RV refrigerators are essential appliances that keep food and drinks cold while on the road. These refrigerators are different from regular home refrigerators since they run on propane gas instead of electricity. As such, one of the most common questions among RVers is how much propane does an RV fridge use?
A 10 to 12 cubic foot RV fridge will burn about 1.5 pounds of propane per day, while smaller fridges with an internal volume of 4 cubic feet will consume approximately 1 pound of propane each day. Apart from the size, ambient temperature also affects propane consumption.
In hot weather, the fridge will work harder to keep the internal temperature cool, thus consuming more propane. So RV fridge propane usage depends on various factors, including the size of the fridge, ambient temperature, and routine maintenance.
RV Fridge and Propane Consumption
RV refrigerators are an essential appliance for RVers to keep their food and drinks cool while on the road. However, one of the main concerns for RVers is how much propane their fridge consumes. In this section, we will discuss how much propane an RV fridge uses and the factors that affect propane consumption.
How Much Propane Does an RV Fridge Use?
The amount of propane an RV fridge uses can vary depending on the size, age, and ambient temperature. Generally, a 10 to 12 cubic foot RV fridge will burn about 1.5 pounds of propane per day, which translates into roughly 1,400 BTUs per hour.
However, a bigger fridge is likely to consume more gas than a smaller one. For example, a small 4 cubic ft RV refrigerator will consume approximately 1 lbs propane each day.
To put this into perspective, a gallon of propane contains 91,502 BTUs, which means that you could run your fridge for approximately 61 hours on one gallon of propane.
A full 20-pound propane tank contains 4.6 gallons of propane, which will last for several days depending on the size of the tank and the usage of other propane appliances.
Factors That Affect Propane Consumption in an RV Fridge
Several factors can affect propane consumption in an RV fridge. These include:
- Ambient Temperature: The hotter the temperature outside, the harder the fridge has to work to keep the internal temperature cool, which can result in higher propane consumption.
- Efficiency: An RV fridge’s efficiency can be affected by several factors, including the age of the fridge, routine maintenance, and leaks.
- Technology: RV fridges use absorption technology, which uses heat to create a cooling effect. The absorption process involves a boiler, absorber, condenser, and separator, which can affect propane consumption.
- Electricity: RV fridges can run on propane or electricity, and the use of battery-operated fans or cooling fans can affect propane consumption.
- Propane Regulator: A faulty propane regulator can result in higher propane consumption.
- Propane Usage: The usage of other propane appliances, such as a stove or water heater, can affect propane consumption.
To reduce propane consumption in an RV fridge, RVers can take several measures, including defrosting the fridge regularly, ensuring proper air circulation, keeping the fridge level on a level ground, using ice packs to keep cold food items cool, and setting the temperature to the appropriate level.
Additionally, routine maintenance, such as cleaning the condenser fins and checking for soot buildup, can help increase the fridge’s efficiency and reduce propane consumption.
See related: how to keep an RV fridge door closed while traveling
Factors Affecting Propane Consumption
The propane consumption of an RV fridge depends on several factors, including the size of the fridge, its age, and the ambient temperature. A newer RV fridge with around 10 to 12 cubic feet of internal volume will consume around 1.5 pounds of propane per day, which translates into roughly 1,400 BTUs per hour. The consumption rate may vary depending on the size and age of the fridge.
Moreover, the ambient temperature also affects the propane consumption of an RV fridge. In colder temperatures, the fridge will consume less propane, while in hotter temperatures, it will consume more propane. Therefore, it’s essential to monitor the ambient temperature and adjust the fridge’s temperature accordingly to optimize propane consumption.
How Long Can an RV Fridge Run on Propane?
The amount of propane an RV fridge uses depends on the size of the propane tank. A gallon of propane has 91,502 BTUs, and an RV fridge with 8 cubic feet of internal space is rated at 1500 BTUs per hour. Therefore, an RV fridge can run for roughly 61 hours off 1 gallon of propane. However, the exact duration may vary depending on the fridge’s size, age, and ambient temperature.
Tips to Reduce Propane Consumption
There are several ways to reduce the propane consumption of an RV fridge. Here are some tips:
- Ensure that the fridge door seals tightly to prevent cold air from escaping.
- Keep the fridge well-stocked, as a full fridge consumes less propane than an empty one.
- Avoid opening the fridge door frequently, as it lets the cold air escape and makes the fridge work harder to maintain the temperature.
- Park the RV in a shaded area to reduce the ambient temperature and hence the propane consumption of the fridge.
In conclusion, the propane consumption of an RV fridge depends on several factors, including the fridge’s size, age, and ambient temperature. A newer RV fridge with around 10 to 12 cubic feet of internal volume will consume around 1.5 pounds of propane per day, and it can run for roughly 61 hours off 1 gallon of propane. However, it’s essential to monitor the ambient temperature and optimize the fridge’s temperature to reduce propane consumption. By following the tips mentioned in this article, RVers can reduce their propane consumption and enjoy fresh food and drinks on the road.