Camper Refrigerators: Gas & Electric! All You Need To Know

Most refrigerators commonly used daily to cool or preserve your food use compressors to produce cooling. This includes the use of moving parts that provide excellent conditions for preservation.

However, technology is still developing better freezers with unique functioning. Camper refrigerators are classic fridges that use high technology to produce cooling conditions using moving parts.

Campers or RV refrigerators use water, hydrogen gas, and ammonia that provide cold temperatures for keeping all types of food fresh. These freezers operate at silent modes as they use chemical reactions to

Camper Refrigerator in Eriba Touring Troll 530 caravan.
Camper Refrigerator in Eriba Touring Troll 530 caravan.

How Do Camper Refrigerators Work?

How this kind of freezer works is quite simple. As pointed earlier, the camper refrigerator uses water, ammonia, and hydrogen gas to produce cold inside the fridge. Now, for these contents to work, they are catalyzed by a source of heat.

The absorption or camper fridge contains several tubes that help distribute chemical reactions. When heat is applied, hydrogen gas, water, and ammonia react to evaporation. During evaporation, the condensation process also occurs, which works on cooling the food inside the fridge.

What is the Source of Energy for Camper Refrigerators to Run?

For camper fridges to work, they need a source of energy that provides heat. The source of heat can be either propane or electricity. Uses of these energy sources vary from the type and size of the RV fridge. There are also those fridges designed to operate on both electricity and propane.

Working mode switch: Electricity, Leisure battery and gas / propane.
Working mode switch: Electricity, Leisure battery, and gas/propane.

The two-way use of energy refrigerators can be used remotely when there is no source of electricity. Electricity application in this ideal is used to heat a heating element that produces hotness, while for propane, there is the production of a heating flame, which keeps the camper fridge on the run.

What Amount of Propane is Needed to Run the Camper Refrigerator?

The amount of propane to keep your absorption fridge running is affected by many factors. These factors include how often you will use the refrigerator, how long it will keep running, the type, and its size. But basically, 1.5 lbs can be an average amount of propane RV refrigerators expected to use in a day.

Which is the Best Camper Refrigerator

There are several camper refrigerators in the market today, making you undecided on which one to purchase. However, it is hard to identify the best but consider the following factors while looking for an ideal freezer for camping:

  • The amount of space you need in your fridge
  • The amount of space the fridge will occupy
  • The type of camping in which you will use the fridge, or DC power function
Small 5 liter fridge and lightning in the camper refrigerator
Small 5-liter fridge and lightning in the camper refrigerator

How long do camping refrigerators last

The lifespan of a camper refrigerator depends on several factors. But, on average, camper refrigerators can run for about fifteen to twenty years. Here are the factors that can affect the lifespan of your RV refrigerator.

If you buy a second-hand refrigerator, expect a shorter lifespan. Brand-new refrigerators often last longer.

The kind of care and maintenance you will give to your refrigerator will determine how long you will use it. These units have less maintenance, but they might not serve you for long if you fail to maintain them.

Camper Refrigerator Sizes

RV refrigerators come in different sizes to suit different needs and purposes. However, most household refrigerators measure between eighteen to twenty-one cubic feet, and an ordinary Camper refrigerator is between four to twelve cubic centimeters.

Types of Camper Refrigerators

There are three major types of the camper refrigerators

2-way refrigerator

This fridge allows the user to run it using a generator or shore power.

3-way refrigerator

This fridge uses ac power, lap gas, or dc power from the house batteries.

Hybrid camper fridge

This is a super modern and versatile fridge. It is a hybrid between a fridge run by a compressor and an absorption refrigerator. Combining these features ensures that the user experiences the best of both worlds.

Camper refrigerator has movable shelves and shelves on the door.
The camper refrigerator has movable shelves and shelves on the door.

Usage and maintenance tips for an RV refrigerator

Camper refrigerators are significant investments that require care while handling them. One of the most common and major questions is if you can run your refrigerator while driving, so we made a separate article about it.

Here are the usage and maintenance tips you need to know.

Turn it on earlier.

Camper refrigerators require a minimum of six hours to cool down completely. If you plan to use it, remember to turn it on the night before the usage day. This will give it ample time for complete cooling, ensuring good food preservation during your camping.

Begin loading it with cold things.

While loading your camper refrigerator, it is advisable to start with cold things first to help cool down quickly.

Do not overload it.

Refrigerators are not supposed to be overloaded, and an RV refrigerator is no exception. While loading it, it is essential to leave some space to allow for a free flow of cold air. Cold air is vital, and therefore it is essential to avoid overpacking it.

Install a fan in the refrigerator.

While camping, you need to have your food stored in the recommended cold temperatures for longer sustainability, especially when camping during hot weather. For this reason, install a fan to keep the appliance cool.

Keep the refrigerator’s doors shut.

If you want to keep your freezer cold, ensure you keep the doors shut. Keeping opening the door make it hard for the freezer to remain cold.

Inspect the freezer to check for seals.

Dirt and loose seals let air escape. Therefore ensure that you regularly inspect your freezers to replace and clean the seals as required.

Take time to melt the freezer.

If you are using the RV refrigerator, take time to thaw them because such refrigerators are not frost-free.

Do not let your refrigerator sit for too long.

Fridges and freezers often get damaged daily when left for too long without use. So, make sure you run it as often as possible.

Check for obstacles.

Regularly inspect the back and front vents to see if they have any obstructions like debris.

Regularly switch the refrigerator settings based on whether.

It is essential to change the freezer settings to fit the weather; for example, super hot weather will require a cooler setting.


Camper refrigerators can be the best options as freezing tools today, replacing compressor fridges. The most amazing thing about the Absorption fridges is that they can be designed to operate under a two-way power source, either by propane or electricity.

They operate under simple terms of chemical reactions. Indeed, they can be the best option to replace other forms of fridges.