RV Refrigerator Replacement – How to Replace your RV or Camper Fridge?

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Replacing your RV refrigerator should be as easy as unplugging one and plugging in another. Can I repair my old unit? Can I purchase a used fridge? Choosing which fridge is the right one for you is the challenge. Read this round-up of products and find your perfect fit. Your purpose for using a refrigerator and the space available will help you make an informed decision.

Contents

How to Troubleshoot Your RV Refrigerator

Maybe you do not need a new refrigerator. You just need a little elbow grease. First, check your power source to see if it is working correctly. Then check to see if your thermostat or power gauge is appropriately set. Listen to see if the fan is running when properly plugged in. If the fan isn’t running, it may be frozen, which means the refrigerator may need to be defrosted. Defrost your fridge by unplugging and opening doors until the ice formed in the freezer is melted. This can be a messy job. Please be prepared. If this doesn’t correct the situation, you will need to contact the manufacturer or a maintenance specialist. Refrigerators are tricky and require a skilled laborer.

Uninstalling an RV Refrigerator

Safety first, turn off the gas at the tank. To remove your refrigerator, locate the compartment door on the outside of your rig.  Open the door, and you will find your refrigerator’s electric and 12-volt plugs. If your fridge is a gas model, you will also find a propane connection. Unplug the electricity and 12-volt connection and unscrew the gas line.  The refrigerator will have screws holding the frame in place. Remove the screws, and you are ready to remove the old fridge.

Installing an RV Refrigerator

Position the new refrigerator and plug in the 12-volt and electricity. Connect the gas line and secure the refrigerator frame into place with screws. Close the compartment cover and turn your gas supply back on. Enjoy your new fridge.   

Replacement Fridge Considerations

Size

As you will find out with all things RV-related, the first thing to figure out is how much space you have? Space is one of the most critical questions when converting, remodeling, or replacing any appliances in your rig. You need to measure the length, width, and height of the opening for your refrigerator. I have always taken my available space for a fridge and replaced it with the largest one I could make fit. We always have a crew to feed.

Power Source

There are three power sources to consider when buying a refrigerator. There is the 110v electric, a 12-volt battery, or propane gas. The main concern is where you will be camping and how you will be traveling. Do you want your fridge to have constant power while traveling and dry-docking? You must choose a refrigerator with 12-volt or propane power capabilities if you do. A fully electric unit will need to be emptied when in transit or sitting idle unless plugged into a generator or battery pack.

If you live in your RV for months at a time, the sacrifice of having to pack a cooler while in transit to have an apartment size or even full-size unit may be worth it. I chose an 18 cubic foot Frigidaire for my rig because we stay put months at a time. I have not regretted this decision. Your only restriction when selecting a standard electric refrigerator is size and convenience. 

Freezer Needs

Do you need a freezer? A freezer may be optional if you are a weekender or even a week-at-a-timer. Those who will stay in their RV for more extended stays will probably want to rethink their needs. A freezer is undoubtedly needed for those who hate going to the grocery store, especially on vacation. It is all a matter of preference.

Buying Second Hand

As a bargain hunter, I am always looking for a good deal. If you can find a used fridge that meets your requirements and you are willing to purchase without a warranty, then may the odds be ever in your favor. Sometimes you can find what you are looking for at a steal on social media sites or your favorite radio station swap meet. Always do a quick search on the brand and model to see any recurring problems with the unit or recalls. Do not be afraid to haggle the price. Most sellers price their sale items a little higher to accommodate the haggle.

The Top Refrigerator Reviewed

The top choice goes Norcold Polar 3-Way AC/LP/DC 8 cubic feet. Refrigerator with Cold Weather Kit, Right Swing Door because of the versatility of energy sources and its eight cubic feet capacity. This fridge allows off-grid and on the road use. An energy source is never a problem with this unit. If you are looking for a modern look and luxury, you have found it. You will find it to be a top-of-the-line option.

 Product's nameEnergy SourceCubic FeetBest forMore Info
RV Refrigerator Replacement - How to Replace your RV or Camper Fridge? 1Norcold Polar 3-Way AC/LP/DC 8 cu.ft. Refrigerator with Cold Weather Kit, Right Swing Door110 Electric
12 Volt
Propane Gas
8 Cubic FeetBest Large Fridge for Versatility and Off-GridSee Latest Price
RecPro RV Refrigerator Stainless Steel | 10.7 Cubic Feet | 12V | 2 Door FridgeRecPro RV Refrigerator Stainless Steel | 10.7 Cubic Feet | 12V | 2 Door...12 Volt10.7 Cubic FeetBest Budget choice for Large Off-gridSee Latest Price
Frigidaire FFTR1425VW 28' Top Freezer Refrigerator with 13.9 cu. ft. Capacity, EvenTemp Cooling...RecPro RV Refrigerator Stainless Steel | 10.7 Cubic Feet | 12V | 2 Door...Electric

13.9 Cubic FeetBest for Standard Apartment FridgeSee Latest Price
SMETA 3 Way Fridge Propane Refrigerator without Freezer Gas/12V/110V for RV Truck Camping Off Grid...SMETA 3 Way Fridge Propane Refrigerator without Freezer Gas/12V/110V for RV...Electric
12 Volt
Propane Gas
2.1 Cubic FeetBest for Versatility and Off-grid Small FridgeSee Latest Price
Galanz 4.3 cu ft Compact Single-Door Refrigerator, (Stainless Steel)Galanz 4.3 cu ft Compact Single-Door Refrigerator, (Stainless Steel)Electric4.3 CubicBest Compact FridgeSee Latest Price
FRIGIDAIRE EFR756-RED EFR756, 2 Door Apartment Size Retro Refrigerator with Top Freezer, Chrome...FRIGIDAIRE EFR756-RED EFR756, 2 Door Apartment Size Retro Refrigerator with...Electric7.5 Cubic FeetBest Large Nostalgic Style FridgeSee Latest Price
Galanz Retro Compact Mini Fridge with Freezer, 2-Door, Energy Efficient, Small Refrigerator for...Galanz Retro Compact Mini Fridge with Freezer, 2-Door, Energy Efficient,...Electric3.1 Cubic FeetBest Medium Size Nostalgic Style FridgeSee Latest Price
Frigidaire EFR176-BLUE 1.6 cu ft Blue Retro Fridge with Side Bottle Opener. for The Office, Dorm...Frigidaire EFR176-BLUE 1.6 cu ft Blue Retro Fridge with Side Bottle Opener....Electric1.6 Cubic FeetBest smallest Nostalgic FridgeSee Latest Price
Portable Refrigerator 12 Volt, Portable Freezer Fridge For Car Plug in Cooler with Compressor 23...Portable Refrigerator 12 Volt, Portable Freezer Fridge For Car Plug in...Electric
12 Volt
23 QuartBest Portable Fridge / CoolerSee Latest Price
Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless 12 Volt Cooler Warmer 18 qt (17 L), Electric Portable Car Cooler...Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless 12 Volt Cooler Warmer 18 qt (17 L),...12 Volt18 QuartBest Budget Fridge/ CoolerSee Latest Price

Find the right Refrigerator for You

1. Norcold Polar 3-Way AC/LP/DC 8 cu.ft. Refrigerator with Cold Weather Kit, Right Swing Door

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Features:

  • Adjustable thermostat puts the user in control
  • Automatic frost limiting
  • Cold weather capability to 0°F

This Norcold refrigerator has it all when looking for a larger fridge for your RV or camper. It will run using 110 electric, 12-volt battery or propane gas. What does that mean to you? It means your fridge will work if you are dry-docking in the mountains, traveling down the highway, or parked in a campground or Walmart parking lot. 

This Model will replace a Norcold N841/NX841 Series Refrigerator. Its dimensions and clearance are 59-7/8″H x 23-1/2″W x 24″D. Space available in RVs and campers varies. Please use these measurements to check compatibility. 

This new control panel features an LCD screen, adjustable thermostat, and mode selection. This refrigerator has cold weather capabilities down to 0°F. Clear door bins with dual clear crispers and five shelves allow good organization.

RV Refrigerator Replacement - How to Replace your RV or Camper Fridge? 3

Pros

  • Energy Versatility
  • Large Capacity
  • Easy Use and Care

Cons

  • Expense
  • No Ice Maker
  • Additional Freight Cost

2. RecPro RV Refrigerator Stainless Steel | 10.7 Cubic Feet | 12V | 2 Door Fridge

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Features:

  • Dimensions: 23 1/2″W x 25 3/4″D x 59 3/4″H
  • Interior space: 10.7 Cubic Feet
  • Weight: 118.9 lbs
  • UL listed

This RecPro unit boasts 10.7 cubic feet of refrigerated space. It is a fridge with a separate freezer compartment. The freezer allows for extended stays, keeping food frozen until use. It requires less maintenance because it is frost-free.  It also has reversible doors.

The exterior dimensions of this unit are 23 1/2″ wide by 24 3/4″ deep by 59 5/8″ high. It is a large unit, so measuring your space is very important. This fridge is stylish with its stainless steel finish. 

This model is a 12-volt only model. That means that when you are in transit, your fridge will run off of a 12-volt battery. When connected to an electric source, this refrigerator will pull power from an inverter making this fridge a good choice for those on the move often.

Pros

  • Dual Energy Source
  • Large Capacity
  • Easy Use and Care

Cons

  • Expense
  • No Ice Maker
  • No On/Off Switch

3. Frigidaire FFTR1425VW 28″ Top Freezer Refrigerator with 13.9 cu. ft. Capacity, EvenTemp Cooling System, Humidity Controlled Crisper Drawer, Auto Close Doors, ADA

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Features:

  • Width: 27.62″ x Height: 59.87″ x Depth: 29.37″
  • Capacity: 10 cu. ft.
  • Freezer Capacity: 3.9 cu. ft.

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This Frigidaire is a huge unit for an RV. Its measurements are Width: 27.62″ x Height: 59.87″ x Depth: 29.37″. It is a standard apartment refrigerator. It is fully electric and must be plugged into a 110v outlet. This unit will not run while driving. Food that requires keeping cold will need to be moved to another source while in transit.

This is an excellent option for those who live in their RV and have the space. It gives you all the comfort of home with a large capacity and separate freezer. It is made by one of the oldest and most reliable manufacturers. 

Buying this option will save you some money if you do not mind using a cooler and ice while in transit. I will be showing more possibilities later in this roundup. Those who stay put for months at a time will find the size very convenient. Buying weekly because that is all your fridge holds can be an aggravation. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Extra Large Capacity
  • Easy Use and Care
  • Ice Maker Option

Cons

  • Electric-only
  • No Ice Maker

4. SMETA 3 Way Fridge Propane Refrigerator without Freezer Gas/12V/110V for RV Truck Camping Off Grid Fridge 2.1 Cu.Ft, Black

RV Refrigerator Replacement - How to Replace your RV or Camper Fridge? 7

Features:

  • Approximate gas consumption per day: 0.4 lb
  • Temperature range 32℉~50℉ without freezer
  • Reversible door. Advanced absorption cooling system, super quiet without noise.

If you need a small fridge, this one packs a lot of features. You can power this unit with electricity, 12-volt or propane gas, making it convenient. This unit will keep food cold on the road, off the grid, or when you are connected to electricity.

The dimensions are width 18” x height 18.7”x depth 27.1”.  It does not include a freezer compartment for frozen foods. When using a refrigerator without a freezer, you will need to grocery shop often.

Adjustable shelves and a reversible door allow for organization and accommodation. This unit is lightweight at just 50 lbs. and easily moved. An on/off button gives you confidence when the unit is not powered.

RV Refrigerator Replacement - How to Replace your RV or Camper Fridge? 8

Pros

  • Energy Versatility
  • Compact
  • On/Off Switch

Cons

  • Running Noise
  • No Ice Maker
  • No Freezer

5. Galanz 4.3 cu ft Compact Single-Door Refrigerator, (Stainless Steel)

RV Refrigerator Replacement - How to Replace your RV or Camper Fridge? 9

Features:

  • 22 x 19.9 x 32.91 inches
  • ‎Stainless-Steel
  • ‎Reversible

The size of this 4.3 cubic feet unit is a perfect mid-size refrigerator for an RV or camper. Its compact dimensions are ‎22” L x 19.9” W x 32.91” H inches. It comes with a stainless steel finish.

The adjustable shelves and door capacity allow for more oversized items to be easily stored. Reversible doors and a large vegetable bin add to its adaptability. This unit also runs quietly. 

This Galanz is an energy efficient electric unit only. It will be necessary to use a different cooling unit while in transit. It also has a freezer shelf but does not guarantee foods to be kept frozen. Ice cream may not be a good decision in this model.

RV Refrigerator Replacement - How to Replace your RV or Camper Fridge? 10

Pros

  • Mid-Size
  • Compact
  • Runs Quietly

Cons

  • Electric Only
  • No Freezer

6. FRIGIDAIRE EFR756-RED EFR756, 2 Door Apartment Size Retro Refrigerator with Top Freezer, Chrome Handles, 7.5 cu ft, red

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Features:

  • Slide-out glass shelves, one transparent vegetable crisper, four- clear door shelves.
  • ‎22.75 x 22.75 x 58 inches
  • Capacity: ‎‎7.5 Cubic Feet

I am a fan of canned hams and restored classic campers, so I included this beauty. It is from Frigidaire, one of the oldest and most trusted brands. It is an electric unit only.

This unit measures ‎22.75” L x 22.75” W  x 58” H. It is 7.5 cubic feet. This is a large unit with a big personality. You can be purchase this style in red, cream, and teal blue. It is the perfect large fridge for your glamper. Your neighbors will be jealous.

It is a two door fridge with a separate freezer and glass shelves. It has vegetable and fruit bins for added organization. Reversible doors make it very accessible.

RV Refrigerator Replacement - How to Replace your RV or Camper Fridge? 12

Pros

  • Retro Style
  • Large
  • Separate Freezer

Cons

  • Electric
  • Some Reviews Report Poor Shipping
  • Manual Defrost

7. Galanz Retro Mini Fridge with Freezer 3.1 Cu.Ft Dual Doors Small Refrigerator with Adjustable Thermostat Control Energy Star for Bedroom Dorm Apartment Black GLR31TBKER

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Features:

  • ‎Retro fridge, Interior Light,
  • Mechanical Thermostat Control, 2 leveling front legs
  • ‎19.17 x 23.31 x 35.16 inches

This unit is another retro option for those who do not have enough space for the larger one.

This Galanz is electric and comes in with 3.1 cubic feet. It is small but big on nostalgia.

This small unit is a two door with a separate freezer. That is hard to find in a smaller fridge. The dimensions of this one are 19.17” L x 23.31” W x 35.16” H. 

This unit is available in teal blue, light blue, and black. There is a color to match your retro theme. I have spotted this unit at retro glamping weekends. I suggest everyone research where and when a glamping weekend will be held near you.

https://www.amazon.com/vdp/9892908877e2475ca7a2133fd1a7864b?ref=dp_vse_ibvc0

Pros

  • Retro Style
  • Compact
  • Separate Freezer

Cons

  • Electric-only
  • Shipping issues

8. Frigidaire EFR176-BLUE 1.6 cu ft Blue Retro Fridge with Side Bottle Opener. for The Office, Dorm Room or Cabin

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Features:

  • ‎16 x 18 x 18.5 inches
  • Compact size and reversible door
  • Capacity:‎ 1.6 Cubic Feet

Frigidaire has a whole line of nostalgic retro-designed appliances, and this is the smallest. It is 1.6 cubic feet, and its dimensions are 16” L x 18” W x 18.5” H. It is also available in coral, red, teal, black, and white.

It is a fully electric fridge with a small freezer shelf for an ice tray. It has a reversible door and adjustable shelves. The door compartment will hold a two-liter bottle. There is a handy bottle opener on the side.

This is an excellent fridge for those smaller campers or even a pop-up. It could also be an extra unit for your bedroom to hold drinks or insulin. This little unit could be perfect for keeping drinks cold outside.

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Pros

  • Retro Style
  • Very Small
  • Bottle Opener

Cons

  • Electric-only
  • Color Consistency
  • Manual Defrost

9. Car Refrigerator 12 Volt, Portable Freezer Fridge For Car Plugin Cooler with Compressor 23 Quart (22L) -8°F-50°F Electric Coolers for Vehicles Camping Truck Travel RV Boat 12V/24V DC 110V/240V AC

RV Refrigerator Replacement - How to Replace your RV or Camper Fridge? 16

Features:

  • ‎‎23 x 13 x 12 inches
  • Large Capacity
  • Fast Cooling & Energy Saving

A Car refrigerator is perfect for those who have electric-only refrigerators in their RV or camper. This unit will solve any issues when you need to empty your fridge for transit. They are great for having lunch and drinks at your fingertips while traveling as a bonus.

This unit is large at 23 quarts. It uses either a 12-volt plug or a 110v plug. This unit will adjust the temperature to negative 8 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to keep frozen food frozen.

This model cools quickly and is ready to go in just 15 minutes. It has cup holders on its top, and its portability makes it easy to move to a boat.

RV Refrigerator Replacement - How to Replace your RV or Camper Fridge? 17

Pros

  • Large
  • 110v or 12-volt
  • Portable
  • Can be a Freezer

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Difficult to Clean
  • Requires Constant Power

10. Koolatron Slim Compact P20 Thermoelectric Iceless 12V Cooler Warmer, 17L / 18 Quart Capacity, For Camping, Travel, Truck, SUV, Car, Boat, RV, Trailer, Tailgating, Made in North America

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Features:

  • 17.25 x 8.75 x 16 inches
  • Space-saving Travel Cooler
  • Warming And Cooling Functions

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Koolatron offers this slim, compact cooler and warmer combo. Yes, this model keeps your food cold, but also, if you need to keep your food warm while in transit, this is the unit for you. Its 12-volt plug will allow it to go from camper to truck to boat with ease. A 110v adapter plug can also be purchased separately.

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This cooler/warmer combo holds 18 quarts. It has a slim, compact design to save space. This model is available from 9.8 quarts up to 52 quarts. 

This unit would work well for those with an electric refrigerator and who need something for transit. This wins the best bang for your buck when buying a 12-volt cooler. It is so versatile you will find it handy, and your kids will want to borrow it.

Pros

  • Slim and Compact
  • Cold or Hot
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Must be Connected to Power
  • 110v adapter not Included
  • Only cools to 40 degrees Farenheight

FAQs for RV or Camper Refrigerators

How long do RV refrigerators last?

How long do RV refrigerators last is a loaded question. There are many different factors. Most will last 11 to 14 years with proper care. The type of unit and environment can change its longevity. It is important to note that some larger RV refrigerators require ventilation. Most RV and campers are already set up to allow ventilation. It will be as easy with smaller fridges to ensure it does not sit flush against the wall or block the unit’s vents.

How do I Keep Doors Shut During Transit?

There are many gadgets on the market to help keep you from finding everything in your fridge on the floor when you arrive at your site. Keeping your refrigerator doors closed can be tricky. This 5 Pack Refrigerator Door Locks are great and easy to use. These are not like those complicated baby-proof designs that can drive you crazy trying to open.

How do I keep my refrigerator from getting moldy while stored?

So here is the answer to the question every new RV owner wants to know. When your rig is parked, you must keep your refrigerator doors propped open. I like to clean mine with a mold preventer or blocker before I prop my doors open. It is as simple as cutting a pool noodle or pipe insulation and installing, as seen here. You can find a pool noodle on the boat or at your local dollar store during warm months. If it is winter, grab some pipe insulation at your local hardware store.

Conclusion

Finding a replacement for an RV or camper refrigerator can be overwhelming when you do not have good information. I hope you have found this research and review helpful. The hard part should be over if you know how much space you have and how and where you will be using your fridge.

For overall ease and versatility, our top choice is the Norcold Polar 3-Way AC/LP/DC 8 cubic feet Refrigerator with Cold Weather Kit, Right Swing Doormost. Its ability to maintain power during transit, off-grid or drydocking, and when connected to electricity makes it an easy choice. It has built-in door locks for transit and an LCD thermostat display. It is the top on the line for RV refrigerators.

You do not have to start with a sizeable expensive refrigerator. Keep in budget. Remember, our RV and campers should be a source of relaxation, enjoyment, good memories, and great food. So let’s get to traveling and cooking while we enjoy the bonfire and the stars.

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About Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guides in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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