You are probably wondering about the title. Maybe you are asking yourself “What the heck is a Norcold?” If you have ever owned an RV, even a boat with a refrigerator in it, you have very likely owned a Norcold. And if you have been in the RV-owning business for longer than 4 or 5 years, you have likely had to have it fixed. We went to the extreme a couple of times, in both our boat and our previous 5th wheel trailer and replaced one outright. They are expensive because they have the “Norcold” logo on them, the outright major manufacturer of these devices for RV’s and boats. You can buy a similar device for your dorm room from 10 different manufacturers for about 1/10th the price, but they won’t work in your 12V machine.
So, imagine our disappointment Thursday night on arrival in Pueblo, after a very long travel day. The light on the front of the Norcold was off. “Strange” I thought, “who turned off the fridge?” The answer: nobody. Very shortly the light started blinking red, an indication that it was trying to restart itself. It has an “automatic” mode where it can select one of 3 energy sources to run on, propane, 12V electric, or 110V electric (if you are plugged into shore power).
I had just plugged us into shore power, so I immediately thought it was just having a little bit of trouble transitioning from the 12V power it uses while we are on the road to the shore power at the RV park. But it didn’t make the transition. So, I started checking around, pulling off the exterior panel to see if wires had fallen loose, or was something leaking, or WTF? Nothing. Wendy, being slightly more creative than I, began praying, which, while I felt “it couldn’t hurt”, didn’t really think it was helping. I ran out of ideas, and instead decided to sit on the portable massage chair (Wendy named “him” Raul, which I have always thought disloyal of her) to iron out the stiff back muscles. While I was sitting there getting pummeled by shiatsu mode, Wendy asked for a tutorial on how to “kick the fridge back into gear”, redneck trailer trash (which we now temporarily are) talk for restarting it. I simply said, “you just touch the button next to the little light”. She touched it, and it came back on. Just like that. I take back the part about thinking prayer wasn’t helping. Clearly (and you can try to prove me wrong if you want), God fixed my Norcold.
This was the third problem to present itself at this campsite. You read previously about the shattered plates. Every stop more shards creep out from under the sofa slide. This stop, one got caught under the slide and carved a little cut into the top of the laminate floor. A little dab of super-strong clear glue fixed that right up.
Problem #2 happened as I was hooking up the flexi-hose between the holding tanks and the sewer dump outlet at the site.
The connector between the hose and the outlet came apart. It’s a snap together thing, but wouldn’t snap back together, and there was no way I was gonna pull the Geronimo Handle (the thing that opens the valve between the holding tank and the hose) if the hose wasn’t going to stay sealed into the outlet. I’ve had that happen more than once, and it ain’t pretty or sweet-smelling. Wendy, ever creative, again saved the day by microwaving a bowl of very hot water, and when I heated the 2 plastic parts in it they went right back together.
So, we got away clean on 3 problems. It won’t last. Trust me.
That was the end of the day. Early in the day we departed the last super-cold morning location we will likely see on this trip, Cheyenne Wyoming, which was a nippy 36F at dawn. We were overjoyed to be driving straight south toward much warmer weather and celebrated a bit by making 2 stops as we neared Denver. The first was in Loveland, a northern suburb, that has a Lovelocks feature at its municipal community center. Thank you again Wendy for the research on “things near our path”.
We bought a lock (the purple one of course), borrowed their engraving pencil, and immortalized our love on the wire, just on the right side of the heart-shaped O. I thought it would be romantic to throw the key in a river, thus sealing our love forever, but Wendy, for some reason unknown to me after being locked in a small box for almost 3 weeks now, wanted to keep it.
The second stop was only an hour south, at the Stanley Marketplace in North Aurora. We were diverting around Denver to avoid traffic, and this was only a couple of miles off the route. They have an ice cream store there called Sweet Cow, with legendary good ice cream.
This Thursday Throwback from Tippy has always been good advice.