Best RV Refrigerator: Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

best RV refrigerator guide
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Finding a refrigerator for your RV can be challenging with so many different models out there. However, if you keep in mind what features will best suit your needs, such as size and storage capacity, then you can more easily choose the perfect fridge for your RV. This article will highlight some factors to consider when buying a fridge as well as some of the best RV refrigerator models currently available.

For now, let’s look at some of the best RV refrigerator you can find in the market today.

My Pick of the Best RV Refrigerator for your RV

For this guide, I will be sharing 5 of the top RV fridge you can get on Amazon today. All the 5 that I’ve picked are on Amazon bestseller list and received lots of great reviews. So let’s dive in on my choice for the best RV refrigerator that is value for money.

SMAD 12v Portable Mini Fridge

Smad Mini Fridge Review

Features:

  • Adjustable racks and shelves
  • Easily adjustable temperature settings
  • Designed with a reversible door hinge
  • Freestanding and compact to fit small spaces

The SMAD mini fridge is a top performer and an ideal choice for your RV. It is a reliable, long-lasting, and heavy-duty refrigerator for long trips.

Its compact size of 1.7 cubic feet will enable it to fit in small spaces, and it doesn’t make noise when running. It is designed and built for the rough and tough RV life, so you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged from the constant movement and bumps when you are on the road.

This fridge is also an easy-to-use appliance; the control settings allow you to easily control the temperature. It also comes with adjustable racks and shelves that you can configure to suit your needs, so you can adjust the space to make room for bigger items when needed.


Dometic DM2652RB RV Refrigerator

Dometic DM2652RB RV Refrigerator

Features:

  • Durable with a solid steel frame
  • Lockable doors
  • Comes with adjustable shelving system
  • Designed with easy control settings

The Dometic fridge comes with a double door and is made with a solid steel frame. It is an ideal choice for your RV because its solid steel frame makes it long-lasting, and you know that it won’t break easily when you are on the road or out camping. This what makes it one of the best RV refrigerator in the market today.

It comes with an elegant design that would be a lovely addition to your RV’s interior. The adjustable shelving system is an added advantage because they will cater to your storage needs. It has a three- position freezer shelf that will offer more flexibility, and its control system is easy to use and strategically placed at eye-level.


Whynter FM-85G 85-Quart Portable Refrigerator

Whynter FM85G Portable Refrigerator

Features:

  • Ultra large capacity
  • Can be used for 110v, standard household outlet, or 12v power source
  • Easy to read LED display
  • Portable; can be carried anywhere

The Whynter portable fridge has very good reviews from RV owners and mobile homeowners alike. Its popularity is due to the fact that it has a slightly higher capacity than most RV fridges. With its 85-quart storage capacity, you won’t run out of storage space for your food when you are out on the road or camping.

It is a portable fridge/freezer that is guaranteed to offer solid performance due to its high quality and innovative design. In addition, you can carry it almost anywhere.

It runs on the standard 110v or 12v power source, and it also has a tough, solid casing that is ideal for your RV’s mobile environment. You will also appreciate the fact that it has a sufficient power cord: a 6-foot power cord for DC and an 8-foot power cord for AC. This unit even comes with wire baskets for a stable use.

The Whynter fridge has a fast freeze mode that can quickly cool to -6°F. It has adjustable settings for each compartment, and it is equipped with a cool LED temperature display panel.


Ausranvic Portable RV Refrigerator

Ausranvik Portable Fridge Car

Features:

  • Offers battery protection
  • Designed with strong and thick insulation
  • Comes with a digital control and LED display
  • Large storage capacity

Ausranvic is a known top brand that makes top quality RV fridges, and this model is among their best. Known for its large capacity,it’s an ideal choice for RV owners who are going camping for a long period of time.

The model can run on 12v/24v power source and 110v, making it flexible to use. It has an easy-to-use digital control where you can adjust the temperature according to your preference. It also has an additional feature where you can opt for eco mode, which saves energy, or max, which is used for quick cooling.

This fridge also has a strong and thick insulation, around 1.6 inches. This means that it can keep your food cooler for longer, even after the power has been shut down or disconnected. It has a reversible door, though it is quite a heavy fridge.


SMETA 12v Freightliner Cascadia Refrigerator

SMETA 12v Freightliner Cascadia Refrigerator

Features:

  • Compact size to fit any RV space
  • Low energy consumption
  • Heavy-duty

Its compact size is ideal to fit in your RV. It’s also portable, so it can be moved anywhere. This mini fridge can run on your automotive battery, needing a power source of 12v.

 It has a lock that keeps everything secure when you are on the go, and with its large storage capacity, it can hold enough food for camping.

An advantage of the SMETA refrigerator is its automatic defrost feature; you can use the control settings to set the food to defrost whenever you need.


Now that I’ve shared on my pick of the best RV refrigerator, let me explain certain things about RV fridge such as its usefulness, factors to consider when buying, types of RV refrigerator and even tips to maintain your RV fridge. To start it off, let’s look at what is considered an RV refrigerator and how does it work.

What Is an RV Refrigerator, and How Does It Work?

An RV refrigerator is a special mini, portable refrigerator designed and built for mobile environments, such as recreational vehicles.

It works very differently from your home fridge. Refrigerators that are found in homes use a compressor while the one you will buy for your RV will not; it also doesn’t need moving parts to cool it down. This is what is known as an absorption fridge.

Basically, this type of fridge works by using fire to heat a mixture of hydrogen gas, ammonia, and water.  When the three chemicals are heated, evaporation and then condensation take place, which then cools the refrigerator.

When using power from a generator or from solar power, the heat is produced by an element; when there is no power, the LP gas will be used to create a flame and heat the chemicals.

Modern RV fridges can be set to automatically switch between LP gas and electricity. This will depend, though, on whether you are plugged in, using a generator, or using propane.

Types of RV Refrigerators

The models are differentiated by two types: the 2-way fridge, which uses LP gas or AC power, and the 3-way fridge, which uses, LP gas, DC power, and AC power.

Benefits of an RV Refrigerator

  • Versatile: It is ideal for many applications. It can also be used off grid with solar power.
  • Portable: It’s lighter in weight compared to normal fridges, so it’s easy to move from one place to another. Some come with wheels to make transporting it hassle free.
  • Energy saving: It doesn’t run on a lot of power.
  • Durable: An RV fridge is made of stainless steel due to the fact that it’s used when mobile, so its parts can’t easily break.
  • Varieties: There are many different types of brands and models in the market to choose from. We shall review a few of them later in the article.

Factors to Consider When Buying an RV Fridge

  • Capacity
  • Variety of Options
  • Cost
  • Size

Capacity

The storage capacity of an RV fridge is an important factor to consider. What you intend to store in the fridge will help you determine what capacity you need. Also, check the available space you have in your RV. A larger fridge means a larger capacity and vice versa.

If you think you are in need of more food storage space or freezer space, you may want to think of buying a mini fridge. The majority of them run off DC or AC power, and you can always bring it outside when camping so you don’t have to go inside the RV every time you need a cold drink.

They especially come in handy if you have a small RV and don’t want to buy an ice chest or a cooler to which you will have to repeatedly add ice to store more food.

Variety of Options

The many different RV refrigerators come with a variety of options. Picking the right option for you will help you save money. For example, you might need a freezer or a two-door fridge, or you may just need a cooler. These are important factors to consider when choosing your ideal fridge.

Cost

A good RV fridge doesn’t come cheap. They generally range between $1,100 and $3,000 but can cost even more for the luxury models. The main reason that they are priced so high is because they are not made like normal house refrigerators, which are made from plastic. Instead, RV fridges are made from stainless steel so that they don’t break apart with the constant movement on the road.

Size

Depending on the size of your RV, you will need a different sized fridge. You will need to measure the space to make sure you purchase the right size unit.

Installing Your RV Refrigerator

The moment you have bought your new fridge, it needs to be installed—which may not be that easy if you have to change the cabinetry in your RV. If you are not a professional person, then let the professionals do it.

Tips to Keep Your RV Fridge Running Efficiently

Before we review the different brands and models in the market for you, let’s check out some tips that will help your fridge run efficiently and last longer:

  1. Switch on your fridge a night before embarking on your camping trip. This allows the fridge to get up to the right temperature and be ready to store food.
  2. Put already cool and frozen foods in your fridge. Warm or hot foods will use up a lot of time and power to cool down.
  3.  Make sure that you leave even space between your foods. This will allow for airflow to move freely and easily. A full or over-packed fridge will leave food not entirely cooled, making the fridge work even harder.
  4. Purchase an RV fan that is battery operated. You get to save power used by the fridge to cool down by 50%.
  5. Don’t keep opening the door of your fridge. Keep the temperature of the fridge between 34 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit to keep your food fresh; keep the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  Anything above 40 degrees will make your food go bad, and that can easily happen if you leave your fridge’s door open.
  6. Get a thermometer for your fridge. Knowing your fridge is running at its full potential will keep your mind at ease.
  7. Defrost the freezer every month or two. Buildup of frost in your freezer can take up space and be quite irritating. Switch off the fridge and let the frost melt.
  8. Level the fridge for it to work properly. If the fridge is not leveled when you are using it, you may damage it; place a bubble level under it to make sure it is level.
  9. Run your fridge from time to time even when you are not RVing. The sediments inside the liquid chemicals of your fridge may settle to the bottom and clog up when the fridge is not running. These can destroy the fridge or slow it down.
  10. Make sure you check the front and back vents before and after your trips. Having constant maintenance is important and will keep your fridge working effectively for longer.
  11. Make sure you park in a way that the outside vents will be covered by shade. The outside temperature affects how your fridge is running, and if the vent is in a cooler area, then the fridge won’t have to overwork.

That’s all for now! I hope you get the best RV refrigerator for your RV—properly installed and all set for your camping trip.

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