Whether you’re camping, caravanning, boating, fishing, having a picnic, or taking a long road trip, it’s always better when you bring along your favourite drinks and snacks. A camping fridge not only keeps your drinks and food safe but also enables you to relax without constantly going back to the store to get more ice for your cooler, which makes it one of the most essential items for any camping trip.
About Dometic Camping Fridges
Dometic is a major company with a long history of developing market-leading products for outdoor, home, and professional applications. With approximately 40,000 dealers and repair businesses worldwide, you can find them almost anywhere. They provide dependable products with exceptional designs for all aspects of your vacation, like cooking, cleaning, maintaining a comfortable room temperature and especially preserving food and drinks with their high-quality range of dometic fridges.
If you have access to a power supply and want to be gone away for a lengthy amount of time, they offer a selection of high-performance powered cooling boxes to fulfil all of your camping needs. You can use these travel coolers practically everywhere because they are compatible with almost all onboard or main power supply. Designed to fit most camper trailers’ inbuilt fridge boxes, the dometic fridge is the most practical camping fridge you’ll come across. It has a double-sided opening lid and an effective storage configuration that will fit all sorts of outdoor enthusiasts.
Different Types of Camping Fridges
Depending on where you will be staying, you can pick between three different dometic fridge technologies: thermoelectric, absorption, or compressor. Two-way refrigerators operate on 12-volt or mains power, but three-way coolers can operate on either electricity or gas. So, which one is better compared?
Two Way Compressor Technology
Two-way refrigerators employ the same compressor technology as your standard refrigerator, but they are intended to work on both your vehicle or truck’s 12- or 24-volt battery and mains power. They’re ideal for most uses since they’re intended to work off the electrical system of your automobile without consuming too much current, but can be converted to 240 volts in electrified campgrounds or at home. The compressor fridges require regular battery charging, so they may not be the greatest choice for a month in situ, however they’ll do just fine with a small solar panel arrangement.
Three-way Absorption Technology
Three-way refrigerators can use electric power sources in addition to gas, making them more flexible. They work on LPG as well as 12, 24, or 240 volts and employ gas flow heat exchangers rather than compressors. They are quiet, but they do not function as well as compressor refrigerators and must be kept level in order to operate.
They’re perfect if you’ll be off the grid for an extended length of time, as one LPG cylinder may last for weeks. Gas will also operate more quietly, but the fridge must remain level to adequately chill and requires adequate ventilation. If you’re staying in a remote place for an extended period of time, a single LPG cylinder may keep your fridge cold for weeks — far beyond the capacity of a battery arrangement.
Thermoelectric refrigerators do not cool as well as other models and consume significantly more power. We’ve tested them before and found that none of them could preserve acceptable food temperatures in anything but the mildest circumstances, so they’re only good for keeping pre-chilled drinks cool on the way to weekend activities or on a short trip home from the store.
The Capacity of a Portable Fridge
Larger fridges have more capacity, but require more electricity and take up more room in your RV caravan or another type of vehicle. When selecting a fridge, make sure it will fit inside your car, taking into account the additional height of any mounting hardware or slides. Consider vent clearance and if you’ll have enough area to open the lid. Large fridges may also be hefty so with a whole family and stuff already aboard, a fully loaded fridge might push your car over the gross vehicle mass limit.
Fridge Features to Look For
Look for a portable refrigerator with low current demand, especially if it runs on 12 volts. This is a clear indicator of how long your battery will survive and how long your refrigerator will operate at your campground or when parked.
Five amps is a lot, and one amp is a lot. Remember that the temperature inside a car may quickly rise, so if you’re parked in the sun with the windows up, your fridge will have to work extra hard. When you use your portable camping fridge as a freezer, your current draw will be higher than when it is used as a fridge.
A fridge that shuts down when the battery fails might keep you from becoming stuck, especially if you’re running it off your starting battery. So, in this case, you should search for a model that cuts out at a somewhat high voltage to protect your battery from running flat. Portable refrigerators do not need an energy star rating, and they are primarily built for 12-volt use, thus even though they are small, they can consume as much electricity as a full-sized refrigerator.
Look for a refrigerator with thick walls and insulation, since this will typically imply higher efficiency and less load on your compressor, as well as lower power consumption. Consider the outside casing materials as well – metal is sturdier but transfers heat more easily than plastic, and fibreglass provides the best insulation. Optional thermal coverings give extra insulation as well as protection from bumps, scratches, and dents caused by other items in your vehicle.
Because of their nature, portable camping fridges are subjected to a considerably larger range of ambient temperatures than the fridge in your kitchen, and fluctuations in ambient temperatures may cause the interior temperature of your fridge to fluctuate. An integrated thermometer allows you to easily check the inside temperature of your refrigerator without having to open the lid continuously, and an adjustable thermostat will enable you to modify it to maintain optimal temperatures.
With a thermostat that allows you to set the temperature to -18°C, you may use it as a fridge or a freezer, making it considerably more adaptable. Your fridge must be sturdy enough to survive the effects of use, so look for one with a durable construction, powerful hinges, and thick casings. They’re also made with a variety of casing materials, so think about what’s best for you. Metal is tough and suitable for heavy-duty applications, plastic can flex a little, making it a good choice for touring, and fibreglass is strong and corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for marine applications.
Because your fridge is likely to be thrown around and abused in the back of your car, avoid materials that will showcase dents and scratches. Your portable fridge will also be exposed to more light, and UV radiation from the sun can cause the plastic to become brittle or distorted, which is the biggest problem with having a portable fridge with plastic lids.