How to Remove a Refrigerator From an RV

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You might need some tools to remove a refrigerator from an RV.
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RV refrigerator removal is a little more involved than moving a fridge inside a home, but it's still a straightforward process. You will need a screwdriver to get the job done, because an RV refrigerator is bolted to the walls and floor for safety. You should also have a small wrench on hand to remove the refrigerator doors when it comes time to get the unit out of the RV.

Disconnect the Refrigerator from the Back

First, make sure all camper hookups are disconnected before you begin the process. This will help prevent an electric shock when removing the refrigerator from the RV. Then, from the outside of your RV, locate the refrigerator access panel, which looks like a rectangular vent cover. Unscrew the panel and expose the back of the refrigerator.

Look for at least three connections: the refrigerator wall plug, a fuel line like propane and any other wires spliced together with wire nuts. Unplug the fridge, disconnect and cap the fuel line and twist off any wire nuts. Finally, remove the screws that secure the bottom of the refrigerator to the wooden floor in the RV.

If you find yourself confused about what to disconnect, consult your owner's manual, as not all units are created equal. For example, Dometic's cooling unit replacement instructions may differ from Norcold's instructions, based on the complexity and design of the appliance.

Detach the Fridge from the Front

Several screws still hold the refrigerator securely in place within the RV. To access them, begin by removing the fridge doors. Loosen the nut on the bottom of the door hinges in order to lift and remove the doors easily. Next, remove the trim around the fridge by unscrewing each screw visible around the perimeter.

You should see some additional screws behind the trim, both above and below the refrigerator. These screws attach the fridge to the wall of the RV directly so that it doesn't slide around when the vehicle is in motion. Remove these screws and disconnect any wire nuts that may be located behind the bottom panel as well.

RV Refrigerator Removal

The fridge should now slide out of its cavity in the wall. However, before you proceed to this step of the RV refrigerator removal process, take a few extra precautionary measures. Remove any drawers or other movable parts from within the fridge to prevent them from sliding out. If the fridge is not already level with the floor, lay protective padding down, then set the fridge down gently to prevent damage to the floor and the unit.

If you plan to repair and replace the RV refrigerator, do not tip the fridge onto its side during the removal process. Try to keep it as upright as possible in order to avoid coolant contamination that can prevent the fridge from working properly.

RV refrigerators are smaller than a house-size refrigerator, but that doesn't mean they aren't heavy. Have someone help you maneuver the refrigerator safely down the steps of the RV. Or, if you plan to haul the fridge away to junk it, back a pickup truck to the door of your RV and load the refrigerator into the truck bed directly.

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Cathy Habas enjoys distilling even the most complicated home improvement tasks into bite-sized pieces. She believes in empowering homeowners one article at a time.

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