Skip to Content

RV Fridge Check Light On – What Could Be Wrong?

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

If that check light on your RV fridge is bothering you, you've come to the right page. We asked RV experts what this means and what you can do about it. Here's what they said.

The check light on your RV fridge turned on when it tried to start using LP gas, but it failed to ignite. It could also mean that your fridge was already using LP as its power source, and it ran out of gas. To remove this notification, make sure that you still have gas and just reset your camper refrigerator. 

Keep reading so we can explain further why the check light in your RV fridge is on. We'll also tell you how to reset your Dometic camper refrigerator, how long a 12V battery can power your RV fridge and the life expectancy of these camper refrigerators. Let's get started!

A repairman checking the RV fridge, RV Fridge Check Light On - What Could Be Wrong?

What does check light mean on Dometic fridge?

Perhaps you're in the middle of your camping trip, and you notice that the check light on your fridge is on. You're wondering what it means and what you need to do about it. You're worried about the stock of food that you have in your fridge, and of course, you don't want it to spoil.  

A home service repairman checking the broken fridge of an RV

Hold on and don't panic, as the solution might be far simpler than you think. This question has been raised many times in different online forums of RVers. Apparently, many campers have come across this situation. According to them, the check light on is activated when:

  • Your RV refrigerator tried to use LP as its power source, but it didn't start.
  • It was already running on gas, but the flame eventually went out.

To remove the light, check if you still have gas. Then, you just need to turn off your RV fridge for a few minutes and then turn it back on. This would give it enough time to reset its system as it figures out which power source to use. Make sure to push the 'Auto' button so that it can switch to electric or gas, whichever is available. 

RV refrigerators have been designed to function using what power sources are usually available. It usually involves 120 VAC or shore power and LP gas or propane. Most of these appliances have a feature that allows them to switch automatically from one power source to another although users can also choose their preferred power source manually.

As the fridge switches to the most economical power source, it might encounter issues along the way that could cause the check light to turn on.

It might take a couple of resets before the check light is gone, as it needs adequate time for the gas to ignite your camper fridge. But rebooting works! You can now have peace of mind and enjoy the rest of your vacation time.

How do I reset my Dometic camper refrigerator?

If the need arises, you can reset your Dometic camper refrigerator to have it running properly again. However, the location of the reset button inside your fridge would vary according to the model that you have. It is best to consult your owner's manual to find out where it is. 

Once you've found the reset button, all you have to do is press it, and your Dometic fridge should be back in order.

Some instances where resetting your fridge could help, would be when you experience issues with the pilot light and a failed burner (if your fridge is running on propane gas). Of course, aside from pushing the reset button, there's something else that you need to do to resolve these issues.

In the case of a failed burner, you need to purge the excess gas from the propane cylinder. For the pilot light, check if the thermonuclear is already faulty or there's too much air in the gas line. Doing these things aside from resetting would help address the issues.

Some RV refrigerators don't come with a reset button, so better check your manual to know if yours has one. Oftentimes, you just need to push the button off and wait for a few minutes before turning it back on to give it time to reset.  

How long will a 12-volt battery run an RV refrigerator?

A repairman opening the RV fridge

An RV can have different power sources to make its appliances run since you cannot be connected to shore power all the time. If you're using a 12V battery, you may be able to run your RV fridge for six to eight hours. Of course, it depends on the capacity of your battery, the size of your refrigerator, and the other appliances drawing power from the battery.

Assuming that you have a 12V 100AH deep cycle battery and it is being used to power the RV refrigerator only, a bigger or residential type refrigerator that needs 12 amp hours will run for around eight hours. A smaller fridge will run for much longer since it has less energy consumption.

Click this link to find this RV battery on Amazon.

The more amp hours your 12V RV battery has, the longer you will be able to run your RV refrigerator. And if you're using more than one battery, they'll be able to provide you with more power and more hours to use your appliance. 

Some RVers get a battery monitoring system or BMS to help them determine how much power each RV appliance needs. This will help them manage the use of their batteries, especially when they're camping off the grid.

Find this battery monitor on Amazon.

But if you don't have a BMS, you can check the power consumption of your RV fridge by turning off all your appliances that are connected to the battery except the refrigerator. Check the meter reading to determine how many amp hours the fridge is drawing from the battery.

Use that information to compute the number of hours that your fridge can run using your battery. This is also useful in knowing the best type of fridge that you should get for your rig. If you can get by with a smaller size and one that doesn't come with too many features, you can optimize the use of your battery.    

How long do RV refrigerators last?

It makes much sense to invest in an RV refrigerator if you go camping with your family often.  You get to store the food and ingredients that you need for cooking. No more risk of having spoiled food! You also reduce the trips you have to make to the grocery since you can store perishable goods in your fridge. 

A repairman opening the RV fridge

This RV appliance is a worthwhile investment because you can expect it to last for an average of 14 years. Or, if you use it properly, you can definitely get more life out of your fridge. 

The lifespan of an RV fridge will depend on various factors.

Quality and model of the refrigerator

There are trusted brands out there, and they've lasted this long for a reason: they make quality appliances. In general, high-end models are expected to last longer because they use excellent parts and components, albeit more expensive than regular refrigerators.

Maintenance

Regular maintenance is always the key to a longer lifespan of any appliance. Make sure to check and clean the gasket of your fridge, free the exhaust of any obstructions, inspect the wires and connections frequently, and defrost routinely.

Usage

When you know how to use your RV fridge properly, it'll serve you for a long time. Your rig should be level on the ground when you use it. Don't turn it on while you're in transit. Do not overfill or underfill your fridge, set the right temperature, close the door shut, and avoid blocking the ventilation holes to allow proper air circulation. 

Environmental conditions

Rustic themed interior of an RV with shelves and a small fridge on the side

Position your RV fridge in a cool and shaded place, away from direct sunlight so that it won't have to work hard all the way. When this appliance is exposed to extremely hot or cold conditions, it is prone to wear out faster than expected.  

These are just some of the recommendations that'll help you maximize the life of your RV refrigerator.

Final Thoughts

A repairman checking the RV fridge

Next time that you see the check light on your fridge, don't panic. Just check if you still have enough gas and reboot your camper refrigerator. It should be back in working condition, without the check light on, in no time.

Check these links for some related reading:

How Long Will An RV Refrigerator Run On Battery Power

RV Refrigerator Not Cooling, but Freezer Is? Here’s How to Fix That