When you’re on the road or in the middle of the bush, the last thing you want to worry about is your caravan fridge breaking down. Our refrigerator maintenance tips have got you covered.
As with any appliances, quick regular maintenance can work wonders in making sure your fridge functions at its best and preventing any unwanted breakdowns. What’s more, it helps prolong the life of your fridge and help with the resale value of your RV and caravan, when the time comes.
Check out these simple refrigerator maintenance tips:
Defrost your fridge regularly
The best refrigerator maintenance tip we can give you is to defrost your fridge regularly. Frost reduces the refrigerating capacity and life of your fridge. Plus, you’ll have more space once it’s done!
How regularly should you defrost your RV fridge? A good guide is to look at the frost build up on the condenser of the refrigerator. Aim to defrost as soon as the frost layer is about 3mm thick. Remember, just because the manufacturer says the fridge has “auto defrost” doesn’t mean they’re frost-free. You should still take the time to defrost it if needed.
How to defrost:
- Remove all food, drinks and containers
- Switch off the fridge
- Leave the fridge door open
- Place a few dry towels inside to absorb melted water
- Speed up the defrosting by putting a few trays of hot water in the freezer compartment – don’t use sharp objects to chip off the frost and definitely don’t use a hairdryer!
- Once defrosted, use a cloth to dry off the fridge interior and switch it on
Keep it clean
The cleaner you keep your fridge, the longer it will last (and the less chance of food poisoning!). A good time to clean your refrigerator is immediately after defrosting. Simply use a soft cloth and mild detergent (avoid soap and aggressive detergents). You can also use a brush or soft cloth to remove any dust from the condenser – we recommend you do this once a year. Also, clean the door seals, as these can become dirty over time. While you’re there, check them for damage.
Checking the manual specific to your fridge model is extremely helpful in knowing what cleaning products are suitable for your model! For example, the Evakool 40 Litre Drawer Fridge/Freezer recommends using baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) dissolved in lukewarm water to clean the fridge.
Check the door locking mechanism
If the door is not closed properly, you’ll start to notice a build-up of frost inside the fridge, which will soon affect performance. There’s a simple way to check whether the door closes properly: simply put a piece of paper between the door and the fridge, then close the door. Pull at the piece of paper and if you feel resistance, the refrigerator door closes properly. If you feel no resistance, you need to check the door closing mechanism.
Dometic also recommend using a torch to test the door locking mechanism. For example, if you have a Dometic 3 Way Fridge & Freezer 90L, turn a flash light on, place it inside the fridge and close the door. Then turn off your caravan lights and if you are able to see any light from the torch, the door is not closed properly.
Use a fridge cover
A fridge cover adds an extra layer of protection to help stop damage, such as scratches. It also stops dust and dirt getting into the compressor. Plus, fridge covers help with insulation help the fridge stay cool (and stop it from working too hard). Some portable camping fridges come with fridge covers, but if not, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Let your fridge run for a day
Between trips, you might not use the fridge for months at a time. If that’s the case, manufacturers like Evakool recommend running your fridge for at least a day each month so all the components can remain oiled and lubricated.
Get regular maintenance checks
Have a qualified Recreational Vehicle dealer or Authorized Service Centre to perform an annual safety and maintenance check on your fridge.
- Examining the gas supply lines for leaks
- Checking gas pressure
- Checking the combustion seal is intact
- Checking the AC voltage
- Inspecting the burner and burner orifice
- Plus more!
For refrigerator maintenance tips specific to your model, check the manufacturer’s operating guide or website.
Do you have refrigerator maintenance tips to share? Tell us in the comments!