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Can You Plug in Just the RV Fridge?

Why Plug In the RV Fridge Only?

While it’s not something every RVer will want to do you can plug in just the RV fridge.

That means you can also unplug it if you don’t want it leeching power while not in use.

Related Product: Make sure your RV fridge is getting cold enough by adding a Camco thermometer (click to view on Amazon) to both the fridge and freezer.

Plugging in the RV fridge on its own can be useful if you want to measure how many watts it uses when on either electric or propane.

If you want to power it with a portable power station or small generator.

Or if you want to save on power when you plug it in at home to get it cold before a camping trip.

Increase the watts you can use in your RV when plugged into house outlets.

RV fridges use around 400 watts when turned to electricity. If you plug the fridge in separately you will reduce the load on the RV plug and be able to use power more inside the camper.

See Also: How To Make An RV Fridge Run More Efficiently -Back Wall Fix

Where is the RV Fridge Plug and Power Outlet?

RV refrigerators have an actual plug with its own outlet behind the fridge.

It can be accessed via the outer door that’s directly behind the fridge on the outside of the camper.

outside access door to the rv fridge with the plug and outlet behind
Access door directly behind the RV fridge on the outside of a motorhome.

If your RV fridge has two access doors, one up high and one down low, it will be behind the lower access door.

To open the access door turn the little black knobs on the top with a flat head screwdriver 1/4 of a rotation.

The notch for the screwdriver should be horizontal and you need to turn them so they are vertical.

Then pull the panel from the top first and it should come right off.

Behind the panel, you will find the gas pipes, burner, fuses, electric panel, and more.

See Also: Why Is It Important To Level Your RV?

RV fridge parts behind the outside access panel with the rv fridge plug and outlet on the left hand side
RV fridge plug and outlet are on the left hand side.

The main thing you are looking for is a black plug.

It’s usually plugged into a 15 amp outlet on either the left or right wall.

20 amp rv fridge plug you can use to plug the rv fridge directly into power
The plug is a standard 20 amp and the outlet looks just like what you find in a house.

The plug and outlet are basically the same as what you would find at home.

You can simply pull out the plug, attach it to an extension cord, and then plug that into a standard wall outlet.

This is also a fantastic way to plug an RV fridge into a portable power station or generator if you want to power it with electricity while boondocking.

See Also: BougeRV CR45 Portable Fridge Freezer Reviewed For Camping/RV

Frequently Asked Questions About RV Fridges

Where is an RV Fridge fuse?

Usually, the fuse to an RV fridge is located in the main breaker panel.

If it’s really old the fuses might be in the small electrical box that’s behind the fridge.

Most of the time it will be a 15 amp fuse in the breaker box.

It might also be a 20 amp fuse if the fridge outlet is connected to a lot of other things like the kitchen outlets.

RV Fridge is showing “lo dc” error code when plugged into shore power.

RV fridges need 12 volt power to run, even when plugged into electricity.

Inside every RV there is a converter that is supposed to convert 120 volt power to 12 volt so the shore power can run the 12 volt appliances.

If you are getting the “lo dc” code it means that the fridge isn’t getting the 12 volt power it needs.

If you’re plugged into shore power it could mean that the converter isn’t working correctly.

The converter is also where the RV battery charger is usually located. If it’s not working it probably isn’t charging your RV batteries.

If you have the RV batteries connected and you are getting the “lo dc” error code they might be dead because they aren’t getting charged by the RV.

RV freezer is getting cold but not the fridge

There are two main reasons why an RV fridge will not get cold but the freezer will.

If it happens when you run it on both electric and gas, your problem is probably a leak in the cooling pipes.

It’s really common for the ammonia in the cooling pipe system to leak out, especially in older fridges.

If you check behind the fridge and around the sides and see some yellow staining it’s a sign that there’s a leak.

If you have this issue the cooling unit will most likely need to be replaced since there’s no way to refill them.

If everything is working normally when you run it on electricity but not on gas it’s most likely a weak flame issue.

You can read more about that and how to fix it in this post here.

Does a propane RV fridge use battery power?

Yes, even when turned to the gas setting a propane RV fridge still needs some 12 volt power.

It needs electricity to run the small electronic part that controls the temperature, regulates the gas, and sparks the ignitor.

See Also: Best Deep Cycle RV Battery (AGM, SLA, 12V, 6V)

Do all RV refrigerators run on propane?

99% of the time an RV fridge will be able to run on both propane and electricity.

But in some of the extra large RVs that are mostly made for residential use, you might find a residential fridge that only runs on electricity.

Have any more questions about RV fridges and how to access the power plug? Leave a comment below. 

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

4 thoughts on “Can You Plug in Just the RV Fridge?”

  1. Good post. I would like to add one other potential fix for an absorption fridge that fails to cool on either gas or electricity: If there is no sign of yellow staining indicating an ammonia leak, there may be a blockage in the cooling pipe system. Before buying a new cooling unit, you can try “burping” the fridge by removing it, turning it upside down for a few minutes, and then re-installing it.

    • Thanks for the comment JS, I forgot about fridge burping.

      I heard of people getting good results with that method as well.

  2. My Dometic absorption fridge has no 12-volt, only 120 AC and propane, so if I want to power it on a long day’s drive to keep the food inside cold I’m thinking I could drill a hole to get an extension cord into the outdoor fridge compartment, plug it in to that and then connect it to our EcoFlow Delta Max. Any concerns about excess vibrations or fluctuating power to the fridge as long as the connection is secure and the power station in a stable spot?


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