RV Fridge Not Working on 12 Volt Battery

by Bob

My 1996 Wilderness Trailer's fridge will work on propane but not on battery.

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

I know that what I am about to ask may sound stupid, but I am going to ask it anyway. Are you sure that your Travel Trailer's Refrigerator is supposed to work on 12 Volts DC? Most common RV Refrigerators are called 2-way Refrigerators and are only designed to run on Propane or 120 Volt AC.

There are 3-way RV Refrigerators that run on Propane, 120 Volt AC and 12 Volt DC. These 3 way refrigerators have a separate 12 volt heating element to operate the Fridge. The problem is that these 12 Volt DC heating element systems can drain the RV's house batteries very quickly if the batteries are not receiving a constant charge and that is why that are not as commonly used in RVs as 2-way refrigerators are.

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If you determine that your fridge is a 3-way fridge the most common problem with these are that your house batteries are not fully charged and able to power the heating element, you have a blown 12 volt fuse or that the heating element itself has to be replaced and unfortunately there are quite a few other problems that can cause a 3-way Refrigerator not to work on 12 Volt DC.

Hope this helps.

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RVing Al

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