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Old 06-30-2020, 04:07 PM   #1
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Norcold fridge and higher elevation

HAve a 2020 Jayco Redwhawk 22A. Norcold N611 fridge. Will work and cool forever in the low altitudes in Phoenix, AZ . Works perfect with AC and propane down in the phoenix are. We boondock a lot and use propane on fridge at higher elevations. 6000FT to 9000 feet in the Greer, AZ area. It will work great up there for 3 to 5 hours on propane and then shuts off and can not get to ignite the propane again. You can hear it trying. click click click but no propane to fire up. ALso noticed when this happens the right side of the fins in the top of fridge start to freeze over. Next morning we can fire it up right away and run for another 3 to 5 hours. Just took this to the dealer and they said there is nothing they can do about it. Called Norcold twice and over and hour on hold i finally hung up. Is there any solutions to this? I had 2 rv's with the same fridge and never had these issues. Tried to explain that this is Phoenix and we dont camp in the summer in the desert. 110 degree heat! We head north to the mountains . Usually above 5000 feet. Talked to a lot of people and they had no problems with the elevation. If it gets to the point that there is no fix can we replace with a different brand? WIll another fridge just slide right in the same space? Desperate in AZ
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:27 PM   #2
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What temperature setting do you have it on? If it’s on high at those temps I guessing the compressor is running nonstop and freezing. Try turning it down a bit. I’m at 7000’ and camp above 9K and don’t have an issue.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:50 PM   #3
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Norcold or nevercolds don't have a compressor.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:50 PM   #4
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I have more trouble in Phoenix with temps of 100 or more. It won’t get below 50. I am in Alpine (AZ) at 8100 ft and temps in the fridge are 15 and 33. I have the setting at 6. So bottom line it should work fine. I would suggest a second opinion from another RV repair facility. You may have to pay for it on your own but that beats buying a new unit.

If you are hearing it spark and can see it sparking during an inspection then I would begging looking at gas delivery to the unit.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:55 PM   #5
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I suggest reviewing this website. https://www.arprv.com/index.php
I recently added this system to our Norcold 1210. I'm not endorsing the product, but there is a wealth of information about RV refrigerators here. We will be making our first trip to the high mountain west next week. I'll know more after it's put through the paces.
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Norcold or nevercolds don't have a compressor.
Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:02 PM   #7
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I have it set to 3 ... freezer was pretty close to 0 degrees and fridge was at 36. Works great in Phoenix... works good at 9000 feet for about 3 to 5 hours. Same at 7000 feet. I am going to call Jayco in the morning. Just picked it up today from the Jayco dealer in Mesa and they wanted to charge me $149 for a diagnostic fee. Said nothing wrong with the fridge. I refused to pay since it's a 2020 model and there is a problem with the fridge. So frustrating.
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:31 PM   #8
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One of the problems with RV refrigerators is that they don’t have any fans. The fins tend to frost over which causes cooling issues. There many battery powered fans available.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:29 AM   #9
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I'm in PHX and head to Flagstaff a lot at 7000'

Never any issues with mine. Occasionally it will shut off, never sure why, but not often enough to worry

I did get a fan for my next trip since it does have issues at times especially when I'm prepping and loading in the 100+ heat

Hope u get yours resolved
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:42 PM   #10
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HAve a 2020 Jayco Redwhawk 22A. Norcold N611 fridge. Will work and cool forever in the low altitudes in Phoenix, AZ . Works perfect with AC and propane down in the phoenix are. We boondock a lot and use propane on fridge at higher elevations. 6000FT to 9000 feet in the Greer, AZ area. It will work great up there for 3 to 5 hours on propane and then shuts off and can not get to ignite the propane again. You can hear it trying. click click click but no propane to fire up. ALso noticed when this happens the right side of the fins in the top of fridge start to freeze over. Next morning we can fire it up right away and run for another 3 to 5 hours. Just took this to the dealer and they said there is nothing they can do about it. Called Norcold twice and over and hour on hold i finally hung up. Is there any solutions to this? I had 2 rv's with the same fridge and never had these issues. Tried to explain that this is Phoenix and we dont camp in the summer in the desert. 110 degree heat! We head north to the mountains . Usually above 5000 feet. Talked to a lot of people and they had no problems with the elevation. If it gets to the point that there is no fix can we replace with a different brand? WIll another fridge just slide right in the same space? Desperate in AZ

Is the frige showing you a fault or beeping when it goes out or does not relight? It could be the main board that is defective. I just had one replaced under warranty that would do exactly that intermittently. I live at right around 4000 ft, but it would do it, as I said intermittently.
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:15 PM   #11
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I am with Colorado. No issues with mine all the way from 150ft to 9650ft.
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Old 07-03-2020, 10:48 AM   #12
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Since it stopped lighting the burner, I would consider that the fault of the manufacturer. Call Norcold Factory service and since it has it's own warranty (ignore the Jayco warranty that needs your RV service techs) and have a real Norcold tech take a look at it.

Our Norcold works great all the way to 9,850 on propane and AC.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:39 AM   #13
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We took it to a Norcold Authorized Service center. They have it now. Hopefully they find the problem.. will update with the results. Supposed to have it fixed by Wednesday of this week.
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Old 07-05-2020, 08:36 AM   #14
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We took it to a Norcold Authorized Service center. They have it now. Hopefully they find the problem.. will update with the results. Supposed to have it fixed by Wednesday of this week.

I’d bet they put in a new control board for you. Just sayin’.
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:32 AM   #15
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Since Tad posted this in two places, I'll also short answer here: Propane doesn't burn well, if at all above 5500 ft. As you go above sea level, propane loses btu's from the burn until at certain elevations, it won't ignite. This is not a board issue, or a manufacturing defect, it is because there's not enough oxygen in the atmosphere to support ignition.

https://rvlife.com/altitudes-effects-on-rv/
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:53 AM   #16
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I’d bet they put in a new control board for you. Just sayin’.
Maybe not...

When you operate the refrigerator on propane gas at altitudes higher than 5,500 feet above sea level:

You may experience reduced cooling performance of the refrigerator.
You may experience burner outages.
To avoid these possible problems, Norcold recommends that you operate the refrigerator on AC when at altitudes higher than 5500 feet above sea level.
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:43 PM   #17
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I'll also short answer here: Propane doesn't burn well, if at all above 5500 ft.
Are you serious? If at all above 5500 ft. ?


Please show me(post for all to read the source of this information) where you got this information from. We live a major portion of our lives above 5,500 ft and use Propane for our furnace, stove, fridge and other equipment we use.

Our Norcold 12cuFT fridge works perfectly up to 9,900ft. Our Furnace runs all night long at 9,900ft. Our Girard Water Heater works great at 9,900 ft.

Honestly... we have not camped in our Seneca more than 12 days above
9,900FT but know our stuff works fine. My prior motorhome has been higher elevations... Furnace, Water heater and fridge worked for days.
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:55 PM   #18
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challenge accepted.

https://rvlife.com/altitudes-effects-on-rv/

Some don't have a problem...some do. My years of wilderness backpacking when I could do it, not one person used propane, benzene, naptha or any other goof juice...always an MSR stove + Coleman. Anything else and you might not eat.

FYI....3k feet is considered high altitude
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:11 PM   #19
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challenge accepted.

https://rvlife.com/altitudes-effects-on-rv/

Some don't have a problem...some do. My years of wilderness backpacking when I could do it, not one person used propane, benzene, naptha or any other goof juice...always an MSR stove + Coleman. Anything else and you might not eat.

FYI....3k feet is considered high altitude
Cmon... give me some real expertise besides an Rvlife blogger who posts a couple of articles a bunch of years ago is not real world, and not an authority, especially whe they start the article off about seniors who should not be visiting high altitudes. How about a technical article that is authored and approved by an authority on the subject of PROPANE. Real facts please.

I have a bunch of people I know in Denver that are running propane at higher altitudes, inside the city limits.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:13 PM   #20
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My consulting rate is $150 per hour. Or you can Google all you want on your own time. Or this is free....read the Norcold manual.
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