11 Best 12-Volt Refrigerators (June 2020): Guide & FAQ

11 Best 12-Volt Refrigerators (June 2020): Guide & FAQ

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A portable refrigerator is very much a need, especially in hot summers. If you are searching for the best 12V portable refrigerator then have a look at this list.

We have compared the best available 12V refrigerator based on price, portability, brand, efficiency, durability and most importantly on price.

Take a look at the list and find the best for you. We have tried to make a list for everyone whether the group is small or big.

 

Note- This article contains affiliate links so when you purchase a product or take service through these links we get a small commission, without any extra cost to you, (the money is used to run this site and to give salaries to the team) But, this did not affect our reviewing decision. We have selected what is best in the market to help you out in buying the best product or using the best service.

Contents

1. ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer

 

Picture of ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer Credit Amazon
Picture of ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer Credit Amazon

 

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Brand: ARB

Model: 10800472

Weight: 29 pounds

Product Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 5 inches

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • 1. Removable lid
  • 2. Auto turn off to protect the battery
  • 3. Can cool while the vehicle is off
  • 4. Has 2 power cables 12V DC & 110 AC
  • 5. Can hold up to 72- 12-ounces cans
  • 6. Front-mounted control panel with large buttons with bright LED display
  • 7. It has an EZ latch that secures the lid for a tight seal.
  • 8. Comes with a rear-facing internal LED light automatically lights the compartment.
  • 9. A separate compartment for dairy or fruit.
Cons
  • 1. The Main compartment is small

 

ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer Review

ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer is number one in our list due to its popularity and good ratings by consumers. It is ideal for keeping your food and beverages chilled or frozen regardless of the ambient temperature.

It is not a 12V cooler, it’s a true refrigerator. You do not need ice to keep it cool. It has a powerful Danfoss compressor and a control system.

Danfoss compressors can cool the temperature inside and keep them cold for long. The ARB freezers can reduce the interior temperature to 0 degrees Fahrenheit in less time.

These refrigerators can actively and passively cool your food when the vehicle is off. When the internal temperature of the fridge rises above the digital thermostat setting the compressor activates to cool the contents to low temperature.

Powerful efficient cooling

The adjustable battery protection system allows the fridge to drain battery power while the vehicle is off which keeps the food cold without draining the battery. This refrigerator is heavily insulated and the body also helps to maintain a chilly temperature. Like for example, the 50-quart model maintains a sub-freezing temperature in 90 degrees by only drawing 0.87 amps per hour from a 12-volt power source. That is less than the power used by a single headlamp!

Lots of space

The 50-quart model is perfect for a small group. It can be used in large SUVs, wagon, pickup trucks, and RVs. It can hold up to 72, 12- ounce cans and also have space left for a 2-liter bottle of soda. The internal compartment is 13.27 inches deep, 11.22 inches wide and 15.79 inches high. The dairy compartment measures 5.95 inches deep, 11.22 inches wide and 8.11 inches high.

Heavy duty

The fridge is designed for travelers in mind. It has a super durable patented hinge system that has a front opening lid that can provide easy access to the fridge. It also has a slide that provides quick access to the entire unit. You can also bolt it with your vehicle for extra protection. These fridges can be mounted at extreme angles up to 30 degrees without affecting its operation.

You get two power cords which can be used with 12 and 24-volt power systems. The AC cord can be plugged into standard electrical sockets that are available at home and offshore power. The cable comes with a retention system that keeps the cord clean when not in use.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does this fridge make too much noise?

A1. No, it is very quiet in operation. You can hear it running but that is not disturbing.

Q2. What is the length of the 12V DC cable?

A2. The length of the 12V DC cable is 6 feet

 

2. Alpicool C20 Portable Fridge Freezer

Picture of Alpicool C20 Portable Fridge Freezer Credit Amazon
Picture of Alpicool C20 Portable Fridge Freezer Credit Amazon

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Brand: Alpicool

Model: C20

Weight: 19.84 pounds

Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet

Voltage: 12 volts

Wattage: 45 watts

Battery Cell Type: Alkaline

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • can be used with 12/24V DC
  • cooling up to -4 degrees Fahrenheit or -20 degrees Celcius.
  • 3 stage battery protection system to prevent battery run down.
  • Easy to transport
  • Vibration resistant design to protect the unit while driving.
  • Can run on angles up to 45 degrees
  • Digital control panel with electronic temperature control.
  • Efficient compressor with an adjustable ECO and HH modes.
Cons
  • Not suitable for family above 4 members.

 

Alpicool C20 Portable Fridge Freezer Review

This portable refrigerator is from Alpicool which is a popular brand name. Alpicool C20 Portable Fridge Freezer has a 3 stage battery protection system that protects the battery when the charge is low if you are running the fridge on battery.

It has true refrigeration which means this unit can keep the food in temperature down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit or -20 degrees Celcius. It’s not a cooler, it’s a real portable fridge.

It is equipped with a highly efficient compressor that draws less energy. You also have a choice of selecting ECO or HH modes. ECO mode will draw less power than the HH mode. So, if you have fewer resources to power the fridge you can choose the ECO mode to save power.

This fridge runs on 12/24V DC and can also be run on solar power. Running it on your RV or home it quite easy.

One problem with these kinds of refrigerators is that you cannot run them on great angles but not with this one. It can run on angles up to 45 degrees from horizontal. Its design is vibration resistant which makes it safe while driving on rough roads, which RVers are quite use to.

The unit has a digital control panel with electronic temperature control. It is easy to operate it even if you are not technical.

A good choice for a small family of four!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How loud is it when the compressor is running?

A1. This fridge is not loud but it is not quite as well. You can hear the compressor running when all the background noises are removed. But that is not enough to disturb your sleep.

Q2. How many watts does it draw?

A2. Alpicool C20 draws 45 watts and 3 amps.

Q3. What is the warranty period for this unit?

A3. 1 year

 

3. Costway 55 Quart Portable Refrigerator Freezer

Picture of Costway 55 Quart Portable Refrigerator,Freezer Credit Amazon
Picture of Costway 55 Quart Portable Refrigerator, Freezer Credit Amazon

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Brand: COSTWAY

Weight: 36 pounds

Product Dimension: 27 x 13.5 x 21 inches

Refrigerating System: Compressor type

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Large capacity which is good for a family.
  • Shockproof design
  • Fast cooling
  • 3 different levels for battery protection
  • Comes with an LCD
Cons
  • A bit Costly

 

Costway 54 Quart Portable Refrigerator Freezer Review

Costway 54 Quart Portable Refrigerator Freezer has a large capacity of 54 quarts. It is good for a large family or group as you can keep a large amounts of drinks and food.

You can select the appropriate temperature which suits you as it has a wide range of temperature settings. It is good for keeping cosmetics and medicine too. Wide range of temperature setting gives you freedom of keeping many things.

Its unit is built with a shockproof design to withstand harsh environments during driving. There is no fear of damage and the contents in the fridge remain in good condition even while driving on the bouncy road.

Another good feature of this fridge is that it can cool from 90 degrees Fahrenheit to 32 degrees Fahrenheit within 30 minutes. Now, that is fast cooling as you want to set up fast and you have chilled drinks and frozen foods ready.

This unit has 3 different levels for battery protection which are:

  • Low
  • Medium
  • High

This is great for different needs and it also protects the battery. It comes with an LCD and a digitized temperature adjustment. It becomes easy when you can easily set temperature for various needs and it is also easy to quickly learn how to use it.

One thing to note is that you should not set it low stage or it can drain the battery quickly.   

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What kind of battery is in this unit?

A1. It does not have a battery as it runs on 12V and 120V.

 

4. Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator

Picture of Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator Credit Amazon
Picture of Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator Credit Amazon

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Brand: Whynter

Model: FM-45G

Weight: 45 pounds

Product Dimension: 18 x 28 x 20.8 inches

Refrigerator fresh food capacity: 52 cubic feet

Special feature: fast freeze mode

Material type: Metal

Shelves: 2

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Large capacity to hold 60 cans (12 Fl oz)
  • Can be used in car, home or RV
  • Low power indicator
  • Runs on 12/24V DC or 110 AC power
  • ETL approved
Cons
  • costly

 

Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator Review

Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator comes with a powerful compressor cooling system which is designed especially for portable use and easy access. It is a true refrigerator/freezer which can cool between -6 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Enough cooling needed while Camping or RVing.

It runs on dual voltage as you can use it with 110 Volt of 12-volt power source such as a battery. This portable fridge runs on 65 watts. You have lots of options to power it up as you can power it up with offshore power or via RV battery.

This unit uses fast freeze mode to quickly cool the food and drinks to -6 degrees Fahrenheit.

You will get 45 quarts of space that is enough for 60 cans (12 Fl oz). This is quite a good amount of space for food and drinks. Good for large families or groups.

One good feature about this fridge is that it has a low power indicator as you can switch off it when power is less. It will keep the battery safe.

This unit can run even when it is tilted at 30 degrees. The outer body is made up of tough and solid powder-coated steel casing. The handles are made up of steel as well.

The fridge is ETL approved. It is a cost-effective and mobile solution for all your recreational and cooling requirements.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can you use it vertically with the door opening as a conventional refrigerator?

A1. No, as the maximum tilt it can withstand is 30 degrees.

Q2. Can you use this unit as a seat?

A2. Although this unit is durable enough you should avoid sitting on it as it can damage the unit and void the warranty.

Q3. Does it have a compressor?

A3. Yes, it has a compressor and it is a true fridge as it uses compressor technology.

Q4. Does this fridge have any battery in it?

A4. No, this fridge does not have a battery in it as it runs on 110 v AC or 12/24V DC power.

Q5. If both 120V AC and 12V DC are plugged in all at the same time, does it switch automatically?

A5. Yes, by default it will use 110 V AC power and it will switch to 12V DC power if 110V AC is not available.

 

5. Ausranvik 26-Quart Portable Freezer

Picture of Ausranvik 26-Quart Portable Freezer Credit Amazon
Picture of Ausranvik 26-Quart Portable Freezer Credit Amazon

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Brand: Ausranvik

Weight: 29.8 pounds

Product Dimension: 23 x 13 x 14 inches

Model: APR-25D

Voltage: 12 Volts

Wattage: 45 Watts

 

Pro & Cons

Pros
  • Works on both 12/24V DC and 110V AC
  • Led display and touch control
  • Intelligent battery protection
  • Energy-saving design
  • The unit has a drain plug
  • Can keep the food frozen for up to 10 hours after disconnecting the power supply
Cons
  • Costly

 

Ausranvik 26-Quart Portable Freezer Review

This portable fridge can work on both 12/24V DC and 110V DC power supply. That means you can use it by both offshore and battery power. One another thing about this unit is that whenever you are switching from DC to AC or AC to DC you don’t have to re-set the temperature when you change the power source due to the memory function of this unit.

Ausranvik has included intelligent battery protection in this unit which extends the battery life. You can select from High, Mid and Low protection. It keeps monitoring the battery and if the voltage is lower than the voltage setting set by you, the compressor will shut off automatically. This will save the battery from running down.

It is built with an energy-saving design that will prohibit the unit from consuming more energy when it reaches the set temperature. One great feature of this fridge is that it can keep the food frozen for at least 10 hours after the power source is removed. It is due to the good insulating material used in the production of this portable refrigerator. This fridge can work even at 45 degrees slope.

Another good feature which is actively not found in many portable refrigerators is a drain plug. This feature is great for cleaning the fridge interior. You can use detergent and water to clean it.

There is a LED display and touch control by which you can easily set the desired temperature. The temperature range you get with this fridge is from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 6 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also a max mode by which it adopts fast cooling and with ECO mode you can save energy when required. In MAX mode power consumption is 45W and in ECO mode it is 27W only. That is fewer power uses than the headlamp of your RV!

You can also charge electric gadgets, smartphones through a USB port by connecting the RV refrigerator to the cigarette lighter socket.

This fridge also includes a smaller section which is not cold as the main section, so if you want to keep something for cooling and not for freezing purpose then this section if for that use. It is also built with a shockproof design to save the product from damage.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is it easy to clean?

A1. Yes, it is super easy to clean this unit because of the drain plug, simply unplug it to drain the water.

Q2. Do it is difficult to set temperature every time you use it?

A2. NO, it is not difficult to set the temperature as you only have to set the temperature once and after that, the unit will remember the temperature setting.

Q3. Is this unit noisy?

A3. No, it is not noisy but you can hear the compressor running.

Q4. Can you directly plug this unit with the solar panel?

A4. No, it can be dangerous as there will be no controller. If you connect it with the 100-watt solar panel then it can damage the fridge.

Q5. Can you leave this unit in ECO mode plugged in overnight without hurting the vehicle?

A5. Yes, you can leave it overnight plugged in in ECO mode as it will monitor the power uses and will shut off the fridge before it drains the battery.

 

6. Engel MR040F-U1 AC DC Portable Refrigerator

Picture of Engel MR040F-U1 AC DC Portable Refrigerator Credit Amazon
Picture of Engel MR040F-U1 AC DC Portable Refrigerator Credit Amazon

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Brand: Engel

Weight: 48 pounds

Product Dimension: 25 x 15.5 x 18.5

Model Number: MR040F-U1

Volume: 40 quarts

Internal dimensions: 14.5 x 10.5 x 14.4 inches

External Shell Material: ABS plastic

Power consumption: variable from 0.7 – 2.7 Amps (12V DC)

Gas Type: HFC134-A

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • AC/DC Compatible
  • Variable Temperature Control
  • Incline operation up to 30 degrees
  • Highly efficient Engel swing motor which draws lo Amp even at start-up
  • It can operate approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit from the ambient temperature.
  • Automatically select between AC and DC power.
  • Solar compatible
  • 100% CFC free
Cons
  • Costly

 

Engel MR040F-U1 AC DC Review

Engel brings a super quiet, highly efficient Engel compressor which draws low Amp even at Start-up. That is 40% less than the traditional compressors! It is the most vibration resistant compressor on the market right now.

Cool for people who want extreme silence while sleeping.

This unit can automatically select a voltage between AC and DC but gives priority to AC. It means that when you power it up through AC power source and you have also connected it with a DC power source it will give priority to the AC voltage first.

It happens because AC voltage is drawn primarily from the 110-volt socket and 12V DC power comes from battery most probably from the RV battery. So, when offshore power is available it is not best to use valuable battery power.

Engel MR040F-U1 is a top opening AC/DC fridge and freezer. Its cooling range is from 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 0 degrees Fahrenheit with variable control.

Its outer body is made up of durable and corrosion-resistant ABS plastic. This portable fridge-freezer can even run on solar power and it is 100% CFC free. The gas-refrigerant that is used in the compressor is HFC134-A.

If you are taking it on bumpy roads and inclined mountain roads then do not fear as it can operate up to 30 degrees off level. You also get heavy-duty handles which you can remove when required.

 

Frequently Asked Question

Q1. Can the lid be changed to open on the opposite side?

A1. Yes, it can be changed to open on either side.

Q2. What are the dimensions of this fridge?

A2. The dimension is as such:

Internal dimensions: (LxWxH) 14.5 x 10.5 x 14.4 inches

External Dimensions: (LxWxH) 25 x 15.5 x 18.5 inches, excluding handles which are 2.5 inches long.

 

7. Dometic CFX 40W 12v Electric Powered Portable Fridge

Picture of Dometic CFX 40W 12v Electric Powered Portable Fridge Credit Amazon
Picture of Dometic CFX 40W 12v Electric Powered Portable Fridge Credit Amazon

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Brand: Dometic

Model: CFX-40W

Weight: 40.8 pounds

Product Dimension: 27.2 x 15.7 x 18.1 inches

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No need for ice
  • Energy efficient
  • You can refrigerate or freeze
  • Rugged construction for durability
  • Dual power AC/DC
Cons
  • Costly

 

Dometic CFX 40W Review

Dometic is a popular refrigerators brand. This unit has ultra-low power consumption using AC or DC voltage, or you can run it through the solar setup and other off-grid applications.

Its plus point is a small size, the fridge takes 2/3 of the space of traditional coolers. Its heavy-duty design with reinforced corners, stainless steel hinges and its powerful closing mechanism, the unit becomes durable and strong.

It can freeze or refrigerates up to -7 degrees Fahrenheit or -22 degrees Celcius. You do not need ice to cool up things. The unit uses 12/24 volts and 120 volts AC whichever you have available. This fridge is also very quiet in operations. There is also a USB port for charging smartphones or small electronic devices.

One cool thing which differentiates this fridge than others is the control and monitoring of the cooling via a WiFi app. There is also an energy-efficient LED interior light for a better search and look at the interior.

This fridge can refrigerate and freeze things inside despite the high ambient temperature with minimal power consumption.

The memory function remembers the last set temperature even if the system is turned off.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is there any vent location?

A1. There are 2 vents on the side panel where the digital control pad is located.

Q2. How many amps does it draw per hour?

A2. The unit draws 1 amp per hour on average.

Q3. What is the internal dimension?

A3. There are two compartments the dimension of the main compartments is (W x L x D)11.25 x 12.5 x 14 inches.

Q4. Are the handles removable?

A4. Yes, the handles can be removed easily.

Q5. Does this model use the Danfoss compressor?

A5. Yes, the unit uses a Danfoss compressor.

 

8. Ausranvik 48-Quart Portable Car Refrigerator

Picture of Ausranvik 48-Quart Portable Car Refrigerator Credit Amazon
Picture of Ausranvik 48-Quart Portable Car Refrigerator Credit Amazon

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Brand: Ausranvik

Model: APR-50B

Weight: 40 pounds

Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 14.3 x 19.3 inches

Capacity: 46 liters

Freezer capacity: 48 liters

Voltage: 12 volts

Wattage: 45 watts

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Large capacity
  • Easy to operate
  • Cold spreads fast and evenly
  • Basket for separation
  • Reversible lid opening
Cons
  • Costly

 

Ausranvik 48-Quart Review

Another, portable fridge from the brand, Ausranvik. This unit has a net capacity of 48 quarts. Quiet big for a large group or a family. You can keep 72 cans of coke in it.

This fridge has strong insulation which is 1.6 inches thick. It is required to keep the food frozen for 12 hours after the power down. Works well with 12/24V DC and 110V AC power source.

The battery protection system keeps monitoring the battery and the compressor will shut off automatically when the input voltage is lower than the minimum voltage. It protects the battery from draining down.

There is an LCD with digital controls. The temperature range of this model is -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has a MAX mode by which you can force to make the fridge cool fast and with ECO mode it saves energy.

One special feature of this fridge is that the cold spreads fast and evenly, it happens due to the use of aluminum. The interior wall is made up of aluminum, this material is well known for conducting cold faster and evenly.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How quiet are Ausranvik 48 quarts?

A1. Super quiet

Q2. Can I purchase an insulated cover for this fridge?

A2. Yes, you can get an insulated cover for this fridge.

Q3. Does it have a refrigerator zone and freezer zone or all one?

A3. No, there is no separate freezer and refrigerator zone in the fridge.

Q4. Does it have an interior light?

A4. Yes, it has a light for the interior.

 

9. Whynter FM-85G 85-Quart Portable Refrigerator

Picture of Whynter FM-85G 85-Quart Portable Refrigerator Credit Amazon
Picture of Whynter FM-85G 85-Quart Portable Refrigerator Credit Amazon

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Brand: Whynter

Model: FM-85G

Weight: 75 pounds

Product dimensions: 18.2 x 2.1 x 23.5 inches

Capacity: 2.83 cubic feet

Freezer capacity: 71 liters

Crisper/Drawers: 1

Material type: metal

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Large capacity of 85 quarts
  • Fast freeze mode available (rapidly cools down up to -6 Fahrenheit)
  • You can operate it as a refrigerator or a freezer
  • Solid outer casing
  • Dual voltage
Cons
  • Not suitable for small groups or families.
  • Costly

 

Whynter FM-85G 85-Quart Review

A fridge/freezer with a large capacity of 85 quarts that can easily cool 120 cans (12FL oz) at one time. That is enough for a large family or group. You can keep many food items in it.

This refrigerator/freezer works with 12/24V DC and 110V AC power. It can work well with offshore power or car lighter socket. You can plug in both AC and DC power at the same time. When AC power is available it will run on AC power source and when AC power source is not available it will start running on the DC power source.

You will get 8 feet AC power cord and 10 feet DC power cord. Two removable wire baskets, insulated lid, and wall.

This refrigerator has a low power indicator which will save the battery from draining out. It is built for working even in a rough environment as it will keep running even when tilted 30 degrees from the level.

The outer casing is made from powder-coated steel housing. There is a drain plug which makes it easy to clean.

It works on 80 watts. The cooling range of this fridge/freezer is -6 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A very effective solution for your recreational freezing requirements.

A special feature of this unit is that it is 2 in 1 appliance as it can be used as a fridge or freezer depending upon the need.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can you use it to freeze water?

A1. Yes, it can freeze water as it is a freezer too.

Q2. How long it will take water to freeze?

A2. It depends upon the different ambient temperature the fridge is in. Higher temperatures will simply mean it will take additional time to freeze the water.

Q3. Is this unit loud?

A3. Not so, much as it decibel range is 45.66dBA.

 

10. Dometic CFX28 12v Electric Powered Portable Fridge

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Picture of Dometic CFX28 12v Electric Powered Portable Fridge Credit Amazon

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Brand: Dometic

Model: CFX-28

Weight: 29 pounds

Product dimension: 13.4 x 24.4 x 16.7 inches

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No need for ice to cool things
  • The unit is energy efficient
  • You can refrigerate or freeze
  • Rugged construction
  • Runs on AC/DC power
Cons
  • Not suitable for large groups and family

 

Dometic CFX28 12v Review

Again Dometic made it to the list, with its CFX28 model. You do not need any ice to cool things as it is a true refrigerator. The cooling compartment has a separate crisper for your fruits and veggies.

This fridge can refrigerate or freeze depending upon the needs and it can cool up to -7 degrees Fahrenheit. This unit consumes an average of 0.175 kWh/24 hours.

The fridge uses ultra-low power AC or DC power from solar setup or any offshore means. The fridge is not too big and is good for a small family or group of people. It is 2/3 the size of a traditional refrigerator.

Built with a heavy-duty design, reinforced corners and stainless steel hinges keeps it safe from the damage done outdoor. One cool thing about this fridge is that you can control the temperature via an app. The input frequency is 50/60 Hertz and there is a LED interior light for better visibility.

The portable fridge is extremely lightweight. There is a 3 stage protection for saving the battery from draining out. The unit is super quiet as you will not hear any loud sound.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can this unit be left outside when it is raining?

A1. It is marketed as weatherproof so it can bear rain for some time at least.

Q2. How good is the insulation?

A2. It has good insulation and somewhat better than the average coolers.

 

11. Dometic CDF11 12v Electric Powered Portable Fridge Freezer

Picture of Dometic CDF11 12v Electric Powered Portable Fridge Freezer Credit Amazon
Picture of Dometic CDF11 12v Electric Powered Portable Fridge Freezer Credit Amazon

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Brand: Dometic

Model: CDF 11-DC-A

Weight: 19 pounds

Product dimension: 21.6 x 9.4 x 14.1 inches

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Dual Voltage AC/DC
  • Durable construction
  • Energy efficient
  • You can use it as a freezer or refrigerator
  • You do not need ice to cool things
Cons
  • Not suitable for large family or group

 

Dometic CDF11 12v Review

Small but efficient refrigerator from the brand Dometic, which is suitable for a small family or group. The fridge can refrigerate or freeze to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Low power consuming fridge which uses AC and DC voltage. You can use a solar setup or an off-grid power source.

The 3 stage battery protection is for saving the battery. It will keep the RV battery safe. This unit is 2/3 size of a traditional refrigerator and does not take up too much of the space. Ideal for people, who are looking for a cooling solution with less space.

The storage capacity of this unit is 10.5 liters and has only one compartment. There is a quick chill function which can be used to cool things up to the desired cooling level. The memory function remembers the last setting so that you do not have to set it again.

 

What Is A 12V Refrigerator

A 12-volt refrigerator is a small, compact and portable version of the fridge that is designed especially for mobile vehicles such as buses, RVs, travel trailers, and boats. It is used for keeping food, beverages, and medicine safe for use. These refrigerators can work on AC/DC electricity or propane.

Its working mechanism is the same as a standard household refrigerator at our home. But, this fridge draws less electricity than the type at our home. It removes the heat inside from the fridge by transferring It outside. That is why you will find vents on the side of your cooler to blow heat off. The walls of the cooler are made up of insulating material so that things remain cold inside for a long time.

 

Types Of 12V Refrigerators

There are two types of 12-volt refrigerator. Let us see, what are these two types of coolers and how they are different for each other.

1. Thermoelectric Coolers/Refrigerators

Thermoelectric coolers work on the principles of the Peltier effect. It states that when a current is passed between two plates of different semiconductors, heat is transferred from one plate to another. It means that one plate loses heat and the other gains the heat. This principle was used to make a thermoelectric refrigerator.

The refrigerator manufacturer places the cooling plate inside the cooler and the heating plate outside the cooler body. When the plate inside these coolers cools down it decreases the temperature inside the cooler. Additionally, ventilating vents and fans are used to release the heat outside of the heating plate.

These coolers can also be used for warming up the food because in this principle heat is exchanged so it can be reversed also. By simply switching the cooling plate starts heating and vice versa.

One drawback of these thermoelectric cooler is this that it uses heat exchanging mechanism so it relies on the outside temperature. So, if the outside temperature is high then the cooling inside the cooler decreases and it becomes less efficient.

Thermoelectric coolers are good enough to keep your food preserved for a long time but remember that most of the coolers cool down as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It cannot bring temperature below or near the freezing point. You cannot make ice or keep frozen food inside these thermoelectric coolers/refrigerators.

One good point about these coolers is that uses less power than the second type or compressor type of refrigerators.

So, if you do not need freezing temperature and a high consuming power fridge then this will be the best fridge for you.

2. Compressor Type Refrigerator

These types of refrigerators use a compressor, cooling agent or fluid refrigerant, condenser coils, expansion valve, evaporator coils located inside the refrigerator. The fluid refrigerant pulls out the heat from the inside and cools it.

The compressor compresses the fluid refrigerant which raises the temperature and the pressure in the fluid. This refrigerant which is in gas form is then pushed through a series of a coil that is exposed to ambient temperature.

The ambient temperature is lower than the refrigerant temperature, this turns the refrigerant into liquid form. The expansion valve then pushes the fluid through a tiny hole.

When the fluid passes through this tiny hole it turns into a cold mist that flows through the evaporator coils. It absorbs heat inside the refrigerator and turns into gas due to an increase in temperature. The compressor again pumps the cooling agent back so the process can be repeated till the desired temperature inside the refrigerator is achieved.

These compressor type refrigerators can bring the temperature to the freezing point because the coolant can achieve a very low temperature which is -27 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use this fridge for keeping frozen food for a longer amount of time.

There is a downside of these refrigerators that it uses more power than the thermoelectric type refrigerator.

If you need a very low-temperature fridge and have a good source of power like offshore power or generator then this type of fridge is best for you.

 

What to Look for When Buying a 12 Volt Refrigerator and how we rated these refrigerators.

Keep an eye on the features that should be in your fridge. Everyone’s need is different so as the different features which comes with the fridge. These are also the factors that we took a closer look before rating. Let’s look into these factors.

1. Power Source

The power source is the major factor that people look into before buying. If you have enough power due to the availability of offshore power or generator then going for an electric one will be better. Many models come’s with propane and electric ready.

Many people select propane too but it has a disadvantage such as it can stop working if tilted more than 5 degrees off the level. The choice is yours as you know better which power source you can provide to the fridge.

If I have to select a model then I would go for dual-power as I can run it with both types of the power source. You don’t know which one is available at a time!

2. Size

The second thing which you have to look for is the size of the refrigerator. You must have available space for your fridge in the RV otherwise there will be a problem for space.

The best way is to measure the available size and then look for the refrigerator, in this way you can bring the right size fridge. The second thing is to measure the size of the RV door and see if the fridge can be brought inside the RV through the door.

So, never buy any appliance for the RV without knowing the measurement of the appliances and available space.

3. Specification regarding RV

Refrigerators that run on propane must be brought after seeing the specifications whether it can be used in RVs. RV will be moving most of the time and the electrical appliance such as refrigerator must be manufactured for RV condition.

Some of the propane-based refrigerators will not run if the angle is more than 5 degrees.

4. Capacity

How many soda cans can you keep in the fridge with the rest of the food? Storage space inside the fridge is also important especially if you have many people in the RV. Depending upon the weather and climate the need for cold water and beverages will increase or decrease.

So, before investing in the fridge you should know the consumption of food and storage space in the refrigerator. It should suit your storage requirements.

5. Cooling Capacity

First, you have to decide whether you want a cooler or a refrigerator. As said earlier the thermoelectric models can maintain a cool environment but cannot be used for freezing purposes, for that you need compressor type models which can keep the temperature near or below freezing point.

6. Insulation

Good insulation is necessary for a fridge to maintain a low temperature. Especially if the ambient temperature is high or the unit is directly exposed to the sun.

7. Price

Price is also important as it should not disturb your budget. Whenever you buy anything especially electrical appliances, try to invest in a good brand as it returns the investment for a long time.

If you have a set budget then sort out those model which are in your budget range, as it will save time and you can get the best within the selected models.

 

Why Do You Need A 12V Refrigerator

There can be many reason as to why you may need a 12V Refrigerator. I have also compiled a list, why people are buying a 12V Refrigerator for their RVs.

1. Portable

Due to small size, it is way easier to shift them according to your will from one place to another. Some of the models have a set of wheels which makes it easier to tow them to the desired location.

2. Energy Efficient

These fridges are energy efficient which saves energy and money. Energy-efficient refrigerators are also needed for RVs as energy is not always readily available in a surplus amount in the RV environment as it is available at home.

3. Versatile

You can use it in a boat, RV, trucks and many other mobile environments. It can also be run on offshore and solar appliances.

4. Mobile Environment

Most of the models have been tested and made for a mobile environment where it can handle vibrations from rough roads.

 

Frequently Asked Questions is written in pic

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Top 12V Refrigerator Brands?

The top 12V refrigerator brands are Costaway, Dometic, Whynter, Ausranvik, Alpicool, Dobinsons, SMETA, SMAD, and ARB.

How To Install A 12V Fridge?

First, select the place where you want to keep the fridge. Now connect it to the AC or DC power and keep some cans of soda or water bottles in it. If you want to use propane then you have to use a connecting hose to power it by propane. Use the owner’s manual to get the best details.

How To Use A 12V fridge?

Using the 12V fridge is as easy as using the refrigerator at home. You can adjust the desired temperature through the control panel.

Should You Buy 12 V Refrigerator Accessories?

Most of the 12V refrigerator comes with up to date features but still, you may need some of the accessories such as Insulated Cover and Slide Mount. Insulated Cover is a good option as it prevents leaks and makes the fridge more efficient. The low temperature inside the fridge can be maintained for a longer period of time. It decreases the load on the compressor and saves electricity. Slide Mount makes it easy for you to use the refrigerator. You can use it in the storage bay.

 

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Tanmay Sarkar is the person behind writerzmag.com. An RV enthusiast, lover & admirer. Whatever I learn about RVs and RVing, I share it on this blog. Learning is a lifelong experience and it should be shared with people who have the same hobby and love as you… This blog is and shall be for the people who love and want to know about RVing…

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