How Do Camping Fridges Work? What is the Best Size Camping Fridge?

How do I keep my food cool and fresh when camping? Well, I have my cooling box, however, it’s not enough. So, I end up switching to a camping fridge.

To keep my drinks and food cold or even frozen, I bring my portable camping fridge. I usually connect this powered mobile system to the 12V electrical system of my car.

One of the best things about owning it is that I do not have to get stressed in replenishing the ice over and over again.

As an active camper, buying my first camping fridge is among my essential investments. I have no question about how useful it is, especially during summer camping when I have to keep my essentials cold.

How Does A Camping Fridge Work?

The best way I can explain how a camping fridge work is by describing how an aerosol can work. I remembered that when I spray a can of deodorant, I feel cold. In that case, the liquid inside that can is stored under massive pressure.

Since the liquid is composed of mostly propane and is a propellant, so it comes with a boiling point of 5 degrees centigrade. Due to extreme pressure within the can, the propellant inside it will remain in the liquid.

Meanwhile, spraying from an aerosol, some liquid and gas can be seen and escaping into the surrounding. The gas escapes due to its contact with the heat outside. This principle is applied to the way a camping fridge works.

Whether it is a camping fridge or a median home fridge, they all work using the aerosol principle.

If there’s one difference, it would be a scenario where the gases do not fully evaporate in the air. Instead, these gases will only circulate within a complex maze of coils located behind the refrigerator.

Important Parts of A Camping Fridge

Below are the key parts of the camping fridge that you must know:

  • Expansion Valve: The expansion valve refers to the fridge’s pin-hole-sized constriction. The purpose of it is to eliminate the pressure that comes with the refrigerant liquid and then allow it to expand. In other words, it helps in allowing the propellant change from the liquid to gas form.
  • Condenser: This part of the camping fridge is responsible for condensing the gas into a liquid form by the process of cooling. It collects all the heat within the fridge and expels it outside in the air.
  • Compressor: The compressor is another part of the fridge that is responsible for increasing both the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant vapor at high levels that it can condense. This happens by rejecting the heat through the condenser.

What is the Best Size Camping Fridge?

Before, I thought a large fridge is a better choice since it calls for a greater capacity. However, I realized that it also means a higher current draw and taking up more space in my car.

To ensure that I end up with the right camping fridge size, I look for options.

  • 25L – 27 cans: This size is perfect for keeping the lunch cold. It can also be used for keeping the medicines refrigerated.
  • 35L – 47 cans: For camping that will last for a week or more, this size is a smart choice, especially if going solo.
  • 40L – 60 cans: If looking for the standard size or most common, a 40L camping fridge is a nice idea. It is good for 2-3 people for week-long camping.
  • 50L – 72 cans: The 50-L fridge is another fridge that can accommodate the needs of two people for a whole week. It is also a good choice for a family camping for a week.
  • 65L – 106 cans: For a family of five, the 65L fridge is a good size. It offers plenty of room for keeping drinks on ice. However, it will take up space in the vehicle, and the weight is also to be considered.
  • 80L – 120 cans: For week-long camping with a big group, this size offers plenty of space. However, weight and size are factors that require serious consideration.

Is Camping Fridge Really Necessary?

It’s a normal scene that camping can be extended over weekends or take a little longer than expected.

Whether it is for several days or a week, it’s a smart idea to purchase a camping fridge. That way, foods will not spoil while the drinks will remain refreshingly cool.

Is A 12V Camping Fridge A Good Choice

The market will offer a number of good camping fridge options. As an active camper that always brings a portable fridge, I find the 12V system as a great choice for camping. It is among the portable models that can be connected with the car battery.

Apart from camping gear and equipment, campers also take effort preparing for their food and drinks, especially if the activity will take one week or more. Good thing, camping fridge is very helpful for keeping these essentials.

If you have 12V solar panels, you can also connect the camping fridge to it.

Final Thoughts

Even we are away from home. We can still enjoy the food we love through a camping fridge. It works the same way as other normal household fridges, which means that there’s no need to learn complicated knowledge it uses it. So, I will not leave my home without it.