How to Remove an RV Refrigerator

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During your time as an RV or home owner, you might find that you want a new fridge. Whether it’s for size reasons or it doesn’t work well anymore – a new one can be brought one. The fridge will just need the space used by the old fridge.

The first matter is removing the old refrigerator. Moving a fridge in an RV is a little different from taking one out of a house. The setup is different and you might be dealing with less space.

When removing a fridge from an RV, you will want to disconnect the power sources. Your RV might also have special access panels for appliances to help with this. You’ll probably want someone else to help you physically move the fridge too if possible, otherwise consider getting pro help.

Getting started on removing your fridge from the RV

There are a few things you could do as you get ready to move your fridge from the RV. These actions are not listed in any particular order.

  • Check the exterior of your RV to see if you have an access panel for your fridge. The purpose of the access panel is to let you get to your appliances from outside the RV without moving the appliance. Part of the advantage here is not needing to use limited space to move a fridge or other item around.
  • Empty the fridge. Remove all food items and if possible, remove any storage units like plastic drawers. The load will be a bit lighter and you will be less likely to damage anything inside while moving.

Before you begin, be sure to turn off the electrical power to at least your fridge. Turn off the whole electrical supply to be safe. Turn off propane sources too, if your fridge uses propane.

The first thing to do is disconnect everything from the back of the fridge. Your fridge might have up to three connections, including propane, electrical, and others. It’s possible that your fridge is hard wired and needs an electrical cap for wires. 

A propane powered fridge will likely have nuts on the back to hold the propane pipes in place. Slowly remove these to disconnect.

Using an electrical cap is a simple matter of pushing wires into the cap and twisting them until they are concealed within the cap, incapable of touching any metal surfaces.

Getting the fridge to move – bolts

With everything powering the RV fridge disconnected, you can start detaching the fridge. It’s possible that the access panel lets you reach some of the bolts from the outside. A RV fridge is typically bolted in place on the bottom and in back. You’ll want to either read the instruction manual to see which socket wrench sizes you need, or just bring your whole socket wrench set. 

rv fridge

The fridge could have around 8 bolts with four on bottom and four in the back. Find the appropriate sized socket for the bolts and turn them left until loose enough to remove by hand. Your fridge should be free enough to move around now.

Moving the fridge out of the RV

Let’s first recognize that fridges are generally not the easiest to manuever. You should start by sliding the fridge back and forth to get it out of it’s particular slot in your kitchen.

At this point, you might want to take the door on the fridge shut if you don’t already have a lock in place. Preventing the door from opening will make the fridge smaller and less likely to hit you.

A furniture cart might be appropriate for this situation. Otherwise, get another person to help you. 

How do I lift the fridge out of the RV?

We have one important question here: Are you keeping or selling the fridge, or throwing it away? If you are throwing it away, you can be free to lay the fridge on its back or front.

Laying the fridge on its front or back can cause damage to the internals and potentially result in a spill of any fluids inside. Be potentially prepared for a small mess. A fridge can be easier to carry horizontally.

Planning to keep the fridge or sell it? Life it out as close to vertically as you can. It’s also entirely possible to lean the fridge forward or backward, and chances are leaning it too far one way or the other will make it harder to carry without touching the ground anyway.

RV fridges are typically a bit lighter than household fridges, and more narrow to allow them in and out. 

Consider wearing gloves when picking up the fridge. The purpose of gloves is to avoid cutting yourself on counters or the fridge itself. Gloves also help prevent sweat from loosening your grip.

Cleaning up

If you aren’t installing a new fridge immediately, you can close the access panel on the side. You also have the option of cleaning up the floor around the fridge which is likely covered in debris and dust.

The method of actually discarding a fridge varies. Some people could elect to give a working fridge away to anyone who wants one. Some cities and stores also have fridge recycling programs that offer free moving for parts. Contact places ahead of time to see how they go about picking up fridges and how much of the work they do for you.


A little bit of preparation will go along way to making your fridge removal go smoothly. Look at your RV to see if it has an access panel to make it possible to disconnect the fridge’s vitals without removing it from the wall yet. Also, have a plan about what you are doing with the fridge after removal.

Knowing what the next step after fridge removal can make it easier to lift. While you still want to take care of the fridge to avoid having liquid spill, you can also carry it a bit differently to get it out of your RV.

We wish you the best in safely and easing moving your refrigerator. Thankfully, they tend to be lighter when used in RVs just to make them more manoeuvrable and keep the weight down.

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