How many units of electricity does a caravan use?

In today’s article, we will answer the following question: How many units of electricity does a caravan use? We will demonstrate by an example how much electricity does a caravan consume during winter vs summer. We will also discuss the autonomy that you have on a caravan battery. 

How many units of electricity does a caravan use?

How many units of electricity your caravan will use depends on a series of factors. The average consumption in an RV park for example is typically 20 kWh a day, but again it will all depend on the circumstances. 

First of all, not everything you plug in your caravan will consume the same amount of electricity. Some devices work quite well on very little power, while others are great draws for their available power. In general, anything that generates heat or cools will consume a lot of power, and you can’t run too many of these at once. This is especially the case if you have a 30 amp power cord.

Most of the appliances in your kitchen use a lot of electricity. Air conditioning units also draw a lot of energy. Also, bathroom devices like hair dryers and curling irons use a lot of electricity. However, items like your television and stereo use considerably less energy.

The daily electricity consumption of a motorhome varies according to the season (especially because of the heating), and according to whether you are energy intensive or not:

  • Do you watch tv?
  • Do you use a computer?
  • Is a humidifier essential?
  • Do you have a compression fridge?
  • Do you have gas oil heating?

In the tables below, we give you the average electricity consumption for an RVer, depending on the season. 

Electricity consumption per day in a caravan during SUMMER

Measuring unitswattsampshoursamps/hour
12V sockets60,542
Kitchen lighting24212
Lighting other24224
Extractor hood60,50,50,25
Water pump423,50,51,75
Water Heater60,584
Heater 50 %14,51,200
TOTAL 44,7
Total without TV or computer23,6

Electricity consumption per day in a caravan during WINTER

Measuring unitswattsampshoursamps/hour
12V sockets60,542
Kitchen lighting24212
Lighting other24248
Stove & hood60,50,50,25
Water pump423,50,51,75
Water Heater60,584
Heater 14,51,21214,4
TOTAL 74,4
Total without TV or computer42

When we look at these tables, we see that:

  • In summer, consumption per day is simple to double depending on whether you are energy-intensive or not;
  • in winter, we consume twice as much as in summer (heating impact and longer nighttime)
  • it is not by replacing its halogen bulbs with LEDs that we will gain a lot, especially in winter – the gain is around 5 Ah/day
  • it is more convenient to use a tablet than a computer – a gain of about 9 Ah/day

You can now calculate your consumption according to your lifestyle. This calculation is interesting because it allows determining the capacity of the battery which you need if you want to be autonomous (not connected to 220V).

To my calculations you must add:

  • 60 Ah / day if you have a 130-litre compression fridge
  • 45 Ah / day if you have gas oil heating (only in winter).

How long will a caravan battery last?

A caravan battery will last between five and 10 years, depending on how you use it. The charge rate of the caravan battery is a very important factor to consider when determining how long your battery will last. 

The limit of this in terms of discharge compared to that it usually endures is also important in determining the usage time of this cellar battery for motorhomes. It also allows you to know the number of cycles it can perform.

Let’s discuss two possible scenarios:

  • A slow discharge battery is capable of performing between 2000 and 2500 cycles when properly recharged, that is so that the discharge level is not less than 50%. Its lifespan in this case is between 6 and 10 years
  • On the other hand, when it is allowed to go up to 80% discharge, the battery will only be able to perform between 1000 and 1500 charge and discharge cycles. This means that the usage time of it will not exceed 5 years.

Some batteries are able to withstand up to 100% of discharges. However, it should not be abused, as it could deteriorate quite quickly and drastically shorten its usage time. 

A battery loses a little more of its efficiency each time it is allowed to drain before recharging it. Even though you don’t really realize it when it comes to a slow-discharge battery, the more time passes the more damaged the battery.

What autonomy do you have on a caravan battery?

This is a question that is difficult to answer because the electric autonomy is estimated according to the consumption and the equipment on board.

It is clear that if you have a van or a small motorhome with the basic amenities, without a TV, your heater and refrigerator run on gas, and you drive every day, you are very likely to fall over. never out of power!

How to calculate its consumption?

You need to assess your electricity consumption, depending on your type of equipment, your lifestyle (duration of electricity consumption) and the means you have to cover these needs (capacity of the living area battery). It also depends on whether your gas cylinders supply some of your devices.

The electrical consumption of the equipment is generally indicated in the instructions for use.

• general electronics: 0.4 Amps -> 24 hours = 9.6 amps / hour

• water pump: 0.3 A -> 0.5 h = 0.15 Ah

• 60 watt lighting: 5 A -> 5 h = 25 Ah

• 12-volt outlet: 0.5 A -> 4 h (charging time for a mobile phone for example) = 2 Ah

For 24 hours the daily consumption is 36.75 Ah. Knowing that our battery has a capacity of 100 Ah, we, therefore, have a little less than 72 hours of autonomy, so between 3 and 4 days.

FAQ on How many units of electricity does a caravan use?

How do you recharge a caravan battery? 

The batteries are recharged automatically thanks to the energy generated by the motor. First, the main battery is charged and when it is fully charged, it sends current to the auxiliary battery.

How long does it take to recharge a trailer battery?

Recharging a battery to its full capacity can take up to 40 hours. Of course, this cooldown assumes it’s completely empty. It will also vary depending on its capacity and use. The best way to recharge the battery is via AC power.

What is a smart battery charger?

Smart battery chargers are based on the latest developments in technology and aim to simplify the task of users. Also, this type of charger analyzes the type of battery and its condition throughout the charging process.

What charge for a 12V battery?

A battery must always be charged, the charge must be stopped between 2.25 V and 2.4 V per cell. Either: Between 6.75 V and 7.2 V for a 6 V battery, and between 13.5 V and 14.4 V for a 12 V battery.


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