How to Estimate the Costs of Replacing an RV Refrigeration Unit

When your RV fridge isn’t working properly it can be frustrating and expensive. The cost of a new cooling unit combined with labor to replace it can easily be more than the purchase price of an entire refrigerator. Here is a tip for estimating the costs of this repair: Find a price for a replacement cooling unit on one of the websites that sells them (RV Cooling Unit Warehouse, for example) and add about 50% to that number. That should get you pretty close to what a dealer will charge for the replacement and labor.

Absorption Refrigerators
These use propane to fuel a burner that heats complex ammonia mixture that then cools the food in the fridge. They are the best option for RVers who plan to do some boondocking where electricity isn’t available or needed. However, they take about 24 hours to cool down and can be less efficient in hot weather.

Compressor Refrigerators
These RV fridges use an electric compressor to push a liquid refrigerant through a small hole into a larger tube. This lowers the pressure of the liquid to its boiling point and it vaporizes, taking the heat with it. The vapor then goes to the fridge and the freezer compartments where it cools them. The vapor then returns to the compressor to repeat the cycle.

Keep in mind that this type of refrigerator uses a lot more power than an absorption model and the battery bank in your RV is probably not big enough to support it. Adding solar panels is a great solution to this problem as they can help keep the batteries charged while you’re camping. You should also consider upgrading your batteries to lithium or lead acid. rv refrigeration

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