Last Updated on September 23, 2021 by Jessica
With the arrival of RV season, it’s time to get your rig up and ready for camping and you may be wondering how to make your RV refrigerator colder.
Something that you may have noticed in the past is that your RV refrigerator struggles to keep its temperature up when it is hot outside.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why this happens and a few tips and tricks about how to make your RV refrigerator colder.
- 1 Why Does My RV Refrigerator Struggle to Stay Cool?
- 2 Install a Fan and Thermostat
- 3 Installing an Evaporator Fan
- 4 Other Less Invasive DIY Methods
- 5 Final Thoughts
Why Does My RV Refrigerator Struggle to Stay Cool?
An RV refrigerator is designed, like all refrigerators, to keep your food cold and, more importantly, your favorite beverages cold.
Unfortunately, an RV fridge isn’t designed to compete with extremely warm temperatures and if your camper gets too warm, your refrigerator will struggle to keep up. For example, if it’s 80 degrees in your RV, then your refrigerator may only get down to 45 or 50 degrees.
Most RV refrigerators sit against an outside wall with little insulation. This means that when it’s hot outside and the sun is shining against that side of the RV, your refrigerator is extremely exposed to heat. Because of this heat exposure, your RV’s fridge is prone to overheating and cold temperatures will be difficult to maintain.
Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to overcome this issue and keep your refrigerator as cool as possible. We will look at some basic tips and tricks as well as more extreme measures to keep your fridge cold.
Install a Fan and Thermostat
By accessing the refrigerator coils and removing the covers, you can install a special fridge fan or two to blow additional air across the coils. This added air circulation will increase the amount of cold air that blows across your refrigerator coils. You can also purchase a special fridge thermometer to know exactly how much this trick increases the temperature in your fridge.
Your cooling coils are the only thing that cools the inside of your RV refrigerator. The added airflow across the coils should give you the additional cold air that you need to keep your food cool and safe.
Once the fans are installed, you will need to install a snap disc thermostat which will turn the fans on and off as needed. If the temperature inside your RV refrigerator gets above your set point on the thermostat, the fans will automatically kick on.
Once the temperature is correct and the thermostat is satisfied, the fans will turn back off. A cold fridge is great, but if you begin to see ice forming on the coils, then it’s gotten too cold.
Installing an Evaporator Fan
An evaporator fan is a great way to improve airflow within your refrigerator and keep cold air distributed evenly. Installing one of these fans isn’t overly difficult, and it will definitely pay off in the long run. Spoiled food and liquids are a huge hazard when it comes to an RV refrigerator. An evaporator fan is a great way to keep this from happening.
To install an evaporator fan, you will need to make sure that there is a constant flow of power. There may be battery options available, but by using an electric version, you ensure that you won’t have to get behind your RV refrigerator and constantly be replacing batteries. Most evaporator fans operate on 12 volts of power, and the most difficult part about installing them is providing power.
The fan itself will mount directly inside the back of the fridge onto the evaporator coils. The power source will be in the form of a small thermostat wire, about 16 or 18 gauge.
There are a number of ways to get the wire from point A to point B, but most of them will involve drilling in through the side of your RV fridge to accomplish this task. It may be wise to consult a certified RV technician before tearing into your appliances.
Other Less Invasive DIY Methods
While installing fans like the ones mentioned above will definitely help get your refrigerator to the right temperature, there are other tips and tricks to making this happen.
Make Sure the Seals Are Good
The door seal on your refrigerator is one of the first things to go bad. This can greatly affect cooling efficiency and your RV fridge’s ability to keep cold air inside the unit. If you begin to notice that your fridge is never at the correct temperature, which is specified by your thermostat, your door seal should be the first thing you check.
Keep Ice Packs Inside Your Fridge While Traveling
After checking on your door seal, the next thing to do is keep ice packs inside your refrigerator during transport. It can be difficult to get your RV refrigerator temperature up to speed after turning it on, and it’s much easier if you keep it cool during traveling. The best way to do this is to put ice packs inside your refrigerator and freezer before hitting the road.
Don’t Seal Your Fridge Tight During Storage
This is a little-known tip, but you would be wise to follow it. By sealing your refrigerator tight during storage, you run the risk of mold and moisture building up inside as warm air combines with water.
Get Your Refrigerator Recharged
Hot days and a warm outside temperature might not be the only thing affecting your RV refrigerator. If you begin to notice that the temperature inside the fridge is high no matter what you do, you may need to have your fridge recharged. This can only be done by a certified RV technician and is bound to get your temperature cold enough for preservation.
Don’t Keep the Door Open
This may sound like a no-brainer that you learned at home, but by keeping your refrigerator door closed, you keep the cold air in and warm air out. This isn’t usually a problem with adults, but once you throw kids into the mix, even these simple tasks become difficult.
Hopefully, this article will give you a better idea of how to cool your refrigerator and keep it there. Both part-time and full-time RVers run into this problem, and it can quickly ruin a weekend when food starts to spoil.
Installing a fan inside your refrigerator and fans on the coil will make a big difference in temperature control, improving the cooling process, and ensure that your fridge is functioning properly. Don’t let a warm refrigerator ruin your camping experience.