RV Refrigerators

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What types of RV refrigerators are available?

The two main types of RV refrigerators are absorption and compressor. Absorption refrigerators use propane and electricity for power. Compressor refrigerators use electricity only for power.

What is the difference between one-way, two-way, and three-way RV refrigerators?

The term “2-Way” refers to an absorption refrigerator that can be powered with both propane and 120V AC. The term “3-Way” refers to an absorption refrigerator that can be powered with propane, 120V AC, and 12V DC. The term “One-Way” refers to a compressor-style refrigerator that can only be powered with 120V AC. These are also referred to as residential style.

What is the best type of RV refrigerator for my needs?

The most common RV refrigerators are absorption, but the best type for you comes down to how you’ll be using it. If you spend most of your time off-grid boondocking, you might find an absorption refrigerator to be the better choice since you won’t have to rely on your battery bank for power. If you spend most of your time at a park, then a compressor refrigerator may be a good choice for you since they cool quicker and perform better in hotter environments.

How does an RV refrigerator work?

Absorption refrigerators use a heat exchange system to extract heat from the refrigerator and cool the inside. Compressor refrigerators use a compressor to force fluid through a valve that makes it expand and convert into a cold gas.

Is it better to run an RV fridge on propane?

Propane is a more efficient fuel source than electricity, making it a cost-effective option for running an RV refrigerator, especially when electricity is limited or expensive. Propane allows you to operate the refrigerator even when you don't have access to shore power or a generator, making it suitable for boondocking or dry camping.

How long can an RV refrigerator run on propane?

The amount of time an RV refrigerator can run using propane varies considerably based on how efficient the unit is and what size propane tank you’re using. There are also other factors such as ambient temperature. In general, most can run for several days or even weeks on propane.

Can I run my RV fridge while driving?

Yes, in most cases you can still use your refrigerator while driving. If you have an absorption refrigerator, you can power the refrigerator on propane while driving, but keep in mind there are definite safety risks with this option. If you have a compressor refrigerator, you can power it with the battery while driving.

Can I run my RV refrigerator on battery power?

Yes, almost all refrigerators can be used with battery power, whether directly or using an inverter. However, you’ll need to make sure you have the means to charge your battery if you plan to be running the refrigerator on battery power for extended periods of time. A refrigerator can drain your battery level rather quickly. The most efficient refrigerators for use with battery power are compressor refrigerators.

How do I prepare my RV refrigerator for storage?

In order to prepare your RV refrigerator for storage, first remove it from power and let everything defrost. Then, thoroughly clean the inside of the unit with soap and water. If the refrigerator has an ice maker, be sure to drain this and stop the water supply. Next, prop the door open to let everything dry out.

Why does my RV refrigerator take so long to get cold?

This is usually a complaint about an absorption-style refrigerator. Unlike the compressor-style fridge in your home, the absorption style takes longer to cool down and is also affected by ambient temperature so if it’s hotter outside, it will take longer for the items inside to cool. If the refrigerator is full, it will take more time to cool than when empty. Lastly, you’ll need to make sure the refrigerator is as level as possible. The amount of time and energy it takes to cool the refrigerator is why most recommend running the refrigerator the day before your trip so it’s nice and cold by the time you hit the road.