Why do you need thermometers?
When it comes to RV refrigerators and freezers, I am always paranoid about losing the power supply to my perishable foods. Especially when you need to switch between power sources while travelling and then stopping for the night when you are sometimes tired and might forget.
I am also somewhat paranoid about food safety, and the idea that my fridge might have too little temperature for too long scares me. Because the last thing I want to do when I’m boondocking in my RV is getting food poisoning because that does not seem like a pleasant experience when you only have your tiny RV bathroom.
Because I have both a refrigerator and freezer, it is important that I know the temperatures for both, so that I know the fridge is staying within the fridge temperature guidelines, while the freezer is indeed keeping everything frozen as it should.
What should the temperature actually be?
For guidelines, your refrigerator should be set at about 35F. The freezer you want at 0F. Don’t forget that you want to add already cold and/or frozen food so that your RV fridge doesn’t need to work so hard to bring it down to the appropriate temperature. Don’t wait to turn on your fridge and freezer the day you leave, you want to give it at least 24 hours to get cold before you start packing it with perishables.
What type of thermometer for the RV?
There are several types of fridge thermometers, the most common one is the one sits on a fridge or freezer shelf, but you need to open the fridge or freezer door in order to see what the temperature is, which is pretty counterproductive when you might be boondock in and want to conserve your battery power.
Personally, I prefer the wireless thermometers that have an outside reader for both the fridge and freezer, so that I can see without having to open a door what the temperature is. And the higher-end models also have an alarm feature, which means that I can set it to alert me if the temperatures get too high in either the fridge or the freezer to maintain food safely.
Here’s the model I ultimately decided to go with, because it has both the alarm feature, works individually for both a freezer and a fridge, and has an external monitor that I can either attach to the outside of the fridge or attach it where the rest of my RV monitors are…. although I haven’t decided which placement I prefer in my RV.
- Digital Temperature Sensor Thermometers: Includes one refrigerator...
So when you are considering a monitor for your RV refrigerator and freezer, here is what to look for:
- Do you need a separate temperature gauge for both the fridge and freezer?
- Do you want an alarm feature to alert you when the temperature is outside of your specified temperature range for each?
- Do you want to have to open the door or not to see what the temperature is inside?
If you are fine with an inexpensive one without batteries that require you to open the door to check, this is the most popular one. However, if you are purchasing one for a freezer and one for the fridge, you are over halfway to the price of the wireless one with an alarm.
Here is a digital version which hangs inside the fridge or freezer, or you can use the hook as a stand to allow it to stand up on a shelf. Or you can just cram it wherever you have space, which is usually what seems to happen!
- BIG DIGITS LCD SCREEN: An easy-to-read extra-large LCD screen provides...
Here is a more basic battery-free style, which is the gold standard for years.
- Convenient and practical: Our refrigerator thermometer is suitable for...
These ones are bar style and suction to the side.
- Temperature range: -40°to 80°F or -40°to 27°C
While camping, the last thing you want to worry about is whether the food is safe to eat because your RV fridge doesn’t seem to be keeping food as cold as you think it should. With the thermometer, you have peace of mind on the food temperature and if you have an alarmed version, you can know immediately that the temperature isn’t where it should be before food safety ever becomes an issue.