How and Why to Use an RV Residential Refrigerator Door Lock

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Outside of an RV, you probably don’t often see the cable or strap of a residential refrigerator door lock. A fridge door lock is a handy contraption meant to keep people and gravity from opening the fridge door. 

RV fridge door locks are quite easy to setup and use only glue or screws.

Your RV residential fridge could use a door lock for a variety of reasons, including helping change behavior that makes the fridge work more often. We’ll take a look at a few reasons why.

An open door

A moving RV has many parts that are literally bolted down. Your chairs, sofa, and seating are bolted down. Your appliances are bolted down. Your fridge door often does not come with a built in door lock, that acts as “bolt down.”

Bolting things down is one way of making an RV safe. A fridge door can readily swing open while moving, especially while stopping or speeding up. This can result in food, or even glass, falling on the floor and causing a mess. A person walking by during movement (we don’t really suggest this) can also receive a fast swinging fridge door to the face or abdomen if it opens suddenly.

Rather than cleaning up the food, broken plastic, or glass, it’s better to have a fridge lock to keep the door in place so it doesn’t move unless disconnected.

Better habits and cooling

The energy to power your fridge has to come from somewhere. Whether it’s propane or electric, your fridge used a power grid you pay for incrementally, gas from a generator, or liquid propane that you bought. Cooling your fridge isn’t free.

A fridge lock keeps kids and even some adults out. A fridge lock can lessen the number of times the fridge is opened per day just by making it slightly less convenient for adults – and potentially impossible for kids.

The fewer door openings a fridge has, the less often it needs to use the electric motor or the propane flame that alters the temperature inside the fridge. 

Kids, especially, make a difference. Kids can open the fridge to see whats in there even if they aren’t looking for food. They are also the most likely to leave it open. A fridge lock prevents this – until they learn how to use it!

You’ll see that you might use a bit less propane or generator gas when the fridge isn’t opened as much!

This is especially important with a propane fridge. They don’t cool down as quickly and involve you having to go get more propane when you run out. Instead, get a fridge lock.

How to install a fridge lock

A fridge lock can look like a complicated set of cables. In reality, they are quite easy to use and install. 

While some fridge locks are different, most work like this. You should also read the instructions on your fridge lock specifically and take these as general guidelines:

  • The fridge lock is installed on the side or front of the door and the side of the fridge. First, measure the strap or cable you are provided and see how long or short it needs to reach to create a tight seal on your fridge.
  • Clean the side of the fridge where you want to install the lock. Also, clean the front or side of the fridge for the other side of the lock.
  • Most locks used either a screw (and cause damage to the fridge) or adhesive. We prefer the adhesive route. BE CAREFUL when removing the adhesive strip and only do it when you have decided where to put the fridge lock’s ends.
  • Place the adhesive anchors on the side and the front of the fridge. The instructions generally suggest to hold these in place for at least a few seconds to ensure the adhesive bonds.
  • The side anchor might already have a cable on it, you can then connect the cable to the front anchor.
  • The next step in learning how to use it depends on what kind you have. Some locks are a simple push button that are difficult for children to move. 

While doing this, you’ve created a strap that forcible holds the fridge shut unless you unlock the front or side strap.

There are locks with screws, but we don’t suggest using them because adhesive is removable with soap and water. 

Do fridge locks fail?

Not often. Fridge lock glue can last for a long time. The biggest potential for failure is having your kids (or not kids) learn how to use it. 

The next step if the kids learn how to use the fridge lock and become disruptive is to install a padlock or number lock instead.

Otherwise, the glue stands up to the gravity that can force a fridge door open while moving. 

How do I remove a fridge lock?

The better question is how to remove adhesive. It’s possible for an adult to pull the lock and simply break it out.

Without hurting yourself, another good idea is to get a sponge with warm water and soap and clean around the outside of the lock. This gets some warm water and soap back there to loosen it.

Another option is to push a thin screwdriver into the back of the lock and pop it off.

Any extra residue can be removed again by a sponge and warm water.


A fridge lock can save you energy – and make your RV extra safe by preventing food from flying out of an open door, or hitting someone. 

Fridge locks are quite easy to install and come with good instructions on how to install them in an effective way. You’ll be well on your way to having a safer fridge in addition to a more energy efficient kitchen.

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