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What to do when your RV Refrigerator Gas Light is Blinking

What to do when your RV Refrigerator Gas Light is Blinking

avatar   Scott
Trip Date 06/25/2018
Posted On 10/10/2018 17:02:57

Camping | RV | Setup | RV Refrigerator | Refrigerator Gas Mode | Refrigerator Auto Mode | Refrigerator Light Blinking | Out of Propane | Hacks

You are getting ready to go see some beautiful views somewhere in the country and after turning on your RV refrigerator, the gas light won't stop blinking. You know that you have propane, so what should you do?

RV Refrigerator Operations

Most RV refrigerators run both on electric and propane gas. When you are getting ready to go on a trip, you will probably turn on the fridge so that you can load it with all of your favorite goodies like ice cream, beer, hamburgers and and maybe some fish bait. You need that fridge working and not just blinking at you.

RV Refrigerator Mode Lights

RV Refrigerator Mode Lights

Normally, you want your fridge in automatic mode. This will allow it to switch back and forth between the electric and gas modes, depending on what power is available. When your RV has been sitting for a while, your propane might not be all of the way through the line and to the fridge with enough pressure for the sensor to recognize it. When starting up the refrigerator, I put it in gas mode for a while just to ensure it can run fine with the propane.

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Checking the Basics

First, check to make sure that the propane tanks are actually turned on. Another thing to do is to confirm that the correct tank is turned on. Many RVs have two tanks and there is a selector which sometimes can't be seen very well because of its position, especially when the tank cover is on. The tank selector can be set to left, right or both. Usually it is best to select just one tank so that when that tank runs out, you can switch to your second tank while getting the empty tank filled. So, make sure that the tank you opened (opening the valve handle counter-clockwise all the way) is the same tank that is selected.

I don't see any advantage to running both tanks at the same time. If you do, they will run empty at the same time, and you won't have any propane pressure until you get them both refilled - probably right in the middle of cooking dinner, or on a very cold day!

RV Refrigerator Gas Light

RV Refrigerator Gas Light

Although that is a necessary first step, it probably isn't the main cause of your problem. Next, you have to make sure that the propane gas has gone all the way through the lines to the fridge. To help it along, you need to turn on the stove and let it burn for a minute so that all the air gets out of the lines. Then, perhaps the fridge will sense the propane and the gas light will stop blinking.

The microprocessor that controls the refrigerator runs on 12v. Make sure you have a strong DC electric source. If you are running on battery while you are starting up your RV, perhaps this is an issue. Normally I plug the RV into the house AC. Ideally an RV needs 30- or 50-amp power, but it can also run on 15-amp 120v from a normal power plug. This is enough to run the converter which charges the battery, provides 12v DC to the RV and also runs the refrigerator. The refrigerator cooling unit runs on 120v AC, but the microprocessor runs on 12v DC. The microprocessor may be confused since it was recently started and perhaps didn't sense enough propane gas.

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Resetting the Microprocessor that Controls the Refrigerator

If the gas light still blinks with adequate electric power and the fridge remains silent after you've confirmed the proper flow of propane, probably the microprocessor is confused. You will need to turn the refrigerator completely off for a few minutes (be patient). Then, turn it on to gas mode and let it try to re-light the gas. You'll hear the fridge clicking to light the pilot light. Hopefully it can light the gas now. If it does, the light will go solid. Then, once the fridge is successfully started in dedicated gas mode, you can move the switch back to auto mode.

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Economics of the RV Refrigerator

Automatic mode is good because it will use electric (if it is available) which doesn't consume gas and won't cost you any more than you are already paying. When at a park, your electric service is included and therefore there's no extra cost. When driving or boondocking, you'll of course need to use propane gas which will always cost you.

Imagine if you had to keep everything in your refrigerator in an ice chest instead? You would have to buy bags of ice every few days. Also, you'd probably need several normal medium size ice chests to store the same quantity you do in your refrigerator. It seems that the refrigerator is a lot more cost effective than the ice chest unless you have a very cheap source of ice.

Also consider the hassle-factor of the ice chest versus the refrigerator. Once the refrigerator is running, it will normally keep running just fine for quite a while on an RV sized propane tank.

Therefore, enjoy the refrigerator in your RV!

What to do when your RV Refrigerator Gas Light is Blinking

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Thanks for your Feedback!
avatar   Stacy
09/04/2019 05:19:50

That's so great to hear - we are glad that you found the information helpful. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Happy RVing!
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Awesome information!
avatar   Rush

09/03/2019 12:11:39

Thanks for posting all the details here.....it really helped me out. Aloha
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