RV fridge door pop open? Here’s a “quick & dirty” fix

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By Russ and Tiña De Maris

If you’re the proud owner of a well-loved older RV, you’ll have run across the old “orphan parts” issue. Either the company doesn’t stock your part anymore, or the company doesn’t exist. Either way, when repair issues appear, sometimes you’re left getting creative.

Here’s a recent issue for us. At day’s end, we’d open the trailer door to find our favorite beverage cans rolling around on the floor. Evidently the weight of the cans in the refrigerator door, coupled with the force exerted by making corners, would cause the fridge door to pop open, and the pop to pop out. Not only did it present us with dented cola cans, but too often the door wouldn’t be kind enough to close itself, and the interior of the cooler would be anything but cool.

Somewhere in a past owner’s life, the door latching system broke on the refrigerator compartment and was never replaced. Several years too late for getting the part, we were left with a door security issue. After a lot of head scratching and improbable plans, a quick and dirty solution came up. And surprisingly, it met with approval by the Kitchen Goddess and the pocket book.

Yep, two-dollars and change bought a brass barrel bolt. We pre-drilled through the metal trim under the door, and ensured that the screws were short enough not to cause trouble by running into anything vital. Now when we hit the road we simply shoot the bolt through the latch and head off. No more rolling cola.

Not into blasting holes for mounting screws? Some RVers report they’ve been able to use “hook and loop” tape to adequately hold their doors closed. And we’ve seen commercially produced products marketed to keep young children from opening refrigerators. Dubbed “Safety 1st Fridge Locks” and sold by Walmart, these devices use double-stick tape to mount a plastic locking tab that secures the doors. Problem is, many customers report that after a few tugs by recalcitrant children, the double-stick tape just pops loose. This may not be a problem for an RVer without reefer marauders, but we haven’t personally tested the fix.

##RVT775 ##RVDT1276

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jillie
7 months ago

We had to toss all the food in our fridge when the door jumped its hinge and everything was warm. Could not save anything. CW is fixing the door hinges and we are going to get a one of those baby locks for the fridge to keep this from happening again. I was not happy having to go grocery shopping for supplies I had already bought. Sucks to me. So been there done that.

Gene Bjerke
7 months ago

Our problem was not the refrigerator door, but the drawers in the counter. Though they had built-in catches, they were not always strong enough to keep one or another of the drawers shut. Being basically lazy, I took short blocks of wood and, using one screw, mounted them on the face of the counter next to the drawers. Basically, they are turn-buttons holding the drawer closed (reference your nearest available out-house). Not elegant but it works. I didn’t stain them to match the face of the counter; again, because I am lazy, but I argue that a quick glance tells me if they are open or closed.

Robbie
7 months ago

With dual handles on our refrigerator, a bungee cord works perfectly.

Bill
7 months ago

It might also be possible to 3D print a replacement or the original part. There are many web sites you can download 3D printable designs that other folks have created. You can always create your own and 3D print it as well.

Bob p
7 months ago

Perhaps the double sided tape was improperly installed. Surface preparation is key to applying the tape, the surfaces must be clean and wiped with something like alcohol prior to applying the tape, then rubbing the tape with the paper still on to activate the adhesive. If installed according to directions no young child will pull it off.

Tom Herd
7 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

More likely, it was “improperly” installed.