Gas Attack!

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 042014

No, I wasn’t suffering gastric distress, this is something else altogether. Even worse, if you can believe that.

We spent yesterday getting our old RV refrigerator out of the motorhome. Or at least that was the plan. We made some headway, but no project ever goes as easily as planned, and we’re not quite there yet.

The project started off with Terry going up on the roof, removing the refrigerator vent cover, and removing five screws that secure the Norcold from the top. Then there were four bolts inside the area behind the unit, accessible from the grate outside. I left that job to John Huggins because… well, because he took the ratchet I handed him.

John working outside

Once that was done and the gas line and the water line for the icemaker were disconnected, I spent some time inside with a thin pry bar working loose the strong double-sided tape on both sides, top and bottom of the refrigerator. Then it was a pretty simple job to wiggle the Norcold out of the cubbyhole and onto a flat four-wheeled furniture dolly.

Half out

We moved it into the center of the kitchen and then John started to remove the cooling unit and all that other stuff on the back. And that’s when the gas hit the fan, so to say. John cut into one of the lines and suddenly ammonia started coming out. Lots of ammonia. I told everybody to get outside fast, then covered my mouth and nose with my hat, took a deep breath and ran back inside to open a couple of windows, came out to breathe again and went back in again and got the roof vents open and turned the vent fans on. That took two trips, and by then it was really strong inside the motorhome, stinging my eyes and nose.

John lines

It took about three hours for the ammonia to dissipate, and by then it was too late in the day to do anything else. We put the tools away, then went to Applebee’s for dinner with John and Kathy. Here is the Norcold, sitting in the middle of the kitchen like an 800 pound gorilla in the room.

Today John and I will get it outside, and Terry will drop the floor in the refrigerator compartment to make room for the taller Samsung that will be delivered on Friday. It’s a lot of work, but overall not as hard as I expected so far. Terry and I keep telling each other that it will all be worth it when our new refrigerator is installed and working.

Have you entered this week’s Free Drawing yet. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Crazy Days test final

Thought For The Day – I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days gang up and attack me at once.

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Nick Russell

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  5 Responses to “Gas Attack!”

  1. Good luck on getting the fridge out the door. Hope it goes easy and fast. The both of you have a great day and take care. And most of all be safe.


  2. Who knew there was ammonia in that thing?? I’m guessing that stuff has to come off in order to fit through the door. What a pain!! It will definitely be worth it in the end, and the best part, others trying to do the same refrigerator switch will have a step by step guide!!

  3. Greg,

    Kudos on tackling this job yourself (where yourself = Terry!!!). Keep the pictures coming, especially with Terry modifying the ‘hole’ for the new fridge. I keep things like this in a file on my PC for the day that I have to do it!

    I am looking forward to the day I have to do it, but really looking forward to the first day after I finish…….. like you!!

    Good luck,

  4. Nick, do you have a full sine wave inverter? I have heard that is needed for the residential refrigerators to operate properly. We have burned out two electric blankets using our modified sine wave inverter, accidentally left the blanket controls plugged in when we used the inverter. That doesn’t work so well, at least the blanket companies have been cheerful about replacing the controls under their 5 year warranty. I am planning on installing a residential refrigerator at some point, the old Dometic is till working, today! Not sure if it will work tomorrow.

  5. Ray, we have a modified sine wave. We seldom dry camp so it won’t be an issue with us. On the road we’ll turn the refer off and back on when we stop for the night. Experience has taught us from the household refer we had in the bus that we can go 6+ hours with little loss of temperature as long as the refer is not opened.

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