Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 75, low 60)
When we got our motorhome 3 1/2 years ago, Lazy Days was nice enough to install a brand new 4 door Norcold 1210 refrigerator into our new to us motor home. I wish we had installed a residential refrigerator, but at that time we weren't really aware of all the refrigerator fires caused by the RV refrigerators. All the recalls that are done on these refrigerators are really only putting a Band-Aid on the problem and not addressing the real issues.
In the past few years, as I had started to learn more about Rv refrigerators, I started thinking about a residential refrigerator. Although we never had any problems with our refrigerator, the fire thing was always in the back of my mind. Unfortunately, installing a residential refrigerator is not as simple as going down to Sears and having it delivered.
Our Norcold is mounted over a furnace compartment and fits right up next to the ceiling. We were hoping we could lower the platform a few inches to give us enough height for one of the 21 cf refrigerators we had been admiring. Tim, our local Mobile Rv tech looked at the space we have and he said we couldn’t do any height modifications due to the furnace and wiring below the Norcold. We would need a refrigerator no taller than 64 inches. That severely limited our choices.
We shopped at the stores and online and the only refrigerators that would fit were cheap, low end garage or apartment style refrigerators. I sure wished we could have gotten the beautiful stainless steel Samsung like Judy got. I got discouraged and quit looking, until I happened to meet a lady here in the campground that had recently installed a residential refrigerator in the same size space. She was nice enough to let us see how it looked installed, and after seeing it, we decided we could live with the only refrigerator that would fit. We really had no other choice and after all, the Norcold is really a cheap looking refrigerator with wire shelves and no freezer light. The only difference is the $4000 price tag of the Norcold, verses a $450 price tag for the one we got! We will gain 2.6 cubic feet of space.
The Norcold was running fine, so I listed it on Craig's List, instead of trashing what I thought was a perfectly good refrigerator..
Tim, our Rv guy had put us on the list for service and was going to work us in between more urgent problems.
Things changed on Thursday, when Al noticed the old Norcold wasn’t cooling. Uh oh. We didn’t notice any of the tell tale ammonia smell, which is common when Rv refrigerators fail, but upon checking the outside compartment, we noticed some yellow/green powdery substance. This is a bad thing, so we immediately unplugged it. I don’t know if it is repairable, but we are taking no chances with a possible fire.
Unfortunately the new refrigerator didn’t arrive until Friday, so we had to do the cooler thing for a day. We have a shed here, so when the delivery people came, it was put into the shed. It’s plugged in and cold, waiting for Tim install it. Now I just had to make Tim aware we were one of the urgent calls, and we needed him asap.
I felt a sense of relief when the Norcold quit. It would have been nice if it would have lasted until the new one was in the shed and running, but at least we won’t feel bad about trashing a perfectly good refrigerator, and we didn’t sell it to someone else. The Norcold worked well for us and it failed on our time frame (almost) and not at the most inconvenient time, like if we had been in the Keys. We feel lucky it worked out the way we did, even though we did lose some frozen foods. Good riddance Norcold!
We will no longer have an RV refrigerator that can be run on propane for boondocking, or while driving down the road. We never boondock, or ran it on propane while driving anyway. We either turned it off for the few hours we drove, or had the generator on.
We’re looking forward to having the new refrigerator installed.
We’re trying to wrap everything up here Tampa. Our plans (in jello) are to leave for the Keys on the 17th. I had an unexpected dental visit last week when I suddenly developed a tooth ache. I ended up with a crown and luckily, I found a new dentist who understands I don’t like pain, and she took good care of me.