Does Vanagon have to be level for refrigerator to operate?


New member
I have borrowed a 1986 VW Vanagon Westfalia with original equipment and want to test all the systems to prepare for a long trip. The refrigerator has not been used in 20 years. The owner's manual does not tell me if the camper must be level for the refrigerator to operate without damage. I've searched online and cannot find the answer. I know most larger RVs must be level for the refrigerator to operate safely. What do you say?

Also, since it hasn't been used in 2 decades, is there any maintenance I should do before trying to start it in any of it's 3 operating modes--12V, 110V, or propane?


Avram George

New member - this is the link to a site for the fridge instructions. there are two fridge models. on the 86' you should have the electrolux fridge with electronic igniter on, and in this case, this kind of fridge should work with no problems even at angles up to 15 degrees. it has integrated syphon pump inside the boiler. the dometic model has to be level. allthough, i never used the fridge in unlevel conditions, of more than 5 degrees... if the cooling unit clogges the damage is ireversible and it's expensive to repair. if the fridge wasen't used that long, try it first on 110 v for 1 day or so... if the fridge is good it should start to freeze up. if not it means that the tubes have corroded on the inside and may have clogged a little bit somewhere. you have to take it out and leave it upside down for a night then put it back in. you should also test the ventilator behind it... or even better replace it wiht PC-fans... good ventilation is key to the long life of the cooling unit.