Having an RV fridge is a little bit different than having a regular residential style refrigerator. RV fridges are NOT frost free like residential ones so as moisture gets into the freezer things tend to get a bit icy. The back wall of our freezer gets a thick layer of ice that we have to defrost every few months. We’ve even seen some freezers get a layer of ice on the top or bottom too!
The plus side of RV fridges is that they have the option to run off of electricity or propane. This makes them a great option for boondocking(dry camping)! The down side is that they can be a bit smaller than a residential fridge, have no ice maker, and of course the dreaded defrosting of the freezer every few months!
How quickly the ice builds up in your freezer will depend on a couple factors.
- How often you’re opening/closing the freezer door
- How long you have the door open when getting something out/putting something in
- How much moisture is in the air in a given location
There are several different methods to defrost your freezer. The one I’m sharing with you today is the method we’ve used from day one and is what’s worked the best for us. As with anything, do your own research and use common sense (aka don’t hold your hair dryer in one spot and melt the wall of the freezer)!
How to Defrost Your RV Freezer:
- You’ll want to first start by removing items from your freezer. We typically put our freezer items into the fridge. You could also put them in a cooler or insulated bag if you prefer. I like to try to wait to defrost when my freezer / fridge is almost empty and I’m needing to do a grocery trip. That way when I do my shopping I’ll have a nice clean fridge to put our food in.
2. Once all your items are moved out of the freezer, you’ll shut off the the fridge. If you put your freezer items in the fridge like I did, you’ll want to refrain from getting into the fridge until you’re ready to move the items back to the freezer. This process shouldn’t take very long so the food should be okay staying in there for a bit with the fridge turned off.
4. You’ll want lots of towels on hand as this can get a bit messy. You can use the towels to help sop up the ice that has melted. You can also use a cup or a bowl to to dump out the water into your sink.
5. Once most of the water is out and the ice is completely melted, you’ll want to finish drying out the freezer. Remember that any extra moisture you don’t wipe up will turn to frost when the freezer gets turned back on! I like to take the opportunity to wipe the freezer down with cleaner in case there are any food spills and since I’m already in there I might as well!
6. When your freezer is completely dry, go ahead and close the doors and turn the fridge back on. Before you return your frozen items to the freezer, you’ll want to wait until it gets nice and cold. I suggest using a temperature sensor in both your fridge and freezer to make sure they’re at the proper temperature.
7. Your freezer is cold so you’re good to put your frozen items back into the freezer and you’re done! Pretty simple right?
- Try to wait to defrost your freezer until it is mostly empty. Doing it with a fully stocked freezer and fridge will just make your life more difficult.
- Avoid storing fresh/warm foods in open containers. These types of items give off lots of water vapor.
- Limit time the doors are open.
- Cooling efficiency depends on air circulation- so pack items loosely and avoid shelf liners.
- Use a sensor to monitor the temperatures of both your fridge and freezer.
- The coldest part of your freezer is typically the bottom left (you’ll thank me when your ice cream doesn’t melt! 🤪).
We hope this helps prepare you for defrosting your freezer! Have you defrosted yours a different way? If so we’d love to know how you do yours!