Understanding RV Refrigeration

Whether you have a residential refrigerator in your home or one that came with your RV, it is important to understand how each of these fridges work. If you don’t have a thorough understanding of your rv refrigeration, it can be easy to overlook small details that may lead to larger problems down the line.

With absorption fridges, heat is needed to boil the refrigerant mixture (ammonia and water). This can be provided by propane, an electric heating element or your furnace. Propane is the most popular choice as it burns cleanly and is readily available. However, most rv refrigeration can also use electricity as the primary source of heat. Some can even be designed to run on AC power from shore power or DC power from your inverter.

A popular choice among many full time RVers is the compressor refrigerator. These can cool down much faster than absorption models and generally consume less energy. However, they are more expensive up front.

Many of the same dos and don’ts apply to either type of refrigerator. Make sure to let your fridge fully cool down before storing food inside, and don’t over stuff it. This allows the cold to circulate more easily, which helps keep everything colder.

Always check your rv refrigeration regularly for signs of problems. Leaks are common, and they can be costly to repair. Look for a yellow residue on the back of your fridge, which is a sign of a leak.