Having your RV refrigerator fully functional while you’re traveling can be an important factor in enjoying your trip. You certainly don’t want to arrive at your destination and discover that your food has gone bad. There are a few things you can do to help ensure that your RV fridge continues to work properly while you’re on the road.
Most modern RV refrigerators use a compressor to keep the food and drinks cold or frozen. However, many of the older models of RV refrigerators utilize absorption refrigeration technology. This is based on a simple principle discovered by Michael Faraday, and it basically cools water by using ammonia gas. This process is much quieter than compressor-based systems, but it does not cool as quickly.
Some models of absorption RV refrigerators also feature electric heating elements, allowing them to operate on both propane gas and electricity. This provides a great deal of flexibility, as you can decide which power source you prefer to use for your refrigerator, and you can still take it with you while you’re camping. Generally, these models are a bit more expensive than their counterparts that only function on either gas or electricity, but they offer some advantages that you may find valuable.
When an absorption RV refrigerator is switched on, a high-voltage spark ignites the ammonia gas in the boiler of the cooling unit. Once the temperature in the fridge reaches a desired level of coldness, the thermocouple signals the flame to shut off, and the refrigerator cools down. If the fridge is turned off, it will not light again until the burner cools down and the thermostat senses that the coldness level has been reached again.
In addition to the refrigerator’s heat exchanger, another key component of the system is the evaporator coil. These coils absorb the vaporized ammonia from the gas and cool it. This vapor then makes its way back to the heater, where it is heated by the flame and returned to a liquid state. This process is repeated until the refrigerator reaches the desired temperature, at which point the gas valve is closed and the cycle is complete.
Some RV refrigerators have fans that assist in air circulation over the evaporator coils, which helps with the cooling process. If yours does not have one, you can easily install a small battery-operated fan that will help with this. This will improve the refrigerator’s performance, especially if you are travelling over bumpy roads.
It’s also worth mentioning that the vibrations caused by constant travel can be detrimental to your RV fridge’s ability to cool. To mitigate this problem, you might want to place a sheet of sound damping material on the floor under your fridge. This is usually used for car audio and speaker installation, but it will also reduce the amount of vibration that is transmitted through the RV floor to the fridge. This will protect it and prolong its lifespan. Of course, you should also consider a vibration damping product for the entire RV if you regularly go off-roading in your camper. rv refrigeration