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Today is 2024-06-21

How To Calculate How Much RV Electrical Power You're Using

The Information You Need

Calculating Consumption
The law requires that there are basic power consumption requirements listed on every electrical item sold in the US. You will find voltage (usually 110-120 volts) current or amps (ie: .8 to 7.0 amps) or wattage (ie: 750 watts).
If wattage and volts are listed you can calculate amps by dividing watts by voltage. ie: 750 watts divided by 110 volts = 6.8 amps
If volts and amps are listed, you can calculate watts by multiplying volts by amps. ie: 6.8 x 110 volts = 748 watts

So What Does This Mean?
First we'll talk about Shore Power
(plugging the RV into an outlet) or Generator power.
So, most of your breakers are going to be 15-20 amps. This means you need to simply add up the amps of your appliances on any one circuit. Toaster=7 amps, coffee maker=15 amps, hair dryer=12 amps . Total amps would be 34 amps. This would blow the breaker unless you turn off the coffee and toaster before using the hair dryer.
Now We'll Talk About Inverters
Inverters are rated in watts. So you'll need to add up the total watts you're using to determine the size inverter you'll need. Keep in mind: motors have a peak wattage when starting up. This peak can be 4 times the running watts.
So, I have a fridge 96 watts (X 4 for peak is 400 watts), a swamp cooler 340 watts (X 4 for peak is 1350 watts) for a total of 1750 watts. In this case I would recommend a 2000 watt inverter.


RV Air Conditioner (Start-up) 12-15 Amps
RV Air Conditioner (Running) 3-6 AMps
Chargers (small electronics) 0.5 to 1.5 Amps
Coffee Pot (Brewing) 7-9 Amps
Coffee Pot (Warming) 1-3 Amps
Crock Pot (Cooking - High) 3-5 Amps
Crock Pot (Warming) 1-2 Amps
Food Processor 5-8 Amps
Frying Pan (Cooking - High) 7-10 Amps
Hair Dryer (High) 7-12 Amps
Heater, Electric (Small Space) 4-10 Amps
Iron (High) 8-10 Amps
Microwave Oven (Standard) 7-9 AMps
Microwave Oven (Convection) 7-14 Amps
PC, Notebook) 1-3 Amps
Refrigerator (2-door medium size) 2-4 Amps
Toaster 8-10 Amps
TV, Digital 1-3 Amps
Vacuum (Hand-Held) 2-4 Amps
Water Heater (6-gallon, heating) 8-12 Amps

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