Balancing a 5er for the Refrig.

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elm_tx

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Houston, Tx
Hey Y'all,

We're heading out tomorrow for our first ever trip with out 36' 5er, it's a short 2 night trip. The purpose being to simply get familiar with camping in a 5er before we make any long trips.

I've read on here that I need to be balanced for the Frig to actually cool down properly. I'm fine with that, no problem. We went out this evening to load her up, I put a level on the fridge door and saw that it was way out of wack, the front being too high. I went out and dropped the front landing gear as low as it could go, I was still way off the center mark.

My question is this, how do you balance the 5er front to back? I can easily drop the front, but only so far, the back has scissor jacks, I thought those were pretty much just to stabilize it and not carry a heavy weight load (i.e. drop the front as much as possible and then NOT lift the back to compensate to get it balanced). What do I do if the camp site is not level?

We're heading to Lake Somerville Tx, can't wait to do some fishing, bbq'ing and kicking back, but I think we're gunna be learing more then relaxing...lol
 

Carl L

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By balance, I assume that you mean level, right?

Modern RV fridges do not need to be exactly level.  Most mfrs say if the level is comfortable to you, it is good enough for the fridge.

The way you level a trailer, any trailer fore and aft is to use the landing gear or hitch jack to pivot it about the axles.    If the trailer cannot be leveled sufficently, you are probably parked on a slope or on uneven ground.  The best thing to do is to move the trailer slightly until you are near level by levels placed on the outside of your trailer.  Theoretically, you could block up the tires on both sides of the trailer to raise the tail, but that is usually impractical.  Blocking is used to level the trailer side to side, not fore and aft.  Move the trailer back and forth or get a more level site.

Scissors jacks are usually not leveling jacks, they are stabilizing jacks.  In any case read your owners manual.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I cannot conceive that you could not level the trailer fore & aft with the landing gear.  That's a huge amount of height travel.  I would suspect the level!  If it was one of those small squares with the bubble in the center, they are notoriously inaccurate. try a regular carpenter's level instead, even if one of the little 6 inch ones.

But your own sense of balance is probably good enough. If you don't feel awkward walking around inside, its probably OK. You can also check easily check level by opening cabinet or bathroom doors and see if they swing one way or the other.
 

Carl L

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I cannot conceive that you could not level the trailer fore & aft with the landing gear.  That's a huge amount of height travel.

No lie.  However, I have been sited in a campground where my coupler was right on the ground finding level.  Not a CG I would recommend.
 
F

Frizlefrak

Guest
I leave the fridge running in transit.  Yes, I've heard all the reasons you shouldn't do that, but I've done it for years, and it's never had any ill effects.  As stated, the fridge doesn't have to be perfectly level.

Enjoy your trip.  :)
 

Jim Dick

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Frizlefrak said:
I leave the fridge running in transit.  Yes, I've heard all the reasons you shouldn't do that, but I've done it for years, and it's never had any ill effects.  As stated, the fridge doesn't have to be perfectly level.

Enjoy your trip.  :)

Frizlefrak,

Running a refer in transit isn't going to hurt it. BUT, PLEASE remember there is an open flame when running on propane. If you pull into a gas station and there are fumes there could be a disaster! I'm actually amazed it hasn't happened often. Many people do run the refer and have no idea the flame is there.
 

Jim Dick

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As Carl mentioned, if you feel comfortable you are probably level enough. If you look in your manual for the refer you will find the specs for being level. It is usually 3? in one direction and 6? in the other. Keep in mind when they mention front to rear they are talking about the refer. That is side to side in the trailer.
 
F

Frizlefrak

Guest
Jim Dick said:
Frizlefrak,

Running a refer in transit isn't going to hurt it. BUT, PLEASE remember there is an open flame when running on propane. If you pull into a gas station and there are fumes there could be a disaster! I'm actually amazed it hasn't happened often. Many people do run the refer and have no idea the flame is there.

Jim.....Your concern is certainly appreciated.....however....

you would need a large concentration of fumes in a relatively confined area for an explosion to occur.? For this situation to take place, the gas station would have to have an enormous liquid fuel leak, and would have long since been evacuated.? This is why there aren't any incidents to report.? The normal fumes encountered during a fill up are so diluted that they wouldn't come near iginiting at even 100 times the concentration. Even the slightest breeze in an outdoor setting further dilutes the fumes.? How many gas station explosions have been reported in the last 10 years?

NOW....that said....an accumulation of fumes in a garage, and the spark from a light swich or water heater could spell disaster.? It all comes down to fuel to air ratio.

Remember.....the ideal stochiometric ratio for combustion of gasoline is 14.7? to 1 or thereabouts.? Short of a massive spill....it isn't going to happen.? And on the off chance that a massive spill occured, I would hope one would be prudent enough to see it and not pull their RV up to it.

Cheers.....and no Kaboom!
 

Ned

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Until the person next to you has the nozzle shutoff fail and spill gasoline by the gallon on the pavement.  Why take the chance, even if it's small?
 

Jim Dick

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>>And on the off chance that a massive spill occured, I would hope one would be prudent enough to see it and not pull their RV up to it.<<

And what if they don't??
 

Ron

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Frizlefrak said:
Jim.....Your concern is certainly appreciated.....however....

you would need a large concentration of fumes in a relatively confined area for an explosion to occur.? For this situation to take place, the gas station would have to have an enormous liquid fuel leak, and would have long since been evacuated.? This is why there aren't any incidents to report.? The normal fumes encountered during a fill up are so diluted that they wouldn't come near iginiting at even 100 times the concentration. Even the slightest breeze in an outdoor setting further dilutes the fumes.? How many gas station explosions have been reported in the last 10 years?

NOW....that said....an accumulation of fumes in a garage, and the spark from a light swich or water heater could spell disaster.? It all comes down to fuel to air ratio.

Remember.....the ideal stochiometric ratio for combustion of gasoline is 14.7? to 1 or thereabouts.? Short of a massive spill....it isn't going to happen.? And on the off chance that a massive spill occured, I would hope one would be prudent enough to see it and not pull their RV up to it.

Cheers.....and no Kaboom!


Sorry but IMHO that is just flat out bad info.  I have seen the results of a Kaboom that occurred just from an idiot filling his pickup with a cigarette in his mouth. Fortunately he was the only one in the station and the attendant was inside so on;ly the idiot was damaged along with the pumps and the pickup and a parked car. DON"T ever under estimate the explosive force of gasoline or what little it takes to cause it to mis-behave.

Now if a cigarette can cause the big boom then an open flame such as is found with a RV fridge can surely cause a big KABOOM.  It has happend, maybe not often but then just maybe there are more RVer's that take the necessary precautions.  Remember it only takes ONCE to completely ruin your day or life.
 

elm_tx

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Thanks for the feedback guys. The manual does say 3 degrees, not sure how I measure degrees. I did not realize it was front to back on  the fridge, I assumed front to back on the 5er.

Anyway, I started the fridge on propane Thursday evening, hooked up Friday afternoon (bout 18 hours later) and the fridge was still very Warm. I turned it off and headed out. Got to Lake Somerville and hooked up to 50 amp, tossed a bag of ice in a tray in the freezer and it was nice and chilly the next morning.

Is propane that in efficient? Or could it have something to do with the un-even ground it's stored on. I am using 2 inch long level, I'll take my carpenters level out next time.

It had to be Very amusing watching me back that beast in, we had to go to 3 different spots, the first only had 30 amp, and my adapter would not fit that, the next we got almost in and realized the tree branches were too low and would lop off the top 2 feet of the 5er. The third was a bad angle, but I got her in there with a lot of back and forth. A truck actually stopped to watch (several others turned around and went the other way out...lol), then true enough as y'all have said, they pulled up, offered to help if needed then recounted their first times out.  Too funny.

The one thing I did learn from all that mess, when I got back to our storage location, it was such a Huge hole, I back her in the first time with no problem. Don't think I'll be that lucky at campsites just yet...lol

Just want to say, "Thanks again" for all y'alls feedback here, it made our first trip out a big success and a whole lot of fun. Didn't catch any fish, but I do recall saying repeatedly "it works like this, I read about it on the rvforum."

Thanks All!!!
Eddie
 

Carl L

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Thanks for the feedback guys. The manual does say 3 degrees, not sure how I measure degrees. I did not realize it was front to back on  the fridge, I assumed front to back on the 5er.

3? is 5%.  5 inches in 100 inches or 6 inches in 10 feet.

Anyway, I started the fridge on propane Thursday evening, hooked up Friday afternoon (bout 18 hours later) and the fridge was still very Warm. I turned it off and headed out. Got to Lake Somerville and hooked up to 50 amp, tossed a bag of ice in a tray in the freezer and it was nice and chilly the next morning.

Is propane that in efficient? Or could it have something to do with the un-even ground it's stored on. I am using 2 inch long level, I'll take my carpenters level out next time.

No it is not.  In fact, it can chill a little faster than 120VAC.  Something is wrong.  I suspect that your fridge is not switching over to propane.  They can be stubborn about that.  The usual problem seems to be air in the gas lines after storage or bottle refiilling.  Try running the stove to clear most of the air out of the lines and then resetting the fridge until it lights.
 

Jim Dick

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Eddie,

Propane should cool the refer just as well or better than 120V. Try it again to see if it works better now that it has bounced down the road.

I think you will find it easy to back into any space when nobody is watching. Not so easy with an audience. :) You might want to pick up a 50/30 adapter. There will be more 30amp sites available than 50amp.
 
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