RV Residential Refrigerator – How Much Power Does It Use?


We dive into a lot more detail about RV Refrigerators on our website: http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-residential-refrigerator-power

A residential refrigerator is AWESOME in an RV, but the power consumption is not. Today we’re testing exactly how much power our residential fridge uses, and what type of battery bank an RV will need to keep up with the draw.

We’re using a Kill-A-Watt meter along with a BMK to track the exact power usage of the fridge inside our RV.

***If you do the math on the numbers of the BMK and the Kill-A-Watt you’ll notice they don’t match up. We dive a little deeper into the power consumption and why the numbers don’t match on our website.

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34 replies
  1. rich savala
    rich savala says:

    When boondocking if you limit opening and closing like me and my wife do we have close to the same set up as you with ice maker we fill a small cooler in the morning with ice and put are drinks for the day in it so our door gets open maybe 4 or 5 times in a 24 hour period and we can run 3 to 4 days with out using are generator just solar along with all the light computers and TV and can go longer in summer when we have limited cloud cover. I like to run the generator about every 4 to 5 days still to give everything a good topping off charge.

  2. Christopher Hubbs
    Christopher Hubbs says:

    I had a customer tell me about your channel just the other day… I love it. I'm now living vicariously through y'all. My life goal is to live aboard and sail the world. My wife keeps saying no because of our kids / we get motion sickness, and other excuses. But thanks for letting us see in on your adventures.

  3. Dale Watkins
    Dale Watkins says:

    Wow, it's been a while since the last comment…but, we just bought our first 'new to us' pre-owned motorhome, and it has a residential fridge, thus the reason for finding this site Jason, so thanks for doing this 'test'! I'm currently using 4 six volt batteries (flood acid?) and we are thinking of upgrading them when needed (they're apparently 3 years old) but prior to that, adding a solar array, to help shorten the generator usage. I have no idea how many are needed, or the best 'system' to get (controller etc.) although I do have a Xantrex 2000 inverter. Lots to learn, but your fridge numbers should help 'many' of us, as we have the water/ice maker as well, have yet to watch our televisions, and much of our coach has been switched to LED lighting, so it would mainly just be the fridge using the largest portion of power. As it is now, we're doing the 2 hours/morning & 2 hours/evening formula…which we'd like to cut down on. Safe travels…or I guess it's safe sailing at the moment! Thanks from another Canadian fan of you two!

  4. Just Plain Common Sense
    Just Plain Common Sense says:

    The fridge in my RV is similar to yours. I wouldn't trade it for a "normal" RV type unit for anything. It makes the RV more like Home so I love it!! Disclaimer: I'm parked full time so it is always hooked up unless we lose power for some reason. Great Video

  5. Rich Oliveria
    Rich Oliveria says:

    Here are some other numbers that you might want to crunch.
    We bought our 02 Windsor M.H. in 2010 AFTER it had been totaled by the insurance company for a Norcold fire in 2009. Because of the Motorhomes history I was VERY carful about how we used the new 2010 Norcold and how we leveled etc. not wanting another fire. Well this last October 2017 (7 years!!) the new Norcold caught fire. Thankfully I was standing right there and got the fire out (wasn't that easy}

    So now we have the same Samsung rf-17 that you have and are enjoying the peace of mind that comes with it. we have @ 230 Watts of Old 2001 solar and a new Blue Sky 300i Mppt Controller and could not be happier. Yes we need to run the Gen Set some while out on Ogilby rd…. but hey I have a 7.5 KW diesel that eats very little. More solar to follow.

    Highly recommend ya get a residential refer..

    Rich O

  6. jayer 1981
    jayer 1981 says:

    RV refrigerators are junk. My dad's just went out in his rv and we're in the process of swapping over to a residential fridge. He never used it on propane so no big deal. Time will tell if it works out

  7. Ronald Murray Sr
    Ronald Murray Sr says:

    My Norcold 1200 was working just fine until they did the recalls and the last one blew the coils. So I put in the Amish coils at a cost of just over a $1,000.00. Had some heating tubes go bad but they were replaced with a heavier wire model and everything worked fine. Then, just as I was getting ready for an extended trip, the Norcold decided to turn into a warming oven. I ran every test I could find. Nothing worked. So I pulled the insulation off the exhaust tube and it was yellow. The Amish coils had sprung a leak. I had installed 2 pancake fans for additional cooling on this unit. I was FED UP! It never would freeze ice cream anyway.

    So I bought a GE 17.3 cu ft residential, modified the fridge opening, plugged the propane and wrapped the 12 volt, took the doors off the GE, pulled a window our of the motorhome, (Southwind) and slid the residential fridge in the opening. Trimmed around it and use aluminum angle to fasten the fridge in the opening. I used a piece of treated lumber to seal the roof vent and a piece of sheet metal to cover the access panel.

    I turned the GE on and within an hour I had frozen ice cubes.

    Cost me under $700.00

  8. Wayne Rhea
    Wayne Rhea says:

    so if you could program a socket to power of and on you could leave it on for 3 hours then turn it off for five ect this would be good at night when you aren't opening the fridge.

  9. Wayne Rhea
    Wayne Rhea says:

    no I don't think it is worth it. it used 200ah alone and with other things plugged in it would be 300ah and for that you would need to run the generator for even longer and will need to upgrade the batteries and install solar.

  10. ABlueDoorProduction
    ABlueDoorProduction says:

    This is interesting. As I am currently assessing all my power sources. With just three months of living in my RV full time very little has been learned as most of the time I have been working on upgrading cosmetic refits just to make it clean and livable for my needs. Having access in sparks marina RV park doesn't allow me to worry a need for power. I have all the amenities I need. But now that I am learning the electrical and solar components I am trying to figure out just how much my solar keeps my batteries powered and my fridge is AC and Propane powered. So I am guessing this is something I don't need to worry about at all? I have yet to see how much propane the fridge will draw. My test will be later this month when I take the RV out boon docking. I don't plan to use the propane for anything other than the fridge and my cooking I will do outside on the grill. Just so I can test how long the smaller on board propane tank can last. It doesn't help much when I see the newer tech you guys have on board and most of my stuff is dated or doesn't exist. But I am sure in theory its there.

  11. helicart
    helicart says:

    Honestly, you pair need to forget the 'adventures' and go back to school. Neither of you seem particularly bright or educated. Much of what you say is what sales reps have passed on, and it is apparent you have no depth of understanding behind what you convey they told you. I'd put money on it that at least one of you has wealthy parents who still fund your jaunts. Seriously, if you think you are doing the world a favor, you aren't. The world needs more bright genuinely innovative entrepreneurs and good employees. You two strike me as being neither. Nothing personal though. Just go back to live with Mom and Dad, and build a real business. There won't be any money in doing this adventure shite by 2019. Happy Holidays!

  12. Chandraprakash G
    Chandraprakash G says:

    Man !!
    Speak in KW and KWh instead of kiddo's stuff like Ah.

    Ah doesn't not speak about energy consumed,
    we need Voltage and Ah, i.e V * Ah = VAh (or Wh) = energy consumed.

    Also V*A= P (in Watts).
    learn some basic electronic units man, or at least watch Tesla videos to get familiarized 🙂

  13. James Wells
    James Wells says:

    I am going Sunrader much smaller but this video was awesome!!!! This made my answer!!!! I love to cook and want a bigger fridge!!! Solar panels are a must IMO and Batteries as well…. Thanks for the vid…and ya really in the "Keys" and complaining pfft…

  14. Kevin Polito
    Kevin Polito says:

    Sun Frost refrigerators are extremely expensive but are super-insulated and super-energy-efficient. They can be run on 120, 24, or 12 volts. The 16.1 cubic foot RF19 model uses 372 kWh per year, with an estimated yearly operating cost of $40 (EnergyGuide ratings). That works out to only a little more than 1 kWh per 24-hour period, or 11 cents worth of energy per 24-hour period.

  15. Brooke Lewis
    Brooke Lewis says:

    Having a hard time finding a used 5th wheel with a larger or even residental refrigerator. We just don't want to spend more than $40K and it seems like everything has RV or 8cu ft refrigerators. Aggravating. Any tips?

  16. R.J. Moser
    R.J. Moser says:

    What do you think of the recent "FR–5877–P–01 Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations; Revision of Exemption for Recreational Vehicles" HUD wants to pass.

  17. Paul Purcell
    Paul Purcell says:

    The use of a residential fridge in a RV or boat does not make "power management" sense. Use a 12/24 volt based alternative (no propane/gas use) In this land down under (australia) Engel fridges are very popular low current draw (12/24/240 or in your case 110) robust. Owned one for over 10 years and it still goes well. http://www.engelcoolers.com BUT if you go to the Australian site http://www.engelaustralia.com.au you will see a much better selection. Look good in a RV or boat with a nice timber or stainless facade afixed.


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