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7 Reasons Why A Camper Fridge Will Make Your Overland Experience Fun

What fun camping accessories can you take on your overland journeys? A hammock? Marshmallows? A camper fridge?

 A fridge might not sound like “fun” – but it can be. We’re going to tell you how.

First, let’s find out more about these fridges. If you use a cooler, there’s a good chance you’re not satisfied with its performance. Read on to find out why a portable fridge is an answer to your prayers.   

How Does a Camper Fridge Work?

These fridges are powered by electricity or propane - some have the option for both. You can run them off 12V DC or 120V AC.

Some portable fridges use a compressor like residential fridges. Others are “absorption refrigerators.” They have a mechanism that makes heat evaporate from the inside, keeping interior temperatures low.  

Fridges Vs. Coolers

Portable fridges allow for more effective temperature control than coolers. They also provide a greater temperature range.

You have to keep an eye on coolers to ensure your food doesn’t spoil. Ice tends to melt quickly and you’re left with a slushy mess and food that’s not safe to eat. A fridge is less high-maintenance and much safer in hot climates.

The obvious advantage of having an RV fridge is to preserve perishable food. But let’s find out why they make your trips more fun.

Why a Fridge Makes Overlanding Fun

1. Enjoy Your Favorite Foods

With a fridge, there’s no need to limit your camping meal plan. Store meat and dairy. Enjoy a BBQ. Have a wide selection of foods to keep things interesting.

You don’t have to keep it simple and only store food. Keep sauces and other condiments cold to enjoy your meals as much as at home.

A few tricks to get the most out of your fridge, keep food longer and save electricity:

  • Pre-chill items before loading the fridge.
  • Place ice packs in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
  • To keep meat for longer, freeze it in a dual fridge-freezer unit (also called “dual-zone” units).
  • Packing the fridge densely keeps the overall temperature colder - empty space heats faster.
  • When you buy drinks, get the ones from the fridge in-store, not off the shelf – this gives your unit less work to do in bringing the temperature down.
  • Power up and pre-chill the fridge at home for a few days before setting off.
  • Some models have remote controls for temperature adjustment and alarms in case they lose power.
  • Limit the time the door is open. Decide what you want before you open it, and close it straight away. (Like any fridge, they have alarms for when the door is left open). Keep your fridge organized so you know where to find things.
  • Keep your vehicle level, especially if you have an absorption refrigerator – otherwise, they lose efficiency. Running on uneven ground can damage them in the long run.

2. Enjoy a Cold Beer

Enjoy a refreshing beer – or any other cold drink. A must for summer overlanding. After a long day on the road or a hike, you’ll be looking forward to the post-activity beverage. With a fridge, you can indulge. Add some ice from your freezer section for the ultimate refreshment.

Some fridge-freezer models give you full temperature control over both compartments – this means you can have two fridge compartments or two freezer compartments, depending on what you need to store. 

3. Less Time Buying Groceries = More Time Having Fun!

You have better things to do on your overland adventures than organize groceries. With a camper fridge, spend less time shopping and more time on fun camping activities.

Capacities vary so there are plenty of options. You can find small units holding 15 liters. Larger fridges hold more than a week’s food for two adults. These models' capacities are 50-60 liters or more. If you want something in-between, 25-liter models are available.  

 4. Family-Friendly Fun

 The luxury of a fridge makes things easier for family overlanding. Why?

  1. Prepare meals in advance – Save precious time by preparing meals before starting your journey and storing them for later. This means more time enjoying the trip, less time planning and prepping meals.
  2. Comfort – less stopping and starting on the road means a more comfortable, relaxed experience. Happy kids equals happy parents.
  3. Ice cream – with a freezer component, treat everyone to ice cream! The perfect use for your solar panels during summer overlanding. 

Some overlanders run fridges entirely off solar power. Others use solar to supplement their main power supply. How much you can rely on solar depends on a number of factors, so you’ll need to do some calculations. How you set it up to run on solar depends on the type of fridge.

5. Ice Packs

Keeping ice packs on hand means less worry about minor injuries. Focus on the fun with peace of mind, knowing you have first aid supplies if needed. 

6. Store Medications

Some medicines need to be kept cold. A reliable fridge makes overlanding an option for people that otherwise couldn’t go. Sure, it may not be suitable for full-time overlanding. But for shorter trips, everyone can get in on the action - if their physician agrees it’s safe.   

7. Travel Further

Stay on the road for longer. Travel to remote destinations without running out of food with no stores for stocking up. 

Driving the Dempster Highway? Visiting the arctic? A fridge/freezer solves the problem. Store what you need for a long journey – neither your food nor the fun will be spoiled.  

To Sum Up

A camper fridge lets you enjoy the same food and drink you would at home. With larger fridges, you need only think about grocery shopping once per week.

A fridge brings flexibility to your overlanding plans and takes the hassle out of using a cooler. No more trips to the gas station to buy ice, hoping it won’t melt overnight.  

Fridge sliders are a great mounting option for extra convenience. No matter what vehicle you have, you need to reach in to access the fridge – unless you have a slider. You can adjust the height of this slider by Eezi Awn. They have options for small and large fridges - even if your unit’s capacity is 60 liters or more, they’ve got you covered.