Open Roads Radio forum for Ham, Amateur Radio and RV camping


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-25-2016, 09:26 AM   #1
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default Refrigerator failure

Phooey, my fridge has failed. Doesn't cool, at all, on either AC or propane. I've thrown away all perishable food.

It's a Norcold 682, which is a primitive gas fridge with an AC heater in addition to the propane flame. I think probably all the refrigerant -- which may be hydrogen gas -- has suddenly leaked.

I can buy a new (rebuilt) cooling unit for about five hundred bucks, and it shouldn't be too difficult to install; but RV fridges basically don't work worth a flip even when in good shape, so I'm considering just buying an apartment-size fridge that will fit in the same space. It'll cost about the same, or perhaps a bit less.

I've always hated this fridge! In hot weather the fridge part only gets down to about 36 (after several hours when it's been opened to put something in or take something out) and the freezer never goes below 15 degrees. In cold weather the freezer gets down to about 6, and liquids freeze in the fridge where they shouldn't. Really crummy temp control. I like compressor-type fridges with real thermostats that will maintain 32 degrees in the fridge and zero in the freezer in any weather, as basically any of them will do.

Also it doesn't have any provision for defrost -- gotta do it with a hair dryer. Then it takes hours to cool back down.

Rant: Why are RV appliances such inferior junk, and why so expensive? RV fridges, for example, are vastly inferior to even the cheapest stick-house fridges of the same size, and cost three to five times as much, and are as primitive as what we had in the 1950s (or late 1940s) when I was a kid. When I bought the Diesel Pusher, it was the first time in 50 years that I had to defrost a fridge manually.

Anyway, that's why I'm thinking of giving up gas operation n order to have a modern, self-defrosting, compressor-type fridge. When driving, I'd just run the generator when I needed to.

Comments? Advice?
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 11:31 AM   #2
electricflyer
Senior Member
 
electricflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Douglasville, GA
Posts: 417
Default

Bummer. How big was your frig? 8.5cu ft? Lowes has a Haier 10.11cu ft frostfree frig for $358.00 on sale right now. Getting a frig to fit where the old one was may be a problem. I just looked at the specs on the 682 and it looks like the Haier will fit. Your 682 is 59 7/8" high and the Haier is 59.1" high and with width is the same on both at 23.5" wide. You can always get a wine frig and forget about the food, in fact enough wine and you can forget about everything. Good luck on getting a place to store your food. The only problem I see for a residential frig is being able to prevent the doors from opening when on the road but a little Duct tape can cure that.
electricflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 11:50 AM   #3
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by electricflyer View Post
The only problem I see for a residential frig is being able to prevent the doors from opening when on the road but a little Duct tape can cure that.
Yah, I'd have to install some cabinet latches. Not too tough. Also, of course, I'd have to devise a way to prevent the whole shebang from sliding out (or tipping over) and laying waste the entire interior of the DP.
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 02:38 PM   #4
wa8yxm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mobile, on the road
Posts: 1,139
Send a message via AIM to wa8yxm Send a message via Yahoo to wa8yxm Send a message via Skype™ to wa8yxm
Default

Two tihngs about the absorption cooling unit. If you have proper air circulation they work very well.. But alas too many RV's they are a tad too boxed in.> But the big advantage is they work on PROPANE when no power mains are about.. I really like my Dometic works very well. Just needs occasional defrosting.

That said as the world heats up, they may stop working soon as they do have a max ambient temp range of just over 100 degress. and we are now seeing temps much higher than that in parts of the world.

Compressor fridges also loose effience when ambient temp rises.. Same issues.

If (when) mine fails I will have to decide if I want to go all electric or not.. If I go all electric both Dometic and Norcold either have or had a compressor driven HIGH EFFIENCY option. Like the chest freezer next to me. These draw very little power. and work well.
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 03:20 PM   #5
Radio
Administrator
 
Radio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA, USA
Posts: 3,017
Default

I don't think I would want to part with the propane option but that's just me. I like my Dometic. Only ever defrosted it once. But then I am not full time.

What are you going to do with the old refrigerator vent holes on the outside of the rig?
__________________

KU4OJ "Wade" Ships Captain, CFO, Chief Engineer
KG4DQQ "Kathy" 1st Officer, Navigator, Best Friend
2007 F-150 SuperCab - 2009 Rockwood 8280SS
Lot's of mostly Kenwood stuff

Radio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 03:22 PM   #6
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

I went to Lowe's and looked at the one Flyer mentioned. It looks very nice and has lots more room inside, both the fridge and the freezer, than my accursed 7.5cf Norcold; and separate thermostats for the two sections, and auto defrost. The sale continues until June 7. I've a little more research to do, but that looks like my probable choice. Thanks for the heads-up, Flyer!
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 03:27 PM   #7
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
... as the world heats up, they may stop working soon ...
I stopped working years ago, and (I think) have little to worry about as concerns living so long that the world heats up too much. I'll be cold before the world gets hot.
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 03:41 PM   #8
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio View Post
I don't think I would want to part with the propane option but that's just me. I like my Dometic. Only ever defrosted it once. But then I am not full time.

What are you going to do with the old refrigerator vent holes on the outside of the rig?
I've been full-time since 2011, and have run the Norcold on propane maybe ten hours total. I virtually never dry camp.

The vent holes? The one in the roof is screened, and I can screen the one in the side. Or mask it shut. Or welcome the Florida mosquitos.

Oh, wait, don't want those Florida mosquitos. A couple years ago, a Boeing 747 collided with one over Apalachicola. The 747 went down with loss of all souls. The mosquito had a bruised wing; had to make an emergency landing, and it was almost three days before he was all better and could fly again.
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 07:46 PM   #9
Radio
Administrator
 
Radio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA, USA
Posts: 3,017
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NN5I View Post
I went to Lowe's and looked at the one Flyer mentioned.
Pull the DP up in their parking lot and ask them if they deliver.

I bet that little fridge has leveler feet that screw up/down so it doesn't wobble. If those were removed and bolts substituted that might make a suitable mounting method, assuming you can get underneath to tighten the bolts.

__________________

KU4OJ "Wade" Ships Captain, CFO, Chief Engineer
KG4DQQ "Kathy" 1st Officer, Navigator, Best Friend
2007 F-150 SuperCab - 2009 Rockwood 8280SS
Lot's of mostly Kenwood stuff

Radio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 08:09 PM   #10
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

Wow, Wade, that's a great idea that I hadn't thought of. There's a small storage compartment beneath the refrigerator shelf; all I need do is drill down from the fridge compartment into that storage space, then run bolts upward into the leveling-foot holes in the bottom of the fridge.

We geniuses gotta help each other sometimes. Now I owe you one.
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 08:10 PM   #11
electricflyer
Senior Member
 
electricflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Douglasville, GA
Posts: 417
Default

I didn't check the depth dimension to see how that fits but I probably won't hurt if it sticks out an inch or so. I didn't think there would be a substitute electric to fit where your present frig is. As far a ventilation you may want to check where the heat goes as it will still need to be able to dissipate the heat although most new frig's have a smooth back, not like the old ones with exposed coils, and the heat goes out the bottom. Anyway just something to check out before you drop some bucks.
electricflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 08:17 PM   #12
Radio
Administrator
 
Radio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA, USA
Posts: 3,017
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NN5I View Post
Wow, Wade, that's a great idea that I hadn't thought of. There's a small storage compartment beneath the refrigerator shelf; all I need do is drill down from the fridge compartment into that storage space, then run bolts upward into the leveling-foot holes in the bottom of the fridge.

We geniuses gotta help each other sometimes. Now I owe you one.
I would do the job by making a template; sitting the fridge on some cardboard and marking where the feet holes are, then transferring that to the compartment.
__________________

KU4OJ "Wade" Ships Captain, CFO, Chief Engineer
KG4DQQ "Kathy" 1st Officer, Navigator, Best Friend
2007 F-150 SuperCab - 2009 Rockwood 8280SS
Lot's of mostly Kenwood stuff

Radio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 10:56 PM   #13
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

Yup, that (or something very similar) is my plan. Of course, now it'll turn out they used left-hand threads on the feet. Or something.
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2016, 11:28 AM   #14
wa8yxm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mobile, on the road
Posts: 1,139
Send a message via AIM to wa8yxm Send a message via Yahoo to wa8yxm Send a message via Skype™ to wa8yxm
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NN5I View Post
I stopped working years ago, and (I think) have little to worry about as concerns living so long that the world heats up too much. I'll be cold before the world gets hot.
Considering some of the weather reports I've been seeing from around the world (Record breaking high temps, month after month) I'd not be so sure of that NNSI, but...... This is sure.. If the world gets too hot we will all be cold as it were.

But then there are two theories as to why we are getting hotter.. My personal opinion is both are correct.
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2016, 01:14 PM   #15
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

My old friend Bud Johnson, WI5G, was a Foretravel service manager and knows more about RVs and RV equipment than I know about everything I know about. He says that RV fridges that totally stop working will often -- usually! -- start working like new if they are dismounted and turned upside down for a day, then righted, and powered up after another day of sitting right side up. He's fixed many of them that way, with no other service needed.

That's all good, but if I go to all the trouble of pulling that sucker, I'm going to put a modern fridge in its place. With the old fridge outside on the ground (or on a picnic table), I'll try Bud's suggestion; if the fridge then works, I'll offer it for sale. I'll leave it running outside and be able to offer prospective buyers a cold soda pop from it as proof. WI5G says I might get as much as $500 or so for a working, used Norcold -- which would pay for the new fridge with a little left over.
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2016, 05:54 PM   #16
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

Bought the little Haier fridge today; neighbor helped muscle it into the coach.

Since I haven't finished removing the Norcold yet, the Haier is sitting in front of my "living room" couch. I plugged it in about a half-hour ago.

The freezer compartment is already at 19 degrees, and the fridge compartment is at 65. They both started out at 80, from being outside. The Norcold, when it was working perfectly, would take at least twelve hours to do that.

Zowie! I've got both compartments set to "coldest" -- lessee what it can do. Meanwhile it's time to put some Pepsis in there.

I have remote-indicating thermometers for both compartments -- the Temp Minder brand sold at Camping world. The senders are little white things that stay in the fridge compartments, and the displays hang on the wall. I recommend these, and have used them for years. They work well, and the instructions are amusing. I think they're about $17 each. Batteries last a year or more. They're sold for displaying inside/outside temps (weather), but work great for showing how the fridge is doing.

**** UPDATE **** 20 minutes later, the freezer is at 10 degrees, fridge at 64.

**** UPDATE **** another 10 minutes (accurately timed), 5 degrees and 59 degrees. Sweet.

**** UPDATE **** Another 10 minutes, 0 and 55.
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2016, 02:56 PM   #17
electricflyer
Senior Member
 
electricflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Douglasville, GA
Posts: 417
Default

Take some photos of your escapade, maybe there would be others that would want to do something similar.
electricflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2016, 04:01 PM   #18
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

What's the consensus, folks? Anyone want photos of a superannuated old dinosaur grunting and sweating (and taking frequent, exhausted breaks) to do what any young guy could do without breaking a sweat?
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2016, 07:57 PM   #19
Radio
Administrator
 
Radio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA, USA
Posts: 3,017
Default

Sure, why not.

I had to google superannuated as I am unfamiliar with the term, it having never been applied to me.

__________________

KU4OJ "Wade" Ships Captain, CFO, Chief Engineer
KG4DQQ "Kathy" 1st Officer, Navigator, Best Friend
2007 F-150 SuperCab - 2009 Rockwood 8280SS
Lot's of mostly Kenwood stuff

Radio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2016, 09:09 PM   #20
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio View Post
Sure, why not.

I had to google superannuated as I am unfamiliar with the term, it having never been applied to me.

I am most definitely superannuated. William Ernest Henley wasn't writing about superannuation (or about me), but by golly he could have been.

INVICTUS

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×