There are a few things that only an RV owner can experience that others can’t. The luxury you feel when dumping your black water or when no one lets you in their lane on the freeway. One experience that is always unique to an RVgoer is when you open your trailer door after a drive and find all your food items and ice cream spread across the floor! It is a lesson we have all learned the hard way.
We won’t be able to persuade drivers to let you in their lane. However, we can tackle the issue of an RV refrigerator opening while traveling. This post will review some great tips and ideas that you can do to keep that RV refrigerator door closed while traveling. We will cover things such as :
- Residential Fridge vs RV Refrigerator
- Hardware Store locks
- DIY ideas
The good news is that there are many securing options for various types of refrigerators out there. Depending on your fridge type, some options may work better than others. This post will give the best option for each type of common RV fridge.
Table of Contents
- Residential Refrigerator vs RV Refrigerator
- Good Idea
- French Door
- Side Door Lock
- Final Thoughts
Residential Refrigerator vs RV Refrigerator
When it comes to an RV fridge, there are several more options than a residential fridge. For instance, residential refrigerators will always be 120V ac. Of course, they come in various door options, such as a French door with a drawer. However, they all operate and function similarly, all with a 120v ac system.
On the other hand, an RV refrigerator has a few power source options that make them unique. You do have your larger residential fridge that can be in a motor home or large travel trailer. More commonly, you will see specially built RV refrigerators that are more geared to the power source of the RV.
Most RV fridges work by either shore power or are what is known as an absorption refrigerator. These refrigerators have ammonia and create cold air using propane gas. These are great for any off-the-grid camping as you need your house battery and a propane tank to run them.
Regardless of your RV fridge design, you must keep the door secure and closed while traveling. RV-specific refrigerators are designed with a latch to keep the door in place. However, latches wear over time, and food items can push the door open on a rough ride.
So what are the best ways to keep that RV fridge door closed while traveling? Below we will explore latch and lock options that can either be purchased or can be done with some good old fashion camper ingenuity.
RVgoers are never short of good ideas and methods that relate to keeping their home on wheels as safe as possible.
As I was walking through the hardware store for a solution, I came across the perfect aisle for this problem. No, it wasn’t an RV section at Home Depot but the childproofing section. As I thought about it, this makes perfect sense! When our kids are little, we spend hours crawling on the ground to mimic what mischief a toddler can get into and how we can protect them. And if these locks are good enough to keep out a curious toddler, they should keep your food items and ice cubes safely in the fridge.
Turns out that refrigerator locking is a common issue with kids. And that is good news for RVgoers as this means you can easily find what you need at a Home Depot. Don’t get me wrong, I love Camping World and going to small local RV centers. But, they are not always around the corner when you need them to fix an issue. Any time you can find what you need at the hardware store, it is a major win!
A French door fridge has handles that are just a few inches apart from each other.
The first solution I saw was a simple strap that would wrap around your French doors. Since French doors are just a few inches apart, they are easily kept secure by strapping around them so they can’t open.
If you are more of a do-it-yourselfer and want to create your own strap, go ahead! Any material that can be used as a strap tight enough to secure the handles will work. I have also seen campers use zip ties. Although not reusable, they work, are inexpensive, and you can put a hundred of them in your kitchen without taking up much room.
Zip-tie them before you hit the road. Then just cut them with scissors once you have arrived at your destination. Simple as that!
Another do-it-yourself tip that works with French doors is a velcro strap. Use the velcro strap, which should be strong enough to keep the handles together. And with velcro, it is reusable and inexpensive to replace if needed.
Side Door Lock
Does your RV refrigerator have a side door lock or latch? This is more typical on RV-specific fridges that are powered by your propane. Well, no worries, as there are options for these fridges as well.
One solution that stuck out to me was this multi-purpose appliance latch. These super sticky tabs are connected by a strap with a latch lock. There is no drilling, and you can use multiple latches as needed.
These will work your freezer door, fridge door, and even if you have a cabinet-style freezer drawer. Just stick one side to the operable door and the other end to the side of the fridge.
The challenge with this product is that the factory stickers did not stick well to the RV fridge. You may need to use another double-stick tape to apply. Also, the strap can be a little short. Check to see if you have under 3″ of wrap-around with no trim in the way, or you may be short.
Looking to do your own thing and improvise? You can give that refrigerator door extra security by propping or wedging heavy items against the fridge. Especially if you have a slide in front of the fridge, it usually leaves a small space where you can wedge in items to hold the door shut. My family has used things such as plastic garbage bins and sleeping bags piled to create that secure wedge.
I have also seen RVgoers use a shower curtain rod in longer situations. Just put one end of the rod against the refrigerator door and the other on the camper trailer wall or furniture. Since curtain rods are adjustable and have rubber ends, they will work in many situations and should damage the fridge or the trailer.
It’s not a fun experience to open your trailer door after traveling and see food items on the floor from the refrigerator. Whether you have a residential style or an RV-specific refrigerator, there are many options to keep that door closed while traveling. Hardware stores stock many options, including French door straps and side locks that act as latches. You can also do some of your DIY latches, including zip ties or wedging heavy items against the fridge door. Whichever method you choose, we wish you safe and happy travels!
Tony is an avid camper and RV traveler. He fell in love with camping on his first RV trip with his wife over 25 years ago. Tony loves sharing lessons learned and tips about RV maintenance and safe traveling.