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My RV's Fridge Will Not Work On Electric, What Is Wrong With It?

by Chris Wenzl
(Bellingham, WA)

I was on an extended stay and after about two months of continued use my fridge stopped working on electricity, it works just fine on gas. I can’t find any shorts or blown fuses.

ANSWER: Greetings Chris thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Since you have not told me what year RV you have or the make of the refridgerator you have; I am going to have assume a couple of things here. I assume that your fridge is a two way fridge; it either works off of propane or off of 120 volt electricity. Some older RVs had three way fridges that worked off of propane, 12 volt electricity and 120 volt electricity.

You state that you do not have any blown fuses. You state that you do not have any blown fuses. When a fridge is running off of 120 volt electricity it is wired through a circuit breaker just like you have in your house. You need to check for tripped circuit breakers in your RV's electrical compartment. If you find a tripped circuit breaker, reset it and try running the fridge on electric again. If the circuit breaker trips again when running on electric there is a very good chance that you have a shorted Electrical Refrigerator Heating Element.

If you have no tripped circuit breakers then my first guess is still that the Electrical Refrigerator Heating Element has gone bad. My second guess is that the Refrigerator Control Board has gone bad.

Unless you are comfortable replacing these items yourself, you may still have to take your RV in and have it checked out and repaired by a qualified RV Technician.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for My RV's Fridge Will Not Work On Electric, What Is Wrong With It?

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Fridge quit working
by: Eric

I cannot get it to even come on to see whether or not it will even operate on the propane side. It is a Norcold my unit is a 2004 Fleetwood Excursion lm pretty sure it's a 2 way since it runs off the generator but then it could be 3way because on the panel it has LP, AUX, and AC.

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refridgerator on elec.
by: Margaret

I meant to add that I did check the breakers and I didnt see any tripped. It is a Dometic..Thanks in advance

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Refridgerator on elec.
by: Margaret

Mine is a 2013.butane/250 I believe.Yes im a female, but mechanically inclined. My power cord got water in it and shorted everything.Replaced among other things, the converter now all is back to nomal but the fridge wont work on elec. I did look at the manual but it says call a technician.Fuses arent blown.I thought maybe the board is out. Does a fridge have a seperate heating element? I did have to replace the one on the water heater.

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camper fridge
by: Terry Moran

I have the same problem the camper fridge will not work on electric. I have a 2014 Keystone Hideout not sure what fridge it is. Runs on electric and then will go to gas while driving on the road. This will turn over by itself can you help.


Thank you

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Where to start
by: Anonymous

First you need to locate the repair manual for your fridge. It will detail what each wire and component is and give you the electrical tests you can do to find the problem.

For example my 3 way has a 12v and a 120v heating element, each has their own electrical resistance tests and a propane burner with its own troubleshooting chapter.

There are also thermostats, fuses on the circuit board, and a bunch of other things that can fail.


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refig not working on electric
by: Anonymous

how do you test the electric heating element for the frig??

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