How Many Amps Does A RV Refrigerator Use? (Explained!)

How Many Amps Does A RV Refrigerator Use

Key Takeaways
● Different types of RV refrigerators use different amounts of amps.
● To determine the number of amps used by your specific RV refrigerator, consult either the manufacturer’s manual or your RV’s power usage label.
● Knowing how many amps your RV refrigerator uses can help you plan and manage your electric use while on the road.

If you’re an RV owner, then you know that your refrigerator is one of the essential appliances in your vehicle. But how much power does it use?

Generally speaking, an RV refrigerator uses between four and seven amps. However, this number can vary depending on the type and size of your fridge. You’ll need to read the label or manual with your refrigerator to get a more exact figure.

This blog post will give you more idea of how many amps different RV refrigerators use and some tips on conserving energy while using your RV fridges. Knowing these things will help keep your trip comfortable and worry-free!

What Is An Amp?

What Is An Amp

An amp, also known as an ampere, is a unit of electrical current that measures the rate at which ELECTRICAL energy is consumed. It measures the amount of power used by any appliance that runs on electricity.

Understanding amps can help you calculate how much power your RV refrigerator CONSUMES and ensure you don’t exceed any limits set by the manufacturer or your campground. It can also give you an idea of how much it will cost to run your RV refrigerator each month.

How Does An RV Refrigerator Use Amps?

How Does An RV Refrigerator Use Amps

An RV refrigerator uses amps to draw the necessary power from its DC battery or an external electrical source.

The amount of current drawn by a fridge depends on its size and type, which is why it’s important to READ the manufacturer‘s label or manual that came with your appliance. Generally speaking, smaller fridges use fewer amps than larger ones do [1].

The average RV refrigerator requires between four and seven amps of electricity to operate properly. However, some models may need more or less depending on their size and features.

Compared to an air conditioner, a fridge uses much LESS electricity. An AC typically requires more than 15 amps of power, whereas a refrigerator needs no more than seven.

Factors That Impact The Amps Used By A RV Refrigerator

Factors That Impact The Amps Used By A RV Refrigerator

The number of amps your RV refrigerator uses can vary depending on different factors. Here are a few of the most common:


The size of your RV refrigerator will directly impact how many amps it uses. Generally speaking, larger refrigerators require more electricity than smaller ones do. This is because they must work harder to MAINTAIN their internal temperatures and keep food fresh for extended periods.

If you’re looking for a fridge that won’t use too many amps, go with a smaller model. It’s important to read the manufacturer‘s instructions to ensure you get the right size.

Temperature Settings

The temperature settings on an RV refrigerator can also impact the amount of electricity it uses. Lower temperatures require more energy, while higher ones are more efficient. Choosing a setting that will keep your food FRESH without using too much power is essential [2].

Running Time

The time your RV refrigerator is running will also affect the electricity it consumes. Longer periods of operation require more energy, so turning off the refrigerator when not in use can help you CONSERVE power. This is especially important if you need to freeze food for long trips.

Quality Or Age Of Unit

The quality or age of your RV refrigerator can also affect its amp usage. Older units are less efficient and can use more electricity than newer ones. It’s essential to make sure you purchase a HIGH-QUALITY camper refrigerator with energy-saving features.

Design Features

The design of your refrigerator can also influence its amp usage. Look for models with LED lighting, energy-efficient insulation, and improved airflow. These features will help REDUCE the electricity needed to keep your food cold and fresh.

Pro Tip: To further reduce the electricity used by your RV refrigerator, ensure that other appliances and devices are not drawing too much power.

Typical Amp Usage For Different Types Of RV Refrigerators

Typical Amp Usage For Different Types Of RV Refrigerators

The size and type are major factors when determining the number of amps used by a specific RV refrigerator. To get an idea of how much different electricity types of fridges typically require, here is a breakdown:

Absorption Refrigerators

These are the most COMMON type used in recreational vehicles and tend to use between four and seven amps of power.

Compressor Refrigerators

Compressor refrigerators are typically found in larger motorhomes, which require MORE electricity than absorption models—anywhere from five to nine amps.

Gas-Electric Refrigerator

As the name suggests, this RV refrigerator runs on gas and electricity. The number of amps it uses will DEPEND on the type of fuel it’s running on and how often it’s used. Generally speaking, they can range from six to 12 amps house batteries.

Solar-Powered Refrigerator

This RV refrigerator is powered by solar energy and typically consumes LESS electricity than other types—anywhere from two to four amps [3].

Knowing how many amps your RV refrigerator uses can help you plan for your electric needs while on the road. By understanding these basics, you’ll be better equipped to store food without worrying about running up your bill.

Calculating The Amps Used By A RV Refrigerator

Calculating The Amps Used By A RV Refrigerator

Calculating the exact number of amps used by an RV refrigerator can be tricky, but it is possible to make a rough estimate. This is important, as it will give you a better idea of your refrigerator’s power consumption and help you plan accordingly.

Here are the steps you should take to calculate refrigerator power consumption:

Determine the Type of Refrigerator

First, you’ll need to figure out what TYPE of refrigerator you have. Is it an absorption, compressor, gas-electric, or solar-powered model?

Knowing this will help you understand its power requirements and make your calculations more accurate.

Estimate the Typical Amp Usage

Once you know what type of refrigerator you have, look up its typical amp usage range ONLINE.

This will give you a good idea of how much electricity your refrigerator typically consumes so that you can calculate its average power consumption per day or hour.

Measure the Voltage and Amperage Output

Next, measure the voltage and amperage output from your refrigerator. This can be done with a MULTIMETER tool or an AMMETER, which are relatively inexpensive and easy to use.

Calculate the Amps Used

Once you have your voltage and amperage readings, you can calculate the amps used by your RV refrigerator by MULTIPLYING the voltage output by the amperage output.

For example, if your voltage is 120 volts and your amperage is five amps, your refrigerator uses 600 watts of power (120 x 5 = 600).

Alternatively, some refrigerators will list their wattage directly on their label so that you don’t need to do any calculations. However, this won’t give you an exact number of amps used since wattage is DIFFERENT than amps.

Monitor Usage Over Time

Finally, monitor your RV refrigerator’s usage over time to get a better idea of how much electricity it consumes and adjust your electric budget ACCORDINGLY.

This will help you ensure you don’t exceed your allotted electricity usage for the month. It can also help you identify potential problems with your RV fridge if its consumption suddenly changes drastically.

Pro Tip: Make sure to check for any leaks in the refrigerator or other problems that could be contributing to its higher power consumption.

Other Considerations When Dealing With Amp Usage Of A RV Refrigerator

Other Considerations When Dealing With Amp Usage Of A RV Refrigerator

When calculating the amp usage of an RV refrigerator, there are a few other factors to consider. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

A/C or D/C Power

Make sure to check the type of power your RV refrigerator requires. If you are using DC power, it will need FEWER amps than if it’s running on AC power.

Inverter Use

If you are using an inverter to power your RV refrigerator, it can also affect amp usage. Inverters can help REDUCE the number of amps used by up to 20%, so it’s worth considering if you want to save on electricity while traveling.

Power Sources

The type of power source you use can also make a difference. Suppose you are plugged into shore power or using solar panels instead of a generator, for example. In that case, your RV refrigerator’s amp usage could be DIFFERENT than running on generator power.

Pro Tip: To gain more power efficiency, you can also invest in more energy-efficient refrigerators or install additional insulation.

Adequate Ventilation

Furthermore, ensure that your RV refrigerator has enough ventilation to operate at peak efficiency. Poor ventilation can lead to an INCREASE in amp usage due to overheating, so it’s important to check this regularly.

Gas-Electric Models

Finally, if your RV refrigerator is a gas-electric model, you’ll need to consider BOTH the electric amps and gas usage when calculating total energy consumption.

Pro Tip: You can also use an energy monitoring device to keep track of your RV refrigerator’s electric and gas usage over time.

Tips For Managing Electrical Consumption With An RV Refrigerator

Tips For Managing Electrical Consumption With An RV Refrigerator

Managing electrical consumption with an RV refrigerator is key to staying within your budget while traveling. Here are a few tips that can help:

Turn Off When Not In Use

If you’re not using your RV refrigerator, turn it OFF when possible. This can help reduce the amount of electricity used and save you money in the long run.

Insulate The Doors And Seals

Make sure to INSULATE the doors and seals on your RV refrigerator as much as possible. This will help keep cold air from escaping, reducing energy consumption.

Monitor Temperature Settings

Keep an eye on the temperature settings for your RV refrigerator and adjust accordingly if needed. Higher settings can reduce energy consumption, but make sure the food you store is still SAFE.

Install An Energy Monitor

If your RV refrigerator is gas-electric, consider installing an energy monitor to keep TRACK of your RV electrical system and gas usage over time. This can help you adjust your settings for maximum efficiency and cost savings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Do If My RV Refrigerator Uses Too Many Amps?

Check for any maintenance issues like worn gaskets, poor ventilation, or malfunctioning components. If needed, repair the issue promptly or consider upgrading to a newer, more efficient model.

Does Weather Affect How Many Amps My RV Refrigerator Uses?

Yes, weather conditions can affect how many amps your refrigerator uses. Colder temperatures require more energy than warmer ones, so adjust accordingly.

Can Non-Electric RV Refrigerators Use Amps?

No, non-electric models do not use amps, as they are powered by propane. However, you should still regularly check for any necessary maintenance and repairs. This can help extend the life of the RV fridge and maximize efficiency.

Are There Any Alternatives To My RV Refrigerator?

If you’re not using your RV refrigerator frequently, consider using a cooler instead. Ice packs and dry ice can help keep food excellent for long trips, but check local regulations to ensure this is allowed in your area.

How Many Watts Does An RV Refrigerator Use?

The number of watts used by a specific RV refrigerator can vary due to size, model, and power source. Generally speaking, RV refrigerators typically use between 200-500 watts when running on AC power.



As you can see, it is essential to know how many amps your RV refrigerator uses. By understanding what an amp is and how to determine the number of amps used by a specific RV refrigerator, you can better manage your electric use while on the road.

With this knowledge, you can store food properly and keep electric costs in check.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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