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What is the best camping refrigerator?

When planning on heading out for long camping trip and you want to make sure your food stays in a safe temperature range then a camping refrigerator is the way to go for sure. It keeps food nice and cold without having to refill the ice constantly especially if you are heading deep into nature and away from convenience stores and gas stations where getting ice is not an option. So for longer camping trips, a refrigerator is the best at making sure the food you bring stays safe without ending up floating in a cold puddle.

The Dometic CFX28 is the best camping refrigerator. They are tough, reliable and have dual compartments, a freezer section for ice and a fridge section for food with each having separate controls and easy to read temperature displays. They also come in different sizes and price.

The CFX28 is electric powered meaning it has to be plugged in and have a continual power source. It runs off of 0.75 Ah/h. You can power it by either plugging it into your carport with the included adaptors to power it or even bring a operate power source dedicated to it, The CFX28 does come with power-saving settings though so even if you plug it into your car it will not leave you stranded.

There are settings for the energy that can be adjusted by the user. The fridge has built-in memory locks that make sure it maintains the ideal preset temperature, so it only turns on when the inside rises above that. It also has a power sensor so it can sense when the source of its power starts to run low and will stop pulling power from it. This may mean the food might go bad but at least there will be enough power in the car to go get more.

In terms of mobility, it can be moved and taken with little impact on cooling. The vents for cooling do need to have a two-inch perimeter to work well. So place it in a relatively open area in the car or your campsite when setting up.

It does not need to be level, like other camping fridges, to work properly. So, if you have to put it at some sort of an incline, there will be no major issues. The CFX series comes in various sizes and weights. All of which are pretty heavy, the 28 being the lightest at close to 20 lbs so taking it on hikes or moving it around a lot is not something anyone wants to do.

This is more a set it once when you arrive and don’t move it again until you are ready to leave. Better yet, this appliance may be best served staying in the car. The CFX28 is built to be durable and to be outdoors but considering it will be holding all your food and is heavy on its own, not to mention how much it will be after you pack it, the better option is to keep it in place.

Three types of camping fridge cooling systems

The Compressor Fridge

There are three types of camping fridge cooling systems. The one the CFX series uses is a compressor system. This is the same system used for your fridge at home which is very reliable and consistent. It does need a consistent power source to maintain temperature, which has been mentioned but it is the best of the three options available. The other two types are absorption and thermoelectric.

The Absorption fridges

Absorption fridges at first glance appear to be the better choice because they can run off a few different power sources such as electric, like the compressor fridge, or even gas. However, these fridges require a lot more power to operate. There is a good chance if you plug this fridge into your car there will be a tow truck involved. Fridges with this type of cooling system don’t have the same fail safes the compressor fridges have.

You can run it off gas but then you will need to bring plenty of it to keep the fridge running. Be sure to keep it well ventilated as well if you will be running it off gas. Also, in terms of size and weight, they run big and heavy. Definitely not something you will want to bring along if you have to unload and load it yourself.

The biggest drawback to this system is that it will only keep the inside about thirty degrees cooler than the outside and will most likely be running for a while to maintain that This doesn’t do well when it is really hot outside because the food, even though will be cooler than just being left out, will still be in a dangerous temperature range.

Thermoelectric coolers

Thermoelectric coolers are great for one-day or shorter trips. They aren’t very energy efficient and only run off electric, as the name implies. This is the kind of cooler you would use if you want to bring something to a family outing nearby or if you are visiting friends. It will not keep anything frozen or even keep it very cold, but it will help food go short distances. It does, however, have dual usage. It can also keep things warm but in the same way degree to which you can say it keeps things cold, so does it keep them warm. At best this kind of cooling system is meant to help bring home leftovers or store drinks. In terms of food storage and safety, this would not be a good recommendation. Of the three options, this would definite be at the bottom of the list if you are planning to head out for a long trip out to the wilderness.

Drawbacks of a camping fridge

Camping fridges are great to have for long trips into the wild. They save a lot of trouble when it comes to making sure your food lasts while out in the woods. They are more reliable than coolers when it comes to keeping food at the right temperature for storage. Some of the features are pretty cool too like having them work as a fridge and freezer. There is also the space they save by not having to bring ice along and the fact the food stays dry as well after the ice melts. But there are some issues that can come with a camping fridge you should keep in mind.

Camping fridges can be cool but they will cost you a good amount of money. The CFX28, for instance, goes for close to $750 on Amazon. While some say it is worth the price, for others it may be a bit out of their price range. Especially, if you can but a decent sized cooler for a fraction of the cost and pay for a lifetime supply of ice with the remainder.

Also, there will be the occasional upkeep like when one of the parts need to inevitably needs to be replaced, which is the case for all appliances that are used regularly. Although with this brand that will be less of an issue. They are made to be used for a while and can last years before any real maintenance is needed, as long as it is taken care of properly.

Another drawback is the inevitable clean-up of the fridge. Even if you are super careful and everything is contained there are always accidents that can happen. Cleaning the inside and out can be a little more involved than just rinsing it down with a hose. Since there are intricate parts like the fans and other electrical parts you will have to clean the cooler by hand to avoid damaging anything important.

While the camping fridge is energy efficient, it still requires energy. This means it needs a constant source of power to do its job. Any of the cooling systems you choose you will still need to invest in either an extra battery source or plug the cooler into the car. If the plug stops working or you run into another technical issue, then you just have a really heavy and expensive cooler.

The CFX28 camping fridges are tough, reliable and come in various sizes and models to fit the needs of any trip. There is even a dual compartment cooler for allowing a freezer section as well as a fridge section. The various sizes can fit way more than coolers as none of the space is taken up by ice so you get a true size to storage comparison.

You have a cooler to allow for enough space for all the ice you need to pack along with the food you need to keep cool. A great feature of the Dometic CFX series is the control you have over the temperature. The CFX28 Fridge/Freezer allows for each compartment to be controlled separately.

The simple button layout and easy to set function make it ideal for controlling the temperature of your food without having to hustle with complicated knobs and dials that leave the exact setting ambiguous. The temperature display tells you exactly what you are setting the fridge to so there is no doubting the safety of the food being placed inside.

The fridge uses compressor technology to keep it cool so the cooling is more controlled and consistent over other means by which the inside of the cooler would be cooled like absorption or thermoelectric.

Having a great camping fridge is a good investment for those who are looking to head out for an extended period or traveling on a long road trip. It can even function as a fridge for tiny homes, where a conventional fridge would be too big to fit in.

The Dometic brand is a well know and proven brand for their camping fridges. With the variety of sizes and models they have; a camper would be hard pressed to find one that doesn't fit their needs.

The CFX series is great as each compartment can operate separately and do the job well. They are made tough, can take a hit and stand up to prolonged usage as long as they have a reliable power source. It is recommended to plug it in at home and place your cold items in it before you take it traveling. This will help cool the interior of the CFX faster before travel. This way from the time it enters the car it is already going to be at the correct temperature and will be more energy efficient while on the road.

When going camping, the idea is to rough it. Get back to nature and away from the comforts of home for a while. But sometimes there are some things it is better to bring along. Deciding your approach to your camping trip will help you determine which items to bring along.

Will this be more of a return to nature where you live off the land, a glamping trip where you bring the comforts of home with you or something in between. If you have decided to go the more comfortable route, then a camping fridge is a great item to bring along.

So, there you have it. The Dometic CFX28 Fridge/Freezer is the best of both worlds, camping and a little comfort from home. You can read more or purchase it at Amazon by clicking here.

If you don't want to sleep on the ground check this article out. The Amazing Pop Up Bed Tent.

Do yourself a favor, take a kid camping because it will change your life.

All the best,

Alex Anderson.


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