How Much Propane Does An RV Fridge Use?
Generally, a 10 to 12 cubic foot RV fridge will burn about 1.5 pounds of propane per day. However, the amount of propane an RV fridge uses will depend on the age, size, and ambient temperature.
Absorption RV fridges
RV fridges that run on propane are absorption system fridges. These fridges have an AC option in addtion to propane power. Some RV fridges also have the ability to operate on DC power. Unlike their compression system fridge counterparts, absorption fridges have no moving parts.
RV fridges work by having a small pilot light thats heats a boiling chamber filled with ammonia and water. The water and ammonia mixture is circulated through a series of tubes, eventually changing the ammonia to a gas form.
The ammonia gas keeps rising and the water runs back into the boiling chamber. The ammonia starts cooling and runs down tubes, absorbing heat from the interior of the refrigerator as it goes, making the interior of the fridge cold. To operate at peak efficiency, RV refrigerators need to be level and require care and maintenance.
An RV fridge will use less propane and last longer with a little care and maintenance. Here is what you need to do to look after it.
- Keep your RV fridge level. To help keep your RV fridge from overheating, park your RV on a level surface. RV fridges have a harder time cooling when they are not level because the water and ammonia can’t make their way through the tubes as efficiently. This can not only cause your RV fridge to burn more propane, but can also cause your RV to burn. Unlevel RV parking can cause RV refrigerators to catch fire, with catastrophic consequences.
- Cool your RV fridge before putting food into it.
- Defrost your RV fridge regularly.
- Allow air to circulate in your RV fridge by not blocking the coils at the back of the fridge. Don’t pack too much into the fridge.
- Park so that the fridge is on the shaded side of the RV. If the refridgerator is on the sunny side of the RV, it will have to work harder to cool the air inside itself. Park so that the side of the RV that has the fridge in it is on the coolest side of the RV.
- Never run your RV fridge on propane while driving. This is the number one cause of RV fires on highways.
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as Maintain My RV from RV LIFE. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.
Lynne lives, travels and works full time in the R-Pod 180 with 3 pointers and 1 small but vital corgi mix named Alice. Lynne began full time RVing as an experiment in 2019, but she quickly fell in love with the convenience, freedom and minimalist lifestyle offered by full time RV living. Lynne is a professional dog trainer, offering mobile and online dog training services through her website at www.mydoggeek.com. You can read about her travel adventures on her blog at: https://rpodadventure.wordpress.com/