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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Norcold Fridge Outage at higher Elevations/Altitude.

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lttlfzrchck

California

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Posted: 09/02/06 08:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello everyone,

I am fairly new to this forum, although I've been lurking for a while. I would like to thank anyone in advance for any insight they can bring to my problem.

We just recently bought a fifth wheel toybox with a Norcold fridge in it (model N611). During our trip earlier this week to our favorite summer vacay spot Mammoth Lakes, CA (elevation 7,700 feet) we experienced constant outages in our fridge while operating on gas (propane). It also would not light on its own, and after each flame outage we would need to relight it manually. This occurred every few hours, and even more often at night when it was cold outside. We tried to blow/clean out the pilot area to clear out any possible debris, but that did not help.

After cutting our vacation in Mammoth short, we brought it in to our local dealership to be repaired, and they said that they could not do anything about it because they could not duplicate the conditions to make it fail.

I am now also aware that the Norcold owners manual comments on possible outages while running on gas over 5,500 feet. (If I would have known about this problem before, I would not have purchased an RV with a Norcold fridge.)

I did a search online and found that other individuals (many of which are on this site) have had very similar problems, but have not been able to find a solution, or resolution to this problem.

It's hard to imagine spending the money on a new RV, and not being able to utilize it camping in our favorite area due to the fact that the darn fridge won't work.

Any insight or recommendations into what I can do about this problem would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Theresa

Itchey Feet

Wyoming

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Posted: 09/02/06 08:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just grasping at straws here, but is there any chance that the regulator cannot put out the required volume when the frig is running and it runs out of fuel ultimately shutting off the pilot, and allowing air to infiltrate backwards causing a fuel void in the line causing you to manually light it? Again this is only a ? at what might happen at higher altitudes that might effect the operation of the regulator.


My feet are fine as long as they are traveling.

wolfe10

Texas

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Posted: 09/02/06 08:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Itchey Feet wrote:

Just grasping at straws here, but is there any chance that the regulator cannot put out the required volume when the frig is running and it runs out of fuel ultimately shutting off the pilot, and allowing air to infiltrate backwards causing a fuel void in the line causing you to manually light it? Again this is only a ? at what might happen at higher altitudes that might effect the operation of the regulator.


VERY unlikely unless the propane tank is VERY small and almost empty when low temperature caused by low ambient and expansion of gas would super cool the propane regulator.

I would start by doing the complete burner area tune-up as described in your refrigerator's owners manual. No special tools or skill needed, JUST FOLLOW THE STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS. NO SHORT CUTS.

Second step would be to check propane pressure with manometer.

Sure, the mixture will be rich, but it should still run and the flame hot enough to keep the thermocouple circuit operating.


Brett Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38'FDDS
Ex: 1997 Safari 35'
Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240


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mjgcamper

Nowhere

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Posted: 09/02/06 08:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I also have a newer Norcold. It was doing fine even up in the Rockey Mountains without so much as blip, but, when headed to Minden Nevada, after we got there we lost all our food in the frig. I could not get to go back on using propane. Now I cannot duplicate the problem, as it works fine.

I know there are better regulators, and I'm going to try that next year.

Hope you get yours solved, like to see you have a good time with your new rv.


Peace and Good will to all,
don't forget country roads,
try travel em' all.

rsg33

British Columbia

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Posted: 09/03/06 01:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is from one of the Norcold owner's manuals.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Effects of High Altitude on Propane Gas Operation
When you operate the refrigerator on propane gas at altitudes higher than 5500 feet above sea level:
- You may experience reduced cooling performance of the refrigerator.
- You may experience burner outages.
To avoid these possible problems, Norcold recommends that you operate the refrigerator on AC when at altitudes higher than 5500
feet above sea level.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Due to the difference in atmospheric pressure at higher elevations, LP appliances will operate a tad differently.
Older automobiles (before computerized systems) had the same problem. If they had been tuned up at sealevel, they could run rough at high elevations and sometimes vice versa.

Suprhawk

Glendora

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Posted: 09/03/06 04:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

.

* This post was last edited 09/03/06 04:16pm by Suprhawk *   View edit history

lttlfzrchck

California

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Posted: 09/03/06 04:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wolfe10 - The manual did provide a "Maintenance Checklist" which we went over thouroughly on our own. After we got home and took it into the dealer, they claimed they also went through the system, cleaned everything out, and made sure everything was up to specs, but said they did not find anything that wasn't the way it should be. Unfortunately no luck on it working any better. I have two 7 gal. propane tanks, both of which were full (we even tried running it on one, then the other). The pressure was fine according to the dealer, and while we were up at 7,500 feet the stove, and furnace worked great (just not the fridge).

Any more ideas or tips to try; or if anyone has had this same problem with Norcold fridges at higher altitudes, please let me know how you managed to resolve it. Thanks again everyone! [emoticon]

Bagger97

Sahuarita, AZ

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Posted: 09/05/06 07:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had the same problem this weekend up in the Rockies. It works at home (5200 ft) but stopped somewhere along the drive. I couldn't even smell gas when it was trying to light. Could it be a weak solonoid? Or maybe the orifice was not drilled cleanly? Our old (05) Itasca worked fine(same fridge). Time for service.


Alan & Patty
2017 T@B S MAX
2015 Chev Silverado
Our WhiteC@stle

WaltinColo

Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Posted: 09/05/06 02:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've havent had any problems with our Norcold, including this last weekend at around 9,200 ft...
Course its a new unit(2005) and we bought it(pup) in Colorado....maybe they do something to it to work better up here when its bought here? No idea...


--------------
'02 Dodge 2500 Quad Cab CTD.
'05 Jayco 1207
'07 22ft SunTracker Regency pontoon

Me, the wife, and the little guy....
...oh, and 2 loving, ready to go camping anytime, Black Lab's ">

DAYS CAMPED SINCE PUP PURCHASE: 372
BEERS DRANK: 9846 ">


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