Why is My Dometic RV Refrigerator Not Getting Cold? Let’s Find Out!

If you’re planning a trip in your RV or just trying to keep your food cool while on the road, having a functioning refrigerator is essential. However, it can be frustrating when your Dometic RV refrigerator is not getting cold. Luckily, this is a common problem, and there are several potential reasons behind it.

In this section, we will explore the common issues that can cause your RV refrigerator to not get cold. We will also provide solutions to help you troubleshoot and fix the problem, ensuring your fridge is running at its optimal performance.

Key Takeaways

  • Refrigerators are essential for RV trips and keeping food fresh.
  • It’s common for Dometic RV refrigerators to experience problems with cooling.
  • There are many reasons why your RV refrigerator may not be getting cold.
  • It’s important to systematically troubleshoot and address these issues to optimize cooling performance.
  • If you’re unable to fix the problem, contacting a professional technician is recommended.

Understanding RV Refrigerator Cooling Systems

If your Dometic RV refrigerator is not cooling, it’s essential to understand how RV refrigerator cooling systems work before jumping into troubleshooting. RV refrigerators use a combination of electricity, heat, and refrigerant to remove heat from the interior of the fridge and maintain a cool temperature.

The cooling system in an RV refrigerator consists of five main components:

RefrigerantA liquid that removes heat from the interior of the fridge.
CompressorA motor that compresses the refrigerant gas to increase its temperature.
CondenserA coil that dissipates the heat from the compressed refrigerant gas.
Expansion ValveA device that reduces the pressure of the refrigerant gas and converts it back into a liquid form.
EvaporatorA coil where the liquid refrigerant evaporates and absorbs heat from the interior of the fridge.

When the refrigerator cooling system is working correctly, the compressor compresses the refrigerant gas, which increases its temperature and pressure. The hot gas then flows through the condenser, where it releases heat to the surrounding environment and condenses back into a liquid. The liquid refrigerant then flows through the expansion valve, where its pressure and temperature decrease, and it evaporates into a gas form. The evaporated refrigerant then flows through the evaporator coil, where it absorbs heat from the interior of the fridge and cools it down. The cycle repeats to maintain a consistent temperature inside the refrigerator.

Common Issues with RV Refrigerators

RV refrigerators are prone to various problems that can affect their cooling performance. Some common issues include:

  • Insufficient ventilation
  • Power source problems
  • Faulty thermostat or thermistor
  • Dirty or clogged condenser coils
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Ambient temperature and usage patterns

By understanding how RV refrigerator cooling systems work and knowing the common issues that can affect their performance, you can better troubleshoot and fix any coldness problems with your Dometic RV refrigerator. In the next sections, we will tackle each of these common issues and provide solutions to help you diagnose and fix them.

Check the Power Source and Settings

Dometic RV refrigerator settings

One of the primary causes of an RV refrigerator not getting cold is an inadequate power source or incorrect settings. To troubleshoot this issue:

  1. Check that the RV is connected to a reliable power source. A weak connection or insufficient voltage can affect the refrigerator’s cooling performance.
  2. Make sure the refrigerator is turned on and the temperature settings are appropriate. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the optimal settings for your specific model.
  3. Inspect the door seals for any gaps or cracks that may be letting warm air inside the refrigerator. If necessary, clean the seals and make sure they are properly aligned.

By taking these simple steps, you can often fix an RV refrigerator that is not getting cold and restore proper cooling performance.

Make sure the temperature settings of Dometic RV refrigerator are correct.

Inspect for Ventilation Issues

RV refrigerator ventilation system

If your RV refrigerator is not cooling properly, poor ventilation could be the culprit. Without proper airflow, the cooling system cannot function effectively. Here are the steps to diagnose and fix ventilation issues:

  1. Check the exterior: Make sure the exterior of the refrigerator is clean and free from debris. Any blockages on the exterior can interfere with the ventilation system.
  2. Inspect the interior: Look inside the refrigerator and ensure that there are no items blocking the ventilation grills. The grills are typically located at the top and bottom of the refrigerator compartment.
  3. Check the roof vent: If the roof vent is blocked or has become damaged, it can prevent proper ventilation. Inspect the vent and remove any blockages or debris. If the vent is damaged, it may need to be replaced.
  4. Clean the ventilation system: The ventilation system can become clogged with dust, debris, or even insects. To clean it, use a soft brush and vacuum to remove any dirt or dust from the ventilation grills and condenser fan. You can also use compressed air to blow out any debris that may be stuck.

What to Look for When Inspecting the Ventilation System:

When inspecting the ventilation system, look for any signs of damage, rust, or corrosion. Check for loose connections or wiring that may be interfering with the fan or ventilation system. If you notice any of these issues, they should be addressed immediately to ensure proper function of the refrigerator.

Remember, proper ventilation is key to the efficiency of your RV refrigerator. Regular maintenance and inspections can help mitigate any issues that may arise.

Check the Condenser Coils

cleaning RV refrigerator coils

If your Dometic RV refrigerator is still not getting cold after checking the power source, settings, and ventilation system, the next step is to inspect the condenser coils. The condenser coils are responsible for releasing heat from the refrigerator, allowing it to cool down. If these coils are dirty or clogged with debris, they won’t be able to function properly and the cooling performance of your refrigerator will be compromised.

To check the condenser coils, you will need to locate them. In most cases, they are located on the back of the refrigerator. Refer to the owner’s manual if you are unsure where to find them.

Once you have located the coils, visually inspect them for any signs of dirt, dust, or debris. If they appear dirty, use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner to remove any buildup. Be sure to clean both the upper and lower coils thoroughly.

If the coils are heavily soiled, you may need to use a coil cleaning solution to remove stubborn debris. These solutions can be found at most RV supply stores. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and be sure to rinse the coils thoroughly with water after cleaning.

After cleaning the condenser coils, turn on the refrigerator and monitor its cooling performance. If the coils were the issue, you should notice a significant improvement in the cooling efficiency. If you still notice issues, move on to the next troubleshooting step.

Test the Thermostat and Thermistor

troubleshooting RV fridge that is not cold

When an RV refrigerator is not cooling properly, the thermostat and thermistor are common culprits. The thermostat controls the temperature inside the fridge by turning the cooling system on and off, while the thermistor monitors the temperature and sends signals to the thermostat to adjust the cooling accordingly.

To test the thermostat, you will need a multimeter. First, unplug the RV from the power source and remove the thermostat cover. Use the multimeter to test the thermostat terminals for continuity. If there is no continuity, the thermostat may be faulty and need to be replaced.

To test the thermistor, use the multimeter to measure the resistance between the two thermistor wires. Compare the resistance measurement to the manufacturer’s specifications. If the resistance is outside of the recommended range, the thermistor may be faulty and need to be replaced.

Replacing a faulty thermostat or thermistor requires careful handling and knowledge of electrical systems. If you are not confident in your ability to replace these components, it is recommended to contact a professional technician for assistance.

Tip: Regularly cleaning the thermistor with a soft cloth and alcohol can prevent buildup and prolong its lifespan.

Check for Refrigerant Leaks

If you’ve followed the previous steps and your Dometic RV refrigerator is still not getting cold, it’s time to check for refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant leaks are a common issue with RV refrigerators and can cause reduced cooling efficiency.

To check for refrigerant leaks, you’ll need a leak detector tool. This tool can detect refrigerant leaks by sensing the presence of the refrigerant in the air around the fridge. Start by turning off the refrigerator and then running the leak detector tool around the coils and connections of the refrigerant lines. If the leak detector tool detects a leak, you’ll need to locate and repair the leak before recharging the refrigerant. Refrigerant should only be handled by licensed professionals, as it can be dangerous if mishandled.

If you’re unsure about how to proceed with fixing a refrigerant leak, it’s best to contact a professional technician. They will be able to identify the source of the leak and provide a proper solution.

Remember, refrigerant leaks are a serious issue and should only be handled by licensed professionals.

Consider Ambient Temperature and Usage Patterns

It’s important to note that the ambient temperature and your usage patterns can have an impact on the cooling performance of your Dometic RV refrigerator. Let’s take a closer look at how these factors can affect your RV fridge not cooling properly.

Firstly, the ambient temperature can play a big role in determining how well your refrigerator operates. If it’s placed in an area with high external temperatures such as direct sunlight or next to a heat-producing appliance, it will have to work harder to maintain the desired internal temperature. This will put extra strain on the cooling system, and, if left unchecked, may cause your Dometic refrigerator not cooling to the required temperature.

Secondly, your usage patterns will also have an impact on the cooling performance of your RV fridge. Frequent opening and closing of the fridge can affect the efficiency of its cooling system, as it will have to work harder to regulate and maintain the internal temperature. Additionally, overloading your fridge with too many items can restrict airflow and impede the refrigeration process.

To maximize the performance of your Dometic RV refrigerator, consider placing it in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources. In addition, try to limit the frequency of opening and closing it as much as possible. You can also rearrange the items to ensure proper airflow, which will help preserve the cooling efficiency.

Optimizing your ambient temperature and usage patterns can increase the cooling efficiency of your RV refrigerator.

Contacting a Professional Technician

If you’ve tried the troubleshooting steps to fix your RV refrigerator and it’s still not getting cold, it may be time to call in a professional technician. They have the expertise and tools needed to diagnose and fix more complex issues with your Dometic RV refrigerator.

Common issues with RV refrigerators can become more challenging to resolve, and sometimes, it’s best to seek the help of a professional. They can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate solutions to bring your refrigerator back to optimal performance.

When contacting a professional technician, be sure to provide them with information on the symptoms you have observed and the steps you have taken to troubleshoot the problem. This can help them to narrow down the possible causes and ensure they bring the necessary equipment to the job site.

Remember, safety is always a priority when dealing with appliances that use electricity and refrigerant. Therefore, it may be best to contact a licensed technician who is experienced in repairing RV refrigerators. Doing so can ensure the safety of you and your loved ones and prevent any further damage to your RV refrigerator.

Don’t hesitate to contact a professional technician if you feel overwhelmed or unsure about the troubleshooting process. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations to resolve any issue that you may encounter with your RV refrigerator.

Preventive Maintenance Tips for RV Refrigerators

Preventing issues with your Dometic RV refrigerator is always better than fixing them. By following these preventive maintenance tips, you can prolong the lifespan of your refrigerator and avoid common issues that can reduce its cooling performance.

Clean the Interior and Exterior Regularly

Keeping the interior and exterior of your RV refrigerator clean is crucial for its functioning and longevity. Regularly remove any food residue, spills, and debris from the interior using a mild cleaning solution and a soft cloth. Clean the exterior using a non-abrasive cleaner and wipe it dry to prevent water damage.

Inspect and Clean the Door Seals

The door seals of your RV refrigerator play a crucial role in keeping the cold air inside and preventing warm air from entering. Inspect the door seals regularly for any signs of wear and tear, and clean them using a damp cloth to remove any debris or dust.

Monitor the Temperature Regularly

It’s important to monitor the temperature inside your RV refrigerator regularly to ensure it’s functioning correctly. Use a thermometer to check the temperature and adjust the settings accordingly. Avoid opening the door too frequently, as it can cause the temperature to fluctuate and reduce cooling performance.

Keep the Refrigerator Level

Ensure that your RV refrigerator is installed and placed on a level surface. A tilted or unbalanced refrigerator can affect the cooling performance and damage the interior components. Check the level using a spirit level and adjust the positioning if necessary.

Perform Annual Maintenance Checks

Annual maintenance checks can help you identify and address any potential issues before they become major problems. Hire a professional technician to perform a comprehensive checkup of your RV refrigerator and make any necessary repairs or replacements.

By incorporating these preventive maintenance tips into your RV refrigerator care routine, you can enjoy reliable and efficient cooling performance throughout your travels.


We hope this article has been helpful in addressing the issue of your Dometic RV refrigerator not getting cold. By following the troubleshooting process outlined in this article, you can diagnose and fix the common issues that can affect the cooling performance of your refrigerator.

Remember to prioritize safety when working with your RV refrigerator, especially when inspecting and cleaning the ventilation system and condenser coils.

Regular Maintenance is Key

Preventive maintenance is crucial for keeping your RV refrigerator in good working condition. By following the preventive maintenance tips provided in this article, you can help prevent future cooling problems and ensure the longevity of your refrigerator.

When to Contact a Professional

If you’ve followed the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article and your Dometic RV refrigerator still isn’t getting cold, it may be time to seek the help of a professional technician. They can help you identify and resolve more complex issues that may be affecting the cooling performance of your refrigerator.

Thank you for reading, and we wish you happy and worry-free adventures with your Dometic RV refrigerator!


Why is my Dometic RV refrigerator not getting cold?

There can be several reasons why your Dometic RV refrigerator is not getting cold. It could be due to power source issues, ventilation problems, dirty condenser coils, thermostat or thermistor malfunctions, refrigerant leaks, or even ambient temperature and usage patterns. By troubleshooting these potential issues, you can identify and fix the problem.

How does an RV refrigerator cooling system work?

An RV refrigerator cooling system consists of various components, including the compressor, condenser coils, evaporator, and a circulating refrigerant. The system relies on a heat-absorption process to cool the refrigerator. If any of these components are not functioning properly, it can lead to a lack of cooling in your RV refrigerator.

What should I check when my RV refrigerator is not getting cold?

Start by checking the power source and settings of your RV refrigerator. Ensure that it is properly connected to the appropriate power supply and that the settings are correctly adjusted. This includes checking the thermostat settings, as well as any power source switches or buttons on the refrigerator itself.

How can I inspect for ventilation issues in my RV refrigerator?

Proper ventilation is essential for efficient cooling in an RV refrigerator. Inspect the ventilation system, including the vents and the fan, for any obstructions, dust, or dirt accumulation. Clean the vents and fan blades, and ensure that there is sufficient airflow around the refrigerator to facilitate proper cooling.

How do I clean the condenser coils in my Dometic RV refrigerator?

Dirty or clogged condenser coils can impede the cooling performance of your Dometic RV refrigerator. To clean them, disconnect the power supply, remove the vent cover, and use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner to remove any dust or debris from the coils. Be gentle and avoid damaging the coils in the process.

How can I test the thermostat and thermistor in my RV refrigerator?

To test the thermostat and thermistor, you will need a multimeter. Set the multimeter to the appropriate setting and carefully remove the thermostat and thermistor from your RV refrigerator. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test the components for continuity and ensure they are functioning correctly.

How can I check for refrigerant leaks in my Dometic RV refrigerator?

Checking for refrigerant leaks should be done by a professional technician. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, contact a certified RV refrigerator technician who can safely diagnose and repair the issue. Refrigerant leaks require specialized equipment and knowledge to handle properly.

How does ambient temperature and my usage patterns affect my RV refrigerator’s cooling performance?

Ambient temperature and usage patterns can have an impact on the cooling performance of your RV refrigerator. Higher ambient temperatures can make it more challenging for the refrigerator to cool efficiently. Similarly, frequent door openings or overloading the refrigerator can also affect its cooling capabilities. Understanding these factors and adjusting your usage accordingly can help optimize cooling performance.

When should I contact a professional technician for my RV refrigerator?

If you have tried troubleshooting steps and your Dometic RV refrigerator is still not getting cold, it may be time to seek the help of a professional technician. They have the expertise and equipment to diagnose and fix complex issues that may be affecting your refrigerator’s cooling performance.

What preventive maintenance tips can help keep my RV refrigerator in good condition?

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your RV refrigerator running smoothly. Some preventive maintenance tips include keeping the refrigerator clean, checking and cleaning the vents and condenser coils regularly, ensuring proper airflow around the refrigerator, and following manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance intervals and procedures. These steps can help prolong the lifespan and optimize the performance of your RV refrigerator.