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Old 08-13-2015, 03:05 PM   #1
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THOR #1599
Cooling Refridge night before trip

So, finally taking the Hurricane out on it's first long trip!! San Antonio to Rock Mountains National Park. I want to pre cool the refridge the night before...what is the preferred way to do it? I have 110 volt power available in the garage where I keep the RV. Should I just plug in, leave the kill switch on? Or, Is it OK to leave the propane on, and let it cool that way? If that is an option, does the propane work with the kill switch off? I assume I only need power to light off the refridge pilot, and then it will run...But not sure how safe that sounds to have the propane on without being there to monitor it ;(

thanks, Tom
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:36 PM   #2
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With the kill-stow switch on; the day before a trip to cool the frig, I usually turn the propane on, turn on the stove burners to bleed and purge the gas lines. Turn stove burners off.<g>

Turn the frig on auto and get it firing on gas which sometimes takes a couple of cycles due to air in lines. After it fires on gas, I plug the 120vac shore power and make sure it switches over to elec. and leaving it that way until departing. I unplug shore power and check to make sure the frig switches back to gas when departing.
Have a great trip.
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:48 PM   #3
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Ok, so you have the gas on just as a back up....but unless the power fails, you are primarily cooling by 110 ac?
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:57 PM   #4
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Yes: If you have 120V available use that (then you won't burn up your propane--it isn't much though).

I've used both: We don't have access to 120V in the storage lot where we keep our RV. Thus I'll stop by in the morning before I pick it up to turn on the propane (and make sure the batteries are good to last all day).

In the winter I didn't have enough battery available and asked if I could move it for a day and plug it in (they let me).

Use/Store switch has to be on Use--Refer won't run on Store.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:21 PM   #5
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OK...great info guys!! Thanks a lot!!
Tom
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:23 PM   #6
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Just make sure you're level or it won't cool down. I spent a lot of time/calls/emails trying to figure out why our fridge wasn't cooling down. I had it in our driveway which has about a 2' slope to it. Once I moved it out to the street in front which is more level it cools down w/o issue.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tholtman
Just make sure you're level or it won't cool down. I spent a lot of time/calls/emails trying to figure out why our fridge wasn't cooling down. I had it in our driveway which has about a 2' slope to it. Once I moved it out to the street in front which is more level it cools down w/o issue.
Ditto--same situation too. My solution, though, is to level it in the driveway (usually put the front wheels up on "lego" blocks).
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:35 PM   #8
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THOR #1469
Something I found on my class C with the combo fridge is during hot weather, in the summer, it may take longer than one day to cool down to a point it is safe enough for food storage. The addition of a small battery operated fan inside the fridge helped to circulate the air and shorten the cool down cycle. I used a fan similar to this one except I bought mine at the local Walmart.

http://www.amazon.com/Valterra-A10-2.../dp/B0006MRQYU

I still use it during the cool down for the residential fridge in the Challenger.

As a note, I bought the fan 2 years ago and it is still running on the initial 2 batteries and it has made about a dozen 5 day or longer trips.
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:47 PM   #9
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I have cooled it down both ways but it seems the electric cools it faster. As far as the leveling goes I have never been able to figure out how level, I have been on unleveled spots without a problem but did not know the degree of slant or if it is effected front to back or side to side.
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:38 PM   #10
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I'll generally use AC, and not even turn the LP on until I'm getting ready to roll.
Plug her in, press the "use" side of the battery kill switch
and that way the batteries get a top off, the fridge cools down, I can fire up the AC while loading clothes and such, etc....

Often though, i don't precool it at all.... or only for an hour or two.
It doesn't take too long for the cooling coil to start getting cool.... which is about all it will ever do anyway. The rest is just cooling down the box, and filling the box full of cold stuff just accelerates the process.....
kinda like the difference between putting one little ice cube in a large cooler vs filling it with ice and water.

Many folks will say the LP is more efficient and will cool faster. Seems plausible, but on a modern, new fridge that's working properly I doubt if you could tell unless temps are extreme &/or you put a stop watch on it.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:35 PM   #11
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I'm still very much a Newbie but 3 or 4hrs before leaving, l have been putting a couple of frozen gallon milk containers in the fridge and switching on the gas... seems to work fine.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:47 AM   #12
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Ok, well ultimately....I had to leave the propane on, with the kill switch in "Use".......and all the lights and radio and stuff off. I found out today that the RV storage place cuts the electric power off after 8 PM....so leaving it on AC all night won't do any good. I hope there is not a big voltage leak anywhere I do not know about!! Was out packing and getting it ready, and took it to fill up gas...after 5 hours with the propane on, in the Texas heat....the internal temp was down to 70...not bad., should be ready by morning. For what it is worth..the manual for my Fridge says 7 degrees or less is ok to consider it level!
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:15 AM   #13
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7 degrees sounds like a lot I will have to check that out. Thanks
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:42 AM   #14
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Sorry, I was incorrect...it says 3 degrees side to side.....6 degrees front to back....


Cheers,
Tom
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:19 AM   #15
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THOR #531
I often cool my fridge down the night prior. I have found that at least in the cooler Michigan climate, the fridge will stay safe (not running) for at least a 4 hour trip.

I have an un-level driveway as well, so I deploy my hydraulic levelers to get the rig level.

I carry a cheap spirit level with me, and have calibrated it (put tick marks on it) for both 3Deg and 6Deg, so I know if the coach level is safe enough to run the fridge.

Its my understanding that you can damage the fridge if you run it further than the 3deg/6deg limit - at least if you run it that way for an hour or more. Seems the ammonia can build crystals in the lines when doing so. I have not tempted fate though to see if this is true or not, as I don't want to risk buying a new fridge.
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:56 AM   #16
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THOR #908
This site has a lot of info re these fridges and how they work
Norcold Fridge Problem | Dometic Refrigerator Failure | Norcold Class | RV Fires
Click the RV Refrigerator tab along the top bar.

I'm not in any way affiliated with this company, other than being a customer of theirs.....
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:36 PM   #17
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FYI Most important thing about Rv refrigerators. If you do not insure that the level bubble is a "close to level " as possible these units will fail prematurely.
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:53 PM   #18
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THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tytlfamily View Post
Sorry, I was incorrect...it says 3 degrees side to side.....6 degrees front to back....


Cheers,
Tom
That being as the refrigerator is installed would relate to the coach being 3 degrees front to rear and 6 degrees side to side, correct?

Also, I am assuming there are different requirements for different manufacturers. In my class c the Dometic refrigerator's manual stated that if you could comfortably walk in the coach it was level enough for the refrigerator. It was, however, a non standard Dometic four door fridge.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:58 AM   #19
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I always plug my RV in 1 - 2 days before I put food in it.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
I often cool my fridge down the night prior. I have found that at least in the cooler Michigan climate, the fridge will stay safe (not running) for at least a 4 hour trip.

I have an un-level driveway as well, so I deploy my hydraulic levelers to get the rig level.

I carry a cheap spirit level with me, and have calibrated it (put tick marks on it) for both 3Deg and 6Deg, so I know if the coach level is safe enough to run the fridge.

Its my understanding that you can damage the fridge if you run it further than the 3deg/6deg limit - at least if you run it that way for an hour or more. Seems the ammonia can build crystals in the lines when doing so. I have not tempted fate though to see if this is true or not, as I don't want to risk buying a new fridge.
Not sure what the grade is on my driveway here in Ohio but I leave the fridge on 24/7! Have been doing this since 2009 with the old Sunseeker class C and never had a problem!

We also leave the fridge off during long trips and have been driving for 12 hour days while the fridge is being used by my girls enroute and remains cold. Plug it in when we stop overnight!
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