norcold rv refrigerator

Norcold RV Refrigerator

Norcold RV Refrigerator product line is one of the most important line of fridges for refrigerators for recreational vehicles and boats, along with Dometic and Carrier, since the seventies. Manufacturer is Thetford and their headquarters are located in Ohio.

RV fridges are built with the idea to resist their usage even traveling through roads with miles of bumps. Norcold RV refrigerator is not an exception to this and will work in standard performance even when the surface is not completely flat and when the exterior temperature is hot.

One advantage of an Norcold RV refrigerator unit in comparison to other brands is that they will automatically shift to function with propane gas when you are not utilizing shore power anymore. With more manufacturers incorporating this automatic switch, Norcold would be losing one of its distinctive advantages in their RV fridge line in the near future.

Norcold RV Fridges Exclusively for RVs: The N3000 Products and the Absorption Cooling Technology

The Thetford N3000 Series refrigerator has a beautiful design, with the RV in mind. Their larger models, such as the N3175, are suitable for a class A motorhome, and their smaller N3080 would fit in a teardrop camper.

See the chart below provided by Thetford themselves. Just bear in mind  that refrigerators built into the original equipment directly from the RV manufacturer may have different specifications. An example can be Forest River recreational vehicles.







n3080 norcold rv refirgerator norcold rv fridge norcold refrigerator norcold norcold rv refrigerator norcold rv refrigerator
depth including 
door (hxwxd)  (in)
32x19x21 32x20x21 32x20x24 49x20x21 149x20x22 49x20x24
Gross volume in liters
including ice compartment
81 l 97 l 113 l 141 l 149 l 175 l
volume in liters
10 l 11 l 14 l 23 l 25 l 31 l
Control panel LED LED LCD / Touch control LCD / Touch control LCD / Touch control LCD / Touch control
Operation mode Manual operation Manual operation Automatic energy selection Automatic energy selection Automatic energy selection Automatic energy selection
Color Gray Gray black black black black
Form doors Flat Flat Bent Flat Bent Bent
Doorstop Left or right Left or right Left or right Left or right Left or right Left or right
Wheel arch model Yes No Yes No No No
Energy consumption * 
(kWh / 24h)
2,4 kWh 2.8 kWh 2,6 kWh 4,0 kWh 4,0 kWh 4,0 kWh
Gas consumption * 
(g / 24h)
240 gr 330 gr 270 gr 420 gr 420 gr 420 gr
Net weight 49 lbs 60 lbs 24 kg 53 lbs 83 lbs 87 lbs
Cooling technology  absorption absorption absorption absorption absorption absorption
Refrigerant type NH3 NH3 NH3 NH3 NH3 NH3
Refrigerant charge (in grams as an international standard) 94 g 94 g 94 g 126 g 126 g 126 g


Its automatic functions, self-diagnosis system makes the N3000 line one of the most efficient RV refrigerators in today’s leisure market.

The Norcold RV Refrigerator N3000 series is available in 2 different versions:

  • N3000-A automatic touchscreen LCD version
  • N3000-E electric LED version

The N3000 series has been developed with the most modern technology and Norcolds considers that they are designed and manufactured “…..with the needs of the user always present…..”.

Standing at the forefront of market trends, the newly designed N3000 series has a control panel with touch screen. Its large service panel has clear and easy-to-use symbols. The lighting on the control panel lights up during use and then slowly fades. This eliminates the need to have a lamp constantly on that can be visually annoying.

This Norcold RV refrigerator line defrost automatically. This prevents the formation of ice in the freezer. Therefore, you do not need to be scraping your freezer frequently to remove the ice. The unloading function, which is activated automatically, ensures that condensation does not occur between the two doors of the refrigerator.

All the refrigerators have a self-diagnosis system. If a fault occurs, an error code will appear on the control panel. The design has been optimized and adjusted by our last check in 2018. The lightning has been placed under the control panel, so that you can always see the contents of the refrigerator. By using a single door you can also have lighting in the freezer. The bottle rack has no edges, thus facilitating cleaning without any inconvenience in my opinion.

the Norcold RV Refrigerator N-3000 product line are all absorption refrigerators, as we briefly mentioned above. They operate through AC or gas. The LED refrigerators can work even with a 12 V battery. This allows you to use the refrigerator in virtually any situation. The control panel reveals the selected energy source. After automatically selecting the best available energy source, the refrigerator will start up. The flame is electrically ignited on all models.

If the flame goes out accidentally, the refrigerator will restart in 2.5 seconds. It happened in about four seconds in my testing but nevertheless i think that this is a good performance.

Absorption refrigerators are silent as a whisper. We explain it in our article about RV refrigerators as they work differently than your domestic refrigerator. Norcold RV refrigerators do not have compressors, which makes them quieter. This means that you can relax and enjoy a pleasant stay in your camper, travel trailer or teardrop, without the constant hum of the RV appliances in the background.

Norcold RV Refrigerator Recalls

There were recently some issues with some Norcold RV refrigerator lines, however none of them affected the N 3000 product line. It is important that you follow the instruction from Norcold to help with the recall.

First you have to identify the model of your Norcold RV refrigerator located inside and then follow the steps in the graphic below and contact the dealer and Norcold.

We have been receiving in the past some complaints from Norcold customers. They also mentioned in the forum comments, that the recall process was not clear for them. Nevertheless, as the new Norcold RV refrigerator models were not affected by these issues and were not subject to recall, these issues will gradually tend to disappear.

norcold recall

Norcold RV Refrigerator Absorber System

There is a gas absorber system, that is a feature used to provide the cooling

norcold rv refrigerator

Norcold RV Fridge Conversion Charts

These conversion charts for Norcold RV refrigerator models serve to define if a Norcold product will fit into an available space in your floorplan and which model from Norcold or Dometic can be replaced in which space.

Norcold has warned many times that modifications in the cabinet may be required and that the dimensions established in the conversion charts to facilitate the replacement of the Norcold RV refrigerator are not in all opportunities an exact fit. Therefore, you always have to take your measurements, and take the Norcold conversion charts as an indicative advice. We use to say, measure thrice so you need to cut just once; so it feels safe to stick to that golden rule.

norcold rv refrigerator
rv norcold refrigerator

norcold rv refrigerator

Previous articleRV Loans: Three Steps To Obtain A Loan And Mistakes To Avoid
Next article37 Amazing RV Remodel Ideas Easy To Implement
I am Alex, an RV designer and RV developer. I create bill of materials for RV manufacturers for travel trailers and fifth wheels. I have also worked as an RV designer. As a consultant, I create customization trees for RV manufacturers who want to offer a solution to prospective customers to design their custom RV with variant configuration. Apart from this, I sell in Indiana trailer hitches, hitch balls, goosenecks and weight distribution systems where I provide advice to customers who want to know which is their towing capacity, which hitch ball should they utilize and how to deploy a weight distribution system. I do my best to explain all these processes and their installation, here in RV Favorites.