What Is The Best Way To Power A Portable Camping Fridge? 

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Jay Elliott

Chief Camping Officer

Having a portable camping fridge with you while camping can transform your camping experience. A Camping fridge increases the variety of foods you can safely take with you, and also gives you the ability to cool your drinks on those hot championships.

However, a portable camping fridge will require power to continue operating off-grid. They don’t require a constant source of power, as they have an inbuilt thermostat that will just switch the fridge motor on and off as is required to maintain the set temperature.

There are four main ways to power a portable camping fridge and each of those is discussed in turn throughout this article.

Inbuilt Rechargeable Battery

Some of the modern portable camping fridges include an inbuilt battery, often a lithium battery, that can power your fridge for multiple days in the right conditions. This inbuilt battery can also be used to charge smartphones via USB, and can also be recharged by connecting a solar panel directly to the fridge. if you have no need for much other camping equipment, then these camping fridges with inbuilt batteries may be a really good idea for you.

Portable Power Supply

Portable power supplies come in many types, shapes, and sizes. Portable power stations and battery boxes are some of the more popular forms of portable power supply that people use to power a portable camping fridge when off-grid.

Portable power stations and battery boxes operate in a very similar way. There is a battery that stores a certain amount of electricity, and the battery is in a casing that has certain power outputs, which you can then connect to your device to. 

Typically, you would have this portable power supply fully charged when you leave home, and then keep charging it while you are away, using a solar panel to top the battery voltage level up each day.

A lithium power station for camping is at default recommendation for the best way to power a portable camping fridge.

Vehicle Dual Battery System

Many people add a second battery under the bonnet of the vehicle, which then charges as the vehicle drives. With the right wiring, and 12-volt power outputs, this can provide you with a mobile source of 12-volt power anytime and anywhere you need it.

If your car, or vehicle, is a very big part of your day-to-day life, and your work revolves around your vehicle, a dual battery system can be a great way to power your portable camping fridge, but for most people, we recommend a portable power station if they won’t need it all the time.

Portable Generator

A portable generator is our least recommended way to power your portable camping fridge. A generator could absolutely provide the amount of power you need, however, generators are not allowed in some camping situations, and they make a lot of noise which can make you unpopular in a camping environment.

On top of that, a generator is only providing power while the generator is running. A better option is to use some form of battery, which can provide a constant source of power without needing an engine to run to charge it up.

However, you may wish to consider taking a portable generator, to top up the voltage of a portable power station, if you think you are at risk of not being out of power your camping fridge for the entirety of your planned trip.

Overall Recommendation

Our default recommendation for most people is that a portable power station, or battery box, is the best all-around way to power a portable camping fridge.

If you hardly do any camping at all and don’t have much other camping gear, then a rechargeable camping fridge could be a good fit for you, and if you do a lot of camping and work and live out of your vehicle, then a dual battery system might be good in your situation. 

But overall in our experience, most people get the most benefit from a portable power station, given its versatility, and ability to support multiple other devices as well.