RV Refrigerator Replacement – Time For A Residential Fridge?

What happens when it’s RV refrigerator replacement time? Should you just replace the old fridge with the same or similar RV refrigerator?

Well, these days you have more options to choose from, including residential refrigerators.

So let’s talk about RV refrigerators vs residential refrigerators for your RV.

And first of all, it has to be said that RVs present unique challenges for keeping your food cold!

There’s no question about that. Or at least a lot more challenges than you would experience in a regular home.

So at some point a lot of RVers start thinking about replacing that RV refrigerator, or gas absorption refrigerator, with a residential fridge instead.

Watch my video on RV refrigerators vs residential refrigerators

And let’s see what are the pros and cons of going either way. Because there’s no one right choice for all RVers.

Listen to my podcast on RV refrigerators vs residential refrigerators here

Table of Contents

RV Refrigerator Replacement – Gas Absorption Pros

So let’s start with the pros of going with a normal RV, or gas absorption refrigerator.

Gas absorption refrigerator
An example of an RV gas absorption refrigerator

And the first pro is that they are versatile. In fact, they can run on multiple power sources, and that’s great!

Because if one power source is not available for any reason, you can run it on a different one instead.

Then the second pro is that they are a low power draw on the electric side of your RV. And that’s always a good thing for power management.

Pro number three, and this is a big one, is that they are very good for boondocking. And that’s great for all of you folks that like to dry camp.

You know, maybe you like to go out and camp in places where nobody’s around.

Well then, a gas absorption RV refrigerator is made for that scenario. Because they can be run on propane , and not just electrical power.

And you’re going to really love that! Because you can run your refrigerator as long as you’ve got enough propane on hand.

More RV Refrigerator Pros

Now the next pro is that RV refrigerators are lighter than residential refrigerators. So they save weight in the RV.

And remember everything comes back to weight in an RV eventually. So it’s important to save as much as you can.

And RV refrigerators do that well. Especially if they happen to be installed in an RV slide.

That’s because you’ve got to make sure you don’t overload the slide mechanism. And too much weight can easily do that.

Now the other point is that RV refrigerators already fit right in to your RV if it was installed at the factory.

In fact, in many cases, it sort of seems like they put the refrigerator in and built the rest of the RV all around it.

But the point is that once it’s installed in an RV from the factory, RV refrigerator replacement is fairly straightforward.

It’s located in a place that’s made for it. So all you’ve got to do is just replace it when it becomes unusable at some point. And that’s a pro to consider!

The last pro is that there are no moving parts in an RV refrigerator.

In other words, let’s say that you have a gas absorption RV refrigerator. And you go down the road in your RV jostling along as you go.

Most likely it will usually handle RV travel on the road very well without anything breaking. Because that’s what they’re made to do!

So all of those are pros for RV gas absorption RV refrigerators.

RV Refrigerator Cons

But there are also cons with them when it comes to RV refrigerator replacement too.

And let’s start with the number one con. In fact, it’s the biggest one for a lot of people.

And that is that they are usually fairly small. In other words, you have less cubic feet of of actually storage space for food in an RV refrigerator.

So suppose you have an RV refrigerator. And you put one right next door to it that’s a residential refrigerator the same size.

Well then, you’re going to usually have many more cubic feet of food storage in the residential fridge. And that’s huge!

I mean we all would like to have maybe a little more area than what we have in our RV refrigerator, right?

The second con to consider is that it costs more to replace when it’s RV refrigerator replacement time.

And that’s especially true when we’re getting into the larger gas absorption RV refrigerators.

In fact, they can cost three thousand dollars or more just for the refrigerator itself. And then the installation has to be figured in as well.

Now for con number three. RV fridges are just more sensitive to hot temperatures and to temperature changes.

A lot of people notice this in the summer time. That’s when all of a sudden that ice cream just isn’t really hard anymore.

And in really hot weather, the refrigerator compartment doesn’t always stay in the most desirable range either.

That’s because they are sensitive to extreme temperatures changes. And that’s a con that must be considered!

More RV Fridge Cons

Another con is that RV refrigerators take a long time to initially cool down.

So when you want to go camping, you had better take about a day to get that RV refrigerator up and going.

Because it takes many hours to do that, especially in hot weather.

Moving along, the next con is that almost all RV refrigerators will require some kind of defrosting.

Yes, there really isn’t any kind of automatic defrosting mechanism with these kind of fridges.

So if you’re in a humid area, you could be defrosting your RV gas absorption refrigerator almost every month.

And that means taking everything out of the fridge first. Then actually defrosting it manually before putting everything back in again.

And it can take a bit of time and effort to do that. Time that could be spent doing other things.

Watch my video on how to defrost an RV refrigerator

The final con is that RV gas absorption fridges need to be pretty much level to work properly.

Of course, there is some give and take on that. But you don’t want to get too far off of level.

And that’s because a gas absorption refrigerator works on chemical reactions. So to facilitate that, it has to be in a more or less level state.

And that is certainly not as versatile as most a residential refrigerators can be.

All right, those are the pros and cons of gas absorption rv refrigerators. So now let’s start on residential fridges.

RV Refrigerator Replacement – Residential Refrigerator Pros

RV residential refrigerator
Example of an RV residential refrigerator

And the number one pro for them is having more food storage. That’s really the big one, isn’t it?

Number two is that they’re much cheaper to buy. Remember, we talked about how gas absorption fridges can cost three thousand dollars or more.

Well, if you get a residential fridge about the same size, you may be only spending a few hundred dollars. Or at the most maybe a thousand or so.

And that’s definitely a big difference in cost.

Pro number three is that residential refrigerators cool down quick. Usually just a few hours after you plug it in, you’re going to notice the difference.

It should be nice and cool in your fridge, and really cold in your freezer.

Now the fourth pro for residential fridges is they work much better in hot weather. And they’re more consistent with temperature changes in general.

In fact, a lot of people even put them out in a shed or garage at home. And they can then use them for storage of extra things they want to keep cold.

That’s because they can be out in temperature extremes and still function rather normally in most cases.

More RV Residential Refrigerator Pros

Now the next pro is that they often have a longer life span.

In fact, most residential refrigerators will probably last between 18 to 20 years.

Whereas RV gas absorption refrigerators are usually known to only last somewhere between 10 to 15 years instead.

And now the last pro for the residential refrigerator is it’s frost free capability.

That means that there’s so little maintenance that is needed for a residential fridge.

Especially as opposed to having to manually defrost gas absorption refrigerators on a regular basis.

Well now, let’s talk about the cons too. Because there are cons for residential fridges as well.

RV Residential Fridge Cons

And number one is that you probably will need to make changes to your RV to get a residential refrigerator to fit in it properly.

That’s because RVs were made to have an RV fridge. So to put a residential fridge in, very often you’ve got to make some extensive modifications.

And that means you may lose storage in your RV when you do. Because the extra room for the residential refrigerator often comes from an available storage area.

The next con to consider is that residential refrigerators are often heavier. And sometimes by quite a bit.

So that means it’s going to contribute more toward the overall weight of your RV.

And if you’re already at the limit of your gross vehicle weight rating, that’s going to be an issue.

Also, if you have your refrigerator in an RV slide-out, you’ve got to be extra careful about adding weight.

And that’s because you have to make sure that the slide-out mechanism is able to handle it.

And that is a real consideration to make before an RV refrigerator replacement takes place.

More RV Residential Fridge Cons

The number three con is that you most likely are going to need a bigger battery bank to run a residential refrigerator too.

Especially for times when you are boondocking or dry camping.

That’s because they only run on electric. And most battery banks in RVs are not really going to be up to the job.

So when you buy that residential fridge, very often you’re going to need a bigger and better battery bank too.

And maybe even a bigger and better inverter as well. Because that’s what converts 12 volt power to 120 volts to run that residential refrigerator when you’re not plugged into shore power.

Now for the fourth con. And that is that just to get a residential refrigerator into your RV may be a real challenge.

In fact, in many cases they won’t go through the door at all. They’re just too big.

So a lot of times, RV techs will take out a window to get it inside the RV.

Or if it’s a motorhome, they may have to even take out the windshield to get that refrigerator in or out of the RV.

And that’s quite a process to watch. But it’s something that’s a lot more work to do for an RV refrigerator replacement.

Now the last con is that a residential fridge is not designed to be jostled around going down the road in an RV.

It was designed to sit on a flat stationary floor in a residential home.

Of course, to be fair most people don’t have a lot of problems with that.

But some people do. And they have issues with things coming loose regularly. Things that just have to be repaired from time to time.

Which Kind Of Refrigerator Should You Choose For Your RV?

All right, those are the pros and cons of both RV gas absorption refrigerators and residential fridges.

Now what kind of RVer would be best for each type of fridge? Well, here’s my take on the subject:

I feel that an RV gas absorption refrigerator is really best for part-time RVers. Or maybe vacation travelers or weekend warriors.

Also they can be a good choice for boondockers. People who like to be out and away from everything and are going to be unplugged while camping.

In those situations, an RV fridge works very well for that due to its versatility.

Also, for those who like to stay in more moderate temperatures.

That means that you’re not seeing a lot of extremes that could affect the way your refrigerator cools.

Now for a residential refrigerator, it would be a good choice for fulltime RVers. For people who are actually living in their RV for a long while.

In this case, having a residential refrigerator just makes everything more easy, simple and comfortable.

And it works especially well for those who like to spend almost all their time in campgrounds or RV parks.

Since they’re going to be hooked up to the grid anyway, that extra power draw for the residential fridge will not mean anything to them because they’re hooked up to shore power.

Also, residential fridges work well for those who could be camping in hot weather for a while.

In that scenario they’re going to really see the benefit of having a residential fridge.

That’s because as I mentioned earlier, residential fridges just handle temperature extremes better.


Now let me say that either kind of refrigerator can work very well. And there’s no one choice here that’s a good solution for everybody.

So consider the pros and the cons that I’ve covered in this article.

Then compare them with your personal RV travel and camping habits.

And if you do, I’m sure that you will make the decision that is best for you.

Have safe and happy travels my friends!

How To Keep An RV Cool In Summer – Tips That Work

This article is all about how to keep an RV cool in summer. Because nobody wants to be camping in their RV and be miserable while they’re doing it.

So here are some of my very best tips that I’ve learned about how to stay cool in your RV. And they are tips that we have learned during our full-time RVing adventures.

Watch my video on how to keep an RV cool in summer

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website

How To Keep An RV Cool In Summer – Air Conditioners

The number one tip is make sure that you get your air conditioners serviced regularly. And keep the filters clean too.

Your RV air conditioners may seem like they can just run forever without any attention. But once a year you need to have them serviced.

Now you could have someone do it for you. In fact it’s not usually very expensive to do that.

Or you could actually do it yourself. There’s several videos on YouTube about how to perform the annual maintenance on your air conditioners.

That way you can keep them running at maximum efficiency. But you also need to keep your A/C filters clean too.

That’s because RVs are not airtight. So they pull in a lot of dust. And that dust gets caught in the A/C filters.

My recommendation is to clean them about once a month. Or sometimes even more than that if you’re in a really dusty and dirty area.

You need to pull those filters down and vacuum them. That gets all the dust and dirt out out of them.

Now if the filters are really dirty, then you may need to wash them instead. And then dry them out and vacuum them afterward. Or even replace them all together.

Just make sure that you keep your filters clean. When they clog up, the efficiency of your air conditioners is going to drop dramatically. So be sure to service your air conditioners and keep the filters clean.

How To Keep An RV Cool In Summer – Using Shade Wisely

My next tip is all about shade. And you’re going to hear about that a lot in this article.

Shade helps a lot in the summertime. So when you come to a campground ask them if you can have a campsite in the shade. Or even when you’re making your reservations you can ask for a shaded campsite.

If they do have a shaded spot available, make good use of that. Because shade is going to keep the temperature down inside your RV. So use every bit of shade that you can when you are camping.

Now my next tip is don’t wait to turn on your air conditioner until the RV has already heated up a lot.

Unfortunately, a lot of people do this. But they really shouldn’t. In fact, when you notice that it’s starting to heat up a little bit in the RV, get those air conditioners on.

Because if you wait until it gets hot in there, you put that air conditioner in a hole. And it’s got to climb out of that hole to cool the RV.

It’s really not going to function at its best efficiency that way either. But if you start off when it’s still relatively cool, it should be able to maintain that as it goes.

And it runs at a much more efficient rate that way. So don’t wait until it’s really hot inside the RV to turn your air conditioners on.

Using Awnings To Keep An RV Cool In Summer

My next tip is to use your RV awning as much as possible to shade that side of your RV. Especially if that’s the side that’s always in the sun.

Really, the awning is a built-in shade for your RV. And it’s a great way to have your own shade and bring it with you.

But a word of caution here too. If you use your awning for shade, you have to watch it carefully. That’s because awnings can’t be out when the wind is up.

So if it gets very windy, you’ve got to take the awning in. And that’s just the way it is.

But if it’s not windy out, then put the awning out and shade that side of your RV. You’ll notice a huge difference if you do.

The next tip is to use window awnings on your RV if you have them. Now a lot of towables don’t have that. But many motorhomes do.

So use your window awnings. They are those little shades that come out over your window. We have them on our RV. And it always makes a huge difference in the room where we deploy them.

How To Keep An RV Cool In Summer – Using Sun Shades

Now the next tip that I want to give you is about using a sun shade for your awning area. Of course, the awning is great. But you can take that one step further and use a sun shade like you see here.

How to keep an RV cool in summer using an awning sun shade
Awning sun shade

Click here to view RV awning sun shades

And that’s going to extend the shade even further in that area. Also, you’ll notice that the shade will really drop the temperature under the awning considerably.

You can get sun shades for the front of the awning. And you can also get them for the sides of the awning as well.

Click here to view awning side sun shades

A lot of folks don’t know you can do that. But yes, there are side awning shades as well. And that can lower the temperature under the awning even further.

So you can enjoy the outside even longer by having it really nice and cool under your awning.

Now my next tip is to use a sun shade for your motorhome windshield. And this is super important because windshields on motorhomes are huge heat conductors.

And they conduct the heat right into your RV. So you need to find a way to take that heat and reflect it out of the RV instead.

And having a good windshield sun shade is a great way to do that. Also, you can get ones that are relatively inexpensive like you see right here.

Class A windshield sun shade
Inexpensive RV windshield sun shade

Click here to view Class A RV windshield shades

Click here to view Class C RV windshield shades

Or you can get the ones that are more permanent. They often snap on or are put on with magnets. But they’re quite a bit more expensive.

Class A windshield sun shade set
Better RV windshield sun shade

Click here to view higher quality Class A RV windshield sun shades

These kind of RV windshield sun shades look great. And they do a really good job. Also, they’ll last for years and years.

So make sure that you keep that motorhome windshield shaded. It will make a big difference inside your RV!

How To Keep An RV Cool In Summer When Cooking Meals

The next tip is to cook your meals outside your RV. Or just use cool meals instead when it’s really hot.

When you put a stove or oven on inside your RV, it’s fighting against the effects of your air conditioner. And if it’s a really hot day, the air conditioner is probably going to lose.

So a great way to avoid that is to just do your cooking right outside under the awning. That way you can enjoy the awning too.

And you can set a table up out there and use things like a Blackstone griddle. There’s a lot of RVers that use those to cook their meals on.

Blackstone griddle
Blackstone griddle – click the image to learn more

Or you can use a an electric griddle if you want too. You could also use a grill or a smoker to cook your meals outside.

RV gas stove
Gas camping stove – click the image to learn more
Coleman portable grill
Coleman portable grill – click the image to learn more

There’s all kinds of things that can be used to cook food outside the RV And when you do, all that heat is not trapped inside your RV instead. So use the suggestion of cooking outside as much as you can on hot days.

The other way to do it is to just choose cool meals inside on the really hot days. It’s your choice, and both of those suggestions work well to keep your RV cool.

Insulate Those Windows And Vents To Keep Your RV Cool

My next suggestion is if you’re in a really high heat area, use Reflectix on your RV. It’s a material that’s insulated and has reflective covers on both sides.

Click here to view Reflectix material

We use it a lot on our RV on really hot days, like you might find in Arizona in the summertime. We cut it to the size of our windows and then we’ll tape it in place over the window area.

And you know what? It works great! Because it reflects that heat back out of the RV instead of allowing it in through our windows.

My next suggestion is to install roof vent insulators and skylight insulators in your RV. That’s because RV skylights are one of the biggest sources of heat that you can imagine.

So we put foam insulation up into our skylight. And then we use tension bars to keep it in place as you see here. And it has worked extremely well for us.

How to keep an RV cool in summer - our RV skylight insulator
Our skylight insulator installed

Also, heat can easily come in through your roof vent fans. So you can get insulated pillows or cushions that go up in there to keep that area cool.

Click here to view RV fan vent insulators

And when you do that for your vents and skylight, you’re keeping that cool air inside your RV. And keeping the hot air out.

How About Portable Air Conditioners?

But what if your air conditioner can’t keep up with the heat outside? My next suggestion is to get a portable air conditioner to help out. Especially on the really hot days.

Click here to view a portable A/C unit like we use

Some folks ask, how do you run a portable air conditioner in an RV? Well, if you’ve got a 50 amp service, it probably is not going to be an issue.

You can just plug it into a outlet inside your RV and run it. But if you have a 30 amp service like a travel trailer, you may have to do it differently.

If you look out on the electric pole where you plug in, you’ll often find a 120 volt plug-in or outlet. And you could run an extension cord to it through a window or a slide.

You could then hook it up to your portable air conditioner. And then you have two air conditioners running, instead of just one.


My next suggestion is make use of campground pools to cool off and lower your body temperature. Because when your body temperature rises, you’re probably not going to get cool very quickly.

So it’s a good idea to go use that pool to cool yourself down. And it’ll make everything more comfortable for you on really hot days.

Finally, if the heat is too much where you’re at, there’s wheels on your RV. So use them to go to a cooler area for a while.

Well, those are my best tips for maintaining your cool in really hot weather.

There’s a lot of fun things to do in the summertime when you’re camping in your RV. And there is no need to be uncomfortable and miserable.

Especially while you’re trying to enjoy your RV adventures. But if you follow the tips I gave you here, you can stay cool in your RV. Even in the hottest days of summer.

Have safe and happy travels my friends!

Silver Springs State Park And Campground – Our Review

The Silver Springs State Park and Campground is located near the beautiful township of Silver Springs. And it is only about 7-8 miles away from Ocala, FL.

The physical address of Silver Springs State Park is 5656 E. Silver Springs Blvd. Silver Springs, FL. This is the main entrance of the Park itself where the attraction is.

About a mile away is where the campground entrance is located though. The actual address of the campground is 1425 NE 58th Ave. in Ocala, FL.

There is also an Equestrian entrance that you can look up online, if you need that information.

Silver Springs State Park Campground

Not enough can be said about this beautiful campground which is located in a gorgeous area of Florida. It is an area that is not quite as congested as many other areas of Florida to visit.

It is reminiscent of what we lovingly refer to as “Old Florida”. Meaning that it is where the landscape is not altered to look so groomed and pristine. It has a very natural look.

And there is wildlife galore. Also, fantastic hiking trails are located all through this region. Not just hiking, but bicycle, canoe and kayak trails to explore too.

Within about 45 minutes, there are many other places to explore that are part of the Florida state park system.

There are several bubbling springs with gallons and gallons of fresh water coming up through the aquifer. And usually they allow non or electric powered boating in these areas.

There is also swimming in water that remains a constant temperature all year round. These are great places to visit, particularly on a warm day. But enough about the area for now.

Silver Springs State Park Campground Features

The campground, what can you expect? Well, this is a very nice state park campground. But there are only about 59 sites though.

Click here for a campground map of Silver Springs State Park

They have recently upgraded all their electric to include 50 amp as well as 30 amp at all the RV sites. And as with many state parks, there are very few sites with sewer.

In fact this park has more than most state parks with 13 sites with sewer connections. But that really is not a problem. Why?

Because they have a double dump station to take care of that part of your camping needs. Which works well if you are not able to reserve a site with a sewer hookup.

The sites themselves have plenty of room in them and plenty of space between them. Most are deep enough to hold a larger rig and remain pretty level for the most part.

You definitely have a feeling of privacy when camping in these spots. How are the access roads though?

Well, to get to the campground itself is right off a main route in Forida called State Route 40. And the road leading from the ranger station to the campground itself is paved and well taken care of.

The roads in the campground are not paved all the way through. But they are well packed and very easy to navigate, even for large RV’s.

Silver Springs State Park Amenities

How about park amenities? The bath houses are very clean and well kept up. They even offer a washer/dryer if you are in need of those.

Campground WI-FI is not offered, probably because of the close proximity to Ocala. But there seems to be no issue with cell service from the major cell carriers.

So, you should be able to have easy connectivity through your phone or hot spot.

They also have a nice little playground for the kids if you have a family. And right from the campground itself you can go right onto quite a few hiking trails.

But what is really nice is that when you stay in this campground, you have free admission to Silver Springs itself.

Access To Silver Springs

This is an area with beautiful gardens to walk through. And it is home to the famous glass bottom boats (which are an additional cost, of course).

There is much information about the history of Silver Springs itself to enjoy. And there is an eating establishment on site and activities for the kids too.

They keep the area immaculate and it is such a peaceful place to walk through. Or you can just sit on the huge deck in rocking chairs and reflect.

Also, you can either bring your own or rent canoes and kayaks to navigate down the Silver River. It is crystal clear and you can see the bottom with all the fish and turtles swimming beside you as you go.

There are beautiful river banks with even some monkeys that live there. They are holdovers from when they had a wildlife zoo as part of the Silver Springs attraction.

So as you can see, this campground is unique and does offer a lot.

Silver Springs State Park – Surrounding Area

As was mentioned at the the beginning of the article, the area is within about 45 minutes or so of many other springs and parks to visit.

Many of them are free to access. And if you have not seen an area like this before, it is so interesting and beautiful.

If you choose to go a little further to the west for a day, there are other great places to see. Like Homossasa Springs or Weeki Wachee. And they are known for the manatees in their waters.

How far away from civilization are you at this campground? Not far at all. Silver Springs township is only about 1 mile away.

It offers restaurants and grocery stores. But Ocala itself is only about 6-8 miles away.

And there is a Walmart on Route 40 on the way to Ocala along with Harbor Freight and Home Depot. Ocala offers anything you want as far as groceries and restaurants.

Just so you know, Ocala is one of the RV strongholds in Florida. Although not as many RV’s as perhaps the Tampa area. But it has many RV dealers and repair shops.

So if any issues happen with your RV, you should be able to get it taken care of there.

So how far is this campground from some of the bigger cities that we hear of in Florida? Well, Orlando area is about 85 miles away or about 1 1/2 hours.

And Tampa is about 100 miles away or almost 2 hours. Just far enough away to enjoy the quiet of the real “Florida” at Silver Springs.

Our Conclusion

So, with all this information do you have any idea on how we would rate this campground? Definitely the area would be a big 5 stars. And the campground we would rate as 4.5 stars.

We would consider it a 5 star campground, but for two reasons we would rate it a bit lower. First, because it is so loved, it is sometimes difficult to get reservations. So booking out quite a bit in advance is usually necessary.

Secondly, many RVers like amenities such as pools, and other activities such as that. So since they do not offer those things, we will lower it to the 4.5 star rating.

Would we visit here again? In a hot second!!!! We have been here before three times, and would definitely go back again!

Thank you Silver Springs for a beautiful park and well kept campground!!!!

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