Recreational Vehicles require a hard-thought investment, and once you have one, you deserve to use it to its full potential. Being in the warranty business, we know that many unfortunate things can happen to an RV. Among the most serious issues facing RVers is refrigerator danger, which is a well-known cause of dangerous and costly RV fires. This problem is all-too common, and effects nearly 3,000 RV owners a year. Luckily, following a few preventative measures can help lower your probability of running into fire danger while out on the road, or camping with your loved ones.
Here are some helpful tips on preventing RV fires:
1. Identify your refrigerator
Many RV refrigerator producers have issued serious recalls on some of their products due to safety hazards, so it is imperative that you take the necessary steps to identify your refrigerator either online or by calling the manufacturer. If you are fortunate and not have a defective product, you’ll still want to move onto the next step…
2. Check for strange smells
Dangerous chemicals like ammonia and hydrogen gas are compressed within the refrigerator and can ignite in certain situations. If you smell something odd, address the situation immediately. You can take extra precaution by purchasing a portable hydrogen detector.
3. Make sure everything is sealed up
The chemicals RV fridges use to operate can become a threat if there is any way for them to escape. Be mindful of regularly checking the refrigerator’s plumbing, gaskets, and door seals. Any visible cracks or signs of melting could mean that you have a dangerous leak on your hands. You can prevent potential cracks on seals and gaskets by using Vaseline to provide moisture and help keep your RV fire-free.
4. Keep it clean
Dust and dirt can be your worst enemy when it comes to keeping your RV safe. Accumulated dust on refrigerators can clog the moving parts and force the product to strain, leading to broken parts, and ultimately extreme danger.
It is important to be observant with many of the moving parts on your RV that could cause a fire, but we find that the refrigerator is often forgotten. That being said, there are of course many other causes to RV fires, so it is important to have preventative forces in place for many possible dangers. Make certain that your carbon monoxide, smoke, and propane detectors are always on and have working batteries. Additionally, stay safe by keeping multiple fire extinguishers inside and outside the RV. In case of a fire, evacuate immediately! It is very helpful to have prepared and practiced fire drills with the whole family before hitting the road.
RV fire danger is a scary topic, but it’s always great to stay informed on quick and easy preventative measures and tricks. We hope you keep these safety tips in mind and have enjoyable adventures in your RV!
Randall A. Anderson says
What about the best way and safest way to operate the fridge when on the road, Gas or electric?
Doug W. says
Randy: We have been Rving for about 20 yrs. We never travel with the propane tank turned on. If you have a refrigerator with 12v or gas use the 12v only. If you have only gas or 120v options then turn the refrigerator off. Melt down? Pre-cool your refer to about 30deg F then place frozen ice packs in the freezer and at least one in the refer. They will hold your refer for about 4-5 hrs. on the road. (Not sure about Az desert sun and the ice cream will be soft however). In any event you may have to cut your driving distance to lesser hours. Recovery time after 4 hours will probably be about 2-3 hours to 40 deg F. Traveling with the propane on in my opinion, is a very dangerous practice in the event of some other mishap, accident or problems – like a blown tire etc.. Safe Travels – maybe see on the road!