We have a Norcold N821L in an Arctic Fox 5th wheel that we used for the first time last summer. We had no problem until our last trip in October. We noticed the display panel had a horizontal bar across the center instead of the usual vertical bar indicating the power source. At the same time, the temp in the fridge had dropped to about 28 degrees while set on 3, which was our normal setting. We reset to 2 & eventually the bar returned to normal position & we had no further problem during the trip.
We recently took it out for the first time this year & on the 2nd day noticed the horizontal bar again. Again, the temp in the fridge was in the mid to high 20s with the setting on 2. We reset to 1, it warmed up a bit & the bar normalized, but a few hrs later it did the same thing. It was already on the "warmest" setting, so no way to reset, so we left the door open for a few minutes. The problem continued throughout our 7-day trip, with fridge temps in the 20s & freezer temps at -20 fairly consistently. We lost some food to freezing, but one day when the bar was horizontal, the fridge temp was at 45 degrees & the freezer at -10 still one setting of 1.
After we got home, my husband tested it for several days on setting of 3 the fridge temp dropped to -20 & the freezer was so cold it pegged the thermometer, somewhere below -40! This was all on propane. When he checked it on AC, it worked better, but seemed to take longer than usual to cool. It did not freeze in the fridge. We've got several trips planned in the next few weeks, 2 boondock camps where we'll be using propane & one travel trip where we'll be using a combination of AC & propane. The dealer in our area is way behind & can't look at it for at least 3 weeks (then we have no idea how long they'll want to keep it), so we're hoping we can get by until fall when we'll be through camping for the year, but don't want to chance causing permanent damage to the unit.
Has anyone had a similar experience or have any ideas about this?
We tried contacting both Norcold & Thetford, but they wouldn't even talk to us about it, just said take it to the dealer. Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
While your readout was off by about 40 degrees as posted but if the lower box will get down to +20F the cooling unit is fine. There may be fan or installation problems but the cooling unit is functing fine. -15/+15F upper/lower are about max lows due to physics.
Thanks for the reply, we actually were able to find a technician locally who found the horizontal bar in his service manual. My husband couldn't remember exactly what he said, but the tech told him the the "board needed to be reset" to correct the problem. It had something to do with the propane sensor. We have an appointment to get it fixed before our travel trip next month.