Norcold Cooling Problem Solved (2 issues) - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 02-18-2020, 12:55 AM   #1
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Norcold Cooling Problem Solved (2 issues)

So on my last trip to the desert to boondock and ride with my Voltage I once again had terrible luck with fridge. This was so bad I knew I could no longer solve it. In the last I would always plug in my trailer the night before I left and then load cold food into the fridge in the morning before leaving. My dual thermometer would show low single digits in the freezer and just barely above freezing in the fridge.

After returning from riding during the day the freezer was 45 or so and fridge was close to 60. We moved milk any any perishable stuff into the freezer and used an ice chest we had for drinks.

I figured that with overnight temps in the high 40ís we would be fine in the morning but we saw no improvement. I tried electric with the generator running and propane and no help.

As I was debating bringing my trailer into a dealer for what I figured would be a long and costly repair I found a mobile tech on the Norcold website. The tech came out and said there is one big issue he regularly sees in slide out fridges. The cabinet the fridge goes in has way too much open space above the fridge. He says the specs call for like a 1/8 inch clearance and mine had close to a foot. Evidently, hot air gets trapped above the fridge and heats up everything. The fans in the back are helpless to move all that hot air out the top vent. The tech installed a fire proof foam to fill up this gap.

Secondly, I would often hear a buzzing noise coming from the fan. It was not making any noise when the tech got their of course and I told him about it. He more or less dismissed it but then it started. Long story, short he fished out a piece of insulating foil tape that was sucked into one of the fans from the bottom. I was not able to see anything from the top. The tape was long and likely wound up in the fan and not letting it work.

Just boondocked for 4 nights this weekend and other than an initial heat up when we overloaded the fridge with more groceries in the afternoon it was able to cool down and stay cold the entire time. I actually had to lower the temp setting to 6 for the first time because my fridge was below freezing.

Long postóI know but wanted to share with all of you Voltage TH guys and any of you with slide outs about another quality control issue with Dutchmen. I feel bad for blaming Norcold all this time for lousy cooling when both issues were squarely installation related by Dutchmen.

If any of you experience issues like this check the clearance for sure and also listen for strange noises!

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Old 02-25-2020, 03:53 PM   #2
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North Carolina
Great find. Thanks.

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Old 02-26-2020, 02:50 PM   #3
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I agree! Read the installation manual and don't buy Dutchmen, Keystone, or Voltage.
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by persistent View Post
I agree! Read the installation manual and don't buy Dutchmen, Keystone, or Voltage.

Well I think itís a little too late on what not to buy because we are all here and own them but at least we can try to figure out where to look and how to fix things that were either designed poorly or just donít work.

I really thought Norcold built a bad fridge but in hindsight my problems were entirely based on how the until was installed by Dutchmen.
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