Caravan Fridge Won’t Light on Gas: 5 Causes and Solutions

Caravan refrigerators are typically capable of running off either electrical or gas power supplies. However, running a caravan fridge can be tricky on gas, especially when you run into issues getting it started. A refrigerator is something you need to work well when staying in a caravan. 

If your caravan fridge won’t light on gas, it is most likely a faulty thermocouple or a blockage in the gas connector. Other reasons may be as simple as the fridge is not on level ground or is connected to an electrical power supply. You should also check that you are topped up with enough gas. 

Keep reading for an in-depth analysis of the most likely causes of your caravan refrigerator not lighting. I will break down what causes these malfunctions and the best way to find a solution. 

Why Won’t Your Caravan Fridge Light on Gas? 

Your refrigerator is essential when staying in a caravan. If you are staying for more than a few days, you’ll need a fridge to keep your food fresh and your drinks cold. As a result, you will be eager to figure out the reason why your caravan fridge won’t light or run on gas. 

Your caravan fridge won’t light on gas because it either has a faulty thermocouple or it is connected to a 24v/12v power supply. It could also be a blockage in the gas connector, a blocked coolant system, or perhaps your fridge is not on level ground.

See below for an in-depth analysis of each of these causes of your caravan fridge not lighting on gas. I will also explore solutions that you can do yourself at home. You must remember to follow appropriate safety protocols when attempting repairs on appliances that operate using gas or electricity. 

1. Faulty Thermocouple

One of the more common problems when your caravan fridge won’t light is a damaged or faulty thermocouple. The thermocouple regulates the flow of gas into your refrigerator. If the thermocouple is defective, the flowing gas will not be correct for the fridge to light. 

The thermocouple on your caravan fridge is usually underneath a panel within the refrigerator or in a control panel located elsewhere in the vehicle. However, in most caravan fridges, the thermocouple is beneath the screwed-on service panel at the front or rear of the refrigerator. 

Once a thermocouple is faulty, it’s best to replace it with a new one. Replacing the thermocouple as a DIY project involves working with gas. As a result, there are risks involved, and unless you are up to the task, it’s best left to a professional, especially if a warranty covers the fridge. 

Follow these steps to replace a faulty thermocouple in your caravan fridge: 

  1. Disconnect gas at the main switch.
  2. Disconnect any other power sources connected to the fridge. 
  3. Let the refrigerator sit for at least an hour for gas to escape. 
  4. Remove the service panel cover. 
  5. Disconnect the faulty thermocouple.
  6. Clean area of any dirt or dust. 
  7. Connect new thermocouple. 

As always, when carrying out any DIY projects, you should consult the owner’s manual for your caravan and gas fridge. Pay careful attention to the safety instructions and make sure that you fully understand what you need to do before proceeding. 

2. Connected to 24v or 12v Power Supply

Caravan refrigerators are often 3-way fridges. A 3-way fridge runs on three separate power supplies: 24V mains, 12V power, and the gas power supply. If your caravan fridge is connected to any of these power supplies, it may interfere with the gas operation. 

Make sure to check if your fridge is not connected to anything other than the gas system. Doing this ensures that your fridge is not connected to an alternative power source. 

Caravan fridges won’t run on gas when connected to electricity for safety reasons. Electricity can produce sparks that don’t mix well with flammable gas. 

3. Blockage in Gas Connector 

Blockages in the gas connector are another likely suspect when your gas fridge is out of action and won’t light. Blockages can occur throughout the gas system; however, they are most commonly found in the gas burner jet. 

A blockage in the gas burner jet or connector will prevent gas from flowing freely into your fridge. This prevents the fridge from lighting, which in turn causes your food to spoil. Therefore the blockade should be removed before continuing. 

To check for blockages in the gas connector, switch off the gas at the mains. Then you will need to disconnect and reconnect the various aspects of the system. Once all airways have been checked, turn on the gas and check to see if it’s flowing. 

4. Fridge Is Not on Level Ground

One root of issues that often get overlooked in caravan fridges is level ground. A gas-powered fridge needs to be placed on a level surface. An uneven surface or ground will cause the gas to travel differently through the system. The result of this is the refrigerator lighting not functioning as it should. 

You may need to move your caravan to ensure that you are parked on flat ground. You should also ensure that the kegs underneath the caravan fridge are correctly adjusted. Place a level on top of your fridge to ensure that it is on an even surface. 

If this is the cause of your problem, the fridge should start working again once it’s correctly placed on an even surface. 

5. Blocked Coolant System

Gas refrigerators contain a coolant system. The coolant system included is vital in the fridge operation, and an issue with this system could stop the gas fridge from lighting. These blockages will also prevent the refrigerator from getting cold, even after being turned on for hours. 

You will need to dislodge the blockage in the fridge to ensure that it’s retired to functional order. The best way to dislodge a blockage in the coolant system is by driving your caravan over a bumpy road. The bangs and jumps will dislodge any blockages in the system. 

Alternatively, you can remove the fridge from the caravan and place it outside for a day in an upside-down position. This allows the air bubbles to rise through the coolant, and the gasses and liquids will separate inside the fridge, clearing blockages and allowing gas to flow. 

After leaving the fridge for 24 hours, place it back into your caravan and switch it on. After a few hours, the refrigerator should return to normal operational condition. 

However, if your gas fridge still does not work. Contact a professional for service, and they will indeed find the root of your problem. 

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