One of the best parts of owning and traveling in an RV is being able to take advantage of all the great modern comforts that come with it, especially the appliances. These appliances can make each trip more relaxing and convenient, and one of the most heavily used appliances by far is your refrigerator. Like your fridge at home, your RV fridge will mostly be self-sufficient, but like all machines, it does need some maintenance to keep it running functionally. Modern Trailer Sales has provided some tips for you to cover the basics, but if you need additional help, stop by our location near Indianapolis and Muncie, Indiana, proudly serving Cincinnati, Ohio.
Preparing your Fridge for Travel
Let’s start with what to do before you take off for your next RV trip. If you’re coming off a period of storage, whether it’s over the winter or just a few weeks, your camper may have been shut down while it wasn’t being used, so you’ll need to fire everything up again. This includes getting the fridge to the right temperature. To make this faster, turn your fridge on for eight to ten hours before loading it with food. You should also take this time to inspect the fridge and look for signs of damage or malfunctioning parts so you can get that taken care of before filling it.
When you return from your trip, you might need to shut down the RV, either temporarily or for the winter. When this happens, you’ll want to be prepared for your fridge to defrost. Start by removing all the items in the fridge and transferring them somewhere else (hopefully your home fridge). When it’s empty, leave the doors open to make the defrosting process faster. And don’t forget that when the ice in the unit melts, it’s going to go somewhere, so lay down towels to soak up all the runoff from the fridge.
99.99% of the time, your fridge will not pose any sort of threat to you and your family. It’s designed to securely stay in place on bumpy roads, so there’s not even a risk of the door swinging open and hitting someone. However, you’ll need to be aware of that .01% of the time when it could be a concern. This happens when you start to smell ammonia. Some fridges use ammonia-based products as a coolant and, as is the risk for all parts of a machine, there’s a chance it could start leaking.
The first thing you’ll want to do is turn off the unit. The coolant can start to leak all over the rest of the appliance and ruin the inner workings. The danger comes from the fumes the coolant gives off, that ammonia smell. Ammonia can lead to negative health concerns like headaches, dizziness, and can irritate the lungs. If you start to smell this odor, make sure you open all the windows and doors and have your family leave the camper. Then, contact the nearest RV technician or service center to talk about next steps.
This should be the primary safety concern for all RV owners, but there are some additional concerns you’ll want to be aware of if you prefer to maintain the unit yourself. If you’re working on the fridge, make sure to clear the area of any flammable objects and always refer to your owner’s manual for helpful information on your specific model. Also, if you need to access the roof to work on the vent, follow all the best safety practices for walking on an RV roof, such as having a spotter to watch your back and wear shoes with a good grip.
Then again, not everyone feels comfortable working on the refrigerator in their RV. After all, you spent a lot of money on it and we don’t blame you for worrying about unintentionally breaking something. If your fridge needs repairs or general maintenance, contact the service department here at Modern Trailer Sales and we’ll help you tackle all your RV-related needs. We welcome all current and future RV owners from Indianapolis and Muncie, IN, as well as Cincinnati, OH