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Old 08-27-2018, 11:57 AM   #1
drjjj
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Refrigerator Lifespan

We have a 2007 3400RL that we bought new in the summer of 2006. We lived in it FT while waiting for our current stick house to be built (about 18 months). Only used the rig once a year until I fully retired at the end of 2016. Since then have been in it about three months total, so the fridge has actually had less than two years of use. It is a Dometic NDR 1062, and the space it is in will not allow replacement with a residential. Our last trip was to the Texas Gulf Coast. We were there thirty three days, and while there the freezer worked fine but the fridge struggled to get below 50. When we returned home (slides in of course) the fridge was 40-42. I want to do something, and am debating whether to invest in the ARV system with extra fans or to replace the fridge. Does anyone know if the technology/efficiency of the RV fridges has changed and/or improved in the last several years? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:12 PM   #2
Eagleback
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We full time for 5 years and have a 2014 with norcold 1210 and i had the exact problem your describing and i found out from my rv tech guy that my fridge was caught in a defrost cycle and i needed to depower the fridge including pulling the plug on the 120 and 12 volt system and letting it sit for 24 hours, now it works like a charm. this is only one way to troubleshoot the fridge as there can be many things that cause problems including venting, bad cooling unit etc. good luck in your venture as i would replace mine in a second with a resedentual unit.
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:09 PM   #3
richfaa
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We long time and the fridge is seldom off.The cooling units failed on both out 06 and 13 Montana within two years of near constant use. We replaced the cooling units with quality units with the Amish built ones in Indiana and they never failed again.
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:20 PM   #4
Eagleback
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Originally Posted by richfaa View Post
We long time and the fridge is seldom off.The cooling units failed on both out 06 and 13 Montana within two years of near constant use. We replaced the cooling units with quality units with the Amish built ones in Indiana and they never failed again.



forgot, the same thing here. but we ended up with a articold unit. OEM failed after a year or so.
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:41 PM   #5
beeje
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I think a lot of the fridge failures are from improper installs. I have had to redo the baffles on all 3 fridges I have had.
Also I believe most people treat their rv fridge like there home fridge. What I mean is they open up the doors and stare into it while deciding what to get out. The longer you leave the doors open the more cold air escapes. Rv fridges take MUCH longer to recover than a residential fridge.
You should also not put anything that is not previously chilled in the fridge or previously frozen in the freezer. I find it like beating a dead horse trying to get my DW to abide by these rules. LOL
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:48 PM   #6
rohrmann
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When the cooling unit failed the first time on our 1210, it was replaced with a new Norcold unit. Maybe five months later, it failed again, this time due to a leak. Norcold honored their warranty to replace the part, but not labor. We finally got the new unit installed, and prior to it's install, I had ordered one of those ARP devices, and installed the boiler temperature sensor prior to the techs installing the new unit. I then completed the wiring install after the unit was installed. The freezer regularly keeps ice cream frozen hard and the fridge keeps sodas and beer very cold. As long as these units are kept level when they are running, they should last a long time. The ARP devices sense a boiler temperature that exceeds a safe level and shuts the fridge off, then after an hour or so, checks the temp and restarts the fridge cooling unit. Excess temperatures in the cooling unit causes crystal development in the cooling fluid and can also cause cracking of the tubing of the unit, which is the big cause of failures. A leak failure can also be the source of a fridge fire, due to the flammable ammonia gas that will leak out. Needless to say, I have been very happy with the ARP device. I also do not have any affiliation with the ARP people except being a customer. https://www.arprv.com/
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:00 PM   #7
Eagleback
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Originally Posted by rohrmann View Post
When the cooling unit failed the first time on our 1210, it was replaced with a new Norcold unit. Maybe five months later, it failed again, this time due to a leak. Norcold honored their warranty to replace the part, but not labor. We finally got the new unit installed, and prior to it's install, I had ordered one of those ARP devices, and installed the boiler temperature sensor prior to the techs installing the new unit. I then completed the wiring install after the unit was installed. The freezer regularly keeps ice cream frozen hard and the fridge keeps sodas and beer very cold. As long as these units are kept level when they are running, they should last a long time. The ARP devices sense a boiler temperature that exceeds a safe level and shuts the fridge off, then after an hour or so, checks the temp and restarts the fridge cooling unit. Excess temperatures in the cooling unit causes crystal development in the cooling fluid and can also cause cracking of the tubing of the unit, which is the big cause of failures. A leak failure can also be the source of a fridge fire, due to the flammable ammonia gas that will leak out. Needless to say, I have been very happy with the ARP device. I also do not have any affiliation with the ARP people except being a customer. https://www.arprv.com/



When you bought your Arp system did you go with the complete package fans and all?
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:22 PM   #8
beeje
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I have the ARP with a fan at the bottom and top vents
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Old 08-27-2018, 06:23 PM   #9
rohrmann
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When you bought your Arp system did you go with the complete package fans and all?

Originally I only had one fan at the bottom. I have since added the second one at the top. These are in addition to the two factory fans behind the fridge. The bottom fan is attached to the lower grill with cable ties with the discharge of the fan aimed up. With the second fan, I had to snake a couple wires from the top down to where the first ARP fan was connected, and the upper fan is connected to the upper grill, also with cable ties, except the discharge is aimed down so air is discharged out one of the spaces in the grill. Some time back, I discovered the two factory fans were not working, and it turned out the snap switch attached to the fins at the top on the outside had failed, so I replaced that snap switch. When we were at Quartzsite in January, Paul and Mao Unmack put on their presentation, and I discovered the ARP device was not performing as designed. It turned out, the fridge we have was a 2012 year model, but the cooling unit was newer, and I needed to upgrade to the newer ARP device. I purchased the new device, wired it up, and Paul was back out the next day and entered all the settings for me. They provide excellent tech support for their product and he is very knowledgeable about these RV fridges. I would recommend getting two fans to go with the device if you're going to do it.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:49 PM   #10
Razahoryin
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I can not attest to lifespan
I have a 2007 model 3000RK mfg date was dec 2006.
Recently my refer/freezer performance was getting worse in the hotter then normal CALIF desert..
Very warm refer and would barely freeze etc..
Removed the roof vent cover and found that some insulation had worked itself loose and was restricting the air flow..

I could not tell this from looking thu the lower access panels up toward the roof vent.

the insulation was packing used against the roof void and refer box sides... I resolved the air flow issue and at that time I also installed a vent fan up near the roof line. Reinstalled the roof top vent cover and canít be happier.. currently in a 6 week trip with no issues.

Refer stays about 34 and freezer 2 to 4 degrees
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:55 PM   #11
Texan
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I have the ARP also with 2 fans that was installed by Paul And Mao in Quartzsite last January per Bob and others recommendation. I was having trouble with my fridge staying at 34 to 36 degrees during the day. I haven't traveled since i got home from Quartsite last January but i am fixing to make 2 long trips in the next 3 months so i will be able to tell a whole lot more about it then. Paul and Mao did seem very knowledgeable about these rv fridges.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:00 AM   #12
Overlord
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Mine has been running pretty much 24/7 since 2009. Being very close to level when running is critical, it also should be level when you shut it down. After it has been shut down for awhile, it is ok for the rig not to be level in storage, but the rig should be close to level when you fire the fridge back up.

I had big problems with food spoiling in the fridge for awhile until one day I found that the bottom corner of the door was not closing all the way, letting the cold drain out of it. I just happened to use my foot to push the bottom corner, and it moved in about 1/4 inch. That was a big surprise!!! Something in the alignment of the door to the fridge was not quite right. Now it is just second nature to me to push on that bottom corner with my foot every time I close the door, even though I don't need to anymore.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:00 AM   #13
1retired06
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First trailer bought in 84. Never an issue. Dometic and norcolds. Did have a recall on the 10 for potential heat issue, but never a failure regardless of weather. Frig in our 2015 has failed twice, both within a 12 month period, both when the rig was new.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:50 PM   #14
jcurryii
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Replace ours with a residential, after fire, with a Samsung like Keystone is putting in new units.
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