Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > iRV2.com General Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-04-2011, 08:12 PM   #1
Member
 
chofujohn's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 69
I just lost the food in my frig...

I'm loading up my 39 foot DSDP out on the street in front of my house and I guess because it is unlevel my frig quit working. I knew I should have left the generator on 24/7 while in this process, but I didn't and now I've lost ALL the food in the unit. Some stuff is safe in the basement freezer because it works on 12V as well as 110v. But, to say I'm dissatisfied with my frig would be an understatement.

So, guys, what's the answer? Is there a trick to keeping it running in an unlevel condition? Should I buy a newer generation frig that works on AC/DC/LP? Do any of you have one of those newer units? Are they more reliable?

I'm a new full-timer who is about to launch within days and I've worked hard to make this motorhome as suitable as possible to my needs as a full-timer. All I can see that is lacking is the frig. It's pitiful.

Best,

John
__________________

__________________
2002 Newmar Dutch Star DSDP3852, Spartan Chassis, ISC 350, MH 3000, Banks Power Pak, Blue Ox Tru-Center for Spartan IFS, Onan 7500, Toad Nissan Pathfinder 4x4, Remco driveline disconnect, Hobie Kayak, Dish HD Satellite, Driver John & Maltese "Romeo"
chofujohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-04-2011, 08:22 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Snowbird - Waterford Mi and Citrus Springs Fl.
Posts: 3,609
The frig is designed to be run in motion, or nearly level. Todays aren't quite as bad as they used to be, but the fact remains they should be level. The energy soure powering them are of no consequence. It would have done the same thing on 110v.
__________________

__________________
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
03 CR-V Blue Ox, Ready Brake
ahicks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 09:01 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Sammie's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,779
Quote:
Originally Posted by chofujohn View Post
I'm loading up my 39 foot DSDP out on the street in front of my house and I guess because it is unlevel my frig quit working. I knew I should have left the generator on 24/7 while in this process, but I didn't and now I've lost ALL the food in the unit. Some stuff is safe in the basement freezer because it works on 12V as well as 110v. But, to say I'm dissatisfied with my frig would be an understatement.

So, guys, what's the answer? Is there a trick to keeping it running in an unlevel condition? Should I buy a newer generation frig that works on AC/DC/LP? Do any of you have one of those newer units? Are they more reliable?

I'm a new full-timer who is about to launch within days and I've worked hard to make this motorhome as suitable as possible to my needs as a full-timer. All I can see that is lacking is the frig. It's pitiful.

Best,

John
John, You don't say what brand (Norcold or Dometic) or what model refrigerator you have but if what you say that the refer is "kaput", then you have a couple of options. Some people are pulling out the old RV refrigerator and replacing it with a residential type that runs on 120 volt only. In doing this type of conversion you may need to upgrade your inverter and add more house batteries to supply the electrical needs of the new fridge.

The other option you might want to consider is more economical and is done by the replacement of your existing fridges cooling unit. Depending on your model this can be done for Approximatly $900 to $1500 depending on who you get to do the work.

If your handy with tools you can replace the cooling unit yourself and save $400 to $500 in labor like I did on my Norcold 1200. You can order a new Amish Built cooling unit from RV Cooling Unit Warehouse and get it shipped to you in a few days.

Here is a video I made while doing the installation of my cooling unit.

Good Luck,
Sammie
Norcold 1200 to Amish Cooling Unit Conversion.mpg - YouTube
__________________
2015 Tiffin Bus 37AP
2016 Ford Explorer
"A Job Begun is Half Done"
Sammie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 09:16 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
Gary RVRoamer's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Silver Springs, FL. USA
Posts: 18,096
Your fridge didn't fail because you did not run the generator. If it was enough out-of-level to fail, it would have done so even if plugged to shore power. Besides, it would have to be way out of level to cause an immediate and outright failure.

An absorption fridge needs to be in motion or fairly level to work right, and that applies regardless of the power source. AC, DC or LP makes no difference.

A 2002 model fridge is new enough to be ok with angle up to 3 degrees, which is actually quite a lot. If you have a 40 foot coach, 3 degrees means one end is about 2 feet higher than the other. You would be very uncomfortable walking around like that, but maybe you tolerated it while loading the coach? How far off was it?
__________________
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
Gary RVRoamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 09:31 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: So. California
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Your fridge didn't fail because you did not run the generator. If it was enough out-of-level to fail, it would have done so even if plugged to shore power. Besides, it would have to be way out of level to cause an immediate and outright failure.

An absorption fridge needs to be in motion or fairly level to work right, and that applies regardless of the power source. AC, DC or LP makes no difference.

A 2002 model fridge is new enough to be ok with angle up to 3 degrees, which is actually quite a lot. If you have a 40 foot coach, 3 degrees means one end is about 2 feet higher than the other. You would be very uncomfortable walking around like that, but maybe you tolerated it while loading the coach? How far off was it?

I always get my refrigerator within a 1/2 bubble but it is a 2000 National Sea Breeze fifth wheel do you think the 2000 I have is more lenient with the leveling? thanks ED
__________________
Ed ke6bnl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 09:37 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
bluepill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pensacola, FL
Posts: 2,247
1. A friend who has had RV's since the 70's told me that he had luck with restoring an older LP fridge that had died. He removed it and turned it upside-down for a few days. After righting it, it worked. I would think that would be worth trying. Before you go to that trouble, make sure that your fridge doesn't have another problem, such as a blown 12 volt fuse that will shut down the controller board. (The never ASSUME rule).

2. Re your question about keeping the fridge cold when you cannot level it. I use very little of the freezer space for food. My Norcold has 2 dedicated freezer compartments. Before a trip, I fill "Tupperware" containers and old soda bottles to about 90% full, and freeze them in the home fridge.

I then take the frozen containers to the MH and put them in both the refer and freezer compartments. This cools down the fridge quickly, saving time and on-board energy. After the refer section gets down to temp., I move the containers to the freezer.

If I cannot run the fridge due to off-level, I just move the containers into the refer section, and it becomes one big "Ice Chest". If needed, I will purchase additional ice. For food safety, I keep a digital thermometer with min/max memory ($10 at WalMart) in both compartments to tell me how high the temp has gotten.
__________________
2008 Itasca Meridian 37H & 2015 Flagstaff T12RBST
2011 & 2012 Len & Pat's "One lap of America"
27K miles & 41 states in 13 months - Woo Woo
Yellowstone Lake 6-1-2012
bluepill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 10:49 AM   #7
Member
 
chofujohn's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 69
The Dutch Star was pretty level when I parked, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Your fridge didn't fail because you did not run the generator. If it was enough out-of-level to fail, it would have done so even if plugged to shore power. Besides, it would have to be way out of level to cause an immediate and outright failure.

An absorption fridge needs to be in motion or fairly level to work right, and that applies regardless of the power source. AC, DC or LP makes no difference.

A 2002 model fridge is new enough to be ok with angle up to 3 degrees, which is actually quite a lot. If you have a 40 foot coach, 3 degrees means one end is about 2 feet higher than the other. You would be very uncomfortable walking around like that, but maybe you tolerated it while loading the coach? How far off was it?
Hi Gary,

The coach was pretty level to begin with, but then the front bags deflated and it kneeled down on the front like a camel getting a drink of water. Even then I don't know how "tilted" it was. Living in the Ozark Mountains of NW Arkansas everything is out of level by half a bubble including my ex-wife. The frig is a Dometic. When I found the frig warm the next day I noticed the "Check" light was lit, which I think was the result of it being out of level for 24 hours. When I started the generator and recycled the power to off and then back to on it picked up right away on the gen power and started cooling again.

The frustration factor in this incident is huge. I can't live full-time in a motorhome that commits these kinds of crimes against my wallet. I'm thinking the newest generation 3-way power (110v/12v/LP) refrigerators might be more tolerant of running out of level. The basement frig/freezer is a Whynter Model: FM-85G that I put in the basement on a slide still works when the kitchen frig/freezer has stopped. That tells me it is possible to maintain a working compressor when out of level. The Whynter runs on 110v/12v with auto switching between the two.

My frig is definitely the weak link in this chain. Aren't there any that will run out of level? I've priced new Dometics and it would appear their 3 way power frigs in my size run about $1,500 at Camping World. But, it would be really worth it if I didn't have to endure these kinds of hassles in the future.

John
__________________
2002 Newmar Dutch Star DSDP3852, Spartan Chassis, ISC 350, MH 3000, Banks Power Pak, Blue Ox Tru-Center for Spartan IFS, Onan 7500, Toad Nissan Pathfinder 4x4, Remco driveline disconnect, Hobie Kayak, Dish HD Satellite, Driver John & Maltese "Romeo"
chofujohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 01:28 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,060
Unless you have a large battery bank it would not run too long on 12 volt unless the engine is running or on shore power.
__________________
bldrbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 02:09 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 982
Quote:
Originally Posted by chofujohn View Post
....then the front bags deflated and it kneeled down on the front like a camel getting a drink of water...
So that will put the front down at most 6-8inches. HARDLY enough to out-of-level a refer - which for a rig of 39ft makes you only 1 degree out of kilter - which is well within the typical 3 degree spec. (39ft * sin1deg = 6-8inches)

Sounds more like a pilot light failure on the LP side - thus causing the check light. Maybe it could also have been a bubble of air in the propane line? Was the propane valve opened? Is the burner clean?

Of course, "loading up" an absorption refer is a definite no-no unless everything you are loading up is pre-chilled. They do not have the heat capacity to cool a heavy load of warm food very fast.
__________________
ottffss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 02:20 PM   #10
TAZ
Senior Member
 
TAZ's Avatar
 
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Heaven's Scene
Posts: 803
If the check light was on the lp may have been shut off or the battery could have been too weak to run the fridge. I have never seen the check light comeon due to level.
__________________
2010 Damon Daybreak 3204 Sport, bunkhouse with Jeep Wrangler toad.

Improvise, adapt and overcome... "Semper Fi"
TAZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 04:23 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
dsbike's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hampstead, NC
Posts: 1,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAZ View Post
If the check light was on the lp may have been shut off or the battery could have been too weak to run the fridge. I have never seen the check light comeon due to level.
I must agree with TAZ, I have only seen the check light come on my refrig when I ran out of propane or forgot to turn on the propane & the 110 shore power failed or was not hooked up.
__________________
Dan Sees, Full Timing in the MH & Part timing in a S&B In Hampstead, NC
2013 Winnebago Journey 42e, 2014 Featherlite Car Hauler 3110 17.5', 2008 Mazda MX5,
2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser
dsbike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 04:47 PM   #12
Registered User
Commercial Member
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 56
Being out of level had nothing to due with the problem. As mentioned battery voltage could be low causing the board to shut down. When did you first notice the check light? Did you verify the flame was burning? I don't trust lights so I go out and listen for the fridge to light. I can also hear the flame burning with out pulling the vent cover.
__________________
Wayne Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 04:50 PM   #13
Registered User
Commercial Member
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammie View Post
John, You don't say what brand (Norcold or Dometic) or what model refrigerator you have but if what you say that the refer is "kaput", then you have a couple of options. Some people are pulling out the old RV refrigerator and replacing it with a residential type that runs on 120 volt only. In doing this type of conversion you may need to upgrade your inverter and add more house batteries to supply the electrical needs of the new fridge.

The other option you might want to consider is more economical and is done by the replacement of your existing fridges cooling unit. Depending on your model this can be done for Approximatly $900 to $1500 depending on who you get to do the work.

If your handy with tools you can replace the cooling unit yourself and save $400 to $500 in labor like I did on my Norcold 1200. You can order a new Amish Built cooling unit from RV Cooling Unit Warehouse and get it shipped to you in a few days.

Here is a video I made while doing the installation of my cooling unit.

Good Luck,
Sammie
Norcold 1200 to Amish Cooling Unit Conversion.mpg - YouTube
Sammie, We just started using the Amish built cooling units and they are very well designed. These are new units and not rebuilt.
__________________
Wayne Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 05:22 PM   #14
Member
 
Mtnbiker1096's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: S.E. Idaho
Posts: 45
I agree with whats been said here. I have had and worked on a handful of old refers. I think it being out of level a little bit wasn't the problem. But rather a LP issue.
__________________

__________________
Mtnbiker1096 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Food cost $100.00 per month John Harrelson RV'ing On A Budget 69 09-02-2011 05:33 AM
RV Frig vs. House Frig question smiybrneyes iRV2.com General Discussion 13 08-01-2011 05:34 AM
Lichtsinn Motors makes Donation to Local Food Bank, Selects Holiday Bike Winner DriVer RV Industry Press 0 12-28-2009 12:51 PM
Food Into Fuel - Ain't Workin' DriVer Just Conversation 15 01-03-2009 10:30 AM
Pet food recall... Dogs and Cats Kablewizard RV'ing with Pets 12 04-21-2007 05:12 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.