhile, if all you hear from certain members is derogatory; you just simple skip over reading anything they have to say and life on these and other forums are much more rewarding. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:43 PM   #13
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Hello all. I'm the poster of this thread. I am so sorry that some folks feel the need to rant and rave in total disregard to the original issue about the refrigerator.
There has been over 170 views and only 11 posts - several of which have nothing to do with the question at hand.
This forum, as well as several others, are of incredible benefit to us. Is it really necessary to waste time and space posting comments that are of no benefit to a posters original question. Why is that some people feel the need to comment when its of no benefit??
May I ask, please, that we get back to the issue in the original post?
If anyone has experience the same situation with their Norcold 1210 getting warmer while under way, please post so that all of reading the thread can benefit. Thanks very much. Phillip
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:36 PM   #14
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I just posted on another Norcold thread I had a similar problem with my Norcold 12**. I spent a lot of money at a Winnebago dealer and even more at the Winnebago factory trying to fix that unit. That Norcold would not cool when going down the highway even after spending a lot of money for repairs so I replaced it with a residential. My wife is happy now so I'm happy.
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