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-   -   How level is level enough (https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f110/how-level-is-level-enough-133022.html)

Casey r 05-03-2017 09:41 PM

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.

SidecarFlip 05-03-2017 09:47 PM

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.

Crusadernoob 05-03-2017 10:05 PM

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.

325BH 05-03-2017 10:12 PM

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.

Casey r 05-03-2017 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crusadernoob (Post 1495019)
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

325BH 05-03-2017 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crusadernoob (Post 1495019)
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.

Mr Havercamp 05-04-2017 02:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 325BH (Post 1495024)
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 (Post 1494992)
Am I being overly concerned.

Yes.

NMWildcat 05-04-2017 08:00 AM

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;)

325BH 05-04-2017 08:41 AM

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).

northstar1960 05-04-2017 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 325BH (Post 1495238)
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 .

325BH 05-04-2017 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by northstar1960 (Post 1495255)
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.

NMWildcat 05-04-2017 09:07 AM

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;)

325BH 05-04-2017 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NMWildcat (Post 1495267)
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.

Mr. Dan 05-04-2017 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Casey r (Post 1494992)
....
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.

5picker 05-04-2017 09:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 325BH (Post 1495238)
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.

youroo 05-04-2017 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5picker (Post 1495310)
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! ! :us-flag-waving:

youroo 05-04-2017 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Casey r (Post 1494992)
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! :thumbsup: Youroo! ,:us-flag-waving:

NMWildcat 05-04-2017 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 325BH (Post 1495297)
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;)

hankpac 05-04-2017 10:46 AM

My fridge runs fine a little bit out of level, however it drives me nuts trying to sleep even slightly off-level.

Gumpster808 05-04-2017 11:04 AM

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.


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