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Old 09-09-2017, 07:54 AM   #1
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Norcold Fridge owners beware!

Just got back from a 25 night trip with the trailer. We had a great time, did all the things we wanted to, and spent quality family time together.

Just wanted to share with you a problem I encountered, which after some research seems like it's somewhat common and likely preventable.

We were loading groceries into the fridge when all of a sudden the door made a popping sound and went crooked, and nearly fell off. The lower hinge had broken.

The Norcold fridge door has a plastic frame in which the hinges are molded into. These plastic pieces sit on a metal dowel which is part of a bracket bolted to the fridge. The fridge door itself is quite light in weight, but the wood trim fascia is actually surprisingly heavy. That, combined with the weight of the food and drinks loaded in the door makes for a very heavy piece for a little plastic hinge to hold.

I went to the local Jayco dealer and they looked into it, finding that an entire new door would be required to fix it (the female part of the hinge is part of the door) and it would cost over $300 for a new one.

I bought some Gorilla Glue and glued the broken piece back in place, and removed the heavy wood trim from the door as well as all food items inside. In doing so, I was able to limp it through the rest of our trip without any problems. I'll finish the season like this and get a new door next year.

In summary, watch how much weight you put in the door of your fridge! The hinges are plastic and the bottom one takes an incredible amount of weight and is prone to breaking.

I'm certain the 6 and 8 cubic foot models use the same hinge design but the 8 cubic foot models are at a higher risk due to a larger/heavier outside wood trim piece and more shelves on the inside for greater capacity.

I will try to call Norcold and see what can be done about this because in no way was the door overstocked with food/drink. Seems like a design failure since it's somewhat common amongst owners.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:23 AM   #2
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Good to know. Sometimes we put milk and a couple of juice bottles in the door...probably not smart. We'll rethink how we load. Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:33 AM   #3
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This is a common and known problem that has been discussed in a thread here. There is a mod to purchase a metal attachment that strengthens the weak spot.
Someone will surely post the link. I added mine and have no worries. As I remember the kit comes with the part for a left and a right opening door. Someone gave me the left over part and it was a 5 minute job to install.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:40 AM   #4
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Norcold makes a hinge reinforcement kit; it is made of metal. I added the kit to our norcold door to hopefully avoid the hinge breaking. It is available at Amazon Hinge as well as at many other places.

It is stupid for Jayco to hang heavy wood panels on plastic hinges. It is wrong for Norcold to charge about $30 for a $3 piece. And it is wrong for Norcold not to add these reinforcements to all hinges proactively.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:10 AM   #5
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Yes, Norcold should look after their customers - it is their poor cheap design.
Send it for FREE Norcold. Corporation will take your money and run. Small business will give good service........oops!
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVhiker View Post
It is stupid for Jayco to hang heavy wood panels on plastic hinges. It is wrong for Norcold to charge about $30 for a $3 piece. And it is wrong for Norcold not to add these reinforcements to all hinges proactively.
Couldn't agree more with this statement. I did this mod last year and yes it was very easy and I don't worry about the door on my N-8 fridge falling off any more. I used the left hinge and sent the right one to a JOF member in need. Shame on Norcold for not putting metal hinges in there in the first place.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:31 AM   #7
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Well if anyone has a right sided hinge reinforcement bracket they don't need I would be ever so grateful...
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:54 PM   #8
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Remove

Is there a way to remove the heavy insert?
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:24 AM   #9
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So do you replace all of them?
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:32 AM   #10
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The heavy insert slides into the door from the vertical side that is not hinged. There is a black trim piece that can be pulled off (it's a track clip style) and then the wood fascia slides out.
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