Are RV Refrigerators Rechargeable?

Imagine relaxing and having delicious snacks in your treasured RV at a beautiful campsite with your family. Doesn’t everyone love it?

There is no doubt that everyone does. Most RVs today have built-in refrigerators. Ensure that you and your family enjoy a seamless camping experience by not missing out on your favorite snacks.

Food can be preserved and kept fresh for RV users wherever and whenever they wish.

The high-tech appliances of today’s RVs make them feel like a home with maximum comfort.

Is it possible to recharge RV refrigerators? Yes, but only if it is an open-system compressor RV refrigerator. Recharging them is quick, cheap, and does not cause any inconvenience. Continue reading to learn more.

Let’s examine the types of RV fridges available to get started.

Types of RV refrigerators

Refrigerators for RVs can be divided into three types:

  • Thermoelectric,
  • Absorption, and
  • Compression Fridges.

Even though all three provide advantages, only compression refrigerators can be recharged.

Therefore, you must pay attention to the type of refrigerator you have installed in your RV.

Rv Refrigerator With Thermoelectric Technology

The Peltier principle is used in this RV refrigerator. Electricity is used to pump heat.

It has two ends. Food is kept cold inside the cooler by its cool end. Heat is dispersed into the air from the hot end outside.

Heat is pumped outside the refrigerator to reduce the temperature inside the fridge. 

There is not a lot of heat leakage inside these refrigerators since they are insulated.

Thermoelectric fridges that don’t function properly should be replaced. Rechargeable coolants are not available for these fridges. 

It is also difficult to replace the fridge’s components. 

It is not very efficient to use a thermoelectric RV fridge. The efficiency of these refrigerators is only about ten percent higher than that of your home refrigerator.

For short trips, you may want to use these fridges to keep food and beverages cold for a couple of hours.

Refrigerator For Rvs With Absorption Technology

The most common type of RV refrigerator is an absorption refrigerator. Electricity is not required to operate these fridges.

The refrigerator in your home uses a compressor to keep things cool and fresh. However, this refrigerator uses water, hydrogen gas, and ammonia. 

A chemical reaction is induced when the elements mentioned above are transferred through the Absorption fridge’s tubes.

Propane replaces electricity in these refrigerators. Ammonium solution is heated by propane. Therefore, these reactions evaporate and condense, keeping your food cool and fresh.

It is important to be aware of leaks with these freezers since they can be very dangerous.

You should be aware of the following symptoms:

  • Your fridge smells like ammonia
  • The metal tubes at the back of your refrigerator are rusted
  • Powder leaks in a yellow or green color
  • A sudden increase in fridge temperature
  • The fridge is gurgling loudly

Symptoms such as those listed above should prompt you to have your cooling unit checked by a professional.

The drawback of these refrigerators is that they cannot be recharged since they use ammonia. There is no way to refill them since they are sealed.

When there is a leak in the cooling unit of the absorption refrigerator, the cooling unit can be replaced.

My recommendation is that you have your cooling unit diagnosed by a professional before you replace it. If you don’t know what cooling unit you need for your refrigerator, you might have difficulty finding it. 

It would be a good idea to seek a manufacturer’s assistance.

Compared to the previous refrigerators, absorption refrigerators are more efficient and last longer. You can enjoy these for the whole weekend with your family.

Rv Refrigerator With Compression System

Are RV Refrigerators Rechargeable?

Most of your homes have these refrigerators. The compressor is used to cool compression fridges.

The refrigerant in these refrigerators is a gas that transforms into a liquid when temperatures fall below a certain point. Upon starting, the compressor pulls in the evaporator’s cold, liquid refrigerant gas.

A refrigerator becomes cold when it reaches this stage.

As the gas passes through the compressor, it is compressed and sent to the condenser for cooling. Last but not least, this heat is dispersed into the environment.

Your food is continuously preserved and kept fresh by repeating this process.

They are easy to recharge without going through a painful process, making them so convenient. If you want to recharge it, just make sure it is done by a professional.

Check if the fridge has an open or closed system before buying it for your RV. Recharging your fridge is not possible in the latter case.

While these refrigerators are convenient to handle, they do have some shortcomings.

If you recharge your compression refrigerator, you might be voiding its warranty. To avoid problems with warranty claims, you should research these refrigerators before buying them.

It is also important to keep in mind that refrigerant might leak gradually and become immersed during the recharging procedure as well.

You should take this decision only after ensuring the safety of your refrigerator.

If you take good care of your refrigerator, these refrigerators are affordable and require very little maintenance.

Their efficiency ranges from 60 to 70%, which makes them more efficient than other types.

Tips For Maintaining And Using Rv Refrigerators

The maintenance of your RV refrigerator is crucial to its long life, regardless of what type you buy.

You can ensure that your refrigerator runs smoothly by implementing these simple steps:

Make Sure It Is Turned On Beforehand

Turning your fridge on the night before your camping trip would be a good idea. Cooling down a freezer usually takes six hours.

Start With Cold Items

You can speed up the cooling process by loading cold items first, like ice or cold beverages.

Keep It Light And Don’t Overpack

Cold air must be able to circulate between the items in your fridge. Keeping space is, therefore, important.  

Invest In A Fan

The temperature of your refrigerator can quickly rise during hot weather. A fan can help reduce the temperature around you.

Ensure That The Seals Are Intact

Make sure there are no leaks or loose seals regularly. Either of these can cause a loss of cold air. Check them often and replace them if necessary.

Make Sure It’s Functional

Your fridge can get severe damage if it sits idle without being used. If it isn’t in use, ensure that you run it for several hours weekly.

Maintain A Regular Cleaning Schedule

To prevent your cooler from smelling when it isn’t in use, you should keep it clean. The refrigerator should be thawed regularly, and all vents should be cleaned.

Adjust The Settings

Every refrigerator has a different mode based on the weather. Make sure you adjust the settings according to the weather.

It is possible to lower the cooling of your fridge in winter. The cooling can be turned back to high in the summer. 

Taking these steps will enhance your fridge’s longevity and functionality.


Every RV should have a refrigerator as one of its essential features. In addition to adding to the fun of your camping experience, they also help you to create memories that will last a lifetime.

The RV refrigerator can sometimes be a challenge to deal with. However, you can ensure the safety of your fridge by following all the tips mentioned above.

Finally, compression refrigerators are the only RV refrigerators that can be recharged.



Hey there! I'm Shawn. We were traveling full-time in our travel trailer with our 7 kids. We had to learn a lot to make that lifestyle work, and we wanted to pass some of that experience to you! Our goal is to help save you time, frustration, and money!

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Hey there! I'm Shawn. We were traveling full-time in our travel trailer with our 7 kids. We had to learn a lot to make that lifestyle work, and we wanted to pass some of that experience to you! Our goal is to help save you time, frustration, and money!

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