Cold Weather Fridge Troubleshooting Need Some Help
I have a Norcold N611 Fridge/Freezer in my 2013 Grey Wolf and It's giving me some fits. Have had no problems in the colder weather for the last three winters and temps would get at or below zero for days at a time.
First sign of trouble was 3 days ago we noticed everything was thawing out in the freezer and getting warm in the fridge. Outside temp was still in the mid 20's or higher. Went outside and took off the access/vent panel and heard a faint high pitched tone. I immediately thought my motherboard was fried so I looked there first. Found a stink bug cozied up right across the two wire connections on the motherboard. I immediately unplugged the fridge, got rid of the bug and decided I'd better check the two fuses under the motherboard cover. Both of those were fine. I went inside and turned off the breaker and also pulled the DC fuse for the unit. I waited a good ten minutes then turned everything back on (plugged the fridge back in, turned on the breaker, replaced main 15amp fuse) with the fridge set to the coldest setting. No high pitched noise and the fridge began cooling again. Overnight cooled everything down back to normal.
The next day temps started to drop outside. we had single digit lows overnight and the fridge didn't seem to be up to speed. I turned it to gas to see if that would help with more intense heat. Seemed to do a good job but not what it should on the coldest setting. Temps were only going to drop from there so I went back to the access panel and closed off 90% of the vent holes in the panel with aluminum HVAC tape. I also cut a scrap piece of 3/4" foam panel and covered 80% of the backside of the panel closest to the burner to insulate it a little. I made very certain to give it enough air to breath as well as made sure the foam wasn't close to anything to cause a problem. After the mods everything worked 100% so I switched it back to AC and it held temperature.
We had -8 degree temps that night with the fridge on AC and the next day everything was just fine. Last night was warmer but the wind really picked up out of the West which is the fridge side. This morning things were doing fine at 17 degrees but wind at about 20mph. Just noticed ice cream was almost completely thawed. We're at 9 degrees with a wind chill at -6 coming from the West again.
I switched it back to gas. It seems to be cooling down again but won't know for sure until tomorrow. I'm thinking it might be the AC heating element giving out after 2 1/2 years of continuous use. Could that be the issue or do I need to look at the thermistor too? I don't think the cooling unit is bad as there are no signs of a leak or any type of ammonia smell and from my limited knowledge it doesn't sound like the mother board has quit just yet or it wouldn't work on gas either.
Sorry for the long post, just wanted to make sure you guys new what I had already done. Any help would be much appreciated.
My TT: 2013 Cherokee Grey Wolf 28BH