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Old 08-03-2022, 07:25 AM   #1
JShort880
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Norcold Fan Recommendations

I hope everyone is doing well!

First summer for us new full-timers. Fridge is not getting enough cool-down in the back. I tested for all of the other "Norcold" issues and everything checks out. Last week I went and bought a really cheap fan and set it blowing on the back of the fridge.

We're currently in Charleston WV and I'm getting a range of fridge temps depending on time of day and heat. For instance, right now (11:17am) it's 84 degrees outside and the fridge diagnostic temp is showing 38 degrees. It's going to get above 90 today and pattern shows that at that time I'll be lucky to stay under 45 degrees.

Obviously I don't want to keep a fan stuffed inside of my access port with a extension cord running to it. Recommendations on fans or fix/tricks to provide enough air for the back of the fridge?

I've been testing a lot of things. The access panel seems to be another issue itself. I've taken it off and I'm going to put a screen up/maybe make a filter to sit on it as well. But I'd love to just get the right equipment to help the fridge do its job.

If I can't get it to where I can trust that I can safely have food inside of it. I'll be making a trip to JC refrigeration. But since I'm getting close to the temperature I'm hoping this $3,500 retail value fridge might be able to keep food cold .

This is also running it on 9. Norcold 2118 model.

Thanks for all the advice. Really happy I joined the forum.

Note: The fridge diagnostic screen is pretty useful. For anyone wondering, press and hold the temp setting and power supply setting butting until it pops. Option 3 is the temp for the bottom.
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Old 08-03-2022, 12:11 PM   #2
bobbecky
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There is good information on fans and placements for them as well as their protection device on www.arprv.com.
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Old 08-03-2022, 12:50 PM   #3
CampNBrew2
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Bummer. Is this an Absorption fridge? At only 85F ambient you should have no issue. It could be any number/combination of things:

-Have you checked to see that the condenser is not blocked at all by construction debris or fallen insulation?
-When the unit is that warm is the burner on- in other words calling for cooling?
-Is it on electric or gas?
-Is there a good strong blue flame in the boiler?
-It's not iced up?
-If the fridge is packed very full then air cannot flow across the evaporator coil and cool the entire fridge properly. I use a cheap double D battery fan inside the fridge under the coil to help with this (Don't get the Beech Lane one its too loud!)
-If none of these are the issue then you would look to the condenser overheating and needing a/or a stronger fan-12v muffin fan or blower. As bobecky mentioned ARPRV has some great info. I put one of their controllers on my new Norcold and its already helped me troubleshoot an issue.

Lots of things to check. Hope this helps. Please do report back your findings/solutions.
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Old 08-03-2022, 01:06 PM   #4
Canonman
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Looking at your floor plan, it looks like your fridge is in the passenger slide out. Also, it appears to be a residential type running on 110vac and not an absorption type. There is a big difference in how the two types operate but if you are using shore power, you should have no trouble keeping a residential fridge at 40 degrees. Is the freezer keeping things frozen? Have you checked the freezer temp. Most residential fridges move cold air from the freezer box to the refer box. Adding fans for air circulation in the fridge box or adding fans to assist with removing heat from the outside of the fridge via the exhaust vents will help absorption fridges but won't do much for residential types.
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:50 AM   #5
Ron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JShort880 View Post
I hope everyone is doing well!

First summer for us new full-timers. Fridge is not getting enough cool-down in the back. I tested for all of the other "Norcold" issues and everything checks out. Last week I went and bought a really cheap fan and set it blowing on the back of the fridge.

We're currently in Charleston WV and I'm getting a range of fridge temps depending on time of day and heat. For instance, right now (11:17am) it's 84 degrees outside and the fridge diagnostic temp is showing 38 degrees. It's going to get above 90 today and pattern shows that at that time I'll be lucky to stay under 45 degrees.

Obviously I don't want to keep a fan stuffed inside of my access port with a extension cord running to it. Recommendations on fans or fix/tricks to provide enough air for the back of the fridge?

I've been testing a lot of things. The access panel seems to be another issue itself. I've taken it off and I'm going to put a screen up/maybe make a filter to sit on it as well. But I'd love to just get the right equipment to help the fridge do its job.

If I can't get it to where I can trust that I can safely have food inside of it. I'll be making a trip to JC refrigeration. But since I'm getting close to the temperature I'm hoping this $3,500 retail value fridge might be able to keep food cold .

This is also running it on 9. Norcold 2118 model.

Thanks for all the advice. Really happy I joined the forum.

Note: The fridge diagnostic screen is pretty useful. For anyone wondering, press and hold the temp setting and power supply setting butting until it pops. Option 3 is the temp for the bottom.
We installed an new cooling unit on our Norcold 2118 from RV Cooling Unit Warehouse after our Norcold sprung a leak 1 month out of warranty, that was 4 years ago, did it ourselves, working fantastic even when we have been in 90 degree plus weather, highly recommend this company...
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Old 08-04-2022, 12:49 PM   #6
JShort880
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampNBrew2 View Post
Bummer. Is this an Absorption fridge? At only 85F ambient you should have no issue. It could be any number/combination of things:

-Have you checked to see that the condenser is not blocked at all by construction debris or fallen insulation?
-When the unit is that warm is the burner on- in other words calling for cooling?
-Is it on electric or gas?
-Is there a good strong blue flame in the boiler?
-It's not iced up?
-If the fridge is packed very full then air cannot flow across the evaporator coil and cool the entire fridge properly. I use a cheap double D battery fan inside the fridge under the coil to help with this (Don't get the Beech Lane one its too loud!)
-If none of these are the issue then you would look to the condenser overheating and needing a/or a stronger fan-12v muffin fan or blower. As bobecky mentioned ARPRV has some great info. I put one of their controllers on my new Norcold and its already helped me troubleshoot an issue.

Lots of things to check. Hope this helps. Please do report back your findings/solutions.
I'll go through these this weekend and confirm. I'm running it on gas as I've found it's the only setting that has a fighting chance.

I just cleared out the freezer last week as it was getting pretty icey.

We're keeping the bottom empty at the moment so it shouldn't be a circulation issue (yet), but once I can get it running consistently under 40 I'll make sure to add a fan just to give it some more help.

I think the important note here is that when it cools off, at 9 the fridge will drop to 32 (lowest I've seen it but potentially has went lower). This is why I'm assuming the back isn't getting cooled off enough for the fridge to operate as needed.

I don't believe I've ever been outside without noticing the burner on.

Thanks for all the information!
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Old 08-04-2022, 12:52 PM   #7
JShort880
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canonman View Post
Looking at your floor plan, it looks like your fridge is in the passenger slide out. Also, it appears to be a residential type running on 110vac and not an absorption type. There is a big difference in how the two types operate but if you are using shore power, you should have no trouble keeping a residential fridge at 40 degrees. Is the freezer keeping things frozen? Have you checked the freezer temp. Most residential fridges move cold air from the freezer box to the refer box. Adding fans for air circulation in the fridge box or adding fans to assist with removing heat from the outside of the fridge via the exhaust vents will help absorption fridges but won't do much for residential types.
It's an absorption type fridge (sadly). I'm going to get a check fan to through inside of the box to see if it helps. With temps getting plus 90 it's pretty close to being where we need it. I also am trying to help it out as much as possible to extend it's life by not making it work non-stop (we are full-timing for the next couple of years).

No issues with the fridge in the colder months.
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Old 08-04-2022, 04:44 PM   #8
Canonman
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Because your fridge is in a slide out, you might need to increase the airflow on the outside of the fridge. There is a video about installing a baffle to help the cool air flow from the bottom intake vent behind the fridge to the top exhaust vent. The guy is a bit long winded but he does make sense: .
You can also add some fans to increase this airflow. This idea looks very doable. The video is on a camper but the idea is the same for your rig: .
Finally, here is an idea for circulating air inside the fridge box:
https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Product...9660185&sr=8-2

Hope these help
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Old 08-05-2022, 06:43 AM   #9
JShort880
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canonman View Post
Because your fridge is in a slide out, you might need to increase the airflow on the outside of the fridge. There is a video about installing a baffle to help the cool air flow from the bottom intake vent behind the fridge to the top exhaust vent. The guy is a bit long winded but he does make sense: .
You can also add some fans to increase this airflow. This idea looks very doable. The video is on a camper but the idea is the same for your rig: .
Finally, here is an idea for circulating air inside the fridge box:
https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Product...9660185&sr=8-2

Hope these help
It very much does. Looking forward to making some moves this weekend. Thanks for the information
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Old 08-05-2022, 07:04 AM   #10
CampNBrew2
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Thanks for clarifying your installation/fridge type. If you remove the top and bottom vent hatches hopefully you can see top to bottom through the condensing coils. If it is not blocked then a fan install should be your answer- other problems notwithstanding.
Good luck!
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Old 08-05-2022, 04:40 PM   #11
NMRandy
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I have a 2118 Norcold double door fridge. It would not get under 40deg if the outside temp was over 80deg. I installed a 4" fan in my upper cover toward the front of the removable panel. I bought it on ebay, fan, mounting bracket, and outer grille for $24. I ran 12volts to it an let it run constant. I think it pulls .25 amps. The fridge works much better now. Make sure the temp sensor on the evap coil is on the 3rd or 4th fin from the right. I also noticed it does much better with stuff in the fridge. I put a couple gallons of water and some water bottles in it for testing purposes.
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Old 08-06-2022, 04:37 AM   #12
wrvond
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Every camper I ever had with an absorption refrigerator had an electrical outlet in the back that was accessible with the lower outside grill removed. I'd get a Noctua fan in the 200mm range and mount one or two of them to that grill and power them with that electrical outlet.

Noctua fans are very quiet and very efficient.

https://noctua.at/en/products/fan

Alternatively, I had a fan on one TT that was connected to a small solar panel on the roof so that it ran whenever the sun was out without having to bother with a switch.
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