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Old 05-15-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
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Just How Level???

Parked in a spot where it has been structurally impossible to create a perfectly level environment for our Dometic, it has become a practical and even philosophical question: How level do you have to be? Or, better yet, how much out of level can you be and still have the refrigerator function normally and without any danger of damage?

Our situation, BTW, is that we are only a half bubble our of front/back level, as measured inside the freezer. The point of level on the floor in front of the refrigerator does not perfectly correspond with point of level inside. Of course, I use a 6 or 7 inch torpedo level, which is not terribly accurate. To be safe, I turned the Dometic off and stored our food inside, at our friend's house where we're staying. Paranoid? Perhaps...

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Thank you, and All the Best... J. Cooney
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:31 PM   #2
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A round "bubble" level is what we use; you don't have to be "on", but we've been far enough out to shut the Dometic down. Re-level, shut the fridge down, defrost, let it sit with the door partially open for 24 hours and you're good to go. You gots to be pretty far out of level (which you should notice walking through the coach) for the fridge to quit.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:28 PM   #3
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If there's ice in the freezer and 38 or less in the fridge compartment after 24 hours of running you're fine. Mine went to 34 at thermo setting 5 and we had 1/3 bubble low in the front, sank overnight in the soft ground. If it's warmer and you have the thermostat at full tilt then you may be a little to off the mark. Getting the trailer as close to level is good for many different reasons like the tub /shower draining, things rolling off the countertops, falling over when intoxicated, milk spilling. ;O)
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:51 PM   #4
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falling over when intoxicated
Huh? One can get the fridge off level enough to shut it down and not notice it. The freezer is the last to go. A el cheapo thermometer is a must for coaches.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:09 AM   #5
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Parked in a spot where it has been structurally impossible to create a perfectly level environment for our Dometic, it has become a practical and even philosophical question: How level do you have to be? Or, better yet, how much out of level can you be and still have the refrigerator function normally and without any danger of damage?

Our situation, BTW, is that we are only a half bubble our of front/back level, as measured inside the freezer. The point of level on the floor in front of the refrigerator does not perfectly correspond with point of level inside. Of course, I use a 6 or 7 inch torpedo level, which is not terribly accurate. To be safe, I turned the Dometic off and stored our food inside, at our friend's house where we're staying. Paranoid? Perhaps...

Comments?

Thank you, and All the Best... J. Cooney
A half bubble, using the level that Mike posted, is the maximum off level without risking a vapor lock.

Also, the hotter the ambient temperature, the closer to level the freezer compartment bottom must be.

You can install a level on the A-frame, but calibrate it to the bottom plate of the freezer.

Andy
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:44 AM   #6
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You always want to be as level as possible. Newer refrigerator instructions say 3% or less slope is not a problem. If just parking off level for short periods of time it should not hurt the refrig. If the trailer is sitting where it is comfortable for you to walk around in the trailer it should be fine for the refrigerator. Older refrigerators (20 yrs) were less tolerable.
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:12 AM   #7
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Friends: On my first attempt at leveling, I went so nose-high trying to get a centered bubble that the door and the rear compartment wouldn't close/open smoothly. Had to live with a little off-level to close the door! Fortunately, the frig was fine with a half-bubble off level. We're headed to the Ouachita Mountains next week, where I know that bubble will get a workout. Best wishes, John
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:17 AM   #8
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the hotter the ambient temperature, the closer to level the freezer compartment bottom must be.
Thanks Andy, I did not know that, makes sense, though. The only time we've had a problem with the Dometic was Arizona in the heat.
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:31 PM   #9
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Another Question

Firstly, thank you all for your comments. Another issue: When traveling, the Dometic routinely gets warmer, by several degrees depending on length of trip and outside temperature. An Airstream tech told me that because the refrigerator is on the driver's side, trucks or other vehicles can blow out the propane flame. However, I would think that if that happened very often the system would shut down.
Could it be that RV refrigerators don't work as well under way? Or that the out of level (even with the pitch to compensate) somehow interferes with efficiency? When hooked up, our rig is slightly low at the hitch, if parked on level terrain.
Anyhow, every time when I stop the propane flame is on (to test I blow in the burner and can hear the flame crackle), and the pipes are warm. Our Dometic has a thermometer readout above the freezer, which is handy but can also make one a little compulsive.

Thank You.... Jeff
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:51 PM   #10
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The shop where we bought our refurbished Dometic recommended keeping a 6" level on hand and keeping the fridge, as Andy said, no more than half a bubble off level.
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