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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Level for Refrigeration's Sake

I have a Class A motorhome and I often find it challenging to level my rig in some campsites. Is it really that important that the unit is level? I know it was important for the older refrigerators, but with the new ones is it still critical?
Also, if it does cause damage running off-level, is it less critical if I am running the refrigerator on electric as opposed to gas?
James (Watsonville, CA)


James, keep in mind that the force which moves the liquid contents throughout the refrigerator cooling unit is nothing more than gravity. From the point where liquid is first produced in the condenser section until the liquid reaches the boiler section, gravity is employed. Since liquids cannot flow uphill, the importance of running the refrigerator only while level is fully appreciated. 

The crucial section is the low temperature evaporator located within the freezer compartment. To the refrigerator, it matters not how level the galley countertop is, or the dinette table, or the outside corners of the RV. If it does not correspond with the low temperature evaporator coils located in the freezer compartment, all leveling efforts will be for naught. With repeated operation out of level, damage to the cooling unit is inevitable. Leveling is important during any operational mode (12-volts DC, 120-volts AC, or LP) while the RV is parked. While driving or physically moving down the road, there is enough jostling and movement to keep the liquids safely flowing through the system. It is only crucial when the vehicle is not in motion. 

True, today's absorption refrigerators are more forgiving than earlier predecessors, still all RVers should make every effort to completely level the refrigerator. To risk any operation out of level could be an expensive wager indeed. See the photo above for a bunch of reasons to take the time to level the refrigerator properly.

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