Norcold RV Refrigerator Not Cooling But Freezer Is

Norcold RV Refrigerator Not Cooling But Freezer Is: What To Do?


You’re on the road in your RV, visiting your favorite camping site. But Alas! Your RV refrigerator stops working. Talk about a buzzkill.

The RV refrigerator is not cooling, but the freezer is. Sounds strange, right?

Chill, you’re not alone. (see what I did there?) This issue is pretty common with RV owners. We’re here to make things easier. Here are some common RV refrigerator malfunctions, and ways you can solve them.

How Cold Should an RV Refrigerator Be?

When everything is fine, the RV freezer should be at zero degrees, while the RV refrigerator should be somewhere around 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can measure this temperature with the help of a special refrigerator thermometer.

Now before you’re sure there’s a problem, keep in mind that the coolant first goes to the freezer before the fridge. RV freezer starts cooling way before the refrigerator. So don’t panic if your refrigerator is not cooling right away.

When To Know That You Have A Problem?

First things first, always keep your RV refrigerator at the unit level. To do this, keeping a carpenter’s level can surely come handy.

If you find that the fridge isn’t cooling even after an hour, then it’s time to find the problem. Take out your thermometer to see if the fridge temperature is ideal. However, you can pretty much do the same thing by touching the coils inside the Norcold Freezer and refrigerator.

Similarly, if your fridge has a gas mode, then peek behind the refrigerator to make sure whether the flame is burning or not. If your RV refrigerator runs on electricity, do check if the heating element is working sufficiently. But make sure you don’t touch anything so that you don’t burn yourself!

So now you’re sure that the fridge isn’t working. What next?

RV Refrigerator Tips For Troubleshooting

Despite being sturdy and made for traveling, RV refrigerators are actually quite prone to errors and defects.

Well there’s good news. RV refrigerators often fail to cool, while the freezer is working correctly.

Now in most cases, the reasons behind the refrigerator not working are the malfunctions in the RV refrigerator, heating elements, control boards, and thermostats.

Various problems and their solutions

Let’s take a look at some of the main culprits behind the freezer getting cold but not the fridge.

1. Lack of Air Circulation

In some cases, cool air is moved to the fridge from the freezer, through a diffuser. There are times when the diffuser gets clogged with ice. You can identify this by paying close attention to the sounds of the evaporator fan.

The evaporator fans tend to cycle on and off, so if you don’t hear anything, try again after a few minutes.

Even if that’s not the issue, generally insufficient air circulation may happen on super hot days. When ammonia and hydrogen burn inside is slower than the pace at which surrounding air heats up, the refrigerator won’t be able to provide the cooling it otherwise should.

Solution? Installing a fan! Place the fan with a higher PRM behind the opening space of the RV refrigerator to enhance the flow of air in the refrigerator’s chamber. This will create a balance between the temperature of both inside and outside the RV fridge.

As a result, the refrigeration chamber will work superbly.

You can also prevent this from happening by ensuring regular cleanups.

2. Thermistor Problems

One of the essential components of the RV refrigerator is the thermistor. The cooling cycle of your RV refrigerator depends on the negative temperature coefficient that the thermistor possesses.

When there’s a rise in the surrounding temperatures, the cooling ability of these thermistors gets compromised. As a result, the heated mixture flows faster, which results in excessive cooling inside the freezer and a drop in the temperature of the refrigerator.

The best way to solve this problem is to unplug your thermistor and replace it with a new one.

If you unplug your thermistor, then make sure you immediately install a new one. If you use a fridge without a thermistor for a long time, it may take years off your fridge’s lifespan.

Only remove the thermistor if you’re sure that’s where the problem lies.

3. Temperature Sensors

Another reason for RV refrigerator problems is the temperature sensor. If the device is loosely attached, then it can slip, move or even fall off its position.

Make sure the sensor is properly connected to the fin. Once the sensor has been perfectly attached, you can adjust the temperature of the refrigerator by moving the sensor to and fro.

To prevent this, make sure your fridge is in a stable position at all times.

4. Blocked Refrigerator Exhaust

If the exhaust of your RV refrigerator is blocked, then the hot air fails to find it’s way out. This leads to a rise in the fridge’s temperature.

The ventilator of the RV refrigerator is situated on the backside. It finds its way out through the vent cover, which is placed on the roof of your recreational vehicle. Sometimes due to dust or similar pollutants, the vent gets blocked, creating all your problems.

To take care of this problem, remove the vent cover situated on the roof of the RV. After removing the vent cover, inspect for any blockages that are keeping the hot air from escaping.

5. Refrigerator Coolant

Just like your everyday household refrigerator, an RV refrigerator also requires coolant. The coolant used in an RV refrigerant is the same average ammonia mixture.

The coolant goes to the freezer before it reaches the refrigerator. In most cases, the problem arises when the ammonia mixture dries down, and the fridge continues to run with an empty tank.

If this happens, get your tank refilled asap. While the tank is empty, turn off the fridge.

6. Road Bumps

It’s basic science that ammonia is way denser than water. Thusit flows at a much slower pace. So, its supply to the chamber must be swift and hindrance-free. But the supply of this mixture gets out of proportion if shaken too much.

However, it’s pretty impossible to completely avoid bumpy roads as you travel.

So best turn off your fridge when you hit rough roads

Tips to sum up

Here are some tips from us to sum up this whole information.

  • If there is a buildup of ice in the fridge, allow it to defrost.
  • The door seals of the RV refrigerator should not be loose.
  • The airflow in the outer areas should remain unobstructed. The upper vent should maximize airflow to keep the hot air from trapping.
  • If it helps, try turning the climate control off. Doing so, you can enhance the efficiency of the refrigerator in the long run.

There also may be a chance that there is nothing wrong with your RV refrigerator. Often, the lights, fans, and other electrical appliances in your RV are left turned on, thus leading to a rise in the electrical load. This hinders the flow of electricity to the fridge which may lead to less cooling.


That’s all from us regarding why your “Norcold RV Refrigerator Not Cooling But Freezer Is”.

We hope this article gave you a clear picture on this topic.

Was this write up informative? Let us know in the comments below.

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