Proper fix for fridge in 184BH
Sorry for the late posting; I just registered, and came across this looking for something else.
The root cause of poor fridge performance and a hot countertop in the 184BH is that Jayco did not follow Norcold's installation instructions. In my 2013, I noted the following:
- too much clearance on each side, on top, and at back (the cabinet is oversize)
- poor fitting baffle on top of fridge, with gaps on each side
With all this free space around the fridge, the unit is actually being blanketed by hot air on each side and on top (which is the cause of the hot counter AND a hot fridge). Also, the large space at the back reduces the "chimney effect" required to properly exhaust hot air from the heat rejection coils.
Solution: Get rid of the gaps. I did this by lining the cabinet with Styrofoam SM rigid insulation, then covering this with 1/8" birch plywood. Some carefully placed 3/4"x3/4" nailing strips around the edges helped with fastening the plywood. All joints were caulked with fire-stop caulking (this is important; Styrofoam is toxic if it burns). The finishing touch was a new, tight-fitting baffle at the top.
The needed reference dimensions are in the Installation Instructions supplied with the N302 fridge (or download from the Norcold website). The tighter the fit on the sides and top, the better.
You do need to remove the fridge to do this. Remember to shut off the propane, and disconnect the hose. It will take a while to purge the air out of the line after re-installation.
I have attached before and after pictures of the cabinet interior.
My countertop is no longer hot, and the fridge performance is better.