The Easy Way To Clean And Defrost Your RV Refrigerator And Freezer In 20 Minutes

Do you look forward to the days you get to defrost your RV refrigerator? This is a chore I put off until I can’t put it off any longer. This morning I opened my refrigerator and could no long deny it was time.

Fortunately, living in an RV for all these years, I’ve done this enough time to know just how to make quick work of it. I’ll show you how to defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer in 20-minutes.

Standard RV refrigerators have fins in inside at the top. Over time, those fins get iced over and eventually have to be defrosted because the ice interferes with cooling. It usually takes several months for mine to get bad enough for me to actually do something about them .

If you want to know more about how RV refrigerators work, check out this post: How Does An RV Refrigerator Work? Simple Explanation (3 Types)

I completely forgot to take pictures but the ice was solid starting from the right side and top to bottom. Nearly all of it had melted when I took this photo.

Defrost Your RV Refrigerator Fins

I start by turning the refrigerator off and emptying the main storage area. Then I get my hair dryer out, put it on the top shelf pointing directly at the fins and turn it on high. To keep my dryer from moving I use bag clips on the shelves to hold it in place.

While the ice is melting, I empty each door shelf, take the shelf to the sink and wash, dry, reinstall, and refill it. The drawers are next. I empty, wash, dry, and refill them. Then I set them aside. If your put them back too soon, they will get water in them from the melting ice.

I normally move the dryer once so it points to a different section of the fins.

drip tray

While the ice is melting, it drips into the drip tray which is located under the fins. It drains outside but I like to take it out after the ice is melted and clean it thoroughly. You can see chunks of ice in the drip tray in the picture above.

There are normally scuffs inside the refrigerator from things rubbing against the walls while you’re towing. These singe use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are great for getting those off.

Mr Clean

When everything is washed, I will stop the dryer and pull of any remaining chunks of ice with my fingers. Be careful, those fins are sharp in places. Dry the refrigerator out, put the food back in and move on to the freezer.

Defrost Your RV Freezer

Empty the freezer and put the hair dryer on the shelf just like you did with the refrigerator. DO NOT set it in the bottom of the freezer. A lot of water accumulates there and you would risk electrocution.

Defrost RV freezer

While the ice is melting clean the cubbies in the door just like you did before. It only take a few minutes to melt the ice. Sometimes I get impatient and use a silicone spatula to remove the rest. It comes off fairly easily.

defrosted freezer

Dry the freezer box and put the food back in. I use a couple of microfiber cleaning rags to soak up all the water in the bottom of the freezer.

I got mine done just a little while ago and it feels great to know I won’t have to defrost my refrigerator and freezer again for a while.


There are other techniques like setting a pan with boiling water inside and closing the door and if I had no electricity, I might give that a try but this is my super fast, go to method to defrost your RV refrigerator and freezer and I’m sticking to it.

RV refrigerators must be level when running. This article explains why. Why Do I Need To Level My RV?

If you found this post useful, please pin it.

Defrost rv freezer

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top