How Long Will an RV Fridge Stay Cold Without Power? (8 Tips)

Trying to keep your food protected while you drive can be quite a challenge. While there are similarities between a traditional home fridge and an RV fridge, staying cool for a long time is not one of them.

An RV fridge seems to remain cool for only 4 hours after being unplugged or experiencing a power outage. This does not give your food very much time for your food to remain healthy enough to eat. But you can add ice to your fridge to make the cool temperature last longer.

To learn more about this situation you just need to continue reading our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can keep your RV fridge cooler longer. Take a few minutes to see how these suggestions can help you.

How Long Will The RV Fridge Stay Cold Without Power?


While there are many aspects of traditional home life that are duplicated by an RV, having lots of time to keep your food cool is not one of them. There are some good RV fridges out there and their cooling longevity may all be different.

The general consensus is that an RV fridge can keep its cool for only about 4 hours. After that, you either have to eat your food or find new ways to keep the food cool.

There are people reporting that a good RV fridge can last for about 8 hours. If you are in doubt, check the owner’s manual for information. It may say how long the fridge can hold cool air.

Every fridge model and manufacturer will have different times. If the manual doesn’t say anything, ask the store where you bought it or send in the serial or model number to the brand that made it and ask them.

They should have that information on hand as that is a very important issue for marketing their fridges. While your RV friends can give you an idea, fridges can be like sewing machines and not be the same even though they are the same model.

Tips To Keep RV Fridge Cold While Traveling (Without Power)


This is a constant struggle for RV owners. It doesn’t matter if it is a coach or a trailer, keeping the fridge cool is always a challenge. Here are some tips to guide you as you try to solve this problem for your Rv or trailer situation:

1. Run the fridge on propane- before you travel you need to get the fridge cold. That means plugging it into the AC or DC power supply for between 4 to 24 hours before you depart. Then switch the fridge to propane.

The drawback to this option is that you have to shut the propane off every time you stop to refuel. Also, if you are planning to take a ferry ride or go through a tunnel, turn the propane off.

2. Run it on DC power- this is a lot safer than using propane and you won’t have to worry about shutting the fridge off when refueling or going through tunnels, etc.

The drawback to this option is that not only will you drain your battery but you will also find that DC power does not keep the fridge as cool as AC power does.

3. Use ice packs- if the first two options on this list do not thrill you or you have your own reasons for not using them, then try ice packs. You can get these ice packs in different sizes and they will keep the fridge cool till they thaw.

When they do, you still have that 4-hour window before the cool air goes away. Also, frozen beverages can replace those ice packs.

4. Keep the fridge door closed- this is a common sense tip but you would be surprised to see how many people actually open their fridge door when there is no power.

Keep the door closed so the cool air stays inside longer. This will only help you reach that 4 to 8-hour window unless you use ice.

5. Use your generator- this is more for when there is a power outage at your campsite. The generator has the power to make sure your fridge remains cool until the power comes back on.

The two drawbacks to this option are you may not be able to run other appliances at the same time, and you may have to make a gas run if the power is out for a long time.

6. pack your fridge carefully- this does not mean stuff it full of food items and containers. Instead pack normally and wherever there is an open spot, place ice cubes in a baggy or other cold items.

Use your common sense to place those cold items throughout your fridge.

7. Use a battery-powered fan- these little gadgets will help circulate the air. Once the power is off, just place them inside the fridge in key spots so the air continues to be circulated.

The drawback to this is that there is no way to measure how much extra time you will get to keep your food cool.

8. Lower your fridge temperature- do this the night before you are going to leave. The lower the temperature, without it freezing your food, the longer the cold air will last.

All of these tips should keep your food from spoiling. That is if you are not out of power for longer than 10 hours.

Some Final Words

Keeping your food from spoiling is not going to be a problem if you follow the above tips. The good news is that many of you may not travel more than 4 hours to get to your next destination.

That will spare you all this hassle. Pick the best ones that will work well for your traveling situation. Always remember to pick the safest options for obvious reasons.

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