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Old 08-17-2019, 08:08 PM   #1
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Norcold Refrigerator in Jayco Fifth Wheel

For two years I’ve had ongoing issues with my Brand new Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheel RV and the Norcold Refrigerator.

Well, after having multiple techs and even a rep from Jayco and Norcold essentially shrug their shoulders, I think I solved my own problem.

A huge engineering flaw. If you’re having problems with your Norcold not operating properly - check the vents. I found the top vent, in the side of the slideout - was completely closed with a piece of plywood.

After removing the plywood, I found the fan and coils that had been buried and hidden. If the hot air has nowhere to go, simple logic tells you that everything will overheat.

The plywood was removed, and within minutes the freezer temperature dropped from 55 to 33 and is continuing to drop, now the Refrigerator is cooling properly. Also, before this plywood was removed I always noticed the interior cabinets that are around the refrigerator where not only very warm, but at times HOT. This is a huge design flaw by both Jayco and Norcold.

Good luck!
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:25 PM   #2
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Per Norcold installation manual there should be a baffle covering about 2/3rds of the upper vent to properly direct air over the coils and condenser fins. On my Seneca, there were and still are some errors in the installation. I have corrected many of them and have better cooling. Jayco really doesn’t know what they are doing in regards to proper installation of the fridge units.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:28 PM   #3
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A friend is having problems with theirs fridge in the kitchen slide - one day it cools, the next it doesn’t. I’ve pulled the upper vent and noticed it was 1/2 covered by plywood. There are fans and they seem to work so I thought maybe it designed that way to ensure air flow exits as high as possible. Now I’m thinking, Shouldn't the upper vent area be greater than the lower to draw air up n out?
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:31 PM   #4
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This is the most effective thing for better cooling. Add fans in the top vent to extract the hot air out of the upper cabinet area. Air flow is needed for these fridges to work, but it needs to go across the coils and most important the condenser fins across the top.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:35 PM   #5
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Correct. There was a small opening. Just enough to get a finger behind. I also checked out their schematic multiple times. At some point, common sense has to prevail.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:57 PM   #6
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This is the most effective thing for better cooling. Add fans in the top vent to extract the hot air out of the upper cabinet area. Air flow is needed for these fridges to work, but it needs to go across the coils and most important the condenser fins across the top.
Thanks for posting this. The fans in my friends are blowing vertical and attached to the fins. Worth the time to rotate then and relocate them to exhaust air directly thru the vent.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:00 PM   #7
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You’re spot on. I’m actually going to sit down tomorrow and frame something thing out and slide it in there.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:44 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting this. The fans in my friends are blowing vertical and attached to the fins. Worth the time to rotate then and relocate them to exhaust air directly thru the vent.
I left the 2 factory fans and sensor in place. I added the 4 fans on a separate sensor that turns the fans on at 130 degrees. The vertical fans work to blow over the coils but the fans at the top help push the air out of the top cavity, in my case, Jayco installed the fridge to far to the right in relation to the vents. This was causing a heat buildup on the right side and above the fridge and the left side of the fridge body. The fans at the top help remove this excess heat buildup.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:53 AM   #9
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I left the 2 factory fans and sensor in place. I added the 4 fans on a separate sensor that turns the fans on at 130 degrees. The vertical fans work to blow over the coils but the fans at the top help push the air out of the top cavity, in my case, Jayco installed the fridge to far to the right in relation to the vents. This was causing a heat buildup on the right side and above the fridge and the left side of the fridge body. The fans at the top help remove this excess heat buildup.
Great info, thanks. Looked at it again yesterday - the fridge and vents appear to be centered with the right side pretty open (looking from the outside). Looked at the upper vent and noticed the deflector is about 2” below the fins and flush to the outside wall. After verifying the factory fans function, I poked a small hole at the top of the deflector and used a short piece of copper wire to pull it closer to the fins, closing the gap and inducing a slight angle in the deflector. Turned the fridge on and within 4 hours, the freezer was knocking on 10degrees. Hoping we can get those temp readings 2 days in a row
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:58 PM   #10
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So we had our service guy out again today to check the fridge as we are still having problems with it getting warm. This has been going on for two years. We have called Jayco and Norcold, no one has an answer. I printed off this thread for him to read and he called Norcold today to ask them about the plywood that could be blocking and Norcold would not talk about it. I wounder why they do not want to talk about the problem? Has Norcold been in contact with Jayco and the two of them know there is a serious problem and they have have been told not to talk about it? We have a 2018 330 RSTS.
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:26 PM   #11
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So we had our service guy out again today to check the fridge as we are still having problems with it getting warm. This has been going on for two years. We have called Jayco and Norcold, no one has an answer. I printed off this thread for him to read and he called Norcold today to ask them about the plywood that could be blocking and Norcold would not talk about it. I wounder why they do not want to talk about the problem? Has Norcold been in contact with Jayco and the two of them know there is a serious problem and they have have been told not to talk about it? We have a 2018 330 RSTS.
Have your attorney write a letter on your behalf asking the same question
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:55 PM   #12
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I’m quite sure that you’re correct with that assessment. Neither company has returned any calls, specifically - we have that piece of wood that was charred by the fam motor overheating. I’m going to install a series of fans in that top vent, as someone else described, and I also purchased a small double fan, that will be installed on the fins inside the refrigerator to move air around. If you think about this - this refrigerator essentially operates off of the theory of gravity. “Hot air will escape by rising, cold air will just drop on the interior.” If you look inside the frig, they actually have a sticker that says “where it’s coldest!”

Insane engineering...
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:28 AM   #13
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We have a 2018 330RSTS and have had nothing but problems with the fridge. Opened up the camper again this year and the temp was at 50. Had the tech out and now Norcold is going to replace the fridge under warranty. Lets hope this one works better.
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:02 AM   #14
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We got the new fridge and it works great. Camper can be at over 90 degrees inside when we open it up and the temp in the fridge is between 35-38 degrees. 2 years of problems but all is good now.
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