We have been wanting to replace our Norcold RV refrigerator with a residential model ever since we bought our Winnebago Ultimate Advantage. RV refrigerators are limited in storage space, tend to frost up a lot, and the Norcolds are notorious for starting fires. We have had all of the recalls done, and the thing still decided to crap out yesterday morning.
There was no power to it, and after checking the breakers to be sure everything was okay there, I got online and did some research. A couple of different RV forum posts said to go outside, take off the access cover to the refrigerator compartment, and check to see if the red light on the Norcold retrofit gizmo was on. If it was on, the quick fix was to get a strong magnet and to hold it on the box, which apparently resets the magnetic switch inside of it.
I went outside and checked, and sure enough, the red light was on, just like they said.
We didn’t have a magnet laying around, so I made a quick trip to the nearby Lowes to get one, and back home I put the magnet against the box and sure enough, it worked! Who says Nick can’t fix anything?
But about an hour later the box tripped again.
I reset it again, then called my pal Mac McCoy, the RV fire safety expert. Mac said he was pretty sure this is an indicator that the recall module is about to fail, which could cause a fire. I have heard about people using a jumper wire to bypass the module, but Norcold installed it there for a reason (even if it doesn’t work). That would be like the guys in the old days who used to put a penny behind a screw in fuse when a circuit tripped. You’re just asking for a fire, and as nice as my pal Chris Yust from C&C Insurance is, I’m pretty sure even she couldn’t help me if I did that.
A lot of people we know have had the Amish RV refrigerator conversion units installed, and they all seem to be very happy with them. But we want to go with a residential refrigerator because it will give us a lot more capacity and work better than any RV model. We seldom boondock any more so that’s not an issue. Going down the road it will run off the inverter and we’re plugged in almost every night. And if not, just turning it off overnight will not be a problem. We had a residential unit in our bus for over eight years and know all the pros and cons.
The only issue is finding a refrigerator that will fit in the nook where we need it to go. Everything we have looked at is 36 inches wide and we need to find one that is no more than 34 inches wide. Everybody in the world has them listed online, but trips to three Lowes and a Best Buy yesterday revealed that nobody actually has them in stock. We can order one, but it could take 4 – 6 weeks for delivery. Today we’ll brave the holiday shopping crowds to try again.
The good news is that even an RV refrigerator will keep thing cold for many hours with the power off. So for now, when we go to bed, or when we leave the RV, we turn it off just to be safe.
Today is your last chance to enter this week’s Free Drawing for my buddy George Weir’s audiobook The Devil To Pay. This is the fourth book in George’s excellent Bill Travis mystery series, and every book is better than the last. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – I wish my wallet was as fat as I am.