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The Difference Between RV Fridges & Residential Fridges

One of the biggest luxuries of traveling with an RV is having easy access to ice-cold beverages, fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses, and other perishable goods that would otherwise be impossible to bring if not for your RV's refrigerator. While all fridges are made to fulfill the same function of providing a cold environment for many of your groceries, not all fridges are made the same, and not all RVs are equipped with the same type of fridges. Many of today's modern RVs house residential refrigerators, just like the ones you see in stick-and-brick homes, while others house refrigerators specifically designed for RVs. Here we'll be making the distinction between RV fridges and residential fridges so you can learn the differences and decide which one is right for you!

Size Matters


size
Having a larger refrigerator means that you can store more goods which, in turn, means fewer trips to the grocery store. In terms of size, residential refrigerators typically offer more space and can accommodate more goods, which is one of their biggest advantages. Common sizes for residential refrigerators are 18, 20, and even 21-cubic feet. RV refrigerators on the other hand are considerably smaller, with the most common sizes being 4, 6, or 8-cubic feet.

Keep Your Cool


gravity
RV refrigerators are cooled using a process known as absorption refrigeration, which means there are no moving parts. This cooling method is significant and beneficial because without moving parts, there are fewer components that can be jolted and damaged during travel. In other words, RV refrigerators are far better equipped to handle the rigors of the road. The downside of absorption refrigeration is that unlike residential refrigeration, which uses a compressor to function, RV fridges use gravity. This means that in order to work properly, it is very important that your RV fridge stays level. Running an RV refrigerator for an extended period of time while your RV is uneven can cause significant damage, even if it is only tilted off by a degree or two.

More Power To You


power
If you like to take your RV into remote boondocking locations and isolated dry camping areas, RV refrigerators will most likely appeal more to your usage needs because they offer more options for power sources. RV fridges are typically advertised as either two-way units or three-way units, meaning they can work with both LP gas, electric power sources, and possibly your RV's house batteries. Alternatively, residential refrigerators require an electric power source and do not have LP options, although some do come with a large-scale inverter to work with your battery bank.

A Quick Fix


repairable
It can be difficult to say whether it's easier to repair an RV refrigerator or a residential refrigerator, but either option comes with its own challenges. For example, appliance centers will not have RV fridge parts in stock and their staff will most likely not know how to make the replacements needed, so you'll have to bring your unit into an RV service center. For residential refrigerators, the parts might be more accessible, but in the event that you need to replace the whole appliance, you will have a much harder time fitting it through the front door. Because of their size, it may be necessary to remove a slide out room in order to take out a residential fridge. There are advantages and disadvantages to both RV refrigerators and residential refrigerators, but both offer the same perks of preserving your groceries and cooling your drinks as you travel. Which type of refrigerator do you prefer? Let us know your opinion by leaving a comment!

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