Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Good News/Bad News and the Refrigerator AGAIN

Wednesday-Friday August 26-28, 2015                                                                   Most Recent Post:
Lewis Mountain Campground                                                                                    Visits from Friends
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia




Today starts out pretty fine. We both go down to Charlottesville where David does his regular Cancer Center visit.  When he gets the results back from his last round of blood tests and they show that his two important myeloma numbers both went down a tad. In the past few months there has been a mixed response. One up, one down. It isn’t much of drop but both of them going in the same direction is very good.  If it weren’t for the effect of these drugs on his heart we’d be thrilled.

I have my final visit to the ophthalmologist and it seems what I have is as good as it gets.  20/40 or 50 in the eye that is supposed to be corrected for distance vision.  This is at least as bad as my vision was going in.  To say I’m not happy is an understatement.  She says things may change some more over the next two weeks and sends me back to my optometrist for glasses.  GREAT!   I make the appointment with him for two weeks from today.  

David gets Good news.  I get bad news or at least not the best news.






Today David decides to tackle a few problems.  Two years ago he replaced Winnona’s original (we think) water pump.  It’s about 3 weeks out of warranty of course when it fails.  He calls the company.  They do not choose to be gracious.  So he orders a new water pump yet again and today is the day for the install.  Everything goes perfectly.







While this is happening, I decide to give my hair a trim to keep it out of my eyes.  .I set up all the tools on the picnic table.



In about 15 minutes it’s all taken care of.



Not a big change but enough.  It can’t fall in my eyes.




But that’s where today’s good news stops. 

You may remember our on going refrigerator problems. If not you can find a refresher here. That episode followed a similar one in North Dakota where the burner was cleaned and things seemed fine. 

In the post referenced above,  I explained that we were unable to get any help from Norcold who arrogantly will only talk with their certified technicians over the phone. So we drove 60 miles to the closest of those certified technicians, who said everything looked fine including the burner.  But the refrig still wouldn’t keep things cool. I told David that it was just time to start replacing the parts he can replace before throwing in the towel.  The burner still seemed the most likely thing wrong given our symptoms. I drove back the 60 miles to the dealer, got the burner and that fixed the warming problems.  See the referenced post for details.  I’m not very trusting so I order the igniter in case this burner problem shows back up.  That was several weeks ago.


Sure enough, now we are getting an F code saying that the burner is failing to reignite. It seems to show up every morning which means the refrig is off overnight and the food warming, when it cannot reignite. Time for the new igniter install.  You can see the difference between the old one and the new one.

After the straight forward water pump swap, David decides he’ll make it two for two today and put on the new igniter.  Looks like a simple job.  Disconnect the old, connect the new. 

Of course nothing is ever that simple.  In attempting to get the old igniter off,  he has to use considerable force and damages the connection to the circuit board.  Has our $20 igniter led to a $300 circuit board replacement? 

It is late on a Thursday afternoon.  David tries calling Norcold to see if there is any fix short of a new board.  Again they refuse to talk with him.  This alone might make me refuse future Norcold products.  But I understand Dometic is worse.

Meanwhile,  I have previously found a copy of the parts list so I use it to find the board’s part number and am looking on line for the board.   I find it in two different places but no one can get it to us overnight.  Monday is the earliest they say.




David calls the local Norcold Service RV center. They have one in stock but we can’t get there before they close.  They open at 8am tomorrow.  It’s been 3 hours with no cooling. 

David calls the technician who looked at it previously. He graciously gave David his cell phone number.  He is the lifesaver. He may not have recognized that the burner flame wasn’t right but he knows about this problem right away.  He says it is very common in removing the igniter for the board pins to need resoldering and explains how to do it.



There’s sure not much room to work in there.

David removes the board, uses his soldering gun to resolder the pins, puts the new igniter on and we’re back in business. He doesn’t put the board cover on since it is late and we need to eat some dinner. After dinner, he goes out to put the cover on and somehow one of the pins again comes loose.

By now it’s dark and the refrigerator won’t stay on or reignite itself.. We have a refrigerator full of food.  Carrie and Matthew are coming for the week-end.  Now what?  

He ignites the refrigerator by hand,  takes off the thermistor, turns the refrig up to the highest setting so that it is unlikely to turn off.  We go to bed.  I won’t do a cliff hanger here but that’s pretty much how we feel.  What’s going to happen over night?





Happily when we wake up, the refrig is still cooling but things are getting too cool.  He takes the board out AGAIN, resolders the pins AGAIN, puts the new igniter back on, puts the cover back on and now the new igniter doesn’t work.

What?   It was working yesterday just fine until he tried to put the cover back on.   You can imagine how frustrated he is. 

At this point, we decide it is better if I go for a hike literally.  So I head to the farthest northern section of the AT to hike out of the park.  That will be in the next post. 

Back at the rig David painstakingly takes the board out AGAIN, checks the connections, replaces the new igniter with the old igniter.



When I return and after two nearly full days we are back in business and in exactly the same spot we were in before he changed the igniter.  What a PIA.  

Will we see the dreaded F code again?  Only time will tell.  Was the new igniter faulty?  I don’t think so, it was working when he first put it in. 

We’ll post an update on this after a few weeks or as soon as it fails again.

Keep your fingers crossed, we certainly are.   Although it seems inevitable since all he did with the old igniter is take it out, clean it with steel wool and put it back in.  Could that fix it?   Or maybe one of those pins was loose to begin with and resoldering fixed it?   That’s a good thought.  But why would the new one fail?   Too many questions.  Too many unknowns.  Guess all we can do is wait to see if the other shoe drops.


  1. Don't give up on your eyes so fast. I had cataract surgery on one eye 6 months ago and my vision is still improving. I'm afraid that if you get glasses the improvement will stop.

  2. My dometic fridge died Easter weekend, my husband ordered a cooling unit that was deformed and couldn't be installed. The seller would not take it back or replace it. So another unit was ordered and we could not get an electrician to come out and look at it. On Thursday we take delivery of a residential refrigerator and have to install it. We've been using ice chest forever! Dometic wasn't helpful, technician wouldn't help because he didn't order the units big PIA!

  3. That David sure has more patience than me. I would be out in the woods looking for parts I threw. Wish you guys the best.

  4. Sorry to hear about the vision and the fridge. Amazing how you guys are able to tackle and research all these technical issues! The average RVer would probably be thousands of dollars in debt with a new fridge not knowing how to troubleshoot all these things. Good luck! Glad to hear David's numbers are down a bit. That's great news!

  5. Hopefully, we won't hear anymore about the fridge. David does have a lot of patience.

  6. Great news on David's myeloma numbers but sorry to hear that your vision isn't 20/20 at distance without glasses after your cataract surgery. That's what worries me about having it done, plus I had LASIK 17 years ago which makes it even harder to calculate the correct power of the implant.
    As to your water pump failure, we can sure relate to that, having just replaced ours last week. A friend of ours recently had refrigerator problems on his Dometic. It would not stay lit so he replaced the thermocouple, which seemed to help for a few weeks, and then he replaced the board, which fixed the problem. I know he ordered it on line and got a much better price than he was quoted from an RV parts place. Hope yours has continued to cool!

  7. Fortunately, a new waterpump is only $61. Still, you'd think a new one would last longer than just over two years.

    If you ever need a replacement fridge board, buy a Dinosaur brand. They're a better quality board and less than half the price of a $300 Norcold board.

  8. Such patience... and talent... that David Boyd. It always amazes me that Roger and David have so many things in common. I might have thrown the frig over a cliff by now! Glad all people are not like me! Sounds like the food survived the frig crisis though. Even better news is David's myeloma numbers... even a small improvement is something to celebrate. Loved seeing both of you at Robin and Ernie's...

  9. Glad David's numbers are both up. Will continue prayers for more improvement. I know your eyes are irritating you but don't give up, I've heard it takes time. Refrigerators are so annoying! Fingers crossed ours has been fine since the mobile tech found the baffle had been installed incorrectly. We also removed the bug guard over the vents as that (allegedly) restricts air flow and can cause problems. So far so good. If it ever goes for good after the extended warranty is up we will probably replace with a residential fridge.

  10. I know I'd be pulling into a shop with any of those problems. What a pain.

  11. Glad to hear about Dad's positive numbers!! I'm hoping your vision will continue to improve :) That refrigerator would annoy the heck out of me; I'd definitely opt for a hike! Dad does have an impressive amount of patience!

  12. Sounds like David knows a lot more about that frig than the Certified techs. We must be living in a refrigerator bubble. I just counted 14 years of RV frig use without a failure. our number must be coming up:(

  13. Wonderful news that David's numbers improved. Hopefully your bad news is temporary and your numbers improve as well. How frustrating to go through the surgery to have no better vision in that eye!! Love that you still use the Flowbe and get such great results :-) Of course with the refrigerator issues you both were probably pulling your hair out anyway!!

  14. Your refrigerator questions sound like something from a superhero comic book? Will Batman catch Joker before he destroys Gotham City??? David wins both the patience and mechanic awards. Hope it keeps working- xxxooo

  15. I'm so happy to hear of David's improved numbers. ANY improvement is welcome!! Yea! Now for the Frig!!! Boo. In order to boondock, the frig so, needed. The last thing you need is anything limiting your options. We had a frig fail in Oklahoma in the heat of summer so I understand your frustration... It will need to be fixed before summers heat again what ever the cost. I'm hoping your vision improves with more time in the mean time I suggest sleeping with your shoes on, to prevent the other shoe from falling! :)

  16. So delighted about the good numbers. Go David! Seems as though the RV fridge problems are just never ending. Such a bummer. And your eyes? I hope that your vision will continue to get better. Too much to go through without having some improvement at least. Take care

  17. As far as I'm concerned, Norcold, Dometic, Thetford, etc. are total CRAP! Look at the cost of them compared to one of the same items installed in a home on a permanent foundation. And I don't buy the garbage about the flex and bumps and whatever while driving down the road. I think appliance problems contributed to my getting out of an RV altogether, although sometimes I really miss the life. I had a Dometic fridge by the way, and it never did work properly as the gaskets on the door didn't stay tight. I even had them replaced to the tune of $385 and it wasn't any better than before. If you continue to have problems on a weekend or when you can't get service, why not try putting a bag of ice in the fridge - it should at least keep foods from getting too warm and spoiling.

  18. Maybe it's just too early to tell with your eyes - hoping you continue to have improvement!! And, great for David!

  19. So glad to hear David has gotten some positive test results. We will keep sending the positive thoughts for that trend to continue!!

    As for your eyes...give it a little more time and hopefully they will get back in focus. I know you are bummed about it, but worst case, you have to wear glasses. At least the cataracts are gone!!!

    Just so glad David has the patience of a saint... he really is a very handy man:o)) Hope the fridge continues to behave itself.

  20. So glad to hear abotu David's number:) But sorry to hear you didn't get the correction you needed:(

    Boy, having a very handy man is great and necessary in this lifestyle! Way to go David fixing the water pump and frig:) Hopw the frig continues to do its thing correctly.

  21. David is one very patient person! Bless his heart, but I sure hope the ref blues will have better result in a few days.
    I wish also that your eye corrections will slowly but surely improve in the next few months if not sooner.

  22. Im curious is that a trimmer ? or something else to fix your bangs? I have not seen a big equipment to cut hair, Sherry :)

  23. If Norcold runs their business that way, they deserve to go out of business.

  24. So happy to hear about David's upturn on his numbers. I've also heard that cataract surgery can take awhile to clear up your vision. Hang in there on the fridge, it must be hard!

  25. What a mix up of news. Sure hope David's numbers continue to go down and your eyesight keeps improving. Such a rip off with anything RV.

  26. Just catching up on your blog after a few days without internet (again!). So glad to hear that David's numbers are improving, and am hoping that your vision will continue to improve with time.

  27. Ok Batman! What will the fridge do next? Will Robin have to go get some more parts? Will the Joker sabotage their efforts? Will Batman have to drive Robin to the Norcold center to either get all of the parts they have OR strangle someone??? Norcold is a good name...it doesn't work NOR is it COLD. Good Luck! When are you headed back to Florida? I'm sad I missed you.. We are in Duck...in the rain..... But it's the beach so it's all good. xxxooo Happy New Year!


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