How Does Battery Amp-Hour Rating Affect 12V Refrigerator Operating Time

Question:

first weekend camping with no electric after about 6 hours ref started to get warm and battery read low on camper, i could still hear compressor running on ref and the lights in ref and camper lights and water pump were working fine so big question at what voltage does the refrigerator stop cooling? camper came with a 24 series battery

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Expert Reply:

A battery's group number just refers to its physical size; a group 24 battery measures roughly 10.90 x 6.75 x 8.75 inches. There are different types of group 24 batteries, both thick plate deep-cycle batteries and thin plate stop/start batteries, with varying amp-hour (Ah) capacities.

For operating a 12V refrigerator you'll want to use a separate dedicated high amp-hour battery. The Everchill Refrigerator # 324-000119 will draw 11-amps per hour, so for example, this unit powered by a 100-Ah battery (with nothing else drawing power from it) will operate for about 9 hours. Smaller items like a water pump # LC689052 which draws 8-amps and especially LED lights like # RVILL34 which draws 0.6-amps will continue to operate past the point where the fridge stops cooling. The compressor may still operate (and be audible while working) but still be unable to pump the refrigerant through the system.

I also checked with my contact at Everchill and he indicated that a shared battery (like in your setup) will not deliver enough power to operate the unit for more than 6 or 7 hours.

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Adam R

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