Saturday, December 2, 2023


Beat the summer heat and keep your fridge running smoothly with this fridge fan

My RV repair shop receives a common complaint from customers, and that is their RV refrigerator is not cooling well in the summer months. Today, I’ll talk about RV refrigerators’ poor air circulation, which causes a lengthy cool-down period and can spoil food. This is important to know as summer heat quickly approaches. The best solution? A fridge fan.

The fridge fan I recommend is the Valterra Fridge Cool Fan, which reduces food spoilage and cuts down cool-down time by 50%.

The fan requires two “D” size alkaline batteries (batteries not included)

This fridge fan can run for more than 30 days on two D-sized batteries.

This fan also has a convenient easy on/off switch. These units are primarily designed for propane absorption units and not compressor fridges.

Ways to improve RV refrigerator cooling

  • Keep your unit level when parked
  • Turn on your refrigerator a day or two before leaving on 110-volt side.
  • Make sure you’re not keeping the doors open longer than necessary when getting food in and out of the unit.
  • Park the RV refrigerator side in the shade.
  • Keep your batteries charged or, when possible, operate on 110 volts.
  • Don’t overfill the refrigerator with too much food. Doing so will block off the airflow.
  • When resupplying or stocking up the unit, add food and drinks that have already been pre-cooled. (Example would be taking out of your house refrigerator and putting inside the RV refrigerator.)
  • Use an RV refrigerator thermometer to keep an eye on the temps.
  • Install an interior refrigerator fan to help circulate the air.

As a reminder, RV refrigerators can take as long as 24 hours to reach optimal cooling temperatures.

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Thank you,

More from Dustin

Read more of Dustin’s articles here.


Dustin Simpson
Dustin Simpson
With over 25 years in the RV Industry, Mr. Dustin Simpson has worn many hats. From an RV Technician, Warranty & Parts Administrator, Parts & Service Manager and Business Owner. Outside of these typical roles and responsibilities within the industry, Dustin enjoys being a Content Creator, Brand Ambassador, Author, and Expert Witness. He has served as an expert witness in multiple cases in California, Washington, Idaho, and Texas. His repair facility has been servicing customers at the same location since 2003. What sets us apart from the dealerships is we are here to fix and maintain what you have, and not sell you a new one. Whether you own a million-dollar unit or an entry level, my message to you will be the same, it needs to be maintained.



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HRP (@guest_256279)
1 month ago

I have a question. If I plug my camper up to 30 amp coming from my house a day or two before a trip, will that damage the water heater not having water hooked up? Thank for any advice.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_241896)
5 months ago

I got to where I would run the fridge on 120 when traveling (in the deep South anyway) and let the inverter do its job. Having a bunch of solar helped. But once the fridge died in Houston at 106 degrees we decided a serious change needed to be made. Wifey found a perfectly fitting 120 ac fridge at Lowe’s for about $450 – delivered. Our favorite RV tech installed the fridge and hauled away the boat anchor. This has changed our world. It runs fine with our inverter. Beer is ice cold and ice no longer turns to frozen clumps in the freezer as before. Probably would have liked a 12v unit but we could not find one locally – and we needed a new fridge RIGHT NOW.

Jim Johnson (@guest_241889)
5 months ago

The heck with battery operated fans! 5 years ago I purchased a 12v fan kit that mounts directly to the fins. While the small shop who made mine has ceased production, this unit from Amazon is pretty much the same thing.

The fans do more than just even cooling. They also greatly increase the time between defrosting the fins. We camp seasonally in south central Texas, and over the past 5 years only defrost when shutting down after 6 months use.

Yes some installation is required in terms of running a line from inside the frig to the 12v junction behind the frig. But it isn’t all that hard – or hire a mobile tech to run the line for you. But much better air circulation and NO disposable batteries!

Tom (@guest_241878)
5 months ago

I always power up the frig on 110 days before departing home. Also, I place several water bottles in the freezer to maintain the frozen temperature in the freezer. I also place frozen water bottles in the lower section to help keep it cool while under way. Frig is not powered on the road. Works well for me.

Jewel (@guest_241873)
5 months ago

We put in thermometer sensors in or Norcold 4 door unit. We had noticed how things didn’t seem cold enough and food in the freezer wasn’t frozen. Outside fans and inside fans did nothing. Ice packs in both sections did little. Turning temp cooler didn’t help.
We decided, since this was ongoing, we live in Texas and spend a lot of time in the Southwest, we would change out the cooling system. Drove all the way to Indiana for it – the guys at JC Refrigeration removed the cooling unit and replaced with 12v dual compressor units. What a difference. We already have lithium batteries so it runs like a champ. 0 to -4 in freezer and 33 to 36 consistently in fridge. This, even while sitting in our driveway in 100 degree heat in an uncooled RV. We couldn’t be happier.

Dan (@guest_241880)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jewel

I see a 12 volt refrigerator in our future, too. Absorption units should go the way of buggy whips.

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