3 Best 3-Way Fridge For Camper Review 2022

3 way fridge for camper
3 way fridge for camper

The fridge is one of the things in your recreational vehicle that enable you to extend your trip. Unlike traditional camping, which only lasts until your food starts to smell bad, camping with an RV allows you to store food in a fridge.

You even have time to replenish your supplies before your fridge is empty, so you can camp out for months and not worry about food. The question is what type of fridge you should have in your RV. While you can always go big and install a standard residential unit, there’s a smaller and less expensive option—the 3-way fridge.

This fridge is only suitable if you’re not traveling full-time and sticking to a tight schedule. A 3-way fridge isn’t too big, but it comes in handy when preserving meat and vegetables for several days.

What is a 3-way fridge?

what is a 3-way fridge

A 3-way fridge is a portable refrigerator that uses three energy sources: AC power from an electrical outlet, DC power from a car or battery, and LP gas from a propane tank. The ability to run on these different energy sources makes a 3-way fridge a versatile option for camping, RV-ing, or living off the grid.

Many RV owners choose a 3-way fridge for their RV due to its many benefits, including.

  • Versatility – Since this fridge runs on three different energy sources, you can use it in various situations and locations where access to electricity may be limited.
  • Convenience – It can be used in RVs, boats, and other outdoor and off-grid settings.
  • Energy efficiency – It operates efficiently using minimal energy, saving you money in the long run.
  • Reliability – It can withstand rough conditions and vibrations, making it more durable than other refrigeration options.
  • Can work in hot and cold climates – It works well in hot and cold temperatures, making it nifty in various environments.
  • Cost-effective – A 3-way fridge may be more cost-effective in the long run than buying a separate fridge and generator.

The Best 3-way fridge brands of 2022

Do you want a stress-free trip where you don’t have to worry about one of your appliances going kaput and giving you a hard time? Then, choose products that have an established reputation for quality.

Below and three of the best 3-way fridges you can choose from. Any of these big boys have made it to the top three RV owners’ picks for a reason. So let’s get to know them.

1. Smad 3-Way 12-V Refrigerator

Smad Home Appliances is one of the world’s leading refrigeration equipment manufacturers. Their 3-way refrigerator is among their bestselling products, attracting various markets, including outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Like any 3-way fridge, this model can be powered by AC electricity, DC electricity, and propane.

In addition, it boasts a compact and lightweight design that makes it easy to move around and transport. A Smad 3-way refrigerator also has an adjustable thermostat that allows you to preserve food and drinks at your desired temperature.

Unlike older 3-way fridges, this one is significantly quieter, thanks to its low-noise design and a compressor you can hardly hear when the refrigerator operates. As a result, you can get up in the middle of the night, go to the kitchen to drink, and completely forget that it’s there.

In terms of sustainability, this fridge is designed to consume less energy, meaning it can run for long periods on a single charge or propane cylinder. It may look small, but this piece of equipment has 1.4 to 3.5 cubic feet of storage space, enough to store at least a week’s worth of food.

The racks are adjustable, too, allowing you to stock as many goods as you need for your journey. Just don’t put too many liter-size sodas to maximize its capacity. As for appearance, you can never go wrong with Smad fridges. They are among the most elegant-looking refrigerators out there.

2. Norcold 323T R/L 323 Small RV Refrigerator

Norcold Small RV Refrigerator

Norcold has been supplying the RV community with specialty refrigerators since 1959. It’s one of the forerunners of innovative outdoor recreation, as observed from its copious product line.

The Norcold 323T R/L, in particular, is the fridge of choice for RV owners because of its rich quality and features. This 3-way refrigerator is compact and lightweight and has an adjustable thermostat like the Smad 3-Way 12-V Refrigerator. But one feature that sets it apart is the automatic energy selection.

You can automatically select the best power source—electric, propane, or 12VDC—and optimize its energy consumption based on the current power source. It also has an automatic voltage selection option, allowing it to switch between 120VAC and 12VDC as needed without any manual adjustments.

Additionally, this fridge has low battery protection and high-temperature shut-off fuses, keeping it safe from potentially irreversible damage. In terms of capacity, it is slightly smaller than Smads but still quite spacious.

And that also makes it easier to install in any RV, not to mention its door can turn up to 180 degrees, so you don’t need to remove it when you’re pushing the fridge through a tight entrance.

3. SMETA 3-Way Fridge Propane Refrigerator

The SMETA 3-way fridge is brought to the world of outdoor recreation by Qingdao Smeta Electric Appliances, a top refrigerator manufacturer in China.

They offer cooling products, including reach-in refrigerators, countertop refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, and air conditioners. But the SMETA 3-way fridge is its best gift to the RV community.

Operating on three energy sources, this fridge offers unmatched flexibility. No wonder it’s the refrigerator of choice for RVs, boats, traditional homes, and off-grid camps. This 3-way fridge is also well-known for its low-energy consumption, making it one of the most energy-efficient options.

We want our RV machines to be as quiet as possible because, unlike a traditional house, an RV’s interior is compact and sealed, which amplifies sound. Thankfully, the SMETA 3-Way Fridge is a quiet machine, thanks to its lack of a compressor. This is also why it doesn’t create any vibration as it operates.

How to choose a 3-way fridge?

how to choose a 3-way fridge

As appealing as those three brands seem, they may not suit your needs. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for when searching for a portable refrigerator for your RV. Here are several factors to consider:

  • Size and Capacity – Consider the fridge’s size and the amount of food and drinks you need to store. Look for its maximum capacity in the ads and compare it with your necessity.
  • Energy Efficiency – Look for a fridge with a high energy efficiency rating because that will save you money on energy costs.
  • Cooling Performance – Consider the fridge’s cooling performance, mainly if you will use it in very hot or cold temperatures. Look for fridges that can maintain a stable temperature in a wide range of temperatures.
  • Durability – Look for a fridge that can withstand rough conditions, vibrations, and other stressors.
  • Brand reputation – Choose a credible and reputable brand. Check for customer reviews and see how long the company has been in the business.
  • Weight and dimension – If you’re planning to move the fridge around often, it’s essential to consider its weight and dimensions. Choose a refrigerator that’s easy to transport and fits in your available space.
  • Price and budget – Consider your budget, and look for a fridge that offers the features you need at an affordable price.

Choosing a fridge that is compliant with the safety regulations of the country or state where you will use it is also essential.


Investing in a high-quality refrigerator pays off. It may seem expensive now, but when you finally see and experience the perks you won’t find in cheaper products, you’ll realize you made the right choice. But it’s not always the most expensive products that perform most efficiently.

Some are just overrated. This is why knowing about all available alternatives is essential so that you can weigh more options. Consulting a professional technician, perhaps from the dealership you purchased your RV, also helps inform your choice. Reviews from independent review sites are also a great source of reliable insights.

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