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Replace, Upgrade, or Repair Norcold Fridge/Freezer?

Refrigerator Six-Pac T100S Tacoma Advice

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#1 foakes

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 01:38 AM

Hi Everyone —

Thank You for allowing me to join the WtW Forum & Website.

I have a 2002 Toyota Tacoma with a 2002 T100S Six-Pac camper.

Bought the truck and camper new in 2002.

3.4 V6, 5 Spd, 4X4, SR5, TRD, etc..

Upgrades are 1-Ton leaf springs, upgraded front coils, upgraded shocks, suspension air bags with under hood compressor, Michelin ATX AT2 in 10 ply “E” rating for up to 80 lbs, 8K Warn winch, ARB front bumper, Bluetooth Sound, and a few other things.

Here is my question for the experienced experts:

I have always had trouble when running the 300 Norcold Fridge/Freezer on LP. Either won’t stay lit, goes out, hard starting, unreliable, now the gauge is not working that shows the LP operating range. Works fine on AC power.

We are going on a 2 week trip through the Southwest the first half of May.

So should I try and repair the fridge for the 4th time, replace it, or is there a better upgrade that I can look at installing?

Maybe a 2-Way, instead of a 3-Way (we never use the 12V because it drains the battery too quickly)?

Appreciate some advice and direction...

Thanks in advance!

Best,

Fred

Edited by foakes, 25 July 2019 - 06:35 PM.

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#2 foakes

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 01:49 AM

Also, we only use the camper for perhaps 7 to 10 days a year.

And, I can post pics of the rig and the fridge — if someone could coach me in how to post photos.

Best,

Fred
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#3 klahanie

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 03:26 AM

well, after 16,17 years I guess it doesn't owe you anything. can't recommend a replacement tho personally, I'd look at Nova Kool, but for my own reasons. so why am I posting ??

 

curious about cost of parts your model, this was my first search hit

https://thenorcoldgu...featured&page=2

 

on page 2 I saw this with a number of good reviews

https://thenorcoldgu...fits-n300-3163/

 

I admit it's only a 1/2 cent answer that you may already have known ...

 

Good luck with it

and welcome !


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#4 ntsqd

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 04:03 AM

You may be able to clean the fuel jet as they do tend to get what looks like a calcium build-up. I did this with the first fridge in our first camper. A year later it needed it again and its performance wasn't all that great to start with, so I put a compressor fridge in and never looked back. The new camper ironically has the exact same Dometic 3 way in it. I haven't bothered trying to see if it works or not. Next weekend's project is to install the same model Indel compressor fridge as the last camper got.


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Thom

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#5 foakes

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 04:50 AM

Thank You, everyone so far —

That is useful information.

Best,

Fred
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#6 wagoneer

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 12:18 PM

Being very careful to level the fridge is very important, the flame needs to go straight up the pipe on my old six-pac i was able to access and clean the pipes from the outside on a small ladder. Buy a small good level.


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#7 ntsqd

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 01:09 PM

When we had a 3-way I placed a circular bubble level inside the lower access opening for the fridge. I didn't care if the camper was level or not, I cared if the shelf that the fridge was sitting on was level. I also bought one of the remote fridge temperature monitors so that we could monitor the temp from the cab. Best that we ever got was 40° below ambient.


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Thom

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#8 Old Crow

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 06:00 PM

I don't have a fridge so may not be the best person to comment.  Nevertheless..

 

- If the fridge is in relatively good condition physically and you have the time and inclination to mess with it, I'd see what videos there are on YouTube to try to repair the existing fridge... or at least troubleshoot it. This Norcold N300.3 Diagnostics video, for example.  It's a little confusing (and maybe a bit intimidating) but has some good info and includes a list of things to check in the comments area:

 

"Typical problems are dirty burner, misaligned thermocouple, thermocouple failure, interrupter, excess resistance in wiring and switch between terminals of the interrupter".

 

Other possible resources-

 

- Dirty burner

 

- LP Mode troubleshooting bulletin

 

- N300 Service Manual

 

Also- I see the Norcold Guy links provided by klahanie in post #3 include a wire kit 628119 which reportedly addresses won't-stay-lit issues (presumably this refers to the excess-resistance issue).

 

- As to swapping out for a two-way, I probably wouldn't do that for the limited amount of time you use the camper each year and the fact that your Six Pac's standard electrical system probably wouldn't do well with it...at least not if it's still the original design.  That assumes, of course, that you're happy with the performance of the propane fridge when it does work.

 

.


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#9 Beach

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 07:05 PM

Start with cleaning the burner, I always blow it off with compressed air to clean mine. Take a look at the flame, if it doesn't look correct  (size, and color), performance will be degraded.  Most times it seems to be either small rust flakes or dust/cobwebs etc that affects performance. As mention above, being level(very) is a requirement for max performance. You are correct in that most propane fridges will see a max of 40 -45 degrees below ambient temp. Be sure the wind shield is in place to prevent flame blow out.


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#10 ntsqd

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 03:28 AM

If the camper is wired to safely support the monster !12 VDC amperage draw of a 3-Way fridge then it is over-wired to support the amperage draw of a compressor fridge.


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Thom

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