How Does A Caravan Fridge Work? RV Refrigerator Working?

Last Updated on March 27, 2023 by Mosabbir

Do you want to know how a caravan fridge works? Do you need to know what RV refrigerator working principles are so that you can buy the right one for your needs?

If so, then this blog post is for you! In today’s post, we will look at how a caravan fridge work and what you need to consider before purchasing.

What Is A Caravan Fridge?

A caravan fridge is a compact refrigerator used in recreational vehicles (RVs). These fridges are designed to run on propane, electricity, or both.

They are typically smaller than domestic refrigerators yet still provide enough space for food and beverages.

How Does It Work – Is It Like A Regular Fridge?

Caravan refrigerators, also known as RV (recreational vehicle) refrigerators, work differently than your typical home refrigerator. Caravan fridges use a combination of propane gas and electricity to maintain the desired temperature inside the fridge.

Propane provides heat while the electric motor circulates air around the unit. This is unlike a regular household refrigerator that only uses electricity to power a compressor that cools air circulated inside the fridge.

When powered through electricity, caravan fridges work just like any other electrical appliance – they turn on when you plug them in and turn off when you unplug them. However, with most caravan fridges, you can switch between running on propane or mains electricity, depending on your preference.

When running on propane, caravan fridges use what is known as an absorption system to cool the fridge. This involves using two chemicals – ammonia and hydrogen gas – which evaporate at different temperatures to create a cooling effect. The heat generated by the propane is absorbed by one of these substances and transferred through a condenser to the other substance.

How Does A Caravan Fridge Work

This means caravan fridges can keep food cool or frozen, no matter how hot it gets outside – without needing to be plugged into mains electricity! They are generally more efficient than home refrigerators when operated on propane due to their smaller size.

Read also: Motorhome Cooking Equipment & Appliances Ideas

What Are The Benefits Of Having One In Your Caravan? 6 Benefits

Having a caravan fridge in your caravan can offer a range of benefits and convenience. A caravan refrigerator provides an easy way to store cold foods, beverages, and medications while on the road. Here are a few benefits of having a caravan fridge in your RV:

Cost Savings

You will save money in the long run by not having to purchase separate coolers or ice packs for food storage. In addition, caravan fridges are much more energy efficient than traditional refrigerators, which means you’ll pay less for electricity over time.

Space Conservation

A built-in fridge takes up far less space than packing extra coolers and other containers for food storage would. This also eliminates the risk of leaving something behind or needing more space for everything.


Having a caravan fridge makes it easier to keep all of your cold food and beverages in one place, saving you time, energy, and effort from having to move things around when packing up to travel constantly.


A caravan refrigerator can be locked, keeping your food and drinks safe from pests or intruders while you’re away from the RV.


You won’t need to worry about power failures interrupting your food storage as long as your RV has access to running water and an electric hookup.


Caravan fridges are made in different sizes, making them suitable for large and small RVs. This makes finding one that meets your specific needs and preferences easier.

Read also: What Electrics Do I Need For My Campervan?

Can You Use It To Store Food And Drinks?

A caravan fridge, also known as an RV refrigerator, is a great way to store food and drinks while travelling. They use a 12-volt DC or 220-volt AC power source, which means you can use your car battery or a standard household outlet. The fridge converts energy from the power source into cold internal temperatures, allowing you to store items safely inside.

Caravan fridges come in both absorption and compressor types. Absorption fridges rely on chemical reactions to produce the cooling effect, while compressor fridges are powered by an electric compressor motor that cools the insulated walls of the fridge’s interior. Depending on the type of caravan fridge you have, it generally needs to be plugged into a power source to function.

Are There Any Downsides To Using A Caravan Fridge?

When considering whether or not to use a caravan fridge, it’s important to consider both the benefits and potential drawbacks.

The most common downside of using a caravan fridge is its relatively small capacity. Depending on the model, a caravan fridge may only have enough space for one or two shelves, meaning that you may need to store items vertically instead of horizontally to fit them all into the limited space. Additionally, as these fridges are often smaller than standard domestic models, they can also be more prone to temperature fluctuations which may affect food safety.

Finally, because caravan fridges rely heavily on their battery power, they can be expensive to run if left running while travelling, and no hookup is available. This means you need to carefully consider how much energy you are using when running a caravan fridge and ensure you have access to the necessary connection point or generator.

Tips For Keeping Your RV Refrigerator Running Well

Here are some tips on caravan fridge maintenance and repair that will help ensure your RV fridge stays up and running the entire time you’re on the road.

1. Always plug in your caravan’s electrical supply when you’re camping, especially if it’s an older model with a cooling unit powered by gas or electricity. If your fridge is plugged in, it will function properly.

2. Check the seals on the doors and the cooling unit regularly to ensure they’re in good condition. If there are any gaps, replace them immediately for optimal performance.

3. Make sure your RV fridge is level when you set it up. An unlevel refrigerator can cause various problems, including improper cooling and an uneven distribution of cold air throughout the unit.

How Does A Caravan Fridge Work

4. Clean all condenser coils regularly with a vacuum, brush or damp cloth to remove dirt build-up and prevent overheating the motor. This will help extend the life of your caravan fridge’s compressor and ensure it runs efficiently.

5. Install a thermometer inside your caravan fridge to monitor the temperature. This will help you to know when it’s time to adjust the settings or if there might be an underlying problem.

Read also: Best Ways to Wash Clothes While Camping

Final Words

Caravan fridges are a great way to keep food items and beverages cold while on the road.

Caravan fridges cool down faster than traditional domestic fridges and use less energy, making them an ideal choice for RVers who want to save money while keeping their food and drinks icy cold.