Wednesday, November 29, 2023


RV boo-boos – Refrigerator fire ruins the whole day

Flat tires. “Check engine” lights. Full-up campgrounds. There are plenty of RV-related tricks that can make a road trip a challenge. But an RV refrigerator fire can ruin your whole day.

Instagram poster, cashforrvs, put up a series of photos that bring that truth home. Be sure to click through all four of them. They posted these photos with the caption, “This unfortunate event happened because of the fridge over heating.” Well, we’d agree with overheating—to the superlative degree, if you’ll pardon the pun.

We previously posted on a device that dramatically reduces the chances of having an RV refrigerator fire. Check it out here.

If you’ve seen, witnessed, or had your own “RV boo-boo” moment and have a photo to share with others, let us know. Fill out the form below, and put “boo-boo” on the subject line. Be sure to link your photo with the attachment tool on the form.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

Other stories by Russ and Tiña De Maris


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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cee (@guest_200600)
1 year ago

I added Fridge Defend 4 years ago and have slept better ever since.

Dave Mckenna (@guest_200579)
1 year ago

Russ and Tiña, Thanks for including a link to your review of the Fridge Defend device. As a retired safety professional, I naturally have installed one on both of my absorption refrigerators, and recommend them to others regularly. What I find really puzzling is that this technology is not incorporated in new refrigerators from the factory.

Marty (@guest_200554)
1 year ago

We just prepped our rig for a 3-4 month trip. We did the usual stuff (sanitize fresh water tank & lines, clean interior, treat drain valves & toilet valves, check fluid levels, tire pressure, etc.) with the addition of one other prep step. We have a residential refrigerator. I remove the outside refrigerator access panel then go inside and remove the “kick plate” at the bottom of the unit. Using a leaf blower on full power, I blow out all of the debris (dirt, dust, hair, bits of “stuff”, etc.) from the coil, fan and fan motor of the frig. I learned this trick from a refrigerator repair guy. It works much better than trying to vacuum out the “stuff”.

Leonard Rempel (@guest_200451)
1 year ago

As a member of the “RV Fridge fire” club, I can attest to how scary it is! I was lucky that the fridge fire started at a campground where I was hooked up to 30 amp power. I overloaded the circuit, tripping the breaker. As soon as this happened the fridge called for propane and a spark. From all the traveling I had done the propane line had severed, so propane was just filling up the fridge cavity on the side of the trailer. I decided to go outside and reset the breaker right away and WOW, was I in for a shock! The back of the fridge was on fire, but I got the access cover over right away and put out the fire. I was sooooo lucky!
Long story short; Little damage to the RV, but the fridge was toast (pardon the pun). I had the fridge box converted to a DC residential fridge and could not be happier! It does not use much power, and FINALLY we have an “ice cream” cold freezer!
Word of caution: If you think this cannot happen to you, think again! My RV is a 2 year old Montana.

Last edited 1 year ago by Leonard Rempel
Tommy Molnar (@guest_200511)
1 year ago
Reply to  Leonard Rempel

Our 10 year old Norcold died about a month ago, and luckily before any emergency. New RV fridges are SO expensive so we went with a ‘perfect fit’ home style 120 ac fridge. So far, so good. We absolutely love the bigger interior room and ice stays ice instead of turning into one huge glob of ice in our ice container. We’ll see how this all works when boondocking when we head for home in about a month.

Bill T (@guest_200445)
1 year ago

Not an Instgram user. Could you elaborate more on the circumstances leading up to the fire, beside just “over heat”. Many RV’ers have been using absorption refers for decades without issue.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill T

Sorry, Bill. I just checked that post on Instagram and it didn’t give any more details about the cause of the fire. Take care. 😀 –Diane

Tom H. (@guest_200424)
1 year ago

I’m impressed that more of the trailer didn’t burn!

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