How to Choose the Right Portable Refrigerator for Car Camping

Refrigerator for Car Camping

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Not every camping trip is a backcountry trek with just a backpack and a tiny stove to heat your dehydrated beef stew. Sometimes you pack up the car and back into a campsite. When you’ve got the extra carrying capacity of a car camper, there’s no reason to slum it with bland backpacking food.

Unfortunately, cooking can be challenging when you lack a kitchen or your campground doesn’t have electricity. However, with a portable refrigerator, you can have all the comforts of home while you’re on the road. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right portable refrigerator for car camping.

The first thing to consider when choosing a portable refrigerator is size and capacity. You’ll need to decide how much space you need to store your food and drinks. If you’re camping with a family or large group, you’ll need a larger fridge. For solo campers or couples, a smaller fridge will suffice.

Next, think about how you’ll be using your portable fridge. Will you be storing perishable items like meat and dairy, or just drinks and snacks? If you plan on storing perishable items, choose a fridge with a freezer compartment. This way, you can keep your food fresh and safe to eat.

Finally, consider how you’ll be powering your portable fridge. Most fridges run on either 12-volt DC power or 120-volt AC power. If you’re camping in an RV or trailer with hookups, you can use the AC power. If you’re camping in a tent or car, you’ll need to use DC power. Most portable fridges come with a DC adapter, but double-check to be sure.

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to start shopping for your portable fridge!

Dometic CFX3 45-Liter Portable Refrigerator and Freezer​

If you’re looking for a portable refrigerator that can handle all your food needs, the Dometic CFX3 45-Liter Portable Refrigerator and Freezer is perfect. It has a large 35-liter capacity, making it great for camping with a large group. It also features ultra-low power consumption, so you can keep your food cold for hours on battery power. And best of all, it can run on either AC or DC power, so you can use it anywhere. So if you’re looking for the ultimate in camping flexibility, the Dometic CFX3 is the fridge for you.

  • Keep your food cold and safe for hours on battery power
  • Use it anywhere, anytime
  • Great for camping with a large group

The BODEGA 12 Volt Single Zone Car Refrigerator & Freezer is the perfect choice for you! This fridge comes with noise dampening technology so it won’t disturb your peace and quiet while you are relaxing at the campsite. In addition, it comes with a one-year warranty so you can be confident in its quality. Plus, the quick-start package includes everything you need to get started using your new fridge right away.

  • Enjoy a relaxing camping trip without the hassle of a noisy fridge
  • Feel confident that your food and drinks will be kept cold and safe
  • Start using your fridge immediately without having to wait for any accessories to arrive in the mail

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable way to keep your food cold while camping, the VBENLEM 12 Volt Refrigerator 45L is perfect for you. With a capacity of 45 liters, it can fit up to 48 standard-sized cans, making it ideal for keeping snacks and drinks cool on the go. Plus, the app control feature lets you monitor and operate the fridge from anywhere, so you can always keep an eye on your food supply. And with vehicle battery protection, you don’t have to worry about draining your car’s battery when using this fridge.

  • Feel in control of your food supply while camping.
  • Keep the whole family supplied with cool drinks
  • Never get stranded with a dead battery

Portable Refrigerator FAQ

How does a portable fridge work?

There are two types of portable fridges. Those that run on 12-volt DC power and 120-volt AC power. If you’re camping in a tent and don’t have access to plug-ins, you will need to use the 12-volt power adapter which is included with most models and plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter (or battery terminals).

Can you run a portable refrigerator on solar?

You can run a portable refrigerator on solar power, but you will need a larger solar system to do so. A portable refrigerator uses more energy than most other appliances, so you will need a larger solar system to provide enough power. Additionally, you may need to purchase special equipment to connect your refrigerator to the solar system.

Will a portable refrigerator drain my car battery?

It should not because the compressor will turn off when the car is turned off.

If you are running any device such as a portable refrigerator that draws power even when it is not being used, you need to think about how much time the car will be sitting. To protect against this, many portable refrigerators have a vehicle battery protection device to turn off the power when the car’s battery gets low.

We’re Anne & Matt, the outdoor adventurers behind DCS Outdoor. We love backpacking, camper van travels, long hikes, and all things nature. 

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