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Old 09-17-2010, 09:49 AM   #29
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Question Where is my surveyor's transit?

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Originally Posted by r carl View Post
It appears that a half bubble off is 1 degree.



OK, While you guys spend your time trying to level your trailer to within one degree with a cheap little probably made in china plastic level, I am going to be enjoying the reason I took the trailer out in the first place.

I had two truck campers in the 1970's. I have had three different travel trailers since 1993. They have all been used extensively in all kinds of camping environments and I have never had a refrigerator even hiccup.

The only RV refrigerator issue I have ever experienced was when the ice box in my family's 1958 trailer would run out of ice.

I never heard this, what seems to me to be, nonsense about precision leveling before I came to this forum and it appears to be all originating from one source.

The people who built my refrigerator were kind enough to write a manual about how to use it. It contains guidelines for leveling. I will continue to follow their guidelines, which basically says, "Make your trailer comfortable to live in", and enjoy my camping experience.

Happy Camping,

Ken
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:18 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
OK, While you guys spend your time trying to level your trailer to within one degree with a cheap little probably made in china plastic level, I am going to be enjoying the reason I took the trailer out in the first place.
Actually, most can easily agree on this.... 1 degree turns out to be:

sin(1) * 8' * 12"/1' = 1.7" over the width of the trailer - so get it to the nearest level you can w/ 2x6 leveling board(s) , and you're good to go.

- Bart
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:23 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
OK, While you guys spend your time trying to level your trailer to within one degree with a cheap little probably made in china plastic level, I am going to be enjoying the reason I took the trailer out in the first place.

I had two truck campers in the 1970's. I have had three different travel trailers since 1993. They have all been used extensively in all kinds of camping environments and I have never had a refrigerator even hiccup.

The only RV refrigerator issue I have ever experienced was when the ice box in my family's 1958 trailer would run out of ice.

I never heard this, what seems to me to be, nonsense about precision leveling before I came to this forum and it appears to be all originating from one source.

The people who built my refrigerator were kind enough to write a manual about how to use it. It contains guidelines for leveling. I will continue to follow their guidelines, which basically says, "Make your trailer comfortable to live in", and enjoy my camping experience.

Happy Camping,

Ken
Yup, Ken,

I've had a total of 4 refrigerators in 3 units (all Dometic). a 72 popup, 93 SOB, and my 07 Classic. Never a hiccup with slight off level. I have parked in places for the day at tourist attractions (REALLY off level) where I was sure I would come back to a hot fridge.....never happened. They are not nearly as sensitive as some would imply. Not to say some may have other mechanical issues which may make that particular unit more sensitive. Andy, remember you only get to see the ones with issues, so you tend to get "tunnel vision". I always have to remind myself of that on my job.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:57 AM   #32
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Yup, Ken,

I've had a total of 4 refrigerators in 3 units (all Dometic). a 72 popup, 93 SOB, and my 07 Classic. Never a hiccup with slight off level. I have parked in places for the day at tourist attractions (REALLY off level) where I was sure I would come back to a hot fridge.....never happened. They are not nearly as sensitive as some would imply. Not to say some may have other mechanical issues which may make that particular unit more sensitive. Andy, remember you only get to see the ones with issues, so you tend to get "tunnel vision". I always have to remind myself of that on my job.
Yes indeed, repairs RV shops that "care" do get tunnel vision when they experienced the same problems over and over, again and again, that cost customers money.

A good shop, will pass on and share that experience, so that others can avoid the issues.

A poor shop, will never say a word, so that more owners make more of the same mistakes. Hey, that's great for business, they feel.

I was not aware, that someone would take offense, to being cautioned about any potential problem, that they could avoid, with their Airstream.

With RVing, there are many areas that can be avoided, that cost owners money, that could be better spent on having fun, instead of paying a needless repair bill.

Our long term experience says that most owners appreciate knowledge sharing.

After all, is this not what the Airstream Forums is all about?

Andy
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:27 PM   #33
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knowledge sharing?

great idea.

please point to the 'freezer plate' in this schematic.

Click image for larger version

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this is a 1/2 tall (4.5 cf) fridge similar to the unit IN the op's trailer.

the 6-10 cf units in MOST rvz made in the last 10+ years are similar just taLLer.

#10 is the "cooling unit" and #8 are the "fins" that extend INTO the box...
________

the owners manual 4 dometic branded absorption fridge/freezers

clearly explains 'circulation, hydrogen pockets and cooling.

it also clearly states that "level" is any position...

where comfortable walking/moving around inside is possible.

there is NO mention of using a bubble level INSIDE the unit,

especially the freezers, as there was in 1979.

the reality is most of us level the stream

WITHOUT going inside and frying eggs or opening the freezer.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:58 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post

-------------------------------------------
I was not aware, that someone would take offense, to being cautioned about any potential problem, that they could avoid, with their Airstream.

--------------------------------------------

Andy

Andy,

I will take the time to explain why I was annoyed. Offended does not apply.

You have a reputation here as being very knowledgeable about Airstream systems.

When you state something, a large number of people simply take it as gospel.

A certain number of people discount it.

Another group does what I do. I say "I've never heard of that before, I better check it."

So I dig out manuals, search the forum, search the internet, and generally try to find some other supporting information about what you said. In this case all I found is references in some other threads in these forums where people state that you have said this previously. My manual gives much different requirements.

In this case we were talking about how level the OP's trailer should be before it is proper to be towed.

Then you join in and state (paraphrased) that one needs to use a plastic level, somewhere in the freezer compartment and get it to within a half bubble before their trailer is level enough for the refrigerator to operate.

I see this and think, "what the H--- is this", and spend a bunch of time trying to find out where this may have come from. If anyone one else had said it, I probably would have ignored it.

So I'm am annoyed at myself for getting sucked in and wasting a bunch of time.

If you still feel that this procedure is applicable to late model RV refrigerators, there is nothing more I can say.

If , on the other hand, you see that the newer refrigerators at least, don't require this precision, I hope in the future you will not rely totally on your experience, but look at the available references before you make a concrete statement like this one.

There are a lot of people on these forums that take everything you say as gospel and do not question it at all. This places on you a special responsibly to ensure that what you say is accurate and up to date.


Regards,

Ken
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:23 PM   #35
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I have nothing more to add to, or subtract from what I have already said.

Each person, is free, to make their own choices, in everything they do in life, at least as in some cases, it's legal.

Whose right, whose wrong, doesn't really matter.

Arguing, accomplishes "nothing".

My last post on this subject.

Andy
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:49 PM   #36
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Take Offense?????????????? I don't get it.
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:33 PM   #37
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In 1987 the owners manuals said to level the fridge. That was the year I bought my first stream.
The new trailers manuals don't say that anymore.
But when I initally set my level on the front of my 2010 trailer I first put a level in the bottom of the fridge and once that showed level all around I set my level on the front of the trailer to match. No measuring of the frame to ground required.
It just makes sense to me to do it that way.
Now when I pull in any place, if my front level is right on I know I'm level. I see the level in the fridge as a good reference point and good insurance to trouble free operation of the rest of the trailer, doors, eggs in the pan, etc.
It does work well, by leveling the fridge and all else falls into place.
One more thing, a bubble level is just that, a bubble between 2 marks or within a circle. No matter where it was made, if it's accurate, it's accurate. Just check it against other levels for accuracy before you put any faith in it..
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:01 PM   #38
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...It just makes sense to me to do it that way.
Now when I pull in any place, if my front level is right on I know I'm level. I see the level in the fridge as a good reference point and good insurance to trouble free operation of the rest of the trailer, doors, eggs in the pan, etc...
it's nice 2 know this works in your stream.

but on the assembly line the only thing that is LEVEL is the frame/floor relative to the plant floor.

the guys working inside iball almost every interior bit.

when the floor is level in my unit the galley and burners SLOPE downward streetside..

in fact the entire cabinetry follows that slope.

the fridge is reasonably even but has been moved/removed at least twice since since production.

as typical with LONGER streams, the front floor slopes a bit counter to the rear floor...

and so on.

transverse "level" used to matter more than longitudinal level for the OLDER fridges with freezer plates.
________

each camping situation brings different NEEDs for level.

as an example, USING all of the fresh tank depends on a tiny slope to the street side.

while FILLING the fresh tank fully requires the opposite.

NONE of the tanks are perfectly level with the frame/floor.

the wash water tank as it FILLS,

and especially the toilet tank have leveling needs...

at only 4-5 inches deep a 35 gallon tank capacity is significantly altered by just a bit of tilt.

finally the entry DOOR and how easily it closes is critically affected by leveling.

and luckily the FRIDGE tolerates all of these gyrations per the manufacturer.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:00 PM   #39
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OK, I see what your saying. Just because it worked for me doesn't mean it's gonna work on all streams. Too bad, as it made it a pretty simple way to level the whole thing at once.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:37 PM   #40
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A note to OP:

My answer may help the OP since I have nearly the same setup : no it does not matter if you are a bit off. I have Flying Cloud 2011 20' and TV is 3/4 t Dodge diesel 2003, so the setup is close to yours.

By switching hitch I got it close to level but not perfect.
Hitching the Airstream, the front of my truck lifted 1/4 of inch!! Diesels are front heavy, absolutely no need for equalizing hitch.
Rode 1000 miles, side wind, trucks, rain - never a problem at 65 Mi/hr.
Manual says that for fridge function the leveling for towing does not matter (for camping the leveling is more important), the Airstream is moving enough to drain NH3 from condenser, verified, we had fridge on all the time.

In short if you hook 20 ft light trailer behind a good diesel what problems would you expect?? Just go camping.......
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:59 PM   #41
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What the tech guy said

After all the comments about refrigerator leveling, I'll pass on some comments I received after calling a Dometic tech guy. I called him because I have heard such a range in commentary (just like the above range) that I felt I really needed to know what the tech guys who work for Dometic say.

First, when talking about leveling, the only issue is front to rear, not side to side. As for front to rear, the tech guy said that as long as you can walk the isle of your trailer without feeling like you're straining, the refrigerator will not be adversely affected. I tried to get him to be more specific but did not get much more. The point is, the talk above about being very close to perfect level is simply wrong. As long as the trailer is even very roughly level, that is fine. That was my take away comment from the tech guy.

If any reader thinks that the unit needs to be very close to level and is losing sleep worrying about this, I'd recommend a call to Dometic and ask for the tech department. It's not that hard to get them on the line.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:02 PM   #42
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mistermcfrug
Thanks for your post, we all should try to do the homework first before posting the usual folklore!
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