WARNING: RV Refrigerator Fan. What Every RV Owner Should Know

Last updated on September 23rd, 2021 at 08:50 am. Originally published on May 6th, 2015

What is an RV refrigerator fan, and why is it important?  Simple.  Picture this.  Temps are up, and your RV refrigerator fan is working harder than ever to keep your food cold.  You reach inside your refrigerator to grab a pop and realize your drink isn’t as cool as you had hoped.  What’s going on?

The RV refrigerator fan‘s job is to keep your fridge at a steady temperature, regardless of how hard the sun is beating down on your rig.

RV refridgerator fan

The problem is an RV refrigerator is unlike a residential fridge.   A residential fridge uses an electric compressor to keep things cold with chemicals.  An RV refrigerator relies on a unique heat absorption system.  It needs convection, or air draft, to keep things cool.  This means the RV refrigerator fan is super important.


Heat gets trapped behind or above the fridge in a dead space.  This dead space restricts the flow of air, which leads to a burnt-out cooling unit.  A few simple changes can improve the life of your RV fridge and keep your drinks cool all summer long.

Here are three tips that can help keep your food cold in the hot summer weather:

Tip #1   Park in the shade whenever possible.  When you park in the shade, you lower the pressure on the RV refrigerator fan.  The lower the temperature of the rig, the less the fan has to work.  Make sure the side with the fridge vent is the side covered by the shade.  This simple tip will improve your efficiency.

Tip #2   You can improve the efficiency of your RV fridge by mounting a thermostatic-controlled fan.  When the temperature inside the fridge reaches a set point, an extra fan will kick in and push the hot air outside.  If you want more control, wire a switch that allows you to manually override the system as needed.

Tip #3   While RV refrigerator vent fans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, avoid battery-operated units.  A battery-operated unit is easy to install, but can be difficult to reach when it’s time to change batteries.  If you do use a battery-operated RV refrigerator fan, remember to turn it off when not in use.  You will save yourself a whole lot of hassle.

Did you find these tips helpful?  If so, please take a moment to share them with your RVing friends. 

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