Going on a caravanning adventure will require a portable fridge with a large capacity and numerous features compared to short camping adventures where having a compact and maneuverable unit is more critical. You must also factor in how many people will be using the fridge. Also, will the fridge be staying in the vehicle, or will it be used as a 24-overflow fridge at home, or will it only be switched several times a year?
What size of portable fridge do you need?
A large fridge will mean greater capacity, but it will have higher power needs. It will also take up more space in your vehicle. With the entire family plus equipment on board, a fully-loaded fridge could result in your car being pushed over its gross vehicle mass. Some fridges also come with expansion inserts clipped on the top for additional capacity when you require it.
Sizes will be listed in liters, but it can be challenging to visualize, so included is a universally recognized unit of measure, which are cans of drinks.
- 25 L and under equates to 27 cans. Essentially this type of portable fridge is a power cooler that is suitable for keeping food cold in a truck. They are also a great option if you require medicines refrigerated and handy.
- 35 L equates to 47 cans which are ideal for a weekend getaway. It also can be serviceable for an entire week if you are flying solo.
- 40 L equates to 60 cans are the typical size. A 40-liter fridge is sufficient for 2 or 3 people for a long weekend.
- 50 L equates to 72 cans. This is serviceable for an entire week and adventure for a couple of people or a long weekend for an entire family.
- 60 to 65 L equates to 106 cans. This size is serviceable for a family of 5 and provides sustenance for an entire sporting team. It is roomy enough to keep a teams’ stock on ice, but you must consider the space it will be taking up in your vehicle as well as the weight.
- 80 L equates to 120 cans. There is plenty of space for an entire week that can accommodate a big group. But the size and weight may be a considerable issue. You might be better off sharing the load between smaller fridges in separate vehicles.
Two-way compressor or portable fridges
Two-way fridges utilize the same compressor technology comparable to home fridges. But they are designed to run on a 12 V battery. They are a good match for most applications because they are engineered to run off your car’s electrical system without draining too much current. It can be switched to 240 V in campgrounds that are powered or in your home.
Three-way portable fridges
Three-way portable fridges have the ability to run on gas as well as 12 or 240 V. It utilizes gas flow heat exchange instead of compressors. It is typically silent, but they do not perform as optimally as compressor fridges. It must be balanced and leveled to operate optimally.
Three-ways are awesome if you will be spending a long time in remote locations since a single LPG cylinder can keep your fridge cool for weeks which is way beyond the capacity of a battery setup.
Should you get a fridge or a freezer? Perhaps both?
If you are only keeping your meal cold, then you don’t require the capacity of a freezer, but it is essential if you are away for an entire day or a couple of days.
Two compartment fridges provide you the luxury of a fridge and freezer in one and are extremely convenient.
There are also cleverly designed single compartment fridges that can do double duty by utilizing a compartment between frozen items on the bottom and an area for fresh food on the top portion. Although these are not as convenient, you will have a more spacious fridge.
It is also possible to utilize a single compartment model with a cooler for a comparable effect by freezing ice breaks in the fridge to keep drinks cool the next day.
What is the cost of a portable fridge?
Portable camping fridges are not cheap, and you may have to shell out $800 $2000 for a unit with a 40 to 55 litter capacity that is two-way or $350 to 1003 or dollars for a fridge that is three-way.
Keep in mind to consider the cost of accessories such as covers, dual battery systems, as well as other vehicle modifications to help you maximize the potential of your units.
A portable fridge adds convenience to outdoor adventures. Imagine having cool drinks and ice cubes in the middle of nowhere. These cool treats help keep you energized and kick up the fun.