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Norcold fridge making weird noises, not be working

Fisherguy
Explorer
Explorer
Our fridge has been working fine on this trip but today after coming down a rough road we noticed a strong ammonia smell in the trailer (while we were cleaning up the broken dishes and emptying the tanks). We got setup tonight and when I started the fridge on propane I could hear it making some weird noises like I've never heard before. Now after 5 hours the temps are 11* C in the fridge and 2 in the freezer. Normally it would be a lot colder than that by now.

I fired up the genny and am trying it on ac right now but I'm guessing the ammonia smell means I'm outa luck? (My wife just reminded me about the smell)
06 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins 6 spd std with a few goodies.

2007 Komfort 274TS, 480 watts solar, Trimetric 2025RV, PD9280, Honda EU2000i, Xantrex SW600

2019 Timber Ridge 24RLS, 600 watts solar, 3-100Ah Lithiums, 12volt Norcold Fridge
9 REPLIES 9

Fisherguy
Explorer
Explorer
Found the leak, the 1 screw that holds the condenser in place came out so it was basically flopping all over the place on the bumpy road and the tube broke where the lines go into the freezer. Actually that joint must been under a little stress, it looks like the condenser woulda needed a ¼" spacer under it for it to line up with the pip that broke.




New cooling unit, baffle, rear fans and evaporator fans on order.
06 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins 6 spd std with a few goodies.

2007 Komfort 274TS, 480 watts solar, Trimetric 2025RV, PD9280, Honda EU2000i, Xantrex SW600

2019 Timber Ridge 24RLS, 600 watts solar, 3-100Ah Lithiums, 12volt Norcold Fridge

Fisherguy
Explorer
Explorer
Found this Amish cooling unit, anyone dealt with this place?

rvcoolingunit.com 811 cooling unit

He sells a fan kit for $35 (2 computer fans and a temp switch), $20 for the fan mounting kit and also a baffle for $15, good idea while I'm at it?
06 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins 6 spd std with a few goodies.

2007 Komfort 274TS, 480 watts solar, Trimetric 2025RV, PD9280, Honda EU2000i, Xantrex SW600

2019 Timber Ridge 24RLS, 600 watts solar, 3-100Ah Lithiums, 12volt Norcold Fridge

ScottG
Nomad
Nomad
Cooling units can crack as the cool down. Local rebuilder told me it's best to leave them on rather than turn it on and off everytime you go camping.
At any rate you'll need a new unit.

APRSRVer
Explorer
Explorer
Yes, they can be soldered and recharged. But, it has been my experience that if it leaked out once it probably will again from somewhere else. If your handy, I've had luck replacing the cooling unit with a rebuilt one. There are a couple of places on-line that you can get them. Return shipping is part of the exchange deal. In either case, it has to come out.

path1
Explorer
Explorer
IN the mean time I would turn frig off at the normal place and then pull fuse if you can. And in back where frig outside cover is near the coils(not the roof vent)I would unplug the elec and turn shut off the gas valve to unit and use it as big ice chest and continue your travels. Just me, maybe others would do something completely different.
2003 Majestic 23P... Northwest travel machine
2013 Arctic Fox 25W... Wife "doll house" for longer snowbird trips
2001 "The Mighty Dodge"... tow vehicle for "doll house"

Fisherguy
Explorer
Explorer
Not sure how to do that test, guess our trip will be ending a few days earlier than expected.
Will look into this more when we get home.
Thanks
06 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins 6 spd std with a few goodies.

2007 Komfort 274TS, 480 watts solar, Trimetric 2025RV, PD9280, Honda EU2000i, Xantrex SW600

2019 Timber Ridge 24RLS, 600 watts solar, 3-100Ah Lithiums, 12volt Norcold Fridge

path1
Explorer
Explorer
It wasn't even running when it sprang the leak, could something have gotten pinched or something I wonder? Won't know till I take it out I guess...

If I find the leak was because a line sprung a leak on the rough road, was pinched or something could that be repaired and the unit "recharged"?



Get some litmus paper or sulphur sticks and test the coils? Better to check out and find out for sure before replacing. Those things are big bucks. You might not have to take out depending on what you find. Do you see any yellowish caked up mess on coils?
2003 Majestic 23P... Northwest travel machine
2013 Arctic Fox 25W... Wife "doll house" for longer snowbird trips
2001 "The Mighty Dodge"... tow vehicle for "doll house"

Fisherguy
Explorer
Explorer
Damn.
It wasn't even running when it sprang the leak, could something have gotten pinched or something I wonder? Won't know till I take it out I guess...

If I find the leak was because a line sprung a leak on the rough road, was pinched or something could that be repaired and the unit "recharged"?
06 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins 6 spd std with a few goodies.

2007 Komfort 274TS, 480 watts solar, Trimetric 2025RV, PD9280, Honda EU2000i, Xantrex SW600

2019 Timber Ridge 24RLS, 600 watts solar, 3-100Ah Lithiums, 12volt Norcold Fridge

Old-Biscuit
Explorer II
Explorer II
Ammonia is part of the cooling medium INSIDE the tubes/coils.........

Ammonia smell means it has leaked out....cracked tube/tank

Cooling unit is toast.

Time to replace cooling unit, replace fridge or go residential.

You get to choose which option.

Option #1...replace cooling unit.....check with these folks LINK
Is it time for your medication or mine?


2007 DODGE 3500 QC SRW 5.9L CTD In-Bed 'quiet gen'
2007 HitchHiker II 32.5 UKTG 2000W Xantex Inverter
US NAVY------USS Decatur DDG31