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How to Use Your Norcold RV Fridge

How to Use Your Norcold RV Fridge

Do you have questions about your Norcold RV fridge? You aren’t alone! Norcold is a refrigerator brand often found in recreational vehicles. Let’s take a look at how these fridges work and how you can troubleshoot common issues. 

What Is a Norcold RV Fridge?

When you are shopping for an RV, you normally aren’t looking at the brand of RV refrigerator. A Norcold RV fridge is a common brand, right up there in popularity maybe with Dometic RV fridges.

➡ If you’re new to RV fridges, start here: How Does An RV Refrigerator Work?

They offer a range of RV refrigerators, from large two-door fridges to more compact options, traditional propane fridges to 12V compressor fridges. These Norcold RV fridges are generally removable, upgradeable, or swappable with other RV fridges.

Like all appliances, they need some care and a bit of knowledge to keep them working their best.

Norcold 1210 ULTRALINE

Types of Norcold RV Refrigerators

Norcold offers a wide selection of refrigerators for life on the go. The refrigerators range in size from portable to four-door, leaving you with a vast array of options. 

For those who travel with minimal perishable food, the portable refrigerator/freezer or the compact RV refrigerator might be the right fit. On the other hand, if you require a more moderately sized RV refrigerator, perhaps the AC/DC refrigerators will be more suitable. Lastly, the large two- and four-door refrigerators and the Polar Series resemble residential appliances.

Norcold also offers an AC/DC conversion kit. This nifty device enables you to upgrade any icebox up to six cubic feet and morph it into an electric refrigerator. This gadget would be a convenient option for boondocking.  

Norcold AC/DC Conversion Kit

What Does a Norcold RV Fridge Run On?

The absorption Norcold RV fridges run on LP gas or 120-volt AC power. The AC/DC operation runs on 120 volts AC and 12-24 volts DC, while the compressor models run on 12V DC power only.

The fridges are equipped with an electronic mode selector to detect the desired energy source.

How to Turn on Your Norcold RV Fridge

Turning on your Norcold RV fridge is simple. You’ll find an on/off button on the control panel between the freezer and fresh food compartments. Simply press and release that button to power the fridge.

Turning off the fridge is equally as uncomplicated. Just hold the button for two seconds.

How to Set the Temperature of Your Norcold RV Fridge

Most Norcold RV fridges are preset from the factory, but if you need to change the temperature of the freezer or fridge you can change it. Note: You may have to do this every time you restart your RV.

You can find the temperature setting on the control panel. While pressing and holding the “temp set” button, you’ll see the setting change. Once you release that button, you’ll see the fridge’s temperature set. The higher the setting you choose, the colder the fridge will run.

Here is how to turn on and set the 12V Norcold RV fridge:

Norcold N10DC 12V Refrigerator

Tips for Keeping Your Norcold RV Fridge Working Well

The more you’re able to keep your RV level, the better the fridge will operate if its an absorption style. This allows the internal parts of the refrigerator to remain intact, thus optimizing performance.

Ensuring the fridge has proper ventilation is a necessity. Avoid blocking the vent grills. Also, try not to overpack the interior of the refrigerator.

Lastly, keeping your RV parked in a shaded area can help. If your RV is very hot, your refrigerator will have to work harder to stay cool. We recommend looking into RV refrigerator fans to help with your cooling efficiency.

How to Troubleshoot Your Norcold Refrigerator

Suppose your Norcold RV fridge emits an obnoxious beeping sound or isn’t sealing correctly. Maybe the refrigerator isn’t operating properly, and you’re unsuccessful in getting the green power light to come on. Rest assured, there are solutions to these problems.

Norcold Compact Fridge

Beeping Sound

The beeping sound you might hear can result from the appliance overheating and the compressor possibly failing. The ambient temperature inside your RV must remain at 110 degrees Fahrenheit or below; otherwise, the fridge will shut off.

To restart the fridge, simply rotate the thermostat dial counterclockwise to the “off” position followed by clockwise to reset to the optimal temperature.

Frost Inside

If your fridge isn’t sealing properly, you might find a lot of frost inside. First, test the seal by taking a small, rectangular piece of paper. Put it in the door and drag it all the way around. You should feel a tight tug between the cabinet and the gasket of the refrigerator. If you don’t, contact the Norcold Service Center to rectify the situation.

Inverter Protection System on AC/DC fridges

One of the worst fears when troubleshooting your RV fridge is the entire system not operating correctly. However, there’s a protection system within the AC/DC units to prevent damage to the inverter. The fridges use AC compressors and run an inverter to power them that shuts down if the voltage is too low or the polarity is reversed.

Check the fuse first, located in line with the DC connector, to confirm whether or not that’s working correctly. Also, make sure you have adequate DC charge on your batteries. If you are still having trouble, contact your local authorized Norcold Service Center.

Norcold NX641 Gas Absorption Refrigerator

How to Reset a Norcold RV Refrigerator

Resetting a Norcold RV fridge is relatively straightforward. You can usually find the control panel between the fridge and freezer compartments.

Find the “on/off” button and press and hold for approximately three seconds. The fridge will turn off. Wait three to five minutes before powering the refrigerator back on by pressing and holding the “on/off” switch one more time.

RV fridge Diagram

For More Troubleshooting Tips Read our RV Fridge Troubleshooting Guide

Purchasing Replacement Parts

You can go to an authorized service center or RV dealer of Norcold products to find replacement parts. If you’re handy and love DIY, you can make many repairs yourself this way.

Having a fridge in your RV is a major convenience. But even a great Norcold RV fridge can sometimes have issues. With these simple tips, hopefully, you can address problems yourself.

Norcold RV Fridge

Do you have a Norcold fridge? Share your troubleshooting tips in the comments below!

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Shelly Dey

Friday 8th of July 2022

I'm having a difficult time getting my Norcold RV refrigerator to generate cold. It's brand new (2022 RV). The green button turns on but fridge not getting cold and even when I switch to gas, it's still not getting cold. It's very frustrating.


Thursday 16th of February 2023

@Mortons on the Move, have n821 has small pilot light for flame everything new except gas valve and solenoid could this be the problem of small flame runs on shore power like new

Mortons on the Move

Sunday 28th of August 2022

Did you ever figure it out?

Janet Jones

Thursday 9th of September 2021

My Norcold N7V has a 10 flashing red pattern meaning it's not communicating between the boards. This is our FIRST camper. I've checked fuse panel & breakers but am afraid of the panel behind the fridge. Any suggestions?

Dana Daubert

Saturday 21st of August 2021

I am having trouble keeping my Norcold fridge running while traveling? Constantly stopping and checking while traveling. Always shuts off. Have to restart often. Is there a way to adjust flame from going out?

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 25th of August 2021

If you're having trouble with the burner flame, you could try taking the burner apart and cleaning it. Sometimes debris can get in there and prevent the burner from working properly. You could also reach out to a local RV service center and have the unit checked by a technician.


Monday 12th of July 2021

Where can I find additional shelves for the doors of my fridge?

Mortons on the Move

Monday 12th of July 2021

This store has lots of Norcold parts, Ebay is a good resource too.