Norcold 1200LR on the blink

I have a 1200LR that had been working great for the first 5yrs.

Around 2 yrs ago it stopped cooling and we had the cooling unit rebuilt (this was before we found out about the recall).

We reinstalled the unit and it worked great the rest of that year. The end of the year we hauled the camper home and it set in the backyard for about a year before we were on the road again.

Got to our destination and the refrigerator wouldn't work on AC, and only worked for a short time on LP.

Called a service person who replaced the heater units, and then we replaced the control board and eyebrow board (a kit that was required upgrade).

Now the freezer seems to work but the refrigerator is @ 60 degrees F.


About to give up and put a house refrigerator in the camper.

Any help is appreciated.


Senior Member
Re: Norcold 1200LR on the blink

Did you let it cool for at least 24 hours before testing temp inside main compartment? Freezer will work first, but it takes overnight to cool bottom compartment.
Re: Norcold 1200LR on the blink

The way the Refer is made, Archer is correct, the freezer will feel cooler first, then the lower unit will cool down. There is no way one side can work and not the other.
Re: Norcold 1200LR on the blink

Actually, the freezer got really cold, then the fridge started cooling then everything stopped working again.
Right now, nothing is cooling and the back was really hot, I believe from the heaters. The weather is chilly outside in this part of SC, 50s days / 30s night.
Re: Norcold 1200LR on the blink

We ran into this, last week in an older Dometic unit. Called them, told them it heated up but no cooling. They told me the cooling unit is blocked and explaned that a blockage occurs like in a vein. It starts small and grows until it stops the flow of fluid.

Burping MIGHT help. That is when you take the refer out, turn it upside down, let it sit there several hours and straighten it and let it set for a few more hours before you start it. Dometic does not put much faith in burping. It might work an hour, day or a few years.

Hate to say it, but the best fix is a new cooling unit or entire refer.


Senior Member
Re: Norcold 1200LR on the blink

A new cooling unit would have costs me about 800 to 900 installed and a new fridge was 1,200 installed, so I opted for new fridge (a year ago in South Texas). Was able to use my old front panels on new fridge so did n't have to buy new ones.


Senior Member
Re: Norcold 1200LR on the blink

What you describe would fit with a problem of either low coolant or a blocked system. Low coolant is usually, but not always, indicated by either a smell of ammonia around or inside of the refrigerator or a yellow powder in the rear of it. It comes from a leak in the cooling unit and must then be replaced. A blockage happens when the ammonia begins to crystallize and one of the solid particles blocks one of the tubes. The "burp" that GTS describes sometimes works because it moves that solid to a place where it has less effect. But in the newer units it has much less probability of working.

I would agree with Archer that if your refrigerator is very old, I would get a new one, rather than to put in a cooling unit, especially if you will be paying a tech. to install it.
Re: Norcold 1200LR on the blink

Have someone check your thermistor in the fridge. If the burner or heating element isn't shutting off when it should, the unit will start to work then thaw out. And for those who don't know the 1200LR is a side by side and costs about $2400 to replace and isn't cost effective to rebuild. So lets all hope for something simple.
Re: Norcold 1200LR on the blink

HI new development on this fridge. My husband raised the camper to where it was of center and now the freezer is working but the fridge is still @ 60F.

As I said in the 1st post. The cooling unit was replaced 2yrs ago. We were using the camper and the fridge worked fine after the cooling unit was replaced ($900.00 + shipping) we used it @ a year and then it sat for a year not being used. So, yes, it had cooled for GREATER than 24hrs.

We moved the camper to SC and the fridge wasn't working. We have replaced the heaters, the control board, the eyebrow board and all associated wiring.

The prices I've seen on the internet range from @ $2400 for a reconditioned or $3100-3500 for new. It is a 12cu.ft. 4 door.

Because the freezer started working when we tilted the camper we are thinking blockage, also.

I think my husband is going to try the tap and tilt method since the fridge is a little heavy and awkward for one person to take out and turn over.

I'll let you know what happens.

;) ;)
RE: Norcold 1200LR on the blink


The Norcold is gone. Rather than putting more money into that unit, we have replaced it with a 15.7' House fridge that cost less than it did to replace the control board unit on the Norcold.

I am sure it will last longer than the Norcold did and since my Husband and I don't go off grid with our camper, all electric fridge is not an issue.

Thanks for all of the help you guys gave, but when it comes down to it.......I just want my Husband comfortable while working on the road with out all of the hassle of having unreliable appliances.