How Long Will An RV Fridge Run On Propane In 2022? RV Tips

This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no extra cost to you. As an amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.   Learn more from the privacy policy page

How long will an RV fridge run on propane – We all know the feeling of being on a camping trip and finding out that our propane tank is running low. You start to panic because there aren’t any propane stores in the area.

So how long will your RV fridge run on propane? It can be stressful trying to figure out what you should do with your food while also worrying about keeping it cool.

Luckily, we have an answer for you!

How Long Will An RV Fridge Run On Propane In 2022

Batteries are not going to power your RV fridge as long as propane will last. And if you are thinking, ‘how long will an RV fridge run on propane?’ You also need to be aware that factors such as the size of your RV, the capacity of your fridge, and a few others, are determinants of the answer you receive.

Most trailers looking to power simple devices such as refrigerators, cooking tools, and water heaters, will use a single 20-pound tank of propane for 30 days. A battery will not last this long.

How Does an RV Fridge Work?

One may easily assume that an RV fridge functions just like the traditional residential fridge. But unlike the residential fridge that works with the use of a compressor, your RV fridge works as an absorption refrigerator with no moving parts.

Absorption fridges heat water, gas, ammonia, and hydrogen using a flame. The heat makes chemicals evaporate and produce condensation that makes the fridge cold. If you’re using an LP gas, the heat is used to create a flame that heats chemicals. But with a generator or shore power, it is used to produce elements.

Unlike the older RV fridges, the new RV fridges are more efficient thermally. In essence, the newer ones will not cost you as much as the older ones to run. But you should also take note of the size of a fridge, as they impact the overall energy demand.

Usually, a newer RV fridge with an internal volume of about 10 to 12 cubic feet will consume a daily volume of say 1.5 pounds of propane, which is about 1400 BTUs in an hour. Aside from that, some other factors can either reduce or increase the overall performance of your RV fridge.

Tips On How You Can Reduce Your RV Fridge’s Propane Consumption 

If you live or travel in an RV, one thing you do not want to take for granted is how efficient you are with energy. Being efficient with energy will save you from incurring high unplanned energy bills.

But to cut down on your RV fridge’s propane consumption, there are a few things that can help.

1. Find a way to pre-cool your food before putting them in your RV fridge

This method is very efficient in managing your RV fridge’s propane use. You can consider an icebox to pre-cool your items for a brief period before you eventually load them into your fridge.

You can also consider cool food items first before putting in hot or warm items. The cold items in your RV fridge will help to cut down on the thermal load on your system. In addition, if you have a spare room, consider adding some cold packs to the shelves to help reduce the temperature further.

2. Install an RV fridge cooling fan inside your fridge to improve air circulation

One of the major challenges with the RV fridge is because there is an absence of compressors. But RV fridge cooling fans will help to improve cooling through air circulation.

Also, fans ensure cool air flows through the refrigerator system from the freezer and essentially reduce cooling pressure on the system. –  You might be able to improve efficiency by up to 50%, depends how packed your fridge is.

2. Absorption fridges work best when on level ground

This is especially a result of the gravity feed of your cooling system’s fluids. With this level of positioning, the internal fluid cycling process of your RV will be slowed down.

And if you keep it on uneven level ground, it’ll become more inefficient and would be prone to major suffering a mechanical breakdown. So, always endeavour to check the level of your RV after parking.

3. Add an RV fridge vent fan to your refrigerator

Unlike the cooling fan that is often positioned inside the fan, the vent fan functions outside. It is used to eradicate any form of hot air around the fridge.

Usually, when hot air builds up around a fridge, the fridge will tend to work harder to be efficient with cooling. Your fridge will in turn burn more propane to stay at the required temperature. The support of a vent fan is helpful to reducing how hard the fridge works and use propane.


Propane tanks are only designed to last about 7 hours on a full tank. You can purchase an extra propane tank or you can use your RV fridge’s converter which will turn 12 volts of power into 110 so that it can be plugged in at any regular outlet.

No doubt, it’ll take longer for the refrigerator to cool down but this might save you from making an emergency trip out during peak traffic time.