There are many van life fridge options for us nomads so let’s get straight into it!
Here are our top 12 best fridges for van life that run on 12V batteries!
1. ICECO VL Series Fridges
The ICECO VL series fridges are some of the best 12V models on the market. This refrigerator is incredibly efficient, using a Danfoss compressor designed to run on very little power.
Pros: The Danfoss compressor allows the fridge to run for longer on a single charge, and it has the added benefit of reducing noise levels.
Cons: Although ICECO is a reliable brand, they are on the pricey side and not always the easiest to clean.
Ranging in sizes from 45 liters to 75 liters with single or dual zone options, you are sure to find the right one for your van life needs.
2. Dometic CFX Series Fridges
The Dometic CFX series fridges are another popular option for van lifers, and it is easy to see why. These fridges offer a fantastic balance of features and price, and they are some of the most efficient 12V models on the market.
Like the ICECO VL series, the Dometic CFX fridges use a low-power compressor.
Pro: The CFX50 will use just 1.3Ah of power per hour, making it one of the most efficient options on this list.
Cons: The Dometic CFX Series can be slightly noisy when running and may be challenging to set up. Be sure to read the instructions!
3. Engel MT Series Fridges
These fridges use a thermoelectric cooling system, which is much more efficient than traditional compressor-based fridges.
They come with many features that make them perfect for van life, including an internal LED light, a sturdy handle for easy transport, and an adjustable thermostat.
Pro: The Engel MT Series is also one of the most energy-efficient fridges on the market, helping you to save money on your power bill.
Con: This fridge may be larger and more expensive than other options.
4. BougeRV 12V Fridges
BougeRV offers a wide range of 12V fridges, perfect for any size van or RV. Their fridges come in various sizes and specifications, so you can find the perfect one for your needs.
Pro: The BougeRV fridge is highly energy efficient and uses Peltier cooling technology. This means that it doesn’t require a compressor as most fridges do, making it much more efficient in terms of power usage and weight, and space.
Con: Although, because it doesn’t have a compressor, it’s not as cold as a standard fridge.
5. SnoMaster Series Fridges
The SnoMaster series is designed to withstand the rigors of van life, with a robust construction that can handle the bumps and vibrations of the road.
Pro: This style of the fridge has a large storage capacity, separated compartments, and a lip opening.
Con: This fridge can be quite large and expensive, so make sure it fits your needs before you buy it!
The SnoMaster fridge is a top choice for larger families or groups because it can accommodate more food.
6. ICECO JP Series Fridges
With a compact design that fits perfectly in a van, the ICECO JP-Series fridge can hold up to 48 cans of soda.
Pro: Its powerful compressor can keep food and drinks cold for up to 7 days.
Con: They are larger and heavier than other options, making it harder to move around.
If you need to power it while you’re on the road, there’s an adapter so you can plug it into your car cigarette lighter port.
7. ARB Zero 12V Fridges
ARB Zero fridges have stainless steel exteriors, which are corrosion-resistant and easy to clean.
Pro: This fridge is small enough to fit in any size van, yet it still has plenty of space for all your food and drinks.
Con: It’s a little too tall, decreasing the storage space for wider items.
Sizes range from 38 quarts to 101 quarts which are both single zone and dual zone options. This fridge is built to be durable and last a long time.
8. ARB Weatherproof 12V Fridge
The ARB Weatherproof fridge has a powerful cooling system that can keep your food and drinks cold even in the hottest weather.
Pro: This fridge has a compact design that makes it easy to find a spot for it in even the smallest of vans.
Con: However, the ARB Elements Weatherproof 12V Fridge is not cheap. It costs a few hundred dollars more than other comparable fridges on the market.
9. Alpicool CF 12V Fridges
The Alpicool CF is one of the best fridges for van life currently being sold today. It is 12V, so it can be powered by a standard car battery, and it has a wide temperature range, making it ideal for use in both hot and cold climates.
Pro: The fridge features a built-in icebox, making it perfect for storing food and beverages.
Con: These fridges can be quite difficult to store when not in use due to their size.
10. ENGEL MR040F 40-Qt Portable Fridge/Freezer
The Engel MR040F can hold up to 40 quarts of food and drink, making it perfect for long road trips.
Pro: It has a compact design that makes it easy to store in your van, and it comes with a built-in carrying handle for convenience.
Con: The latches are a little fragile, and with a weight of nearly 40 pounds, it can be a bit cumbersome to move around, especially if you’re already dealing with a lot of other gear.
The Engel MR040F also features an LED light for nighttime use, as well as a low battery indicator so you never have to worry about running out of power.
11. Whynter FM-Series Portable Fridge
It is compact and lightweight, yet can hold up to 99 cans of food or drink. The fridge also features a see-through window so you can easily check on your supplies.
Pro: The FM-Series has a built-in freezer compartment. Best of all, the fridge can be plugged into any standard household outlet, making it easy to keep your food cold no matter where you are.
Con: The refrigerator should only be used while the van is parked and plugged into an AC outlet, so if you’re planning on doing any off-grid camping, this fridge won’t be much help.
12. Truck Fridge 41A Portable Refrigerator Freezer
This fridge is small enough to fit in a van or car, but it has enough space to store all your food and drinks.
Pro: It has an AC adapter, making it easy to use at home or in a hotel room. The fridge comes with two compartments, so you can keep your food and drinks separate.
Con: it is not as energy-efficient as some of the other options, so it may not be ideal for those who are looking to minimize their environmental impact.