The avid campers know all the buzz around the words ‘12-volt’. For them, nailing the concept of a 12-volt power supply is the first step to get their perfect portable fridge. But there is always a question looming heavy on the need of having a 12-volt fridge in the first place. And why shouldn’t there be? They are pretty expensive. Still, they are considered almost necessary. Let’s get to all these contradictions.
Why are 12v fridges so expensive?
When it comes to camping, 12-volt fridges are considered the best for keeping your food fresh for days with minimal energy consumption. This can be attributed to many pros that they offer over our regular home fridges:
- They are efficient enough to keep your ice in cubes rather than making it melt after the cooling drops out in the sun.
- The adjustable temperature helps you save a lot of bucks in terms of energy consumption and zero food wastage.
- With proper compartmentalization, they do not leave your food to rot after a day or two in a puddle of dirty milky water at the base as in the regular cooler-boxes.
- Further, the compartments also let you set varied temperatures for various food items stored separately. You can set above zero temperature for items like cheese and milk and below-zero temperatures for frozen snacks and ice-creams.
- The excess cooling ability lets you explore remote or hotter places by storing enough food for the days you stay disconnected from the outside world. This way, you can always enjoy the longer camping periods.
Do I have to get a 12-volt refrigerator?
For camping, having a 12-volt portable fridge is the best alternative against the usual dorm or mini-fridge. The following are the pros of going the 12-volt fridge route:
- The 12-volt fridges are made to run off your car’s battery or solar power. This makes it convenient for you to keep them up and running as long as you want. Contrary to this, the regular fridges are made to run inside our homes powered through the mains. They aren’t specifically designed to run on your car’s battery and thus, end up draining it completely rather quickly.
- The insulation in a regular mini fridge is not taken special care of. They constantly warm-up, turn on, turn off and the cycle continues. This inefficiency makes them draw more power causing more electricity costs. Many of them consume almost the same power as a large-sized home refrigerator. But the 12-volt fridges pay special attention to the insulation that keeps the cooling intact and the compressor works for a lot less time, thereby saving a lot of energy and your car’s battery
How long can a 12-volt battery run a refrigerator?
To find the run-time of your 12-volt battery for your portable refrigerator, simply evaluate the required figures in the following formula:
Size of the battery in amp-hours X 24 hours = Run Time in hours
The average consumption of the fridge
Note: Since car batteries do not work on their full efficiency, their working capacity is generally assumed at around 50%.
Example– Your fridge consumes an average of 1.5 amp every hour, multiplying it by 24 will give you daily consumption, i.e. 24 amp-hours and you are running it off a 150-amp battery (take it as only 75 amp-hours). Putting it in the formula:
75 amp-hours X 24 hours = 50 hours run time
What is the best 12-volt refrigerator?
Many companies are offering high-quality super-efficient 12-volt refrigerators like Dometic, Whynter, et al. To have your perfect camping companion, look for the one with the following features:
- A variable-speed compressor;
- Adjustable temperature controls;
- Cooling capacity;
- Insulation for optimum cooling;
- Compartmentalization to store varied food items set at their preferred temperatures;
- Durable enough to take all the bumps along the road;
- Storage capacity as per your brood size and trip duration; and
- Great customer service to address all the probable problems in the future.
Smad 12V/110V Portable Single Door Mini Fridge With Lock
1.7 cu ft
AstroAI Portable Freezer 12 Volt Refrigerator
58 Quart Car Fridge for RV, Van, Boat, 55 Liter Portable Refrigerator for Car, Travel, Fishing Outdoor, Home Use — 12/24V DC and 100/240V AC, -4℉~68℉
COSTWAY Car Refrigerator
55-Quart Portable Compressor Freezer, -4°F to 50°F, Dual-Zone Electric Car Cooler with 3 Levels, LCD Display, Shockproof Design, RV Travel Fridge for Home, Camping (Gray)
Aspenora 37-Quart Portable Freezer Fridge
12V Car Refrigerator Car Fridge with Compressor, Dual Zone, LCD Display for Truck RV Camping Travel Outdoor Driving, -4℉ ~ 68℉, 12/24V (Black, 37-Quart)
Linsion 54 Quart RV Refrigerator/Freezer
Compact Vehicle Car Fridge Compressor Electric Cooler for Car, Truck, RV, Boat, Outdoor and Home
Use 12/24V DC and 90-250 AC, Cooling to -4oF
Getting the perfect 12-volt fridge for your on-road excursions considerably reduces your expense and inconvenience during the whole experience.