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12V Fridges

Portable 12V fridges are a must have for any serious tourer - whether it be in a car, caravan, motorhome, 5th wheeler or truck. They give the ability to keep your food and drinks cool no matter where you go.

Designed to run from a cigarette lighter socket in your car or truck, these portable fridges are truly versatile and incredibly simple to use.

Better than an esky! No need for ice or ice-packs, which means less preparation and more space inside the fridge!

Most 12V fridges can operate as either a fridge or freezer. Some have multiple compartments, and some even have the ability to run one area as a fridge and another compartment as a freezer.

12V Technology - Compressors

Most good quality 12 volt fridges use a compressor for the cooling mechanism - using the same principles as a normal household fridge. Engel brand fridges have been developed on a special type of compressor known as a "swing motor" which has just one moving part, and makes it ideal for off-road use.

Camping Fridges

"Camping fridges" is the common name for "Absorption Fridges", "3-Way Fridges" or "Gas Fridges". Many people know these by the famous brand "Chescold" (which is now owned by Dometic).

The 3-way name refers to the fridge's ability to run from any of three power sources:

  • 240V AC mains power - just plug it into a power point
  • 12V DC battery power - plug it into a car's cigarette lighter socket
  • LP Gas (LPG) - runs from a gas bottle with no batteries or other power source required


Chest Fridge Design

The chest design of most portable fridges is a practical evolution from the standard esky, giving good usable space within compact outer dimensions.

3-Way Technology - Absorption

The technology of a 3-way fridge is very different to a compressor fridge. The 3-way fridge uses a heat source (an element in the case of 12V or 240V, and a flame when running on gas) to heat a liquid/gas combination which then travels through pipework to extract heat from the cooling chamber. A compressor type fridge has a motor which runs the compressor. There is a larger comparison of 3-way fridges VS 12v fridges here. The main differences are:

  • 3-way fridges are SILENT. Compressor fridges make a small amount of noise when the compressor is running.
  • 12 volt fridges operate more efficiently than 3-way fridges in high heat. 3-way fridges tend to be able to cool to -30°C below ambient temperature whereas 12V fridges can normally cool up to -50°C below ambient.
  • 12v portable fridges require a battery and sometimes a charging system (e.g. mains power or solar) to keep the fridge running when away from a vehicle. This means you have to carry more gear.

Buy Fridges Online - Research, Compare & Save!

This website gives the ability to compare all the important features of a complete range of portable fridges in Australia. We offer the best deals, with discounted shipping. All transactions are completely secure and most orders ship the same day!


Click on any of the pictures above, or category links at the top of the page to begin. You can compare ENGEL vs WAECO vs CHESCOLD fridges on a range of features like

  • Capacity (litres)
  • Price
  • Technology - compressor, 3-way, thermoelectric
  • Number of compartments
  • Fridge and/or freezer capabilities

Questions / Help / FAQ

At the bottom of each page is a set of links to answer any questions you may have about buying through this website.

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