RV Fridge Maintenance

The key to extending the life of your RV is spending time taking care of it. You don’t want to just run your RV into the ground and never perform general upkeep. That’s how you lose campers before you’re done paying them off. Some of the bigger maintenance concerns are problem going to be talked about more often in your RV community, but there are certain smaller tasks that also need to be taken care of periodically. Tasks like making sure your fridge is in good working order, for instance. Wisconsin RV World has provided some tips to help you care for your RV fridge so you don’t run into any issues while you’re on the road. If you need more advice, stop by our DeForest location near Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Preparing your Fridge for Travel

For every trip following a long period of storage, whether it’s winter storage or simply a few weeks between camping trips, you’ll need to power up your camper before you hit the road. For your fridge, this should start about eight to ten hours before you start loading it with food. This way, there’s no temperature fluctuation with your food and your unit will have an easier time reaching the cooler temperatures it needs to. Before you put the food in, you may also want to consider doing an inspection of the unit to ensure there aren’t any obvious signs of damage or red flags that might indicate some fixes need to be made before you can use it.

Post-Trip Defrost

On the flip side, if you know you won’t be using your RV for a while, then you’ll probably want to power everything down. After all, there’s no point in paying to power a camper if no one’s going to be using it. If you’re cutting the power to your fridge, though, you’ll need to be ready for defrost. As the fridge warms up, you won’t want to leave any food in the unit, so clear it out before there’s too much temperature change. Then, to speed everything along, leave the doors open.

Finally, remember that as the fridge gets warmer, the moisture and ice inside it are going to start melting. Because of this, you’ll want to lay out some towels to keep the water from pooling all over the floor. Also keep in mind that even if you don’t have a reason to store your RV very often, it’s a good idea to defrost your fridge periodically to boost performance.

Safety Tips

If we’re being honest, being around your fridge isn’t inherently dangerous. Most of the time, you’ll be able to go about your business without worrying too much about it. However, you’ll want to kick it in gear if you start smelling ammonia. Some units use ammonia-based products to power the coolant function, so if you can smell it, you might have a leak. This can present a couple problems:

Firstly, if coolant is spilling all over the interior of your unit, it might damage it and create a bigger problem for you than just a little leak. The safety concern is that the fumes your smelling can be harmful to humans and can cause nausea, shortness of breath, dizzy spells, and more. If you can smell ammonia, turn off your fridge and open up your RV (windows, doors, vents). Ask everyone to step out to get some fresh air and contact your nearest RV technician to see what your next steps should be.

All these tips should cover the basics, but fridge maintenance can get much more complicated. Some of the more industrious RV owners like to tackle this themselves, but we know this can create more problems than it can solve. If your unit needs fixing, or if any other part of your rig requires some repairs or maintenance, contact our service department at Wisconsin RV World and we’ll set you up with an experienced technician who will help spruce up your camper and help you get on the road as soon as possible. We proudly serve Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay, WI.

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