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One of the best parts of traveling in an RV is having your own kitchen at the campsite. However, when RV refrigerators break, campers need to find an alternative food storage solution. Alternative RV refrigerator solutions can also save space and use less power. Here are 10 compact RV refrigerator alternatives.
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- 1 Cooler-Style RV Refrigerator Alternatives
- 2 Fridge-Style RV Refrigerator Alternatives
Cooler-Style RV Refrigerator Alternatives
These cooler-style RV refrigerator alternatives look like simple coolers, but have the cooling power of a refrigerator and/or freezer. The rectangular shape can easily fit into any corner of your RV.
Made by one of America’s favorite RV accessory brands, the Camco 450 Portable Electric Cooler is a simple RV refrigerator alternative. With the option to plug-in to either a standard 120V AC outlet or a 12V DC vehicle outlet, this cooler can be used in any RV camping scenario. The 45-liter space would fit 48 cans, and removeable wire baskets are included to maximize storage space. The cooler’s single-zone temperature can be set anywhere between -4° Fahrenheit to 68° Fahrenheit. Camco also sells similar coolers in 35-liter and 75-liter sizes.
The Camco 950 Portable Electric Cooler has all of the same features as the 450 with a few added features. The biggest upgrade on the 950 is dual cooling capability. The cooler has two separate compartments with separate temperature controls, so refrigerated and frozen food can easily be stored in the same cooler. A retractable handle and attached wheels make it easy to transport the cooler around your campsite.
Made by GoSun, the Chill Electric Cooler comes with an included power bank, so the cooler can be run while camping off-grid. Depending on the outside temperature, the power bank will run the cooler for up to 14 hours. For longer camping trips, the power bank can be recharged with a portable solar panel. For added flexibility, the Chill Cooler also has AC and DC power cords. The cooler has a 40-liter capacity and the temperature can be set anywhere between -4° Fahrenheit to 68° Fahrenheit.
Another electric cooler option is the Glare Wheel. If your RV has tires made for off-roading, this cooler is the perfect accessory. Its large wheels are made to easily move the cooler over dirt, stone or grass surfaces. The Glare’s temperature can be set as low as -4° Fahrenheit, and it comes equipped with both AC and DC plugs. Other bonus features include a hood lock, a built-in bottle opener and phone and cup holders so the cooler can double as a table.
For campers who need a full refrigerator and freezer alternative, the NewAir Portable Electric Cooler is a great option. The cooler has a capacity of 80 quarts (about 75 liters). With two separate compartments and dual temperature zones, it can be used as a refrigerator and a freezer at the same time. The cooler also comes with interior LED lights, a retractable handle, AC and DC plugs and adventure-grade wheels.
Last, but definitely not least on our list of cooler-style camping refrigerators, is the Dometic CFX3 55-Liter Refrigerator. The single-zone cooler can be cooled down to -7° Fahrenheit using its powerful VMSO3 compressor cooling technology. One awesome feature of this refrigerator alternative is the built-in ice maker. The cooler’s rapid freeze plate enables you to freeze an ice tray in just hours, without compromising the temperature elsewhere in the cooler. Other features include a removeable wire divider and a connected smartphone app to monitor and control the temperature.
Occasional RV campers who are searching for a refrigerator alternative should also consider a regular, non-electric cooler. With no need for a plug, a regular cooler can be taken on any RV boondocking trip. The Igloo Polar 120-Quart Cooler is a great option because it can hold plenty of food for a weekend trip and it holds ice for several days. In fact Igloo claims the cooler’s insulated body and lid will keep ice for 5 days at 90° Fahrenheit.
Fridge-Style RV Refrigerator Alternatives
These fridge-style RV refrigerator alternatives and replacements are shaped liked mini-fridges, so they can easily replace a small RV refrigerator.
The Coleman PowerChill looks like a mini refrigerator, but it is actually an electric cooler. While the cooler can serve as an RV refrigerator alternative, it does not have quite the same cooling power as a normal refrigerator. Using 12 volt power, the cooler cools up to 40° Fahrenheit below the surrounding temperature. Therefore, it is best used by weekend campers who are able to pre-cool their snacks and drinks before storing them in the cooler. A warming mode can also be used to keep hot food up to 40° Fahrenheit warmer than the surrounding temperature. The cooler has a 40-quart capacity, and the door converts to open from the left or right side, so it can work in any space.
For weekend campers, who only need to cool a few items, the tiny Crownful Portable Mini Fridge is another great option. It cools down to 35° Fahrenheit below ambient temperature. With just a 10-liter capacity, this fridge can hold up to 12 cans. On the up side, the small size makes it easy to fit in any camper. The cooler comes with plugs for both standard home outlets and a 12 volt car charger. The Crownful Fridge comes equipped with two removable shelves, one container basket and a carry handle
The Vitrifrigo VF62 is the perfect RV refrigerator for van campers or RVers who are willing to use a built-in fridge, but have limited space. With 12 volt DC power, this fridge is made to use with RV or marine electrical systems. The unit has a small freezer section and a total of 2.2 cubic feet (about 62 liters) of storage capacity. The door is constructed with a galvanized steel front for durability, and a door latch prevents the fridge from opening during travel. A forced air, fin and tube condenser saves space and improves performance
What kind of rig are you camping in and what is your favorite camping meal? Share your recipes in the comments section below.