The Definitive Guide to Finding the Best Refrigerator for Your RV: A Comprehensive Overview

If you’re an RV enthusiast, choosing the right refrigerator for your mobile home can be a challenging task. With an array of types and models available, finding the one that meets all your camping needs isn’t as easy as it seems.

This guide will simplify your search by providing key features to consider when purchasing an RV fridge while comparing some of the best models out there. Get ready; Your perfect road trip companion is just a few scrolls away!

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right refrigerator for your RV can be challenging, but this guide simplifies the process by providing key features to consider and comparing some of the best models available.
  • There are several types of RV refrigerators to choose from, including compressor, absorption, residential-style, and thermoelectric coolers. Each type has its own advantages and considerations.
  • When buying an RV refrigerator, important features to consider include size and capacity, power source (propane or electricity), energy efficiency, and brand reputation.
  • Some top-rated RV refrigerators on the market include the Dometic Americana II, Norcold Polar 3-Way Refrigerator, ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator, and Dometic Elite 2+2 Refrigerator. These fridges offer different features to suit various needs.

Types of RV Refrigerators

A stylish RV interior with luxurious furnishings and a modern compressor refrigerator.

There are several types of RV refrigerators to choose from, including compressor refrigerators, absorption refrigerators, residential-style refrigerators, and thermoelectric coolers.

Compressor refrigerators

Compressor refrigerators are a great pick for your RV. They are flexible and can run on propane or electric power. You don’t need to worry about finding the right fuel source. If you choose a 12-volt model, it suits all types of RVs well.

These fridges offer plenty of room for your food and drinks too. So if space is important, compressor refrigerators win over others like absorption ones!

Absorption refrigerators

Absorption refrigerators are a great fit for RV living. They can work with propane or electricity. This type of fridge is popular because they’re quiet and do not shake. Gas absorption fridges use heat to change gas into a liquid.

The great thing about these fridges is that there are no moving parts. You also save money by using propane, which makes them very cheap to run. But, you need to know if you will have access to the power this fridge needs before you buy it.

Residential-style refrigerators

Residential-style refrigerators are big. They fit in large RVs. These fridges use AC power always. This is not like other RV fridges that might use propane. You get more space for your food and drinks with this type of fridge.

It is better at saving energy than most others, too. People who have a lot of food to store find them very helpful during their travel trips.

Thermoelectric coolers

Thermoelectric coolers are a type of camping fridge that can be a great upgrade for your RV. They provide cooling capabilities without the need to spend a lot of money on replacing your RV refrigerator.

One advantage of thermoelectric coolers is that they have some features that built-in refrigerators may not have. These coolers use the ambient temperature to achieve their cooling effect, making them perfect for keeping your food fresh while you’re on the road.

So if you’re looking for an affordable and efficient way to keep your food cold during your outdoor adventures, consider investing in a thermoelectric cooler for your RV.

Key Features to Consider When Buying an RV Refrigerator

A modern RV refrigerator surrounded by a beautiful outdoor camping environment.

When buying an RV refrigerator, it’s important to consider the size and capacity, power source, energy efficiency, and brand reputation. These features will help you find the perfect fridge for your RV needs.

Find out more about these key features in our comprehensive guide!

Size and capacity

Size and capacity are important factors to consider when buying an RV refrigerator. The size of a mid-size RV refrigerator can vary, so it is important to determine the specific size that will work for your RV.

You should choose the size and capacity of an RV refrigerator based on the needs of your family and the available space in your RV. Consider factors such as dimensions, storage space, weight, cooling capacity, energy efficiency, shelving options, freezer size, interior layout, door configuration, and temperature control.

These features will ensure that you have enough room to store all your food and beverages while traveling in your RV.

Power source

RV refrigerators can be powered by different sources, including propane and electricity. Propane-powered refrigerators are a popular choice for boondocking or dry camping because they don’t require an electrical hookup.

They offer the flexibility to run on propane when you’re off-grid. On the other hand, electric-powered refrigerators are great for RVs with access to electricity at campsites or RV parks.

These fridges allow you to rely on the campground’s power source instead of using propane. Some RV refrigerators even have dual power sources, allowing you to switch between propane and electricity based on your needs.

Energy efficiency

When choosing an RV refrigerator, energy efficiency is a key feature to consider. This not only helps save on power consumption but also reduces propane usage if you have an absorption refrigerator.

Look for refrigerators with a high efficiency rating and cooling system, like compressor refrigerators known for their improved cooling performance and energy efficiency compared to absorption models.

Residential-style refrigerators offer energy efficiency too, but may require additional power sources or modifications for use in your RV. Remember that certain behaviors, such as leaving the door open or overloading it with food, can decrease its energy efficiency.

Brand reputation

When buying an RV refrigerator, it’s important to consider brand reputation. While specific information and statistics about brand reputations are not provided in this article, it is generally recommended to choose a reputable and well-known brand when purchasing an RV refrigerator.

This ensures that you are getting a product from a trusted manufacturer who has a good track record in the market. However, the focus of this article is more on discussing the key features and types of RV refrigerators rather than specific brand reputations.

So remember to look for brands with positive customer reviews and a history of reliable products when making your purchasing decision.

Top 5 RV Refrigerators on the Market

Here are the top five RV refrigerators currently available:

1. Dometic Americana II: Known for its spacious interior and reliable cooling system, this refrigerator is a popular choice among RV owners.

2. Norcold Polar 3-Way Refrigerator: This versatile fridge runs on propane, AC power, or DC power, making it perfect for off-grid adventures.

3. ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator: With dual zones and advanced temperature control, this fridge offers flexibility for storing both perishable and frozen items.

4. Dometic Elite 2+2 Refrigerator: This innovative refrigerator features two separate compartments with independent temperature controls, providing optimal storage options.

5. (Fifth Fridge Model): (Brief description of the fifth fridge model here).

Dometic Americana II

The Dometic Americana II DM2672 Refrigerator is a highly rated and reliable option for RV owners. With its solid steel frame construction, it offers durability and longevity. This 2-way refrigerator can operate on both electric power and LPG, making it versatile for different camping setups.

The Americana II combines the convenience of residential refrigerators with the compact design needed for RVs. It is a top-rated appliance that provides efficient operation and has the capacity to meet the needs of upper and middle-class consumers, as well as those entering the consumer market in rural areas.

Whether you are looking for a fridge for your RV or mobile home, the Dometic Americana II is an ideal choice with its dual power options, durable build, and versatile installation capabilities.

Norcold Polar 3-Way Refrigerator

The Norcold Polar 3-Way Refrigerator is a top choice for RV owners looking for a reliable and durable option. Designed to withstand the rigors of the road, this refrigerator is built to last.

It features hidden hinges and handles, giving it a sleek appearance that will complement any RV interior. With power-coated shelves and front risers, convenient storage is made easy.

What sets this refrigerator apart is its ability to operate on three different power sources: AC, LP, and DC. So whether you’re at a campground with AC hookups or traveling off-grid, you can keep your food fresh and cold with ease.

ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator

The ICECO VL60 is a portable refrigerator that’s perfect for your RV. It has two separate compartments, allowing you to keep your food and drinks at different temperatures. You can also use it as a single zone 12v refrigerator if needed.

The VL60 comes with an AC adapter, making it very versatile and suitable for various uses. It’s built to last with its heavy-duty construction and offers consistent cooling to keep your food fresh.

With ample storage space, you can pack in all your favorite snacks and beverages. However, one thing to note is that the VL60 is relatively heavy, so transporting it might be more challenging compared to other models.

Dometic Elite 2+2 Refrigerator

The Dometic Elite 2+2 Refrigerator is one of the top choices for RV owners looking for a reliable and efficient refrigerator. With its fully adjustable shelves, you can easily customize the storage to fit your needs.

It also comes with three crisper drawers, perfect for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh during your travels. The digital display makes it easy to control and monitor the temperature inside the fridge.

Unlike other dual-door refrigerators, the Elite model features a divider-less freezer, providing more space for frozen goods. Another great feature is that it can operate on both electric and LPG (liquid propane gas), giving you flexibility in power sources when camping off-grid or at RV parks.

Tips for Using and Maintaining an RV Refrigerator

Invest in a quality refrigerator for optimal performance and longevity. Pre-cool the fridge before storing food to maintain proper temperature levels. Maximize storage space by organizing items efficiently.

Consider a fridge with a freezer compartment for added convenience. Keep your RV level to ensure the refrigerator operates correctly.

Invest in a quality refrigerator

Choosing a durable refrigerator is essential for RV owners who want to maximize their refrigeration needs. Investing in a high-quality refrigerator ensures that it will withstand the demands of life on the road and provide reliable cooling for your food and beverages.

Look for reputable brands known for their durability and performance. A quality refrigerator will not only keep your food fresh but also save you money in the long run by being energy efficient.

Don’t compromise on quality when it comes to your RV refrigerator – make sure you invest in one that will last and meet all your refrigeration needs throughout your travels.

Pre-cool the fridge before storing food

To ensure your RV refrigerator works efficiently, it’s important to pre-cool it before storing food. Here are some tips to help you with this:

  1. Give it enough time: Turn on the fridge at least 12 hours before you plan to store any food in it. This allows ample time for the cooling process.
  2. Set the right temperature: Adjust the temperature controls to a colder setting while pre-cooling. This helps the fridge cool down more quickly and ensures optimal cooling efficiency.
  3. Keep it empty: During the pre-cooling process, make sure that the fridge is empty. Only add food once it has reached the desired temperature.
  4. Monitor cooling progress: Use a thermometer to check if the fridge has reached the proper cooling temperature. This ensures that your perishable items will be kept at safe temperatures during storage.

Maximize storage space

To maximize storage space in your RV refrigerator, there are a few tips you can follow. First, organize the fridge space efficiently by utilizing every corner and shelf. Use smaller containers to store food instead of bulky packaging.

This will help you make the most out of the available space. Additionally, take advantage of optimal air circulation by not packing the fridge completely full. Leave some room for air to circulate around your items, as this will help maintain the fridge’s efficiency.

Lastly, consider prepping food in advance and purchasing smaller sizes of condiments to save even more space in your RV refrigerator.

Consider a fridge with a freezer

When choosing an RV refrigerator, it’s important to consider getting one with a freezer. This allows you to store frozen items like ice cream and meat, ensuring you have everything you need while on the road.

Having a freezer also helps maintain proper food safety by keeping your frozen goods at 0°F. So, when shopping for your RV refrigerator, make sure to look for models that come with a built-in freezer compartment.

Keep your RV level

One important tip for using and maintaining your RV refrigerator is to keep your RV level. While it’s true that some RV refrigerators do not need to be completely level for the compressor fridge to work properly, it is still recommended to keep your RV as level as possible.

This is because keeping the RV level is one of the most popular tips for RV refrigerator maintenance, and it helps ensure proper RV refrigerator operation. By ensuring a level position, you can avoid any potential damage that may occur if your fridge is tilted or unbalanced during travel.

So, when you’re on the road or parked at a campsite, always make sure that your RV refrigerator is kept level or nearly level to prevent any issues with its functionality and performance.


In conclusion, this comprehensive guide has provided valuable information on finding the best refrigerator for your RV. From understanding the different types of RV refrigerators to considering key features and brands, you now have the tools to make an informed decision.

With top recommendations and maintenance tips included, you can ensure that your RV refrigerator meets your needs for reliable cooling on your travels.


1. What factors should I consider when choosing a refrigerator for my RV?

When choosing a refrigerator for your RV, consider the size and capacity that fits your needs, energy efficiency, power source compatibility (such as propane or electricity), and any additional features you may desire.

2. Can I use a regular household refrigerator in my RV?

No, regular household refrigerators are not designed to withstand the vibrations and movements of an RV. It is recommended to choose a refrigerator specifically designed for RVs, which is more durable and equipped with safety features for travel.

3. How do I determine the right size of refrigerator for my RV?

To determine the right size of refrigerator for your RV, measure the available space where you would like to install it and consider how much food storage you need based on the number of people traveling with you.

4. Are there any special installation requirements for an RV refrigerator?

Yes, installing an RV refrigerator requires proper ventilation to ensure optimal cooling performance. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding venting requirements and have it installed by a professional if needed.

5. What are some common issues that can occur with an RV refrigerator?

Common issues that can occur with an RV refrigerator include power supply problems, thermostat malfunctions, gas ignition failures (for propane models), or coolant leaks. It’s best to troubleshoot these issues or seek assistance from a qualified technician familiar with working on RV refrigerators.