Hunting for the Best RV Refrigerators 2018

best-rv-refrigerator

Are you on a hunt for the best RV refrigerator to replace your old one? Do you want to invest in a refrigerator for RVs to update the contents of your vehicle? If you answered yes to both questions, then you will surely find this short review article and buying guide helpful.

From here, you will know exactly how to make the process of selecting a high-quality RV refrigerator much easier. This article will also introduce you to five of the most reliable RV refrigerators in the market today. However, before you start your shopping and selection process, it is important to know how this fridge works.

It should be noted that refrigerators for recreational vehicles are different from the ones used in residential homes. One difference is the compressor. The fridge in your home is equipped with a compressor while the ones specifically designed for RVs do not have it.

RV refrigerators also often do not have the use moving parts to function. It is also usually called absorption RV refrigerator, which makes use of heat and a mixture of water, hydrogen gas, and ammonia to operate. Such chemicals react then go through different tubes.

The processes involved in evaporating and condensing the chemicals are the reasons behind the fridge’s cooling ability. So now that you have a basic idea of how RV refrigerators work, here is a short review of five of the ideal products in this category.

Comparison of RV Refrigerators

Product

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Midea WHD-113FB1 - Best Bang for the Buck

A

$

Avanti RA7316PST - Best of the Best

  A+

$

Whynter FM-45G - Editor's Choice

  A+

$

  A+

$$

A

$

Best RV Refrigerator Reviews 2018

1. Midea WHD-113FB1 Double Door Refrigerator and Freezer - Best Bang for the Buck

The compact and reversible Midea WHD-113FB1 Double Door Refrigerator and Freezer is one of those products that perfectly fit the needs of most RV owners. I think one reason behind it is that it is compact, being at 3.1 cu. ft. There are two separate sections for the freezer and refrigerator, making it convenient to use.

You can adjust the temperature of the refrigerator at 32-50 degrees Fahrenheit while the freezer can be adjusted from -11.2-5 degrees Fahrenheit. I also like the presence of Energy Star rating in this product. With this rating, I know that it is effective in keeping drinks and foods cool while still ensuring that its electrical operating costs are kept to the minimum.

With its compact size, it does not only work for RVs but also in other limited spaces, like bars, apartments, and offices. Regardless of the design and layout of the space where you will put the refrigerator, you have an assurance that it will fit.

It is because it’s designed in a way that it can reverse its door swing, comfortably fitting the layout of your space. It also features a nice interior lighting, as well as shelving system, thereby keeping all the inner contents organized. It comes with adjustable legs. Also, the reversible door integrated into this unit can be opened from either left or right.

There is a downside, though, which can be linked to its can rack. It is because the can rack is designed in a way that you may have a difficult time getting the cans out, especially if you store too many.

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    Compact, making it fit RVs and other limited spaces
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    Offers easy to adjust temperatures for both the refrigerator and freezer
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    Boasts of an energy star rating – making it energy-efficient

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    Reversible door, allowing you to make it fit on your space’s layout

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    Adjustable legs

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    Can rack is not that user-friendly

Still, this compact refrigerator from Midea is a good choice with its impressive cooling and chilling ability and its quiet operation.

2. Avanti RA7316PST 2-Door Refrigerator - Best of the Best

The Avanti RA7316PST 2-door refrigerator is a small and compact fridge, which is around 7.4 cu. ft. It works well for apartments as well as recreational vehicles and campers. Despite the small and compact size, I can still say that this 2-door fridge does not disappoint in terms of features and capabilities.

It has plenty of nice touches, including the sealed glass shelves that you can easily adjust to various levels. The two doors used in the fridge and freezer boast of a platinum finish. It also features easy to adjust and remove door bins. This unit also features crisper drawers that are helpful for storing fresh fruits and veggies.

Another nice thing about this 2-door refrigerator is that it has a nicely positioned interior lighting. It comes with a bright and powerful incandescent bulb placed in the right position, allowing it to illuminate everything that’s inside your refrigerator while also promoting ease of use and operation.

It also features a large bottle storage that you can find behind the door. The fact that the doors installed in the unit are reversible also makes it easier and more flexible for you to install it upon purchase. It also provides a full-range manual temperature control, which further guarantees ease of operation.

What I don’t find so impressive in this unit is the size of the freezer because I think it is too small for regular use.

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    Small and compact fridge, fitting most RVs, campers, apartments, and motorhomes
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    Features sealed glass shelves that you can easily adjust to various levels
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    Interior lighting is bright and well-positioned

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    Large bottle storage provided

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    Reversible doors make the unit easy to install

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    Freezer is quite small

Despite that, this 2-door refrigerator has plenty of nice and fully functioning features so it is a highly recommended product for RV owners. It operates quietly and is energy-efficient, too, which makes it worthy of its price.

3. Whynter FM-45G 45-quart Portable Refrigerator and Freezer - Editor's Choice

If you are looking for a reliable yet portable fridge and freezer for your RV, then I will also recommend the Whynter Fm-45G 45-quart Portable Refrigerator and Freezer. I think that the portability of this unit is one of the major reasons why it works well for recreational vehicles, fishing trips, campsites, and boats.

It is also a flexible unit as it lets you use either the 110-volt power often used in standard households or any other DC power source that is around 12 volts. The fridge and freezer also boast of a freezing and cooling capability of around -8 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I specifically like the outer casing of this unit as it is made to be tough and solid.

With that, I know that it is durable and can serve its purpose for a long time. It boasts of its large 45-quart capacity, too. There are power-low and LED temperature indicators, too, designed to keep you on track of the performance and functions of the unit. It also boasts of a fast-freeze function.

With such feature, you can expect the freezer to lower its temperature down to -8 degrees Fahrenheit in the fastest possible time. Aside from that, expect it to promote a comfortable portability with the side handles integrated into the product. Other advantages I noticed include its low power consumption and quiet operation.

One noticeable problem, though, is its heavier weight than the other refrigerators. Also, the power cord included in the product is quite short.

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    Portable, making it possible for you to bring it on your trips
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    Excellent freezing and cooling capability
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    Durable and long-lasting, thanks to its tough and solid outer casing

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    Easy to track functions and performance

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    Equipped with a fast-freeze function

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    Heavier when compared to other products

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    Power cord included is shorter than expected

Overall, I can say that this refrigerator from Whynter is a good buy because of its impressive performance, quiet operation, and innovative and portable design.

4. Dometic DM2652RB Americana 2-way Double Door RV Refrigerators

I also noticed that the Dometic DM2652RB Americana 2 Way RV Refrigerator is suitable for RV owners. The solid steel frame construction used in the unit is one of its strongest points, in my opinion, as it speaks of its sturdiness and durability.

The electronic controls added to this product are also user-friendly. Such controls make the unit not only very innovative but also ensure that you will never have a difficult time using it on the road. The good thing about these electronic controls is that they are conveniently positioned at eye level, making them easier to use.

Another reason to love this unit is its 3-position freezer shelf, giving you freedom and flexibility to organize the contents. The adjustable shelving system used in this RV refrigerator is also a good thing as it lets you make adjustments to the shelves based on your preference.

If you are worried about the contents of your fridge, especially if you know that you will be on a bumpy ride, then note that it is something that you should not worry about. It is because the doors used in the refrigerator have secure locks, so there is no risk that the contents will be disorganized or thrown out in case of bumpy and uneven roads.

I also like the fact that it can control the cooling unit automatically based on the ambient temperature surrounding it. 

One downside is that it does not have a clear instruction on how to hinge the door. I was hoping for an easier selection feature for the right and left hinges.

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    Highly durable, thanks to its solid steel frame
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    User-friendly electronic controls positioned at a convenient eye level
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    Features a 3-position freezer shelf and easy to adjust shelving system

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    Can keep the contents safe even when dealing with bumpy roads

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    Automatic control of the cooling unit

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    Lacks instructions on how to hinge the door

Overall, Dometic RV refrigerators are a wise buy not only because of its durable and solid steel frame but also because of its improved electronic controls, ingenious and innovative design, impressive cooling ability, and nice and useful features.

5. SMAD AC/DC/LPG Compact Propane Gas RV Fridge

You can also choose this single door SMAD AC/DC/LG Compact Propane Gas RV Small Fridge. I like the flexibility of this fridge considering the fact that you can operate it using propane gas or electric. If you use electric, then rest assured that it is compatible with DC 12V and AC 110V.

I am also fond of the straightforward operation process of this unit. There are no complex processes involved when using it as it is simple and compact, making it really helpful for RV owners who are always on the go. It is equipped with an ignition as well as a safety valve at the bottom front, too.

The tall container storage is spacious, allowing you to put several foods in there. The fact that the shelving system integrated into the fridge is removable and adjustable makes them easy to use, too.

It features an attractive design, user-friendly controls, and fully functional features, too. The white interior is nice to look at, as well as the two balconies and adjustable shelves.

However, one downside that I noticed in the fridge is that it is not equipped with a freezer so it is not suitable for anyone who needs one unit combining both the fridge and the freezer.

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    Flexible since it is a 3 way RV refrigerator – You can use propane gas, DC 12V, and AC 110V as its source of power
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    Straightforward operation – no complex processes and steps involved
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    Simple and compact design

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    Ignition and safety valve found at the bottom
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    User-friendly controls and fully functional features

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    Comes with removable and adjustable shelves

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    Not equipped with a freezer

If you only need a refrigerator, though, then this product is already a useful addition to your RV considering its affordable price, simplicity, compactness, and its numerous user-friendly controls and valuable and functional features.

RV Refrigerator Buyer's Guide

the 5 best rv refrigerators

If you want to make sure that you are investing in the best RV fridge, then your buying decision should be based on the following:

Size

One deciding factor for those who wish to buy a good RV refrigerator is the size. Check the size of the fridge and determine if it specifically fits the available space in your RV. Measure such space accurately, so you can figure out what model and size work well on it.

Also, find out if it fits through the front door of your vehicle. It is mainly because some RV owners have already mistakenly bought a unit only to be unpleasantly surprised that it does not actually fit the front door.

With that in mind, you have to check thoroughly the accurate measurement of your RVs front door. Check the size of the fridge, itself, and the space available inside. It is also necessary to consider all the turns that you have to maneuver through after you got the fridge inside your vehicle.

Power source

It is also advisable to check the power source it requires. You can find refrigerators for recreational vehicles that are driven by propane. Such are ideal choices, especially if you do not want to add stress to your vehicle’s electrical wirings.

One problem with propane-operated RV refrigerators is that they tend to stop working in case you tilt them at a more than 5-degree angle. You can go for an electrical refrigerator, instead, which works well with an air conditioning unit’s current.

The good news is the majority of campers or RV-friendly mini-fridges are known for having low energy consumption, allowing them to hold a star rating. Such also indicates that you can safely plug it into the source, which is also used by other energy consumers.

Your RVs layout

The present layout of your recreational vehicle also has a major impact on the refrigerator that you should choose. Find out if the space and layout of your RV provide more than enough room for the fridge you are planning to buy.

If your RV is large, then the space inside may have plenty of room for a minimum of one apartment-sized fridge within. However, this also means doing a few carpentry modifications. It is important to ensure that all parts and sides of the fridge also receive proper ventilation.

In case you have a hard time finding a fridge, which perfectly fits the existing space and layout, then you have to figure out a way on how to make it fit before buying. Also, choose a quiet motor or fridge, especially if you plan on putting it close to your sleeping area.

Options

Familiarize yourself with the different types of RV refrigerators, so you will know your exact options. Basically, there are four common types of fridge designed for RVs. There is what we call as the 3-way refrigerator, which you can expect to operate using any LP, DC, or AC supply. It is also a popular choice for RV owners.

Then there is the 2-way fridge, which is mainly designed to run using LP gas or AC power. You can also find AC/DC refrigerators. If you choose this type, then expect it to operate either with a DC or AC power based on what is presently available. Lastly, there is the propane or gas refrigerator, which uses LP gas as its source of power.

Capacity

Capacity is also known for being a huge factor when it comes to choosing the best rated RV refrigerators. In case you are just planning to replace an old fridge, then measure the cut-out dimensions to help you identify the specific model that is suitable for the space that you currently have.

If it is a new unit, then choose a size based on the space it will occupy. Also, take note that just like the refrigerators used in homes, different models of refrigerators also have some slight differences in capacity even if they fit a similar space.

With that, it is really a must for you to compare your different options so you’ll know the perfect capacity for your needs.

Price

It should be noted that a lot of RV refrigerators are pricey. In fact, you can find new models starting at prices of $1,100 then reaching more than $3,000 if you are planning to choose a larger unit.

In case you want to save instead of paying for retail prices, then it would be best to study your options and do a comparison of their prices. Asking your RV dealer for any closeout refrigerator models and refurbished ones can also help you save more.

Features

Check all the built-in features in your chosen fridge, too. Your best choice is that which has most of the features of its household counterparts, including an anti-freezing capability, adjustable temperature, and a separate freezer.

Another of the most important features to check is the number of hinges built into the door that you can adjust. Such adjustable hinges are crucial if you want your chosen unit to adapt to the available space in your RV easily.

Once you have picked a good fridge based on the above-mentioned factors, it is essential to learn how you can make the most out of it. One way to ensure that you are using the fridge efficiently and economically is to turn it on the night before you pack. Do this prior to your next trip.

Doing this tip can give your fridge enough time to cool off based on its optimum temperature even if there are no foods in it yet. Remember that RV refrigerators often require more time to cool down – at least six in most cases.

So it would be best to prepare for it by turning it on even if you are still packing down. Avoid overloading your refrigerator, too. There should be enough air that can conveniently pass through each shelf as well as the foods surrounding it to cool it down.

Conclusion

Finding the best RV refrigerator is possible if you are also fully aware of your unique and specific requirements. Make sure that your chosen fridge is lightweight and easy to operate regardless of the condition you are in. It should also be able to work suitably with different power sources.

In addition, it should perform excellently well. With that, you have an assurance that your chosen refrigerator is capable of delivering you what you are hoping it can provide.

Learn more about how to choose the best RV grills and best electric heaters for RV 2018 with buyer's guide and in-depth reviews. By the way, have a look at our best RV air conditioners, best RV washer dryer to make living in an RV easier and more comfortable!

Hunting for the Best RV Refrigerators 2018
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