Monday, December 4, 2023


What to do about ice on RV fridge fins

RV Doctor

Dear Gary,
We are new full-timers and I’ve noticed our Norcold refrigerator fins inside the unit are icing up. What causes this or is this normal? Is there any way to prevent this? —Casey D.

Dear Casey,
The cause for severe icing on those fins could be a couple of things. Depending on the model Norcold, it may be a mispositioned thermistor, which is the device used to determine the cold setting on the thermostat. Or it could simply be a faulty door gasket leaking air.

The first thing to do is perform what we call the dollar bill test. Close the lower refrigerator door(s) onto a dollar bill at various points around the entire seal. With the door closed onto the bill, tug on it. You should feel a slight drag or resistance on the bill as you pull it out. If it just falls out or you feel no tug, chances are the gasket is faulty and needs replacing. Be sure to do this at multiple positions around the entire seal of each door.

If that test passes with flying colors, then check with Norcold about the exact positioning of the thermistor on those fins.

Also be sure you have plenty of room for air to move about inside the cabinet section. Avoid placing wide trays that may block some of the convection movement inside the box. This, too, could cause some icing on those secondary evaporator fins.

Norcold has had several product recalls. Click here for more information.

There was also a class action lawsuit which was settled in 2017. Get more info here.

Finally, here’s a video from Mac The Fire Guy, from 2015, about the Norcold refrigerator recalls and class action lawsuit.

The above information is mostly out of date, but may give you more insight into your Norcold refrigerator.

gary-736Read more from Gary Bunzer at the See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.




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littleleftie (@guest_85503)
3 years ago

I use one of those little blue battery-operated fridge fans. It circulates the air just enough to eliminate warm and cold spots and helps immensely.

Dan Kooienga (@guest_51384)
4 years ago

We take Pandora along. Blue tooth is awesome. Lauren Daigle radio!

rvgrandma (@guest_48539)
4 years ago

In all our years of RVing, no matter how tight the seal is, opening and closing the ice/frost builds up, especially when you live in it full time. Every three months I get the fan out, attach it on the shelf and defrost the frig. I only do the freezer about every 6 months.

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