Motorhome fridges come in all shapes and sizes.
Most of the fridges used in motorhomes and caravans are made by Dometic or Thetford Norcold and are of the absorption type.
Meaning that they have no compressor and rely on a source of heat to operate.
All absorption fridges have three main components.
1/ A cooling unit.
2/At least one source of heat, (usually three)
3/ a control panel of some sort to decide temperature and source of heat.
The fridges used in motorhomes and caravans are very expensive in comparison with a normal household fridge.
Therefore it is most common to repair rather than replace.
There is very little servicing to these fridges other than cleaning the burner assembly and flue.
I have a standard charge of £60 for this service.
Apart from this service you just have to wait for something to go wrong.
Perhaps the most common things are the 240v and 12v heater elements and blocked burners, followed by control panels, printed circuit boards and thermostats.
lastly the whole cooling unit can fail, in this case you always check out the difference in price between replacing the whole fridge and replacing the cooling unit.
Sometimes a cooling unit is no longer available.
Checking the cooling unit.
On the rear of the fridge you will see a load of pipes and fins. The one you are interested in is at the very top running horizontally left to right and completely covered in fins.
With the fridge level, start the fridge on gas or electric and give it half an hour on the maximum setting.
The vertical pipe on the right hand side will be hot and if the cooling unit is working the horizontal pipe with the fins will also be quite warm and most importantly all the way across from left to right.
If you find that this pipe is only hot on the left hand side then there is a blockage somewhere in the pipework.
This is where the old tail of turning the fridge upside down comes from and I have known it work.
Just not often and not permanently.
Pricing is difficult for repairs to fridges as the parts vary so much in price, however if you need a new heater element the price will usually be around £130 for the parts and labour.
The main thing is that a fridge can in the vast majority of cases be repaired.
I work a radius of about 40 miles from Nottingham where I am based.
If you have a problem with your fridge please give me a call or drop me an email.
Even if you are outside my area I am happy to help if I can.