View Full Version : a question and a warning

J White
07-21-2005, 01:48 PM
The wife went to turn on the fridge in the camper yesterday evening,
after several hours went back to check on the cooling progress, and
smelled a odd odor, so she opened the fridge and got hit in the face by
what she described as a cloud of ammonia steam - took her breath and
she couldn't see out of one eye for several minutes, said it felt like it
blistered the side of her face. Anybody ever seen/heard of this?
We are not exactly the most equipment-wise as far as camping.
My last slide-in still had an icebox! The fridge is one of those 110VAC/DC
units, "Norcold" brand I think. I called to check on a replacement, and it
sounds like it would cost more than the camper is worth, it's a 92 model.
Guess I'll try to put a regular little dorm-size fridge in its place...

07-21-2005, 06:07 PM
That is what e did on our old camper - those units that run off electric or gas cost a fortune - same with air conditioners - we just replaced the cieling unit with a window unit - not that attractive but was about $800 cheaper - this is an old camper on a permanent lot in Salter Path, NC - hope your wife is okay - more than likely that is something to do with the gas operation part of the fridge - jsut guessing though

07-21-2005, 07:59 PM
I shouldn’t really bring this up, because I don’t know any details. But there has been several camper fires around here the few years, do to problems with the camper gas / electric refrigerator. So you may want to be very careful tell you get it change out.

07-21-2005, 08:13 PM
Wow, that is sad to hear. I know this, I rewind and rebuild electric motors. My company set me in the field to pull an electric motor. The company I went to made icecream. Ammonia is how they froze the stuff or kept it cool somehow. However, the maintainence foreman took me to the area where the motor was. As we were walking through the plant we passed this big vent in the wall,about two foot square, it was ammonia gas coming through the vent, the foreman did not tell me to hold my breath while we were passing by, that crap took my breath for about 1 minute. It did not hurt like being knocked out of your breath. I just stood there with my mouth wide open trying to suck some air in and couldn't. He got a big laugh out of it, one of the funniest things he has ever seen. He did that on purpose, just to get a giggle.

I'm not sure about what chemical experience your wife went through, but I sure feel sorry for her. Hope she gets well soon.

07-22-2005, 03:48 AM
those run onamonia . not freon like a regular refrgidair . the heat from the gass or eletric activates it in some way . i replaced one years ago with a little apt size used for $100.00

07-22-2005, 09:09 PM
J White;;;; They have Recalled norcold fridge's 1996 thur 2001 cause they can catch fire.on certain models. they seem to have some problems with there fridge's

07-25-2005, 06:50 AM
Over the Fourth of July weekend, I was camping at Hatteras in my father-in-laws pop-up. When we got the thing all set up, I opened the cover outside to start up the fridge unit. I opened the valve on the propane tanks, got the pilot going on the fridge, closed all the pertinent covers, and didn't think anything else of it, until about 4 hours later, middle of the night, I heard a crackling sound and smelled plastic burnin. Got up out of bed, ran outside in my skivvies, tore open the cover and lo and behold, the unit was on fire. Well it looks like the fittings had started leaking or something, cause it completely melted all the controls for the unit. I'm just thankful the I was being a light sleeper that night.

J White
07-25-2005, 04:15 PM
Thanks for the concern shown for the wife, think she's gonna be ok -
still mean and ornery, but she was that way before the fridge incident!
I'll check into that recall, but I figure being a '92 it is not included.
Anyway, it lasted 13 years, I should probably award it a medal or something.
We visited some friends at the campground who had a 36' fifth wheel -
my wife's eyes lit up when she saw that washer and dryer and full size
tub - looks like that new boat keeps getting pushed back farther and
farther :rolleyes:

08-13-2005, 05:43 PM
Trophy King I think I remember seing in an RV Magazing that it was a recall on Norcold fridges I am not 100% shure but it might be worth looking into.