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Old 07-16-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
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Replacing Norcold 1200 cooling unit

I'm considering replacing the cooling unit on my 9 year-old Norcold 1200 refrigerator (I know a lot of RVers are going with a household type frig but not ready for that much change yet) before it leaves me out in the hot on a camping outing sometime. I've had trouble keeping the frig temp below 40 degrees on this last trip in temp around 100 degrees but I usually don't travel in temperatures like that either, which it normally keeps around 33-38 degrees so I'm afraid something is happening to it.

For those of you who have done this replacement, what else should I consider replacing while the frig is out from the wall? The roof fans seem to be working fine for the time being since I can hear them but after 9 years how much longer will they continue to work? Also should the ice maker water line be replaced at the same time since it just being plastic I've heard it can get very brittle from the heat.

I can't do this myself so a shop will have to do the work. Any ideas on about what the labor charge might be for this? I'm considering ordering one of the Amish units instead of another crappy Norcold unit.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post
I've had trouble keeping the frig temp below 40 degrees on this last trip in temp around 100 degrees.
Sounds as if everything is working normally.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:04 AM   #3
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I replaced ours with the Amish unit but ours is a Dometic NDR1062 and smaller than yours. I did all the work myself and it wasn't really hard, but the refer is heavy for one person even after I took the doors off.
I did replace the cooling fan but the old one had quit working and the refer is in the slideout so it's required. I have a gang of four waiting to go in when needed.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:33 AM   #4
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At 100 degrees it is straining all Rv refrigerators and I don't think you are experiencing any issues that we all don't have in these temperatures. I don't think you have a issue. I think your unit is fine. Last year I installed my own Amish unit and I'm very happy with. You could call David Force who sells the Amish units, I'm sure he could give you a cost on the install. He's very pleasant to talk to and his number is 901-337-9948, good luck on whatever you decide to do, Let us know.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:54 AM   #5
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I had the Amish unit installed, and after spending lots of money on the unit, the installation, and the SECOND installation, my Nevercold still would not function correctly. I was told that my problem was dead box insulation. I cried and moaned over wasting $2,700 and still having a bad fridge. They offered me a nice rebuilt Norcold 1200 for more than the cost to replace it with the Samsung....so I am an ecstatic Samsung owner.

My point is this, if you decide to do the Amish thing, and don't do it yourself, make sure you have one of there AUTHORIZED installers install it. AFTER, that installer has done the diagnostics to insure that is the solution to your problem.

I did and still believe the Amish unit is well built, and a much better design than the Norcold OEM coil. But my self diagnosis and problem solving cost me dearly.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:01 AM   #6
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One more comment: Norcold door seals fail over time, and they can not be replaced, you must buy the entire door, and they are expensive. Why, Norcold greed. Why the failures of the newer Norcold fridges, and the old models are still rock solid, Norcold greed (quality compromises for profit). They use to make a great product.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:11 AM   #7
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We went through the Amish Cooling Unit route in our previous Winnebago. I will echo what DGBPokes said about dead space. As he said, I think it is a better unit than the stock unit. When we had it installed at the factory the folks there were GREAT but they also expressed some concern that we had too much dead space and did what they could to minimize it. In the end we got some better performance out of it but it still suffered significantly in 90+ weather or even in cooler temps if that side of the MH was exposed to direct sun light. We added an extra fan and only got more noise out of that.

I knew that when we got our DSDP with that same darn refer I would not repeat that. 3 weeks ago we had the Samsung 197R installed and so far extremely happy we did it. The refer was available for $1500 at Home Depot with free shipping. Since I am not confident in my wood working skills I had it installed at Bradd & Hall in Elkhart, IN. That cost me about another $1400 but they did a great job lowering the platform and trimming it out and I didn't have any additional chiropractic bills either.

That installation included rewiring the outlet from the main breaker panel to the inverter panel and new breaker switch. We run it on 4 220 AH 6V house batteries through a 2800W PSW inverter. It runs just fine on the inverter going down the road without the genny running. We actually suffered a 4 hour power loss at a CG and we only saw the battery levels drop from 12.8V to 12.6V during that time. We are not hard core boondockers so I am satisfied with that. We should be fine over night in a Cracker Barrel.

I know I am going to be a broken record on this subject for a long time to come. LOL Sorry in advance.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:53 PM   #8
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I replaced the cooling unit on my Norcold 1200LRIM right after buying the MH last year, even though the original unit was working fine. I wanted to completely eliminate the chance of fire.

I did the job myself with the help of a friend. While we had the fridge out of the hole, I completely lined the box with Reflectix from Lowes. I replaced both cooling fans, both heating elements, and the icemaker water line. I think I spent a total of about $1250 and don't regret one penny of it!

David Force at RV Cooling Unit Warehouse is great to work with!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:00 AM   #9
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I noticed on the Amish cooling unit web site that the 1200 unit also is available with 2 cooling fans for about $125 extra. Are these the original fan replacements or something different?

Last week crossing Kansas on I-70 in 104 degree temps, the sun on the same side as the frig and a side wind of about 10-15 MPH the temps in the frig got above 40 degrees, approaching 50. Even with the gen running, the inside and dash air running the inside temp was around 85 degrees. Never noticed this problem before . Later while visiting in NW Arkansas I could keep the frig temp in the 35 degree range by lowering the awning, removing the outside vent door, and using the 6" 110V fan with temps in the mid 90's, but all this can't be done while traveling. This all has been the reason for my concern and the possibility of replacing the cooling unit. When we travel the frig/freezers are usually completely full of food so hate to risk a frig failure on a 9 year-old unit.

Good advice on having a replacement done at an Authorized repair shop.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:29 AM   #10
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I replaced the cooling unit on my 1200 nevercold last year. Ref worked great for a year. Last month we had a heat wave with 104deg outsite temps and the ref temps went to 65. The last straw! Went with a Samsung and loving it. Outside temps went to 102 and ref temps stayed at 33 deg and freezer stayed at -10deg. Ran on inverter for three days in driveway with gen on auto start and gen finally started after three days. Using 4 220 amp hour 6v battery's. Wish I had got the samsung when I got the Amish cooling unit. (you can have mine, used one year, if you pick up free!!!)
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:16 AM   #11
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The fans I bought in my Amish were the same brand fans that Norcold had installed on the original fridge.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:23 AM   #12
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To your question, check the Amish site as they have a factory installed price listed - I think it was $200. add'l.... In previous discussions the "normal" installation" price was around $500. done by the average shop...
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:42 AM   #13
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To your question, check the Amish site as they have a factory installed price listed - I think it was $200. add'l.... In previous discussions the "normal" installation" price was around $500. done by the average shop...
Last year it was about $1500 installed at the factory in Shipshewana, IN. It took them 4 hours from removal to beginning of getting "cold". Great folks and good at it. They took EXTREME care through out the process to not do any damage to the interior.

David isn't advertising factory install price but I would call him about that. David is OUTSTANDING to work with. RV Cooling Unit Warehouse
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:02 PM   #14
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Wonder if the Amish installation is available any place else in the country? Traveling to Ind. from Oklahoma would probably take 2 days there and 2 back at a cost of around $700. Always like to use shops that know what they are doing but hate to pay so much extra for it if there might be any local approved shops. I should probably call Amish to see what they can offer.
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