RV Fridge, Only Needs Level Front to Back? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-21-2010, 01:44 AM   #1
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Question RV Fridge, Only Needs Level Front to Back?

I have just read this on a Blog, "An RV fridge only needs to be level front and back. A side to side tip is okay."

Topic of blog was when in very heavy rain, to keep water from ponding on a flat roofed RV and causing leaks, one post said to have it tilted to one side to not allow water a place to pond.

I have always leveled my RVs as close as possible front to rear & side to side for the fridge and for sleeping, etc. Not sure how much of tilt was suggested or needed. The statement, "An RV fridge only needs to be level front and back. A side to side tip is okay," was news to me. Was sure if it was a correct statement or not. Not something I had done or heard of.

Would this be true, only needs to be level front to back?
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian W View Post
I have just read this on a Blog, "An RV fridge only needs to be level front and back. A side to side tip is okay."

Would this be true, only needs to be level front to back?
Since 99% (but not all) RV's mount the refrigerator on the side, I can see the logic in that statement. But like you, I take the admonition to level the fridge to heart, especially with a 32 year old unit that I cannot afford to replace.

That said, my take is that front-to-back leveling is more critical than side-to-side, but equally important. I have level bubbles mounted to my Fiber Stream that can indicate how many inches out-of-level it is. I always get the front-to-back one spot-on, but 1 inch either way on side-to-side is close enough for me.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:19 AM   #3
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And would that be front-to-back on the fridge? Or front-to-back on the trailer? (Since those two would be perpendicular to each other.)

Thanks,
Raya
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:35 AM   #4
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I assume 'front to back' means front of the R/V(?) or would 'front to back' mean front (door of the fridge) to back (back wall of the fridge)!

In our travels, we usually have a pair of small bubble levels in the fridge and use them to level the R/V. One on the floor of the freezer compartment (which is almost impossible because of its location to read) and the other level on one (or two) of the lower racks, never relying on the floor of the fridge to be warp free enough to get an acurate level.

Getting a FINAL reasoning on how to properly level a fridge in an R/V while camping (not on the install stage) would be a real bonus.....
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:41 PM   #5
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The more level my frig is the better it cools. Besides, if the refrigerator isn't level, neither is my bed! I've actually had to turn completely around in the middle of the night because it (honestly) felt like all the blood was rushing to my head. And I swear it wasn't more than a half bubble off.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:11 PM   #6
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Hi folks,

I too have heard that it is more important to level the fridge from front to rear of the trailer rather than side to side. That said, the side to side should probably not be very far off level either.

I think this must be because most fridges are mounted in the side wall of the trailer, meaning that the piping that contains the chemicals on the back of the fridge is much wider (front to rear of the trailer) than thick. Since the chemicals have to circulate by traversing the piping, it makes sense that the most critical dimension would be the one that is the front-to-rear axis of the trailer. The piping viewed from the side-to-side axis is only an inch or so thick and quite tall, so a small imbalance likely doesn't matter much at the back. On the other hand, the pipes eventually protrude into the fridge itself for a short amount, so side to side levelling cannot be too far off.

Just a thought.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:22 PM   #7
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When I was reading the installation manual for the fridge in my class C (about ten years ago), I remember seeing numbers for both front to back and side to side leveling. The side to side (of the RV) was a much wider range, and you probably wouldn't be comfortable in the RV at that much of an angle. There was, however, a number given by the manufacturer for BOTH angles.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:00 PM   #8
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Leveling front to back of the trailer; side to side of the trailer. If the trailer is level, the fridge will be, we had a level inside it when we leveled it and stuck on the levels one on front and one on the side.

Topic of blog was when in very heavy rain, to keep water from ponding on a flat roofed RV and causing leaks, one post said to have it tilted to one side to not allow water a place to pond.

I have always leveled my RVs as close as possible front to rear & side to side for the fridge and for sleeping, etc. Not sure how much of tilt was suggested or needed. The statement, "An RV fridge only needs to be level front and back. A side to side tip is okay," was news to me. Was sure if it was a correct statement or not. Not something I had done or heard of.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:20 PM   #9
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Some good info here.
RV Refrigerator Efficiency 101 - RV UNIVERSITY
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:22 PM   #10
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Some More info
Why They Fail
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:20 PM   #11
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This summer I replaced the 6.3 cu ft Norcold in my 30' Award. The instructions say that the refrigerator is designed to operate 3 degrees off level side-to-side and 6 degrees off level front to back. The smaller tolerance side-to-side makes sense because the tubes running back and forth from top to bottom need to gravity drain and too much tilt will negate the slope of the tubes.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:27 PM   #12
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Check out page D-6-7 of Domestics Service Manual (available from the document centre).
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - Dometic_Refr_Service_Manual
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Domestics Service Manual (available from the document centre).
Wow, If I only knew a Domestics Service Manual was available here, our household would have been running smoother years ago!
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:39 PM   #14
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Assuming your 'fridge is installed on the left or right side, front-to-back leveling is the most important factor for keeping it cool and functioning smoothly. This is because an ammonia absorption 'fridge (which is most any 'fridge without a compressor motor) depends on gravity to pull the coolant through the coils of the heat exchanger on the back side of the refrigerator. Because the hot coolant entering the external coils has expanded into a light-weight gas and cools into a heavy liquid as it moves down through the coils, the heavy coolant will run down to the low side of the cols and block lighter-weight coolant from moving on down the line. THis is what happens if the trailer is parked nose-down: the coolant pools in the down-side bend of all the cooling coil loops.

Once the cooling fluid has been through the coils of the heat exchanger, it runs through a second set of coils that are typically located in the floor of a horizontal, fixed shelf inside the fridge or freezer (or the bottom of the freezer section itself). Because the coolant's job is to pick up heat from inside the refrigerator and transfer it to the outside of the refrigerator, and because the coolant can only move in one direction and expands (slightly) as it warms up, it pretty much forces itself to move in the right direction.

Which all translates into: If your 'fridge is installed on the left-or-right side of your trailer, it's important to get the trailer as level as possible front-to-back, but less so on the side-to-side lean.
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