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RealNiceTent 07-30-2021 11:53 AM

NoCold fridge problem
Alright so I am now cross-eyed and now pretty sure I'm seeing things after reading about all the problems y'all have with NoCold gas absorption reefers. Dometic doesn't seen to be any better. I don't get it though, I know of propane stationary refrigerators that have been in use for 40 to 50 years and more.

I am kinda sure I have figured out the problem I am having with mine, but figured I would bounce it off the folks here (Old-Bisquit) to make sure I'm barking up the right tree.

First all the particulars and a little background. We are basically second owners of a 2001 Holiday Rambler Admiral 30D with a factory bedroom slide and an aftermarket front slide the original owner had installed in 2004 if I remember correctly. I know all of this because when we bought the coach we got all of the original owners records. As a retired mechanic, I was ecstatic. I have a binder that includes every receipt for anything he had done or purchased, a journal of his adventures in which he documented everything else including what he was towing fuel use, mileage etc., and a trapper keeper full of all the books to the appliances, TVs, everything. The refrigerator was replaced in 2006 with a new NoCold N841. The original owners last entry was when he was preparing the unit to sell, I don't know if he sold the unit or passed before he sold it. We were led to believe when we bought it we were buying from the family and the title was still in his name (original owner). About 8000 miles was put on it between his last entry and our purchase that were not logged in the records.

We have been out on three trips without any incidents until yesterday. Yesterday the wife and I got back to the home ranch after a short week trip. I had pulled it up in the front yard and all was good. About an hour later the wife had run to pick up the granddaughter, and she came in and told me the RV was "beeping". I figured the door on the fridge was not fully closed and it was the door alarm on the fridge. I check the door, closed tight, look at the display and it says dc lo! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? we just drove 3-4 hours home the batteries should be fully charged. I reset and manually tried to put it in LP mode, same problem and I notice the display is alternating dim/bright back and forth. I checked the solar controller panel and it says 13 plus volts. Grab my multi meter and open the access behind the fridge to check power at the unit, 13 plus volts. It is also when I realize there is a relay clicking in the controller, a symptom of low voltage, so I start checking connections and load test the batteries all good. Inn my testing I keep smelling propane and find the purge bleeder at the solenoid valve is open a quarter turn, closed it and keep smelling propane, a little dish soap I find a small leak at the supply line nut(I'm dealing with that later today!) turn the propane off. A little while later I forget I have propane off, and try to start fridge proving it can self diagnose and logic is working because it gives me a flame code.

I am going to go out in a bit, fix propane leak, and pull cover off the control board so I can check the fuses. If the fuses are good I have to assume the board is bad and I am going to have to repair it myself or replace it. The question I have is should I be checking anything else before I condemn the board?

Thanks, Dave

Old-Biscuit 07-30-2021 12:14 PM

Fridge 'dc lo' error code:

Was the fridge on AC Power...RV plugged in at home or running directly off battery supply (Propane)?

12VDC supply to fridge....check
12VDC 3A fuse ....check
3A DC fuse contacts...check
DC to upper display...harness connection....check
Upper display harness connection....check

Run thru the different diagnostic screens for info/tests
*push the TEMP SET and MODE buttons at the same time and hold them for five seconds
Then push MODE button to step thru each screen
Pg 20/21

Sounds like Loose connection or the board is failing

RealNiceTent 07-30-2021 04:42 PM

Old-Bisquit, we had just come home and hadn't done anything yet really. She goes in the back yard later today, where she gets plugged in, so no she wasn't on shore power. We had left a resort/CG at 7100ft elevation about 5 hours before this happened and I had left the fridge on Auto when we left. I did run the jenny for a while when we got close to home to run the roof air, but I had already shut that down before we pulled in the yard. It was still on Auto and running on LPG when it went cockeyed.
I have checked 12vdc supply and loaded the battery, unplugged the power and ground leads to remake the connections. I am going to dig deeper today after I fix the propane leak I discovered yesterday. I plan to pull the cover off the board and check the internal fuses and connections, and visually inspect the solder joints.

I appreciate you checking in and pointing me at anything I may have missed. BTW does Operation Team Spirit mean anything to you?

Old-Biscuit 07-30-2021 05:31 PM

"I appreciate you checking in and pointing me at anything I may have missed. BTW does Operation Team Spirit mean anything to you?"

Joint operations between US Forces Korea and South Korea Military

Didn't participate time was spent farther south off the coast of Vietnam

RealNiceTent 07-30-2021 06:21 PM

Your location tells me you were 5 to10years ahead of me. We were in the amphibious assault portion of the 82 Team Spirit ops. I was on the USS Duluth, pretty sure the USS Decatur was offshore as part of the carrier group providing air support, and escorting Bears out of the area.

Old-Biscuit 07-30-2021 08:29 PM


Originally Posted by RealNiceTent (Post 5853718)
Your location tells me you were 5 to10years ahead of me. We were in the amphibious assault portion of the 82 Team Spirit ops. I was on the USS Duluth, pretty sure the USS Decatur was offshore as part of the carrier group providing air support, and escorting Bears out of the area.

1981/82 Decatur was on another WESTPAC with 7th Fleet and for the last time in 1983
June 1983 Decommissioned and placed in Reserve Fleet Status
1988...Name was stricken from the Naval Register
1994-2003 she was a Self Defense Test Ship along Pacific Coast
**Other ships used her for target practice
July 2004 she was sunk in a depth of 2560 fathoms (roughly 3 miles down) during targeting ----intentionally

Six Battle Stars during Vietnam Service

"Always In The Right"


RealNiceTent 07-30-2021 09:56 PM

81-82 we were on WestPac as well, and again in '83 when we made history as the first American Naval Vessels to pass through the Suez Canal since the Great White Fleet. I tell you having those old WW2 tanks buried up to the turret in the sand tracking us through the canal was freaky. They were using them like gun emplacements along the canal. That was on the way to the Med, don't know what it looked like going the other way, the other GM qualified in after steering for sea and anchor detail left the ship in Cypress, so I spent all but about 15 minutes for chow in after steering on the transit back.

RealNiceTent 07-30-2021 10:34 PM

Update on Fridge
So a couple hours ago I finally went out and repaired the propane leak I had found at the supply connection to the fridge. I did not find any damage to the flare, so I guess maybe vibration or it just wasn't tightened enough last time someone serviced the fridge. What I thought was a purge or bleed screw turned out to be an on/off valve located on the solenoid valve, (hmm, guess I should have had my glasses on).

After the leak was fixed I restarted the unit to retrieve codes and duplicate the complaint. OF course it has been on for two and a half hours without a hitch. At 1 hour the plate in the back of the freezer was at 14 degrees according to my infrared thermometer, and at two hours the plate was at -4 degrees. If it hasn't gone haywire by my bedtime, I'll shut it down and try again tomorrow.
I will be pulling the control board and running all the solder joints, this reminds me of a common problem I had with certain control boards in emergency vehicle light-bars. I could replace them at a cost of about $200, or run the solder joints for 20 cents worth of solder and fix the problem.

I will also be addressing maintenance on the batteries, and replacing some wiring crimp connectors I consider inferior, with soldered heat shrink sealed connectors. no time like the present to fix a problem before it starts.
From what I have seen in the forum the only thing I will have left to do is decide which improvement I want to make when the unit craps out, Amish Air, 12vdc compressor, or 110 residential unit? More immediate is whether or not I want to order a control board to have on-hand? After all this one is 15-16 years old. Having to locate one in someplace like Ocotillo Ca. while on the road is not an idea I relish.

Happy Trails


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