Newbie refrigerator leveling question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-03-2009, 03:30 PM   #1
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Hi to all,

Just got back from my shake down, first trip in my Casita 13. Big thunderstorm but everything went great... even got it backed in to a pretty small spot w/o too many problems.

My question is about levelling for the refrigerator (three way). I have the BAL leveler and it worked fine at the campground. At my home, the only place to park the camper is nearly, but not quite level. Using a bubble level I can get the bubble almost completely inside the two center lines. The edge of the bubble is still within the second line but it's not dead center. And if it needs to be dead level, can I leave on the BAL leveler all the time? Could I leave it overnight, hitched up ready to go the next morning, a bit off level without damage to the refrigerator? I'm not a real compulsive type but I don't want to have to replace anything because I'm sloppy.

Many thanks to everyone who contributes here. You all have really helped me gain good basic knowledge and helped me to think through the whole process of getting my first travel trailer.

Karen
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:49 PM   #2
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Karen,
Here is a quote from the Dometic Service Tips document.

"LEVELING
The absorption design utilizes no mechanical pumps or compressors to circulate the refrigerant within the system, so proper leveling must be maintained to provide the correct refrigerant flow. Without proper leveling, refrigerant within the cooling unit will collect and stagnate at certain areas. Both Dometic and Servel brand refrigerators have a type of cooling unit that utilizes an enclosed pump tube surrounded by a solution.

The vehicle needs to be leveled so it is comfortable to live in. When the vehicle is moving, leveling is not critical as the rolling and pitching movement of the vehicle will pass to either side of level, keeping the refrigerant from accumulating in the piping."

The way it was explained to me was if you get it level enough so you are happy, the refrigerator is happy, too.

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Old 05-03-2009, 09:05 PM   #3
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How old is the Casita?
The older the trailer (and the older the refrigerator), the more critical it is to level it nearer to perfection.
However, we have These Level Indicators on the outside of our trailer. We figure that anything within 1" either direction is close enough.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:13 PM   #4
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Karen,

Here's what I did with my 13 Scamp when I first got it. Purchased a bulls eye level & 3 little levels.

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Note the trailer isn't currently level.

Continuing with what I did when I first got my trailer: I put the bulls eye on the bottom of the refrigerator in the center. I went down to the WalMart parking lot and drove around until the bulls eye level was level. I then went outside and put 1 of the small level under the belly band in the front center and each of the other levels under the belly band and each side just as the body becomes flat. That's rear of the curvature. I know that my refrigerator is level and the actual trailer is not off level enough for me to know. The key is the refrigerator.


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The two black dots under the belly band are the levels.

I simply use the front and one side level to level the trailer as best I can, side to side and front to back. To answer your question. I try my best to get the bubble between the 2 lines at worst I will settle for the bubble at least half way across the line towards the center. I rarely ever settle for that.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:47 PM   #5
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We use the square level in Joys pic placed on the floor of the freezer compartment of our Trillium. This is usually a good guide to 'levelness', at least in my opinion. This system works best IF you know the refrigerator has NOT been swapped off OR that you are comfortable enough using this as a guide even IF it has been swapped off...
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:05 AM   #6
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I will note my fussy fridge last time my trailer sat for an extened period of time, the fridge wouldn't get cold.......traveled to my destination thinking the fridge finally decided to die only to discover once I hooked up to electrically it got cold. That has to do with Marvs post about the coolant settling in certain areas......next time my fridge won't cool down I'm going for a spin around the block then try starting it. Good luck, you'll get the hang of it!
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:19 PM   #7
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Brandy, is your beer cooler a 1~2~ or 3 way unit??
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:33 PM   #8
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I will note my fussy fridge last time my trailer sat for an extened period of time, the fridge wouldn't get cold.......traveled to my destination thinking the fridge finally decided to die only to discover once I hooked up to electrically it got cold. That has to do with Marvs post about the coolant settling in certain areas......next time my fridge won't cool down I'm going for a spin around the block then try starting it. Good luck, you'll get the hang of it!

Did you remember to switch it to whatever you were using at the time it wasn't working,?
Re:12V/propane/120V
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:57 PM   #9
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Did you remember to switch it to whatever you were using at the time it wasn't working,?
Re:12V/propane/120V
Thanks Ulysse, thats where I was going with my question....
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:09 PM   #10
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I hadn't switched anything....yes I thought of that but again its a 1977 trailer....I'm just thankful it works (its a 3 way but not working on 12 v.....feel free to stop by my campsite at langley and fix it if you know how...I won't stop you.


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Thanks Ulysse, thats where I was going with my question....
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:03 PM   #11
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Brandy, is your beer cooler a 1~2~ or 3 way unit??
3-Way: Pilsner, Ale, Porter? Ale, Porter, Lager? 6-Pack, Case, Keg?
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:26 PM   #12
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My question is about levelling for the refrigerator . . . Using a bubble level I can get the bubble almost completely inside the two center lines. The edge of the bubble is still within the second line but it's not dead center. And if it needs to be dead level, can I leave on the BAL leveler all the time? Could I leave it overnight, hitched up ready to go the next morning, a bit off level without damage to the refrigerator?
Being out-of-level won't damage your 'fridge, but it will make it less efficient. It sounds like you're pretty close to level, though, so it shouldn't be a problem unless your 'fridge is twenty years old or more.

Something that doesn't get mentioned very often is the two directions of level, curb-to-street-side and front-to-back, affect your 'fridge differently. The critical adjustment is the one that keeps the coils that run across the back of the fridge level. So, if your 'fridge is installed on the street or curb sides of your trailer (as most are), then getting the front-to-back direction of your trailer level is more important; if you have a front dinette with the 'fridge facing front-to-back, then you have to be more picky about the more difficult to adjust curb-to-street-side level.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:37 PM   #13
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Karen,

Continuing with what I did when I first got my trailer: I put the bulls eye on the bottom of the refrigerator in the center. I went down to the WalMart parking lot and drove around until the bulls eye level was level. I then went outside and put 1 of the small level under the belly band in the front center and each of the other levels under the belly band and each side just as the body becomes flat. That's rear of the curvature. I know that my refrigerator is level and the actual trailer is not off level enough for me to know. The key is the refrigerator.

[
Joy, thank you for that tip re the bullseye on the bottom of the fridge...excellent idea! I'm also thinking of upgrading my tounge jack and I'm eyeballing an electric one that also has a bullseye on top....
Mike
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:43 PM   #14
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This is a diagram of an older fridge model; note the leveling chamber, #8, has only one drain shown. If the egg is parked far enough off-level, then the fluid won't drain out and go to #1 for gasefication; what little fluid is in #1 will boil out, leaving solids behind which will no longer dissolve. When enough of this has happened, the cycle will no longer work.

Newer fridges, and I'm not sure of the dates, but perhaps post-'80s, have more drains in the leveling chamber, front, back and sides, so they will still drain when moderately off-level. I've seen a diagram of this, but can't find it again.

Lots more fridge troubleshooting, service docs, etc., at this site:

http://www.bryantrv.com/trbl.html
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