Looking for the best truck refrigerator?

Whether planning on going for a long RV camping trip or driving your truck, traveling around with lukewarm beverages isn’t going to be your ideal situation.

In the hot summers, we all want to enjoy a cold refreshing drink but it is difficult to do so when you’re going on a long journey and you don’t have anything to keep your beverages cool.

The solution of ‘cold drinks’ is a very simple one. A 12V truck refrigerator!

Why not just buy a cooler?

Truck Refrigerator - BLACK+DECKER Portable Travel Refrigerator Image

In the previous years, there has been a growth in the manufacturer of rotomolded coolers. Essentially, these kinds of coolers are the same; they have rotomolded lids with rugged bodies – molded together by one plastic.

Coolers are much simpler to use. You only have to fill the cooler with food and snacks, surrounded by ice, and then just close the cooler’s lid. This simple design, coupled with the brawn construction of the cooler makes it almost indestructible.

However, Without the ice, coolers are useless. For a few protracted journeys or weekend getaways, this isn’t such a big problem as ice can be found easily at gas stations and corner stores. But using a cooler for long trips, this might be a problem.

Top picks comparison – Best 12V Truck Refrigerator

The following products are our handpicked selection of the best truck refrigerators. These have sufficient space, are very effective, and are easy to use.

Product Model
Rating
Price
ARB Fridge Freezer

4.5

ENGEL Marine Refrigerator

4.1

Igloo Iceless Cooler Portable

4.1

BLACk+DECKER Portable Travel Cooler

3.5

Why choose a 12V truck refrigerator

Best Truck Refrigerator - 12V PluginThe greatest innovation that has occurred in the convenience for long-distance travelers is 12V refrigerators.
These 12V refrigerators have well-constructed bodies, exceptional insulating properties, and complex electronics and thermostatic regulators to maximize the efficiency of energy and maintain the temperature efficiently.

In fact, most of them are designed to switch off if they sense that they are extracting a lot of power from the power source. Since these are built particularly for overland vehicles, they are quite durable.

Furthermore, a refrigerator provides added convenience. You can fill in the refrigerator with the items you want days before your trip. On the other hand, the cooler should be loaded at the last moment so that the ice’s life can be maximized.

It must be noted that refrigerators are comparatively quite expensive. Not everyone can spend up to $1000 to keep their beverages chilled only.

Types of 12V refrigerator

There are kinds of 12V refrigerators:

Compressor
Absorption
Thermoelectric

Our top picks – 12V Best Truck Refrigerator

Wagan 12V Cooler

Truck Refrigerator - Wagan 12V Cooler Truck Refrigerator

Doubling up as a warmer as well, this 12V cooler is an essential for those who get thirsty or hungry during their trip. This is the ideal product for those who drive frequently and for family road trips. Plus, you get the option of keeping the items warm as well. With a 24 liter capacity, this can hold up to 2-liter water bottles or 27 soda cans.

Review
The Wagan 12V Cooler comes with a heavy-duty handle that allows easy transport. When the hot setting is chosen, then the items stay warm and heat up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, if the cold setting is chosen, then the items will stay cool at up to 36 degrees Fahrenheit below the room temperature. The three switches; hot, cold, and off come with indicator lights so that you know which mode is being used.

How to use:
Just plug the 12V adapter into the DC outlet of your vehicle and then choose hot or cold option from the back panel. It has a 7.5 feet long DC power cord which extends to the back seat of your vehicle so that it is easily accessible.

Technical details
• Capacity: 24 liter
• Power type: AC/DC adapter or 12V outlet
• Size: 11 x 17 x 15 inches
• Weight: 9.8 pounds
Pros

• Heavy-duty handle

• Impressive portability

• Indicator lights

Cons

• The 24-liter capacity might be too limiting for some travelers.

ARB 12V Fridge & Freezer

Truck Refrigerator - ARB Fridge Freezer

Looking for a semi-truck refrigerators? If you want to keep your beverages and food frozen while you are on your adventure, then this ARB fridge is the right option. Available in various sizes, the 50-quart model can hold up to 72 cans of 12-ounce liquid thus making it suitable for pickups, wagons, and SUV’s.

Review:
This cooler comes with a robust Danfoss compressor that provides powerful refrigeration which cools down the food and drink and keeps them cold as well. These refrigerators can reduce the temperature all the way to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. They are designed to keep the items both passively and actively cool even when your car is switched off.

How to use:
The DC cord connects to the DC power outlet of your vehicle, thus providing to this car refrigerator while you drive to your next destination. Meanwhile, the AC cord plugs into the standard electrical socket and provides sufficient power to the fridge.

Technical details
• Capacity: 50-quart
• Power type: 12/24-volt AC/DC power outlet
• Size: 5 x 5 x 5 inches
• Weight: 3 pounds
Pros

• Convenient design

• Powerful refrigeration

• A lot of space

• Internal LED

Cons

• Drain plug might not be too efficient for some

The Engel marine fridge

Truck Refrigerator - Engel Marine Fridge Freezer

is an extremely durable refrigerator by Engel and is capable of keeping the contents fresh or frozen while you travel to another exciting location! With this truck refrigerator, you can freeze food so that it lasts for the duration of your trip or you can set the temperature to keep your drinks chilled and the food fresh. This refrigerator by Engel has numerous uses, and it makes life easier; it can be used at home or while traveling.

Review

The Engel refrigerator comes with the Engel motor compressor. The refrigerator is not only durable but is also highly efficient as it only draws around 40% less power than the traditional compressor does. Like single bottle chillers, this refrigerator draws low current even during start-up and draws only 1 to 2 amps in an hour.
It is solar compatible, has a portable top-opening and works on 12/24 DC and 110V/120V AC power source. The compressor is also 100% CFC-free.

How to use:
The refrigerator comes with DC and AC cords both. You can either plug the cord into the 12V/24V DC power supply of your vehicle, or you can plug it in the standard household 110V/120V AC power outlet.

Technical details
• Capacity: 40-quart
• Power type: 12V AC and DC outlet
• Size: 25 x 15.5 x 18.5 inches
• Weight: 48 pounds
Pros

• Solar compatible

• Portable top-opening

• 100% CFC-free compressor

Cons
    Overall durability might not be up to par for some

Coleman PowerChill Thermoelectric Cooler

Front view of Coleman PowerChill Thermoelectric Cooler with Power Supply-blackIf you want to chill drinks and food on the road, in your room, or at the office without worrying about ice, then this is the product for you. This iceless cooler reduces the temperature of the items inside to 40 degrees below the outside temperature.
It can hold up to 44 cans and can work upright as a small fridge or as a chest with a door that can be opened from both the sides. Moreover, a tray shelf helps to keep all the items organized.

Review:

Apart from the exceptional cooling power, versatility of use, and an adjustable shelf which helps to keep the items organized, this truck refrigerator also comes with molded handles which makes it easy to carry and lift the fridge. The adjustable, patented door opens on the right side, as well as the left side, thus providing added convenience. It also comes with a 1-year warranty.

How to use:
If you want to plug the refrigerator into the standard wall outlet at your home, then you would need a separate adaptor. Alternatively, just plug in the included power cord into the cigarette lighter outlet if you want to use this for your road trip.

Technical details
• Capacity: 40-quart
• Power type: 12V vehicle outlet or wall outlet
• Size: 24 x 17.2 x 16 inches
• Weight: 18.2 pounds
Pros
  •  Molded handles for better portability
  • Adjustable, patented doors for easy access
  • Has a tray shelf
Cons
  • No LED indicators

Igloo Iceless 12V Cooler

Truck Refrigerator - Igloo Iceless 40-Quart Cooler

This 12V cooler by Igloo cools your items without ice thus providing convenience. Since this is a portable electric cooler, it is the ideal option for boats, RV’s, camping in tents, road trips, and truckers. Furthermore, with the 110V AC converter, you can also use this refrigerator in your dorm room or hotel room.


Review:

The cooler is equipped with a convection cooling fan which circulates the cold air, thus cooling the plastic bottles and cans in just a short time. With its exceptional cooling performance, the refrigerator cools the items down to 38 degrees Fahrenheit below the surrounding temperature.
The Igloo Iceless 12V Cooler can be used as a refrigerator or as an ice chest. It also features swing-up handles so that it can be carried easily. Other features also include an adjustable shelf as well as a long-lasting, quiet brushless motor.

How to use:
To use this refrigerator, you only have to plug it into a 12V auto plug adapter.

Technical details
• Capacity: 40-quart
• Power type: 12V adapter or 110V outlet
• Size: 21.9 x 16.8 x 15.2 inches
• Weight: 19.8 pounds
Pros

• Features a convection cooling fan

• Swing-handles for portability

• Adjustable shelf

Cons

• No thermostat

Black+Decker Portable 12V Refrigerator

Truck Refrigerator - BLACK+DECKER Portable Travel Cooler

Interesting enough, the refrigerator from Black+Decker functions as a cooler and warmer both. With a capacity of 2.3 gallons, it is a good choice. It has a thermos-electric system which keeps the food warm or cold. Moreover, the low voltage cut-off makes sure that the cooler doesn’t drain the battery of the vehicle.

Review
The thermoelectric system of this fridge cools the items down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below the surrounding temperature and heats up to around 120 degrees. It comes with a dual cup holder, a feature not present in the rest of the models mentioned on this list.

It also comes with an accessory pouch and ‘zippered’ side storage for added convenience. Moreover, it can be placed on the hatch, vehicle seat, floor, or tailgate to provide easy access while traveling.
How to use:
You just have to plug the refrigerator directly into any 12V power supply.

Technical details
• Capacity: 2.3 gallons
• Power type: 12V power supply
• Size: 17.7 x 13.6 x 10.7 inches
• Weight: 1.9 ounces
Pros

• Accessory pouch

• ‘Zippered’ side for added convenience

• Offers easy access

Cons

• Cup holders are too small for average disposable cups

Are 12V refrigerators worth it?

Truck Refrigerator - BLACK+DECKER Portable Travel Refrigerator Thumbnail

Despite being comparatively expensive than normal coolers, 12V refrigerators are much more efficient and provide a sufficient amount of space too.
Out of the six products mentioned, the ARB is the best truck refrigerator for semi trucks as it is quite efficient when it comes to cooling your items and has sufficient capacity as well. As mentioned above, the 50-quart model can hold up to 72 cans of 12-ounce liquid thus making it suitable for pickups, wagons, and SUV’s.
Whether you’re looking for a car refrigerator or even a semi-truck refrigerator, make sure you go over all its features before finalizing a purchase.