Has your RV refrigerator reached the end of its service life that it no longer cools your food and beverages like it used to? Does it look outdated and unappealing? You do not have to live with these issues if you know how to remove an RV refrigerator.
RV owners have different reasons for removing an RV refrigerator. It can be because there is a newer, more energy-efficient model or a unit that speaks more of their lifestyle. Whatever the reason is, removing and replacing a refrigerator for RVs is a straightforward process.
I will share the process in nine super-easy steps.
Table of Contents
- Things You Need for This Tutorial
- Steps for Removing an RV Refrigerator
- Step 1. Review your motorhome’s refrigerator installation and removal instructions.
- Step 2. Open the refrigerator’s access panel at the back.
- Step 3. Turn off and remove the LPG, if any.
- Step 4. Disconnect all wirings.
- Step 5. Remove the fastener bolting the refrigerator to the RV floor.
- Step 6. Take out the fasteners securing the refrigerator door.
- Step 7. Detach the refrigerator trim from the body.
- Step 8. Unfasten the screws bolting the refrigerator to the wall.
- Step 9. Slide the refrigerator out from its position and out of the RV.
Things You Need for This Tutorial
The process of RV fridge replacement or removal is not as complicated as some people would have you believe. Believe it or not, the only hand tool you will ever need is a screwdriver. You might also need an adjustable wrench to remove the fridge door.
You will also need the RV refrigerator owner’s manual because it contains the details to remove the refrigerator from your motorhome.
Steps for Removing an RV Refrigerator
Step 1. Review your motorhome’s refrigerator installation and removal instructions.
The instructions on how to remove a Dometic RV refrigerator can be different from the process to remove Norcold RV refrigerator. That is why it is always best to check the owner’s manual to determine the refrigerator’s installation. You might also find instructions on how to remove it from the RV.
The manual will give you an idea of where the fasteners are, hastening the refrigerator removal process. You will also know what hand tools to use for removing the hardware.
Step 2. Open the refrigerator’s access panel at the back.
Always unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet before you start the RV refrigerator removal process. You do not want to get the shock of your life when disassembling your fridge.
It would also be wise to empty the fridge contents, including removable shelving, vegetable bins, beverage racks, egg trays, ice cube trays, refrigerator fans, and other interior refrigerator components.
Check the access panel at the RV refrigerator’s back. It should look like a vent cover with screws on all corners. Use your screwdriver to take out the screws to expose the refrigerator’s interior.
If your refrigerator has an open-back design, you can skip this step.
Step 3. Turn off and remove the LPG, if any.
If your RV refrigerator runs on propane (or liquefied petroleum gas), it would be best to shut off the gas tank’s valve. You can find the LPG switch in the freezer or the refrigerator’s back.
Disconnect the propane hose going to your RV refrigerator and cap the fuel line’s open end. It is also crucial to disconnect the 12-volt wires that connect to the LPG.
Step 4. Disconnect all wirings.
Look at the RV refrigerator’s back again and check for other electrical wires. For example, you might want to stow the electric cable and wall plug to prevent them from dangling during the fridge removal process.
Check for wires spliced with wire nuts. If you see any, it would be best to twist off the nuts. You will not want these cables to hinder the removal process.
Step 5. Remove the fastener bolting the refrigerator to the RV floor.
Most RV 12v refrigerators have bolts that secure them to the motorhome’s wooden floor. Referring to your manual, you can locate and unfasten these bolts.
An RV refrigerator replacement or removal is impossible without this step. You can push the fridge with all your might, but it will never budge.
Step 6. Take out the fasteners securing the refrigerator door.
Removing the refrigerator door will make its removal out of the motorhome easier.
Use a flat-tipped screwdriver to pry the rubber or plastic cap covering the refrigerator hinges. Use a wrench to loosen the door bolts. You might want to keep the hardware in a container to avoid stepping on them during the fridge removal.
Step 7. Detach the refrigerator trim from the body.
Your RV refrigerator has an outer trim that you must remove. This component has several screws fastening it to the fridge body. Locate the screws and take them out using the correct screwdriver.
Once you remove the fridge trim, check the perimeter for other fasteners. Some RV fridges have additional hardware underneath the frame. Take out these screws, too.
Step 8. Unfasten the screws bolting the refrigerator to the wall.
You should see some screws that fasten the refrigerator to the RV wall. These fasteners are essential in keeping the fridge upright when the motorhome is moving. After all, you do not want the fridge to fall on you.
Use your screwdriver to loosen and remove the screws. Check the bottom panel for wire nuts and disconnect them before proceeding to the next step.
Step 9. Slide the refrigerator out from its position and out of the RV.
You will want someone to assist you in removing the fridge to prevent unnecessary strain, potential back injuries, or other harm.
If your refrigerator is higher than the floor, you might want to place protective padding on the RV floor to safeguard it against scratches, scuff marks, and other types of damage. Lift or slide the refrigerator onto the padding and push it towards the RV door. Pushing the fridge uses less energy than lifting it.
I advise having two other people outside the door to support the fridge as it goes out. Alternatively, you can maneuver a pickup truck and position the flatbed just outside the RV door.
Here is an exciting video from Journeyman you might want to watch.
Are you now more confident about how to remove an RV refrigerator after reading this tutorial? RV fridge removal is easier than most people think. It only requires removing everything connected to the fridge and then moving it out of the door.
If you find this tutorial rewarding, would you share it with your friends and acquaintances? I am sure they would love to learn the process, too. You can also shoot me your thoughts about this article in the comments section below.
I am Stephen Ryan, content director for RV Web. After seven years of working as an interior decorator, I am confident in turning my clients’ dream houses into reality. I find it rewarding to help others make the best of their space and resources.