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We are saddened to announce the passing of Gary Bunzer on April 17, 2020. We hope the RV Doctor website will continue to provide helpful information for you. Thank you for your interest and support for the RV Doctor - Debbie, Heather and Gretchen

Monday, October 19, 2009

Refrigerator Use

Please advise us as to where we can find information on the proper methods of storing food inside the RV refrigerator. According to one of your earlier articles, this is important, but how do you do it?
Jerry, (no city/state)

Jerry, most all owners' manuals for RV refrigerators will have a section detailing proper food storage habits. If yours does not, or you have a used vehicle and no manuals, here are a few tips that are worth employing;
  • Always cool the refrigerator down prior to loading food. The refrigerator should be at its operating temperature prior to cramming it full of warm food/beverages.
  • Avoid wide, flat trays or cookie sheets. Do not block the effects of normal convection inside the food storage compartment. There must be free movement of air inside the unit for even distribution of the cool air. Optional fans are available that will aid in this inside air circulation.
  • Do not overload the refrigerator with food. See the note above.
  • Avoid operating the unit when it is not level. Stay within three degrees of level in all directions while the RV is standing still, regardless of the mode of operation.
  • Make sure there are no obstructions in the ventilation chimney at the rear of the cooling unit. Be sure to check the roof vent for bird nests regularly.
  • For LP operation, be sure the delivery line pressure is set correctly at eleven inches of water column. All reputable RV repair facilities will have a manometer for setting the pressure.
  • Periodically check the seal on the refrigerator doors. Over time the rubber gaskets may wear out allowing cool air inside the refrigerator to escape through leaky gaskets. Gaskets may be checked by closing each refrigerator door on a slip of paper at various points around the gasket. If the paper can be pulled out with very little resistance or if it simply falls out, the gasket is faulty. A good sign of a faulty door gasket is an abundant formation of frost or ice on the secondary evaporator fins located inside the lower food storage section.


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If you are in doubt or do not feel comfortable about a procedure, do not continue. Simply call your local RV service facility and make an appointment with them. The advice, recommendations and procedures offered by the RV Doctor are solely those of Gary. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions, procedures and recommendations of our sponsors or advertisers.