Gadgets Revisited

A couple of gadgets I’ve written about in years past have been upgraded.

ARP controller

Paul and Mao Unmack #116483 have re-leased an upgraded ARP controller, version 3.1. The ARP is a device that protects your RV absorption refrigerator from being damaged by operating off-level.

An RV refrigerator depends on gravity and convection to operate. The ammonia absorption system has no pumps or compressors to circulate the refrigerant, so it depends on gravity to keep fluids moving. If you try to run a refrigerator while it is off-level, the fluids can’t flow. With no fluid flow, the boiler begins to heat up beyond its normal operating temperature. If the off-level condition persists, the boiler overheats and the refrigerant begins to break down. This also causes significant thermal stress on the cooling system and can lead to a stress crack and a leak. Each time the boiler overheats, the damage accumulates and, eventually, you’ll have a dead refrigerator.

I reviewed their first ARP device back in the May/June 2014 issue. Since then, they have improved their controller by inte-grating the refrigerator power relay into the device, simplifying the installation. The new ARP incorporates additional operating modes to support newer refrigerators and aftermarket cooling units, and it also offers an option to control an external fan behind the fridge to improve its cooling efficiency.


You may recall the TailGater, a propane tank tie-down strap for transporting portable propane tanks in a truck. I reviewed this product in the January/February 2013 issue.

RVers who need to routinely transport propane tanks to a filling station also need a method for safely securing the tank in the vehicle. I have tried bungee cords, boxes, milk crates and rope,
but nothing really works with a true measure of security. I’m always afraid that hitting the brakes will send the tank flying. This doesn’t happen with the TailGater. It is easy to use, will fit any truck with a tailgate and holds the tank upright in a 100 percent secure manner.

The inventor, Steve Woodford #111099, recently sent me an updated version of his original TailGater, which has been redesigned to fit newer trucks with larger tailgates and built-in tailgate ladders. Both TailGater versions will securely hold 20-, 30- and 40-pound tanks. The original Tailgater 1 is available for all pre-2012 pickups. The new Tailgater 2 is for 2013 truck models and later.

Complete Product Name: ARP L.L.C. Absorption Refrigerator Protection | Tailgater

Company Name and Info: ARP L.L.C. | Paul and Mao Unmack | | || TailGater | 435-669-3094 | |

Online Shopping Links: |

Average Street Price: ARP List Price $120 | Tailgater Retail Price $18.95 + shipping

Original Publication Date: MJ/17