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How Long Will an RV Fridge Run on Battery? – Things to Know

Writen by Tom Hank

Fact checked by Joseph Varney

how ong will an rv fridge run on battery

Your recreational vehicle is like a portable home with many functional features and appliances. One among many is the RV refrigerator. You store your food in the fridge to keep it cool and fresh, thus, avoiding spoilage.

Well, of course, the difference between an actual house and the camper van is the source of electricity. For your RV refrigerator, you will need a battery to start it up.

However, the question is, how long will an RV fridge run on battery? You will definitely need a backup if your road trip with your friends or family takes a month.

Table of Contents

What Is an RV Refrigerator?

As the name implies, an RV refrigerator is a compact fridge used for your camper van as it is compact. It can help you save money during your long drives because it allows you to store your foods and drinks while keeping them cool and fresh.

Recreational refrigerators do not have compressors or any movable parts compared to the refrigerators used at your homes. You may use different energy sources such as batteries, propane gas, LPG, or inverters to operate this.

How Long Will RV Refrigerator Run on Battery?


Although the run time of the RV fridge is indefinite as it varies and has a lot of different variables to consider, understandably, you are way more curious to figure out how long will RV refrigerator run on battery.

The type of bridge is one among many factors that have the most significant impact. Often, the two most used refrigerators are the compression or residents that can run up to 12 hours of life span.

Moreover, you need to reconsider what type of battery you are using. It is essential to learn how much voltage your fridge battery should be.

In truth, I noticed my Dometic fridge run on battery for 12 to 25 hours using Lead Acid batteries. Meanwhile, it can run up to 2 hours on a 12V Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.

How Long Will a 12 Volt Battery Run an RV Refrigerator?

There are many variables to establish how long an RV residential fridge run on battery.

If you have at least a 12-Voltage Battery prepared with a rating of approximately 100 amp-hours, then that means the 12-V battery will hold out about five amps per hour for about 20 hours up to 50 hours right before it is entirely exhausted.

If you have a 240-watt inverter, you may want to plug this through the 12-V battery. To estimate the number of amps required in an hour, you may divide the watts by the voltage.

The battery will hold out for at least four of its average time or 5 hours since this will require four times the standard battery rating.

Frequently, the majority of the domestic fridge runs on a battery that can last at least 5 to 8 hours, depending on its size.

It is necessary that you estimate how long you will be running RV refrigerator on battery before you go out into the woods with your family and enjoy camping.

How Do You Keep the RV Fridge Batteries in Good Condition?


An RV fridge is essential, especially when it is your last hope whenever you are in the middle of nowhere and there are no power sources available.

Therefore, you must ensure that you thoroughly learn how to take good care of your RV fridge batteries.

Like any other battery, may it be for your phone, computer, camera, and even RV fridge, they have common similarities as to why they fail.

Often, we tend to either overcharge or undercharge a sure battery, leading to a shorter battery lifespan.

The most recommended time to charge the battery is almost less than 50%. You need to watch out for certain things that indicate why you need to immediately replace your RV fridge.

Below are the things you need to keep in mind and should be an excellent habit to develop to fully maximize the lifespan of the RV battery:

  • Avoid overcharging the battery. Charge it only when needed.
  • Avoid storing the batteries not fully charged as it can affect the batteries’ life cycle. Make sure that they should remain fully charged when you decide to keep them for a little while.
  • With advanced technology, most batteries come off with some automatic chargers to shut off or turn off immediately to avoid overcharging.

5 Signs Why You Need to Replace Your RV Battery

It easy to identify what are the indications that your RV battery is nearing its end:

  • You may often find some bulge or bump in the outer case of the battery.
  • Broken terminals in the battery are visible.
  • The plastic casing of the battery is either cracked or ruptured.
  • Your RV battery tends to experience discoloration.
  • Unexpected and excessive leaking

What Are the Three Main Types of RV Refrigerators?

Three main types of RV refrigerators are classified by 1-way, 2-way, and 3-way or most commonly known as residential fridge, compressor fridge, and absorption fridge, respectively.

  • Residential Fridge – A residential fridge is often seen and used for a Class A recreational vehicle. It is a floor mount usually installed vertically, hence, floor-to-ceiling style.
  • It is classified as a ‘one-way’ RV fridge due to the fact that it can only run with an inverter to revamp the DC batteries of your camper vehicle into AC power.
  • Compressor Fridge – A compressor fridge is classified as a ‘2-way’ fridge simply because it can run on a 12-volt or 24-volt power through your camping batteries or your recreational vehicle itself.
  • If you opt to use a portable generator or the available ground power source on-site, it can reach its maximum capacity of 240-volt power.
  • Absorption Fridge – An absorption fridge is classified as a ‘3-way’ fridge that can run on 12-volt or 24-volt power, similar to compressors.

Moreover, the absorption fridge can also be operated with an LPG gas or propane. The cooling system of the absorption fridge works by eliminating the heat rather than producing cold air.


Regardless of what kind of refrigerator you have, it is still possible for you to estimate its battery life in hours daily.

How long will an RV fridge run on battery? As you already know the information, you can prepare backup plans if you are out in the woods and need to keep your food from spoiling.

It is always better to plan your power usage effectively ahead of your camping trip. Going out prepared is also considered survival ethics, especially if you are in the middle of nowhere.

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