Troubleshooting Tricks To Fix Your RV Refrigerator That's Not CoolingElijah White
Sometimes your RV refrigerator won't work quite as expected and start to cool poorly, leaving you worrying about your food going bad and other storage methods.
You may need to go through some quick fixes for your RV refrigerator if it is not working properly. This can be a frustrating problem to deal with, but try to fix it yourself first by cleaning the vents, checking for frost build up, making sure the seals aren’t damaged, and checking the breaker.
If you've got an RV refrigerator that's not cooling well, there are a few things you can do to figure out what is wrong. I have some troubleshooting solutions to help you fix your RV refrigerator that's not cooling properly below for both electric and propane fridges.
General Troubleshooting For Broken RV Fridge
Here are some troubleshooting solutions to help you fix your RV refrigerator that's not cooling.
Don't panic! It's not the end of the world. Refrigerators are notoriously finicky, and it happens to everyone eventually. In fact, it's funny how many RVers I know who have had their refrigerators go bad, only for them to come home from their trip and find that their fridge is now working perfectly again.
If your refrigerator isn't cooling, check the propane supply and make sure it's turned on. Test for power at the back of your fridge by using a voltmeter to check for 120 volts AC (alternating current). If there's no voltage, then you need to replace your fuse box or wiring connections.
Some refrigerators use electric heaters to keep food cool in their cabinets. Try checking these with a voltmeter as well: If they're not working properly or have burned out insulation around them, they may need replacing or repair work done before they can be used again in another RV refrigerator.
Troubleshooting A Propane Fridge
Check the propane supply and make sure it's turned on.
Check for leaks by turning off each appliance and making sure you can't see any smoke coming from under a door or around an opening.
If you do detect smoke, turn off your appliances again and check for leaks in all directions: near the valve, under a hose connection, inside a gas line connecting to your refrigerator/freezer unit.
Make sure that there are no holes in any of these areas because they could be letting air into your RV causing it not work properly. Make sure that both units are filled up with gas before starting up again.
Troubleshooting An Electric Fridge
Check the electric supply and check fuses if necessary.
If the refrigerator is not cooling and you have checked all of the above, it may be a fuse or circuit breaker problem. You should check your RV’s electric system first by turning off all power to your RV at the main breaker box and unplugging all wires from the back of your refrigerator.
Next, go to each circuit breaker panel in turn and test each one individually. If one fails to trip when you press its reset button, then that's where you need to start troubleshooting!
Use a voltmeter to check for power at the back of the fridge.
A voltmeter is a tool that measures voltage. It can be used to check for power at the back of your refrigerator, by using it to measure how much current your RV's electrical system is running through.
You'll have to purchase one at a hardware store or other place that sells tools and equipment for RVs. The price will vary depending on what type of voltmeter you choose, but it should be within $20-$30 (or less). You don't need an expensive model—you just want something accurate enough so that you can make sure everything's working properly.
If nothing else works and you're stuck with no idea where things went wrong yet again, then try using another multimeter instead. This device works similarly as above except it measures current instead of voltage; however this doesn't mean they're interchangeable because not all multimeters are capable of measuring all three types simultaneously either.
How To Test The Burner Inside A Propane Fridge
To do this, turn the knob on the front of your RV refrigerator to "off." Open its door and look for a burner on the back wall of your RV refrigerator as pictured below.
If there is no burner at all, try turning one on with a match or lighter after turning off all other electrical components in your RV (if applicable). Let it heat up for about 30 seconds before shutting off again.
Test the electric heating element in an electric fridge using a multimeter.
To check the heating element, use a multimeter.
Set the multimeter to measure resistance across the heating element. If you get a reading, it's working; if not, there may be an issue with your power supply and/or wiring.
How To Check The Ventilation For An RV Fridge
Make sure you have good ventilation around the fridge.
If the vent is blocked or dirty, this can create an air pocket that will prevent cool air from circulating throughout your refrigerator and cause problems like overheating or freezing.
It's also important to make sure there's enough space around the fridge—a small amount of additional room will help keep things running smoothly as well as help with airflow and prevent condensation build up on any surfaces inside (including walls).
Checking The Seal On An RV Fridge
Open up your refrigerator door and look for any cracks along the seam where two sides meet (this is usually where most leaks occur). If you find one, repair it by using duct tape or RTV silicone sealant as needed; if not, continue on with this step.
Check around where the floor meets the wall for dirt buildup at each corner—if there are clumps or dust particles blocking airflow through either side of this connection point then consider cleaning them off completely before continuing further down below into these next steps below.
How to Check The Breaker On An RV Fridge
Check power. Is the power working? If so, then check that the breaker or fuse is on and working properly by turning off at least one circuit breaker in your electrical panel located under a cabinet near the fuse box or breaker box, depending on where you have yours installed.
You may also want to check all of these before you begin troubleshooting any other potential issues that could cause your RV refrigerator not cooling properly.
Check temperature buildup around outside panels and vents where air enters (or exits) from inside the unit; this can lead directly onto coils inside the unit causing overheat problems as well as corrosion issues which lead directly into lack of cooling performance.
Check ducting leading from fan overtop/nearby baseboards to ensure there aren't any holes present anywhere along route leading up through flooring board into attic space above unit where heat builds up due being inefficiently ventilated by improper placement within roofline structure itself.
Make sure fan has been turned off either manually by pulling plug out if needed or remotely via wiring connections like those found under dash area next door
Checking An RV Fridge For Frost Buildup
Check the temperature of the outside of your fridge. If it's too hot, then it could be a sign of a bad thermostat or an overload in your power source. If that's not the case and you still don't have enough cool air circulating through your RV refrigerator, then it may be time to repair or replace its condenser coils.
How To Check for a Tripped Breaker or Loose Wire Connection
Check the breaker panel. If you have a tripped breaker or loose wire connection, the refrigerator will not work properly. To check this, turn off all of your electrical devices and then check to see if there are any other switches that are tripped by checking them with a multimeter (or tester).
Check the wiring. Check all of your wires in order to make sure they're connected securely and aren't loose or damaged at any point during installation or operation of your RV refrigerator.
You could also hire an electrician who specializes in RV refrigeration systems if needed because sometimes problems like this occur when someone cuts power too quickly without noticing what else was being done around them while cutting off access to their home's main switchboard.
About THE AUTHOR
My wife and I bought a broken down 1984 Chevy A-Class 26ft RV and restored it back to working order. Now we both work remotely and live in it full time with our pet cats with the freedom to explore.Read More About Elijah White