It is important to keep perishable items like foods cool to preserve their usefulness. It is no wonder that many people are realizing that a portable camper refrigerator is an essential piece of equipment to have on any camping trip. This becomes vital when temperatures rise putting food items like milk, raw meat and eggs at risk of spoiling and ruining your camping trip.


Looking for a great portable refrigerator?  Take a look at our articles about some of the best models available:


Sometimes you can’t even tell that food is spoiled and you risk illness from bacteria.  The last thing you want to do is get very sick on a camping trip.  A portable camper refrigerator can keep this from happening.  They are perfect for all kinds of camping trips including RV trips.  Some of the best brands of portable camping refrigerators include Whynter, Engel, and Dometic.  You are certain to find your camper refrigerator among the ones on our list.


Camper Refrigerator Dometic Portable Refrigerator Outdoors View



Keeping Food Fresh

Camper Refrigerator Whynter Portable Fridge Freezer Canted ViewOf course, you don’t have to take an electric camper refrigerator or cooler on your next camping trip.  There are plenty of other ways to keep food cold.  The problem is, the solution can be short-lived, and will definitely require replenishment for trip longer than a day or so.  Some techniques you can use to keep food fresh include:

  • Make ice packs before you leave. Pour water into a container so that it becomes two-thirds full and then freeze it. Use half gallon quantity of milk jugs and gallon volumes of sealable freezer bags. Your aim is to make solid blocks of ice. They melt much more slowly than the ice cubes.
  • Cool your food before you leave your home. Put sodas and food items you will take in your home refrigerator the day before you leave. Keep them overnight in the refrigerator.




  • Freeze the items which is possible to freeze at home before leaving. These includes hamburger patties, hot dogs, juice boxes and individual chicken breasts. Let them thaw slowly in your cooler.
  • Keep the loose ice in another container, like freezer bag. The ice can be contaminated if it remains loose in cooler. Any loose ice which is stored in the container will remain clean and also can be utilized in drinks.
  • Prepare by evenly distributing frozen food items and ice packs as much as you can when packing the cooler. Put heavy items on bottom. Put the poultry products and uncooked meat in separate plastic freezer bags. This will stop any cross contamination.


Whatever you decide, keeping your food from spoiling is an important priority even ignoring the health risk.  When your food spoils at home, you can just go out and buy more at a nearby grocery store or quick mart.  On a camping trip, you may be miles from a store of any kind making it much more difficult to replace the food.  The extra time trying to replace it could be the difference between a fun and successful camping trip and a real nightmare.






Portable Camper Refrigerator

You don’t always have ready access to a 12V power source when camping, but if you do, then a 12V portable refrigerator could save the day.  They can be expensive, especially if youCamper Refrigerator Koolatron Portable Thermoelectric Cooler Canted View get a true refrigerator, but their convenience and ease-of-use make them a must-have for many who love to take longer trips and enjoy taking a variety of foods along.  For RVs, they are considered one of the most important RV accessories.

There are basically two types of portable appliances that you can use to keep food fresh while camping.  One is the true refrigerator based on compressor technology that operates much the same as your refrigerator at home.

True Refrigerator

True refrigerators can be counted upon to keep foods as cold as your home refrigerator and to reduce the risk of food spoilage.  One drawback of a true refrigerator is that is more expensive than an ice chest or thermoelectric cooler and another is that it uses more energy that may be difficult to come by on a camping trip.

Thermoelectric Cooler

Second is the thermoelectric cooler, which operates by leveraging ambient air to perform the cooling.  The problem is that a cooler typically can only cool down to a temperature approximately 40 degrees F below ambient temperature.  That’s fine if it’s cool outside, but in hot temperatures, a cooler may not keep your food cold enough to prevent spoilage.


12V coolers and refrigerators can be powered by a vehicle battery, but can drain it fairly quickly.  Depending on your situation and how many vehicles you have, it might be more effective to bring batteries specifically for the purpose and alternate them to keep a charged battery available at all times.

Gas generators can power a portable fridge or cooler, but the tradeoff is that you will use a lot of fuel, a lot of energy, and it’s not very green.

Solar power is also a possibility, but it will mostly be for supplementing other power sources or charging backup 12V batteries while other batteries are being used.  Portable solar power systems just don’t generate enough power to be the primary source for a refrigerator or cooler.

Some fridges have the flexibility to run on propane in addition to 120V AC and 12V DC.  This is particularly useful for campers that take propane with them for gas stoves or other appliance.


Camper Refrigerator Engel Portable Refrigerator Canted ViewCamper Refrigerator Features

Some handy features to look for in true refrigerators are:

  • Dual zones that allows you to both freeze and refrigerate foods effectively in the same unit.
  • LED temperature displays to keep you informed about the fridge’s temperature at all times
  • Vehicle battery run-down protection
  • Efficient and powerful compressors like the Danfoss compressors in ARB fridge/freezers
  • Digital temperature controls
  • Heavy-duty insulation to maintain cold temperatures longer
  • Efficient power usage
  • Heavy-duty construction for years of useful camping support


Whatever your camping refrigeration needs, there are several models that are sure to meet your requirements.  The most useful models are true refrigerators that can cool or freeze just like your home refrigerator.  Thermoelectric coolers also have their place for short trips in the car or where ambient temperatures remain cool.  Ice coolers are also used by many campers where it’s possible to replenish the ice when needed.


Camper Refrigerator


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