Refrigerators play a huge role in our daily living. Walk into any household, restaurant, or office; you won’t miss one. This is not different in an RV. A good RV should have an appropriate refrigerator. This brings us to the question, which is the best refrigerator for an RV?
The black Midea 3.1 Cu. Ft refrigerator is the best of them all. Talk of its compact size, not too big, not too small. It is very efficient to use. Leave alone the beautiful interior lighting, color, and shape. It is simply the best!
01. Midea 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator
Trust me, this refrigerator serves you well. Do not just look at its size and underestimate it. It functions like any other refrigerator. It can do better. It comes along with many benefits that make it what it is.
It has a double reversible door for convenience when opening and closing. The door also has shelves for extra storage. Moreover, it is fitted with glass shelves that make it easy to clean. In addition to that, it has a spacious drawer for keeping cheese, fruits, and vegetables.
Its size is perfect, not smaller than a residential refrigerator but larger than a mini-refrigerator. Nevertheless, it is fitted with an interior light. It enables one to see well inside. It also adds aesthetic value to the product.
UniquenessThe fridge has in-built holders for all kinds of beverages. It has adjustable legs fitted for efficiency and balance. Furthermore, the refrigerator has temperature control. This enables one to adjust the temperature at your convenience.
02. oHomelab mini fridge- 3.3 Cubic Ft. Under Counter Refrigerator
This is one of the best refrigerators for an office, college dorm, or RV. It has unique features that make it friendly, especially when looking to save on space. It ensures your food and beverage is kept cool at all times.
The fridge has a single reversible door for easy opening and closing.
Its small perfect size makes it possible to fit anywhere. This is because it takes up minimal space.
It is fitted with three removable glass shelves. The two compartments for cooling and freezing provide sufficient storage. Leave alone the chilling covered compartment for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh. There is also extra storage at the door.
It is equipped with adjustable temperature control. You can adjust it to maximum, medium, or minimum. Temperature ranges from 32- 36°F when medium.
CleaningIn addition to that, it has a removable tray for draining drips from the freezer. It comes in handy when the electricity goes off or during defrosting. It makes it convenient when cleaning the fridge.
03. Dometiccf x 65w gray / black portable cooler
This is one of the best cooler, if not the best you can have. Suitable for you as it has extra privileges. It is fitted with the current advancement in technical specifications and features.
Quality material used
It has stainless steel hinges with a strong lead lining with fortified corners. The lid is airtight and ensures the contents inside are as cool as possible. This stainless steel enables it not to corrode and stop moving.
It has the perfect size to enable it to fit anywhere. It also allows one to carry it around. Best product for your RV, camping, etc. The fridge is large enough for your food and drinks.
UniquenessIt is fitted with models that allow you to control and monitor the cooling temperatures. It is also equipped with an automatic temperature display, which makes it easy to operate. There is also an LED light inside which are energy efficient.
04. Avanti RA7316pst Refrigerator
If you are looking for a fridge that can serve you, this is the fridge for you. It has two compartments for cooling and freezing. It also has sufficient space for storage. Do you love making ice cubes? This fridge comes with an ice cube rack just for you.
The platinum finish makes its surface not reactive. It is then protected from corrosive elements. Furthermore, it has a double reversible door, which enables it to open and close easily. The door can swing easily on its own.
The fridge has glass shelves for the storage of food. Its door is as well fitted with racks that can hold bottles and cans. It provides more storage. There is also a translucent drawer for keeping vegetables and fruits.
UniquenessIt has leveling legs for efficiency and balance. They enable the fridge to stand well. Additionally, it has interior lights for easy visibility, even at night.
05. Whynter FM-65G 65 Quart Refrigerator
This is a modern innovation in the refrigerator manufacturing industry. The Whynter FM-65G 65-Quart is a portable refrigerator in the market designed with excellent unique features. It is an option for people who would like to move around with their refrigerators even whenever they go for a trip.
The external dimension of this market model is slender. This makes it the best option for sailors and even camping enthusiasts. You only require installing a power source of about 12 Volts capacity to use while out of your house for a vacation.
LED temperature display
This model has a LED temperature display to track all the operations and working conditions as they happen. It tells users about the power level, current temperature, and any other relevant information at large about the refrigerator. You can adjust the temperatures to any figure you would like to fit your needs.
Food stored in a refrigerator should stay fresh for an extended period. This refrigerator unit comes designed with a powerful cooling system to ensure food remains fresh for an extended period.
Large storageThe unit incorporates a bigger storage capacity for users who likes having several treats for future use. It has a capacity of up to 65 quarts; this is quite enough to hold all your favorite treats while in a picnic or out.
06. SMETA Electric 110V Mini fridge
In the market, you will find several mini-fridges at large. However, not all these fridges will provide you the kind of service you expect from them. The SMETA Electric 110V Mini fridge is a perfect option with excellent additional features to serve you the best.
This unit can efficiently run using a 12V or even propane. You can walk around with it all day round using solar energy and work quite perfectly.
This is an excellent feature you will rarely find in most refrigerators in the market. With reversible doors, you can maximize the space in your RV fully without minimizing the space of movement. This fridge's compact nature enables users to place it even near the driver’s seat without compromising space.
The unit has a spacious storage capacity to enable users to store all their favorable treats at large. This refrigerator also has a removable and adjustable shelving system making it easy to use.
Attractive designThese units feature fully functional features, but it is also an attractive design that makes it a great option to carry along when on vacation as such. The adjustable shelves, balconies, and the white interior look appealing.
07. ICECO VL45 Portable Refrigerator
This is another excellent model you will find in the market to serve you much. It is portable, durable to withstand long haul trips, and doesn’t produce noise when running.
Low power indicator
The unit has a low power indicator to alert users whenever their power source is exhausted and needs. This prompts you to make adjustments of the same while away from an alternative power supply.
Powered by both AC/DC power supply
You can choose to power your refrigerator by either AC or DC. You can operate it with either a 115V/ 60Hz AC power supply or a 12 V or 24 V DC power supply in that manner. Nevertheless, you can also use a car cigarette lighter in this case.
ETA approvedThis is an excellent feature buyer should mind when they plan to shop for an RV refrigerator. ETA approval means that the model meets the set environmental conservation levels by authorities. Besides this, the model comes with side hands to enable users to move it to places with ease.
Buying guide on best refrigerators for RV
Since several RV refrigerator models exist in the market, selecting the right model becomes a challenging task. However, there are a handful of considerations you should have in mind during the selection process to help you get a model that serves you the best.
Below are tips to guide you in making a selection;
Space should be among the top priorities in your list when shopping for an RV refrigerator to use. Conversely, don’t get something too big to compromise your space or a small option that doesn’t fit your needs. Before you close a deal on a particular option, determine your needs and greatly space you will place your fridge. This way, you can have a rough idea of the size you need.
Energy consumption is also a great aspect to consider when you shop for an RV refrigerator. You need to settle with an option designed with energy-saving features. Choose the models that use low energy LEDs instead of going for those with incandescent bulbs.
Every person needs a product that lasts long to provide a service for an extended period. Since refrigerators are major investments, it is crucial you carefully get a model that is durable enough to serve you longer. Don’t get pressed too much on your budget; consider a product sturdily built with durable parts to stand all hauls for long.
The price of a commodity is also a great consideration when you plan to shop for an RV refrigerator at large. You will need to determine the amount you wish to spend. This way, you will narrow down your options to save you time to get a product within your budget.
This is another great aspect you should look at when shopping for an RV refrigerator. In the market, you will find models with quiet motors and others producing noise when running. Get a refrigerator that is within your budget and makes minimal noise as possible.
Figuring out an appropriate refrigerator type for you is a significant consideration when shopping for the right fridge. In the market, you will have come across different types of refrigerators to choose from. It is upon you to figure out a suitable option for your situation and your budget's best option.
Lastly, you should also determine the power source the unit you consider will need to run efficiently. There are the electrical types that run using electrical current, and even others use propane to run. You can choose those using propane but mind that they only work when tilted over five degrees. If this becomes a difficult case for you, get an electrical option to use.
What is an RV Refrigerator?
This is a refrigerator constructed to withstand all the processes and functions of an RV. Different factors such as weight, power source, capabilities, and dimensions of an RV refrigerator are a few factors that can affect RVs at large. For this reason, it is recommended you get a fridge explicitly designed for RVs to prevent affecting it.
Types of RV refrigerators
The type of refrigerator is crucial when you plan to shop for an RV refrigerator to use. In the market, you will come across different types of RV refrigerators to select the best of all. Let’s discuss the types of refrigerators available in the market to choose from.
3-Way RV refrigerator
This is the most convenient RV refrigerator you will find in the market. The 3-way RV unit can run using either of the three power sources; the LP gas supply, AC, or DC power supply. The unit allows users to choose the power source readily available wherever they are.
2-way RV refrigerator
This is also another common option you will get in the market to provide you a service. Unlike the 3-way RV refrigerator, you can operate it using two power sources; the LP gas or AC power supply.
Propane RV refrigerator
The propane fridge is a bit different from the above options. This unit uses ammonia as its coolant system. Unlike the above options, you can power them with an AC power supply; these models only get powered with gas or propane.
AC/DC RV refrigerator
This market option exclusively uses electric current to run. You can either use a battery or attach it to an electrical power source to operate it. However, it ranks the favorable list option for most people due to the mobility case for RVs.
What size of RV refrigerator?
Size is an essential factor you should consider when planning to shop or replace your RV refrigerator. The unit you intend to purchase should fit the space you have. You should also ensure it doesn’t occupy a large area to leave you a small movement space.
Before you go shopping, ensure you measure the space you will install the RV refrigerator. This will provide you a clear idea of the particular size of the fridge you will buy. You should also measure your RV door so that you avoid purchasing a bigger refrigerator to pass through your RV door.In the market, you will find most household refrigerators measuring between 15 and 20 cubic feet. However, this is something bigger for RVs. A typical RV refrigerator measures between 5 and 12 cubic feet. Get it right from home before you mess up buying something bigger than what you expect.
The benefits of RV refrigerators
RV refrigerators have become common appliances people use across the globe. Most packages come with both a freezer and fridge at large. They all serve the purpose to keep our foods fresh for an extended period. But then, what are the benefits of the RV refrigerators? Below are a few benefits of RV refrigerators you should learn.
1. They are convenient
Summer vacations are well served with cold and chilled beverages at large. Therefore, it makes sense to carry along an RV refrigerator to serve your family with their favorite cold beverages. Besides this, you can use your refrigerator both to cool and store food.
2. Designed with more functionality features
RV refrigerators are undergoing advancement all day long. You can nowadays expect much from these refrigerators than what residential options provide. You can find RV generators designed with built-in ice makers, ice dispensers, French doors, and everything that makes it work efficiently.
3. Suitable for travel
RV refrigerators are constructed sturdy with durable parts and materials. They keep the entire content safe even when traveling through uneven terrain. They also have secure locking systems that enable users to lack their contents safely.
4. Can fit in small spaces
These refrigerators get designed small in size to fit in RVs. These fridges' dimensions allow them to fit any space without compromising movement space in and out of an RV.
5. Wide interior spaceEven though these refrigerators are small in size, their interior capacity is large enough to accommodate large contents. They also have shelves to store your favorite treats separately to stay fresh for an extended period.
How does a refrigerator work in an RV
Most refrigerators require electricity to work. The refrigerators are powered via an electric pump. How then does a fridge in an RV with no electricity work? There is usually no electricity in an RV since one travels often. Therefore the refrigerators in an RV work differently.
Though one may use an RV battery, you may end up consuming all the energy. RV refrigerators work in a gas absorption system instead. A propane burner powers the system.
A burner heats a boiler, which is like a vessel. Inside the boiler is water, which has dissolved ammonia. The water containing the dissolved ammonia then boils. Water boils at a higher temperature than ammonia. For this reason, the ammonia comes out of the generator into the condenser.
Inside, it begins to cool down, forming liquid ammonia. There is no trace of water left afterward. From the condenser, the ammonia flows down into the evaporator. The evaporator is filled with hydrogen. Note that there is minimal pressure in the evaporator.
It is through the process of condensation and evaporation that refrigerators work. The ammonia cools very fast as it continues to expand. The fridge is now able to cool food and drinks due to this action in the evaporator.
As the air blows, a running fan then cooled it down. There is then the circulation of the cold air through the refrigerator.
We are all aware that hydrogen does not dissolve easily in water as ammonia. The dissolved ammonia in water then flows down and reaches the generator as it flows back. This is done using a device referred to as an absorber. The cooling cycle starts and runs all over again.
Advancement in technology
We are currently living in a world where things have changed. Some RV refrigerators can use electricity. Do not be surprised technology has made things easier. Some use both propane and electricity while others use only either.Some RV’s come fitted with an electric refrigerator while others you need to install. Most people prefer the one for both. This is because you can use electricity when in an area where it is available. Where it is not, you can always use propane gas.
Why an RV fridge is so expensive
An RV refrigerator is not the same as a residential one. It entails unique features and specifications that make it unique and expensive. The many reasons as to why they are costly are elaborated below.
The material used to make RV’s is different. Due to the constant rumbling during travel, if made using a light material, it will break. One of the materials used is stainless steel and platinum. Despite avoiding corrosion, the materials used are heavy-duty.
Unlike residential refrigerators, RV fridges do not have any plastic moving parts. If there were, you would constantly replace them due to breakage. The materials, in turn, are very costly hence making RV fridges expensive as well.
Unless you purchase an RV with a refrigerator installed, you will spend a lot in installing one. You need to ensure you get the right personnel to install for you. One who has the experience and knows the dos and don’ts.
Since the RVs usually have limited space, the fridge has to be installed in a limited space. RV modification has to be done for the refrigerator to fit. This takes up a lot of money for the modification and the one who modifies.
Extra costAnother reason why RV fridges are so expensive is that they require extra materials. The refrigerator in an RV requires additional investment in solar power and a large generator. One also needs extra batteries for the RV to have sufficient power when traveling or camping.
How do I convert my RV refrigerator to residential?
Start by taking out your old refrigerator. Locate the propane to your RV and turn it off. Follow by locating the access panel of the fridge. Open it and find the RV propane line connected to the refrigerator. Complete preparations by disconnecting the propane line from the refrigerator.
Installation of propane terminator
Next, install the propane terminator and turn the propane back to check for possible leaks in the system. Follow to locate a 12 V wires connected at the back of your refrigerator. Unscrew to release them.
Remove all screws holding the fridge.
Check still if screws are holding the unit and remove them. Also, look at the access panel and under the department for any. Finally, unplug the unit for a 110 service.
Take the fridge out
It is time you need to take your refrigerator out. Use a lock Nelson to hold and get your refrigerator out. It might need a little effort and patience for it to get out. Use a lock Nelson, and hold it gently while the RV towards you to get it out.
Once you are successful, have it stand upright as you lower it out to the concrete. This might also be a tight project, but I believe it will come out straight.
Clean and prepare where to install your refrigerator.
While outside, start to clean the area, you will install your converted RV refrigerator. Measure the walls and make cuts of half-inch foam insulation.
Installing the refrigerator
Attach the insulation foams to the walls. Follow by tapping up the scenes with the reflex exterior. Get out the old one and have it in the new one. It is almost there, moves it up, and slowly position it well to fit the prepared space.
Plugin the 120 outletLastly, you will plug in the 120 outlets, and it will start running right away. You can complete the project by adding some insulation at the top and bottom areas.
How does a refrigerator work in RV while driving?
Since you might lack an electric outlet to run your refrigerator, propane usage remains the only way you have. However, propane running refrigerators should not run while driving due to safety purposes. Propane might cause explosions in case of any leaks in the system at large. Besides this, you are not allowed to run a refrigerator using propane.
So, how can you run your refrigerator while driving? Right, since you might need the fridge to run for a reason, you can use either a 12 V battery or 110 V generator to power it up. However, you should not let it run throughout. Make stops at certain time intervals to run it to maintain the fridge cold.
However, you should always avoid running your RV refrigerator while driving at large. You might not only experience an explosion from leaks of propane. Even though generators are the only available alternative, you should try maintaining your fridge cool using different alternatives.
How much does it cost to replace an RV fridge?
Has the fridge in your RV broken down beyond repair? Are you considering the cost of repair and decide to replace it? You are in the right place if you are asking yourself such questions. There is no definite answer, but an approximation will do.
The answer is that it depends. Many factors contribute to the price of its replacement. First and foremost, what is your preference? There are several types of RV fridges in the market. You need to go for what works well with you. Approximately replacing an RV fridge will cost you 9800$ to around 3200$.
How to avoid damages
Do you know you can save money by preventing damages to the RV fridge? All you need to do is take proper care of your refrigerator. Many times we incur a lot of cost on damages we can prevent.
Tips for prevention
- Ensure your fridge is covered well or made of strong material to avoid breakage when in transit.
- Make sure you regularly clean your RV as well as the fridge. It will keep dust off the refrigerator and, in turn, avoid spoiling the wires and tubes in the refrigerator.
- Always check your fridge after a drive.
- Park your RV with a refrigerator under a shade.
- Ensure you close the door of the refrigerator when not in use.
- Do not bang the door of the fridge when closing it.
- Do not overfill the fridge as it will prevent air circulation, which is necessary.
It is always best to shop for the best product to serve you well for an extended period. The unique features and specifications should act as a guide to choosing the best refrigerator for RV to use. Regardless of any factor, ensure you get a fridge that is easy to use and within your budget. You also need to consider a lightweight option and one that suitably use different sources of power. Besides this, choose an excellently performing refrigerator from the available options. This way, you will rest assured you have a refrigerator that provides you the best service for an extended period.
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Can I replace my RV refrigerator with a standard refrigerator?
Yes, this is quite possible. This will not only provide a large storage capacity, but it also becomes more efficient at large. However, before you make such a consideration, you must put in mind factors such as weight, size, lifespan, space, and power source.
Can the RV fridge run without a battery?
This is possible if your model is set up for an alternative power source at large. You can use propane to run it, and it the period it will run depends on your model and set up.
Can you put a residential fridge in an RV?
Yes, many people have done it before, and they have effectively used them. However, before you do that, there are other possible considerations you should have in mind. For instance, look at the power, a residential fridge needs 120 V AC power to run efficiently.
Does RV propane fridge need electricity?
You will find most RV generators using either electricity or propane. Those that don’t use propane are powered by electricity. They will mostly use 12-volt batteries, and they are quite energy efficient.
How long will a 12-volt battery run an RV refrigerator?
Averagely, the fridge will run up to ten hours with a 12 V battery. However, you can use an inverter along with the battery to prolong the running period. But still, this will push you a few more hours.
How long will an RV refrigerator run on propane?
Few factors determine the time you RV fridge will run with propane. These include the temperature it is set, the amount of propane you use, and several others. Averagely, 1.5 lbs. propane can maintain the refrigerator for 24 hours.
How many solar panels do I need to run an RV refrigerator?
Solar panels are alternative power sources, especially for people who like traveling with their RV refrigerators. Typically, you can use even a single solar panel to run your refrigerator. However, you can add them to three or even four as such.
Should I disconnect my RV battery when plugged in?
You should do this is when you are not using the refrigerator or when you want to store it. During storage, disconnect to prevent them from getting overcharged and thereby destroying it.