Even if your refrigerator at home is plugged 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it doesn't easily break. You just have to defrost it every once in a while and clean the shelves and freezer to get rid of the funky smell, mold, mildew, and dirt. Unfortunately, it's not the same thing for refrigerators used in RVs or campers. The refrigerator used in an RV doesn't work the same way as the one you have at home. This doesn't have a compressor or moving parts, and so, it requires a bit more maintenance.
To keep the ref in your RV working well, here are a few maintenance tips to ponder on:
Keep the RV level when parked so that the refrigerator can operate without a glitch.
You won't have much trouble traveling with a ref plugged in. As the vehicle moves, the liquids and gases in the cooling unit also circulate. They don't get stuck in one spot, unlike when the RV is parked in a camping site or for a long time. Trouble for the refrigerator starts at this point. If the RV isn't level, the cooling unit may be ruined, partly because the ref doesn't have a compressor or the same components working on a regular appliance at home. The perfect solution for this would be to use RV leveling systems such as blocks, jacks, or bubble levels, instead of unstable wood scraps.
Keep the refrigerator plugged in and running before you go on a trip with your RV and stack this with food.
Initially, the cool-down time can be anywhere from 4 to 6 hours (check the manual to be sure). The food you'll put inside the ref should already be chilled or cold and the stuff you'll store in the freezer should be frozen as well. This will help the ref cool down easily. Don't stuff the ref with too much frozen goods, drinks, or different types of food. Also space out the items or food that you'll be arranging in the compartment. This will put less stress on the ref of your RV.
Adjust the setting of the refrigerator based on the weather or temperature outside to maintain its cooling efficiency.
Set the temperature to low on a cold day and switch the setting to high when it's hot outside. It will also help if on a particularly hot day, you'll park the RV in a shaded area or at least keep the ref from direct heat or sunlight. This will keep the device working at its optimum efficiency. (Note: Some refrigerators have preset temperature settings.)
Check the door gaskets of the ref and clean these if necessary.
The door of the ref should be properly sealed. To check, you can put a bill right behind the seal. Close the door to see if it will stick right there or drop. You have a good seal if it stays right where it is. There should also be some resistance when you try to snatch it from the door. Weak or broken seals should be replaced.
Use a fan for better air circulation and for blowing out hot air from the refrigerator.
You may purchase a battery-operated fan that will be placed right in front of the ref compartment. This will help air to circulate more easily, cutting back initial cool-down times by as much as 50 percent. You may also use a vent fan that will be placed behind the ref or on top of the roof vent to blow out heat buildup from the ref. Up to 40% improved ref performance can be expected when this fan is used.