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FAQs

How to Remove an RV Fridge? Here’s How to Do It Right

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by Yessenia Blanda

/ fact checked by Sam Howard

how to remove an rv fridge

What’s good about RVs is you can experience the wilderness without leaving behind the comfort of technology. It has everything you need; shelter, clean running water, and a fridge to store food.

But let’s face it, sometimes the default fridge of your RV just doesn’t cut it. Maybe it’s too small, or it doesn’t have the features you like. Don’t worry because you can replace your RV’s fridge, and we’re here to tell you how.

While it may seem like a daunting task, removing your RV’s fridge is easy. Keep reading our guide on how to remove an RV fridge.

Step-by-Step Process

You will need:

  • A small stool or a sturdy box.
  • A Philipps Screwdriver, you’ll need an 8-incher for this one.
  • An adjustable wrench.
  • And a wireless electric drill with a Philipps head.

Step 1: Empty your fridge and check your fridge’s model.

residential-refrigerator

First things first, clear the contents of your fridge. Place any perishable food items in a freezer and store the other items.

You need to know what you’re dealing with and determine the model of your RV’s fridge so you can fix the RV refrigerator or just install another camper refrigerator replacement for the motorhome.

This tells you the dimensions of your fridge and whether it’s a 2-way or 3-way type. This information will help you in the later steps, as well as inform you of the size and specs of your fridge if you’re planning to replace it with a newer model.

Step 2: Cut off your power and gas.

replace-rv-refrigerator

It should go without saying that you need to cut off your RV’s power supply and gas line before attempting to remove your fridge.

  • First, you need to switch off all the appliances inside your RV that are drawing power or gas. This will prevent any electrical damage to occur when you pull the plug.
  • Now, you have to either disconnect your RV from an external power source or use the RV battery disconnect switch to switch off your battery; this is usually found inside the battery compartment.
  • Next, you’re going to move outside and pop open the panel of your propane tank, simply turn the valve and voila.
  • As an extra precaution, you can turn your stove on and siphon off any residual gas within the gas line. Remember to switch it off after.

Step 3: Disconnect the AC and DC power cords, as well as the propane line.

Depending on your fridge’s model, it is either a 2-Way or 3-Way RV fridge, for the sake of the article, let’s use a Norcold N4150, a 3-Way compact RV refrigerator.

fix-rv-refrigerator

Since this model is a 3-Way type, it draws power from AC and DC electricity, as well as your RV’s propane tank.

Now, you need to find the exterior access panel of your fridge. Open your access panel and you’ll see the connections for the AC, DC, and propane line.

  • First, you’ll need to disconnect the AC power cord from its socket. This is by far the easiest and most straightforward process; just pull the plug.
  • Next, you’re going to disconnect the wires drawing from DC power. These wires are connected to a 12V plug and secured with screws, so you’ll need your screwdriver to disconnect these wires.
  • Finally, it’s time to disconnect the propane line. The hose is secured with a nut, so you’ll need your wrench to disconnect it with ease.
  • Before moving to the next step, you’ll need to unscrew 2 of 6 screws securing the fridge. The first two are found behind the fridge, what tool you use will depend on the type of screws used.

Step 4: Unscrew the remaining screws

  • The last 4 screws are found on the upper and lower area of the fridge. There’s two at the top and two at the bottom, you will need to use the electric drill for this one.
  • Depending on your fridge’s model, the upper screws may be hidden behind a panel, a tape, or a screw cap. This should be easy enough to remove.
  • Once you have all the screws, keep them in a safe place for storage. Remember to keep in mind where each screw goes.

Step 5: Pull out the RV fridge.

dometic-fridge-door-panel-removal

  • You will first need to clear the space inside your RV to accommodate the fridge. Considering the fridge’s weight, it’s ideal to ask for extra help in removing it.
  • Place the small stool or box below the level of the fridge. The stool or box needs to be strong enough to support the weight of the fridge.
  • Now, you can remove Norcold RV refrigerator from camper. Place both hands on each side of the fridge, grip it firmly and pull. Wiggle to loosen the fridge before pulling, repeat until it’s out.

FAQs

remove-norcold-rv-refrigerator

How hard is it to remove an RV refrigerator?

With the right tools and the right know-how, you can take out an RV small fridge in less than an hour. Meanwhile, taking out a 12-cubic 5th wheel fridge might take you more than an hour and require a helping hand.

Can you replace an RV fridge with residential?

Yes, you can replace an RV refrigerator with a residential fridge for an RV. However, there are lots of factors to consider for this type of installation.

An RV fridge is built to be used on the road to handle the stress of traveling on a bumpy road inside a closed space.

You must also consider their technical differences. A residential refrigerator is not built to suit the conditions of an RV. This affects the lifespan and efficiency of your fridge.

Besides, without the right measurements, too big RV fridge won’t fit through door.

Can I use the same steps to remove a Dometic RV refrigerator?

Yes, you can. Dometic fridges follow the same removal procedure as a Norcold fridge.

How do I remove ammonia from the RV refrigerator?

If you smell ammonia, you should contact a professional to help you. Ammonia leaks pose a hazard and must be dealt with with caution.

If you still smell ammonia, open your windows to ventilate the RV. Next, fill a bowl with fresh coffee grounds to filter the smell. You can also buy a portable air purifier.

How can I do a Dometic fridge door panel removal?

Most door panels of RV fridges can be easily removed, and your Dometic fridge door panel is no exception.

RV fridge door panels are slid into the door’s frame and secured with two plastic trim pieces on the top and bottom. These two pieces snap into the frame easily.

Use a flathead screwdriver to pry open the upper trim piece slowly. Once it’s off, the door panel should slide up easily.

Why does my RV fridge use propane gas?

Your RV fridge needs propane to function. This is because RV fridges are absorption refrigerators. These refrigerators use a process of absorbing heat instead of cooling food.

RV propane fridge uses propane to power this process, hence why your RV fridge uses propane gas to function.

Conclusion

Removing your RV’s fridge can look daunting, but it’s nothing that can’t be handled. Knowing how to remove an RV fridge is important if you want to do it easily and most of all, safely.

After emptying your fridge, the first thing you need to do is switch off all your appliances. Afterward, you’ll disconnect the AC and DC connections and your RV’s gas line. Then, you’re going to remove all the screws and wiggle and pull the fridge out.

You, then, will be able to get a vintage camper refrigerator or any appropriate-sized fridge for replacement.

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Yessenia
About
Yessenia Blanda

Hi, I’m Yessenia. I love traveling and being on the road, and I want to share my experience with people who are looking to have some adventures of their own. 

Whether you’re a new or experienced RVer, I hope you’ll find something here that helps you on your journey.

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