The refrigerator is a big part of the convenience of RV travel. Being able to store and keep food cold can be the difference between enjoying your vacation and being stranded on the road. That’s why when problems happen, it’s so important to be able to troubleshoot and fix them yourself. While most RV fridge problems require a professional technician, some can be easily fixed with a little DIY experience. If you have a basic understanding of how your RV refrigerator works and what to look for, you’ll be able to fix most problems yourself.
RV Refrigerator Problem #1: Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit
The pilot light on your RV fridge is what controls the flow of propane to the gas valve. When it doesn’t stay lit, it’s a sign that there is a problem with the thermocouple. It’s the device that senses heat to turn on the propane valve. Often times it can get clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned out or replaced. Luckily, this is an easy and inexpensive fix.
RV Refrigerator Problem #2: No Cooling
When your RV refrigerator isn’t cooling, it can be caused by several different things. First, check the temperature inside your RV and make sure that it’s set correctly. If it’s not, you’ll need to adjust the thermostat. This is a simple fix, but sometimes it can be difficult to find the right setting.
Another possibility is that the condensate drain tube in your refrigerator has plugged up with sediment. It’s a good idea to inspect it on a regular basis and clean it whenever possible. There are a lot of different products on the market that can be used to remove the sediment from the tubes, but I’ve found that just using a little bleach water or vinegar is enough. It’s also a good idea to clean out the vents on a regular basis, too. This will help prevent them from becoming blocked by insects or leaves that may have fallen in during the off season.
If your RV refrigerator still doesn’t cool after all of this, you’ll want to look at the breaker box and see if it has been tripped. It’s also a good idea at this point to make sure that the power cord is plugged into its dedicated outlet, which is usually located in the exterior lower access panel. If the breaker isn’t tripped, there could be a bigger electrical problem with your refrigerator circuit board or its 120-volt heating element that you would need a professional to diagnose and repair.
RV Refrigerator Problem #3: Smells Bad
If you notice that your RV refrigerator is smelling bad, it’s likely that the evaporator portion of the cooling unit has a leak. This can be a very serious problem that will need to be addressed as soon as possible. If you smell ammonia, shut off the refrigerator and turn on a fan in the area to try to disperse the odor. rv refrigerator repair