Refrigerators are an integral part of our lives and if you are living in an RV, it is all the more required. The idea of replacing your RV fridge with a household refrigerator must have crossed your mind at some time or the other. Let’s find out about these two types and the pros and cons of the replacement
How are RV refrigerators different from residential refrigerators?
RV refrigerators are different from the residential refrigerators as the former is the absorption type having no compressors. RV refrigerators use heat and a combination of hydrogen gas and ammonia and also water. The evaporation and condensation process of these chemicals cools the RV refrigerator.
RV refrigerators can be replaced by residential refrigerators but there are certain factors that you should take into consideration.
What are the factors to consider before replacement?
The space available in the RV should be enough not only to hold the residential refrigerator but also such that you can open its door. The weight of the refrigerator should also be considered as a bigger weight means reduced mileage.
Removal of RV refrigerators is not easy as these remain fixed, come with propane connection in addition to electric ones and the process of the removal varies with the brand and model types.
RV refrigerators are of two kinds – the 2-way which runs on AC power and LP gas while the 3-way model runs on AC power, DC power or LP gas. Thus the RV refrigerators are more adaptive. But residential refrigerators require 110 V electric supply and so can be effective only if you are able to install a plug and this should not overload any circuit in the RV.
Though residential refrigerators are less expensive and more durable, they need more power.
If you intend to do ‘boondocking’ or any kind of ‘off-the-grid camping’ you would require to run the generator continuously to power the residential fridge.
With RV fridge, airflow is not important as it does not possess a compressor. But with residential refrigerators, airflow is essential for proper cooling and longer lifespan of the fridge.
Residential refrigerators need continuous power; or else they will heat up and if kept off power for a while, these will start stinking. Moreover, the constant powering up and powering down of the residential variety will reduce its lifespan.
Well, it is perhaps quite apparent as to why RV fridges are more suitable in an RV.
Then let’s check out a few bestselling RV Fridge options to make a perfect choice.
1) Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator 16 Quart(15 Liter) 12/24V DC and 110-240 AC
This RV refrigerator from the house of Alpicool is suitable for home use as well. It freezes easily and effectively to -4oF (-20oC) and can thus be used both as a freezer and a fridge.
It comes with two power cables that can connect with 12/24V DC and 110V to 240V AC power inputs separately and runs great with the solar system. Its exterior dimensions are 22.4” x 12.6”x 10.2” and has a capacity of 16 Quart (15 liters) and is thus able to hold 20 Cola cans.
It is easily transported, lightweight and durable being made of strong plastic. It is equipped with a 3 stage battery protection system so that the car battery does not run out. The construction and high-density foam insulation keeps the foods cool and fresh and also saves energy. The portable handles on both side and vibration resistant design make it perfect for moving. The compressor is highly efficient and comes with ECO and HH modes.
The digital control panel comes with electronic temperature control. You can move it on angles up to 450 from horizontal and is therefore ideal for mobility.
The package contains one DC power cord (12/24V), one Instruction book and one adapter for AC power along with the fridge and is priced at around $170.00 at the time of writing.
Would you care to go through the customer reviews?
2) Dometic CFX 100W Black/Gray CFX 100W 12V Electric Powered Portable Cooler (Fridge , Freezer)
This RV refrigerator from Dometic does not require ice. It has a capacity of 100 liters and can hold 146 cans. The dimensions are 18.6” H x 37.7” W x 20.9” D and weigh 70.5 lbs. It comes with a single zone cooling compartment and you can enjoy 60% more storage capacity.
You can use DC, AC and solar power for its functioning. Thus you can go off-grid!
The 3 stages dynamic battery protection system shuts it automatically to stop a dead car starter battery and improves the performance of the car battery.
The advanced compressor makes the fridge cool down to -7oF (-22oC) with very low energy consumption. The reinforced corners, robust lid lining and stainless steel hinges make it durable thus making it ideal for RVs.
You can monitor and control the cooling temperature in the compartment with the WiFi app. The LED interior light is energy-efficient and the interior is fitted with wire baskets having dividers that are removable which is perfect for optimal organization of content.
This variety is able to freeze and refrigerate drinks and food for big groups and small groups on long trips. It was priced at below $1500 at the time of writing, find out the current price here.
3) Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable, AC 110V/ DC 12V True Refrigerator/Freezer
This option from Whynter has a capacity of 45 Quarts (12FL oz) and can contain 60 cans. The adjustable temperature range is from -6oF to 50oF.
It is designed for easy movement and access and with this RV fridge, you can keep your foods as well as beverages frozen and chilled.
The LED temperature display has a “Fast Freeze” mode which helps in rapid cooling to -6oF. The dual voltage feature means either you need a common household 110V outlet or a 12V power source, just like an automotive battery and it is ready for portability.
This RV refrigerator with efficient cooling is not to be confused with the less efficient beverage type “coolers” or 12V novelties. It is ETL approved, weighs 45 pounds and has internal dimensions of 18.5” W x 11” L x 15” H and includes a compressor step with 7.5” W x 11.25” L x 8” H. Its voltage power is – AC (115V/ 60Hz-65W/0.75A) or DC (12V/24V-4.5A/2.5A Car Lighter Socket).
The fridge has insulated walls and lids and comes with two wire baskets that are removable, one 8’ AC power cord and one 10’ DC power cord. You can plug in the unit in AC and DC power simultaneously and then it will operate on AC. And only when AC power fails will the DC power start functioning.
The outer steel casing is solid and tough. This can be used both as a freezer as well as a refrigerator. It is equipped with a powerful low indicator, a drain plug for easy cleaning and stainless steel side handles. It will continue to work even when tilted at 30o.
This is perhaps one of the best mobile and cost-effective solutions for your challenging RV days. Check out Price and current star rating of this RV fridge from here
I hope this article has given you the answer why it is best to choose an RV fridge than a regular Fridge for your RV or camper. Opt for any of the three best selling options as discussed above.