RV Refrigerator Service & Maintenance

If you own an RV, chances are it’s equipped with a gas/electric refrigerator. With the summer travel season on the horizon, now is the time to give your refrigerator a little TLC.

Tip # 1: Clean venting system

While the absorption style RV refrigerator is a low maintenance device, you can still do a few things to keep it operating efficiently. The most important thing is to keep it clean and prevent any obstructions in the venting system. That is, clean out the soot and rust particles that accumulate on the inside surface of the flue. Ensure that there is proper ventilation for the refrigerator. Check that the back of the refrigerator is free of any debris

Tip # 2: Give it a hand

When the temp gets really high outside, your refrigerator has to work extra hard to stay cool. Give it a hand. Get a good ice chest, fill it with ice, and store your drinks in the cooler. This will help to keep the door of the refrigerator closed during the heat of the day. Also, make sure your refrigerator isn’t so crammed full of stuff that it can’t “breathe”. Refrigerators need good air circulation to work efficiently. If you can, park the RV such that the refrigerator side is in the shade.

Whenever possible, pre-cool the refrigerator for 8 to 10 hours before loading it with food so you’re not trying to cool the food and the warm refrigerator at the same time.

Pack food loosely. Most RV refrigerators don’t have fans to circulate the cold air, although portable aftermarket fans can help. If you don’t have enough room, consider taking along an ice chest, which can be used for items such as cold drinks. This also reduces the number of times the refrigerator has to be opened

Keep an eye on the cooling fins. When they ice up, cooling efficiency will be reduced. The temperature may be set too high or the door gaskets may not be sealing, thus allowing moisture to creep inside. Not sure whether your door gaskets seal properly? Close the doors on a dollar bill and pull the bill out slowly; you should feel a slight resistance.

If you notice the smell of ammonia, turn off the refrigerator immediately, open its doors and all the windows and roof vents in the motorhome. Ammonia is very caustic and can ruin the metal shelves in the lower compartment. Eventually, the ammonia will diminish. If this happens while on a trip, once the smell is gone, empty the refrigerator and close the doors until you get home and make a service appointment. At this point the refrigerator will cease to function and the cooling unit will need to be replaced

For more tips about RV maintenance and service, contact Mike at mikeb@rvglass.com

or call (800) 551-9149 ext. 2030