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How long will a 12 volt fridge run on battery?

How long will a 12 volt battery run a 12V refrigerator

  • A 12 volt fridge freezer will run between 25 and 50 hours on a 12v, 100 Ah (amp hour), LiFEP04 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery
  • If you’re using a Lead Acid battery, you can only discharge to about 50% without causing damage and shortening battery life, so with Lead Acid batteries, you’ll get about half that run time, or 12 to 25 hours.

Several factors impact 12 volt refrigerator run time

While it would be nice to give a simple answer, the question of How long will a 12 Volt refrigerator run on battery is not simple.

There are several factors impacting How long a 12 Volt fridge will run on a battery.

  • Size of battery (Ah)
  • Battery Chemistry
    • Lead Acid
    • Lithium Iron Phosphate or LiFEP04
    • Lithium Ion as in a solar generator
  • The operating Amps of the Fridge compressor motor
  • Fridge volume in liters or quarts
  • Thermostat setting (below 32°F to 36°F +/-)
  • Ambient outdoor temperature or room temperature
  • How often the 12v fridge door is opened and for how long

How long will a 12v fridge run on battery? Vansage 12 volt refrigerator

12v compressor fridge, battery chemistry and run time

The size of your Campervan RV Battery (aka house battery) will be a primary factor in determining how long a 12 Volt Refrigerator will run.

Using the estimates from the table in our post that answers the question, How much power does a 12 volt fridge use?, lets assume you’ve got 100 Ah (amp hours) of campervan battery power.

Chemistry LiFEP04 50 Ah 100 Ah 200 Ah 300 Ah
Fridge Run Time 12 to 25 hours 25 to 50 hours 50 to 100 hours 75 to 150 hours
Chemistry Lithium Ion
Fridge Run Time 12 to 25 hours 25 to 50 hours 50 to 100 hours 75 to 150 hours
Chemistry Lead Acid
Fridge Run Time 6 to 12 hours 12 to 25 hours 25 to 50 hours 37 to 75 hours


The Campervan Podcast Episode: ‘How long will a 12 Volt refrigerator run on battery?’

We answered this question in our daily Vanlife audio show, The Campervan Podcast.

Please take a few minutes to listen and subscribe.

We’ve reviewed 12 Volt fridges, including details about the best 12v Campervan Refrigerator

Learn about the best 12 Volt Fridge Freezers for Campervans currently available like the best 12v fridges from Dometic, Iceco, Costway, Edgestar, ARB and more.

You can find that article at: 12 Volt Refrigerator Freezers for Efficient, Safe Campervan Food Storage

More questions about 12 Volt Refrigeration answered

Thanks for reading. Please comment below with any 12v Campervan refrigerator questions or experiences you’d like to share.

5 Responses

  1. Tom Brian
    | Reply

    If you have at least a 12-Voltage Battery with a rating of around 100 amp-hours on hand, the 12-V battery will be able to deliver roughly five amps per hour for about 20 to 50 hours before it is completely depleted.

    • James Petersen
      | Reply

      Depending on factors such as ambient temperature, door open time… and if that battery is lead acid, having been fully depleted, it will be damaged.

  2. Glen Taylor
    | Reply

    A typical residential refrigerator or RV refrigerator that consumes 150 watts of electricity will draw about 12 amp hours from a 12 Volts battery. In this case, the RV refrigerator can run for about 4 to 5 hours using a single 12 Volts battery that can provide 100 amp-hours.

    • James Petersen
      | Reply

      How long will a 12 volt fridge run on battery is heavily determined by ambient temperature. Your calculation is fine as long as the temperature of the environment the fridge is running in is “moderate” (around 72 degrees). Higher temps mean the fridge will work harder to cool the interior, resulting in much greater battery. Lower ambient temps (for example, 38 degrees F) means the thermostat may not even trigger the compressor to turn on. In the case of the latter scenario, the battery could last indefinitely.

  3. F. Harn
    | Reply

    12v useless if boondocks. If camping in the Adirondacks don’t buy a camper with 12v fridge. Lithium and solarpanels still won’t cut it. Forest river sucks

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