Sunday, December 3,2023 6:02 pm EST

Everything You Need to Know About RV Refrigerators

As you are all heading off on summer vacation in your RVs, you will know the importance of having those cooling treats back home. After you kick off your shoes and are ready to relax, you will likely walk over to your fridge just to check if there are any tasty popsicles or even ice cream. Even for dinner, you might want produce or meats that are held in this appliance. The refrigerator is definitely one of the most critical components of any RV, so it is important to stay up to date on the latest-and-greatest models as well as know some tips to ensure it is working properly. Breakdowns are more common than you might think, so you should think twice about leaving maintenance to the last minute. This article will break down everything you need to know about RV fridges before you jet set on your journey!

The Basics

RV fridges are designed to work efficiently in the limited size and conditions of an RV while also keeping your food and beverages cold and safe to consume. Normally, there are two types of RV fridges, the absorption type and compressor type. The absorption fridge uses heat as the primary source to refrigerate, usually running off of propane gas or 110/120 electricity, and the compressor type uses electricity as its primary means and has a compressor similar to that of a household refrigerator.

The first question on your mind might be what is the difference between an RV fridge and a residential fridge? One of the biggest changes is that typical refrigerators use a compressor whereas an RV fridge, also known as an absorption refrigerator, may not. This means that there are no moving parts indicating that fewer components will be moving around during your travels. They are much more durable and are set to withstand the roughness of the roads. However, because of this, RV fridges use gravity which means that there are other important considerations.

Installing your Fridge

As soon as you find the model that is best for you, you will want to follow the instructions for installing it. This will be different for every type as each requires a varying process. However, generally, you need the fridge to be level before installation. If there is uneven ground, be sure to fix that first! You can use a levelling tool or even the app on your iPhone to determine whether your floor is flat. That also means that you shouldn’t park for an extended period of time on an incline as this can move the coolant fluid to one side and can cause long-term damage. As well, to increase air circulation, you can purchase a fan to reduce cool-down time. This will save your power bill as well as the environment.

Refrigerator Maintenance

When the fridge breaks down, you’re left with nothing but non-perishable food, which can be hard especially if you were looking forward to a nice chilling treat. First and foremost, just regularly wash your fridge. The inside can become grimy from old food or drinks which can become quite yucky. Just giving it a regular cleaning saves you time and money in the long run. You also need to thoroughly clean the exterior as dirt, dust and build-up around the propane can cause fires. We do not want that to happen, especially as you were likely wanting to just relax.

Looking at the upper vent to see if it is clear and free from debris is another step so that you can get that essential airflow. Typically, the hot air escapes through the upper exterior, so it’s important to check this vent’s condition. The majority of the time, it is on the roof, so remove any fallen debris like leaves, sticks, rubbish, dust and so on. You may also need to replace it if it is broken. Next, inspect the cooling fins for the same debris.

Lastly, examine the drain tube that removes water from the refrigerator’s drip tray. Since the evaporator fans typically supply that water, check to see that the hose is still in good condition and performing as intended.

Other Considerations with your RV Fridge

The advantages of this fridge would first and foremost be its function. It can be hard to go long summer days without anything refreshing and your fridge is your best bet. However, there are some important factors to consider. Whenever you use propane, it is imperative that you understand the fire risks. As well, since RV fridges do not have a defrost cycle, over time, the cooling fins within may get coated with sheets of frost and ice. This requires you to manually defrost the unit to keep it operating or else breakdown can ensue. You must thus keep an eye on the outside temperature. Generally, absorption refrigerators will chill the fridge to a temperature of around 40 degrees below ambient, and the freezer to a temperature of about 25 to 30 degrees below. Hence, absorption refrigerators may find it difficult to achieve the same level of cold as compressor refrigerators, and they don’t chill as steadily. Because of temperature changes in the refrigerator, vegetables may decay more rapidly and your freezer may not keep your food as cold as you like.

A brief rundown of the above post:

  1. RV fridges are more expensive than regular household fridges due to their specialized design and functionality.
  2. They come in various sizes to fit your RV exactly, so make sure to measure your RV’s space before purchasing one.
  3. The power sources for RV fridges are propane gas, 110/120 electricity, and battery power.
  4. You need to level the RV fridge to ensure efficient functioning.
  5. There are many factors that can affect the performance of RV fridges such as ambient temperature, ventilation, humidity, and altitude.
  6. You need to properly maintain your RV fridge to prolong its lifespan and ensure its efficiency.
  7. RV fridges are vulnerable to being damaged during transportation, so it’s important to secure them properly.

In summary, there are important considerations to make before purchasing your RV fridge as you need to account for the type, power source, maintenance, cost and more. There are all factors that depend greatly on the individual, so check your own lifestyle before making your choice. Be sure to double check what works best for you so you can have the optimal trip!

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