Best RV Refrigerator Review Guide For 2023-2024
Best RV Refrigerator Review Guide For 2023-2024 – Looking for a reliable RV refrigerator? We’ve got you covered! Living in an RV doesn’t mean you can’t have appliances to make your life easier. An RV Refrigerator is a great product to own, especially for keeping your food fresh and drinks cold during the summer. We have created this buyer’s guide in our Best RV Refrigerator Review Guide For 2023-2024 to help you understand a bit more about RV fridges. And of course, we will be sharing our top picks to let you know about the perfect model for you!
Best RV Refrigerator Buyers Guide For 2023-2024:
Drawing comparisons is always important because you want to know that you’re making the right decision. With so many options available in the market, you want to make sure that you are actually making a wise investment. Since many are still confused regarding the differences between different types of RV refrigerators, we attempt to explain these below.
RV Refrigerator vs. Residential:
The primary difference between RV and residential refrigerators is that the former is smaller in size. Unlike RV refrigerators, residential fridges are unable to withstand the constant vibrations and bumps that you experience while driving.
RV fridges use different alternative methods of power instead of using one traditional power supply. They also feature less moving parts and are made using more durable, high-quality materials. Moreover, they use a different method of cooling compared to your residential fridge.
Propane vs. Electric RV Refrigerators:
The main difference between propane and electric refrigerators is that the latter is a lot cheaper. Moreover, a standard 20lbs propane tank lasts about 11 days and needs a refill, whereas electric fridges don’t require refilling.
Gas vs. Electric RV Refrigerators:
Some fridges use gas to function, whereas others work on electricity. The main difference between these two options is that gas-powered refrigerators require a gas line in order to operate. Meanwhile, electric refrigerators do not require any gas to operate, making them safer to use.
Electric refrigerators also provide consistent cooling and help in keeping your foods and drinks icy cold. On the other hand, gas-powered units can tend to get affected by the surrounding temperature, which affects the cooling.
AC vs. DC Power For RV Refrigerators:
The main difference between AC and DC refrigerators is that in AC, the electric charge changes direction periodically, whereas, in DC, the electric charge only flows in one direction.
So when the fridge is not plugged into a power source, and you don’t have an inverter, then the power stored in the batteries is DC.
DC is unable to run such big appliances on its own; therefore, the DC power that is stored in the batteries can run your RV refrigerator. However, an AC refrigerator will require an inverter to convert the DC power to AC in order to work.
Refrigerator Organization Tips, Tricks, and Hacks For Success:
With mini-fridges, it gets difficult trying to accommodate all your food and drinks. So, we’ve made a list of tips and tricks that you should follow. These will allow you to organize your fridge in a more efficient way so that you can make the most of your unit.
Leave Some Space Between Foods:
If your fridge is too packed, it will restrict the airflow. This will cause the foods to cool unevenly, which makes the fridge work twice as hard.
Defrost the Freezer Once Every Month or Two:
Frost buildup takes up a lot of freezer space and is very annoying to deal with as well. Thus, make sure to defrost your fridge, turn the fridge off and let it thaw completely to get rid of the buildup. If you want to speed up this process, then place a pot of hot water in your freezer.
Get Expandable Bars:
Expandable refrigerator bars help keep your things in place and prevent them from spilling all over the fridge.
Group Similar Items Together:
Keep all of the similar items grouped together in clear baskets. This not only helps ensure that they are easily accessible and ready to grab but also helps in saving a lot of space.
Types of RV Refrigerators:
As you might have noticed, there are different types of RV Refrigerators to choose from. The two main categories are determined by the type of power source being used.
As the name suggests, this is the type of unit which can run off an LP gas supply, AC, or DC power. Such an appliance lets you choose the power source depending on what’s convenient for you.
This type of unit requires an LP gas source or an AC supply to run.
You will need propane or gas to power such an appliance. It uses ammonia as a coolant. A reaction between hydrogen, water, and ammonia allow the fridge to remain cool.
Such a type runs exclusively on an electrical power source. You can attach it to a primary electrical power source, or run it on a battery. Due to the mobility of an RV, opting for an exclusively electrical-powered unit might not work out best for everyone.
Benefits of Investing in a Quality Refrigerator:
We have created the review list by going over some of the best refrigerator models available on the market. Selecting any of the fridges we have mentioned can offer you numerous benefits.
Built For Travel:
Refrigerators meant for RVs have been constructed to be durable. They will continue working and keeping your contents safe even when you’re traveling over uneven terrain. For example, the Dometic DM2652RB RV Refrigerator on our list allows you to lock the doors securely
They Fit in Small Spaces:
The dimensions of such fridges allow them to fit in a variety of small spaces.
Manufacturers understand the need of having silent fridges in RVs. For example, the Midea WHD-113FSS1 Mini Fridge with Freezer features whisper-quiet technology.
Fridges for RVs are highly portable. There’s no hassle when it comes to placing them in an RV or even when taking it out. The Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator is a great example of a fridge which is highly portable and even operates when tilted to a certain extent.
People Also Ask:
Some people might have certain questions related to RV refrigerators. It is great to be pro-active when it comes to maintaining the fridge in your RV. You should know if a residential fridge can be used in an RV. Furthermore, knowing about how much propane is required for a certain fridge model is valuable information to have.
We have tried to answer several RV fridge-related questions in this guide.
How to Keep the RV Refrigerator Door Closed?
All RV owners know the struggle of keeping the refrigerator door shut while driving. One sharp turn and all your food will spill out of the fridge. To prevent this from happening, you can use a residential refrigerator latch to hold the door of the fridge and keep it close while you drive. This latch is adjustable so that it can be used for all sized fridges.
You can adjust it to fit your refrigerator size. All you need is to use the existing screw fridge door screws to attach the latch and the bar. Once done, you can pop in the latch back in its place. Moreover, when you’re using the fridge, you can put the latch on the door as it has a magnet on one side.
How Does a 3-Way RV Refrigerator Work?
Three-way RV refrigerators are also known as absorption fridges. They make use of heat to provide the energy needed for the cooling system to work. The prefix three in the name refers to the different possible power supplies that the fridge can run on. These refrigerators can run on AC, DC, or LP gas supply. This feature makes them one of the most preferred RV refrigerator options, especially for all those camping expeditions.
How Level Does an RV Refrigerator Have to Be?
For an RV Refrigerator to function properly, it is important that it is on level. Make sure that if you are using an old model, then the fridge is kept level. A good rule to follow is that the fridge can be either plus or minus two degrees from the plum. That means that it can be at least half a bubble out of the level line.
Meanwhile, newer fridge models have a bit more tolerance. However, unlike home refrigerators, an RV refrigerator relies primarily on gravity to help it cool down. So the less out of level the fridge is, the more efficient it becomes in keeping things cold.
How to Keep an RV Refrigerator From Molding:
RV owners often come across this issue of finding mold in the fridge when opening it a couple of months later. While many think that a mold infestation is nothing to make a huge fuss about, you shouldn’t take it lightly.
A mold infestation is not only harmful to your health, but it also requires a lot of time and effort to deal with. The moment you see it, carefully clean the interior of the fridge.
A quick wipe of the surfaces will not suffice; you will have to scrub the entire fridge, making sure you tackle all the drawers and door gaskets. Use some warm soapy water to clean the insides and then use a concoction of bleach and water to disinfect and sanitize the surfaces.
Make sure to clean out the refrigerator after each trip and keep the door open before locking the RV up until your next trip.
How Do You Adjust the Temperature on a Dometic RV Refrigerator?
It is important that you set your Dometic RV refrigerator to the correct temperature as it helps in keeping your food fresh and prevents it from spoiling easily. If the temperature is not correct, then you might see water dripping from the unit if it is too hot, or you’ll see ice forming if it’s too cold.
What you need to do is get yourself an aftermarket thermometer to check your appliance’s precise temperature. Once you know the actual temperature, locate the thermometer icon button, and keep tapping until you see the biggest crystal light up. This means that your appliance is cooling at its maximum capacity. You will have to wait for at least 24 hours for the temperature changes to take effect.
How Many Watts Does a RV Refrigerator Use?
RV refrigerators consume watts, and it is important for you to understand your refrigerators watt usage if you want it to run for a longer period of time. You can’t really turn off the refrigerator, unlike your AC. You must understand the starting watts will be more than the watts required for your fridge to run. Typically, RV refrigerators require about 600 Watts for starting and about 180 Watts to run.
How Long Will an RV Refrigerator Run on Propane?
Although most RV fridges these days are two-way, they work either on propane or on AC electricity, but they don’t work as efficiently on electricity as they do on propane. The amount of propane you will use depends on your refrigerator, the temperature it is set at, and some other factors as well. However, typically, most RV owners use an average of 1.5 lbs of propane per day to run their RV refrigerator.
How to Keep RV Refrigerator Cold While Traveling:
If you want your fridge to hold its temperature while you are out and about driving, then make sure the unit is as cold as possible before you head out. Set the thermostat as low as you can and fill up all the empty spaces with icy cold beverages and ice bags to keep it colder.
Meanwhile, to keep your refrigerator cool, you can use the fridge vent fan to prevent it from working too hard, trying to push the hot air out. Place it on the fridge’s vent or use the RV fridge fan to help in keeping the inside cool.
How Much Does an RV Refrigerator Weigh?
RV fridges are made using heavy materials and are specifically designed so that they may be moved around. However, you must understand that an RV fridge’s weight depends on the model and brand you are opting for. Each model features a different weight.
Can You Use a Residential Refrigerator in Your RV?
Well, three and two-way fridges are meant for RVs. However, if you prefer a residential refrigerator, then yes, you can use it in an RV, too. However, a residential fridge won’t do you much good in the long run. It is recommended only if you plan to stay in an RV for a couple of days.
How Many Amps Does an RV Refrigerator Draw?
The amps an RV fridge draws are mentioned by the manufacturer. However, typically, it is between the 0.15 to 7 amps range. A double-door fridge might need seven to eight amps to start. Take note, running amps are lower than the starting amps. An RV fridge, usually, can run on two to four amps. Defrosting a refrigerator can take up to one to two amps.
How Much Propane Does an RV Refrigerator Use?
The manufacturer mentions the amount of propane required by an RV fridge to run. Generally, the amount of gas used is determined by the space. For example, a 12 cubic foot fridge can consume around 1.5 pounds of propane daily. Of course, a smaller model will consume much less. Keeping your fridge maintained can help the unit consume less gas to operate.
How to Remove an RV Refrigerator:
- Always remember to consult the manual for removing an RV refrigerator. Here are a few common steps to help you out:
- Take accurate measurements so you know the dimensions the new fridge will need for easy installation.
- Always remember to turn off the electrical or gas power source before removal.
- Remove all of the frame screws.
- Go ahead and remove the screws from the frame base.
- Disconnect the wiring. Make sure the main power source is off.
- Remove the silicone caulking.
- You are ready to remove the old fridge.
EdgeStar CRF321SS Compact Fridge
The EdgeStar CRF321SS Compact Fridge. This is a True Zero Degree freezer. It is energy efficient and offers you 3.1 cubic feet of space. It works just like a normal-sized freezer, but everything is presented in a more compact form.
Of course, the fridge and the freezer are separated so you can better utilize the space. This appliance will freeze items down to 0°F. The dimensions (19.8 x 18.8 x 33.5 inches) make this item perfect for being placed in an RV or travel trailer. You won’t have to worry about it taking up too much space.
This fridge gives you stainless steel doors with black cabinets. You can easily defrost it, too, when required. The slide-out shelves offer added convenience. Using the thermostat (34-60°F range), you can set the temperature for your food items and drinks. With this appliance, you get one adjustable wire shelf, along with a single glass shelf. There is also a vegetable crisper and in-door storage.
Additionally, you don’t have to worry about taking items out at night or when it is dark inside the RV. This fridge has a built-in light to let you see inside when you open the door. You also get a 90-day warranty with this item, so you can be confident in your purchase.
- True zero degree freezer; Reversible doors; Door bins in both refrigerator and freezer sections
- For freestanding installation; True stainless steel doors with black cabinets
- Automatic defrost in refrigerator section; manual defrost in freezer section
- Slide out shelves; Molded worktop; Energy Star rated; Warranty 90 days labor 1 year parts
- More energy efficient with new refrigerant than previous model CRF320SS
- It is Able to Fit Small Spaces
- An Ice Tray is Included With This Fridge
- It Has a Vegetable Crisper Compartment
- You Can Defrost the Freezer When Needed
- The Thermostat Gives You Effective Control
- Might Be a Bit Loud for Some
The EdgeStar CRF321SS, our runner-up selection, is recommended for those who want an energy-efficient fridge for their RV. While it can be a bit loud while operating, it will keep your food items cold and fresh. The stainless steel doors make this item durable.
Smad Gas Refrigerator Freezer 110V/Propane Fridge Up Freezer
There are going to be certain instances where you find yourself somewhat off the grid. In such places, it is recommended you opt for a fridge which operates on gas. The Smad Gas Refrigerator is our choice for the best propane model available in the market. This is a two-way fridge which also has a freezer. It has a gas and electric thermostat to help you set the preferred temperature.
Furthermore, the operation of this unit is very quiet. There’s no need for you to be annoyed by noisy fridges anymore. This unit has no Freon and thus, it doesn’t play a part in spreading pollution. It also features low energy consumption. It measures 23.6 x 29.1 x 64.2 inches and offers you quite a lot of storage space. The fridge volume is 7.3 cubic feet while the freezer volume is two cubic feet.
Smad is a brand which was established back in 1999. It has made a name for itself over the years. Now, while this specific unit isn’t the most reviewed, if you want an appliance manufactured by Smad, you should know about this gas fridge and freezer. As an added bonus, it has a flame indicator to let you know when a flame is lit.
- 3 Way Refrigerator- LPG, 110V & 12V 3 way available
- Gas Connection- 3/8″ Male flare – fuel
- Flame Indicator- Easy connection of gas power
- No Noise- Absorption cooling system makes no noise
- Manual Temperature Control- Adjust temperature and control flame(on lpg power)
- This is a Durable Unit
- It is Environmentally-Friendly
- It Offers a Lot of Storage Space
- You Can Run This on Gas or Electricity
- It Might Require Too Much Space for Some Users
The Smad Gas Refrigerator Freezer is a reliable option for those interested in a fridge which can work on gas as well as electricity. It is easy to use this appliance. It doesn’t vibrate or produce a lot of noise during operation. While it might take up more space for some RV users, it is great when you’re in off-grid areas.
SMETA 3-Way Fridge Propane Refrigerator
This SMETA three-way fridge is a preferred unit by many RV owners. It is a durable option and features a spacious storage compartment where you can easily store a good amount of food and drinks. The refrigerator uses propane to work; however, it also comes with an electric option for you to switch to. It is easy to switch between the two options, or you could use 12-volt batteries instead as well.
Why it Stands Out to Us
It is the perfect option for RV users as it comes with an energy efficiency feature. You can run this mini-fridge on either propane or electricity, or you could use a 12-volt battery. It also comes with a reversible door that allows you to fully maximize the space inside your RV without having to sacrifice any sort of movement. The unit also features a compact design. It doesn’t require too much and is perfect for your RV.
- 1.4 Cubic Foot Refrigerator 3-Way (Propane, 110V AC, or 12V DC), great for your cabin, cottage, RV or camping
- Dimensions 15.8 x 17.7 x 24.8 inches, campact size easy to carry on the way
- Approximate gas consumption per day: 0.3 lb
- Temperature range 32℉~50℉ without freezer
- Advanced absorption cooling system, super quiet without noise
- Also has a reversible door
- Features a compact design
- Made of durable material to last a long time
- Gas-powered but comes with an electric option as well
- Offers a spacious compartment that allows you to store a lot of food and drinks
- Door dents easily
The SMETA three-way fridge is a promising unit. It is spacious enough to accommodate your food and drinks for up to three days. Despite being spacious, the fridge itself is very compact, which makes it the perfect option for an RV user. You can use this unit on gas, electricity, and with a 12-volt battery, and you’re good to go. It is definitely an option you should consider.
Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator
If you’re looking for a highly portable RV refrigerator, we have the Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart, which is also our selection for the best 12V model RV fridge. It gives you a capacity of 45 quarts or 60 cans (12FL oz). It works well for storing drinks, vegetables, or even fruits. Also, take note, this unit functions as both a fridge and a freezer. The “Fast Freeze” mode is present if you wish to store frozen food items or want to ensure your drinks are chilled.
The vertical design of this unit from Whynter makes it great for boasts, fishing trips, boats, and RVs, of course. This is a highly portable appliance and can be easily taken anywhere. It can be attached to a 12-volt battery if you wish to operate it outside the RV and in the area while enjoying time with your friends or family. The thermostat can be adjusted to ensure the temperature you prefer. The LED temperature display is present for your convenience.
Another thing to note is that this RV fridge unit functions even when tilted 30°. This means, even if the terrain is a bit uneven, you can still use this item for some chilled drinks and snacks. An eight-foot AC power cord and five-foot DC power cord are included for your convenience. The two removable wire baskets allow you to organize the inside of this fridge efficiently.
- 45 Quarts or 60 Cans (12FL oz) capacity; Adjustable temperature range: -8°F to 50°F; LED temperature display; “Fast Freeze” mode rapidly cools to -8°F
- Car, RV and home use; Operates as a refrigerator or freezer; work with 12/24V DC and 110V AC power; Voltage power AC (115V/ 60Hz – 65W/ 0.75A) or DC (12V/24V – 4.5A /2.5A Car Lighter Socket); unit can be plugged in with both AC power and the DC power at the same time. If both AC and DC are plugged in at the same time, then the unit will primarily operate on AC. If the AC power source fails, DC will become primary power supply source.
- 8-feet AC power cord and 10-feet DC power cord; Two removable wire baskets; Insulated lid and walls; ETL approved
- Power low indicator; Functions even when tilted 30°; Tough and solid outer powder coated steel housing; Drain Plug for easy cleaning; Stainless steel side handles
- Wattage: 65 Watts. Net weight: 45 LB. Internal dimensions: 18.5″ W x 11″ L x 15″ H including a compressor step with 7.5″ W x 11.25″ L x 8″ H; 45.46 dBA
- Wattage: 65 Watts. Net weight: 45 LB. Internal dimensions: 18.5inches W x 11inches L x 15inches H including a compressor step with 7.5inches W x 11.25inches L x 8inches H
- ETL approved; Refrigerant Type: R-134A
- It is Highly Portable
- This is a Durable Unit
- It Has Two Removable Wire Baskets
- Operates as a Both Fridge and Freezer
- It Can Operate Even When Tilted to an Extent
- Operates on 12-Volt Electricity
- The Freezing Action Isn’t the Strongest
The Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator is a great 12V model for those interested in purchasing a highly portable fridge. The two wire baskets allow you to organize your food and drinks and this unit can operate outside the RV, too.
Norcold is another brand that also has refrigerators which can be placed in an RV for comfortable living. Our best Norcold selection is the Nr740Bb. This is a compact fridge which can fit in a number of spaces. It comes in at 22 x 18 x 23 inches. Now, we have to be truthful and say this unit isn’t the best reviewed when compared to other units available in the market. However, having mentioned that, it is still a unit you can opt to rely on if you wanted to purchase a fridge from the Norcold brand.
The thermostat is easy to control. Depending on the weather you find yourself facing, you need to make sure your fridge is working the best it can. The thermostat in this unit does a great job of controlling the temperature to ensure your food items don’t get ruined. Furthermore, the overall operation is quiet. So, you won’t be annoyed by the sound while sleeping.
The design is also quite modern. The construction focused on durability and keeping itself stable during travel. It is also easy to clean. The shelves are powder-coated for longevity. Whether you decide to place fruits, vegetables, or drinks, this item is more than up for the task.
- Compact-perfect for tighter living areas.
- Exceptionally quiet, hermetically-sealed compressor.
- Expressly designed for reliability in marine and mobile applications.
- Convenient, large container storage.
- Durable and easy-to-clean white powder-coated shelves.
- REFRIGERATOR NR740 BLACK
- It is Easy to Clean
- It Features a Modern Design
- It Has a Durable Construction
- This Fridge Can Fit Small Spaces
As we’ve mentioned, while the Norcold Nr740Bb isn’t the most highly reviewed refrigerator available, it can still be an option for people interested in a fridge from Norcold. This unit is easy to clean. The thermostat is easy to control. It also has a modern design which many find appealing. Furthermore, the shelves are powder-coated and easy to clean.
We hope you found our Best RV Refrigerator Review Guide For 2023-2024 helpful.