Install exterior Flue fans.
Installing a couple of 12 V computer case fans at the top of the refrigerator flue vent eliminates this problem. Depending on the size of your RV refrigerator flue, there may only be room for one large fan.
Some refrigerator designs may require the fan to be installed at the bottom. Avoid this if possible. Some service installers may claim that's the best installation, but having tried both top and bottom vent placement, the fans installed in the top of the vent far outperform the bottom location. The top vent design is a tougher install project and may cost a few more dollars in labor, but well worth it when the temperature hits 110 degrees.
If you understand 12 V schematics, it is a pretty easy installation. Measure the top surface opening of the flue. Purchase these small computer case fans yourself at a local electronics/computer store or online (about $5 each). Do it yourself or contact a local RV repair person to install the fans at your RV park site. Install an on/off switch within easy reach for flexibility in colder climates. Caution: Do not allow the RV repair person to purchase the fans. They don't usually have the correct specifications or understand the reasoning behind using computer case fans over conventional refrigerator vent fans. Computer fans are also less expensive ($10 versus $35).
Note: Unless your RV is less than 20 feet long, ignore the solar-type vent fans, as they do not produce enough airflow to do the job.
Minimum specifications to ensure high airflow and low fan noise: 120 mm Computer Case Fan (5 inch):
Air Flow (FM) 44.03; Max. Noise (dBA) 23.5 80 mm Computer Case Fan (3 inch):
Air Flow (CFM) 28.89; Max Noise (dBA) 20.9
As an example, Amazon has one perfect for the job.
Some Other Refrigerator Tips
Additionally, it can be beneficial to have your refrigerator side of the RV parked in the shade if that's possible. If not, you may be able to rig up a reflective, awning type shade for the outside refrigerator door to protect it from the hot sun's rays.
No matter the outside temperature, your refrigerator will operate more efficiently if you use one of those small "inside the refrig" type fans like you see here.
Valterra A10-2606 FridgeCool 11.28 mA Fan with On/Off Switch
Another misunderstood fact is that a fuller refrigerator will cool better than an empty one. Remember though not to completely cover the coils on the top shelf, rather leave some circulation room.
Any other refrigerator tips you've discovered? Let us know in the comments. Thanks.
Teri Blaschke is the RV Park operator of family owned HiddenValley RV Park in San Antonio, TX and writer of the park blog “A Little Piece of Country in San Antonio.” Teri contributes to various other blogs with a focus on either travel or social media and how it relates to the outdoor hospitality industry but her passion is serving the RV travel community by providing a memorable RV camping experience and growing the Hidden Valley RV family. Connect with us on Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter@HiddenValleyRV