Why is my Dometic Refrigerator Not Cooling but the Freezer is?

If you are accustomed to travelling in an RV. If you are used to all sorts of adventurous trips in an actual living, breathing home. Then there are high chances that you have experienced the problem that we are going to discuss today in this article.

You must also be aware of dometic RVs. Since they are the leading manufacturers of RVs for longlasting adventures, it is not easy to miss out on them.

However, there is a common issue people face with these RVs. It may sound like a rare issue but it is not! And it is that the dometic refrigerator not cooling but freezer works.

In order for you to be able to enjoy your adventures in your domestic RVs, we are here to help! We will be telling you all the things you need to do if your refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer is fine.

Be sure to read up until the Conclusion of this article in order to gain maximum benefit from the information we will be providing. We have also included an FAQ section and a video related to the topic at hand. These sections of the article will clear any and all confusion. So, be sure to pay attention to all parts of the article.

How to Identify the Problem

When you take out food from your fridge and find it to be warm, you may suspect a potential problem. But you cannot possibly identify the problem right away. You will have to confirm whether the dometic refrigerator is not cooling. This might be the case but it can be some other problem too.

The First Way

If the RV refrigerator is not cooling, the first thing you should go find is a thermometer. You will have to place it inside the refrigerator for a couple of hours. When you take it out, you need to cross-check it with the current temperature setting of the fridge not cooling but the freezer works.

If the temperature of the thermometer is much higher than that of the RV fridge freezer that is cold but the fridge is not, there is a problem! You must be wondering why the thermometer needs to be placed inside for so long. Well, that is in order to avoid any human or thermometer errors. So that the thermometer can meaure the temperature a couple of times.

Make sure to use a refrigerator thermometer. It is not the same as a regular thermometer, so be wary of that!

The Second Way

Another way to confirm if the dometic RV refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer works is to find the coils. Yes, that is right! The coils inside both, the fridge and the freezer. If there is a huge difference between the temperature of both of these, the issue will be confirmed.

Be sure to be cautious, though. The coils might be too hot if, in fact, the Rv refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer is. Make sure that there are no children around and that your hands are protected.

The Third Way

This method will only work if your freezer works but the refrigerator doesn’t that has a gas mode. If there is a gas mode then the refrigerator must have a flame behind it. All you need to do is to check if it is burning properly or not.

Once again, you need to be cautious regarding your surroundings. Make sure no children are near you. They should not know how to approach this burning flame. Moreover, be careful to stand at a distance from the place of the burning flame. You just need to observe whether it is burning properly. You do not need to approach it or touch it.

To be Noted: In recreational vehicles, the freezer always cools before the refrigerator. This means that if the dometic refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer is, the issue is with the airflow.

The second probability is that there is a diffuser installed. The diffuser moves cool air from the fridge to the freezer. If maintenance is low, then the diffuser must be clogged. 

The reason for the above-given factors is most likely to be that you have driven your RV on bumpy roads excessively. Yes, RVs are built to endure bumpy roads. But excessive bumps still cause this issue. 

Looking for related guides? Here’s one we think you’ll like: 6 Best RV Holding Tank Treatments!


What You Should Really be Looking for

However, before you take any of the steps mentioned above, there is an important piece of information to know. That is, that if the refrigerator won’t get cold but the freezer will, by how much must the fridge’s temperature be off? As in, what is the optimum temperature of the fridge and freezer be?

Do not take this as the information to be used when looking at a regular fridge and freezer. This is because an RV fridge and freezer work differently. So, in the case of an RV food cooling system, the freezer’s temperature should ideally be 0 degrees. And that of the refrigerator should be somewhere around 34 degrees.

Common Reasons if Dometic Refrigerator not Cooling but Freezer is

Although we touched upon this in the note given above, there are several other potential reasons too. You need to know all the possible reasons behind your RV refrigerator and freezer not cooling or just your dometic refrigerator not cooling. Be sure to check out our list given below. This will make it easier for you to handle the situation if the refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer is fine.

The Thermistor

rv refrigerator not cooling

The thermistor an essential part of the RV’s refrigerator because it is what controls the cooling cycle. Not only of the refrigerator but of the entire RV. If the temperature outside the RV is too high, the power of the thermistor is compromised.

Meaning to say, if the temperature of the area where you are driving your RV or where you have parked is hot, the thermistor will cease to function properly.

The cooling cycle gets caught up with the heat. This causes the fridge to not be cooling but the freezer works, still. The simplest solution to this issue is to replace the thermistor with a new one. It will not probably be too costly, so it is a reasonable way to go.

Also, do not let the refrigerator run without a thermistor for too long. If your refrigerator not cooling but the freezer is fine, leaving it without a thermistor will cause even more detrimental issues.

The Exhaust

rv refrigerator not cooling

The purpose of the exhaust is to let the built-up heat in the refrigerator be let out. If the exhaust doesnot do its job properly, then the heat will build up inside the refrigerator. And this will eventually lead to the dometic refrigerator not working but the freezer working.

The reason behind the exhaust of the refrigerator failing to do its job is usually the same as any other regular exhaust. And that is, yes you guessed it right, the exhaust being too dirty. It is filled with dust particles and other harmful elements. Only because of lack of maintenance and care.

So, the solution to this issue is just that simple. Keep your RV clean! We assure you, that in doing so, you will not only solve the problem if the dometic RV refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer is but many other problems too. Maybe even problems you may not be aware of existing too!

The exhaust can be cleaned by removing the vent cover. This will probably be located at the top of the RV’s roof. Then you can start your cleaning from there.

The Air Circulation

rv refrigerator not cooling

Another possible reason behind the camper refrigerator not cooling can be that you are driving in a dry and hot area. This causes a disruption in the usual and proper air circulation inside your vehicle.

The easiest way to fix the problem of your RV fridge freezer cold but fridge not is to install a fan inside a vehicle. If it is already installed then you need to turn it on more often.

The video we have linked for you below might be of use to you. It teaches you the ways in which you can utilize the space of your RV refrigerator better.

Once you solve the issue of the RV refrigerator not cooling, this is the next step you need to take! That is why we highly recommend for you to watch this video. It will be better if you do so after reading the rest of the article first.

Moreover, if you would like to find new vents for your RV, you can do so here. Cleaning or replacing the vent, in case of the exhaust system being damage is important. We have covered this topic above as well.

Looking for related guides? Here’s one we think you’ll like: 8 Portable Air Conditioners for Camper Trailers to Buy 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If the RV refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer is fine, are the reasons the same regardless of the RV company?

A: Yes! We have written this article specifically about dometic RV refrigerators not cooling but freezer is because that is the one that is most discussed by adventure enthusiasts. However, if your LG refrigerator not cooling but freezer works or Norcold RV refrigerator not cooling but freezer is, the same situations apply!

Even if it is your Americana dometic refrigerator not cooling or Furrion refrigerator not cooling, the information we have provided can be used for that issue.

Q: How to replace the cooling unit in dometic refrigerator?

A: We recommend that you get a professional to do so for you. Because it is no easy task. Figuring out why dometic refrigerator is not cooling properly is another thing. But changing the entire cooling system is a whole other story.

Whether you need to do it because the RV’s freezer works but not the refrigerator or for any other reason. It can get complicated and dangerous to try to fix this problem on your own.

Q: Is it a big problem if my dometic refrigerator is not cooling but freezer works?

A: If you have read the article carefully up until now, then you must know the answer. The answer is no!. The chances are very high that if the freezer works and refrigerator doesn’t then it is no big issue. All you really need to do is identify the problem.

freezer works refrigerator doesn't








Now that you have reached the end of this article, we guarantee that you have the answer to your question. That question being, why my dometic freezer works but fridge doesn’t? The question of “how to make RV refrigerator colder?” has also been answered for you by us. So, you no longer need to panic or worry if your dometic fridge is not cooling on gas or electric connections.

All you need to do is figure out what is causing the issue if the refrigerator is not cold but the freezer works. The detailed list of potential reasons we have provided above will surely help you with this.

The ways of checking the temperature and what temperature is supposed to be the right one, you must have learned to. That is, of course, if you read the article intently! And if you want to know why your RV refrigerator freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm, then you must have!

Furthermore, we would like to encourage you to share this article with as many people as possible! Especially your friends who own an RV and are accustomed to recreational adventures.

The more people who can benefit from this article about troubleshooting RV refrigerators, the better, right? Yes, for sure! So, do not be shy when it comes to sharing this article about what causes freezer to work but not refrigerator in an RV, with others!

They will be grateful to you for teaching them about why their dometic refrigerator is not cooling on electric. Or the ways of Narcold RV refrigerator troubleshooting. This is because for many the RV refrigerator is not cooling but the freezer is and it is a confusing situation.


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Hey! I’m Mark Polk, an author, camper & public speaker on anything & everything RV related. I have educated millions of RV consumers on safely and properly usage through my movies (i.e. TRV Education 101: RV Care and Maintenance 2009) Writing about this industry is a huge passion of mine, so here’s a little piece of my mind.

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