Living in a recreational vehicle can be tough and expensive as you have to take care of everything yourself. Modern RVs come with pre-installed refrigerators, sinks, beds, etc. Whether you have an up-to-date or old RV, you will probably need to get these things fixed frequently.
A refrigerator is an important component of an RV, and a faulty one can make all your food go to waste. So once your EV refrigerator starts to malfunction, you won’t have much time to decide whether to replace or fix it. Moreover, replacing an RV refrigerator can cost around $1000-$1500. This is a lot of money, especially for those running on a tight budget. Hence, we are here to guide you about how to get your RV refrigerator replaced or fixed in the best and most affordable way ever.
What Options Do You Have?
You cannot live in an RV without a refrigerator, right? So what options do you have? Well, first and foremost, the best option is to get a good repair person and try getting the fault fixed. It can be difficult to find one who is experienced and has the skills to fix RV refrigerators. But a good internet search and recommendations can take you to the right person.
Secondly, you can go to various yard sales or junkyards that offer replacement options. Thirdly, you can put up your refrigerator on sale, add a little to the amount you get, and buy a better and new one. You have the option to buy a new RV fridge or a residential one as well. Fourthly, after selling out your old RV, you can buy a new one in instalments.
This way, you will have cash, time, and a brand-new RV refrigerator. And lastly, you can go for cheaper options, including replacing the refrigerator with a small compact mini-fridge; this will cost you only a small percentage.
RV Refrigerators Vs. Residential Refrigerators?
There are many RV refrigerators, but remember that not all are the same, and some are very similar to home refrigerators.
Fridges in recreational vehicles operate via an absorption cooling mode. This implies that instead of a conventional motor, it uses warmth, ammonia, hydrogen, and moisture to chill the refrigerator.
RV refrigerators use very minimal energy. This is among its main qualities. Additionally, if you have propane, you may camp off the grid while running your refrigerator. Moreover, two- and three-way RV freezers that run on propane, 120-volt, or 12-volt energy are available. You’ll be able to connect it to a power supply and save money on fuel whenever you visit a campsite with connections. They run on propane, AC, or AC and DC sources.
Another major advantage of a specialized RV refrigerator is that it is designed to withstand all the bumps on roads during traveling. Since they don’t have a compressor or parts that can lodge off, RV refrigerators can be more durable and long-lasting.
On the other hand, residential refrigerators cannot function without electricity, so if you travel to a distant site, you will need an RV inverter and some extra batteries. Some people use standard residential refrigerators instead of RV fridges because of storage space. Residential fridges have more room to accommodate a lot of stuff, while RV fridges require a shallow area to function.
Parameters To Consider Before Buying An RV Refrigerator
Size And Dimensions
If you are considering replacing your old RV fridge with a new and upgraded version, ensure you have the space to install it. Measure the space you already have and how much extra you require to accommodate the new refrigerator. Would you have to make some infrastructural changes to your RV to install this new equipment? If so, how much would that cost you?
Another important factor that many people forget while purchasing a new fridge is how they will get it inside, ensuring that your RV’s door is big enough to get the fridge easily inside. Also, ensure that the nearby walls or structures are not compromised wherever you place the refrigerator.
Would The New Refrigerator Function Appropriately In Your Rv?
You need to consider the feasibility of every person using the fridge. If you have children in your RV, would they be able to access the fridge safely?
Furthermore, would the door of your fridge open easily? You need to measure the swing length precisely. Measure out the drawers as well; how far do they come out, and are they all well within reach?
Residential Refrigerators Might Require More Batteries
Since conventional freezers don’t use gas to operate, they use more energy. If camping off the grid, you should consider investing in extra RV battery packs.
The energy offered by the campsites will allow your freezer to run if you spend most of your time there. Nevertheless, you’ll need enough RV battery packs and an adapter if you desire it to function while you’re on the road.
What Power Source Do You Want For Your New Refrigerator?
Refrigerators can be powered by electricity or gas/liquified petroleum. Refrigerators that run on gas need 3 degrees of space sideways and 6 degrees of space posteriorly. If you don’t have enough room in your RV to accommodate this, don’t go for this option. Electrical fridges are much more compatible as they can run while being 30 degrees off level as well. So if you want a compact-sized fridge, then choose an electrical one.
How To Replace Your RV Refrigerator With A Home Refrigerator?
You can easily remove your old RV refrigerator and replace it with a new residential refrigerator by following these steps:
- First, get the dimensions right. Measure your old refrigerator precisely using a measuring tape. Find the anterior to posterior length, the side length, and the vertical length.
- Next, remove the fridge carefully. (Take help from another person, don’t attempt to remove it yourself).
- To prevent any leakage of fuel gases, ensure that the main supply is turned off.
- Once you have successfully removed your old refrigerator, bring the new one in.
- If your new refrigerator is bigger than your previous one, make sure you have made room for it. This might require some infrastructure changes in your RV. If it is smaller, then it wouldn’t cause problems.
- Take proper measurements of your new refrigerator before bringing it in.
- Once you have brought it in, you need to plug it up.
- Check the socket and see if it is the same shape and voltage as required.
- Last but not least, insulate the surrounding area properly. Use wood or any other insulating material available to secure your new appliance.
What’s Better, To Let A Professional Install Your New Refrigerator, Or Should You Do It Yourself?
Installing a new refrigerator, whether an RV refrigerator or a mini-fridge/residential refrigerator, can be tricky. If you are satisfied with your skills or if you have enough experience, then you should go for installing your refrigerator yourself. However, if you’re an amateur, you might not want to risk it. After all, who would want to spend a hundred bucks on buying a new refrigerator and then damaging it themselves? It’s wiser to spend a little more money by hiring a professional.
If you decide to do it yourself, you should be careful about a few things. Remember to switch off the gas supply of your fridge. Then remove the pipe connecting the gas supply and put in a valve or a terminator. Ensure the wires aren’t having any loose openings and are capped properly to avoid any hazards. One important aspect is getting the old fridge out and the new fridge inside; this can be difficult if both have different dimensions. Some RV owners have to remove their windshields to make these changes safely.
If all this does not seem like a big task for you, or if you have successfully done more difficult things than this, then you can install your new refrigerator yourself. However, remember this is not the prime time to become a hero; always take help on board.
Hiring a skilled professional person can cost you a lot of money. And if you live in a remote area, just calling a technician to your RV will cost you around a hundred dollars. The total time and labor fees can be heavy on the pocket. Having said all this, it’s worth spending money on installation rather than making an amateur attempt that can go wrong.
Affordable Replacement Options
There are tons of replacement options out there. Here we are mentioning a few to help you out:
Whirlpool 3.1 Cu. Ft. Mini Refrigerator
- A compact double-door refrigerator and freezer with a reversible door option.
- It has an adjustable mechanical thermostat control
- Incorporates a rotary dial
- Its compact size makes it fit in small spaces.
- Width: 19.13 inches
- Depth: 21.1 inches
- Height: 32.8 inches
Haier 9.8-cu ft Top-Freezer Refrigerator
Price: $700 – $750
- Has a unique air tower that keeps all your edibles fresh.
- Temperature regulation is convenient as it has an upfront dual temperature control system.
- Contains a fresh food cabinet.
- Width: 24 inches
- Depth: 25.25 inches
- Height: 58 inches
Price range: $700 – $750
- Has a classy Freestanding size.
- Best suited for people living in flats and small spaces.
- Comprises a reversible door option as well.
- Width: 22 inches
- Depth: 21.75 inches
- Height: 56 inches
RV refrigerators can get broken like any other commodity. There are less expensive replacement options, like replacing one from a junkyard sale or selling your old one and getting a new one in installments. Some people also get their RV refrigerators replaced by residential refrigerators. Residential refrigerators are more spacious but lack the stability to withstand the bumps along the roads.
RV refrigerators are designed to meet all the requirements. People can replace their refrigerators themselves if they have enough expertise. However, a better option is hiring a professional to do the job when you have little experience in this field.
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