Running fridge when not level

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 14:19
ThreadID: 100468 Views:1847 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Hi - I know not to run my 3 way fridge on gas when the van is not level but does it matter if the van is not level when running it on 12v or 240v?
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Reply By: garrycol - Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 14:42

Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 14:42
The issue is not related to the power source but the dynamics of the cooling system so must be as level as possible. When on the road and running on 12v the bouncing around of the coolants in the fridge so not such an issue when moving but when stopped must be level.

Garry
AnswerID: 504390

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 14:52

Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 14:52
A 3 way fridge ideally needs to be level to work efficiently no matter what the energy source however on 12 volts they will work sufficiently while driving due to it rocking back & forth allowing the heat to work up through the condenser.
Cheers Craig..........
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Reply By: Batt's - Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 15:05

Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 15:05
You can run a 3 way fridge when it is not level on gas ,12v or 240v for short term parking it not like you'll be parking on a 20 deg angle or something . When your driving and running on 12v your van will be going up and down hill so it won't be level but it will still operate fine.
AnswerID: 504394

Reply By: Parafan - Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 15:24

Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 15:24
Thanks all
Looks like I will go and put a chock under it so I can run the fridge for a few days before we head off next week.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 16:56

Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 16:56
The issue is the separator screen in the condenser.
It has holes in an internal tube so ammoina bubbles can separate from the coolant flow. The holes are drilled to be on the high side of the angled tube and therefore the gas rises through those holes as intended.

You have to be on a reasonable lean before it affects it much at all. Normal camber of road stuff isn't a problem. Parked high sided on the bank of a river maybe.
Then you would slide out of bed too.
Fridge door would open by itself.
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Follow Up By: Parafan - Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 10:59

Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 10:59
Thanks Ross - Probably not a problem where I usually park the van but son has taken over my spot to finish off the rebuild of his 80 series. Hoping it will be moved by the time we get back but you know how these things drag on.
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 21:15

Saturday, Feb 09, 2013 at 21:15
Fridges do not need to be dead level. The following is a copy and post from one of Dometic's manuals. Take a look at the last sentence in the first paragraph. The level they are referring to is the bullseye level that comes with each Dometic fridge (and often discarded by the seller.)When the bubble is at the limit of operation, the van is further from level than I am prepared to live in.

"LEVELING - One of three (3) requirements for proper operation with absorption refrigerators. 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. Without proper refrigerant flow, the cooling process will stop. Cooling units that utilize an exposed siphon pump tube at the generator section (units with square boiler boxes) require a precise leveling check. To properly level these units a spirit (bubble) level is placed on the floor of the freezer compartment. To insure operation with the refrigerator when the coach is positioned in a stationary (standing) manner, the bubble must be at least 3/4 inside the central ring.

"Important: Permanent damage can result to the square boiler box units if proper leveling is not maintained. In recent years Dometic has engineered a new type of cooling unit that utilizes an enclosed pump tube surrounded by a weak ammonia solution to protect the assembly. These units are evidenced by a circular boiler box cover. To insure proper leveling in these units, the vehicle needs to be leveled only so it is comfortable to live in (no noticeable sloping of floor or walls).

"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 ammonia from accumulating in the piping."
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Follow Up By: Parafan - Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 11:03

Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 11:03
Thanks - Still got the bulls eye level so will check it out. Will definately chock it as the lean is more than say a road camber so very noticeable.
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