Last updated on May 23rd, 2023 at 05:26 pm
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Have you been searching for an RV fridge that runs off solar power? Boondocking, also known as dispersed camping, is an extremely popular form of RVing, and it’s only natural to want to procure the best of the best off-grid accessories!
Solar-powered fridges can be extremely useful, whether you’re camping in your RV for some time, or simply taking the boat out and you also want to bring along some brews. These fridges are designed to run on battery or solar power, making them extremely useful and a great way to balance out power in your RV.
But what else should you know about solar fridges, and how do you know what ones you should consider purchasing for your needs and upcoming camping excursions? I’ve put together everything you need to know along with a list of my favorites.
If you just want to skip ahead and see what made the list you can check out my recommendations here:
- Quick cooling with a reliable warranty for peace of mind
- Awesome mobile-powered app for full control
- Large capacity choices
- Easy on the budget
- Detachable wheels and awesome anti-tilt safety features
- Freezes super fast
Now let’s get started!
How Do Solar Power Fridges Work?
Fridges that have the ability to run on solar power are essentially 12V fridges, also known as portable fridges. Unsure what that means? These cool appliances are built to run on battery power rather than shore power!
Your solar panels directly recharge and maintain your RV’s batteries, should you have solar installed. That’s how your fridge would technically be ‘solar powered’- solar can power DC or battery-powered items with ease.
12V fridges work the same as regular shore power fridges, except they usually have more portable elements to them, such as a manageable size and weight, wheels, and a handle. It is important to outfit your RV with a reliable battery for boondocking if you have a solar fridge.
Solar fridges come in a variety of shapes, styles, and capabilities. Most of them have freezer compartments, and ample storage for cans or bottles, and some are even high-tech enough to be controlled via a mobile app!
These fridges are built with portability and ruggedness in mind. They can easily be installed in your RV or Class B van conversion– you can hit the road knowing that you don’t have to worry about keeping your food cold!
What To Consider In An RV Fridge With Solar Power
There are many things to consider in an RV fridge built and ready to be powered by solar energy. But what might some of those considerations be? Let’s take a moment and look at some together.
Whether you’re in a vintage travel trailer or a brand-new Class B van, size matters. It can be difficult to fit all the amenities you need in a tiny space, especially if you aren’t used to the size of RVs. Even finding a small rig with a bathroom and shower is possible, however!
That is why considering what size portable fridge you need is very important. You may only have so much space available to you, whether it be inside your RV or tow vehicle, and that space will always be at a premium.
Some RV fridges running on DC power can be installed where an old RV fridge used to be. But some portable fridges look and operate more like a traditional cooler or ice chest. This means that the dimensions might be very different than what you may be expecting.
Trying to figure out how much space you need may be difficult, especially because most portable fridges are measured in cubic feet. How much food does that mean you can fit in? I recommend taking some measurements of your residential fridge to get a good idea.
The size of your fridge will also affect your budget. If you are looking at something larger than the average portable fridge, it will of course cost you a bit more. However, this can be necessary for those of you camping with a large group or for an extended period of time.
Fridge Or Freezer Capabilities
Whether you need your 12V fridge for keeping your beer cold or for freezing your ice cream, having the option to do both can be very beneficial to many RVers. That’s why knowing the fridge and freezer capabilities of any portable fridge is key.
Some portable fridges only have one large compartment, meaning you have to choose between using it as a fridge or as a freezer- you can’t have both at once. This can be frustrating for many RVers, though it may save you some funds in the long run.
However, there are portable fridges with two compartments so you can have frozen french fries for deep frying and fresh burgers for grilling on some of the best portable RV grills available on the market today.
It all depends on what you plan on using your portable fridge for! Most RVers will choose a fridge with both options, as it can feel difficult to pick between one or the other. You shouldn’t feel as though you have to limit your food options in that way.
No matter what, keep the size of your fridge in mind: your freezer compartment may be much smaller than the one you have at home. The last thing you want is to end up with ice cream that can’t fit (though I guess that means you’ll have to eat it all, and that doesn’t sound so bad)!
Other Power Options
While having a 12V fridge may be all you need, some RVers may want the option to hook up their fridge to other power options. For example, if you want to plug in your portable fridge at home, shore or 120V AC power is going to be a lot more efficient to use than 12V DC power.
You’ll want to shop for a fridge or freezer with these capabilities, and it usually just comes in the form of a particular power cord- one that can easily plug into a standard socket in your home rather than a cigarette lighter in a car.
You may even find a more traditional three-way powered RV fridge and think that it suits you. These fridges are capable of running on AC, DC, and propane power sources. This is the ultimate in versatility, but you may lack some portability with this option due to propane lines.
Many RVs built for boondocking have fridges like this installed in them already. Having as many power sources as possible means you avoid spoiled food in the long run, but it may not suit your current solar power fridge goals!
What’s the most important thing to consider if you are boondocking or camping off-grid for a long period of time? You’ll need to consider the efficiency of your appliances so that you can maximize your overall energy usage!
Understanding your RV’s electrical system can be more complicated than you think. There are many things to research and understand before you hit the road and go off-grid, such as your expected amperage used hourly, how powerful your batteries are, and if you have an inverter.
Before you begin shopping for a solar power fridge, you should understand how much power you have, and how long that power will last off-grid, and then begin your search looking for fridges that will fit into your expected amperage usage in an efficient way.
Choosing an energy-efficient appliance can be key to successfully camping off-grid, especially if you plan on doing so for long periods of time. You don’t want to run down your batteries, so it is important to also have enough solar panels installed to properly maintain them.
Not only does the size of your solar-powered fridge matter- you should think about where you plan on storing it while you are camping. Yes, space is always at a premium in RVs, even in RVs with enough space for two bathrooms!
This is when many RVers resort to keeping things outside of their RV if the weather is nice, and this could include your off-grid fridge. If you are unsure where a good place to keep your fridge might be, you may wish to consider a more durable option.
You could potentially keep your solar-powered fridge outside in the elements, should you not have enough space inside. This can be especially true if you plan on cooking much of your food outside, or if you’re boondocking in a teardrop travel trailer with an outdoor kitchen.
Some of these fridges should only be kept indoors, and aren’t recommended for extended outdoor use. This is something to consider, and durability and ruggedness may be near the top of your list of needs!
Overall Power Needs
Choosing a solar fridge with more bells and whistles could mean more power usage. However, you’ll want to get a fridge or freezer that will stay cold for a long time. Budgeting enough power for your fridge when you’re traveling off-grid can be tricky.
To truly gauge how much electricity something needs, I highly recommend purchasing a multimeter. These nifty gadgets are capable of measuring electric currents in many different forms, including amperage. They are invaluable if you own an RV!
Trying to calculate how many solar panels you need to power your boondocking rig can be complicated- it is important to know how much power every single appliance needs, both to start up and to stay running. Take your time to determine your power needs and wants!
Lastly, knowing roughly what you can budget for an RV fridge is important. These necessary appliances range in price, anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars. Purchasing a portable fridge may be a big investment for some of you.
The startup cost of a solar-powered fridge can be high as well. If your RV isn’t already outfitted with solar panels, you’ll have that cost to consider as well. You may even have to pay for an upgraded converter, another cost.
However, these fridges are versatile, portable, and can be used in a variety of applications. You may be surprised by how much you can fit in them as well- perhaps you won’t need as big of a fridge as you expect, and that way you can save some money!
Pros And Cons Of An RV Fridge With Solar Power
There are perks and drawbacks to anything, and RV fridges for solar power operations have their own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some of these possibilities together.
Pro: They Run On The Sun
If you are a notorious boondocker hoping to hit the road with no connections or hookups, having a fridge that runs on solar power is a huge perk. You won’t have to worry about anything but your battery life and this should be replenished daily by your solar panels.
Solar on RVs has taken off, for many reasons. Having the option to go anywhere you want so long as there’s sunlight can be freeing. And having a fridge that will run on the energy from the sun is even more wonderful!
Con: It’s Risky If Your Fridge Runs Out Of Power
One of the main risks of being disconnected from shore power? What will you do if your solar malfunctions or your battery runs out of power? You run the risk of everything in your fridge or freezer spoiling.
Understanding your RV’s electrical system, including your inverter and converter, is key to making the most of your solar system. Knowing how many amps your appliances take is essential, especially before you hitch up and go.
Pro: They Are Compact And Portable
There’s nothing like an ice chest or cooler for days on a boat or at the beach. Solar power fridges are no exception, capable of going wherever you choose to bring them. So long as it has a handle, wheels, and a battery to run it, you can bring your cold goods!
Plus, having a compact and portable RV fridge means that you don’t have to worry about where to keep it when you’re on the road. You can easily slot these fridges into awkward spots in your van conversion or travel trailer built for solo travel.
Con: Sometimes They Are Too Compact
The main drawback of RV fridges that run on solar power? Some of them are quite small. If you consider a standard ice chest, that is the average size of most of these fridges and freezers- while some boast large capacities, it may be less than you expect.
That’s why it is important to plan ahead- consider how many fridge or freezer goods you need for one camping trip, and if you can afford to restock rather than bring everything in one go. Either that or you purchase a larger fridge- but that may take up too much space!
Pro: They Are Easy To Set Up
Concerned about how to hook up your solar-powered fridge in your RV? The best part of these little guys is that they are simple to set up and for a good reason. Most will have a standard cigarette lighter-style plug- simply insert that wherever you plan on running your fridge!
So long as you have your solar system up and running (or perhaps you have an onboard generator), you should have no trouble using your solar-powered fridge. Many boast quick cool-down times as well, which can be an added bonus to these portable appliances!
Con: They Can Get Pricey
Just like a lot of RV parts and accessories, solar-powered fridges can get expensive. Plus, their prices range wildly- from $300-$3,000 and anywhere in between. It can be difficult to know what to purchase, let alone if you can even afford one in the first place.
RV replacement parts or build-outs always take a decent amount of cash. Replacing a standard RV fridge with a fridge for solar power is no exception. You may be faced with some sticker shock, and this can get discouraging while shopping.
Pro: You Can Get Fridge And Freezer Capabilities
You can get an RV fridge for solar power with freezer options as well- you won’t be stuck with only fresh food options if you don’t want to! These technological marvels can come equipped with a small freezer section too, in case you need ice or more.
Having the option of both a freezer and a fridge makes your cooking possibilities limitless. You can make just about anything- just make sure you’ve packed the propane and that your propane regulator is up to date (check out our regulator guide here, if you think you need a new one)!
12 Best RV Fridge For Solar Power
Are you ready to take a look at some of the best RV fridges for solar power on the market currently? Hopefully, you know just how many amps your RV solar system can spare for your new portable fridge- let’s get started.
Best Overall: Dometic CFX3 Portable Refrigerator and Freezer
- Quick cooling with a reliable warranty for peace of mind
- Awesome mobile-powered app for full control
- Large capacity choices
Available in 7 different sizes, this portable fridge from Dometic is a fantastic choice from a brand I have trusted since I started my RVing journey. Dometic is a brand I personally trust, especially for camping and RV living- they have been a huge name in the game for generations and design products with RVers at the forefront.
This particular portable fridge earns the best overall spot because of its many size choices, its mobile app cooling capabilities, and its efficient compressor cooling technology. I love that even with all of these features, it’s still lightweight, weighing considerably less than many of the coolers on this list! It can also deep freeze down to -7 degrees, ideal for me as I love making fresh smoothies with frozen fruit in the morning for my partner and me to enjoy.
The sizes on this fridge range from 25 liters all the way up to 100 liters giving me the options I need as I have a small trailer and a mighty fridge isn’t suitable for me! That’s why this Dometic cooler is a top pick- the 35-liter size can hold up to 50 cans, so when friends and family visit, we can all enjoy a cold one around a campfire.
I like that this fridge is made with a sturdy yet lightweight aluminum frame, and the handsome matte black aesthetics means it doesn’t stand out in my rig. Being portable means I can move this fridge wherever it’s needed, whether that be inside while I’m cooking, or outside in the summer when I’m parked in the wilderness. The heavy-duty handles make moving this piece of kit around a breeze, and using it is easy too as it has a high-resolution display, along with usage history available via the Dometic mobile app.
This efficient fridge has freezer capabilities as well, with the largest model offering substantial space for frozen goods. It’s worth mentioning that the larger the fridge, the heavier it will be, so this is worth considering if you are a solo traveler and can’t handle the weight of one of these big boys! The chances are you won’t need a 100-liter fridge for your upcoming camping trip, but if you do opt for a larger Dometic fridge option, just be sure to maneuver it around safely to avoid injury.
You can take a closer look and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best On A Budget: SetPower 12V Refrigerator, 37-Quart
- Easy on the budget
- Detachable wheels and awesome anti-tilt safety features
- Freezes super fast
I always make an effort to find the best deals when I’m looking for new items to add to my rig. This 37-quart fridge from SetPower has many impressive features I’ll get onto later, but for a much more affordable price compared to other fridges on this list.
With battery protection, wheels, a handle, a detachable lid, and 30-degree tilt protection, this cooler is ready for whatever I need it for. I can simply plug it into my car’s cigarette port or other location in my RV and let the solar panels cool my groceries, as discussed in the video below:
With a cooling and freezing range from -4 degrees all the way to 64 degrees, I’m confident my ice cream won’t melt, and I can enjoy ice pops all summer long. This fridge has RV living space in mind as well: the wheels are detachable so it won’t go rolling away, and there are flush latches for tying it down, these features make it much easier to fit this fridge inside a small RV, like mine!
There’s a handy LED temperature control screen so I can easily see the display, and as this cooler is available in multiple sizes, I can choose the specific one best suited to my rig. I like that it’s also pretty robust and capable of handling off-roading, which is great news for us boondockers and adventurers!
I would prefer the instruction manual to be a little better, as it’s not as detailed as I’d like, but it doesn’t take too much time or hassle to get this fridge going. As an added bonus: it cools down fast, and won’t overload my battery, something I want to avoid as RV batteries are expensive!
You can get a better look at this fridge and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Most Compact: F40C4TMP 12V Car Fridge, 30-Quart
- Backed up by a battery to protect your food
- Available eco-mode to help save power
- Super compact and lightweight
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t own a huge RV, and although my rig is best suited to fridges on the smaller side, I still want a sleek and efficient cooler option. That’s why I’ve included this fridge from F40C4TMP in this list. It’s a 30-quart fridge, weighing just under 30 pounds, whilst still being a fridge and freezer combo!
This little fridge is packed with features, but I’ll start with the basics: it comes with a two-year warranty so I feel comfortable with my purchase, and also has built-in battery protection so I don’t have to worry about draining my car or RV batteries.
Not only can it fit up to 40 cans- the outside of it is compact as well, whilst having useful embedded handles, a sleek and flush magnetic door, and an easy-to-read LED display. I particularly enjoy the temperature memory function, as it remembers the last temperature I set and automatically goes with that the next time I turn it on.
It would be even better if this fridge had an app where I can control the temperature and see how my fridge is getting on, but unfortunately, that’s not something that’s available with this RV fridge. It does, however, have a valuable eco mode, which keeps the fridge from going over 45 watts; perfect for days where solar isn’t the best. The entire fridge itself never really goes over 60 watts, making it perfect for many solar applications.
Being compact means I can fit this fridge in my travel trailer without much of a struggle, but the small size means there isn’t a separate freezer and fridge compartment. Although this is frustrating, it’s something I can live with and it does come with some internal compartments, to help keep my vegetables from freezing!
You can get a better look at this little fridge and check the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Most Versatile: ICECO JP42 Pro, 3 in 1 Refrigerator
- Works as a fridge, freezer, OR cooler for extra flexibility
- Adjustable tilt capabilities up to 40 degrees with convenient drainage spout
- Multiple color options so you can find the perfect match
Not only is this portable fridge by ICECO efficient and stylish (available in three colors)- it’s 3 products in one, meaning I get the best bang for my buck! This 44-quart fridge can fit up to 66 cans, both as a fridge, a freezer and as a cooler with thick and insulated walls and lid closure!
I find the capability of freezing down to 0 degrees useful for keeping my groceries fresh, all while having three modes to protect my RV battery. They range in strength and power usage, but none of them go over 12.5 volts, which prevents my batteries from draining, no matter how long I’m camped for.
This cooler is also perfect for storing in odd locations or boondocking with as it can be tilted up to 40 degrees and still work, which is great as finding a perfectly level park-up doesn’t always come easy! This is music to my ears as traditional propane-powered fridges often struggle to work unless my RV is flat, so I can wash away this worry.
I find the heavy-duty and easy-open rubber latches helpful for keeping all of my goodies inside the fridge, so nothing falls out when I’m out on the road. The cup holders on top of the cooler are a nice added touch so I can enjoy it as a table or other helpful surface. It is a bit noisy during cool-down which isn’t the most desirable when I’m enjoying birdsong as the sun sets, but I’d rather listen to a bit of noise every now and again and have cold food and drinks all summer long.
There’s a five-year warranty on this fridge, as well as an eco mode and convenient drainage spout for even further ease of use. I can handle the weight and noisy cool-down of this fridge, and I like knowing there’s an ice-cold can waiting for me after a long day of exploring.
You can check out all three colors and today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Freezer Capabilities: Everchill RV Refrigerator, 12V Fridge
- Large capacity with plenty of space but still low power usage
- Quick to cool down or freeze
- Several shelves means a ton of extra room
This particular fridge for solar power is a big one- it’s almost a standard home fridge size and would work best for replacing an old RV fridge. It isn’t an option for my RV, but larger rigs may be able to handle this ginormous piece of kit without any problems!
I love the large and efficient freezer compartment, and with 11 cubic feet of cooling space, I know I’m covered when family and friends come to hang out. It’s made for boondocking, capable of going at least 40 hours on a single battery or solar panel, so I don’t have to keep much of an eye on its power. It’s only a 12-volt refrigerator, so it’s made to run on my RV’s battery power.
With five shelves, a crisper drawer, and in-door shelves for both the fridge and the freezer, this fridge makes RVing truly feel like a home away from home. Plus, this fridge and freezer combo can cool down and reach the desired set temperatures in less than an hour – no more waiting around for things to get cold!
While this unit is certainly not portable, it’s a perfect solution for those replacing an old or broken RV fridge. Although it’s easy to store, and Everchill has readily available customer service, I find portable fridges a bit more useful as I get to choose exactly where to move my fridge and can get it where it’s needed.
However, with humidity control, water bottle shelves, locking doors for when my rig is in motion, and adjustable legs so I can match my old fridge’s height, this fridge is hard to beat and really packs a punch.
You can check out all the dimensions along with today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best for Solo Adventures: Whynter FM-65G 65 Quart Portable Refrigerator
- Sturdy construction with a sleek design and extra baskets for more space
- Fast freezing feature
- Perfect for solar applications
One of the big reasons why I transitioned to the RV lifestyle was my sense of adventure and wanting to reconnect with nature, whilst having comforts on board like a reliable solar fridge. That’s where this Whynter FM-65G 65-quart fridge comes in! It’s on the heavier side which isn’t great for me as I sometimes RV solo and can’t lift items that are heavy alone, but it does have some awesome features.
It has freezing capabilities down to -6 degrees, so I can bring just about anything with me on the road, whilst having 65 quarts of space to play with. I like I’m able to adjust the interior of the fridge with removable baskets, as this means I can keep my vegetables and fruits from freezing – nothing is worse than a soggy zucchini!
With a fast freeze feature, this unit can get me where I need to go, and fast. I find this useful when traveling alone, as I have a lot to get set up on my own and don’t want to sit around and wait for the solar fridge to do its job. Plus, this unit is able to plug into either AC or DC power, so I have maximum flexibility with it and choose whichever power source is best at specific times.
This unit comes in a sleek light gray color with stainless steel latches and handles, a big help as it’s on the heavier side, and without the handles I’d struggle to move this mighty piece of kit around! The control panel is flush and located near the bottom of the unit which I love, as it’s out of the way preventing me from accidentally knocking it and changing settings.
You can check out all the reviews along with the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best for Families: RecPro RV Refrigerator Stainless Steel | 10.7 Cubic Feet
- Low amperage with efficient freezer and fridge combo
- Fast freezing feature
- Super easy to clean and defrost
Another great choice for replacing an existing RV fridge is this large unit from RecPro. RecPro is another big name in the RV game, just like Dometic. They are makers of many RV accessories, from heated tank pads to fridges, and I’ve trusted them for a while since joining the RV world!
Stainless steel with a fridge and freezer compartment, this large unit is almost apartment or residential-sized. This is substantially bigger than what my RV can handle, but it’s perfect for the entire family’s food supplies and snacks in larger rigs! It weighs over 100 pounds and isn’t portable, so it’s not the right fit for me as I prefer to move my RV kit around easily and take get it exactly where it needs to go.
This fridge needs 7 amps to start up but only uses 1 amp to run continuously, making it efficient and useful for many solar power systems. I love that it runs quietly too, and cools in less than an hour to whatever temperature I choose, as my peace isn’t disrupted and my food can get cold quickly.
With locking doors, reversible door panels, and more than five shelves between the fridge and the freezer, I can have the best of all these solar power fridge options- I just wish I could fit this beast inside my rig!
With a 1-year warranty and service option from RecPro, I feel supported that I’m covered if anything were to ever go wrong with the device. This fridge also remains frost free, meaning the humidity is under control and consistent defrosting and cleaning won’t really be necessary.
You can learn more and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Most Stylish: BODEGA 12 Volt Car Refrigerator, 27 Quart
- Mobile app with live voltage updates available so you can carefully monitor everything
- 3 color choices so you can find the perfect match
- Compact and easy to move
Technology is ever-changing, and although I sometimes find this daunting, the features and advanced technology of this BODEGA fridge are undeniably impressive. It’s mobile app-enabled, available in three modern and stylish colors, and compact as anything so it fits in my small rig, even when I’ve got several people on board!
As it’s only a 27-quart fridge, it can’t handle the capacity of some of the other coolers in this list, but it’s ideal for smaller rigs that aren’t well-suited to big fridges. This little fridge is packed with features: from -20-20 degrees Celsius cooling, an app control with battery protection, fast cooling, and real-time voltage reporting, meaning I can get the information and assistance I need.
This fridge-freezer combo has a convenient drainage hole as well as a well-lit LED control panel, allowing me to use this fridge with and without the app. Plus, the handles lay flat against the unit so I can get it tightly into a snug space. I also love the interior LED light that allows me to see the contents of the fridge at any time of day – ideal for my midnight munchies!
Along with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, BODEGA also offers a one-month free trial which gives me the option to test and see if the fridge is right for me. This is helpful as sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what I need from a product before giving it a go in my daily routine. This fridge can be plugged into a car outlet, a standard outlet, and even a USB port for maximum versatility- plus the app will monitor all of it so I can stay updated on my phone.
The exterior is pretty cute in my opinion too- it can come in a stylish turquoise, lilac, or a burnt orange color. Plus it’s powerful- on max cool, it can chill my fridge in 15 minutes, so I can unpack groceries and get keep them fresh from the get-go. While it may not be large enough for every group, it certainly leaves an impression!
You can check out all three color choices along with today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best High Capacity: BODEGA 12 Volt Car Refrigerator, Up to 100 Quarts
- 80-100qt capacity (total of 5 sizes available)
- Includes 2 zones that can be used as fridge and freezer or you can double down and have 2 fridges / 2 freezers
- Optional solar panel adapter but needs to be purchased separately
If the other options haven’t seemed like enough storage for you and your family, then it could be worth checking out another pick from Bodega with up to 100 quarts of storage. I would struggle to fit this hefty RV fridge in my travel trailer, but other RVers will be able to make the most of the space with the option to convert this cooler into one big freezer, one larger fridge, or keep it split with a freezer on one side and a cooler on the other.
You can see just how big this cooler is next to the kiddo here:
The temperature is set with an app which is ideal for me as I want the freedom of choosing a specific temperature. I can take the freezer down to -4 F if I need to! It only takes about 20 minutes or so to cool down so by the time I get to the store I’m ready to use the freezer.
But keep in mind that this freezer is big. You can see it in the back of my hatchback here:
I love that this cooler has flexible power options, including solar, as it means I have several ways of powering this bad boy. I can get it going with a wall power adapter, a car/cigarette adapter, and a solar adapter.
The only downside is that the solar adapter is a separate purchase, increasing the overall cost. However, it’s been great for us so far and definitely a good choice for folks with kids that need to bring along a few extras. For solo travelers or couples on shorter trips, one of the smaller options is probably a better choice.
You can read more reviews and check the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Fridge With Compressor: ICECO VL45 Portable Refrigerator with SECOP Compressor
- Several size options
- Adjustable cooling rate
- Durable metal shell
- Good customer service
This ICECO VL45 Portable Refrigerator can be powered by solar and has an impressive cooling range from 0 to 50 degrees, so I can choose the appropriate temperature depending on what I’m storing in my fridge! I like that there’s an energy-efficient MAX and MIN mode so my power will go further, and as it performs well even on a 40-degree tilt, I’m covered for when I don’t have a level area to park my RV.
It’s not the heaviest fridge on this list, but it still weighs nearly 50 pounds which isn’t the most ideal weight for me to move around! I like that this fridge is built to last as it’s built with a metal shell and thickened inner wall so I know it can handle all the bumps and knocks it will likely receive while I’m traveling on the road.
The interior lights make it easy to see what’s inside the fridge at night, and I can arrange the fridge how I desire as there are two removable wire baskets. The compressor is a great power-efficient feature as it kicks in and out as it needs to, helping regulate the temperature and keep everything as cold as I want it to be.
ICECO’s warranty is a breath of fresh air, as the compressor has a whopping 5-year warranty, and all other parts are covered for a year. The only issue with this fridge is the weak door hinge that’s made of plastic and may break with consistent use. But if it does, at least I know who I can ring if I’m within the warranty!
Best Full-Kit Option: ACOPOWER 52 Quarts Solar Freezer Portable Cooler & 3 X 30 Watt Solar Panel Combination Kit
- Variety of sizes available
- Adjustable temperatures
- USA-based company
- Wheels for ease of use
I feel good when I support a US-based company or local business, and this ACOPOWER fridge has many features just as great as the fact they are based in California. This ACOPOWER 52 Quarts Solar Freezer also comes with solar panels so I can have everything I need to get set up right from the start.
The 52-quart capacity is plenty big enough for me to store all the food and drink I need, and I can confidently adjust the temperature and even use the quick cooling mode which gets to work in just 20 minutes. I can recharge this fridge using a wall outlet, car cigarette, or solar panels which is great for when one of my power options isn’t available as I have other sources to fall back on.
Although I travel with my partner often, sometimes I like to go on solo adventures. I, therefore, need to be able to maneuver pieces of kit and equipment by myself. That’s why I love the luggage-style handle and 6″ wheels this fridge comes with as it makes my life a whole lot easier!
I wish the price tag wasn’t quite so high, but I guess it’s easy to see why this is one of the pricier RV solar fridges on the market since it is a full kit, and comes with everything needed to get set up straight away.
You can find reviews and the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Option With Table: GOSUN Chill Solar Cooler + Solar Table 60 & PowerBank
- Constructed from premium water-resistant materials
- Solar table is height-adjustable
- Cooler has wheels for easy maneuvering
- Power bank included
I had to add this quirky GOSUN Chill Solar Cooler and Solar Table to this list as it’s one of the most unique options I’ve found out there! Not only does this kit include a power bank, and a cooler, but it also boasts a solar table, so I can enjoy a cold beverage with a handy solar table next to me keeping everything charged up.
The table height is adjustable from 19″ to 27″ so I can get it to the exact position I need to without a struggle. I also don’t need to add any ice to this fridge to get things cold which I love, as paying such a high price tag, I want this fridge to do the hard work for me!
The cooler is on the smaller side which is great for me as it fits in my rig, and also isn’t too heavy to move around when I need to! The solar table folds down for ultimate convenience and the cooler has sturdy wheels so I don’t have to strain myself when I need to take the cold goods outside for a family picnic.
I like that this little fridge packs such a punch, whilst the DC compressor only draws around 40 watts. I like to keep the peace when I’m RVing, after all, that’s one of the main reasons I jumped into the full-time RVing world! Therefore, I love that this GOSUN cooler runs quietly, thanks to it not being thermoelectric.
FAQs About Solar Powered Fridges And RVs
Still, have questions about what the best RV fridge for solar power is? Before we get to the products, let’s answer some common questions first!
Do I Need An RV Fridge That Runs On Solar Power?
No, you don’t necessarily need a fridge that runs on solar power. However, if you have solar panels set up on your RV, there’s no reason not to upgrade. Having the ability to go completely off-grid can be freeing, and fridges are often something that holds RVers back.
You may have a powerful enough converter that can change your standard fridge’s AC power into lesser DC power, meaning you can run all of your RV off of your batteries. However, this significantly limits your power consumption if you don’t have the ability to recharge your batteries.
That’s why having a fridge that runs on solar power can be valuable, especially if you have a full fridge of food. You’ll want to keep things cool, especially if you are traveling from one destination to the next.
Are Solar Power Fridges Better?
Solar power fridges aren’t necessarily better. But they can suit your lifestyle and RV circumstances better than standard fridges sometimes! This is definitely the case if you boondock frequently and want to get off the grid often.
Solar power fridges are smaller than RV fridges on average, but many of them are portable. Complete with wheels and a handle, you can transport these glorified ice chests anywhere you want! That’s another huge perk to these appliances.
How Much Power Do I Need for My Solar Power Fridge?
It will depend on the fridge that you eventually purchase. Some portable fridges use as little as half an amp per hour; others have a much larger draw, closer to 5 amps or more. It depends on what the fridge and freezer are capable of.
You will need to consider a reliable and high-output battery for running your RV off-grid. Unless you have recently purchased a much more luxurious rig, getting your power system sorted should be a priority. It’s easier than you think, once you get the hang of it!
What Are Some Good Brands Of RV Solar Power Fridges?
There are many brands of RV solar power fridges on the market today. However, some names remain popular and reliable. Some of the good brands are:
There are many more brands, but these are some of the top recommended brands available currently. You may even recognize Dometic and RecPro from our other RV product lists, such as the most efficient air conditioners for your RV!
What Is The Most Energy Efficient Fridge For Solar Power?
The most energy-efficient fridge for solar power depends on what you are looking for and how large of a fridge you need. Keeping an eye out for fridges that cool down quickly and use only a few amps at a time while running is a good idea.
From this list, some of the most energy-efficient solar power fridges include brands like Dometic, ICECO, and RecPro. You’ll want to check out the running amps and how often your fridge is turning on and off- this is a good idea for figuring out efficiency.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need To Run My RV Fridge?
It will depend on the overall wattage of the panels and how many watts your RV fridge needs to both start-up and run consistently. However, the average wattage needed for portable fridges is roughly 200-400, depending.
That means you should consider at least three solar panels in order to maintain power in your fridge for a camping trip. And this is just the fridge alone- you will need more powerful panels and even more of them in order to power the rest of your RV.
But most RV manufacturers can help you out with this. It can be difficult to determine just how many you might need, especially if your needs fluctuate. You can always consider purchasing a generator to help you power your rig, especially some of the best generators for your RV air conditioner!
Purchasing an RV fridge for solar power is a wonderful choice if you love to dry camp or get off the grid. Plus, you can bring most of these portable fridges to your next tailgate or party and use them for years to come, both in and out of your rig!