Norcold RV Refrigerator Problems Solved

Norcold 663BK RV refrigerator

I have a 1986 24ft. Winnebago Class C.  The refrigerator must have been upgraded over time, not sure when.  It’s a Norcold 663BK  3-way and has worked excellently over the past five years, however this year it has had spotty performance.  Working fine, then trouble igniting (red light), then fine again.  My last trip however, the freezer continued to work but the fridge part did not and the red check lite didn’t come on and the flame burned fine.  When I got home I tried it on AC and everything worked perfectly.  Then put back on propane and freezer froze and the fridge part stayed warm, while the burner was on for about eight hours.  Summary; Only when on propane, only the freezer works, not the fridge and this is while the flame burns constantly.  I cleaned out the chimney (big chunks of crap in there), checked for any leaking ammonia (none), checked the thermistor (however its the same one used by the AC which works fine), looked at the eyebrow for any loose of burned wires (nothing), tapped the chimney to see if any additional debris, and viewed what I considered a nice blue flame.  I went to You-tube and viewed many refrigerator fixes and happened across Rufus N Dufus  located here.   The fellow’s name is Chico and he actually called me up to discuss my issue.  I really appreciated his interest in helping me solve this problem.  His conclusion was that it had to be something in the pressure causing this weird issue.  It needs to be at a steady 11 inches.  In looking at the propane tank, the pressure regulator looked ancient, like the original from 1986.

Propane pressure regulator
Old regulator

So I ordered a new double stage vertical regulator by Mr. Heater on Amazon for $27 and free shipping.  It was an easy process to change out, it fit right in.

pressure regulator
New two stage pressure regulator

To test this out I got the fridge up to normal with AC during the day.  Then put it on propane for overnight at level #4 on the thermostat.  In the morning the inside temp was 34 degrees.  It worked!  But I don’t need it that cold so I am turning it down to #3.  I noticed our inside refrigerator is in the 40s.  Here’s what the back panel of the refrigerator looks like.  Notice the gauge at the bottom.  It was reading 13 inches with the old regulator and still reads 13 inches, obviously the thing doesn’t work, most likely it was not getting enough pressure causing the chimney to not heat up enough to keep the cooling going on properly.  Especially since the AC heaters were keeping the cooling at the proper level.

Norcold 663BK RV refrigerator

Now the full test will be this week camping at Jackson Meadows.  I’ll bring some extra ice, just in case.

Author: Geoff

Quick rundown: Grew up in Lombard, Illinois, went to Arizona State University, worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co, then Laventhal and Horwath, then Rolling Stones, then Heron International, then Goodby Berlin and Silverstein in San Francisco. Moved to the foothills in 1990 and traded futures and designed websites. Married to Kate Stewart, now living in Colfax, CA. We have six grandchildren. I enjoy camping in our RV, hiking, kayaking, fishing, droning and cross country skiing Also conga drumming, photography and dogs.

One thought on “Norcold RV Refrigerator Problems Solved”

  1. Geoff
    Excellent repair description article & you apparently fixed the problem. Good job bro, Dad would be proud you could fix it. What a mechanical brain you have, very lucky guy. I can’t fix anything at all, no mechanical ability .
    Have fun in Jackson Meadows.
    Bro George
    Las Vegas

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