Fridge on steep drive (2 Viewers)

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Jan 22, 2017
565
15,236
North wales
Funster No
47,008
MH
Ace Napoli (Swift)
Exp
Since February 2019
Hello..New motorhome owner here
We have a very steep drive and would appreciate advice/answers

Will fridge get cold on hook up at home? as I understand it the 12 volt system (whilst travelling) will only maintain the existing fridge temperature.
Will the fridge get cold on gas..when we stop and set up?
I plan to pack some frozen items to reduce fridge temp during travel..
Any comments?

Thanks in advance
 
Apr 9, 2018
9,040
47,716
Worcestershire
Funster No
53,271
MH
Bailey Adamo 75-4t
Exp
March 2018
Don't quote me on this but I think you need to be reasonably level on gas so that the flame rises properly but should be ok when you stop and set up unless really unlevel.

Our 12v does a pretty good job at keeping the fridge cold whilst travelling.

Not sure about your 240v on the drive. Unilke the gas I would guess that it will work better.
 
OP
OP
Liverpoollass
Jan 22, 2017
565
15,236
North wales
Funster No
47,008
MH
Ace Napoli (Swift)
Exp
Since February 2019
So is being level to do with gas supply from our gas bottles or is it to do with the gas in the actual fridge?
 

TheBig1

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 27, 2011
17,794
44,217
Dorset
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19,048
MH
A class
Exp
many many years! since I was a kid
an absorption fridge uses heat transfer and a liquid coolant in the pipes. if the chimney on the back of the fridge is not near upright, the heat from the flame or 240v element is far less effective

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pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
43,576
51,428
Dark side of the moon
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172
Exp
Since 2005
So is being level to do with gas supply from our gas bottles or is it to do with the gas in the actual fridge?
It's the flame within the burner tube in the fridge.
If the flame can't go straight up the tube (within a few degrees) it won't work.
On hookup it should work as the heating element is positioned differently, but no promises.
 
Aug 18, 2014
24,132
138,036
Lorca,Murcia,Spain
Funster No
32,898
MH
Transit PVC
Exp
16 years since restarting
It normally doesn't work well on electric either ,in my case anyway. Both gas & electric on mine are excellent , considering it's 30 years old but on a slope at the nephews I have to level it or the elctric won't function well.
 
R

Robert Clark

Deleted User
I’m pretty sure you need to be within 6 degrees of level for an absorption fridge to function
 
OP
OP
Liverpoollass
Jan 22, 2017
565
15,236
North wales
Funster No
47,008
MH
Ace Napoli (Swift)
Exp
Since February 2019
Thank you..we will suck it and see (so to speak)
We will also book on a site soonish and test everything on hook up while level

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MikeD

Free Member
Dec 21, 2011
3,936
3,697
London
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19,230
MH
IH PVC
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Since 2012
Our motorhome fridge does not work on the slope of our drive :(
 
Oct 29, 2016
4,580
55,528
Surrey
Funster No
45,842
MH
Carthago C Tourer
Exp
Motor Homing 5 years, caravan previously
Hello..New motorhome owner here
We have a very steep drive and would appreciate advice/answers

Will fridge get cold on hook up at home? as I understand it the 12 volt system (whilst travelling) will only maintain the existing fridge temperature.
Will the fridge get cold on gas..when we stop and set up?
I plan to pack some frozen items to reduce fridge temp during travel..
Any comments?
We had the same problem when we first arrived home with the new van. Parked up on our very steep drive, plugged in the power to keep batteries topped up, went out the day before going away, turned FF on...it wouldn't cool down, was warmer inside than outside. Went away for 4 days, tried running on mains electric, Gas, nothing would not cool down, no food storage in van had to come home.
Booked into our dealers for repair as were initially told the cooler unit had failed, needed new FF under warranty. Left van with dealers for about 10 days(which suited us at the time)
Dometic engineer diagnosed cooling unit problem, ordered new replacement, returned to dealers to replace whole unit a few days later. On entering the van he found the FF was working and was achieving even lower temperatures than the average.
So the moral of this story is, that the FF will not work if van is not level enough. I made 2 very large and substantial wooden ramps, 18 inches wide & 19 inches high from scaffold boards trebled up with railway sleepers supporting them.
I can now come down the drive and run straight up the ramps, with safety making the van nearly level.
The FF has worked ever since.
Observation, lesson learned:
The coolant in the fridge must be pretty sluggish as the van had to be on the level for a few days before the FF worked at the dealers.
Build yourself some leveling ramps to store the van, all should be fine then.
Another tip I learned from a Funster, turn the FF on low (2 bars indication), leave it for a few hours, then turn it up to 5/6 bars, it apparently helps the FF cool down from room temp more easily.
Les

Thanks in advance
 

bigtwin

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 29, 2009
5,410
10,303
Derby
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9,111
MH
Concorde
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Since 2006
I’m not sure that the poor performance is related to the flame. If that were the case, you’d overcome the problem by using the 240 V heating element.

The issue, I believe, is that the refrigerant is circulated, not by a pump, but by the thermal gradient produced by the heat source (be that gas or electric power). Thus the refrigerant is circulated by ‘natural circulation’ (as a result of the thermal gradient) and is less effective than pumped circulation and hence is sensitive to the layout (orientation) of the cooling loop.

Ian

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Jul 29, 2013
9,135
19,572
Salisbury
Funster No
27,215
MH
Hymer B678DL A class
Exp
since 2011
Our drive slopes about 600mm over 6m and we have to Jack the bottom as far as we can to get fridge to work it’s not level but near enough to work the fridge.
That’s gas or electric one fridge is up to temperature it works fine even if we drop back down but not for long.(y)(y)(y)
 

Korgrocker

Free Member
Jan 22, 2019
121
65
Dunfermline
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58,177
MH
Elddis Encore 285 - 2018
Exp
Since 2013
I have a steep drive as well. The fridge is a Dometic, less than a year old. I find that it won't work on gas, battery or mains unless it's under 5 degrees of level, but preferably no more than 3-4 degrees. Can be a nuisance sometimes.
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
4,914
4,588
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
A gas fridge has no moving parts and relies on gravity for the gas/liquid to move and return around a circuit. You don’t hear about fridges not working due to slope because they can accommodate the degree of tilt often experienced when camping. The amount of tilt tolerated will depend on direction (forward, back, or side-to side) but the heat source should make no difference.
I'd suggest that they might not work when the slope is 'noticeable'. I recall reading that some makes are more susceptible than others, though.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,869
156,965
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Carthago Compactline
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Since 2008 & many years tugging
Err...Sorry I don't understand..
Older fridges had a less powerful 12v elements so we're only capable of keeping an already cold fridge cool, they also ran continually when on 12v as there was no thermostat to control them.

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OP
OP
Liverpoollass
Jan 22, 2017
565
15,236
North wales
Funster No
47,008
MH
Ace Napoli (Swift)
Exp
Since February 2019
Older fridges had a less powerful 12v elements so we're only capable of keeping an already cold fridge cool, they also ran continually when on 12v as there was no thermostat to control them.
Right...got it...think ours is older it's a 55 the
Thanks
 
Apr 27, 2008
11,919
14,221
Eastbourne East Sussex
Funster No
2,327
MH
Hymer low profile
Exp
Since 1972
Our fridge works well on 12v when travelling Freezer was down to - 16c after driving 100 miles without any precooling. I think the idea that 12v operation is not efficient was a historical thing with older fridges.
If the fridge isn't working because of a slope it will not work on any energy source.
 
Nov 17, 2012
1,934
2,623
WEST SUSSEX
Funster No
23,714
MH
HYMER B SL 674
Exp
SINCE 2005
On a slope our fridge doesn’t function on gas, electric hook up or battery. Also we found if we tried on a slope it did not subsequently kick in whilst travelling. Using some fridge freezer blocks whilst loading on our drive with the fridge OFF until we set off and therefore level ish worked the best for us.
 
Apr 27, 2016
7,101
8,360
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
When staying on a friend's steep drive, we found that the fridge did not work on any power type, 240V, 12V or gas.

We then raised the front with silly height home-made commercial ramps, which made it almost level. The fridge would not work, even though it was level. The next day, after a 100-mile drive home, it worked fine.

I was expecting that I'd need to take the fridge out and stand it upside down for 24 hours, which is a last-resort remedy, but thankfully that wasn't necessary.

The power source doesn't make any difference to this.
 
Apr 27, 2016
7,101
8,360
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
as I understand it the 12 volt system (whilst travelling) will only maintain the existing fridge temperature.
Will the fridge get cold on gas..when we stop and set up?
I don't know about every fridge, but on mine the 12 volt and 240 volt elements are about the same wattage (220 watts). That's 18 amps, over quite a long length all the way to the fridge, which needs quite thick wire to avoid voltage drop. From what I've seen, it's the thin wire and voltage drop that's the cause of the 12V power being less effective than 240 volts.

Cooling on gas when you stop will be as good as on 240V.

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OP
OP
Liverpoollass
Jan 22, 2017
565
15,236
North wales
Funster No
47,008
MH
Ace Napoli (Swift)
Exp
Since February 2019
Sorted...thanks all...We left it at sons house..(nice and level) but not on hook up..then put a fair bit of frozen stuff on the shelves and travelled on 12v..went on a site..to test all systems on hook up...all good...now we are FLT 's and all good on gas.
 

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