Discovering that your RV’s refrigerator is malfunctioning while on the road can be quite frustrating. However, there’s no need to panic, as you can often troubleshoot and resolve the issue yourself with a few helpful tips. Here’s a guide on diagnosing and addressing common RV refrigerator problems:
Begin by ensuring your RV is level. Then, determine if the refrigerator is functioning at all or completely non-operational. You can gauge this by using a thermometer or placing your hand on the cooling coils in the main food compartment and freezer.
For accurate temperature measurements, use thermometers designed for refrigerators, preferably in each compartment.
The cooling process usually starts in the freezer and spreads to the main compartment. If the freezer cools but the main compartment doesn’t, it’s likely due to reduced airflow.
If you notice a lack of cooling, take a sniff around the refrigerator. Most RV refrigerators use absorption technology involving ammonia, water, hydrogen gas, and sodium chromate for heat transfer. If you detect an ammonia odor, it signifies a refrigerant leak requiring professional repair or replacement. Reach out to an RV dealer to assess the most cost-effective solution, and check if your unit is still under warranty.
If your refrigerator functions on LP gas but not on electric, or vice versa, it indicates the cooling unit is intact.
If the flame doesn’t light, clean the burner area and port to remove debris that might be blocking it. A well-shaped mostly blue flame is ideal.
If your cooling unit appears charged but still doesn’t function, try an old trick: turn the entire refrigerator upside down for about a week. This can sometimes clear clogs and restore functionality.
Consider options like rebuilt circuit boards and cooling units with warranties from reputable suppliers. Often, minor issues lead to malfunctions, and by troubleshooting as mentioned, you might avoid costly repairs or provide valuable information to technicians.
Remember, even a little effort can go a long way in keeping your RV refrigerator running smoothly during your travels.