Having a good RV freezer is vital for anyone who plans long road trips or camping trips with their caravan. Many larger RVs will come with their own built-in fridge freezer, but they often require a huge amount of power to run at a consistent temperature, meaning they can drain your battery quite quickly if they’re too large or always on.
That's where many portable camper van or RV freezers come into play, as tons resemble coolers that connect to 12 Volt Batteries to provide cooling to a smaller container.
They're often portable, too, meaning you can take them outside while camping or move them to wherever is most convenient, making them a great utility for any RV owner.
But of course, not all RV fridge freezers are made the same, and our aim is to educate you without having to scroll through the Internet before buying one.
Below is a review of what we believe to be the best RV freezers on the market. We have taken care and time to research the best ones, so please read at least a few of them before opting for any specific product.
After the review, there's an in-depth buyer's guide of RV freezers, where we offer all the necessary info such as the different types of freezers, and what makes for a good quality one etc. There's also an FAQ section, so you'll be equipped with all the knowledge to buy yourself a good quality RV freezer after reading this article.
If you prefer, you can jump straight to the RV Freezer Buyer's Guide by clicking the link...
Review of the Best RV Freezers
Now that we have looked at the most important features and functionalities of an RV freezer and how it works, let’s take an in-depth look at eight best in the market. The reviews will help you in identifying and choosing the best and most suitable product for yourself.
Best Overall RV Freezer:
COSTWAY 54 Quart
If you're in search of the best compact RV fridge freezer at an affordable price, then this COSTWAY freezer is your answer. The appliance, just like COSTWAY’s other products, is a highly reliable, well-performing, and high-quality product. It weighs 36 pounds and measures 27 x 13.5 x 21 inches, and boasts a large 54-quart capacity that can cool a large number of cold drinks and food items at a time.
It also has a sleek and unique design with its double tone black and silver finish. It has a good storage capacity with separate compartments for drinks and food items. The compartments make it easier for setting and organizing the contents of the freezer.
It also has extra features like LED lighting that allows you to look through the stuff even if this dark, making it perfect for campsites. And nothing beats the highly convenient, easy-to-read and well-lit LCD display that has all the information and controls.
It also qualifies as a highly convenient and portable model with its intelligent design that includes a safe carry handle on the sides for easy handling. It will fit many small spaces and you can easily flip it to change the direction of the door opening.
This RV fridge freezer can run on a 12 volt DC battery or with a 110-240 volt AC outlet. It also offers three levels of battery protection for your vehicle so you don’t come out to a dead battery.
Overall, we couldn't find any deal-breaking cons for this model, which means that it’s a 10/10 option for any traveler. The RV freezer can hold a large amount of food and drinks to cool in about 30 minutes, has a highly durable and safe build, and also has a simple and unique appearance that won’t stand out.
Runner-up and Best from Dometic:
Dometic CFX3 55IM
Dimensions: 28.3 x 18.9 x 17.9 inches (55IM size)
Weight: 70 lbs
Power Supply: AC/DC or Solar Panel
Exterior: ExoFrame construction, aluminum alloy handles, fender frame protected edges
This freezer might seem like a premium product, but the Dometic CFX3 is an incredible RV freezer that can accomplish nearly anything you need it to. It can hit freezing temperatures extremely fast without making much noise. it also boasts an adjustable thermostat with multiple temperature options to ensure you don’t overchill anything inside.
It’s great as a portable freezer for RV users, particularly when using the larger sizes, but the smaller sizes are even more versatile for those who might need a portable fridge freezer.
The Dometic CFX3 is one of the top of the range options for RV freezers. Some user reviews mentioned errors that were difficult to solve, but most found this product was exactly what they’re looking for at this price point.
Best RV Freezer for the Money:
Whynter CUF-110B Freezer
Flexibility, reliability, and a travel-friendly design are the core features and benefits of the Whynter RV freezer. It's highly compact and sleek, and weighs just 44 pounds, while measuring 17.7 x 18.5 x 19.5 inches.
It also boasts a noteworthy all-black finish with a stainless steel body that will blend well and even enhance the look of your van’s interior. It's a free-standing refrigerator which is equipped with a black reversible swing door, and also has built-in locks and keys that make it suitable for travel.
It's equipped with a white shelf inside that's removable, so you can easily adjust it according to your needs. If that's not enough, it is also Energy Star certified, which further adds on to its reliability and qualifies it as one of the best options.
To help you keep track of the performance, it also features an LED indicator of its power mode, and has the capability to cool the contents from -8 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
To sum it up, this Whynter RV fridge freezer qualifies as a great, affordable, and efficient refrigerator for travel purposes. It has a good amount of capacity and also has the capability of cooling up to very low temperatures. Overall, the model adds great value to your money.
Best 12-Volt RV Fridge Freezer:
Engel Tri-Voltage Freezer
This is a 12v portable freezer by Engel that has a portable top opening and is designed specifically to meet your traveling needs. The most distinctive feature is its durable and sturdy cover which is also resistant to corrosion. This makes it very travel-friendly and will also last you a long time.
Another prominent feature of this model is its power-efficient operation. It's a compressor-based model that consumes only about one to two amps of power per hour. In addition to this, it is also a two-way freezer, which allows you to choose from either a DC power supply or an AC power supply. You can quickly switch between the two power sources depending on which is in use, but AC is designated as the priority to protect your battery usage.
The model is designed intelligently to meet all your travel needs, such as the highly convenient, safe, and removable plastic handles that you can place or remove accordingly.
Overall, the 12v RV freezer is highly portable and good for traveling purposes, but it lacks a few extra features such as no light, or LED back-lit temperature controls. Other than that, the design, as well as its functioning, make it one of the best RV fridge freezers for a convenient traveling experience.
Best RV Chest Freezer:
Whynter FM-45G Freezer
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty, well-designed, and efficient RV chest freezer, then the Whynter FM-45G is the best choice.
Boasting a capacity of holding up to 60 cans or 45 quarts, and weighing 45lbs, the freezer is perfect for travel with the family.
With this high-quality appliance, you can select whether to use it as an RV refrigerator or freezer, depending on your need. It has two power options: AC and DC, and is equipped with fast freeze technology that can rapidly cool the contents inside up to -8 degrees Celsius.
Measuring 18 x 28 x 20.8 inches, the compact and lightweight freezer will fit in any small and limited space. These features and its efficient design make it a suitable RV fridge freezer for traveling. It also looks appealing, so you don’t have to worry about ruining the look of your RV.
This is a 12-volt model, which not only means it's power efficient, but it also performs well. As well as this, it also boasts an LED-displayed temperature information for your convenience.
We couldn't find any major cons that could break the deal, apart from the odd complaint about its durability. That said, all other aspects of the freezer, such as its insulated walls, two removable wire baskets, and AC to DC option make it an good choice.
Smallest RV Freezer:
This Alpicool RV freezer is the smallest and most compact model form our list. Don’t let the size cause you to doubt its functionality and performance, however, as it is equipped with all the essentials of larger models.
It weighs about 21 pounds, which makes it very portable and perfect for traveling. It works on a power supply from a car battery, either AC or DC, and can also be solar powered. This makes it a highly versatile, as well as an eco-friendly small model.
If you're concerned about it using your car’s battery and running it out, then worry no longer because it's equipped with the three-stage car battery protection system.
What makes it an even more convenient and portable RV freezer is the two handles on the sides that make it easy to move around. It's built with sturdy material that is also resistant to vibration, making it safe to carry in a moving vehicle.
This is a well-designed and efficient small RV fridge freezer specifically designed to meet all the travel requirements in the car. It has a good capacity and a vibration-resistant build that makes it fit well in a car even when on-the-go.
A Worthy Mention for RV Freezers:
Dimensions: 37 x 24 x 22 inches
Weight: 70 pounds
Power Supply: AC/DC
Exterior: Stainless steel, ASA protective corner pieces
We would forgive you for thinking this was just a sleek industrial container, as the massive ARB 10810602 Portable Fridge & Freezer is one of the largest models you can find. It’s essentially the size of a standard large cooler, but with a little extra bulk to contain its remarkably efficient cooling system and perfect seal. This sturdiness comes with just as much utility, opening smoothly, thanks to a unique gas strut to hold it open in narrow or wide positions and featuring heavy insulation from any outside heat.
This RV freezer is undoubtedly large, but it’s effective if you need something spacious and heavy-duty. You may want to look into a fridge slide to more easily move it in and out of compartments, but the interior of this fridge hardly suffers from its heavy exterior.
Now it's time for the buyer's guide where we offer more information on RV freezers, and what to look for when shopping for a new device. We compare the different popular RV freezer brands, and the qualities you should expect with the different price entries.
We also look at the different types of freezers and compare them, so you'll have a better understanding of which one is right for you. There's also a step-by-step guide on how to clean an RV Freezer, so you should be a freezer pro by the end of the article.
How to Choose an RV Freezer
Before we review some of the best models in the market today, let’s look at some important factors and considerations to make before investing in one.
Size and Capacity
Size refers to the dimensions of the RV fridge freezer. These dimensions should totally be in accordance with the space you have. As well as this, the capacity will determine how well it works with a certain amount of food items inside.
So, if you are looking for a freezer for larger foods or a variety of food items, look for the one with the highest capacity.
Options for Power Source
We refer to these based on their power options as one-way, two-way, and three-way. A three-way freezer will allow you to choose a power source from the three options: AC, DC, and gas supply.
A three-way freezer is our top recommendation, but it also depends on where you're going to travel and what your preferences are.
Layout and Structure
This refers to the design such as the RV freezer's door, compartments, weight, and features like wheels for portability and build materials.
How Does an RV Freezer Work?
RV freezers are different than the regular residential models in many ways. One difference is that RV fridge freezers don't have compressors like the residential ones. This is one of the reasons these types are less noisy, meaning they're suitable for small spaces like vans.
These models are equipped with absorption refrigeration technology that uses either electricity or sometimes gas to heat the absorption refrigerator coils. The heat boils the gas refrigerant or ammonia, which then evaporates and condenses, turning into a liquid. The liquid or ammonia then turns back into a gas when it reacts with hydrogen gas.
This is the evaporation process that takes place rapidly in the freezer, keeping the freezer cool as the boiled gas turns from vapor to liquid to gas again.
RV freezers don't have any moving mechanical parts either. They work slower than large residential freezers and also consume less energy. The core difference between the two, however, is that RV versions boil and change gas to a liquid, while compressor-based freezers boil a liquid and change it to gas.
What You Can Expect From a New RV Freezer
RV freezers can prove to be hugely beneficial while traveling. They are convenient, flexible, and will make life in the RV feel like home. An RV freezer is a far better option than carrying a compressor-based freezer which is much heavier and inconvenient. The following are the benefits of investing in a reliable and high-quality model:
It Can Run on More Than One Power Source
Many RV freezers allow you to choose either an AC power source, DC power source, or gas supply. This makes it suitable for more than just one place and one situation. You can easily shift between power sources depending on the conditions of the environment and availability.
Small and Compact
RV fridge freezers are specifically small, compact, and can fit into most small spaces. Usually, RV vans or camping setups are small and don't have a lot of space to accommodate a residential model. While you're carrying smaller versions of all the essentials, carrying a smaller fridge and freezer will also be necessary.
No Need to Make Any Changes to the RV
Using large residential freezers to your vehicle means you'll likely have to modify or make changes to the setting. This is inconvenient, but the day is saved by RV freezers, which are designed to be easy to install and occupy smaller spaces.
Popular RV Freezer Brands
While these products are certainly worth your time as an RV owner, it’s important to know a specific product isn’t the only way you can choose your ideal RV freezer. There are a few prominent brands with products at several price ranges, and each one have strengths in different features and benefits based on your personal needs.
Whynter freezers are all about utility, providing a smaller amount of freezer space and consistent cooling with extremely simple freezers that don’t have too many exceptional features. While they succeed best as RV freezers, they’re better to look at as a general portable freezer since the company makes all sorts of products for full kitchens. As a result, they have fairly low-cost RV freezers that don’t struggle as much as you’d expect for their price. They won’t hold their cold as well as other brands while unplugged, but for the most part, they're good quality for a budget option.
As opposed to the more general approach that Whynter has with its products, Dometic is much more targeted at RV refrigerators and freezers specifically, meaning they have much more functionality than most portable freezers. The company has been around since 1919, and makes all sorts of kitchen equipment, but RV products have been their specialty since the 1970s.
Today, the brand provides excellent RV freezers with temperature control, lockable seals, and even compatibility with a solar panel as an alternative power source to the usual 12-volt batteries.
ARB are most accurately described as your premium option, featuring some of the most well-crafted but costly products. Much of this is thanks to their roots in creating high quality appliances for vehicles since 1975.
They take pride in the size, sturdiness, and quality of any product they make for RVs and 4x4 vehicles. This brand provides products with the greatest size of any RV freezer brand, the strongest seals, and the most weather-proof and damage-proof exteriors, all of which lead them to be nearly indestructible after several years of use.
They are generally more expensive, but hard to argue they make the best RV freezers.
Price Points of RV Freezer
An important thing to know with any RV Freezer is what you get for your money. Freezers will often have different perks and strengths-based on their price, and it’s important to be aware of what you’ll get with a cheap RV freezer compared to a premium model.
$400 - $1000
Most freezers you encounter at this lower price range are going to be fairly straightforward. Typically, brands like Whynter and Dometic that won’t typically have additional options, might lack storage space, and often have blander appearances than your typical modern RV freezer. These can be effective and will have excellent door seals, but they’re easier to think of as utilities than accessories.
$1000 - $1400
While the quality of the product can vary massively within this price range, this will be the standard cost for a quality RV fridge freezer. This range is where you’ll get greater temperature control, more spacious interiors, and some unusual features like Bluetooth connectivity so that you can control its temperature and keep it locked using your phone. These sorts of products much sturdier as well, making them the ideal price for the most efficient current models
If you want to go a little higher and try a premium RV freezer, going over $1400 is going to get you an unbelievably sturdy freezer that will hardly let you down. This is where products like the earlier-mentioned ARB 10810602 fall in. Others in the price range will have a similar degree of the sturdy exterior with perfect lockable sealing to keep the interior cold for long periods, even when it remains unplugged for a long period. If you plan on taking it in and out of your RV during longer trips, it’s unlikely to break down through both time and damage.
Types of RV Freezers
An RV is a recreational vehicle, which is why it needs a specially designed freezer that is suitable for use in remote places. RV freezers are designed to meet the refrigeration needs of people planning on staying outside for a long time. They're different from residential freezers as they utilize the principle of absorption using heat and aren't fitted with a compressor. The most common types of RV freezers include:
Two-way refrigerators, also called AC or LP gas-powered refrigerator run on either LP gas or AC power. They switch to LP gas automatically when there is no AC power, thus providing users with the benefits of running on both. These refrigerators come in handy on long trips as they last longer than other refrigerators.
Three way fridge and freezers can run on 3 different power supplies: AC, DC, or LP gas supply. Most people prefer this type of refrigerator, particularly for camping expeditions, as it obviously gives you more options.
Powered by gas or propane, this type of refrigerator uses ammonia as the coolant in the system. It creates a continuous refrigeration cycle with water and hydrogen. Liquid ammonia produced at the condenser passes on to the evaporator, which converts the liquid to gas, thus producing the required cold temperature.
Not the world famous band ACDC, these refrigerators refrigerators are designed to alternate the power source from AC or DC, which makes them very convenient for RV purposes and keep you away from the Highway to Hell.
Chest vs Upright Freezer - Which is Best for an RV?
There are two variations of RV fridge freezers available. Your decision will depend on your needs and the suitability of a particular type to your specific RV. The following pros and cons of both these types will help you choose the one that is best for you:
RV chest freezers are deep compared with upright freezers. They sit horizontally on the floor and are great for adding more food items, but it also means that searching for older items can be quite a hassle. They're wide in length and width, and because the door has to be lifted up, they can't really be stored under units.
On the other hand, upright freezers stand vertically and are similar to home refrigerators. They're designed with shelves and compartments, which help in the systematic storage of food. They are more space-saving compared to chest freezers and can easily slip in places where there's little horizontal space.
Chest freezers utilize an airtight locking seal to keep the food frozen and fresh, which makes them more energy-efficient than upright freezers. Upright freezers, on the other hand, have small gaps in door mechanisms, so they need an increased amount of energy to keep the food cold.
Both these options are available in different sizes, providing users with enough space for their needs. However, the organization of food inside these freezers is a whole different matter.
Chest freezers come with wire baskets to organize the food, but food items can be hard to locate in this type of freezer as they become buried under one another. Lifting, moving, and bending is required to find the food item that you are looking for.
Chest freezers aren't all bad though. One of their advantages is that you can easily fit larger food items in it. There are no shelves, which increases the usable space by up to 20% compared to upright freezers.
Upright freezers have shelving compartments that ensure the neat organization of food items. Removable and adjustable shelves and door storage bins allow users to make better use of space, but they do reduce the space vertically, making it difficult to store large items.
12-Volt vs 120-Volt Freezer For an RV - Comparison Overview
Most refrigerators nowadays are designed with 12-volt variable speed compressors as they are more energy-efficient, high-quality products. However, most 12-volt DC freezers can be powered from 120-volt AC. This is possible due to the built-in inverter that converts 120-volt AC to 12-volt DC. This means that even though you're plugged into 120-volt, your freezer still works with 12-volt DC.
Most products work on both 12-volt and 120-volt. The only difference is that 12-volt has no efficiency loss while there is efficiency loss with conversion to 120-volt AC. For this reason, 12-volt freezers have become the preferred model for people living off the grid.
How to Clean a Freezer
It's easy to let spills and leaks collect in your freezer and for sticky food to accumulate in its corners. If the freezer isn't cleaned and organized regularly, it could become a smelly addition to your kitchen. Cleaning a freezer isn't difficult, nor will it take a lot of time if you follow the steps given below:
- Shut down your freezer before you begin cleaning your freezer.
- Remove all the food from the freezer and place it in a cooler.
- Remove all detachable shelves and drawers and wash thoroughly.
- Make a cleaning solution in a spray bottle and liberally spray inside the freezer. To make this cleaning solution, you can use warm water and vinegar equally or mix two tablespoons of baking soda with one-quart hot water.
- Use a dishcloth to wipe down the freezer. For stubborn gunk or stuck-on food particles, you can also use a cleaning brush or an old toothbrush. Spray the solution and leave for a few minutes. Scrub gently to ensure that your freezer is perfectly clean.
- Make sure to wipe the freezer door and its surrounding seal.
- Use a dishtowel to completely dry the inside of the freezer.
- Replace the shelves and put all the food back in the freezer. Don’t forget to turn the freezer back on!
- If you're still not clear about the whole cleaning process, you can watch the following video before cleaning your freezer.
People Also Ask - RV Freezer FAQs
A freezer is essential for your RV, which is why you want to invest in a model that's right for your family and storage needs. It's best to research a little about the various types of freezers and how they work before making a choice.
If you're going to buy an RV freezer, there may have a lot of questions needing answered, especially as you learn some of the new terminology. after learning about several technical terminologies and concepts. Here answered are all the most FAQs regarding RV freezers...
Do RV Freezers Freeze Ice?
In a sense, most RV freezers can remain below freezing temperature, meaning you can usually freeze water in an ice cube tray or keep bags of ice frozen. That said, most models will need to remain plugged in to maintain a consistent temperature this low, meaning you won’t likely be able to keep ice solid if you open it frequently or remove it from a power source.
How to Defrost an RV Freezer
Defrosting an RV freezer is a very easy job and can be done quickly by following the steps given below:
- Turn off the freezer and empty its contents into cooler bags.
- Place an extra-absorbent chamois towel on the bottom of the freezer compartment. This will help soak the water from the melting ice.
- Use a hairdryer to thaw the freezer walls. If you have a high wattage hair dryer, keep it on a low setting and make sure that there is a distance of at least eight inches between the dryer and freezer walls.
- Check the temperature of the dryer with your hand to make sure that it is not too high. Too much heat can damage the plastic walls of your freezer. Also, make sure to keep the hairdryer moving to protect the freezer walls.
- Remove the chamois towel, wring it and wipe down the freezer before putting the food back in the freezer.
Why Does My RV Freezer Get Frosty?
Frost inside an RV freezer is caused when moisture comes into contact with the coils inside and freezes. This can be caused by opening the door of your RV freezer too often and for too long. It can lead to loss of storage space, odors, and ineffective sealing of your freezer door. More importantly, it can affect the quality of your food and lead to a condition called freezer burn or frostbitten food.
What is Freezer Burn and What Causes it?
Freezer burn is when the contents or food items are oxidized. This happens when air reaches the food. It then dehydrates the food by reacting with the water molecules. This leads to grayish and brown-colored spots on your food. Not storing your food in airtight containers or putting them in the freezer when they're still hot can lead to freezer burns.
What Temperature Should an RV Freezer Be?
Usually, people keep their refrigerators at an ideal temperature of 39 degrees F (4 degrees Celsius). However, for freezers, we recommend keeping the temperature at around -0.4 degrees F (-18 degrees Celsius). Keeping at these ideal temperatures will lead to better performance as well as helping your food last longer.
Getting the Best RV Freezer
Living life on the road, whether it's weekends away or permanent lifestyle, you need a good quality RV freezer. Luckily, there are many on the market, but they aren't cheap.
Whichever RV freezer you go for, make sure you do your research and you'll get the right one for your needs.
Whatever you go with, it’s important to make sure your choice of RV freezer is right for you. It's not good to have a product that either won’t fit where you want it to or won’t have the capabilities you need.
Thankfully, most RV freezers will come in various sizes and styles, and many brands offer specific models with multiple options, so make sure you research and measure anything you need as you get started looking for the correct RV freezer.