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Old 07-14-2019, 04:05 PM   #1
Rustyboat
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Norcold refrig 2118

The refrig is not keeping temperature. The freezer is a little better but not much. I replaced the thermistor. This unit is in a montana fifth wheel 3820 FK. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:36 PM   #2
DQDick
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How old is the unit? Are you sure the thermister is placed correctly? Have you checked the vents to see if something is blocking the air flow such as a bug nest etc.?
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:11 PM   #3
Rustyboat
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Unit is 2016 thermistor is clipped on second fin in on right side will check vents in the morning thanks
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:17 PM   #4
jimcol
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Make sure it is towards the top on the second fin.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:21 PM   #5
Rustyboat
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Yes it is
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:06 PM   #6
dfryk
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How hot is the outside temperature?

We recently had the same issue with the same model fridge...ambient temps in the 90s. Cooled off a bit at night but still barely keeping the ice cream frozen.

We moved to a cooler area and things got cold again.

Someone suggested putting a small fan in the space between the outside vent and the fridge to help keep it cool. We didn't try it as we were moving the next day, however it sounded very logical.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:14 AM   #7
Rustyboat
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Outside temps 90+- placed a fan in back no blockages from insects noted 58 deg.in frig
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:42 PM   #8
jjfleck
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By any chance did you turn on the front max air ceiling fan? The 3820 fk has wiring issue where the fan and frig are wired into the same circuit. When turning on the fan it will shut down the frig.
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:06 AM   #9
Winstonpup18
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Following - having the same issue with our 2018 3790RD.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:08 AM   #10
Maurice45
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Had a similar issue on our unit and it turned out that the upper fans weren't cycling on. The activation switch was replaced and everything works great now, Fridge holds at 38 - 40 at setting 6.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:47 AM   #11
Creeker
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First make sure the refrig is very near level.

Are your refrig fans kicking on?

If level, Take the lower refrig vent cover off outside.
Place whatever fan you have as close as you can get to the open vent.
Small step ladder, 5 gallon buckets, stack of boards, firewood ect....
Use what you have to get the fan within a foot or so to the open vent.

Situate the fan where it is blowing up the back of the refrig as good as you can. Not straight in toward the Refrig, it must be angled up. Air has to absolutely, positively flow through the fins on the top (outside) of your refrig. This is a temporary fix but will work if ventilation is your problem.

One of the biggest problems with these refrigerators installed in a slide is improper ventilation. Many are simply not installed correctly with the proper clearances and baffles used to route the air through those upper outside fins and to keep hot air from being trapped on the sides and top of the refrig. Its hard to make air rise straight up through those fins and then turn to go out the upper vent on the side of your slide out.

RV Refrigerators not installed in slides almost always perform much, much better. This is due to the roof vent straight above the back of the refrig allowing a chimney effect of pulling in air through the bottom vent straight up through the fins and straight on out the roof vent. It works so well that fans are rarely even needed.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:25 AM   #12
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Check for coolant leak, it will appear yellow, pull off outside access panel, check the cooling unit throughly, ours failed before the unit was a year old. It was a weld failure, a crack so small you could only see it with a magnifying glass. Basically a slow leak over a period of time.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:46 AM   #13
Creeker
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This little fan saved our butts on a two week trip in 90+ degree heat.
Before I placed it, we were struggling to keep the refrig below 55 during
the hottest part of the day. After only a few hours our refrig temps dropped down into the 40's and I eventually had to turn the refrig down because it was starting to freeze our food. On setting 4 (out of 5) it stayed between 34 to 36 the rest of the trip. (Dometic 1350SL)

This trip was the first "hot" trip and the first time our Dometic 1350 gave us any problems in the new Montana. Having dealt with the exact same issue in previous campers and for family and friends, I knew exactly where to start.

A more permanent fix was shortly on the way.
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File Type: jpg Refrig Fan.jpg (116.6 KB, 21 views)
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:21 AM   #14
Rustyboat
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I replaced the bottom fan and installed 2 computer fans. They have a little less ampidge and it seems to be working. How do u check if the two upper fans are working as I cannot access them. Thanks in advance for all your help.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:21 PM   #15
Hamlej
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We are on our 2nd refrigerator and third circuit board in our 3820FK in less than a year. We have found that an ambient temp of 95 or more really degrades the capability of the unit. Next unit will be a residential refrigerator.
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:58 PM   #16
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If the lower fan is working the two upper fans should also be working, they work off of the the same temperature switch. I ordered a lower rated temperature switch and put on ours, now when the fridge starts up the fans come on earlier and that help with the fridge temperature.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:05 AM   #17
carlmich1
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Look in the back of fridge outside the trailer. If you see yellow film your coolant is shot. Happen to me 2000 to fix it
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:19 PM   #18
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MONTANA fridge fix !!

I want everyone to know about my fabulous fridge story. I bought a 2009 3400RL and I LUV IT sooo much. 38' long, 4 slide outs, huge fireplace, KING bed. SOLID wood everywhere u look. OK now the fix up items........The fridge sucked....guess what? I threw out (recycle center). MAGIC CHEF makes a PERFECT 10.1 cubic foot fridge that is HUGE inside. Twice as big as the stock crap. I will not be boondocking in my unit. I'm really a city guy who wants to live cheap. This fridge fits in the space better than the stock one. The back of it is a flat surface and bottom area that is all open match's up with our outside vent......BOOM ! It's sooo quiet and awesome.................super cold GREAT product.....I got wacked 400 bucks at HOME DEPOT but I saw it on sale later $340. peace....ciaociao, Mark
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