The Best Propane Refrigerator for Going Off-Grid


Last Updated - January 6, 2022

Looking for a refrigerator or freezer that can go off-grid? Forget ineffective battery-powered appliances and opt for a powerful propane refrigerator instead. Whether you're vacationing in a tiny home or road-tripping cross-country in your RV, off-grid refrigeration and freezer will keep your food nice and cold without needing electricity. Plus, it can provide a safe and reliable place to store your food during power outages. It is an amazing thing to have!

In this guide to propane the best propane-powered fridges, we're highlighting our picks for the best propane refrigerators and offering helpful tips to know before you shop.

What are propane refrigerators?

As the name suggests, propane refrigerators are powered by a propane tank instead of electricity. They're an ideal food storage solution for RVs, campers, and remote areas with insufficient electricity. During power outages, travel, and long periods without electricity, a propane fridge or freezer will effectively keep your food nice and cold.

Propane refrigerators and propane freezers are a popular choice for people looking to live off-grid in a tiny house or cabin somewhere remote. They're more reliable and offer a longer run time than solar-powered or battery-powered alternatives.

For the overall efficiency of the ability to keep your food cool, air flow is important and protects it from the sun or extreme heat.

How does an off-grid propane refrigerator work?

A propane refrigerator uses a cooling process called absorption refrigeration, where self-contained tubes or canisters containing coolants like water, liquid ammonia, and hydrogen gas undergo a chemical reaction that pulls heat from inside the fridge. When you heat the solution to a boil, the pressure inside the tube increases, and ammonia gas rises. Under the heat and pressure produced by the propane, this constant chemical reaction keeps the fridge nice and cold without needing electricity.

What to look for in a propane fridge

As with any kitchen appliance, propane refrigerators vary widely in cost, quality, and design. While some larger fridges are great for long-term use in an off-grid cabin, other smaller options are better suited for recreational vehicles. As a rule of thumb, it's best to stick to reputable brands with experience making off-grid appliances.

Here are a few things you'll want to consider while shopping for your next off-grid appliance:

  • Exterior dimensions— First and foremost, you'll want to measure where you plan to put your fridge to ensure it will fit in your RV kitchen. It's far easier to measure now than to go through the hassle of returning a product later. Be sure to factor in a little clearance space around the top and sides.
  • Freezer— Are you looking for an option with both a fridge and a freezer? Just a fridge? Or just a deep freezer? Propane fridges come in a variety of styles, so you'll need to consider what type of off-grid appliance is best suited for your needs.
  • Price— Setting a strict budget can help narrow down your search and keep you on track while shopping. While lower-priced products may save you money upfront, they likely won't have the same quality, efficiency, and silent operation as higher-end products.
  • Dual power source— Many propane fridges offer an electric power option for when you run out of gas. Dual-powered fridges and freezers are an excellent choice in areas with frequent power outages and unreliable electricity.
  • Adjustable shelves— Any good fridge or freezer comes equipped with a few reconfigurable shelves that allow you to customize your set-up to better fit your needs.
  • Reversible door— Additionally, your appliance should have a reversible door with a nice, tight seal.
  • Silent operation— If you're putting your fridge in a small space (such as an RV or camper), you'll want to ensure it operates silently, so as not to disturb your sleep. Customer reviews are an excellent way to determine the noise level of a product.
  • Appearance— Are you looking for something in classic white, sleek black, or perhaps stainless steel? With so many products on the market, it's easy to find one that pairs well with your other appliances.
  • Customer reviews— Not sure if a product is worth the money? Check out the customer reviews to hear first-hand about the quality, noise level, and overall product performance.

The Best Propane Refrigerators

Now that you know what to look for in an off-grid appliance, let's take a look at some of the best propane fridges and freezers on the market today. Don't forget to double-check your measurements before making a purchase!

Unique Dual-Power Propane Fridge and Freezer

Looking for an off-grid propane refrigerator and freezer combo that's efficient, reliable, and easy to operate? Do you need to store large quantities of food or game meat? Your search ends with this Dual-Power Propane Fridge and Freezer from Unique!

The large-capacity propane fridge is ergonomically designed with removable and adjustable glass shelves that can reconfigure to your liking. 3.5 cubic feet of freezer capacity offers plenty of space for ice cream, bagged ice, and frozen food. A battery-powered light, front-mounted temperature controls, and reversible doors make easy operation for first-time propane fridge users. In addition to the primary propane gas tank, there's a 110-Volt backup for increased versatility.

Overall Dimensions— 69.3 in x 27.2 in x 30.7 in

Capacity— 14 cu. ft.

Freezer— Yes

Dual-Power— Yes

Unique Classic Retro Off-Grid Propane Refrigerator

Going off-grid doesn't require sacrificing one bit of style, thanks to this Unique Classic Retro Off-Grid Propane Refrigerator. The 50s-inspired design boasts a sleek white exterior with mid-century modern design elements and chrome-finished metal accents. Its roomy interior includes four fully removable glass shelves, an adjustable thermostat, and a handy wire crisper to maximize your storage and organization options. When the propane gas tank runs out, the dual-power fridge-freezer combo has a 110-Volt backup that can plug into any electrical outlet. Additional features include reversible doors, battery-operated ignition, and interior light.

Overall Dimensions— 69.3 in x 27.2 in x 30.7 in

Capacity— 14 cu. ft.

Freezer— Yes

Dual-Power— Yes

Unique Dual-Power Propane Refrigerator with Top Freezer

If you live somewhere with extreme weather and spotty electricity, it's worth investing in a dual-powered propane refrigerator. While this Dual-Power Propane Refrigerator Freezer from Unique can be plugged into a 110-Volt outlet, it can also operate entirely off-grid using propane gas. Its large fridge and freezer capacity offers more than enough space to hold all of your food and beverages. Adjustable glass shelves and a large crisper drawer help keep contents neatly organized. Front-mounted controls, a flame indicator, and electronic battery ignition make for safe, easy, and reliable operation.

Overall Dimensions— 28.25 in x 64.5 in x 23.5 in

Capacity— 9.7 cu. ft.

Freezer— Yes

Dual-Power— Yes

Out of 7

SMETA Large-Capacity Propane Deep Freezer

SMETA's Large-Capacity Propane Deep Freezer is ideal for living off-grid. The roomy deep freezer can store everything from meat to ice cream to bagged ice. Its powerful absorption refrigeration operates silently and reliably without any noisy compressors or fans. A lockable door, thermostatic temperature control, rotary on-off switch, flame indicator, and a removable wire basket make for hassle-free operation every time. The dual-powered propane freezer can be plugged into any 110-Volt outlet too!

Overall Dimensions— 39.6 in x 27.6 in x 35.8 in

Capacity— 7.1 cu. ft.

Dual-Power— Yes

Out of 7

SMETA 3-Way Propane Refrigerator

Looking for a small propane refrigerator that you can take on the go? This SMETA 3-Way Propane Refrigerator is perfect for small spaces and recreational vehicles. It has 2.1 cubic feet of refrigerator space, and it's surprisingly roomy inside. It has enough room to hold all the essentials you need for your road trip or outdoor adventure. Unlike some propane refrigerator-freezers, SMETA's advanced absorption cooling system operates in total silence. For maximum versatility, the propane mini-fridge can be plugged into any 110-Volt AC outlet or 12-Volt DC outlet in your cabin, RV, camper, or trailer. Additional features include an adjustable thermostat, adjustable shelves, and a reversible door.

Overall Dimensions— 18 in x 18.7 in x 27.1 in

Capacity— 2.1 cu. ft.

Freezer— Yes

Dual-Power— Yes

Superior Refrigeration Propane Gas-Powered Off-Grid Refrigerator

If your family cabin needs a new refrigerator, try this Propane Gas-Powered Off-Grid Refrigerator from Superior Refrigeration. The spacious refrigerator and freezer space can fit enough food and drinks for the whole family! Plus, it comes equipped with convenient wire racks and door shelves for improved organization. Connect it to your propane tank or plug it into any 110-Volt outlet, and you're set! It's silent, energy-efficient, and incredibly reliable— making it the perfect choice for adventurous families.

Overall Dimensions— 64 in x 24 in x 29 in

Capacity— 10 cu. ft.

Freezer— Yes

Dual-Power— Yes

Unique Stainless Steel Propane Refrigerator with Top Freezer

This Stainless Steel Propane Refrigerator with Top Freezer from Unique makes a stylish addition to any cabin, cottage, shed, or garage. The sleek stainless steel exterior features front-mounted controls and battery ignition for easy on-off and temperature adjustments. A spacious interior features glass shelves, a large crisper, and a battery-operated light. Plus, the fridge is dual-powered, so you can enjoy dependable operation anywhere, anytime— even without electricity.

Overall Dimensions— 28.25 in x 64.5 in x 23.5 in

Capacity— 9.7 cu. ft.

Freezer— Yes

Dual-Power— Yes

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About the author

Bella Zinti

Bella has a Bachelors degree in interior design, is a master gardener with extensive experience building homes from scratch. She designs nourishing outdoor & indoor spaces guided by the practice of Feng Shui, as well as helping clients create year-round sustainable organic gardens.


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