Diagnosing an Inefficient RV Refrigerator

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With no moving parts, RV refrigerators can withstand the rigors of road vibration and temperature change, but do require a little tender loving care to cool at the highest level of efficiency. To help you diagnose the problem of an RV refrigerator not cooling properly, Dave Solberg runs through some of the typical causes of insufficient cooling from an RV fridge.

When you’re trying to solve the issue of an RV refrigerator not cooling to its greatest capability, there are a series of components you should check in proper order to narrow the possibilities. Firstly, you’ll want to determine whether the problem is occurring on the electrical side or the LP side of the system. If your issue is on one side and not the other, you have a better chance of eliminating a whole lot of potential culprits.

You can start to answer the question of what would cause an RV refrigerator not cooling by checking for blockages in ventilation in the back refrigerator cavity and out through the refrigerator vent. Make sure no insulation has fallen behind your refrigerator and is blocking ventilation through the roof vent or side vent on slideroom models. Then climb on top of the vehicle to check under the roof vent cap for similar blockages (debris, accumulated dust, etc.).

If you determine that your RV refrigerator not cooling is due to an issue on the electrical side, you should use a multimeter to verify that your electrical system is operating at the optimal 120 volts. If you’re getting an output lower than 110 volts, your fridge is still trying to cool, but it will not function at its peak efficiency. If you see an output of much lower than 110, you should have a qualified electrician test the campground source or your generator output. It may be as simple as moving to a new camping spot. Or, if you’re fairly sure the problem is a blockage in the cooling unit, you should take the unit in for a checkup as these can severely hamper the fridge’s ability to maintain cold temperatures.

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