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Old 02-10-2004, 07:43 AM   #1
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Fridge level - how critical

Just how critical is it to perfectly level an Airstream for proper refrigerator operation? I read up on how the absorbtion refrigeration system works, and see that a lot of the system depends on gravity to properly drain fluids for the start of another cycle. But, it appears that the system would work fine if you only "eyeballed" the level.

Past posts indicate that bad level will result in liquid ammonia getting into where only gaseous ammonia should be, upsetting the system. Looking at the back of my refrigerator, it looks like the level bubble could just about "bang the stops", and the ammonia would still drain. Could not find a war story like, "Yeah, my Dometic quit after running it a quarter bubble off plumb on the last trip".

Does anyone have better insight into how exact the level should be for proper refrigerator operation?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 02-10-2004, 07:47 AM   #2
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Tom,

It's been my understanding that the older units require the level to be a bit more accurate. Newer units although it is important, it is not as critical to have it perfect. I would say that as long as you are close to level you should be ok.

I bring a small level with me and take a few readings to get it as close as I can.

Hope this helps.

Eric
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:20 AM   #3
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My OEm Dometic from 1972 works fine at almost a full bubble off plumb. Any more than that and the water won't drain out of your sink or shower, either.
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:23 AM   #4
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I've been told by people with more experience than me ... "within half a bubble" ... all of these folks own mid-90s and later RVs.

I carry a small level and check the inside of the fridge when levelling.
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by argosy20
Any more than that and the water won't drain out of your sink or shower, either.
Terry
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:00 AM   #6
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see
http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/ow.../leveling.html
for one view of the 'how level' question.
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:52 AM   #7
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:16 AM   #8
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The leveling question has been answered lately by "if its comfortable for you, its good enough for the fridge". I know that they have made the newer units (year unknown) to be more tolerant of off level but how much is still the question most of us ask.

My rule of thumb is that the refrigerator is probably one, if not the most expensive component in your trailer. With that line of thinking I tend to protect that component by making sure I'm as close to center on my bubble as possible. On my Classic if its one mark off I know that that requires one Lynx Leveler block under each wheel on the low side. Not too much rocket science and as far as I'm concerned, good insurance for long refrigerator life.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 03-06-2004, 04:58 PM   #9
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Fridge level

I wonder if there's an industrial designer out there who could design a gimbel unit or some such device which would allow a refrigerator to level itself independently of the unit in which it is installed. Might take up a bit more space, but save a lot of time and work. Could be automatic or hand cranked and locked down for travel etc.,
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Old 03-06-2004, 08:55 PM   #10
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Just use a small bullseye level in the freezer and if you asre in the circle, it will work fine.
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Old 03-13-2004, 09:17 AM   #11
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I use a level similar to camping worlds Super Level http://www.campingworld.com/browse/s...m=6440&src=TSC When we park we use this to level side to side then use the jack to level fore and aft. I have checked the level against a 4' level on the floor inside the trailer and made the necessary adjustments. You don't have to be very much off level in either direction to be uncomfortable, in the bed especially. I have found this to be very satisfactory for us.
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Old 03-13-2004, 02:58 PM   #12
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My Dometic manual says you need to be level enough for your comfort and that will work for the fridge also.
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Old 03-13-2004, 07:59 PM   #13
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Yeah, we managed to have a non-functional fridge in the 67 Sovereign, but the level was way, way off! We had to practically climb from the front to the back of the rig. Once we were a little more level -- just a strenuous walk from front to back -- the fridge worked just fine.

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Old 09-24-2004, 07:07 AM   #14
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Same question with a twist

When I pre-cool my Dometic refrigerator at home in the driveway before a trip, I have to have my Overlander unhitched to level it. When we are ready to hit the road, I then just rehitch it and go. Lately, though, there has been an increasing amount of time between being ready to go, and actually pulling out of the driveway.

I'm starting to worry that I will wait until everyone is buckled up before rushing through hitching-up, and show up at my destination without the Overlander.

I'm curious about how long I can safely run the refrigerator when it is sitting obviously off-level in the driveway. Are we talking an hour, a half-day or ...? Any insight you care to share?

Thanks,
Tom
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