Tips For Buying a Camper Refrigerator

A camper refrigerator is a necessity when traveling in an RV. These fridges use either propane gas or a standard 110-volt AC power connection to keep the food cold.

They can be expensive, but they are well worth it for the ability to bring fresh food with you while on the road. To keep them working their best, make sure you don’t overpack them and that the seals are tight.

  1. Size

Buying a used fridge is a great way to save money, but it’s important to make sure you get one that actually works. Look for refrigerators that have been vetted or refurbished to make sure they will cool properly.

If you don’t want to use propane, there are several smaller fridge options available. Thermoelectric coolers are compact and easy to carry, but they don’t really hold a lot of food or drinks.

Absorption fridges are the most popular option for RV owners because they can run on either electricity or gas. Look for a fridge that has a dedicated freezer section, adjustable food fences, and recessed door handles.

Dometic makes a large two-door absorption fridge that is perfect for larger campers. It is quiet, has a nice stainless steel look that fits modern RVs, and has a convenient automatic door locking feature that locks the doors when your RV ignition is on. It also runs on 12V DC power so it can be powered by your RV’s electrical system without an inverter.

  1. Power

If you’re planning on getting a RV refrigerator, make sure to consider how much power it will use. The more energy it uses, the less cold your food will stay.

Thermoelectric fridges require a lot of starting watts, as well as ongoing watts to operate at full power. It’s important to know this information because it will help you plan and troubleshoot your RV refrigerator.

Compressor fridges use AC/DC power. This means they can only be used when you’re plugged in at your campsite or have a generator to run them. This type of refrigerator has gained in popularity for die-hard boondocking RVers.

If you choose an absorption fridge, it can be powered by mains power, LPG gas and 12V battery power. This makes them very efficient. It’s best to use a DC watt-meter so you can see how much your fridge is using. This will prevent you from running down your battery reserves and not having enough electricity for other systems in your RV.

  1. Storage

When packing an RV fridge, it’s important to keep in mind that food needs time to cool down. Too much food in the fridge that’s already warm will force your RV refrigerator to work harder to cool down, causing it to use up more power.

This can also lead to spoiling and unwanted smells. To avoid this, make sure to pack your fridge with only cold foods and drinks.

For more peace of mind, consider buying refrigerator latches or straps to prevent the fridge door from swinging open during travel. These can be found online and are easily adjustable to fit any shelf size.

Another great option for storage is a chest-type RV refrigerator, which works more like a home fridge than a traditional upright model. These fridges can be powered by your rig’s gas or electrical system and some even offer through-the-door water. These coolers are ideal for weekend trips or short camping adventures.

  1. Temperature

A camper fridge that doesn’t maintain a cool temperature can spoil your food. You can prevent this by knowing how to set and keep the proper refrigerator temperature.

RV refrigerators respond to the weather, so if it’s hot outside the fridge will probably be warmer and vice versa. Make sure to check the refrigerator and freezer temperatures every day, especially after a few hours.

Also, don’t overstuff the fridge, as this can affect the temperature. The door shelves are usually the warmest areas, so put your drinks and condiments there. The top shelf is colder, so put your meats and other foods that are ready to eat there.

You can use a fridge fan to help cooling things down, which will reduce fluctuations in the temperature. They run on two “D” size batteries and typically cost under $20. You can also try placing a bowl of ice in the fridge to bring it down faster.

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