The Pros and Cons of Gas Absorption RV Refrigeration

The Mortons on the Move
Tom & Caitlin Morton are full-time RVers and travel writers. They share educating, entertaining and inspiring articles about RV Vacation Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living.

The gas absorption-style refrigerator is the most common type of fridge found in RVs and uses a chemical process instead of an electric compressor to keep things cool. This type of fridge burns propane to generate heat which powers a series of tubes containing an ammonia water solution to cool the refrigerator.

One of the biggest pros is that this type of fridge is very versatile and can run on multiple power sources like solar panels, generators or battery banks. Another pro is that it is more durable and rugged than its compressor counterparts. These fridges also typically take less maintenance than compressor fridges.

The main con to this type of fridge is that it can take a long time to get cold, especially in hot weather. This can be a problem if you are camping and want to store foods and drinks for several days. Another con is that if you are in an unlevel location the ammonia/water solution can build up inside the fridges piping and restrict air flow. This can lead to a slow leak or even a complete blockage.

If you are looking to avoid this issue, it is a good idea to store items that can easily be eaten/drinkable in your cooler and only have your food and beverages in the fridge when needed. Adding a fridge fan can help with circulation as well. It is also a good idea to keep your fridge full of ice and clean the fridge periodically to avoid any problems. rv refrigeration

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