RV refrigerator cooling hacks

Codi JohnsonRV Tech Tips


Today we’re gonna talk about sweaty warm refrigerators and how to avoid them. Have you ever opened up the doors and seen that, not only is it warm inside, but your food is sweaty. Listen, no one likes sweaty grapes. 

Our refrigerator is a sealed system, so as soon as we close the doors there should be no air coming in or out. Refrigerators pull the moisture out of the air before they actually drop the temperature. If you look at the back of the refrigerator you’ll see the evaporator fins, which collect the moisture that’s in the air and drop it into a drip pan. 

Regardless of whether you have a Norcold or a Dometic, if you have an RV style absorption refrigerator you have a drip tube. The second law of thermodynamics says that heat runs to cold. If you look at the end of your tubes, you’ll see plastic covers, which are there to trap a couple of droplets of water. If the heat runs too cold or we lose the caps the warm moist air will run up the tube and into our refrigerator, and since our refrigerator can’t keep up with the moist air entering it, we want to ensure the caps are attached. 

So on the Dometic we have about 5 holes:

And the Norcold a black cap with a single hole:

Again, which are there to trap droplets of water to prevent air from entering the refrigerator.

At some point you may also experience a block of ice on the back of the unit, which is the same condition: too much warm moist air is entering our refrigerator. The first thing you’ll do is look at the drip tube and ensure the cap is in place, and if it isn’t you can go ahead and order one. But in the meantime if the tube is flexible enough you’ll turn it and zip tie it here: 

This makes what we call a p-trap; the water will continue to drip down and fill the end up like it does under our sinks. As the water continues to rise, it’ll create the barrier needed. You can also do this with Norcold or Dometic if needed until your replacement cap arrives. 

And there’s your Tech Tip!

If you would like to be able to fix the majority of the problems on your RV, or let’s say you want to open a business and become a certified technician or inspector? Head over to our website at www.nrvta.com, select the programs tab and get started today!