Norcold Fridge/Freezer Temps Rising

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Hello All: I have a 2017 Thor Freedom Elite 22FE Class C motor home. I purchased it the end of September and have it parked (it is level) in a friend's driveway while I learn about the rig and get it ready to boondock in Quartzite. I have been parked here since November 3rd, and the temperatures are no warmer than they were in November. I have not moved the rig, have not overloaded the fridge or freezer, and nothing else has changed.

I am plugged into shore power using the appropriate surge suppressor, correct gauge extension cord and the appropriate adapter. Again, all of this is the same since I got here in November.

Yesterday, I noticed the freezer had crept up to 20 degrees F and the fridge temp from about 34 F to 40 degrees F. As of ten this morning, the freezer was back down to zero degrees and the fridge around 35. I opened the freezer three times within about 30 minutes for less than 30 seconds each time, and opened the fridge twice in that same half hour; also for about 30 seconds, or less each time. The last time I closed each, I checked the temperature and the freezer is at 20 degrees F again and the fridge is at about 39 degrees F.

The daytime and evening temperatures have been fairly steady for the last week with the highest day time temp of around 65 degrees. It has also been mostly cloudy all week (I'm in the Phoenix area right now).

I am new to this type of rig, I previously had a teardrop camper and never used the fridge/freezer. I have been doing lots of research and reading since I got the rig. The original user manuals came with the camper, but the Norcold manual has proven useless, as have the Thor online docs and blogs. My internet search mostly pointed to obvious things such as not being level, debris in the compartment behind the fridge, and/or need for refrigerant. The rig is level and there is no debris in the fridge compartment.

I was just getting ready to unplug from shore power and test the fridge/freezer running on propane so I know what to expect. I'm not going to do that until I resolve the issue when it's connected . . .

The outlet I'm plugged into tests out fine--it's grounded, no reverse polarity, and the surge protector has remained cool to the touch. It's also the same outlet I've been plugged into for the duration of my time here.

Does anyone have any suggestions for next best step? I have a warranty that I purchased and all appliances are covered, but the wait to get in for service is lengthy every where in Az this time of year.

Your thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated! Thank you in advance!

Willow
 

tx2sturgis

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First, do you have the fridge actually on AC? (possibly indicating a wall plug icon) If you have it set for battery it is kind've normal for the fridge to 'under-perform' on battery power alone.

Is the sun heating up the wall that the fridge is on? If so, the cooling unit will have a harder time keeping up with the cooling loads. Verify your fridge fans at the back are operating when the condenser (the fins at the top) are warm to hot. I added an aux 12v fan to help cool the fins.

Also, check for frost or ice on the inside cooling fins and plates.

Does your fridge have the removable freezer compartment? If so, those tend to be a bit less effective at keeping cooler temps.

If your fridge has the blue bars on the eyebrow (control panel) for temp settings, the more bars lit up, the cooler the temp should be...some new owners assume the setting should be less bars for a lower temp. This happens fairly often, where an owner is actually setting the temp HIGHER when they meant to lower the temp.

While still on A/C power, crank the cooling to max, wait 10 minutes, then take the lower vent off, and using the back of your hand, very briefly touch the chimney (the vertical tube on the right as you look inside the vent) to feel for warmth. It should be somewhat warm to hot, but not scorching hot.

If it's not warm, you might have a heater problem.

While on propane you should see the small blue flame inside a small opening to indicate the burner is on and the cooling unit should be working.
 

bullfrog

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It is not uncommon for the flu to get spider webs in it restricting the air flow I understand. In really warm weather when plugged in using a 120 volt box fan on a table blowing air into the side vent helps increase air flow. Maybe doing so now to see if performance increases might indicate you need to clean out the flu pipe to increase air flow. When plugged in an electric element provides the heat to accommodate the temperature differential needed, when on propane the small blue flame at the base of the flu does. Hope this helps.
 

abnorm

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While you have the outside cover off...........Make sure the "chimney" area is clear of debris....bird nest, bugs. dust

The cooling is dependent on a rising column of HOT air within the chimney

Use an Air compressor or DustOff canned air or Vacuum on reverse to clear................

EDIT ................"Idiots think alike" or "Great minds run in the same track"
 
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First, do you have the fridge actually on AC? (possibly indicating a wall plug icon) If you have it set for battery it is kind've normal for the fridge to 'under-perform' on battery power alone.

Is the sun heating up the wall that the fridge is on? If so, the cooling unit will have a harder time keeping up with the cooling loads. Verify your fridge fans at the back are operating when the condenser (the fins at the top) are warm to hot. I added an aux 12v fan to help cool the fins.

Also, check for frost or ice on the inside cooling fins and plates.

Does your fridge have the removable freezer compartment? If so, those tend to be a bit less effective at keeping cooler temps.

If your fridge has the blue bars on the eyebrow (control panel) for temp settings, the more bars lit up, the cooler the temp should be...some new owners assume the setting should be less bars for a lower temp. This happens fairly often, where an owner is actually setting the temp HIGHER when they meant to lower the temp.

While still on A/C power, crank the cooling to max, wait 10 minutes, then take the lower vent off, and using the back of your hand, very briefly touch the chimney (the vertical tube on the right as you look inside the vent) to feel for warmth. It should be somewhat warm to hot, but not scorching hot.

If it's not warm, you might have a heater problem.

While on propane you should see the small blue flame inside a small opening to indicate the burner is on and the cooling unit should be working.
I believe we have a winner!!! This week is the first time the fridge side of my rig is getting sunshine--the day the problem started, to be exact. I had the awning out all day yesterday, more to inspect it than anything else, the fridge and freezer performed as expected and stuck to their GOOD temperature settings.

The fridge has a very low-tech switch for Auto (electricity from an AC outlet is what Auto selects first, or gas if power goes out or you unplug); switch opposite direction for full-time propane (when boondocking).

It has had some frost on the fins inside the fridge since I first started using it--what do I need to be concerned about with that? :) Like most folks who are new to RVing full time, I'm learning as I go. :)

I cleared fridge compartment of a tiny amount of dust and two little leaves when the problem started. Chimney area is clear, and there was only a minute amount of condensation that had collected.

The auto-igniter for the fridge came on yesterday when I unplugged from AC, but I haven't run it on propane yet for anything over ten minutes. All of this info is quite helpful for NEWB such as myself, I feel better informed already, thank you!!!!!
 
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Thanks to ALL who replied here, I'm creating checklists on paper of tips just like those that were shared here. :) :) :)

I LOVE this forum, I have been learning so much since I joined in October. I do a lot of lurking and reading, but know that one day I will be able to help other new comers. Thank you all again!
 

wayne49

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Frost build up will inhibit the regulation of temperature allowing the unit to warm up. If it's like my 2002 Norcold 611, the thermistor sensor is clipped on the aluminum fins. The sensor sends the current temp (by resistance value) to the control board. The frost insulates the sensor from the actual air temp.
 
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Frost build up will inhibit the regulation of temperature allowing the unit to warm up. If it's like my 2002 Norcold 611, the thermistor sensor is clipped on the aluminum fins. The sensor sends the current temp (by resistance value) to the control board. The frost insulates the sensor from the actual air temp.
Thank you for the reply! Mine is also an N611, not sure what year. The rig is a 2017 and the fridge is the one that was originally sold with the camper.

Seems like I should defrost the unit (I have instructions for that in the manual).

I read somewhere that the sensor in the fridge should be on a particular fin for some models, but could find no reference to that for the N611 on the web or in the manuals (installation and owners guides). Have you heard of this? Appreciate all of your help!
 

Crabbyjerry

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Thanks to ALL who replied here, I'm creating checklists on paper of tips just like those that were shared here. :) :) :)

I LOVE this forum, I have been learning so much since I joined in October. I do a lot of lurking and reading, but know that one day I will be able to help other new comers. Thank you all again!
Hello All: I have a 2017 Thor Freedom Elite 22FE Class C motor home. I purchased it the end of September and have it parked (it is level) in a friend's driveway while I learn about the rig and get it ready to boondock in Quartzite. I have been parked here since November 3rd, and the temperatures are no warmer than they were in November. I have not moved the rig, have not overloaded the fridge or freezer, and nothing else has changed.

I am plugged into shore power using the appropriate surge suppressor, correct gauge extension cord and the appropriate adapter. Again, all of this is the same since I got here in November.

Yesterday, I noticed the freezer had crept up to 20 degrees F and the fridge temp from about 34 F to 40 degrees F. As of ten this morning, the freezer was back down to zero degrees and the fridge around 35. I opened the freezer three times within about 30 minutes for less than 30 seconds each time, and opened the fridge twice in that same half hour; also for about 30 seconds, or less each time. The last time I closed each, I checked the temperature and the freezer is at 20 degrees F again and the fridge is at about 39 degrees F.

The daytime and evening temperatures have been fairly steady for the last week with the highest day time temp of around 65 degrees. It has also been mostly cloudy all week (I'm in the Phoenix area right now).

I am new to this type of rig, I previously had a teardrop camper and never used the fridge/freezer. I have been doing lots of research and reading since I got the rig. The original user manuals came with the camper, but the Norcold manual has proven useless, as have the Thor online docs and blogs. My internet search mostly pointed to obvious things such as not being level, debris in the compartment behind the fridge, and/or need for refrigerant. The rig is level and there is no debris in the fridge compartment.

I was just getting ready to unplug from shore power and test the fridge/freezer running on propane so I know what to expect. I'm not going to do that until I resolve the issue when it's connected . . .

The outlet I'm plugged into tests out fine--it's grounded, no reverse polarity, and the surge protector has remained cool to the touch. It's also the same outlet I've been plugged into for the duration of my time here.

Does anyone have any suggestions for next best step? I have a warranty that I purchased and all appliances are covered, but the wait to get in for service is lengthy every where in Az this time of year.

Your thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated! Thank you in advance!

Willow
Not sure if yours is the same but my 1200 norcold goes thru a defrost cycle every I believe 28 hrs or something and the temp will rise. I try to start it so the 28hrs (don’t hold me to that time) happens at night when it’s cooler out.
 

wayne49

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wayne49

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The generic term "6xx" covers all 6nn units, including 611.

There are updated after market control boards available for the 611. I had replaced the original control board and the sensor on mine, it is not difficult to do.

The link below is to a company that specializes in updated control boards for RV equipment that is no longer supported by the original manufacturer, such as Onan generators and Norcold N611's.

http://www.dinosaurelectronics.com/Nor_boards.htm
 
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The generic term "6xx" covers all 6nn units, including 611.

There are updated after market control boards available for the 611. I had replaced the original control board and the sensor on mine, it is not difficult to do.

The link below is to a company that specializes in updated control boards for RV equipment that is no longer supported by the original manufacturer, such as Onan generators and Norcold N611's.

http://www.dinosaurelectronics.com/Nor_boards.htm
Thank you! I will attempt to move it to the correct fin! The fridge door fails the dollar bill test miserably, so I am on the hunt for replacement gasket when I get the time. :)
 
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