An RV refrigerator is an essential appliance needed to keep foods fresh and cool while camping in RV. My family and I always love to go on camping in an RV. Our camping experience would not be complete without a running refrigerator that stores all our food. In order for these refrigerators to run, you need batteries to power them on. But, the question is “How Long will an RV Fridge Run on Battery?”. It is highly important that we know the answer to this question so that we can do some adjustments and prepare ahead. Let us get to know the answer as we get along.
What are the Running Hours of the RV Fridge?
Normally, refrigerators run using AC power. However, when you are out there camping, it is not readily available. Thanks to batteries, having a fridge in RV is still possible. With the help of an inverter, the DC from the battery will be converted to AC to power the refrigerator.
A normal residential refrigerator or an RV fridge that consumes 150 watts of power would approximately draw 12-amp hours from a 12 Volts battery. Under this circumstance, the RV refrigerator could run for about 4 to 5 hours using a single 12 Volts battery that can supply 100 amp-hours.
Most Dometic refrigerators specifically made for RV can run approximately 6 to 8 hours on a single 12 Volts DC battery.
For a smaller RV fridge that only consumes less than 70 watts of power can last up to 30 hours with a single 12 Volts battery.
In case you determined how big your battery is (Ah), the power and the voltage of your device, you can also use this tool to quickly figure out how long your battery will last.
Factors Affecting the Running Hours of an RV Fridge
There are actually several factors affecting the number of hours an RV fridge lasts. These factors include:
- Number of amp hours
One of the factors that affect the number of hours RV fridge lasts is the number of amp factors afforded by batteries. This means that if the battery could give more amp hours, the more hours the RV refrigerator can run.
- Number of batteries
If you have more batteries on hand, then you can run the RV fridge for more hours. Thus, if you expect your RV fridge to run for about 6 to 8 hours with a single 12 Volts battery, then it is much better to load 2 or 3 more batteries to keep the fridge working.
- Actual power consumption of RV refrigerator
The number of hours is also affected by the power consumption of your RV refrigerator. For instance, if you have a refrigerator that utilizes 150 watts of power, your refrigerator is only expected to last for 4 to 5 hours. On the other hand, if you are using only a 70 watts RV refrigerator, then you can enjoy more hours as compared to a 150-watts refrigerator.
This factor is also affected by the size and age of the refrigerator. With size, the larger your refrigerator the more power it consumes. As with age, the older the refrigerator the more power it also consumes.
Another factor affecting power consumption is how often you use the refrigerator. Thus, using only minimal features will yield lower power consumption.
Tips for Using Battery-operated RV Refrigerator
Now, that we already have a sort of idea of how long RV refrigerators last using batteries, then here are some tips that you can use to be able to utilize these RV refrigerators for a long.
- Check the actual power consumption of your RV refrigerator
As we have said earlier, one of the factors affecting the number of hours an RV refrigerator works is the power consumption of the appliance. To check the actual power consumption of your RV refrigerator, put off all the devices connected to your battery except for the fridge. Then, check the meter reading to see how many amps have been drawn. The amps drawn are on a per-hour basis, so you can easily calculate how many hours your refrigerator will work.
- Get the right battery size
One good way to prolong RV refrigerator use while boondocking is to get multiple batteries connected together. However, there are two ways to connect your battery. One is by connecting it to a series; with this, you don’t increase the amps but only the volts. For example, if you put two 6 Volt batteries, you will have 12 Volts but amp hours will not increase.
On the other hand, connecting batteries in parallel will increase the number of apps. If you connect batteries in parallel like two 12 Volt batteries, for instance, you will have more than 150 amps.
Therefore, you need to calculate first the power consumption of all appliances before you configure the batteries. You can connect them either in series or parallel to get the required volts or sufficient amps to keep your RV fridge working.
- Make sure the batteries are in good condition
To ensure that you get to maximize the amp hours the battery can give, you have to make sure that they are in good condition. Charge it accordingly as instructed. The most common reason why batteries fail is either they are undercharged or overcharged. Make sure the batteries you are going to use do not lose their charge to less than 50 percent.
When you are on a road trip or camping perhaps, a handy RV refrigerator is very important because it will store and keep your foods fresh for consumption. Thus, before you go, you have to make sure that your RV refrigerator can last throughout the whole journey. We hope this article has given you all the right insights regarding how long will an RV Fridge run on battery and how, in a way, to prolong its use.
“Hi, I’m Francis’ husband—Calvin. Our story began with our shared passion for traveling. I have had a career journey for over 11 years at Ford Motor Company, where I took on the role of BMS SW Process Engineer.
Together with my wife, I have dedicated countless hours to exploring every nook and corner of the world. Ten years living in an RV may seem long, but time seems to fly by when I’m doing what I love with the person I love.
Like my wife, I hope to help you see the beauty of traveling off the beaten path by sharing insights into this lifestyle. In addition to my corporate roles, I also launched our website – Outdoorbits, in 2015 and continue to contribute my knowledge and skills to the present day. And I’ll be completely honest with you—no hiding the truth or sugarcoating the possible challenges.
So, if you want to run away from the busy lifestyle to embrace nature, I’m your guy.”