The addition of a camping fridge to your outdoor gear is a great idea. Many of us have dealt with the hassles of a cooler, and dirty melting ice. A portable camping fridge freezer can eliminate many of the problems a cooler poses.
When shopping for a camping fridge there are several essential items to consider.
How much fridge is too much fridge?
Do not buy more fridge than you need. Camping fridges rapidly become bulky and a pain to move around as their volume increases. If a smaller model can serve your needs, buy the smaller refrigerator. A smaller camping refrigerator will also use less power, and keep your food and drinks colder. Make sure you have room in your camping vehicle for whichever fridge you choose.
What power source?
How much power does the fridge freezer you are looking at use? While it is possible to find camping refrigerators that run from the grid using mains power, most camping fridges will use 12v DC (from a car battery) as their power source. You do need to be conscious of your camp fridge power source; if your car fridge is a power hog, you will run down your battery too fast. If this happens you potentially will have a cold beer, and a flat battery. On the plus side there’s no chance you will drink and drive!
Do I need an extra power source?
If your camping fridge is going to run 12V DC, you should carefully consider options other than running it from your cars starter battery. One popular option is to install a second car battery in your vehicle. This provides you a deeper reservoir of amperage, which can be used not only to power your fridge, but to power other non-vehicle electronics such as a laptop. Battery kits are available that include an auxiliary switch so you can ensure that electronics only run from the second battery, thus ensuring your starter battery is always fully charged and ready for its primary use – starting your vehicle.
Is this a quality fridge?
Be sure to research the quality of a camping fridge, and not just the price. A portable refrigerator can experience all sorts of bumps and rattles when you are camping. Therefore you need to purchase a fridge that is able to take rough treatment without breaking. There are many ‘bargain’ camping fridges out there that will just end up costing you money. A couple of the most respected companies to manufacture camping fridge freezers are ARB and Engel, both of which are worthy of your consideration. Spend the little extra and purchase the recognized brand. As the saying goes: ‘When you buy quality, you only cry once’.