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5 Best 12V RV Refrigerator

Are you wondering about the best RV refrigerator available? No worries; read my best 12 volt RV refrigerator guide for a guide to getting the most out of it.

This Powerversity buying guide has all the information you need about RV refrigerators before purchasing them.

In this article, I will present each piece of information in sections and segments. The first section is the overview, which contains an introduction.

The next is the pros and cons of using this breathtaking appliance. Furthermore, the features/factors to consider section will contain the vital parameters to look out for when purchasing this item.

Also, the recommendation will focus on comparing the best 12 volt RV refrigerators available on the market.

In addition, this comparison table will state all the product information, the pros and cons each product has, and how to buy them.

More so, the frequently asked questions will further clarify this topic.

To wrap it up and summarize this informative article in my final thoughts section. So, prepare your mind as you carefully read to the end and digest each piece of information.

Best 12V RV Refrigerator: Overview

The 12 volt RV refrigerators can work on whatever type of power you supply to them at any given time. You can call the 12 volt refrigerator “the 12v RV fridge”.

The power the engine’s alternator supplies to it can range from 12 volts to 120 volts. Also, you may plug it into a camp shore power pedestal, or a gas like liquid propane can power it.

The RV refrigerator and a standard residential refrigerator may have the same result, but the way they achieve such results is not the same.

Another name for RV refrigerators is absorption refrigerators. They work differently from other refrigerators. Also, RVs have been using absorption refrigerators for many years.

Absorption refrigerators have been popular in RVs because they not only use electricity but also work with propane gas. As a result, it works continuously in the absence of electricity.

Below are the processes an absorption refrigerator uses to work and function.

How The Absorption Process Works

I will break the absorption process down into nine steps.

Step 1

Supplying heat to a liquid refrigerant comprising ammonia and water. This will cause the mixture to boil and turn into gas.

Step 2

Gaseous refrigerant will travel via a separation chamber to condense the water vapor back to liquid.

Step 3

In this phase, the liquid water will return to the absorption chamber (as in step 9).

Step 4

The gaseous ammonia that continues to rise in the condenser coil at the top of the refrigerator is known as the condensing phase. This is where it extracts the heat and pushes it into the outside air. It causes the ammonia to condense into its liquid form.

Step 5

The hydrogen gas from the previous phase will further separate and return to the absorption chamber (9).

Step 6

The cool liquid ammonia flows due to gravity down to an evaporator coil, drawing heat from the refrigerator compartments.

Step 7

The heat from the freezer compartment proceeds to the refrigerator interior. The heat causes the liquid ammonia to return to its original gaseous form.

Step 8

Likewise, the ammonia gas continues to flow to the absorption chamber, the last phase.

Step 9

The absorption chamber is the last phase. After that, the ammonia gas mixes with the water returned in step 3. After which, there is a repetition of the whole cooling cycle.

Though the process may seem complicated, this is what allows you to generate heat by burning propane.

Also, it uses heat to freeze your food. So our food is chilled and preserved.

From here, the pros and cons proceed.

Best 12V RV Refrigerator: Pros And Cons


Energy Efficient

12 volt RV refrigerators are energy efficient and can run for a long time on less power than other refrigerators.

Their power consumption is low, leaving you wlowerlesser electric bill to pay.

Be it a 2-way or 3-way fridge, its power consumption is often three times lower than that of its contemporaries.

Also, the compressor only runs 30–40% of the time because it comes on only when the fridge becomes warm again.

In addition, this compressor will shut off after or when it has reached the desired temperature.

Sophisticated ones have a low power mode for reducing power consumption.

You can use solar power to power them.

The low power of this refrigerator offers the ability to use solar power to power it.

Also, there is no loss of energy the sun generates when using a


You can get a 12-volt refrigerator that weighs less than 60 pounds. Some of them have wheels and handles for easy transportation.

Also, most of the designs contribute to how portable the device is.

They may have designs like strong door seals and latches to keep the doors closed.

It has multiple power sources.

The ability to fuel the RV refrigerator in multiple ways makes it unique.

You can use 120-volt AC plug-in power, liquid propane, or 12 volt DC to power your absorption refrigerator.

Most importantly, it uses little electrical power when using the propane mode, making it ideal for boondocking.

Superior cooling

This refrigerator is better cooling and is consistently ccoolswhatever you desire at any ambient temperature.

Also, they have compressor technology, which makes the fridge offer you an upgraded service.

Furthermore, they work less effectively when the temperature outside is too high.



The 12 volt RV refrigerator is pretty expensive for the capacity you get out of it.

Even though a small 12v fridge with a capacity of 2 cu. ft. or less can be much cheaper to get.

However, larger Rv refrigerators have many high-end features like adjustable shelves, crisper trays for veggies, etc.

Best 12V RV Refrigerator: Features/Factors To Consider

Features Of 12V RV Refreigeriator

Portable Dimensions  

Your available space in your home or kitchen will determine the type and size of refrigerator you buy.

Also, the portable refrigerator you should buy is supposed to be unique and help you build your home.

Furthermore, it will beautify and add decor to your environment.

In addition, most refrigerators have other outer dimensions and features that will make a difference when planning your build.

The power cord location may stick out and get in the way of other things around your fridge.

Handle Width: Most portable refrigerators have handles that stick out, which the manufacturers may not consider when building it. In addition, some of the handles are removable, while others are built-in.

Ventilation: For satisfactory performance, the refrigerator requires good ventilation and space.

If not, the heat from the compressor will make the fridge work harder to keep cool. 

Refrigerator Efficiency

Portability and efficiency in a product are added advantages to its effectiveness and durability.

When a product is efficient, you will get satisfaction that is worth your money.

Apart from the door swing direction, the motor type and compressor layout must be efficient.

Many compressors have many parts. Some have a few numbers for the compartment.

For instance, the Sawafuji has the fewest compartments, making it unique and less likely to break.

Hence, it is the most efficient start-up.

Interior Storage Capacity

The interior storage capacity is the available space inside the refrigerator that contains food or beverages.

It is also the number of items or stocks the refrigerator would fit to hold. Once you know what you will use it for, also know how many people will use it.

It will help you with the size, brand, and type of refrigerator to buy. 

Factors To Consider Before Buying A 12v RV Refrigerator

Consider the following when purchasing 12v RV refrigerators.

Door Direction

Refrigerators have different door directions by which you open them.

Some open on the top, and others open with a side door.

Opening aside will require space on both sides, while the top opening will require enough space at the top.

Most of them are drawn like pulling out a drawer which can expose the entire fridge.

So, have a major concern about the method of door opening because it loses a lot of cold air.

Dual-Zone Versus Single Refrigerator

A dual-zone refrigerator has a higher advantage over a single zone ones.

They have two compartments to put different items – an excellent way to store a variety of foods.

In addition, it allows you separate temperatures for each compartment.

So, if you have the budget, go for the best.


Pricing is an essential thing in determining what refrigerator to purchase.

Often, more expensive refrigerators have a higher quality than the less expensive ones.

Also, the ones with more technological advancement, durability, and sophistication have a higher price tag.


A warranty guarantee helps if anything goes wrong with the product to return them.

Also, it saves money and promotes manufacturer and customer relationships.

Furthermore, the ones with longer warranties tend to last longer.

However, any product with good customer support is a key feature of product satisfaction.

In addition, not all products have their spare parts available in the market.

Therefore choose wisely.


Another factor to consider is the weight of the refrigerator.

Extra weight in a fridge may affect gas mileage and the safety of your home.

In addition, it can affect the way and how you use the refrigerator.

So, weight is something to consider.

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Best 12V RV Refrigerator: Specification And Comparison Table

Product NameDimensionCapacityConfiguration or InstallationForm FactorFinish Type
Ecojoy 3-Way Propane Refrigerator, 2.1 Cu. Ft18.2″D x 18.9″W x 27.4″H2.1 Cubic FeetFreestandingNilStainless Steel
【Upgraded】BODEGA 12 Volt Refrigerator14.96″D x 18.86″W x 21.1″H1.6 Cubic FeetCompact internal freezerCompactMatte
BODEGA 12 Volt Refrigerator, RV Portable Freezer15.75″D x 23.62″W x 22.44″H59 Quarts

Compact Internal Freezer

RecPro RV Refrigerator Stainless Steel25.75″D x 23.5″W x 59.75″H10.7 Cubic Feet, 10 Cubic FeetFreezer-on-TopFreezer TopStainless steel
RecPro RV Refrigerator 6.3 Cubic Feet Gas and Electric25″D x 23.25″W x 53.5″H6.3 Cubic FeetFreezer-on-TopCompactGlossy, Stainless steel

Ecojoy 3-Way Propane Refrigerator, 2.1 Cu. Ft

Best 12V RV Refrigerator: Ecojoy 3-Way Propane Refrigerator, 2.1 Cu. Ft

Ecojoy 3-Way Propane Refrigerator, 2.1 Cu.Ft is 5th on my list of Best 12V RV Refrigerators.

This fridge features energy-saving that ensures the low consumption of gas. In addition, it is a refrigerator that uses gas, making it best for camping sites.

You also use it in automotive, off-grid places, camping, hunting, and fishing.

Also, the reversible door offers more choices to open the door in different directions.

In addition, its multi-functional control panel sets the working mode with one key and operates gas/AC control with the other key.

Similarly, they are lightweight and save space for indoor usage as they can fit anywhere. It could be installed under the table or anywhere, and you can move it outdoors to enjoy your cool beverages.

Despite being lightweight, it has a large space to hold more beverages and the shelves are adjustable.

Furthermore, the adjustable shelves have two compartments. Therefore, you can keep different food items in them.

The drawer on the fridge door has 8 mini fixed baffles and a protection frame to safeguard drinks from falling.

Finally, the fridge is widely used for different scenes and free parts wear and has a service life of about 20 years.


  • Camper fridge with 3-way power widely used for different scenes
  • Best for automotive, off-grid places, camping, hunting, and fishing.
  • Multi-functional control panel.
  • Reversible doors.
  • Free of parts wear and life service of up to 20 years.
  • Compact RV refrigerator
  • Lightweight size and portable.
  • Quiet and energy-saving.
  • Reliable for multiple applications.


  • Most of them have propane issues, or it will not work.
  • You need to troubleshoot to use the propane offshore or on the campground.

【Upgraded】BODEGA 12 Volt Refrigerator

【Upgraded】BODEGA 12 Volt Refrigerator

BODEGA 12 Volt Refrigerator is 4th on my Best 12V RV Refrigerator.

The Bodega is a mini but professional refrigerator with a powerful compressor. It is both freezer and refrigerator at the same time.

Well, the portable freezer and refrigerator are ideal for outdoor activities – camping, picnic, road trip, etc.

Also, it has a dual zone that allows you to use the freezing and refrigeration in any combination.

In addition, it supports manual and app control features for Android and ios.

The removable crisper drawer, shelf, bottle holder, egg tray, and drain plug make it user-friendly. You can use it in the car or vehicle.

Furthermore, it is energy-saving with its two modes of max and ECO. The max is for fast cooling, and the ECO is for energy saving.

Lastly, it comes with 2 years user warranty and 24-hour customer support.


  • It can be used on a vehicle, camper, Truck, RV, SUV, etc.
  • Ideal for trips and outdoor spaces.
  • Professional
  • Powerful compressor.
  • Dual-zone.
  • User-friendly design.
  • Energy-saving and low noise.
  • App control.
  • 2 years warranty and 24-hour support.


  • Sometimes, the door lock may not be active.
  • The door is not reversible.
  • Not all come with USB support features.
  • No extra battery. You need to plug it in all the time.

BODEGA 12 Volt Refrigerator, RV Portable Freezer

Best 12V RV Refrigerator: BODEGA 12 Volt Refrigerator, RV Portable Freezer
Amazon image

BODEGA 12 Volt Refrigerator, RV Portable Freezer is 3rd on my list of Best 12V RV Refrigerator.

This bodega car fridge is another higher version with an energy-saving feature. In addition, it has a protected system feature for different levels of H/M/L.

Also, its system can work with different start-up voltage and shutdown voltage.

The anti-shaking element keeps it comfortable in any environment or space. It has an external smooth line equipped with a multi-functional non-slip base.

Finally, it provides more than 5 years life span and a 1-year product warranty.


  • Anti-shaking for balance and a comfortable environment.
  • User friendly.
  • value pack
  • 5 years life span and 1-year warranty.
  • Energy saving and powerful.
  • Also, have a dual-zone and app-control car fridge.


  • You cannot use solar panels to power it.
  • Do not keep the refrigerator in the rain to soak water.

RecPro RV Refrigerator Stainless Steel

RecPro RV Refrigerator Stainless Steel

RecPro RV Refrigerator Stainless Steel is 2nd on my list of the best 12 V RV Refrigerators.

The RecPro is a refrigerator that has both the features of a freezer and a refrigerator. It can retain and continue cooling even when power is absent for a long time.

Also, it has exterior dimensions of 231/2 wide by 243/4 deep and 595/8 high. So the space inside you is 10 cubic feet, enough space to accommodate many items.

In addition, it is the best choice for users looking for a refrigerator with enough space to contain their food.

Furthermore, it is frost free and requires less maintenance and less fuss.

However, it requires more space or a room with enough space.


  • Frost free.
  • It requires less maintenance and less fuss.
  • 10 cubic feet of inner space.
  •  Large exterior dimension.
  • It possesses the features of a freezer and refrigerator.
  • Ability to remain cool and ever chill even when the light is off.


  • No warranty.
  • No customer service or maintenance.

RecPro RV Refrigerator 6.3 Cubic Feet

RecPro RV Refrigerator 6.3 Cubic Feet

RecPro RV Refrigerator 6.3 Cubic Feet is the best on the list of 5 best 12V RV refrigerators.

This is another version of RecPro refrigerators with a stainless finish.

They have multiple power options. It uses gas and electricity as its source of power to generate its unique and ever-chilling ability.

Also, it is known for its optimal cooling efficiency.

However, its gas absorption technology allows this refrigerator to operate on propane.

Furthermore, the doors are reversible and have 3 door trays to keep your items. It comes with 5 different temperature settings for more performance and functionality.

Lastly, the latching door handles are smooth, easy to open, and guarantee safety.


  • Safety and adjustable shelves.
  • Reversible doors.
  • 3 doors trays.
  • Stainless steel finish.
  • 5 different temperature settings.
  • Latching door handles.
  • Large interior space.
  • Ever chilling ability.


  • It comes with no trim flange on the front. You will have to trim it out.
  • No warranty.

Frequently Asked Question On RV Refrigerators

1. Does A 12v Fridge Require Ventilation?

Yes, this fridge needs ventilation like a standard air conditioner to exhaust warm air.
Also, it will vent this warm air to keep the fridge from working too hard for a long period.
Furthermore, venting a fridge can be done by installing a vent grate out the back of your kitchen counter.

2.  How Much Power Does A 12v Fridge Consume?

To know the amount of power your fridge uses, consider the temperature.
Therefore, the amount of power a 12v fridge consumes depends on the temperature you set the fridge.

3. Can A 12v Fridge Produce Ice?

Yes, many can. But not all 12v fridges can produce ice.
Hence, double-check the product information to confirm this.

How Does A Refrigerator Work In an RV?

The refrigerator uses a combination of gases and chemical reactions to evaporate and condenses the air inside to make it cool.

5. What Kind Of Fridge Is In A RV?

Absorption refrigerators are the most common refrigerators you can find in RVs.
They can with propane gas or an electrical power source. Also, they are more flexible than compressor-driven refrigerators.

Best 12V RV Refrigerator: My Final Thoughts

These refrigerators only require a 12-volt system to run effectively. As a result, they can save energy because they do not require high voltage and power to function.

Also, a 12v RV fridge that has been running in an RV can continue in that state for 12 hours.

Although, it is advisable to run it as low as possible before shutting it down. This is because it can add more lasing and cold air inside.

Many refrigerators on RVs can run off on one or multiple main sources of power, depending on their configuration.

RV refrigerators can run on propane gas and electricity. At the same time, some run either on propane gas or electricity.

In most cases, where there is no propane to operate your fridge, you will plug it into an outlet. Then, the fridge will work off the electricity supplied to it.

So, you should know which power source works best for your unit. Also, know some things going on inside and outside of your fridge.

I hope you found this article helpful. You can also share your thoughts with us by using the reply form below.

Also, for more reviews, please visit the following pages:

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Ukie Patricia Uzoma
Ukie Patricia Uzoma
Ukie Patricia Uzoma is a graduate of Computer Science at Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Afikpo. Patricia writes content and articles for Powerversity. She loves singing, cooking, and reading.
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