“Hey, grab me a lukewarm beer from the fridge,” said no one ever! We rely on our RV fridges to keep our “cold ones” cold, right? Did you know that there are simple but important things you can do to ensure that your RV’s fridge works properly? It’s true. Read on and you’ll see.
Packing your RV refrigerator correctly
Wait! There’s a wrong way?! Yep. The mistake I’ve made is overpacking our RV fridge. There needs to be some space between foods and/or food containers. Why? For air circulation. That can’t happen if you cram too much into your fridge. Here are some additional tips so that you’ll avoid my mistake.
- Keep sides clear. Instead of cramming food items up against the sides of the RV refrigerator, leave some space. That will allow air to move from top to bottom and the reverse for good circulation throughout the refrigerator.
- Plan ahead. Get the most from your RV fridge by planning meals ahead of time. That way, you’ll buy only what you need, and the fridge won’t become overloaded. Many times, I’ll actually make our meals at home and freeze them. (Hint: Rectangular and square containers stack easier and take up less room than round ones.) Even if you plan to grill burgers, you can form patties ahead of time, slip them into a stackable container, and save some space in your fridge.
- Repack certain foods. Some foods can be taken out of their original packaging and put into one that takes up less space in your fridge. Think: condiments. Who uses an entire 32 oz. bottle of ketchup in one weekend? Not me. Try these. I also separate some items (like a bag of onions) and take only the number needed.
- Purchase smaller amounts. We use milk for breakfast cereal. That’s it. No need for us to get a whole gallon of it. Besides, a quart container takes up much less space.
Increase space in your RV fridge
- Ditch the ice maker. A friend we know removed the ice maker from their RV refrigerator. We purchased a fridge without one. The ice maker takes up a lot of space that we’d rather use to store frozen foods. Depending on the amount of ice you use, this may be a good option for you, too. The old-time refillable ice tray will provide your ice and also allow room for quite a bit of food! Or you can opt to buy a standalone ice maker. Check out this article on the best portable ice makers for RVers.
- Use bins or baskets. No one likes scrabbling around food items in search of that elusive olive jar! Your refrigerator doesn’t like it either. Every time the fridge door opens you lose cool air from inside. If the door hangs open for several minutes while you chase down the olives, the fridge will need to work to cool the warm air that’s streaming inside. You can avoid the “open door problem” with baskets or bins. I like to put grandkids’ snacks inside a clear, plastic refrigerator bin. When they want a snack, they just remove the “snack bin,” close the fridge door, select a snack, and quickly put the bin back inside the refrigerator. Hint: Measure carefully before you shop for a bin or basket.
- Organize how you place food in the refrigerator. The trick here is to let others know about your organizational method. If you keep all of your fresh produce inside the left, bottom drawer, you’ll know exactly where to look and retrieve it. By keeping salad dressing inside the right fridge door, you can grab it quickly.
- RV refrigerator/freezer temp monitors. We purchased this wireless temperature monitor. It allows us to read the inside temperature of the freezer and the refrigerator without opening either door. The built-in alarm is also a great feature. If the temp in either the freezer or fridge warms beyond our set temp, the alarm will sound.
- Refrigerator fan. This fan really helps to keep the air circulating in our RV refrigerator. I like it because it takes up little space, can be powered on/off with a switch, and has an activated charcoal pack that helps absorb odors. The pack is replaceable, too.
- Shelf braces. There are so many different types of shelf brackets and braces. Check them out at your local RV store or online. Be sure to have your exact measurements before making a purchase. The braces that came with our RV refrigerator do such a good job keeping food items in place that I haven’t had to buy any add-on brackets. It’s nice to know they’re available if the need arises.
How about you? Do you have some RV refrigerator tips and tricks to share? Please note your ideas in the comments below.