The RV Refrigerator
By Mark Polk
The refrigerator in your RV will work off of LP gas or electricity. Itís not like the refrigerator in your house. An RV refrigerator doesnít have a compressor, or any moving parts for that matter. It works off of the principle of absorption. Instead of applying cold directly, the heat is drawn out, or absorbed. The theory is, when there is an absence of heat there is cold. Basically your RV refrigerator uses heat, either from an electric heating element or LP gas flame. The heat starts a chemical reaction and then through evaporation and condensation causes it to cool. It also works off of gravity, freezing the freezer compartment first and then dropping down to the refrigerator compartment.
The initial cool down process can take four to six hours. You should turn the refrigerator on the day before you plan to leave on a trip, and before you put any food in it. When you do load the refrigerator the food you put in should already be cold, and the food put in the freezer should already be frozen. Putting cold food in the refrigerator, rather than adding warm food, lets the refrigerator work more efficiently. One common mistake made is to over pack the refrigerator. There has to be space between the foods to allow for air to circulate throughout the compartment. In most situations you will have access to a store where you can buy food. A two to three day supply should be enough.
Try to limit the amount of times you open the refrigerator or freezer doors and the length of time you leave the doors open. Every time the door is opened it loses a few degrees of heat. On a hot summer day it won't take long to lose all of its cooling capacity.
Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101
RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books. http://www.rveducation101.com/
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