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Updated 11/26/2012



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Why a Refrigerator May Not Stay Cold During the Winter:



A refrigerator's thermostat signals its compressor to cycle on and off, cooling both compartments. But the thermostat is usually in the fresh-food compartment. As your cabin cools down, the compressor needs to run less often to keep the fresh-food section cold.  As the cooling decreases, the freezer warms up.  If the cabin is cold enough, the compressor will stop running altogether because the thermostat doesn't call for cooling.  The freezer will then warm up to the cabin temperature. That's why many manufacturers advise against putting a refrigerator/freezer where the temperature can fall below 55° F. (as explained by Consumer Reports magazine)

How to test whether your refrigerator's freezer compartment is becoming too warm:

Place a paper cup or drinking glass containing an ice cube into the freezer. After you have been away from the cabin, check the ice cube. If it is not shaped like a cube, then the freezer has become too warm. This may be due to your cabin's temperature becoming colder than 55° F when you're away.