6 Best Propane Refrigerators

Need a portable fridge for the road? Gas-powered chillers offer the fuel efficiency and portability that you want for taking on the move, or simply for off-grid living. Find out everything you need to know with our guide to the best propane refrigerators.

best propane refrigerator

If you live much of your life in your RV, on the road, or off-grid, investing in a propane refrigerator should be top of your list of portable appliances. Whether you’re camping, tailgating, or simply want to limit your electricity usage, they’re the only way to keep your food and drink cool over time.

Our side-by-side comparisons will help you choose what’s right for your needs. And we’ll tell you everything there is to know about how they work so that when it arrives at your door, you’ll be raring to go. Let’s get into it.

SMETA 3.5 Cu. Ft

SMETA Propane Refrigerator 3 5 Cu Ft White

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SMETA Propane Refrigerator is ideal for office, dorm, or garage as it does not produce any sound. If you are looking for the best propane refrigerator that comes with a freezer, this SMETA model is highly recommended. 3.5 Cu. Ft model has a working freezer space of 0.4 cubic feet.

The single-door design, as well as convenient size, allows you to place anywhere you want. Besides, SMETA has high-tech materials and eco-friendly at the same time. Having an efficient space arrangement, SMETA enables you to store all your favorite foods without any hassle.

It weighs 76 lb. SMETA propane refrigerator has large storage shelves which are essential to keep fruits and vegetables.

Pros:

  • Noiseless refrigerator
  • Eco-friendly with high tech material
  • Includes freezer and slide out shelves

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a regulator and hose
  • A bit costly

Our Verdict: This model offered by SMETA is ideal if you are looking for a small propane fridge. Plenty of space and the featuring freezer makes it versatile.

SMETA 12V/110V/Gas LPG
  • Propane electric absorption refrigerator with freezer. Approximate gas consumption per day: 0.6 lb
  • 3-WAY Powered: Propane(LPG)/ AC110v/DC12v, ideal for dorms, campers, RVs, garages
  • Product dimensions (W*D*H): 20.6*23.2*32.2inch, 3.0 cu ft refrigerator and 0.4 cu ft freezer

SMETA 3-Way Fridge

SMETA 3 Way Fridge

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Three-way absorption fridges are very common and least to say ideal for RVs. This model offered by SMETA has an elegant black look with a portable size of 2.1 cubic feet. It does not have any freezer, making it less efficient for using inside a dorm or garage.

SMETA always offers noise cancellation technology, and this model is no different. The reversible doors with three plastic shelves will ensure storing your drinks and frozen food. It has an advanced cooling system and is ideal for places with fewer electric supplies.

It is a freestanding propane fridge that has a total of 2.1 cubic feet of fresh food capacity. The whole item weighs only 50 pounds, hence, easy to carry anywhere.

Pros:

  • Advanced cooling system
  • Noise cancellation
  • Easy to carry anywhere
  • Stylish look

Cons:

  • Inefficient on 12V DC power

Our Verdict: If you have a life on RV trucks or always having summer camping around the tracks, we will highly recommend this 3-way fridge propane refrigerator. But won’t recommend it for van life.

Smad 3-Way 12v Fridge

Smad 3 Way Refrigerator 12v Fridge

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Smad is a reputed manufacturing company, and when it comes to refrigerators, we ensure you get the best propane refrigeratorin the market. This model from Smad is ideal for camping, RV, dorms, etc. It has an advanced noise-free cooling system. Hence, you will get a great experience inside your small apartment.

The manual temperature control system is a considerable addition to the Smad propane refrigerator. It is easy to operate and maintain. There is no freezer in this model which may come as a drawback while choosing your best propane refrigerator.

If you are looking for a compact size refrigerator and something affordable, this model from Smad is a perfect choice.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • The elegant black color with a compact size
  • Advanced cooling system
  • Noise-free operation
  • Manual temperature control

Cons: 

  • No freezer included

Our Verdict: We highly recommend this model if you live in a small or studio apartment. The low cost and easy maintenance create value for the household.

Sale
Smad 3-Way 12v Fridge
  • Easy-to-use mechanical control, equipped with GAS/Electric thermostat
  • LPG 110V and 12V 3 way working, no noise absorption cooling system
  • Removable shelves allow tall container storage, with adjustable foot for uneven surface placement....

VBENLEM Absorption Fridge

VBENLEM 1 4 cu ft fridge 2

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A propane fridge is expensive most of the time but when it comes to VBNLEM Absorption Fridge, you get the best deal. This model is relatively small, with a space of only 1.8 cubic feet. The shiny black color, advanced absorption quality, and stunning design make it thebest propane refrigerator in the saturated market.

VBENLEM doesn’t have a freezer inside it. Though with such low cost it provides all the latest techs of a propane fridge. Like other advanced fridges, VBENLEM is also eco-friendly and has a noise cancellation feature. It also has multiple power options.

As VBENLEM is small in size and has less weight, you can easily carry it anywhere. The lockable door feature is quite attractive.

Pros:

  • Quality fridge with low price
  • Noise-free
  • Lockable and reversible door
  • Easy to carry

Cons:

  • No freezer

Our Verdict: If you are looking for something great at a low price, then VBENLEM is the perfect fit for you. We would also suggest it to you if you roam around on RVs or fond of camping.

VBENLEM Absorption Fridge
  • ❄【AC/DC NO NOISE FRIDGE】 Environmental friendly refrigerator, totally enclosed design. With...
  • ❄【TINY WHILE SUPERIOR】This free standing fridge is of tiny structure. Can be used for both AC...
  • ❄【CONSIDERATE DETAILS】- 37~53℉ (3~12℃) adjustable temperature with electronic formula...

UNIQUE White 8 CU/FT

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Unique has improved its size with the inception of this model. The freezer is more expensive than previous models. It now has a freezer size of 1.7 cubic feet. Previous ones had freezers the height of 1.1 cubic feet. Now with this Unique propane fridge, you can make yourself comfortable for the weekends and drinks.

All Unique 8 versions come with LPG and AC voltage power systems. The fridge has such advanced technology that we cannot but say this is the best propane refrigeratorin the market. Battery-operated interior lights, flame indicator, thermostat, etc. make it worth the money.

One thing you have to remember, this is a large refrigerator and is ideal for households only. It weighs 172 lbs. with a fridge size of 6.3 cubic feet. Unique Propane Fridge will ensure food preservation with its advanced cooling system.

Pros:

  • Large freezer
  • Battery operated ignition
  • Safety shut off feature

Cons:

  • Too much space for a single person

Our verdict: If you have a stable family with 4-5 members, we would highly recommend this propane fridge. It’s worth every penny.

UNIQUE 8 CU/FT Propane Fridge with Freezer

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Unique is quite popular in North America. The new eight cubic feet model has met all the previous demands of the customers. The elegant black design with a sturdy body makes it look attractive. As the new model is quite taller, it enables us to access food and drinks quickly.

The most awaited feature is the large freezer which has been modified to 1.7 cubic feet. The reversible doors, along with adjustable glass shelves, make Unique perfect for storing food. You will have dual power mode keeping propane as the primary power source.

This model of Unique has all the high-tech material that ensures an advanced cooling experience. Other features like a flame indicator, thermostat, safety shut-off, etc. make it more lucrative.

Pros:

  • Includes flame indicator
  • Adjustable glass shelves
  • Dual power mode
  • Large freezer

Cons:

  •  A bit costly than other similar products in the market

Our verdict: This model is highly recommended if you are looking for a moderate storage capacity fridge. If you have a small family of 2/3 members, Unique 8 CU/FT Propane Fridge is the perfect fit for you.


How do propane refrigerators work?

A propane refrigerator uses chemical reactions to keep your fridge cool. You will need to have a propane tank, which then feeds a flame to the refrigerator. There is a series of tubes and pipes that carry water, ammonia, and hydrogen gas. 

The flame from the propane then heats a chamber that has a mixture of hydrogen, water, and ammonia. Once these are brought to a boil, the ammonia rises and condenses when it reaches the next chamber. The ammonia will then flow to the evaporator, where it combines with hydrogen gas. This is when the chemical reaction between the two begins to take shape. 

When hydrogen and ammonia combine, heat is absorbed. This is the process that cools the fridge. When the heat is absorbed into the mixture, the ammonia turns to gas once more. Then the hydrogen and the ammonia, in their gas state, mix with water to become a solution again. This reaction will release the hydrogen gas into the evaporator once more. This process will be on repeat, and this is how the fridge is cooled. 

Propane refrigerator advantages

As with all things, they have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the benefits. Firstly you can rely on them. Propane refrigerators will run, whether or not you have power. This means that you will not be affected when the power is cut in your neighborhood. You don’t need to rely on electricity to have your fridge work. Also, they are an alternative power source. 

Secondly, you can save on money used for electricity. This is especially true if your local power company charges are high. This advantage, however, is highly dependent on the power company. However, they are highly efficient when it comes to the power they use. They may be pricey to buy initially, but they are less costly to run. So, in the end, they balance each other out. 

The third advantage of using propane is that it is a more environmentally friendly power alternative. This is because it has a low carbon content, and also it is very efficient. Also, propane is colorless, and safe even when released into the air. Using propane helps in the fight against climate change. It is also non-toxic, making it excellent for home use, giving you peace of mind. In a nutshell, propane is reliable, safe, and efficient. Also, propane fridges are convenient in that they are portable. 

Some of the disadvantages include the fact that you will need to have a propane tank installed professionally. This is so that you have no leaks or disasters looming around your home. So whilst it is marked as being generally safe, it also comes with risks. 

Features to look out for

Shelves

Check on how many shelves the fridge has, as this will tell you how much space you have in total. This way, you know how much you can store in the refrigerator and if it works for your household. Shelf size also includes thinking about height and what you can place on them. It helps to have adjustable shelves so that you can also adjust the height. You also want to have shelves that are durable and easy to clean. 

Temperatures 

Find out what the temperature range on the fridge is. An adjustable thermostat will come in handy for you to set the temperatures you need the refrigerator to at. A refrigerator with separate temperature controls means having different set temperatures for the freezer and the fridge.  

Power usage

It’s essential to know how much power the fridge will use. This will help you track the fridge’s efficiency and know how long the propane tank will last. 

Weight

The weight of the fridge is essential to consider when you are moving the fridge from one space to the other. But once you have the workforce for it, it shouldn’t be such a big deal. 

Reversible doors?

Having reversible doors on a fridge is an excellent advantage if you put the refrigerator in a confined space. With reversible doors on a refrigerator, you can open the fridge in either direction. 

How much does it cost to run a propane refrigerator?

Economies are ever-changing, and prices will vary depending on the propane industry in your country. Let’s say a gallon of propane will cost you about  $1.859; then it means that it should cost you about 60cents a day to run. However, if other factors may influence the fridge to work overtime, such as a rise in outside temperatures, you may double this running cost. 

How long does a propane refrigerator last?

The efficiency of propane refrigerators is talked about quite often. When measuring the efficiency of a propane refrigerator, you are comparing how long the fridge can run on a single tank. For this article, we look at a standard 20-pound tank. Whilst the amount of time may vary depending on the fridge and its manufacturer, all things being equal, a 20-pound tank should last around 11 days.

After this time, you will need to refill the tank. This is amongst the disadvantages of using propane. The more modern fridges are made with technology that helps them be more efficient.

FAQ

Do propane refrigerators need to be vented?

Yes, propane refrigerators need to have vents. You need to have enough space behind the fridge and above it as well, so that heat can circulate freely. Heat build-up can affect the performance of the refrigerator. If the fridge is in a large room, it may not need to be ventilated. 

Do propane refrigerators emit carbon monoxide?

Yes, they emit carbon monoxide. However, it is in small amounts. Even though the amounts seem small, it is still safer to install a carbon monoxide alarm. Venting also helps in controlling the emissions produced by propane tanks.