How to keep your RV fridge cold while driving, 14 tips!

Guest author, written by Veli

RV refrigerators are easy to operate, but keeping them cold on the road can be tricky. We regularly see many queries on how to keep your RV fridge cold while driving.

Maintaining a constant temperature is vital for the enjoyment of your trip. And for that reason, you need to keep your RV fridge temperature nice and cool, not too cold to freeze your food. The key is to give your RV refrigerator a head start on cooling your food and drinks. You’ll want to turn it on as soon as you finalize your decision for a trip.

looking inside an RV fridge

Quick tricks on how to keep your RV fridge cold while driving for extended hours:

  • Set the temperature three degrees lower than where you want it to stay.
  • Make sure everything is already frozen when you put it in.
  • Don’t pack any foods that can spoil quickly during traveling.
  • Starting with ice-cold beverages will help keep the entire refrigerator at a safe temperature.

1. Start Keeping fridge coldest hours before travel

Setting the overall temperature of your ridge to three degrees lower. This technique is not going to keep your refrigerators cool. But, it will give you a good start. Refrigerators need cold air to keep their contents cool, but the air inside a moving RV is anything but.

2. Setting The Temperature Knob To The Lowest

As your vehicle travels down the road, the air outside and inside it is constantly moving. This creates convection where hot and cold air continuously mixes and loses their temperature characteristics. An RV refrigerator doesn’t have the luxury of an electric motor, so it can’t keep up with all this motion.

3. Cold and Frozen Foods

The colder the food and drinks are before you put them in the refrigerator, the easier it keep your RV fridge cold while driving. Put the frozen food near the back wall of the fridge when packing.

4. Pack Tighter

Frozen items should be packed tightly together. You may need to adopt a more innovative approach that will allow you to keep your frozen items all close together so they stay frozen for an extended period.

5. Pack The Refrigerator The Proper Way

This means you should pack the food that will be consumed first closer to the front of the fridge so it’s easy to access. Then, you want to put the items that spoil more quickly in the back of the refrigerator, where it’s colder, and adjust your temperature control so it’s not freezing.

6. Consider What You Pack In Your Fridge

Food items or drinks should be put in an insulated container or bag with ice packs to keep them cold longer.

7. Be Extra Careful with Frozen Goods

Make sure you pack all foods according to when they will be used. Tip: pack heavy items on the bottom of your fridge.

8. Opening And Closing Your Fridge Door

Try not to open and close your RV refrigerator door often. Doing this can cause your RV refrigerator to work harder than it needs to, especially when driving.​

9. Use A Fridge Fan Inside Your RV Fridge

You may want to consider using a RV refrigerator fan. This isn’t 100 percent necessary but should help keep your fridge cold overall as it will help circulate the cold air through the fridge while driving.

10. Monitor with a Thermometer Inside Your Fridge

If the temperature of your fridge is below 40 degrees F, the food items in your fridge will keep. The same goes for your freezer. The temperature must be below 32 degrees F. You can keep an eye on this by purchasing a little portable fridge thermometer.

11. Open The Refrigerator Door Only When Needed

Try to forget you even have a fridge or plan your food and snacks so you don’t have to open the fridge door while you’re travelling.

12. Run Propane While You Drive

This is a decision you’ll need to make after reviewing any safety risks… here’s an article which discusses this issue in a bit more detail.

13. RV Battery

If you’d prefer not to run propane while travelling, you may have the option on your fridge to turn it to battery power. Or, possibly to use a portable generator for 30 Amp RV.

14. Ice Cubes

For extended travels or when travelling in very hot weather, consider treating your RV fridge more like a cooler and pack it with extra bags of ice and ice packs. You can remove these when you arrive at your destination or move them to the drink cooler or let them thaw for clean drinking water.


Applying these tips and techniques will surely give you peace of mind when it comes to keeping your RV fridge cold while driving… and making sure that anticipated first camping drink is nice and cold! With practice and planning, you can stuff vast amounts of items in your fridge and keep them fresh and cool for an extended period.

Written by Veli

RVer and Blogger

Hi, I’m Veli, and I founded this community with the help of my blog, which explores the ins and outs of full-time RVing and leisures. This freedom others can only dream of. I’m passionate about traveling in my RV, spending time outdoors, and sharing what I’ve learned through past experiences.

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