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Old 08-20-2016, 02:51 PM   #1
vipermanden
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Quick question about RV refrigerator

Quick question about the RV refer in our new 3820FK. I keep reading the 5th wheel needs to be level to operate the refer? Since we can not get it level on our street before our trip, can we fire up the refer over night to get it cool before our 3 week trip starts in the morning, or do we have to wait and just turn on the propane and start it when we start moving, which means we will be going up and down, but mostly level? Is it a question about efficiency, or will it not work if the 5th wheel is 5 degrees out of level on our street? Just don;t want our food to spoil, since they say it can take 6-8 hours to cool down from scratch? Thanks

Dennis & Tracy Kimball
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:12 PM   #2
DQDick
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Here's the problem, most RV experts feel that it can be a couple of degrees from level but more than that and you risk permenant damage to the cooling unit whether you're running it on electric or propane. We don't run it while were traveling for safety reasons, others don't feel that's the case.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:28 PM   #3
K0LCB
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Norcold service tech told me that if rig was uncomfortable to sleep in, it was probably too far from level to use refrigerator
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:07 PM   #4
Starmaster
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This is from the Norcold PolarMax 2118 refrigerator manual:

"The refrigerator is made to operate within 3 off level side-to-side and 6 off level front-to-back (as looking at the front of the refrigerator). Operating it at more than these limits can cause damage to the cooling system and create a risk of personal injury or property damage. Make sure the vehicle is level before you operate the refrigerator."

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Old 08-20-2016, 04:17 PM   #5
1retired06
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Do not operate if not level. Wait till you hit the road. While moving, levelness not critical because of movement.. If we stop for any length of time we shut the frig off.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:41 PM   #6
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Dave has the spec #s straight from the manual. When parked in my driveway cooling and loading. I am usually pretty close side to side but and between 1.5-2 degrees nose down and it works fine and is less than the 3 degree spec. I use the auto level guage, using it manually, to get it in range and am good to go
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:51 PM   #7
h2ojocky
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I park my trailer in front of my house with a slight crown of the road. I have never had a problem with my fridge. I always plug it in and cool down the fridge. My fridge takes quite a bit of time to cool down. I always travel with fridge on propane.
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:51 AM   #8
vipermanden
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As the Monty sits now on our street, the front is high by 5.2 degrees, and the door side of the Monty sits 3.5 degrees lower than the opposite side. If I drop the front jacks all the way down, I can get the front to be 3 degrees higher than the back, but it will not let me jack up the door side in manual? Maybe because all jacks have to be engaged before it will let me adjust side to side? I guess what we will do, is put some bags of ice in the refer when we take off on our trip, and let the refer run on propane, and then take the bags out when we arrive at our first destination? Or bring a cooler on our first leg, and then the 3 weeks we are traveling, I am sure all the sights will be level, and we can use our auto level etc. Living up here in the mountains of lake Tahoe is beautiful, but there are not many level streets? Plus I have nightmares thinking that the 4 heavy duty chalks, and the two front jacks, are all that are keeping this thing from rolling down the hill?
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Old 08-21-2016, 01:56 PM   #9
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Never gave it a thought. We park,ours in the street overnight prior to a trip and turn on the refrigerator to get it cold before we leave the storage lot. Been doing it that way for 20 years, no problems so far.
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Old 08-21-2016, 02:08 PM   #10
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So in 35yrs of rving I replaced one cooling unit in a fridge, I believe due to parking that motorhome slightly out of level in the driveway it failed. Since then I always ensure the units I"ve owned are level when left for any length of time if the fridge is on.

Having said that I have a question for you, why do you not just put some boards under the wheels of the trailer to get it level ? If you are worried about the twisting if you are hooked up to the tow vehicle then do the same to back wheels of TV and then turn your fridge on. Same thing can be done if it is front to back not side to side by either raising trailer wheels or raising TV wheels with some boards....... I' ve done just that as needed in the past.
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Old 08-21-2016, 02:26 PM   #11
1retired06
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I was told by the tech who replaced ours, to make sure the unit was level because even thought it operates, over time build up in the cooling unit occurs when not level and shortens the life. True of not, we follow that practice.
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Old 08-21-2016, 05:49 PM   #12
vipermanden
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I don't plan on having the Monty in front of our house except when we are leaving on a trip, so i am not going to do the board and plank thing to get level, because it would be dangerous, because there would be no real dig in of chalks, if i am on slippery boards high enough to get me level.
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:23 PM   #13
twindman
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How do you people know what the slope is? 2 or 3 degrees seems like it would be hard to measure?????
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:20 AM   #14
PatnRich
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I, like KOLCB, use the "comfort rule". It has served us well since we started rving in the 80's.
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:31 AM   #15
kozzy
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The Auto Level screen , you can scroll and see the degrees of level. 3-6 degrees is pretty extreme.
We always leave our fridge on in our driveway, always have It is level front to back, and less than a degree side to side. I have asked several people myself, general rule is if it is close you should be good, if it is extreme, don't do it.
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:41 AM   #16
speedster100
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For the record boards and planks are not dangerous at all and are and have been used for decades to level motorhomes ad trailers. Not sure how/why you would feel it is dangerous ???
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Old 08-22-2016, 06:09 AM   #17
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My wife took our trailer to a group camp out with some other women friends and parked it on a terribly angled spot for two days. Three days after she returned the ammonia in the coils had eaten a hole in the coils and sprayed all over the back of the fridge. After much searching, an after market setup was found and installed for $750 and $300 in labor.

Our 2003 Mountaineer doesn't have auto level. 8 ft 2"x10" boards up to 3 of them, has been the preferred method of leveling.

Please park it level.
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:59 AM   #18
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So for those of us without autolevel, how to measure degrees off center???? Is there any device or such?
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Old 08-22-2016, 09:54 AM   #19
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Yep if you have an iPhone it's on the compass second page. I also bet you can get an app for any smart phone.
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:19 PM   #20
vipermanden
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Speedster, I know boards and planks would be great to get the Monty level from side to side, but my street in the mountains is 4.5 degrees down hill towards the back of the Monty, and if i had boards under it to get it level, and then chalks just sitting on top of a slippery board, I'm afraid my 5th wheel would be down the street? Just not worth trying, since the 5th wheel will not be spending any time, except prepping for a trip. we just used bags of ice, and turned on the propane, once we were level and started our drive, and we can keep the bags of ice for later to make our martinis, since these refers don't have ice makers?
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