If you’re shopping for an RV refrigerator, it’s important to understand the different options and power sources. The type of fridge you choose will determine how much power it consumes, whether or not it can run off of a generator, and how easy it will be to maintain. Narrowing down your options by learning these facts can help you choose the right model for your RV.
An absorption RV refrigerator is a popular choice because it’s the most versatile model in terms of power source. It can be powered by either LP gas or 120-volt AC, and some models from brands like Dometic even offer three-way cooling, meaning you can also run it on propane and shore power at the same time. These types of RV refrigerators tend to use less electricity than compressor fridges, and they also use a lot less propane.
If you want more storage space than an absorption fridge can provide, you may need to opt for a residential refrigerator. These large refrigerators are found in many Class A motorhomes and 5th wheels, and they can hold a lot of food without taking up too much floor space. Residential fridges are also built to be used in a home, which means they’re not designed for the bouncing and shaking that comes with traveling down the highway at 60 miles per hour. This jiggling can take a toll on the refrigerator and shorten its lifespan.
Another option is a thermoelectric refrigerator. These units don’t have a freezer compartment and are smaller than compressor or absorption fridges. They use moving electrical current to bring warm air to one end of the fridge and cool air to the other, but this process doesn’t produce as much cooling power as the others.
120-volt Electric Refrigerator
A 120-volt fridge is the least expensive of all the RV refrigerators, and it uses up the least amount of electricity. This makes it a great choice for people who are concerned about the environmental impact of their RV’s energy usage, or for those who don’t have access to LP or propane gas.
Keep in mind that a 120-volt fridge does require regular maintenance, especially if you plan to travel long distances. Make sure that the refrigerator’s circuit breaker isn’t tripped, and check the refrigerator’s lower access panel to ensure that it has a clear path for air to move through. Also, be sure to keep a fridge fan on hand to increase air circulation inside the fridge.
Besides routine maintenance, it’s a good idea to keep some spare refrigerator parts and accessories on hand. This includes a fridge leveling kit, which is critical for keeping your RV refrigerator working properly. You should also consider getting a refrigerator fan to circulate more air, and you’ll want to have a professional service the fridge annually for defrosting and an airflow inspection. If you have any questions about refrigerator maintenance, be sure to consult with a certified RV technician.