RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-03-2017, 09:41 PM   #1
Casey & Carolyn
 
Casey r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Las Vegas Nv
Posts: 171
How level is level enough

I understand the importance of leveling so I do not have issues we my refrigerator while on propane. I also enjoy the comfort of a level rig. But how close to exact level do you need to be to not cause damage to the refrigerator or other systems on my 5th. Try as I might I rarely get it perfect. First couple of trips I even tried 1/2 pieces of plywood but when added to the low side it now is the high side. What is accepatable. I'm sure this has been answered numerous time but I am unable find it on this forum or any place I haven looked on the internet. Am I being overly concerned.
Casey r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2017, 09:47 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 2,024
I use a Torpedo level laid on the fridge cabinet to level mine. Rule of thumb is 1/2 bubble (half of the center filled with the bubble will work fine). Remember that is 1/2 bubble in 2 planes, fore and aft and port to starboard.
SidecarFlip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2017, 10:05 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Crusadernoob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 801
If you have leaf springs with an equalizer you can add a piece of wood under just one tire and it will split the difference between the two axles and only lift that side half the thickness of the wood. Not as easy with torsion axles as they don't use an equalizer.
__________________
2006 2500HD CCSB 2WD 2014 Crusader 285RET
Nights camped in 2013 - not enough!, 2014 37, 2015 40, 2016 39, 2017 38, 2018 36, 2019 37, 2020 19
Crusadernoob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2017, 10:12 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,363
With regard to the absorption fridge:

Levelness is more important for the fridge side-to-side and less important for the fridge front-to-back due to how the cooling unit lines run. In my camper, the fridge is mounted sideways in relation to the trailer so that means the trailer front-to-back (tongue) levelness is most important.

Also, for the fridge to have issues, the trailer would be pretty unlevel... probably to the point that you wouldn't like it.
325BH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2017, 10:14 PM   #5
Casey & Carolyn
 
Casey r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Las Vegas Nv
Posts: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusadernoob View Post
If you have leaf springs with an equalizer you can add a piece of wood under just one tire and it will split the difference between the two axles and only lift that side half the thickness of the wood. Not as easy with torsion axles as they don't use an equalizer.

Good tip. Thanks
Casey r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2017, 10:22 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusadernoob View Post
If you have leaf springs with an equalizer you can add a piece of wood under just one tire and it will split the difference between the two axles and only lift that side half the thickness of the wood. Not as easy with torsion axles as they don't use an equalizer.


The concept applies to any tandem. The "equalizer" isn't what makes that work.


Each axle has its own suspension and carries only its share of the weight. A two inch spacer under both axles (tires) will raise that side of the camper by two inches. A two inch spacer under only one of the two will raise that side of the camper less than two inches (relatively half).

If raising only one axle by two inches raised the camper by two inches, that would mean the other axle isn't carrying any of the weight -- which we know is not true.
325BH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 02:31 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by 325BH View Post
With regard to the absorption fridge:

Levelness is more important for the fridge side-to-side and less important for the fridge front-to-back due to how the cooling unit lines run. In my camper, the fridge is mounted sideways in relation to the trailer so that means the trailer front-to-back (tongue) levelness is most important.

Also, for the fridge to have issues, the trailer would be pretty unlevel... probably to the point that you wouldn't like it.
Well said.

Every fridge manufacturer document I have ever read be it Norcold, Dometic, or Atwood, recommends being within 3 degrees of plumb/level side to side and 6 degrees front to back (The fridge).

3 degrees is a lot. On a sidewall located fridge in a trailer with a 20' box, that would be having the trailer 7 -1/4" out of level end to end. You are going to notice that. The 6 degrees if the trailer is 8' wide is about 5-3/4 inches, you'll feel that also.

In reality those recommendations are ultra conservative. When you look at the cooling unit on the fridge, until you get the absorber return tube that zig zags back down to the absorber vessel so far out that it can not drain by gravity, that's when you possibly could have a problem. That would need to be way more than 3 degrees from plumb, a guess would be about 10 degreees out or 2' out of level end to end on a 20' box trailer, or more.

Even then it's not going to instantly grenade or something. It takes a long time to fry one for an out of level condition, days not hours. The general RV using public, who never read or visit an RV or camping forum, for the most part do not even know those recommendations exist. Only in forums do you find the people who get their panties in knots if the fridge is not perfectly leveled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey r View Post
Am I being overly concerned.
Yes.
Mr Havercamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 08:00 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 6,411
Yep, I think most folks on forums overthink the fridge/level stuff. We stop frequently in out of level situations, mainly overnight stops in parking lots. Never have any problems with fridge cooling in any of our rigs. And for the theory that it will damage your fridge over time, I haven't seen that either. Our current rig is 6 years old.

I figure as long as you can walk in your rig without falling over, it's good
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 08:41 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,363
My main concern with the fridge and being out-of-level is when traveling down the road with it turned on. Long steep grades or stopping on a grade can easily put the fridge in an out-of-spec condition.

Based on tests I have seen, it only takes seconds for the boiler to start skyrocketing temps due to going dry (which is the issue).
325BH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 08:59 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
northstar1960's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: in my new 29hfsxlr
Posts: 1,658
Quote:
Originally Posted by 325BH View Post
My main concern with the fridge and being out-of-level is when traveling down the road with it turned on. Long steep grades or stopping on a grade can easily put the fridge in an out-of-spec condition.

Based on tests I have seen, it only takes seconds for the boiler to start skyrocketing temps due to going dry (which is the issue).
will not effect operation what so ever . maybe if you got stopped on a 10% grade for several hours but other then that it's a non issue .
northstar1960 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 09:01 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar1960 View Post
will not effect operation what so ever . maybe if you got stopped on a 10% grade for several hours but other then that it's a non issue .


Actually damage can occur fairly quickly if the boiler runs dry. That isn't in dispute.
325BH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 09:07 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 6,411
We runs our fridge constantly while traveling. I would think there would be enough movement to keep things working correctly. Regardless, it's not something I worry about or have ever had problems with. But everybody is entitled to their own phobias
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 09:28 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
We runs our fridge constantly while traveling. I would think there would be enough movement to keep things working correctly. Regardless, it's not something I worry about or have ever had problems with. But everybody is entitled to their own phobias


Is isn't a phobia, but your snarky comment is noted.

I was just explaining certain conditions that could cause the boiler to run dry, which is what the concern is about.
325BH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 09:38 AM   #14
Site Team
 
Mr. Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Grayson County, Texas
Posts: 15,148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey r View Post
....
First couple of trips I even tried 1/2 pieces of plywood but when added to the low side it now is the high side....
If a half a piece of plywood makes the low side be the high side, your level is much more "accurate" than mine is and much more than I want/need mine to be.
__________________
SEARCH is your friend!
FR Wildcat 295RSX / GMC Sierra

Nights Camped: '13 = 49/'14 = 74/'15 = 74/'16 = 85/'17 = 110/'18 = 111/'19 = 86/'20 = 108; booked = 0
Mr. Dan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 09:40 AM   #15
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 12,990
Quote:
Originally Posted by 325BH View Post
My main concern with the fridge and being out-of-level is when traveling down the road with it turned on. Long steep grades or stopping on a grade can easily put the fridge in an out-of-spec condition.

Based on tests I have seen, it only takes seconds for the boiler to start skyrocketing temps due to going dry (which is the issue).
Not sure what tests you've seen but long steep grades or stopping on a grade will not affect your refrigerator operation. Possibly if you were stopped on a grade of an inclined plane for an extended period, maybe (hours and hours) but not any of the roads you would normally travel on.

R/V refrigerators are more resilient than the fear mongers want you to believe.
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel-Goodyear Endurance Tires
2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4 - Factory Puck B&W Companion
TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater - Sinemate 3500w Gen.

Days Camped: '17=30 '18=51 '19=58 '20=98
5picker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 09:55 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Waynesville
Posts: 14,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
Not sure what tests you've seen but long steep grades or stopping on a grade will not affect your refrigerator operation. Possibly if you were stopped on a grade of an inclined plane for an extended period, maybe (hours and hours) but not any of the roads you would normally travel on.

R/V refrigerators are more resilient than the fear mongers want you to believe.
X 2! YOUROO! !
__________________
youroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 09:59 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Waynesville
Posts: 14,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey r View Post
I understand the importance of leveling so I do not have issues we my refrigerator while on propane. I also enjoy the comfort of a level rig. But how close to exact level do you need to be to not cause damage to the refrigerator or other systems on my 5th. Try as I might I rarely get it perfect. First couple of trips I even tried 1/2 pieces of plywood but when added to the low side it now is the high side. What is accepatable. I'm sure this has been answered numerous time but I am unable find it on this forum or any place I haven looked on the internet. Am I being overly concerned.
Casey, damage can happen while on electric as well if way out of level also! Youroo! ,
__________________
youroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 10:24 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 6,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by 325BH View Post
Is isn't a phobia, but your snarky comment is noted.

I was just explaining certain conditions that could cause the boiler to run dry, which is what the concern is about.
It's only 'snarky' if you decide to take it that way

And I actually wasn't even replying to you, you just decided to take it personally it looks like
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 10:46 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 352
My fridge runs fine a little bit out of level, however it drives me nuts trying to sleep even slightly off-level.
hankpac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 11:04 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Gumpster808's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 980
According to the manual for ours - if you are level enough to use the RV the the fridge is level enough to be safe.

Of course that is subjective and no real numbers in the manual.

Driving and the rig moving will prevent the separation of the chemicals and rocking up at the high point since they get bounced around as the rig moves.

I have been told the 3% rule as well as 8%.

Got a circular level for checking. What I was told was if was within a half bubble when parked - good to go.
__________________
Lynn & Dennis
Nights Camped 2017 - 35 / 2018 - 15
2014 3051S - First RV for us
2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport Toad
2015 Harley CVO (retirement bike )
2015 Challenger ( Wife's Toy)
Gumpster808 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:23 PM.