When you spend a lot of time in your RV like Jennifer and me, you need to consider alternative power sources to run a refrigerator. Especially if you like to go boondocking or live off-grid.
Since most places in the true wild do not have a place to plug into, you will need to rely on a solar system to help keep your fridge running. That means you are likely looking into your best options for keeping your food cold without traditional power sources, like battery power and propane.
That also means you may be asking, How many solar panels do I need to run a refrigerator?
The umbrella answer is the number of solar panels depends on your power consumption. But the short answer for RVs is about 300-watts of panels. There's more to consider, though, so please keep reading to learn more.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Run a Refrigerator?
At home, you probably have an average household refrigerator. In order to power that fridge using solar power, you would need about two to three solar panels. Average solar panels produce approximately 250 to 400 Watts of power.
But you are not using an average refrigerator in your RV. Most likely, you need to power a 12V fridge, which is smaller.
The best size solar panel to run a 12V fridge is 150 Watts into 200 Watts of batteries. That's why a 300-Watt panel system is a great choice since you can be sure to collect and store more than enough energy for a continuous power supply. That way if the forecast is not calling for sunny days, you can store more energy.
You may want to read our article on best portable solar panels for RV.
When shopping around for a solar energy system, be sure to check its wattage rating so that you get exactly what you need. Also factor in the amount of sunlight you typically get when traveling. Same with the time of year. The sun is closer and produces more solar energy in the summer, than in winter.
And it's stronger in southern states than northern.