Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Even The Simple Maintenance - Tighten Your Refrigerator/Appliance Screws!

   Like most of you, I drive my RV lots of miles. I'd wager if you drove a sticks and bricks house down the road at 60 MPH lots of stuff would get loose and/or break free. So it's no wonder that the major appliances and their mounts in the RV are going to do the same. It really pays to check them out after every (OK, not EVERY) trip. Recently, I heard a strange thump come from my refrigerator (just after my mirror changed it's position) After checking it out, it was caused by several of the screws holding the fridge to its frame mounting getting loose from the vibration of a drive. How can you stop that?

Well, you really can't completely eliminate screws backing out from continual vibration, but you can certainly slow them down. Easiest thing to do is tighten them up periodically. In my case, that stopped the movement of the fridge and I was done. Next time, or when I begin to winterize, I may remove each screw and use some thread locking compound (or just some white glue) to try and keep them tightened for a longer time. I will be looking into doing that at a later date. Maybe I'll even write an article about it...

Pay No Attention To The Bottle Of Seltzer!
On my Dometic refrigerator there are several screws inside the door frame on either side holding the fridge to the front framing of its enclosure. When I first bought the RV the original ones were completely stripped out or missing entirely. I replaced them with regular wood screws that fit the holes well, but aren't all that pretty, They hold well in the wood framing and the refrigerator door shuts completely, so looks aren't all that critical here. In addition to the screws on the door sides (fridge AND freezer compartments) there are screws at the top and bottom of the unit. In order to get to these, several small screws need to be removed to allow the plastic cover panels to be taken off and the screws accessed. The bottom one is pretty easy, but the top one has wiring for the control panel in it, so you have to be very careful when you pull it away from the fridge itself. Afterwards, just tighten the screws and replace the covers. Be careful not to pinch any wires or accidentally detach them! You'll know pretty quickly as the fridge display won't work properly. Don't ask how I know.

This is a tiny bit of easy preventive maintenance you can do whenever you have a few spare minutes. I keep a Phillips head screwdriver handy so I can tighten various screws around the RV. Especially after a particular bumpy ride. You'll also prevent the screw holes from becoming enlarged and that's a whole 'nother repair. Better to have an ounce of prevention than a pound of cure!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


  1. Many years ago, after having our stove 'fall out' of its mount after driving 20+ miles on a washboard gravel road to a campground, I've taken to checking out the mounting screws every once in a while. I should probably do this more often, but our current 2012 trailer seems to be much better constructed. In fact, I think I'll run out back and check this stuff out RIGHT NOW!

    1. MrTommy,
      Good idea! Amazing how basic maintenance helps so much.

      Rich "The Wanderman"


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