Best RV Refrigerator 2018 – Buyer’s Guide and Review

Best RV Refrigerator 2017There are many types and styles of RVs on the market and the same goes for RV refrigerators. There are so many freezers and refrigerators for RV travelers that choosing best RV refrigerator could be hard. So, I did all the research for you and came up with the top five RV refrigerators currently out there.

I took into consideration the following criteria: features, size/capacity, and power.

I know that how much the food is important in RV traveling because sometimes you just don’t have an ability to buy any food for miles around.

Best RV refrigerator

Keeping this thing in mind that people need a small and energy efficient refrigerator to store perishable products, I have created a list of best RV refrigerators with complete benchmarks for you. In this post, in this top 5 refrigerators for RV, you will know which one is the best RV freezer or fridge that you can buy right now.

Here are my top five RV refrigerators.

NamePowerCapacity (cubic feet)Dimensions (inches)Temperature range (F) 
Dometic CFX-28US120AC/12DC/24DC0.9 (up to 3.3)24.4x13.5x16.7-8 to +50 Check Price
Whynter FM-45G115AC/12DC/24DC1.523.5x16.5x20.5
-8 to +50 Check Price
Dometic DM2652RB120AC/Propane624x23x53.8-8 to +50 Check Price
Midea WHD-113FB1120AC3.118.5x19.37x32.95 -11.2 to +50 Check Price
Dometic RM2193RB120AC/12DC/LP Gas1.921x17.7x21.5-8 to +50 Check Price

Dometic CFX-28US Portable: Best RV Fridge (Editors’ Choice)

Dometic CFX-28US ReviewDometic is the Michael Jordan of RV Refrigeration. Their CFX series comes in six different sizes and at various price points. From the 26 to 94.5 liter capacities, there is a suitable size for anyone. I picked the CFX for its versatility, efficiency, and durability. The CFX can be used for weekend and dry camping, picnics, fishing trips or as an additional freezer or refrigerator. I am highlighting the specifications of the CFX-28US unit because it’s the most affordable of the CFX units.

Features

The CFX-28 offers a removable wire basket/divider and carrying handles that fold flush to the sides of the unit. The interior has an energy-efficient LED light. The lid is detachable and reversible. The unit even has a built-in USB port for charging small electronic devices. Plus, it has a handy built-in drain at the bottom.

The CFX uses compressor technology and has soft touch digital controls. Dometic refrigerators are built with the superior Danfoss compressor. Many users found the compressor to be extremely quiet.
For increased insulation, Dometic CFX insulated protective cover and fridge slide is also available.

Size/Capacity

The CFX-28 weighs in at 29 pounds and the dimensions are 24.4×13.5×16.7 inches without the handles. It can hold up to 26 liters (.9 cubic feet or 27 quarts).

Power

The CFX runs on 120v AC, 12v DC or 24v DC power. This feature allows you to move the unit from RV to tent/to vehicle/to a house. The 6-ft. AC and DC power cords come with the unit. The CFX draws approximately 0.72 amps (120 v AC), 7 amps (12v DC) or 3.2 amps (24v DC). To avoid damaging the compressor, do not block the vents. It can still function when tilted 30 degrees. The CFX has an automatic low voltage shut-off feature. This means the unit will shut off automatically when your car battery falls below a certain level. No dead batteries to deal with!

You can easily set the temperature from -8 degrees F to +50 degrees F (-22 degrees C to +10 degrees C) with a simple press of the minus/plus buttons. The CFX cools items from room temperature to the set temperature within 15-20 minutes. You can also program preset temperatures into its memory.

The downside to this unit? On the smaller models, you can only use the unit as a fridge or freezer. The larger models come with a Dual Zone feature where one side of the unit gets colder while the other side stays around normal fridge temperatures.
Pros
  • Best performance
  • High-quality rv refrigerator compressor
  • Variety of sizes available
  • Detachable/reversible lid
  • Automatic low voltage shut-off
  • USB port for small electronic devices
  • Interior LED light
Cons
  • Cannot be used as both a fridge and freezer
  • Must provide proper ventilation

Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator/Freezer, Platinum – Best Compact Refrigerator

Whynter FM-45G ReviewI like to call the Whynter FM-45G the “Tough Guy” of the small portable fridge/freezer units. It does the job it was built to do and that’s either refrigerate or freeze. The Whynter is a great addition for small campers, trailers, and pop-ups. It is fairly affordable and very dependable, as long as you use it in locations where it is protected from the elements.

Features

The FM-45G has two removable wire baskets and digital controls. The lid is solid and well insulated. Unfortunately, the lid is not reversible or detachable. The unit is made of stainless steel with steel handles. The handles are on the thin side but are covered in leather wrapping for comfort. But this unit is prone to dents inside and out. So be sure and use the baskets to minimize damage to the interior. On the bright side, the unit has an interior LED light that automatically turns on when the lid is opened. It also has a convenient drain. This unit was made to stand alone.
You may want to consider purchasing the matching insulated transit bag for additional insulated protection.

Size/Capacity

The FM-45G can hold up to 45 quarts (43 liters or 1.5 cubic feet). RV refrigerator dimensions are 18.5 X11 X 15 inches (inside) and 23.5 X16.5 X 20.5 inches (outside, not including the handles). Here is where the “tough guy” part comes in. This unit is heavy. The specs say the FM-45G weighs 45 pounds but many users claim the unit “feels” heavier, especially when full. For this reason, the FM-45G may not be easily portable.

Power

The FM-45G is a compressor unit that can run on 115v AC, 12v DC or 24v DC power. The unit draws about .75 amps (110v AC) and 4.5 amps (12v/24v DC). Although the unit comes with an 8 ft. AC power cord and a 5 ft. DC power cord, some users have complained about the poor quality of the 12v cord. It can be used with a good solar panel of about 150w paired with a deep cycle battery and has the automatic low voltage shut-off feature.

The compressor is very quiet, but allow clearance for the vents. Some users did not like how noisy the fan was when the compressor turned on. Considering the leveling issues when dealing with compressor units, the FM-45G can still function when titled 30 degrees.

The FM-45G can cool items between temperatures ranging from 8°F to 50°F. The unit also features a fast freeze mode. You’ll have to choose whether to use this unit as a fridge or a freezer. You can’t do both. Another issue is that the temperature controls are low on the side of the unit, just above the plug outlets.

Pros
  • Automatic interior LED light
  • Fairly quiet
  • Fast freeze mode
  • Automatic low voltage shut-off
  • Can be titled 30 degrees
Cons
  • Feels heavy, may have portability limits
  • Cannot be used as both a fridge and freezer
  • Prone to dents
  • 12v cord is low quality

Dometic DM2652RB Americana Double Door – Best 2 Way Refrigerator

Dometic DM2652RB ReviewYes, I picked another Dometic. It is one of the best selling RV refrigerator brands. This model is more suited for mid-sized RVs and trailers. Experienced RV travelers look for 2 and 3-way fridges like the Americana that can operate off the grid but still provide the modern conveniences of home. However, the price is not mid-sized. But it does come with some great features.

Features

The Americana is a medium sized compact RV fridge. It comes with adjustable shelving, door bins, crispers, interior lighting and temperature controls, just like you would normally find in a residential fridge. The digital operating controls are within easy reach and the doors have locking mechanisms to keep them from flying open while traveling. Be aware that this unit cannot stand alone. It must be fitted into the existing RV kitchen cabinetry. If you are purchasing a new Americana, you may have to make some modifications like removing the entrance door to get the unit inside the RV. But the actual installation is fairly easy.

The best feature with this fridge is the fact that it can operate on electric power and propane (called a 2-way in the RV industry). The 2-way feature makes this fridge a popular choice for users who like to go camping for extended periods of time. The negatives with this fridge are the price and the doors. If you want the door to swing the opposite way, you have to use a reversible kit.

Buyer beware-door panels are sold separately. If you are replacing your old Americana (or compatible) fridge with a new one, simply re-use the old door panels to save money.

Size/Capacity

The Americana weighs in at 115 pounds and the dimensions are 24x23x53.8 inches with 6.0 cubic feet capacity. This unit is large enough to hold a nice amount of food but compact enough to fit into those small RV kitchens.

Power

The Americana runs on 120v AC (2.7 amps) and LP or propane (1500 BTU/h). The unit has an auto switch button where the unit will automatically toggle between the two power sources as needed. However, the RV must be level in order for the fridge to operate on propane power. The Americana is an absorption type refrigerator and it cools equally well with AC power and propane.

Pros
  • 2-way operating capabilities
  • Good size for families
  • Auto power source switch
  • Installation fairly easy
Cons
  • Door panels must be purchased separately
  • Must use a reversible kit to install doors on opposite side
  • Must be level for propane use
  • Some modification necessary to get new unit inside RV

Midea WHD-113FB1 Compact Reversible Double Door, 3.1 Cubic Feet — RV Freezer/Fridge

Midea WHD-113FB1 ReviewI know what you’re thinking. This is just a dorm fridge! Most people probably have something like this unit in their garage, basement or office. But I chose the Midea for those folks who just want something small and basic. They don’t want to fuss with dual electric power or 2/3-way fridges with special needs. This unit is for users who plan to hook up to good old AC power and forget about it. I also chose it for those on a tight budget.

Features

The Midea is an unassuming little fridge, but it has longevity on its side. The unit has adjustable legs and reversible doors. Standard shelving, lighting, and drawer features also come with this unit. The best part about the Midea is its versatility in interior spaces. It can be free standing, tucked under a counter or built into cabinetry (with proper ventilation of course). And the unit is very energy efficient.
The Midea may be a reliable choice for those who like to stay in well equipped RV parks.

Size/Capacity

The Midea comes in at 52.2 pounds with a 3.1 cubic feet capacity. RV refrigerator dimensions are 18.5×19.37×32.95 inches. The overall size of this unit is not too big and not too small.

Power

The unit uses only one power source, 120v AC at 4 amps of continuous usage. So, don’t buy food until you’ve reached your destination. But the compressor runs like a quiet whisper. While the Midea has adjustable temperature settings, the controls are for both fridge and freezer. You will have to manually defrost this fridge every so often. But it does come with a handy scraper.

Pros
  • Longevity
  • Reliable and dependable
  • Very quiet
  • Reversible doors
  • Good price
Cons
  • Only one power source

Dometic RM2193RB 1.9 Cubic Feet – Best 3 Way Refrigerator

Dometic RM2193RB ReviewI did say that Dometic was a leading name in RV refrigeration. The last unit on my list may be ideal for those who enjoy being off the grid. The mid-priced RM2193RB gets my vote because it can operate using three types of power sources.

Features

The RM2193RB is a small RV fridge that can fit neatly into the limited spaces of a camper or trailer. Keep in mind, this is not a unit that can stand alone. It must be enclosed within cabinetry.

The RM2193RB has no interior light but it does have the capacity to hold a nice amount of food.

You should know that the RM2193RB is a refrigerator first and foremost. If you turn the temperature to the highest setting, it may freeze items placed on the top shelf, but this unit isn’t a true freezer.
You can reverse the door during installation without a reversal kit. But you must purchase the door panel separately.

Size/Capacity

The RM2193RB is about 46 pounds with a 1.9 cubic ft. capacity. The dimensions are 21″ x 17-3/4″ x 21-1/2″. The unit comes with two adjustable wire shelves.

Power

The RM2193RB is a 3-way absorption fridge using 120v AC/12v DC/LP. Power consumption is 1.14 amp (120v AC), 10 amps (12v DC) or 818.88 BTU/h (propane). A 12-volt capability is best used as a last resort, and should only be used under certain conditions and with the necessary battery hookup. The unit works best on AC power or propane.

Keep in mind that this fridge must be level for the propane to work. If using solar power, take heed. This unit requires a much bigger solar system and a bank of batteries to keep it powered for extended periods of time.

This unit does not have an indicator light to let you know the propane is on. Some users suggest checking the vent/stack for heat to ensure the propane power is working. Further, all controls are manual and located in the back of the unit, which makes it difficult for access on some campers and trailers. There may be some additional ventilation setup depending on the type of camper or trailer you have. For this reason, this unit may require professional installation.

Pros
  • 3-way power source
  • Compact size
  • Door is reversible
  • Detachable/reversible lid
Cons
  • No freezer, only a refrigerator
  • Door panel must be purchased separately
  • Controls are in the wrong place for some campers/trailers
  • USB port for small electronic devices
  • No indicator display for propane pilot light

RV Refrigerator Guidelines

I’ve given you my picks for various RV refrigerators, but it’s up to you to figure out which one best suits your needs. Here are some additional guidelines to help in the decision-making process.

How well it travels

Remember that RV fridges are a different animal from the traditional home fridge. RV fridges have to be able to withstand vibrations, acceleration, and off level conditions during travel. They also have to adapt to fluctuating ambient temperatures around it. If you’re looking for adaptability, then the CFX-28 may be the choice for you.

RV refrigerator how it works

Compression or Absorption

RV fridges operate using either compressor or absorption technology. Absorption type fridges use heat and a combination of ammonia, hydrogen gas and water to produce the cooling effect.

Compressor type fridges have a compressor as RV refrigerator cooling unit which moves refrigerant vapor into coils located behind the fridge. The vapors react to exterior temperatures, turn to liquid and absorb the heat inside the fridge. Both types work well for camping.

You need to be mindful that compressor type units can stand alone and are portable. Absorption units are usually fitted into cabinetry and are not portable. So if you need portability, you may like the CFX. But if you like “glamping”, then the Americana may be the best choice for you.

1-way, 2-way or 3-way

The type of camping you prefer will dictate the type of RV fridge you’ll need. If you like to go camping at state parks where there is limited power access, then the Americana or the RM2193RB may fit your needs. If you take fishing trips or enjoy tent camping, then the Whytner or the CFX are suitable options. But if you like going to RV parks and simply plug in, then the Midea may be a good choice.

Continuous Power

You want to keep your food safe at all times. Thankfully, most multiple powered RV refrigerators will automatically switch over from one power source to the next to keep the unit running continuously. The CFX and the Whynter are good options when switching to solar power. The Americana and the RM2193RB are great options when switching to propane power. Even the Midea is an option for users who use generators.

Price

I’ve given you a variety of RV refrigerator units at different price points. From the expensively priced Americana to the affordably priced Midea, there is something for every budget.

Other Things to Consider

If you plan to purchase a 2 or 3-way fridge, make sure your camper or trailer is suitably plumbed and wired to house this type of fridge.

You can also buy an RV refrigerator  door latch to hold your fridge door open during storage.

RV refrigerator AC or DC

If you want to use 12v/24v DC power, you may want to consider purchasing an inverter. An inverter is a device that converts DC battery power into AC power. While this will be an additional expense depending on the size you may need, it can make your solar panel(s) and battery bank(s) more efficient.

You may also want to invest in a leak detector if your trailer or camper does not come equipped with one.

RV Refrigerator – Final Thoughts

Choosing the right RV refrigerator to fit your needs is essential if you want to have a great camping experience. I’ve provided you with options and tips that will help you make the best choice for you.

 

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1 thought on “Best RV Refrigerator 2018 – Buyer’s Guide and Review

  1. BUYER beware! Norfolk has a rv double refrigerator freezer.
    Pros: LOTS OF ROOM
    CONS: EXTENDED WARRANTY – cost me $450.00 ( thinking I’m covered, right? NO!
    IF a blowing rain, or water FROM washing RV gets on a “switch” inside the outside louvered compartment… you may get “a L1 oP” (high temperature switch code). EVEN THOUGH THIS APPEARS TO BE A ” MFG.DEFECT IN DESIGN” AND even though you have an extended warranty…NORCOLD – WILL NOTcover the service providers labor charge! Because “QUOTE: No broken part” (end quote). With the cost of these refrigerators, the cost of these RV’s, AND the cost of the extended warranty….NORCOLD should cove a design FLAW! Have had RV’s for many many years…and NEVER had a problem.UN-TRIED TECHNOLOGY AT RV OWNERS EXPENSE!

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