Do’s and Don’ts when you have a 12v RV refrigerator

Convenience is indeed guaranteed when you have a 12v refrigerator in your RV during your much awaited vacation trip. It does give you that feel at home vibe which makes your outdoor experience a lot more superb and remarkable. However, for you to fully enjoy and use it at its optimum performance, you must be aware on how you can properly maintain it. Thus, we will be giving you the essential do’s and don’ts when you have a 12v RV refrigerator.

12v rv fridge
Credits to: Bright Camping

The Do’s

Listed below are the things you must keep in mind in order to properly maintain your RV refrigerator. Doing these things will let you make use of your unit the longest possible time.

1. Always keep it clean

keeping rv fridge clean
Credits to: My Generator

You should regularly clean your refrigerator from the interior to its exterior. You must maintain it is a After all, it is where you keep the foods that you consume. To clean and sanitize its inside, remove all the drawers, clean them with bleach or any other effective solution to get rid of all the spillage and dirts. Do not forget the compartments and shelves, too. 

For the outside, always wipe it with clean cloth to remove all the accumulated dusts and foreign materials. If you want it sparkly clean, you may opt to use multi-purpose cleaner. If you have a stainless exterior refrigerator, keeping the surface away from stains and fingerprints is quite a challenge. To get rid of them, use a damp microfiber cloth first, then wipe it dry it with another microfiber sheet.

2. Always secure the foods and drinks inside

rv refrigerator_dometic
Credits to: Gear Junkie

When you go on boondocking, it will be more fun if you get to eat fresh foods, too. With the presence of your refrigerator, you may opt to carry already cooked foods. It will not be a problem if you bring those which have soups that you can warm up again when you reach your chosen destination. 

However, the roads you will be taking are not always smooth and free of bumps. For that reason, you must keep the foods inside a tightly closed container and seal them properly. Otherwise, there will be a possibility of spillage which can turn your refrigerator to being dirty and oily. These dirts can cause molds and bacterias that can contaminate the other foods inside when left uncleaned for a long period. 

Additionally, arrange the bottles of beverages to as they also have a tendency to break when you hit rough roads. Other than the fact that spilled drinks flowing outside your refrigerator is electrically hazardous, the broken bottles are very dangerous, too. Plus, it is a hassle to clean up such a mess when you are supposedly enjoying your vacation trip.

3. Park your RV on level space

park your rv in flat surface
Credits to: Business Insider

It is always a must that you park your Rv on a level ground for the sake of your 12v refrigerator. Refrigerators cannot be on a tilted position as it can cause the unit to work inefficiently, or worse, can trigger permanent damage to the unit. When it is placed on an unlevel surface, vibration and rattling sounds may occur. In addition, oils and lubricants of the fridge may flow out of their places to the parts where they shouldn’t be. It can be dangerous and cause accidents if they reach the electrical parts.

4. Defrost regularly

defrost rv frdige
Credits to: Roads Less Traveled

Aside from the fact that it is not pleasing to the eyes, thick ice build ups are not very good for your RV refrigerator. The frosting can cause your RV refrigerator to not operate properly and stressing the compressor. When the compressor works over time in order to maintain the temperature inside, sure, you’ll experience increase in your monthly electric bills.

When you perform defrosting, make sure that you let the ice build ups melt naturally. You do not need to use hair dryer as it consume electricity too. Pouring warm water to the ice is enough. You only have to make sure that you collect the dripping water from the melting ice with a bucket or any container underneath as otherwise can cause undesirable mess in your motorhome.

5. Always conduct maintenance and inspection

always inspect your rv frdige
Credits to: Togo Rv

As cliche as it may sound, prevention is always better than cure. For that reason, performing routine inspection and maintenance is a must. The more you maintain your RV refrigerator, the longer it can provide convenience to your outdoor activities and engagements.

You must always perform routine inspection, most especially on its electrical wirings. See to it that there are no broken or faulty wires. Also, when you notice that the door gasket seal is quite loose, make sure to replace it right away. Torn or non-tight gasket can cause warm air to enter the fridge, forcing the compressor to work overtime. Another thing to check is the condenser coils. Make sure that it is free from cobwebs and dusts. You may opt to use blower to remove them easier.

The Don’ts

On the other hand, here are the things you should avoid doing when you have a 12v refrigerator inside your RV.

1. Do not leave the door open for too long

rv mini fridge
Credits to: Bright Camping

Your refrigerator is not something to stare at for too long, so avoid opening the door for a longer period. Doing so will let the warm air inside, triggering the compressor to work harder than what it is supposed to do. In addition, it will consume more electricity, which is not a good thing since you have limited source of it during outdoor camping trips.

2. Do not let your fridge be exposed to direct sunlight

dometic rv ref
Credits to: Shed Heads

As much as possible, see to it that you park under shade. But, if it is unfeasible in your chosen camping grounds, well, at least park in a way that your fridge will not be exposed to direct sunlight. If you do that, there is a great chance that the compressor will run more often, wearing it out in the long run and causing increase in electric consumption. Additionally, do not place it near other appliances that generate heat.

3. Do not overcrowd the space inside

Credits to: Horton Common

We understand that you cannot impede yourself from bringing a lot of foods for your trip. However, you still consider the maximum weight that your fridge can handle. Remember not to overpack or overcrowd it as it will be difficult for the air to circulate inside. As a result, it will be hard for the foods inside to get cold, not to mention thar it will stress out the fridge’s motor and condenser.

4. Do not put hot food inside

Credits to: Gear Junkie

When you cook your food but you are not yet to consume it right away, make sure that you cool it down for several minutes first before you put it inside the refrigerator. Doing otherwise will make your refrigerator work harder than it is supposed to which may cause damage to the unit in the long run. In addition, it is possible that the foods will lose its nutritive contents when you put it inside the fridge right after cooking it.


Sure, going to RV camping is fun and exciting, especially when you feel that at-home vibe. The convenience in every trip can be brought to you by the use of your appliances. So, for you to experience that comfortableness in every trip you go to, make sure that you maintain all the appliances and devices you have. This way, you can use them the longest time possible, and you are able to make the most out of your hard-earned money.

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