Refrigerator not cooling


New Member
The first time I used my RV and started my refrigerator a day ahead of time to get a cool as had been suggested. I connected the RV to my house electricity with a 75 foot 15 amp extension cord. The refrigerators compressor fired right up and cooled the freezer section but seem to do little to cool the refrigerator side. I switched to propane and this cooled both sides very well. When we arrived at the campsite and plugged into 30 amp service both sides of the refrigerator cooled very well.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Grandview Trailer Sa

Senior Member
Refrigerator not cooling

I believe your problem at home was the 75' extension cord. 75' @ 15 amps is streching the limits a bit. Your extension cord, if you must run 75', should probably be 12ga. wire. I am not a electrician, but someone here could probably jump in and tell you. When you went to gas, and then the shorter and larger, 30 amp. wire at the campground, everything was fine.

John Harrelson

New Member
Refrigerator not cooling

Hi Jack,

Ken is absolutely correct.. At 75 feet in length, the absolute minimum wire size is 12 ga..
And that is right on the edge of safety.. both for your RV and starting a fire with an over heated cord.

When plugging in the average RV, you should use at least number 10/3 wire and it is preferred to use number 8/3 or 8/4 wire.

and its not a good idea to plug in to a standard wall receptacle (15 amp). The safest way is to run a 30 amp circuit from the power (fuse) panel on the house.

If you know even the basics of electricity, you can do it with no problem.. All you will need in most cases is a screwdriver, pliers/wire cutters and the length of cable needed to reach the place where you want to put the outlet.

When a wire is not "Big" enough to carry the amperage being called for by the appliance, it can heat up the wire and cause a fire and by not allowing enough amperage to get to the appliance (Refrigerator) electrical parts can burn out...

oh.. just for information purposes,, if the fridge is an "RV" type fridge is does not have a compressor.. the type of system in an RV fridge is called an "evaporative System" or some folks call it an "Expansion System" .
It operates by the refrigerant (ammonia) being heated by the electrical element or propane flame, which causes the ammonia to expand and circulate through the coils where if picks up the heat from the interior of the fridge/freezer and carries it back down to the "pot" or holding tank... where the cycle starts all over again.

This is a very simplified explanation of how the system works.

best wishes,