RV Refrigerator vs. Residential: Which is Better?

Can You Use a Regular Residential Refrigerator in Your RV?
Can You Use a Regular Residential Refrigerator in Your RV?

RV Refrigerator vs. Residential Refrigerator

Every time a refrigerator is opened to take out some frozen food or drink, few people think about the true importance of this essential element for their lives and even less about how the technology works in them. Refrigeration is one of the basic safety principles in our lives, as it is the most widespread and widely applied food preservation treatment, both in the domestic and industrial environments.

So, it is only normal we will want one to be part of our mini home on the road, our RV. It is one of the most important appliances we can choose to bring with us, just because of our basic human need to eat and preserve our food. Especially since people are going to be on the road for so many days or weeks, and this way they don’t have to depend on restaurants and can cook from the commodity of the RV.

This time we will compare both of the types of refrigerators people can opt for, to install in their RVs. This will answer a question many people ask, “Can I use a regular residential refrigerator in my RV? The answer is yes, but you need to take different factors into consideration before just going for it right away. We will explain in more detail some of them.


An RV refrigerator can cost from $1000-$3000 USD and they tend to be very basic, while a residential refrigerator can be around $500-$2000, having way many more options and technologies like a computer attached to a door, etc. The price difference is mainly because the RV ones are a special kind of appliance, as opposed to the residential ones that are really common.

Road resistance

RV refrigerators are made to resist bumpy roads and are designed to move around 24/7 with a higher balance design to avoid any mess inside of it. While regular refrigerators don’t have this characteristic and will probably be really shaky and if food or drinks are not secured well enough can spill over or create a mess inside.


Both RV and regular refrigerators have different power needs and power outlets, with an RV fridge you don’t have to do anything since they are already compatible, but with a regular one, you have to install a special plug-in your cabinet. Be careful when you do changes like this because you can overload a circuit in your RV and you’ll have to pay even more to fix it.

It is also important to consider the size. We need to remember space is limited inside any RV and some refrigerators might take more space than we can afford to. So do the proper measurements and think around how many people you would usually bring in your trips to see if it’s worth sacrifice space for it.


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