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Sorry about that butt shaped divot in your couch!

January 24th, 2009

After two months sitting around in a house and sinking further and further into the couch, we’re finally back on the road. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time with Jenn’s aunt, uncle, cousins and the grand kids, but we made the mistake of hooking up the idiot box. Now, I can pretty easily sit in front of the tube all day if there are enough movie channels to keep me interested. I KNOW it’s dumb and not the best way to spend my time and have spent most of the last ten years without TV or without cable at the least. Still, when it’s available, I think ‘well, it’s temporary, so I can indulge’.

Somehow, we finally got motivated and winterized the house, moved stuff back to the camper and hit the road. However, we’d lost some hobo mojo and things went wrong the moment we tried to leave. First we got enough snow to make driving a bit hazardous for two days, then we developed a leak in the camper (probably from the thaw/ice cycle of the snowfall), broke a PVC pipe while disconnecting the house water and the camper fridge went on the fritz.

The snow melted and a bit of apprentice level plumbing took care of the broken pipe. This morning, I shot a tube of dicor around the leaking vent and we took the camper to a local RV repair shop. The good news is the fridge is under warranty for a couple more years and was working when we left. The bad news is it’s working because we probably ‘burped’ it driving to the repair shop. So, we probably have a clog in the cooling unit that’s going to come  back to bite us later, but Norcold is not going to authorize a cooling unit replacement when the fridge  is working fine as far as the technician can see; even though he diagnosed it as a clogged cooling unit!

On the bright side, I didn’t have to use a hair dryer to defrost the freezer this time. At least we’re moving again. I already feel less like a couch potato. We’ll be heading down the Natchez Trace parkway as we make our way south and west for whats left of the winter.


I got tired of having our thermometer in the freezer and not know what the temperature was like outside. As a quick solution that lets me keep an eye on the fridge temperature without dedicating a sensor unit to it, I put the fridge in diagnostic mode and set it to the menu level that scrolls the refrigerator fin temperature. On the Norcold N82X (and probably a few other models), you can do this by holding down both temp and mode buttons until a ‘1’ pops up, then flashes to a diag code. You hit mode again to change menu levels, stopping when a ‘3’ pops up. It will then be followed by a pause and a couple of numbers, then another pause. This is your fin temperature.

You can download the Norcold service manual here if you want to see what the various diagnostic codes mean.

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2 Responses to “Sorry about that butt shaped divot in your couch!”

  1. Sean says:

    I’m guessing you already know this, but just in case: The Natchez Trace has three wonderful free campgrounds along the way. Be sure to stop fairly early — they are first-come, first-served, and tend to fill up by sunset.

    Also, if you take it all the way to Natchez, the visitor center there allows free overnight parking, and there are a couple of decent restaurants in walking distance.


  2. Anna says:

    The economy is getting tougher right now. My last child is moving away. There is no since of me renting a house or apt. anymore. I used to camp many years ago. I can deal with being by myself in a small area. I am looking into truck camper alternative. Anyone has any advice about living in a camper? Pros and Cons so I can weigh options. Thank you for any imput.

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