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Whether you're looking at portable refrigerators for use in an RV, camper or boat or you want something that you can take with you on trips, there are 3 things that you should always check before buying. 1. Brand & Model There are several manufacturers of portable refrigerators, and most of them are not the same names you would recognize from full-size fridges. Don't be put off if you don't recognize the names, but make sure you do some research into them to find out which ones are best suited for your need. Some of the most common brands of portable refrigerators include Engel, Dometic and Norcold. 2. Power There are basically three different types of power sources for portable refrigerators: - Propane - 12 volt - Dual AC/DC power Propane refrigerators are the most portable, since they don't have to be plugged into any type of power source. They do need more regular maintenance however, since propane leaks can be extremely dangerous. You need to ensure that these refrigerators are checked annually. 12v refrigerators run from a standard 12 volt power source like you find in pretty much every car, truck, RV and boat these days. They tend to have weaker compressor motors than propane models, so they aren't as efficient at getting things cold and may not get as cold. They're less expensive to buy in the first place, though. Dual AC/DC power refrigerators will run from either 12v or standard 120/240v power sources. These are best suited for anyone who needs to take the portable refrigerator in a vehicle of some sort, but also needs to be able to run it at home, the cottage, an office, etc. 3. Type of Cooling There are two types of cooling systems in portable refrigerators: - Peltier thermoelectric

- Danfoss Peltier thermoelectic cooling systems are generally found in the less expensive models. They are cheaper, but they can't make as cold a temperature as the Danfoss compressors. If you need to keep something really cold, make sure you choose a model with the Danfoss cooling system. If it's mainly to keep drinks and other snacks cool while on the road, the Peltier cooling system will be fine.

Aaron Smith writes about portable refrigerators and other related topics at

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