Chlorine Smell In RV Fridge - Can We Still Sleep In It?

by Debbie Idzan
(Salmon Arm, BC, Canada)

If we do not use the fridge, will we still be able to sleep in the 5th wheel? We had planned to take the grandkids camping and were going to use the fridge just to store non-perishables. Will we be safe sleeping in the unit?

Comments for Chlorine Smell In RV Fridge - Can We Still Sleep In It?

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 12, 2010
Chlorine Smell In RV Fridge - Can We Still Sleep In It?
by: Robbie

The chlorine smell from your fridge is actually ammonia and can be very dangerous. With the fridge doors closed and your RV aired out you should smell no ammonia and can use the motor home safely. Be sure and do not open the doors at anytime. You will be safe sleeping in the unit as long as the fridge doors are NOT opened.

There is a slight chance that the leak is actually outside in the back of the fridge and is seeping into your RV from underneath or the sides of the fridge. If this is the case, the smell will not go away and I advise you not to use the RV.

Robbie @ Warford's R.V. Service

Nov 16, 2010
Is food contaminated when amonia has leaked into refrigerator?
by: Anonymous

Our refrigerator does have an amonia leak. Before we realized it, our frozen food had begun thawing. Since we had no place to put it, we added ice to the freezer and left the meats. Now we are ready to use the meats but are concerned they may be contaminated with the amonia. Everything is still very cool and we would like to cook it so as not to lose it all.

Nov 23, 2010
Is food contaminated when amonia has leaked into refrigerator?
by: Robbie

OK, its a good question. I called two other RV Tech's to get their input and all three of us agree if it were us we wouldn't eat it.
Chemically we have no idea what the ammonia would do to the food, but not being sure I would have to advise that you throw away the food and move to an Ice Chest.
I also advise you to turn off the frig and have it repaired before using it again regardless if it's still cooling.

Robbie @ Warford's R.V. Service

Oct 25, 2011
bad food.
by: Mark

Our fridge did the same thing. I threw all the food away that was in the freezer and frig. We opened all the windows in the rv and left the doors to the frig open to air it out. We left it like that for a week, came back up to camp and the smell was gone. We never thought about the chips and food in the cupboards. When we opened the chips, they had a funny taste but us men didn't care and ate them anyway but soon after we all got massive headaches. Throw everything away! Don't take the chance.

Sep 06, 2020
Ammonia smell
by: paul

How long does it typically take for the ammonia to leak out in a small leak that can't be seen or heard?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Stories of RV Refrigerators.

Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

Have a question about this topic?

Have a question about your RV? Chat with an expert one-on-one now.*

*Chat provided by, a third party not affiliated with MSRVR

Like This Page? Share It!


Have an RV Question?

RV Question Man

Ask A Pro

Browse Visitor Questions

Kind Words From Our Visitors

More visitor testimonials

Robbie Warford, San Diego RV Repair

Hi, I'm Robbie. Welcome to!

Like the name implies, this site is all about helping you save money while keeping your RV in tip-top shape--and that is all about you having the knowledge to do so.

I've been a technician in the RV industry for 30 years, operating out of San Diego, California. And let me tell you, I love my job.

But I also love empowering RVers with the knowledge they need to make the right decision on repairs, or to make the fix themselves--and that, my friend, is the reason for this website. I hope you enjoy.

Or, learn more about me, my RV service practice, & this website here.