What Should You Consider Before Buying a 12v Fridge?

What should you consider before buying a 12v fridge

12v fridges’ advantages over normal fridges are small size, small power consumption, portability, and more… while can store food and drink relatively good for a long time. They vary in many aspects, so how can you choose the 12v fridges that are ideal for your needs? What should you consider before buying a 12v fridge?

The uses of 12v fridges

12V fridges are useful in many cases where a normal fridge isn’t suitable. You can use it for camping, for putting in an Airbnb room, for using on your cars or vans, …

For people who travel a lot or those who have limited space in their homes, a 12V fridge is a solution for their needs.

Standard features of 12v refrigerators

Commonly, the 12v portable fridges have the following standard features:

  • Can operate with an inclination of up to 30º
  • Inside LED lighting
  • Drain plug
  • Low voltage for battery protection
  • Attached removable dividers and organizing baskets
  • Dairy compartment provided separately

With the advanced technology models, you can find the special features like digital control panel, Wi-Fi apps, USB, remote readings, or other added accessories.

You may also like: Best Portable Fridges and Coolers for Camping

What should you consider before buying a 12v fridge?

Size and weight

Just like normal fridges, 12V fridges come in many sizes as well as weight.

Firstly, measure how much space you have in the places you want to put the fridge; for example, spaces in your cars, vans, or garages.

Also, try to decide how much food and drink you want to store inside the fridges. It can depend on how far or how long you travel.

And finally, if portability is in your mind, or you need to move the fridges often (like bringing the fridge to the camp), try to balance between weight and size.


This is also based on the amount and the types of food and drink you want to store inside. There are 2 main types for this purpose: normal 12V fridges or 12V fridges with freezer spaces.

Preferably, you should buy 12V fridges with freezer space. If you don’t need the freezer space, you can just set both spaces to the same temperature.

Also, 12V fridges that come with removable shelves are ideal since you can swap, rearrange, or remove them completely to better manage the space inside the fridges.

Power and recharging

Try to check how much power the 12V fridge will consume so that you can prepare enough power to run and recharge the fridges when needed. Also, try to find 12V fridges with power-saving features or just consume less power.

If you want to use your car battery as the power source for the fridges, look for 12V fridges that have some sort of battery safety features, like cutting off the power to prevent the battery from dying when the voltage goes wild.

Further reading:  How to Freeze Mango? Let’s Explore 3 Simple Ways

Controls and temperature

Different food and drink need different ideal temperatures for preserving the best conditions, so it’s best to get a fridge that can control, set, and adjust the temperatures.

Also, check and see how low the fridge can reach. A wide range of temperatures means it can store more types of food and drinks.

Off-road use

This is important when you travel a lot and often go through or camp at rough terrain. Try to check the manufacturer’s recommendation for off-road use, like the fridge’s ability to handle steep hills.

In general, make sure that the fridge will stay in its place when carried on your cars or vans. Look for fridges with many tie-down points.

Note: even though the fridge you pick can handle rough terrains, you should take extra measures to lock the fridge in place, such as cushioning the fridge with foam at the base (or even at the sides) to prevent shock.

Some recommended 12V fridges

Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart

Dimensions:         16.5 x 23.5 x 20.5 inches

Weight:                 45 pounds

Capacity:              1.41 Cubic Feet


  • Fast -freeze mode
  • ETL Certification
  • Top door hinges
  • ED temperature display
  • Power low indicator
  • Functions even when tilted 30°
  • Stainless steel side handles

Alpicool C40 Portable Refrigerator

Dimensions:         22.6 x 14.4 x 16.5 inches

Capacity:              42 Quart (40 Liters)

Inverter type:       Yes


  • Adjustable MAX and ECO cooling mode
  • ECO is energy saving mode
  • 3 levels of car battery protection
  • Two-liter bottles come in standing up
  • Handles on the sides for easy transport
  • Top opening
  • Digital temperature display

It is perfect for short road trips and camping.

NORCOLD Portable 45 L

Dimensions:         25.5 x 15.7 x 16.9 inches

Capacity:              45 Liters

Finish type:          Stainless steel


  • Electronic control panel
  • CFC-Free insulation foam
  • Refrigerant and stainless-steel interior
  • DC cord with cigarette lighter plug
  • heavy-duty removable handles
  • 2 years of warranty


Dimensions:                   31.2 x 19.4 x 18.8 inches

Weight:                           65.7 pounds

Capacity:                        60L

Noise:                             45 dB

Type:                              Dual zone


  • With cover
  • Sturdy platinum paint shell
  • Shockproof design
  • SECOP compressor
  • CFC free and fast cooling
  • Global insurance
  • 5 year-warranty for compressor
  • Energy- saving

Dometic CFX75DZW

Dimensions:         34.92 x 19.49 x 18.58 inches

Capacity:              133 Can

Weight:                 68.34 pounds

Capacity:              2.4 Cubic Feet


  • USB Port – 5V, 500mA
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Drain plug
  • LED Interior Light
  • RCM certificate
  • Separated cooling and freezing sections

Dometic CF110

Dimensions:         31.1 x 19.9 x 21.9 inches

Weight:                 69.9 pounds

Capacity:              112 quarts (106 liters)


  • Portable compressor fridge
  • Power 12V, 24V, and 110 – 240V
  • Power saving, use AC or DC
  • 3 level of battery protection
  • Temperature from 0 to 50 degrees F (-18 to +10 degree C)
  • USB connection

It is a perfect choice for road trips, trucks, camper or vans.

Bottom line

Overall, you should consider the size, compartment, power, control, and off-road use before buying a 12V fridge for camping or fitting in a small spaces.


Jenny Brown
Hi, I’m Jenny. On my blog, you will find helpful advice about using and organizing the kitchen appliances. You will also receive the recommendations on choosing a compact refrigerator or freezer that best fits your demands. Besides, frozen meals from the freezer bring many incredible benefits because they ensure freshness, deliciousness, and full nutrients. Many helpful tips from experts on frozen meals will also be found.