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Old 08-07-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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Refrigerator question

I have a '86 Winne Elandan that has a Norcold model 8310 refrigerator that I have a question on..(actually this could be about any absorptive unit).
They say in the op manual for this fridge that it should not go un-level past a front to back tilt of more than +/- 6 deg's or from side to side of +/- 3 deg's.
So when your driving down the road do you turn off the fridge until you park and level the RV or can you continue to power the fridge from DC/AC power (LP gas would be shut off while driving)?
Just curious how this is accomplished since on a long drive the fridge would eventually heat up and food would get spoiled if the fridge is turned off while
driving.
Thanks..
Bruce
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:12 AM   #2
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Being off level while driving does not harm the refrigerator since the coolant will be splashing around. You just don't want to sit for hours at a time being way off level. So continue to drive with the fridge turned on and have fun traveling.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:13 AM   #3
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Welcome to irv2.
As your driving and going up and down grades, stopping, vibration on road will move fluids in cooling unit flowing through fridge IS of no concern while operating on LP.
When traveling down the road, the liquids and gases inside the cooling unit are sloshed around and don't collect in unwanted areas, making it all right to travel with the refrigerator on.

Operation of cooling unit.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:45 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info..so that settles that question I was wondering about. Unfortunately the fridge has stopped working and reading the link "op of cooling unit" I hope I haven't damaged/plugged up the cooling unit in this Norcold..the RV is parked but not level. How far off level I will have to measure. The Norcold manual talks about removing the fridge and placing it on it's left side for an hour to remix the fluids..hope this works. Again thanks for the info. Bruce
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:04 PM   #5
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Ham_Hog, its even ok to shake things around a little, while working with the fridge out. If the unit isn't an auto ignition type, for the propane burner, you can borrow a propane tank and regulator off your BBQ, hook it up and run the fridge out side the coach. Run on MAX to boil the solution in the cooling system, and hopefully disolve the crystals pluging the tubing. I did this for 48 hrs on an old unit and had it work great for years after.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:33 PM   #6
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Try taking the coach for a ride on dipping leaning road and a few bumps to shake things up a bit. The constant moving around of fluid may mix it enough to get thing settled so it will start cooling.
Have the fridge on gas unless your running Gen.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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We had a 79 Silver Streak with the old original Dometic frig. It got to where it would cool for a few days then slowly stop. If we towed the trailer and shook things up with the propane operating it, it would start working for a few days again.

These units have some trays with weirs and orifices. As the units age, the corrosion inhibitors deteriorate and you get some rust particles and flakes that circulate and they will apparently these particles plug things up. The shaking while moving clears things up for a time. The problem will continue to get worse.

Ken
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:10 PM   #8
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I always wonder how much 6 degrees and 3 degrees is. plus what is comfortable for dw is not always comfortable for me. she says I worry to much about being level.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:19 PM   #9
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You can work it out...simple trigonometry...Sine-Cosine-Tangent
Tan = opposite/adjacent.

http://wright.nasa.gov/airplane/tabltan.html

Ken
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:06 PM   #10
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Ok..I measured the front to back angle and was right at the threshold of +/- 6 deg..looked more like 5 deg but not sure of instrument accuracy. Same went with sid to side angle again at the threshold of 3 deg but appeared closer to 2 deg's. The graduations on the angle instrument are close and not spread apart enough to make a precise reading.
I haven't had the time to investigate this further..later this month i can get back to it.
Thanks for the suggestions and help.
Bruce
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:01 PM   #11
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I wonder how many RV refrigerators of even the most conscientious owners have been damaged or failed because during a trip, the refrigerator was left running while parked for an hour or two in a seriously unlevel condition while the owner and crew were taking in some tourist attraction or dining, etc. Once all the cooling unit liquid is trapped up in the off-level coils, the burner just sits there cremating the base of the boiler - sorta like a pan left on a stove at high heat after the liquid has been evaporated. The then flaking small particles this creates, are then entirely likely to eventually circulate and plug the smaller orifices of the system, and then, POOF - no more cooling...

Probably only takes one such serious incident to do the deed...
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham_Hog View Post
Ok..I measured the front to back angle and was right at the threshold of +/- 6 deg..looked more like 5 deg but not sure of instrument accuracy. Same went with sid to side angle again at the threshold of 3 deg but appeared closer to 2 deg's. The graduations on the angle instrument are close and not spread apart enough to make a precise reading.
I haven't had the time to investigate this further..later this month i can get back to it.
Thanks for the suggestions and help.
Bruce
Bruce,

Even three degrees out of level is a LOT! It works out to 5/8" elevation difference in a foot.

Six degrees is so large that you would be concerned about parking. Six degrees is 1-1/4" in a foot. This would amount to about a two-foot difference in 20 feet. That's a 10% grade. Go find a hill that has a 10% grade and you'll see what I mean.

One accurate way to check the amount of tilt is to place a foot-long spirit level on a horizontal surface. (One that would be horizontal if the unit were level.) Lift the lower end of the level until the bubble is centered. Measure how high that end is above the horizontal surface. If it's 5/8", then the surface is three degrees out of level. If it's 1-1/4", then it's six degrees out.

This large tolerance for level is why newer refrigerators are much less sensitive than their predecessors.

-- Loren
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