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Norcold 1200LRIM Problem

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Herman

I replaced my Nocold late last year with the Samsung RF18 model. I have not replaced my MSW inverter or my house batteries.

We just got home from a 3600 mile east coast trip. The Samsung worked perfect.

I did the install myself. Not to difficult a project.

I live in Plano, not far from you. When you are ready to install yours I will help you if you would like.

RJ

2005 CC Inspire #51264

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Since you guys are talking about the Norcold 1200LRIM, I have an odd one and could use some help. Just returned to Houston from a 6 week trip to Nova Scotia. The rear air started freezing up on the road. Went completely out when we got home. One week later the front a/c went out.

While on the roof replacing the a/c unit, I smelled ammonia coming from the refrigerator vent and removed the outside cover and smelled it strongly. So, after replacing the 2 a/c units, I'm also replacing the refrigerator. Seems kind of odd that they all went out within a few weeks of each other.

We were having problems with the fridge not cooling while driving, it worked fine while parked. We put a fan in it that helped some and a fan outside. This is on a 40ft 2004 Monaco Dynasty. The a/c's didn't surprise me, they are 11 years old, more than their "useful" life, according to everything that I've read and my a/c repairman.

I'm looking for a replacement for the fridge and I'm not going back with a Norcold backside unit. I'm using an aftermarket brand. I'm planning on doing the work myself. I'm a machinist, own a machine shop (CNCs) and have always done my own repairs in the shop, house, cars etc., unless it's beyond what I know my capabilities are, then I pay. Paying is becoming more frequent because of the computers in everything. Our toilet in the RV has a pc board in it.

I'm looking at the RVcool brand unit. http://www.rvrefrigerator.net/norcold_1200_replacement_cooling_unit.htm Does anyone know anything good or bad about this unit?

We're actually talking about selling the RV and downsizing to a smaller class c due to our changing life style. We started with a class c in 1990. Ken

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Ken,

Another option that many have gone to is a residential refrigerator-- sized to fit your current cut-out. You may already have an adequate battery bank and inverter to power it. A good option UNLESS you do a lot of dry camping.

In fact, residential refrigerators were an option on many coaches of your vintage.

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Brett, if I knew of a refrigerator that would be a good fit without having to make a bunch of modifications to the opening, I would consider a residential unit. There's a solar panel on the roof that looks like it's big enough to supply the energy that would be required to run the unit if we were dry docking. The inverter is a Xantrex 2000 watt and it'll carry the refrigerator. My wife has accidentally turned on the microwave/convection while heading down the road and it ran it OK. I think that a household unit would increase the value of the RV since we're thinking of selling it. Do you know of one that will fit without major changes? Personally, I don't like the 4 door fridge.

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Many refrigerator manufacturers list exact dimensions on their websites. You do have to consider depth and ability to open the door(s).

Also, the Xantrex is very likely a MSW (Modified Sine Wave), not PSW (Pure Sine Wave) inverter and some refrigerators may not play nice with them.

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Star,

If you have a Norcold 1200 4 door fridge there is a residential that will fit. I just installed a Samsung RF18HFENBBC French Door (3 door) Refrigerator . It measures 70" tall, 32" wide and 30 " deep. Though it does extends a bit further out we are still able to open both door and the bottom drawer with no restrictions and full passage down the hallway. I was fortunate to only have drawers below the old fridge. I remove the drawers and frames, then installed a sub floor to clear the lip. We were able to bring the unit through the front door. (I had my three sons to do the heavy lifting) I did have to remove the passengers seat.(It is very heavy) One thing I did before starting was to make a light weight frame to the exact dimensions of the unit with every thing off and out of the Unit. Meaning I remove the doors, hinges. brackets and anything extending from the front edge of the fridge. This light weight frame allowed me to make sure that the unit would go through the front door opening. After I was sure the unit would fit and before we put it in, I modified the opening for the unit.

I removed the gas line down to below the floor and capped it off. I moved both of the electrical boxes, 110 volt shore power and 110 volt Inverter power. and the water line to an area above and to the front of the opening. By doing this I made access to the power outlets and water filter by just opening a hinged door I will make for the opening above the New Samsung Residential Refrigerator.

I took a few pictures and will try to post them later (that is if I can figure out how).

By the way the RF 18 functions very well on the MSW Inverter.

Herman

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It doesn't make sense to do a major repair a 12 year old fridge unless you are selling the coach. You can tell the new owner that the fridge has a new cooling unit so any so call problem solved. Otherwise get a new fridge because doors, shelves, and seals can fail. I will not tell you which type of fridge to get but the residential one put a heavy load on the electrical system. In my owners manual it states about blowing the alternator with extensive use of the inverter while driving. My coach 160 amp alternator blew and I don't even have a residential fridge just three ladies that wanted to plug in their cell phones.

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Sorry to be so long in replying. I did go to the household fridge replacement. We are twixt and between on selling or keeping the RV. The Monaco is just too nice and with the vip steering so easy to drive.

We went with an over/under 2 door 17cf refrigerator w/icemaker that fit right into the opening. The compressor and controls at the bottom lined up perfectly with the outside fridge cover, so the heat generated goes straight out the vents. $510 at Home Depot.

I only had to cut about 1/2" off of the top of the opening to make it fit. We took all off the baskets from the door and drawers in the Norcold and put them in the new fridge to keep things in place. We put canned drinks and bottles in them so they don't roll around.

I purchased some sheet metal angle brackets to secure the unit to the floor and keep it from moving. It was skinnier than the Norcold so my wife now has a broom closet next to the fridge. We took the RV out for an oil change the other day and the unit ran all day on the inverter / batteries with no problem. Since we don't dry camp, but stay in campgrounds or run the generator in a parking lot overnight, I don't think that we'll have a problem with the batteries.

My local mobile RV tech was here the other day to replace a gasket on the front a/c unit and looked at the fridge setup and said that I should be fine. So, we're now preparing to leave around the 1st week of April and head north by northwest. Pagosa Springs, then west and north. I need to pull the microwave convection that's located over the range top and haven't figured out yet how to get to the screws that hold it in place. The timer stops every 59 seconds for some reason. The convection/microwave works but the timer stops.

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Removed one about 4 years ago, will never do it again! I suggest you get a timer from Wall Mart $2 ! I got 5 of them, coach, house, grill and spares!

Carl

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Our Norcold is failing in our 1999 Beaver Contessa; present temp is 57 degrees.

Having read the above comments, I am considering going with a residential reefer. Has anyone had any problems while traveling over the road or dry camping while on inverter? We recently had a new Magnum 2000 watt inverter installed that also charges both chassis and house batteries.

We live in our coach full time, mostly hooked up to power; occasionally traveling.

Thanks for any info

 John

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John,

Two kinds of potential issues (or may be complete non-issues):

1. If you have  Pure Sine Wave inverter you are fine.  Some appliances to not do well on Modified Sine Wave inverters.

2. For dry camping, how long you can go before recharging the batteries depends on how many amp-hrs @12 VDC you have and want condition the batteries are in (how much of their original capacity they have left).

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