Magic Chef 12V RV Refrigerator: Amps, Fixing Problems, Review

Magic Chef has been around for over 90 years. With that experience, the company knows a thing or two about making a good refrigerator. So far their RV option seems to have impressed a lot of owners with its quiet motor.

It is rated at 20 amps and uses 2.5 for maintaining power and 8 to 9 for cooling power. It is a very quiet fridge that may not be heard more than 1 foot away. If you have a cooling problem, check the fuses first

To learn more about this fridge and what it can do for you, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about so you can replace your Dometic or Furrion when they have failed.

Who Makes Magic Chef Refrigerators?


This model is made by Magic Chef but the company is owned by CNA International. They started with Magic Chef back in 1996 as a licensed dealer and in 2010 they bought the company.

In the last 12 years, CNA created Magic Chef Commercial and Norpole to tap into the commercial market. Magic Chef was previously owned by Maytag and Whirlpool but when CAN bought the company, they operated under the MCA Corporation label.

The company originally started out as the American Stove Company in 1929 but by 1951, the brand became so popular that it changed its name to Magic Chef. The brand name remains even though it is not an independent business anymore.

Suffice it to say that the company is American and has its headquarters in Wood Dale, IL and it has a multi-lingual call center in Chicago. Their representatives speak English, French & Spanish and they can help you with your issues by e-mail, phone, or live chat.

Where Are Magic Chef Refrigerators Made?

The company’s about us page does not go into any specific details about where their products are made. They make a big point of having their head office in America and warehouses in Wood Dale, IL., and Carson, CA.

All they say about their other facilities is that they are in “Shenzhen, China, Seoul, Korea, and Atlanta, Georgia” and that they are branch offices. A logical conclusion is that the fridges and other Magic Chef items are made in China and possibly in South Korea.

Someone mentioned that Everchill is a Magic Chef brand name but we have written on Everchill products and we did not see that in our research. You can read about that company and who owns it here >> Fixing Everchill RV refrigeretor problems

The 'our brands' web page on the Magic Chef web page does not list the Everchill name either. The primary focus of Magic Chef these days is on smaller products and appliances. That business strategy makes the company the perfect fit to produce a good RV fridge.

Magic Chef 12v RV Refrigerator

Is Magic Chef refrigerator frost free? This fridge model is made specifically for RVs. It is designed to fit in small places and provide the cooling power you need. The model comes with 7.4 cubic feet of interior space and has a built-in freezer.

The good news is that even if you have a smaller trailer or RV, you can buy the Magic Chef fridge in different sizes. All of the components are covered by a 1-year warranty but this fridge is supposed to have been built to last.

Of the 7.4 cubic feet of space, 6.0 of it is reserved for the fridge section, and 1.4 is given to the freezer. There should also be a vegetable compartment, adjustable temperature control, glass shelves, and more.

Its measurements are 55 inches high by 22 inches wide by 23 inches deep approx. We rounded up for clarity. Like all fridges, there is an interior light so you can get your midnight snack with ease.

How Good Are Magic Chef Refrigerators?

This will depend on who you talk to but so far the reviews do not look good. According to the company, they are making a very good product and some people have said that they like it. They have also said that the product performs as expected.

Then there are people who confuse the Magic Chef with Everchill products and praise the Magic Chef lineup and performance even though they are talking about Everchill.

Finally, there are those owners who have given some of the worst reviews we have seen for any product. They are not satisfied nor are they very happy with the performance of their Magic Chef appliance.

On one review website, 5 people out of 19 gave the fridge 4 stars or higher. 14 gave 1 to 2-star ratings. A top 8 best Magic Chef fridges list only gave the specs and did not offer any review of the products at all.

You can draw your own conclusions from that information. Finally, over at Consumer Reports, the Magic Chef lineup did not come across very well. There were far more 1-star reviews than we would have liked but those were countered by some good 4 and 5-star reviews.

Overall, this is probably a good fridge but your luck may be hit or miss once it is installed.

Magic Chef 10.1 Refrigerator Amps


The best information we can find is that this unit is only supposed to draw between 11 and 12 amps. We checked the company’s website and many other websites talking about this unit and no one gives the number of amps it draws.

They only say it uses 110 to 120-volt power and that is all. The owner’s manual has on the first page the following words: “Specifications are subject to change without prior notice for purpose of product improvement.”

It does not list any specs for this model of fridge. The manual does state that this unit is not to be used for an RV or with an inverter although many RV owners we have read have discussed installing it in their RV and have had no problems. Even when they used an inverter.

The manual goes on to say that this fridge is designed to work with 115 volts at 60 Hz. Also, you are not supposed to use an extension cord when you install this fridge. The company also does not want you to do any repairs on the unit and call in a professional to handle it.

How To Repair a Magic Chef Refrigerator

As we just said, the company has printed in the owner’s manual for the previous model of fridge NOT to do any repairs unless specifically told to do so by the manual itself.

All repairs are to be made by a professional repairman approved to handle troubles with Magic Chef appliances. The reason the company gives is to reduce the possibility of ignition.

They do not explain what they mean by ignition unless they are implying a fire could start with bad repairs. We checked the two troubleshooting pages contained in the manual.

They just describe the problem and then provide reasons for why that problem exists. At the top of the first page, their explanations for the problem give you superficial actions you can take to solve them. Beyond those actions, you are to call a repairman.

We will go through some of those suggestions in the following sections. They are easy to remedy but they may or may not solve the problem. Be ready to call a repairman.

Why is My Magic Chef Refrigerator Not Cooling?

Have you checked the power cord? If you haven’t see if it is plugged in or not. If so, then look at the fuse to see if it has blown or if a breaker has been triggered.

Or the door is open for too long and too frequently. Or you have set the temperature control to high and only get minimal cooling. Other sources could be that the door is out of alignment and does not close properly or the gasket does not seal anymore.

Another source is that you placed hot or warm food inside the fridge and the heat from the food is keeping the fridge from cooling down. Then if you have shut your fridge off for a significant period of time, you will have to wait for 4hours before it gets cool again.

Check those options first then call a repairman. That is because the cooling coils may be having problems.

Magic Chef Refrigerator Freezing Everything

There is only one reason Magic Chef gives for this situation and it is a common problem due to people’s forgetfulness. You may have set the temperature control too low.

That is a common problem as people do not understand how cold a fridge can get. Or they forget to turn the control up when they leave an extremely warm area of the country. In hotter regions, it is normal to turn the fridge temperature down a little because the excess heat demands it.

Other than that, any other source for this problem will require a repairman to handle (according to Magic Chef). They do not list other common problems like a bad compressor or motor as they do not want you making any repairs.

Their one-year warranty is over quickly and after that, you should be able to make repairs if you are skilled enough to do so.

Magic Chef Refrigerator Clicking Noise


The manual only covers bubbling, gurgling, cracking, or popping sounds. In all cases, the manual says those noises are normal and nothing is wrong with the fridge.

The bubbling or gurgling sound is from the coolant circulating through the system and the popping and crackling sound is due to the expansion and contraction of metal parts.

If you hear actual clicking then that could be the compressor or the evaporator having some troubles. Again, Magic Chef does not want you handling those repairs.

The only fix we know of for those two parts would be a replacement and just about anyone with handyman skills can do that task. Except when the fridge is under warranty.

Don’t assume the clicking noise is normal as it is not covered in any web pages we have seen researching these problems.

Why is My Magic Chef Refrigerator Leaking Water?

This is another problem not covered by the manual. The company does not provide a lot of information on its troubleshooting pages. The water leaking may not be a serious problem to you but to the company, it is enough to recommend that you call a repairman.

Other sources say that the trouble can come from either the door gasket being damaged or lost its seal or the drain pan being clogged. The fixes for this would be to clean out the drain pan and make sure it is free from obstructions including the drain itself.

For the gasket, you would just need to buy a new one if the damage cannot be repaired. Usually, when a gasket has lost its sealing power, the only remedy is to replace it. You should be able to do both repairs yourself.

If you are not confident enough to handle the task, then call a handyman or a repairman to do it for you. If the leaking continues after you repaired it, call a repairman

Magic Chef Refrigerator Fan Not Working

You will identify this problem by seeing that the freezer is still cooling but the fridge is not. When you experience that problem you know it is the evaporator fan that is not working right.

When the fan motor is not working at normal speeds, you have to replace it. But first, use a multimeter to test the motor for continuity. If that has a fault, then you know you need to replace the fan motor.

The evaporator fan’s job is to move cool air to the coils which in turn cools the coolant. If the fan is not working, it does not affect the freezer. That is why you still have frozen food while the food in the fridge gets ruined.

If you do not have a multimeter on hand and do not want to mess with your warranty, call in a repairman to diagnose and fix the problem. It may be costly but it is the best route to take most of the time.

How To Reset Magic Chef RV Refrigerator

Resetting is not a complicated process nor is it hard to follow. Like most modern appliances and electrical gadgets, the process involves very few steps. The first step is to unplug the fridge from its power supply.

All that entails is removing the power cord from the outlet. The next step is to wait. This time you only have to wait about 5 or 10 minutes. When that time frame is over, plug the power cord back in.

The fridge should be reset. There is no reset button on the fridges Magic Chef makes so do not bother to look for any. This is a simple process and it can be done quickly.

Just be aware that if you forget to plug it back in and don’t do that simple task after hours of delay, it will take about 4 hours for the fridge to cool down again. It is easy to forget when one has many things to do at the same time.

Download Magic Chef Refrigerator Manual


If you have bought a recent model of Magic Chef fridges, getting the manual is super easy. In fact, it is about the easiest option we have seen coming directly from the company.

All you have to do is go to this link and click on the picture of the model of fridge you own. Once you do that, you scroll down to the next page till you see the words warranty and manuals.

Click on those words and choose the manual you need. There does not seem to be a cost involved and if there is, you can always view and read the manual on your computer screen.

Or you can go to this link to get a manual. It is our go-to manual source and it has manuals for just about every product made. That link brings you to a variety of manuals and you just click on the model you need and it will appear.

Again, we are not sure if there is a cost involved or not. But like the company’s web page you can view and read if there is a charge involved.

Finding Magic Chef Refrigerator Light Bulb Replacement

The first place to look will be the Magic Chef website. It has a parts department where you can look up different parts by model, part number, or part name.

When we searched for a light bulb only 2 options came up. To find the parts web page use the link we gave earlier to the company’s website and then look up and to the right.

There is a menu at the to[p of the page and you are looking for the word support. Hover over that and a drop down menu will appear. Go down to parts order and click on that link.

You will be sent to the page where you can order the part. Or you can use the subsection heading and do an internet search for a parts and repair company near you. There were more than enough parts and repair outlets that popped up in our search results.

You should be able to find one near you with ease or simply check with your local lighting stores or fridge repair shops to see what they have in stock.

Magic Chef Refrigerator Reviews

These were mixed as some people liked their fridge and others did not. In looking at different websites recording reviews, it is not a pretty sight. There were a lot of complaints about Magic Chef, probably more than the good reviews we saw.

Some people were not happy because their appliances broke down in 2 weeks, several months, and less than 2-years. Others were quite happy with their appliance and had no regrets about buying them.

As we mentioned earlier, some people were confused between Everchill and Magic Chef and gave glowing reviews about their fridge even though it was not a true Magic Chef product.

Most of the reviews we saw were not positive. As we reported earlier about 1/3 of the owners liked the product while 2/3 did not. That is not a good sign for anyone. Even if we discounted some of the bad reviews for the usual reasons, there would still be too many negative opinions.

The good reviews would not overcome those negative reports.

Who Sells Magic Chef Refrigerators?

One of the good features that we saw on the Magic Chef website is that when you click on the individual products you are interested n, there is a where to buy headline off to the right.

That where to buy tells you exactly where you can buy their products. Not all of them have any stores listed but that is okay. The company has its own internet or website store you can use to make your purchase.

Then many of their products should be located at retail outlets that carry that brand of appliances and other items the company makes. Those outlets include Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Plus, and even Amazon.

You may find them at smaller outlets as well.

Some Final Words

When you buy any appliance you take your chances. The Magic Chef 12V RV fridge seems like a good product. It is made specifically for RVs and trailers so it should fit in your model easily.

Plus, their fridges come in different sizes so you can pick and choose which model you would want. Just be careful as there have been more negative reviews than positive ones. Everchill is not a Magic Chef brand.

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