One of the most common issues RV owners run into is having a refrigerator that does not work. A broken fridge can spoil food and make your vacation not so enjoyable. Luckily there are many fixes you can try before calling an expert. This article will cover some of the most common rv refrigerator repair steps and how to do them yourself.
1. First check to see if the refrigerator is powered up and working. This can be done by confirming the refrigerator is plugged into its dedicated outlet in the RV’s black box and is not tripped. It is also a good idea to have a multimeter handy so you can test the voltage on the 120-volt AC power cord going to the refrigerator. If you cannot get voltage readings from the refrigerator circuit board or the heating element, then it may be time to call an RV technician.
2. Then make sure the propane refrigerator switch is on and the propane system is charged. This is an easy fix that almost all RVers can do themselves. It is also important to keep the propane system clean by cleaning the exterior vent, burner assembly area and the drainage pipe on a regular basis. This will help to prevent dirt and debris from clogging the refrigerator coils and preventing the unit from cooling properly.
3. If the fridge is leaking ammonia, there is probably a problem with the absorber gasket or boiler assembly area. A simple test can be done by smelling for ammonia around the refrigerator or looking for yellow residue on the back of the refrigerator. The latter indicates a leak in the absorption gas line that needs to be replaced.
4. If the refrigerator works on propane but not on 120-volt AC, there is probably an electrical problem. This could be that the circuit breaker for the refrigerator is not operative or it is not plugged into its dedicated outlet in the RV’s electrical panel box. It could also be that the 120-volt heating element for the refrigerator isn’t operative or that the circuit board itself has failed. Unless you have extensive RV electrical knowledge, it is best to call an expert.
5. Finally, if the fridge cools on propane but not on electricity, there is likely an issue with the refrigeration control panel. The most common cause of this is that the thermostat has been set to the wrong mode. This can easily be fixed by turning the control knob to the proper setting. This is a quick and inexpensive fix that most RVers can do themselves.
In addition to these common RV refrigerator repairs, there are several other things that you can do to keep your refrigerator running in tip-top shape. Keep the refrigerator and freezer clean, and do a visual inspection of the moisture drain, wiring and gas components on a regular basis. These steps can help to extend the life of your RV’s refrigerator and to reduce the likelihood of a breakdown on your next trip.