I'm looking for a decent fridge with a 12V-outlet to use in the car for car camping. When I say fridge, I mean something that can keep products cool at 4°C/39°F, regardless of outside temperatures, so that it can be used to transport, for instance, meat.

  • 2
    How big? How do you plan to power it? Cooling demands a lot of energy and if you don't have your engine running at all times you'll need to setup a double-battery system at minimum. Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 4:41
  • 1
    I heard most fridges can also be powered by 220V outlets and gas, so I would use one of those power sources in case the engine is not running.
    – Ben
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


What you want is a so-called 3-way fridge, generally called that in North America at least, because they can generally be powered by 12V, 110V or propane gas. Presumably similar items exist in areas with 220V or other electricity standards, and perhaps other burnable gases like butane...

They cool very well, and have a thermostat and will keep things quite cool and fresh. Do put it in the shade if it is hot/sunny, however.

Camper Trailer Tech Tips provides a very detailed overview of how they actually work, in all cases however, the electricity or gas is used to heat up one end of a sealed ammonia absorption cycle cooling system. Note: they do need to be kept basically level during operation.

A local RV depot is likely your best bet for purchasing something like this, although google hits in Canada include Home Hardware (a smaller retail DIY chain) and some other stores catering to off-grid and remote living. The model listed at Home Hardware is from Unique appliances, who seem to have a few models to choose from.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.