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Old 10-16-2016, 08:50 AM   #15
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My understanding is that the newer cooling units are much more forgiving than the older ones regarding off level performance.

Stuff built back in the 70's, 80's and early 90's not very forgiving at all. Newer stuff was re-engineered with the problem in mind. Not sure if that includes replacement coils for the older units or not.

Regarding mountain roads, road motion does have a large effect on off level performance. That's not something I'd be too concerned about (mountain driving).

With the places we generally park our rig (e.g. rest areas), it's generally not too big a deal I'd think. Still, if I were parked significantly off level for any period of time (1+ hours), I'd likely hit the power switch on ours as mentioned earlier. Keep in mind, the burner isn't on full time. It's only on when the t-stat is calling for cooling...

1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
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Old 10-16-2016, 09:00 AM   #16
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imob, I had a frig that wouldn't cool very good and I did in fact remove it and place it upside down. Don't recall how long I left it upside down, did this in the early 80's and don't recall what brand of frig it was. It worked for great for me until I traded this TT in 1986.

In my current MH, on my first outing I had my MH parked at about a 4 degree incline, kept everything cool for about 4 days and then went into complete meltdown. Frig went from about 35 degrees up to over 50 degrees and a matter of hour or so. Removed all of my food, shut off and was totally bummed out as was going on my first trip next day. Went on the trip fired the frig back up for the 150 mile trip and it has worked great ever since. So my frig needs to be just about perfectly level to operate properly.

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Old 10-16-2016, 09:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
You'll get lots of opinions on this. I'm one of those that values all I have so, my theory is, If I cause something to break, i.e. the fridge damage, because I was lazy i.e. not leveling in due time or, shutting it off while un-level, then I'm the one that has to pay for the repairs/parts.

So, as an example. If we're traveling and, pull in off to the side of the road for a burger etc. and the coach is unlevel, that fridge gets shut off before we leave it to enter the restaurant. If we pull off on a rest stop that I personally think is to un-level, the fridge is shut off.

I look at it this way. It's a SWITCH! All I (or the wife) has to do is, switch it off and, back on when needed. It's that simple. And by operating this way, we've not had any damage to any fridge in any motor home (had four so far) and two truck-campers with the same type fridge for over 35 years. Each person has to determine what's important, not worrying about it, or, just flip a switch.
That's exactly what I do. I've had 2 RVs and have used this method for both and never had any refrigerator problems. Just a flip of a switch.
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Old 10-16-2016, 09:15 AM   #18
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I've heard when the jacks aren't down, the rocking of the coach as it's traveling precluded damage.
If parked without jacks down, no amount of "rocking" is going to have any effect. Driving down the highway is a different scenario, but even there climbing a long grade (a mile or so) can keep it off-level enough to begin to cause harm. Most people won't ever do that enough to be concerned, though.

I made a 1200 mile trip with a recording boiler temperature monitor installed in mine (courtesy of Paul Unmack of ARP) and the results were instructive. Three times during that journey the fridge boiler temp climbed quite high, though never into "explode" territory. Once was in stop & go traffic in a small city and not sure why that occurred. Another was when stopped at a campground office to register. There was a waiting line and I was inside for 20 minutes or so, and the coach was parked out front and somewhat off level. Temp climbed 100 degrees. Third was driving in a crosswind for nearly an hour, which apparently inhibited air flow through the fridge "chimney". Boiler temp climbed about 120 degrees, even though we were moving all the time.

None of these are fatal, but the effects are cumulative. Most of us probably don't encounter these situations enough to noticeably shorten the fridge life span, so the fridge makers says "no worries". Besides, they like to sell new fridges and cooling units! But some of us do these sorts of things often enough that the life span of the fridge is shortened by years rather than a few weeks or months.
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Old 10-16-2016, 09:17 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by lakewoodpaul View Post
This is very helpful. Could you post the mathematical formula you used as there are many different length rigs?
Wouldn't think length would make a difference if you used a digital level. You could instantly see how many degrees you were off.

But i have to say, if those 4 and 6 degrees numbers are correct, then i have nothing to worry about anyway. I'll never park the rig, with frig running, that far off kilter.
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Old 10-16-2016, 12:13 PM   #20
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This may be a dumb question

Is being off-level only a concern when in the propane mode?

Or does operating a refrigerator in the electric mode also damaging if not level?

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Old 10-16-2016, 12:42 PM   #21
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Understand that from a functional standpoint there is no difference in what mode the refer is functioning in. It's looking for a heat source to function. Could be a propane flame, or an elec. heating element.

Both are capable of generating a blockage if abused.
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Old 10-16-2016, 02:18 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by danhannah View Post
Is being off-level only a concern when in the propane mode?

Or does operating a refrigerator in the electric mode also damaging if not level?

I asked the same question of my mobile tech that worked on my new unit. I got the same answer... no it does not matter. I kinda disagree. While yes the flow would be affected the same by ether heat source I see that the flame would cause crystallizing much faster and I believe that is what happened to my unit.

The heating element is going to have the same uniform heat at any angle. The flame on the other hand will remain level no matter what angle the rig is at. This will cause the flame to not go uniformly up the heat tube creating hot spots. This is what I believed happened to mine.

When I got the rig he told me it worked till last November. The propane tank was bone dry and when we tested out the fridge the heating element was dead. Like I said before, they left it on all the time. My suspicion is that while the angle the rig was stored at was fine when it was on electric, when the heating element went out it switched to gas and that was not at an acceptable angle. It then ran the gas till the tank ran dry, cooking the unit. They had the rig for 16 years and always ran it like this and stored it in the same place. This is all just speculation, but I spent a great deal of time thinking about what caused it to suddenly get cooked. And this bread crumb trail of symptoms is what I came up with.
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:33 PM   #23
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To possibly add a bread crumb to that theory, the flue above the flame is quite a bit larger than the flame at it's largest. However, there's a baffle in that flue (to slow the rising heat and assure better heat transfer), and the potential for it to be blocked completely, or partially, by a big chunk of rust falling from the flue pipe above the baffle is pretty good.

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