There is only one thing I know for sure about RV refrigerators – they are very small. These are absorption refrigerators and I don’t pretend to understand how they work. However, I have learned a few things that are very important:
Keep your refrigerator clean; keep it level and keep it ventilated.
If your coach has been stored, be sure to check the refrigerator flue before starting it on propane. Insects and/or birds may have built a nest and clogged the flue, which could result in carbon monoxide entering the coach, or cause a fire. If you smell ammonia in your refrigerator, replace the unit. It is cooled by ammonia and hydrogen.
• An RV refrigerator is sealed, and can’t be repaired in the field
• Keeping your RV level is crucial. A refrigerator operated in a non-level condition causes overheating which can cause blockage in sections of piping in the boiler. This process can’t be reversed, so the only solution is to replace the cooling unit. Ouch!
• The cooling unit (which is on the exterior of the RV) will not have to work as hard if you can park your RV so that the hot late afternoon sun is not hitting it.
• It’s relatively easy to clean the cooling unit and it should be done a couple of times a year – RVers tend to stay in many very windy places and dust can accumulate quickly.
• I acted on a recommendation and bought a small, battery-operated fan
which sat on the bottom shelf of my refrigerator and helped circulate
air in the unit. Some RVers place these fans in the outside compartment
to create added circulation.
• Any RV service place can perform service and maintenance on your refrigerator – there are several parts of it that should be attended to annually.
The freezer compartment of my refrigerator needs to be
defrosted every few weeks which is a pain. The most likely reason is
that I use a lot of ice cubes in whatever I have to drink and am in and
out of the freezer several times a day, getting more ice, making more
ice, etc. However, the defrosting job takes only about 20 minutes at the most. I
turn the refrigerator off, put the freezer contents in a cooler, get
out my hair dryer and go to work. Before you know it, the job is done.
Newer RVs (mine is a 2002) defrost automatically I think.
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