Common Reasons Why Your RV Refrigerator Stops Working

Your RV refrigerator may not be the essential part of your vehicle, but they are equally as important. Having an RV refrigerator means cold beer, homemade foods, and fresh food stocks. 

It is in your best interest to keep your refrigerator in its top shape. You don’t want to have a faulty refrigerator in the middle of a trip. It will be such a hassle, and your food might go bad, yikes!

If you often experience your refrigerator not cooling or being faulty, you might be doing something terrible that affects your unit. Most of the time, you do not know what the cause of your defective refrigerator is. We will help you identify the common reasons why your unit suddenly stops working. 

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Credits to: List A Trailer

Reasons Why Your RV Refrigerator Stops Working

1. There might be an ammonia sediment formation in your unit.

If your refrigerator stops working or isn’t cooling anymore, you might want to check if there is an ammonia sediment build-up. This might link to how long you have been using your refrigerator.

If you’ve been on the road with your RV refrigerator for a long time, chances are there is a lot of build-up in your unit. These build-ups will hinder the ammonia from circulating through the cooling unit of your refrigerator. If the ammonia can’t distribute and sediment build-up is still present, you won’t have a cool refrigerator. 

2. There is a lack of air circulation in your RV refrigerator.

Humans can’t function properly if we are having a hard time breathing; the same goes for our RV refrigerator. Lack of air circulation is common, especially if you are in the Torrid Zone or during summer. 

The circulation of ammonia and the burner is affected. It may become slower than the pace it should be, resulting in your refrigerator not getting enough power to cool everything. If you install a fan, it will increase and enhance airflow in your refrigerator’s chamber. 

3. Your RV refrigerator is not leveled.

If you’ve been on a camping site with many slopes or uneven terrain, it could affect your RV refrigerator. Your unit must be on an even level to function correctly. 

If you don’t fix this issue as soon as possible, your refrigerator might face serious problems. Ammonia sediment build-up can occur in the pipes if your unit is not on an even level. 

Make sure you park your vehicle on flat terrain. If there aren’t any parking spots, you might need to use your leveling blocks. 

4. Your refrigerator exhaust is blocked.

If your refrigerator won’t cool, you might want to check the exhaust. It is as important as the interior of your refrigerator. 

If the exhaust of your refrigerator is clogged, the hot air is still trapped inside. The ventilator of your RV refrigerator is located on the back. Make sure that you check it occasionally and clean it from time to time to avoid clogging. 

Dust that accumulates on your exhaust can also be the reason for the blockage. When you are cleaning your refrigerator, do not forget about the exhaust. 

5. Your refrigerator coolant can keep your unit from cooling.

Like the refrigerator you have at home, the RV fridge also needs a coolant. Both refrigerators use the same ammonia mixture. 

If your refrigerator suddenly stops working, chances are the coolant has run dry. Your refrigerator won’t correctly operate if you don’t have any ammonia, which means no fresh food and cold beer for you. 

You can easily refill the fridge’s tank if you run out of ammonia. Before filling, make sure that the unit is turned off. It is important to remember that you have to defrost the refrigerator when refilling ammonia to avoid nasty and foul odor. 

6. Your refrigerator’s thermistor might have problems.

The thermistor is an essential part of your RV refrigerator. The negative temperature coefficient is in the thermistor. If your thermistor has problems, you won’t have a cool refrigerator since the cooling cycle depends on the thermistor. 

If you are in a cold place, the thermistor’s condition is affected, like when you’re in a scorching place and your unit is having air circulation issues. When this happens, the flow of the heated mixture is faster, resulting in excessive cooling in the freezer and no cooling in the refrigerator. 

To solve this problem, all you have to do is to unplug the thermistor. You won’t have any temperature regulation problems. 

Keep in mind that you have to be careful in using an RV refrigerator without the thermistor. You have to avoid using the unit without the thermistor to prevent problems for an extended period. You can only remove the thermistor if the situation calls for it.

7. Temperature sensors are not appropriately placed.

The road can get bumpy; you might take a sharp turn when you are driving. Your equipment can get out of place. 

Sometimes the temperature sensors in your refrigerator can move. They might slip and fall, or you attach them loosely. 

To avoid refrigerator problems, you need to make sure that the temperature sensors are correctly attached. Once the sensor is in its proper place, you can enjoy your refrigerator fully. 


There is not a single camper that wants a faulty refrigerator. Check your unit, clean it, and make sure that all the sensors are correctly faced to avoid a faulty fridge. Park your RV on even terrain and make sure that your fridge is leveled to enjoy it fully. Before starting your adventure, make sure that you have plenty of coolants to keep the unit running. 

A not cooling RV refrigerator does not automatically mean you have to spend money to get it fixed. Properly inspect your unit and identify what is causing the problem. Most of the time, you can quickly resolve the issues. 

If your fridge stops working, a little inspection can fix it. You don’t have to worry about replacing it or going to a repair shop. There are a lot of DIY tutorials on the internet that you can follow once you identify the reason why your fridge stops working. 

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