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Old 01-07-2013, 05:17 AM   #1
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Gas refrigerator-How level to work properly?

I did some looking and found this on the Norcold (Thetford) website. For an N61 refrigerator, the manual states 3 degrees side to side and 6 degrees front to back as you look at the refrigerator facing the door.

I found on another RV forum where someone did the math for the angles and came up with this:

Note 3 degrees would be 12” difference front to back on a 21’ trailer! Note 6 degrees would be 8.6” difference side to side at the tires!

My internal inclinometer, the semicircular canals in the ear for pitch, yaw and roll can detect that at a 1.5" difference at the wheels, something is not right. If I raise the tongue of my trailer a couple inches off level, I can sense that it's off level when walking around inside.

So to me, if you can walk around in your camper and not feel like you're visiting the Mystery Spot in Michigans U.P. you're probably good! If you can get the bubble of your 2 foot level close to center you should be just fine. Shoot, I'll bet that if you tilt your trailer slightly so the water runs off one corner you'd still be good.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:39 AM   #2
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I've heard that the pitch of an rv is safe for the fridge until it gets to the point it's very noticeable. I just found an interest Wikipedia article regarding grade that's interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_%28slope%29

5.71 degrees = a 10% grade, which is 10 feet drop(or rise) in 100 feet.

So for my 26BH, 5.7 degrees pitch would be roughly 1/4 of the 10 foot difference/per 100 feet in grade. That's 2.5 feet front to back difference! That WOULD be a carnival funhouse experience.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:22 AM   #3
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I just ran the calculations h=L*sin (angle);

For a 21’ long TT the h = 21 sin (6) = 2.2”

For the width of the TT I assumed an 8’ wide TT; h = 8 sin (3) = .41”
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:26 AM   #4
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Good to know. I read the same 3° and 6° tolerances in my manuals but hadn't fired up the autocad to get a grip on what that actually meant.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:35 AM   #5
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In the Norcold manual it states 6 degrees front to back and 3 degrees side to side. The Norcold manual defines their directions as you face the refrigerator door so in our 23B, the front is the fridge door, the back is the outside wall of the trailer. Side to side is the bumper to tongue direction. Running the calculations again as follows:
h=21sin3*=1.09 feet bumper to tongue. Likewise h=8sin6*=.84 feet = 10.03 inches front to back (of the refrigerator, not the TT).

These numbers would be different if your refrigerator was turned 90 degrees but I haven't yet seen in my short lifetime an RV with the refrigerator mounted anywhere but a sidewall running the long axis of the trailer.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:22 PM   #6
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I feel smarter already after reading this! The only thing that would bother me would be running the fridge while in tow. I would think the force if being in motion would act is if the TT is tilte and cause failure. I usually just run it before we leave and keep it off/closed up to keep the coolness inside until setting up.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfarmall View Post
These numbers would be different if your refrigerator was turned 90 degrees but I haven't yet seen in my short lifetime an RV with the refrigerator mounted anywhere but a sidewall running the long axis of the trailer.
Both JAYCO and STARCRAFT had 5th Wheels with the fridge on the rear wall. Ex: Jayco Eagle 2006 323 RKS.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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I feel smarter already after reading this! The only thing that would bother me would be running the fridge while in tow. I would think the force if being in motion would act is if the TT is tilte and cause failure. I usually just run it before we leave and keep it off/closed up to keep the coolness inside until setting up.
Running the fridge while is tow is good the up and down helps keep the liquid moving. When it can settle in a low spot (off level) the fridge will quit cooling. Many of the old units had to be taken out and turned upside down to get them working again when that happened.
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