Boondocking / Dry Camping, Rv Solar, RV Tips, Tricks & Lessons, RV Upgrades & Mods

RV Appliance Power Consumption

Whether you’re hooking up to the pedestal or looking to start your RV solar build and are curious to know what some of your RV appliances consumption is in power (amps and watts), we put together this great downloadable list for you! However, the list will only help if you know what it is telling you. Read below for a better understanding of what it all means.

Wait! My Appliances use what?

Knowing what’s running can prevent a breaker from tripping!

What are Watts?

Keeping it simple – a watt is a unit of measure for electric power consumption that remains constant regardless of voltage or amperage. Manufacturers will use it to rate their appliance power usage this way. Such as, a toaster oven or hot plate may be rated to consume around 1200 watts each. Knowing watts is just part of the equation when figuring out your power usage, however, because power grid voltage varies around the country. Aging RV parks that have not been updated to handle loads of today’s modern RVs can cause problems. Because of these problems, your vacation becomes less enjoyable, but also could become more costly.

How does this apply to RV power?

Let’s suppose, we are plugged into a 30 amp RV plug. A typical 30 amp RV circuit will be able to supply a rate of around 3600 watts of power at any given moment. A typical RV water heater will use around 1200 watts. While the average large AC unit will use around 1500 watts. An absorption refrigerator, when powered on AC, will use around 600 watts. Those three appliances on all at the same time are 3300 watts, but how much power do you have left? That depends because the breaker ratings are in amps, so there is another calculation to think about.

What are Amps?

An amp is a measurement of electrical current. It is a measurement of how much energy an appliance is using at a given moment. This number is important when it comes to safety because wire to carry power is given a rating to carry only so much current due to its size and heat dissipation. Finding the current rate can be done by using an amp meter or through a basic math calculation. To find amps, you must divide the watts by the voltage.

What can you run if you’re RV is plugged into a 30amp or 50amp outlet? Make sure you download our handy chart below!

Still looking for some assistance?

If you would like a consultation to discuss your specific needs, send me a message at We can get a meeting scheduled. I do have a list of recommended vendors that do pay an affiliate fee. I could get credit based on people following links in my blogs or working with those vendors to quote packages for consultation projects. If you would like to source your own parts and equipment, consulting fees may apply depending on complexity and involvement. 

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