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rbpru

North Central Indiana

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Posted: 06/02/21 01:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On another board there was a comment made about altitude affecting their refrigerator and generator at 6000 ft.

I would not think the refrigerator propane would use enough air volume at that height nor the air be too thin to impact the refrigerator. I also think that at 6000 ft. the impact on the generator would be minimal.

However I could be wrong, I live ay 800 ft. So I wondered if anyone has had issues at higher altitudes?

Perhaps the person was thinking 6000 meters. Now that could be a problem.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 06/02/21 02:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With the fridge, it's mostly if there is enough oxygen to keep the flame lit...at 6000ft, it's probably not an issue. Flame might run a little longer but it's unlikely to significantly impact cooling. Of course, at high altitude, temps tend to be lower so it's less of an issue.

Generator on the other hand is powered by a naturally aspirated (ie: no turbo or supercharger) internal combustion engine. Generally, they will lose 1% of power per 300ft of altitude(you can find various amounts shown on the internet but generally in this range), so at 6000ft, you will be down by about 20% on power. If you are pulling 500w on a 3000w generator, you probably won't notice. If you are pushing up against the limits, the generator may struggle.


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QCMan

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Posted: 06/02/21 02:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are at 6000 meters you will have more to worry about than keeping your fridge cold. Don't know if there is any place over three miles up that you can get an rv to but I could be wrong.


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bpounds

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Posted: 06/02/21 02:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I camp at 7 - 8,000 feet frequently. The only appliance I have an issue with is the water heater. It starves for air a little bit and the flame can die. So far opening the other hatch door has always solved the problem. I think the direction of the prevailing wind is a factor too. Sometimes all works fine, so I think it is a borderline kind of thing. All other appliances are unaffected.


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n0arp

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Posted: 06/02/21 03:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So far, we haven't had issues staying at up to around 10K.

However, our friends with an older (1994, not sure if age is all that relevant, but worth mentioning) RV had issues camping with us at around 9400ft - the sail switch on their (original) furnace failed to engage on its own and needed some manual assistance. The burner had no issues. We suspected a failed/failing sail switch, but it began working fine once back at 7K and has continued working for months after.


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ReneeG

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Posted: 06/02/21 04:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our RV tech says that Norcold has more problems at high altitude. We have a Dometic and often camp at 7 - 9k feet and never have a problem.


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IDman

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Posted: 06/02/21 04:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We lived at 7600' in Colorado and always camped at 9000' or higher. Never had any problems with any of our LP appliances.

SDcampowneroperator

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Posted: 06/02/21 05:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had the opposite problem, our appliances worked fine at 5600', at sea level the suburban furnace would ' blow out' on lighting. It was a too much air issue which would not let the flame settle on the burner. When the flame did catch, it was loud like a roar, not a hum. So a piece of electrical tape to restrict the fan intake settled and quieted the flame.
Water heaters are often affected by altitude or fuel , thats why they have an adjustable air slide . You can use how they burn as an indicator of other issues that may affect your other appliances.
Fuel is more of an issue than most realize, LPG is not always pure propane, it often has a butane mix, that lowers its evaporation point, which is tied to temperature.
So if you are at high ( or any ) elevation on a chilly night. its possible not enough vapor could boiloff to meet demand if there is butane mix or if the propane bottle is low.

B-n-B

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Posted: 06/02/21 06:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our driveway starts off at 6500 feet and most our destinations go up from there. Never had an LP appliance problem across several campers. I've even used the AC with my Honda 2200 converted to propane without issue.


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Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 06/02/21 08:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RV LP System Pressure is only 0.39 psi
Propane has a narrow combustion range...
less then 2% propane....no ignition
more then 10% propane...no ignition

Water heaters/Fridges air mixture for combustion is via venturi effect
Furnace is forced air for combustion

Water heaters/Fridges Can have ignition issues due to thinner air at altitudes
It can affect the fuel/air ratio...fuel rich condition


Suburban makes the statement about 'derating' water heater above 4500' and that change out of orifice is required........BUT do NOT specify WHICH orifice to use.
Derating by 4% per every 1000' Above sea level.


Norcold FAQs
Altitudes higher than 5500 feet above sea level may cause reduced cooling performance and may cause burner outages. Norcold recommends you operate the unit on AC when altitudes are higher than 5500 feet above sea level.

Most of the time...opening the access door/panel can help resolve the air issue


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