RV Maintenance Made Easy: How to Upkeep Your RV’s Absorption Refrigerator

Jul 6, 2022 | Maintenance & Mods

RV Maintenance Made Easy: How to Upkeep Your RV’s Absorption Refrigerator

Here are a few troubleshooting and maintenance tips to help increase the longevity and efficiency of your RV’s absorption fridge.

By Brenda Puckett

It’s not uncommon for your home on wheels to require more attention than your sticks-and-bricks house. When you drive or tow your rig to the next destination, that intense vibration and movement can take a toll on things like appliances, joints, sealants, and your electrical, water, and propane systems, just to name a few.

So, how do you stay ahead of this regular wear and tear before it becomes a bigger problem? Preventative maintenance is key. Staying on top of daily, monthly, seasonal, and annual RV maintenance schedules gives peace of mind that you’re not only protecting your investment, but your personal safety, too. 

Here are a few of my top maintenance and troubleshooting tips for your RV’s absorption fridge.

RV Absorption Fridge Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips

Since the RV absorption refrigerator is one of the priciest appliances in your RV, you’ll want to make sure it stays in top condition. Here are a few tasks that you can do to keep it running smoothly.

Related What to Do When Your RV Fridge Isn’t Cooling

Preventative Maintenance

  • The absorption style refrigerator relies on air flow on the back side of the unit, as well as proper ventilation. Check the lower exterior area once per month and keep it free of debris, spiderwebs, and insects. Confirm that the rooftop vent is not being blocked by leaves or bird’s nests that would restrict the airflow.
  • Keeping the RV level will ensure proper cooling and prevent damage to the unit.
  • When not in use, power down the refrigerator, empty its contents, and keep the doors cracked to air it out.
RV fridge


  • Check the rubber door seals for both the freezer and refrigerator to ensure that there aren’t any gaps that would allow warm air to get inside.
  • The absorption style refrigerator doesn’t have a fan to circulate air, so avoid overpacking it. Consider using a small, battery-powered fan to distribute cool air throughout the interior of the fridge.  
  • If the refrigerator isn’t operating on one or all of its power sources, start with the basics: Are you plugged into shore power? Is the breaker turned on at the pedestal? Is the battery charged? Is there propane in your tanks and are the valves open? Next, take a look at the breaker panel and fuses to see if any are tripped or blown.
  • For your safety, call a certified RV technician when it comes to working on the 120-volt electrical or propane features of the refrigerator.

Related What to Do When Your RV Fridge Has a Meltdown

If you need to find a certified RV technician, use the Togo RV app’s “Find Service” feature to locate a technician near you. 

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Brenda Puckett

Brenda is a certified RV inspector, registered RV technician, National RV Training Academy technical assistant, Women's RV Basics training instructor, small business instructor for the National RV Training Academy, published contributor for Girl Camper magazine, and the creator of "52 Ways to Empower Women RVers" YouTube series.