Tips for Maintaining Your RV Refrigerator

Your RV’s refrigerator is an essential appliance for comfortable RV living, and when things go wrong, it’s sure to throw a major wrench in your travel plans. If your fridge stops working properly, you can end up with spoiled food and costly repair bills, both of which are unwelcome expenses when you’d rather be focusing on your travels.

Thankfully, a little maintenance can help you keep your cool and prevent significant refrigeration issues down the line. With these tips, you can troubleshoot common refrigerator issues and save money, ensuring your food stays cold whether you’re parked at a campsite or cruising down the open road.

1. Get to Know Your Control Panel

Your refrigerator is your powerhouse, operating on LP gas, 120-volt AC power, or 12-volt DC power with an inverter. And while the RV control panel might seem like a small component, it plays a vital role in managing your RV refrigerator. The control panel serves as the brain, determining the default power source and seamlessly switching to an alternate one if needed. Learn how to navigate through this essential feature, understand indicator codes, and seamlessly switch between electrical power and propane.

2. Locate the Serial Number

With so many brands, models, and styles on the market, you need to be able to locate your refrigerator’s serial number to be able to identify and properly maintain RV refrigerator. Once you’ve found the serial number, you’ll be able to research your specific model and find accurate information on issues, parts, and more. Learn how to locate the serial number on your model, and keep in mind that its placement depends on the refrigerator model’s age.

3. Learn to Troubleshoot Overcooling Issues

Optimized for limited space, RV refrigerators employ various systems to ensure maintaining desired temperatures. However, some of the most common issues to arise are overcooling and freezing, which require a bit of troubleshooting. Learn how to identify these problems yourself before seeking costly professional help.

4. Understand Your Power Source

Over the past few decades, RV refrigerators have evolved in terms of power sources, with many models, such as Norcold and Dometic, shifting away from 12-volt battery power. Power options for RV refrigerators now include LP gas and 120-volt electricity, since 12-volt systems tend to drain batteries rapidly, especially for larger units. However, it’s still feasible for larger refrigerators to operate using an on-board 8- or 12-volt battery bank with the help of an inverter, mimicking the functionality of a 120-volt system. Smaller RV refrigerators with an integrated freezer inside a single door can efficiently run off a 12-volt battery. Understanding the various types of refrigerators and their power sources will give you better insights when troubleshooting or upgrading your RV refrigerator.

5. Learn to Troubleshoot Your Propane Refrigerator

Does your RV propane refrigerator have a frustrating habit of starting briefly only to shut off again? With a few steps, you can troubleshoot a malfunctioning fridge and discover potential culprits like a cracked spark ignitor or a covered flame sensor probe. By gaining insights into these issues, you’ll be better equipped to address and fix them so you can restore your RV refrigerator to its ideal performance.

6. Secure Loose Parts on Your Refrigerator

If the side-by-side refrigerator in your fifth wheel or motorhome shifts during travel, there are several straightforward solutions to address this issue. Depending on the type of RV refrigerator you have, the fix you need could be pretty affordable. There are various components that can be prone to loosening, so a little investigating can go a long way toward identifying potential problems. Discover where to inspect outside your RV and understand the impacts of jostled components during transit. With a few steps, you can ensure your RV refrigerator stays securely in place while on the move.

Don’t let a faulty fridge get you heated. Next time your refrigerator is on the fritz, try these maintenance and troubleshooting tips so you can get back to enjoying your next adventure.

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