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Old 03-26-2018, 04:29 PM   #1
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Norcold PROBLEM, compressor driven reefer

Heads up to those considering purchasing a new Winnebago with the whiz-bang new Norcold DE-0061 compressor driven refrigerator ...

DON’T BUY ONE! Just to be sure I’m clear ... DON’T BUY ANTHING WITH THIS MODEL REFRIGERATOR!

At least not until a “fix” has been identified and promulgated. Several folks are having trouble with theirs, including me, and Norcold has been unresponsive. Actually Winnebago hasn’t done anything to raise the problem flag, either, but they keep installing the Norcold Junk Box at the factory and are ready for you to drop your load of cash at your local dealer. It’s the only model you can get on a 24D View/Navion and it appears to be showing up in other models, too.

The Norcold simply cannot regulate either the freezer or the refrigerator properly, not within FDA guidelines and not anything close to acceptable ... it’s just unsafe! Very frustrating.

There are discussions on the Skinnie-Winnie Group, but much more on iRV2, this thread:

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/view...ue-380275.html

It’s a long thread, over 100 messages now, but it gets more defined as you progress through, so more meaningful on later posts than on earlier ones.

Please, anyone who’s had a problem, has a problem, knows of a fix, or discovers they have a problem after taking a look at what some of us have already presented, please BE SURE to add some details, preferably on the iRV2 thread, but here or on the Skinnie-Winnie Group is okay, too.

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2018, 12:15 PM   #2
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I've read all of those posts and there is probably 6-8 customers reporting the problem. A significant number of those posts have been generated by Kayak70 and yourself. There are probably 100-200 of these refrigerators installed and some percentage of that group are on this forum, IRV2, and the Skinny-Winnie Yahoo group. The percentage reporting problems is really pretty small and they are still fewer than the customers with adsorption refrigerators.

There also seems to be two generations of these refrigerators in use. Winnebago built 100 24D models initially to, I assume, debug the platform. These units came out as 2018 models in the fall of 2017. Somewhere with the announcement of the other 2018 models, they started adding the new Norcold to all models. (Winnebago phases in changes instead of a cutoff).

If these becomes a non-repairable problem, then Winnebago and Norcold should be thinking recall. It may actually take a while to analyze data, engineer a solution, and implement a fix. The real tests will begin as the weather warms. I would be hesitant to tell people not to buy a Navion/View with this refrigerator as they may never see the problem.

The FDA, btw, doesn't mandate food freezer temps - they just recommend a range for safe food handling. Their recommendations apply to residential and commercial food storage units. I not sure that they have ever been extended to RV refrigeration. Don't forget, it wasn't all that long ago, that ice chests were the storage solution for campers.
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
... snip ...Don't forget, it wasn't all that long ago, that ice chests were the storage solution for campers.
I remember those days! I’d be much less frustrated if my problem was related to just an chest that didn’t cost much rather than a motorhome that costs many thousands of dollars.

As far as alerting potential buyers of a possible problem, I’m just running with my definition of advice .... “guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action, typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable.” Folks can take it or leave it.

I wish someone with knowledge of the potential problem with the Norcold had given me guidance or recommendations!
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:01 PM   #4
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FDA Guidelines

Here’s one of many resources about FDA refrigerator/freezer guidelines:

https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/R.../UCM109315.pdf

Their guidelines seemingly are related to food and humans, not where a particular refrigeration unit is located. Bottom line for food storage is, whatever is safe at home is safe anywhere else.
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Old 03-27-2018, 06:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeTheUSA View Post
Here’s one of many resources about FDA refrigerator/freezer guidelines:

https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/R.../UCM109315.pdf

Their guidelines seemingly are related to food and humans, not where a particular refrigeration unit is located. Bottom line for food storage is, whatever is safe at home is safe anywhere else.
Sounds logical.
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:23 PM   #6
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Well implying that FDA recommendations do not extend to RV refrigerators is a stretch to favor something. That's a lot like saying Michelin tire recommendations to check tire pressure do not apply to RVs. Foolishness going on somehow!

My list of owners reporting a problem has grown to exactly 12 names. Some do not post or want their email/name given and that's not my choice. I have carefully read my posts and others on iRV2 and on Yahoo groups. By choice I do not FBook, don't want to, but some are posted there I understand.

If there is some reference to exactly who is posting the problem - well, it is those of us who want sincerely potential buyers to know about it before they are caught in the trap we are experiencing.

Actually it might be prudent to paint the View yellow and put a big Norcold sign on it with lemons saying just that - I have a Norcold, it is junk, do not buy anything like this. Yes, that would be nice.

These forums allow fairly free expression of ideas and disagreement is necessary, like diversity makes us strong.

I stopped recently trying to educate others about the MAXX7 engine, go for it, I tried. That's because there is enough real evidence on the internet now for anyone to read and understand those issues.

When it comes to the DE0061R unit WGO and others are installing there is also some evidence other than the RV forums regarding the problems. It takes research to find it and any unsuspecting potential buyer would not be inclined to do that research on a refrigerator. There is far more reporting of this DE0061 failure on Marine forums and vendor sites which sell Marine products including this refrigerator.

Numbers might be important, 12 is important to me, but there are hundreds of reports out there and I feel WGO was well aware or should have been of those issues. In one case you can find with a hard search several boat owners gathered and dumped their DE0061 refrigerators into the ocean. Some of them had used the old model for many years and replaced it with this new model - it failed. They replaced with various units, some I listed on the other site.

Do I think people are using this model refrigerator blissfully unaware their health is being compromised - absolutely! When they find obvious symptoms of rotten food they might then take action and put a thermometer in the freezer and see what's going on. Remember, lots of RV drivers do not actually check tire pressure regularly until they have a blowout and get warped about the quality of the tires or worse yet, have a bad accident. That's just the way folks are sometimes, especially new owners. After 20 years + of driving RVs of various makes and models I still know just a tiny little bit but I am learning. Maybe someday I can be an expert on such matters but expert is an often misused term anyway.

For now we are ready to take our first outing the the V24D. The refrigerator is set on 4 and holding about 17*F +- a few in the freezer and the refrigerator is around 34*F. That means we can use the freezer to store things perhaps 3 days. I can not set it colder because medicine I need to live is stored in the bottom section and any higher setting freezes everything in the bottom rock solid. No big deal, short trip, lot of good food to be had nearby and a commissary on base just a short drive away. When we return I will try to decide on a replacement for the junk Norcold and get it set up. That's because I believe the FDA guidelines apply to any location for food storage, home, motel, RV - you name it. Food is food and food storage should be at 0*F in the freezer. Whatever is in the bottom can NOT be frozen, that's why there are two sections.

BTW, yes the RV industry has been allowed to float freely without enough oversight and many times in danger mode because unsuspecting buyers are dealt with in a fraudulent manner. YMMV.
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayak73 View Post
Well implying that FDA recommendations do not extend to RV refrigerators is a stretch to favor something. That's a lot like saying Michelin tire recommendations to check tire pressure do not apply to RVs. Foolishness going on somehow!


BTW, yes the RV industry has been allowed to float freely without enough oversight and many times in danger mode because unsuspecting buyers are dealt with in a fraudulent manner. YMMV.
I agree, 32 degrees is 32 degrees if you are in your stick house, or rv.
Or outside, or in the mountains , just anywhere. Its still 32 degrees.
So people should follow the numbers no matter where they are, or what they are doing. Even an ice chest.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:11 AM   #8
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For those who might wonder we have the refrigerators working pretty good right now. Finally replacement and air flow blocking to prevent freeze up in the bottom section and we can get 0*F in the freezer and 36-39*F in bottom section. New reports of thermostat failures continue to appear in various forums so the bad units are still "in the wild". For several reporting the thermostat replacement has provided success. Good news.

Final install and fix if they replace the thermostat I suggest you ask them to connect both the 12VDC and 120AC for the refrigerator for better results.
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