Driving large trucks or tractors is one of the largest occupations in the United States. According to Business Insider, more than 3.6 million truck drivers contribute to the revenue of the United States, which is higher than the GDP of 150 countries in the world.
Driving a truck is a relentless job, indeed. Another study done by census.gov shows that truck drivers drive 500 miles in a day, which is equal to 125,000 miles/annum. It seems truck drivers are spending 2/3rd of their lives in the truck.
Well, I had an experience of spending 3 days and 2 nights with truck drivers, traveled approximately 1500 miles, stopped at different truck stops. I did all these things to know the lifestyles of truck drivers. I asked them what are the most important things they require in their trucks while driving.
More than 50% of truck drivers replied, “the best refrigerators for semi-trucks”.
A cooler in a truck can be beneficial in many different ways. A truck driver can store many food items like veggies, meat, cheese, milk, egg, and many more. If you have diabetes, insulin can be another item.
This article will guide you to pick the best mini-refrigerator. I will share product reviews of the best 10 items, a buying guide, advantages and limitations of truck fridge freezer, and FAQs so that you can make a precise decision.
10 Best Refrigerators for Truckers – Review and Guide
The truth is, it took 5 days to complete the whole article. I visited different stores, took notes of the important features, researched brands, consulted with the refrigerator specialist, and finally made this list top rated truck refrigerators. Let’s look at the in-depth reviews.
1. NORCOLD INC 1.1 cu. ft. Portable Semi-Truck Refrigerator for Truckers
At a wallet-friendly price, the NORCOLD INC 1.1 cu. ft. Portable Refrigerator will be an excellent option for your truck. The good news is, it is also suitable for use when you are camping or in a boat or car, RV’s or at home.
Using its electronic control panel, you can set it up for your required temperature. As a result, your food items will remain fresh for many days, for sure. The exterior of the freezer is made with plastic that gives it a rust-resistant feature. Its compact size will allow you to store it up in the tightest corner; if you face any problem while storing, you can remove its handles.
You can comfortably remove the hinged lid, which also comes with a reversible feature. The wire basket is removable that offers easy cleaning in the 2.1 cu. ft. The stainless-steel interior can hold up to 86 12-ounce cans. Battery drain gets prevented with battery protection feature, which comes with 3 settable stabilizations, and voltage return is turned on automatically.
2. Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator for Truck Drivers
The Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator comes with stunning features and exquisite design, making it an ideal option for a portable truck fridge. With this benchtop truck fridge freezer, you can conveniently keep your food and beverages fresh and frozen during a day or long trip.
It consists of 2 baskets that can be extracted effortlessly. You can adjust the temperature between -8°F – 50°F as per your requirement. Also, whenever you need quick freezing of your food items, use the “fast freeze” mode and the inner temperature will reach up to -8°F within the shortest possible time. Pretty cool feature, right? This best mini refrigerator for semi truck is also an ideal option for using in the office or home purposes.
AC and DC work remarkably well for the best result. Due to the decent voltage power proficiency, the voltage power evenly gets distributed across the freezer. Moreover, it will give you peace of mind because it uses less wattage during broad use. Compared to other portable refrigerators, it is lightweight and can be carried quite comfortably.
3. Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator for Semi-Trucks
Dometic fridge is an essential appliance of every truck, and investing in them will never be a waste of money. The Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator is the best mini fridges for truckers who are tight in budget. The name itself is telling that it is a portable freezer and much reliable in terms of performance.
It is significantly important to know the inner temperature when storing any item in a refrigerator. This best refrigerator for truckers has an LCD panel display that displays the information of the internal cooling system. The good news is that, with the help of the digital thermostat, you will be able to control the temperature too. Its temperature control range is -4°F to 50°F.
The cool air will never get leaked because of the high-density foam insulation feature. It is efficient enough to keep the food item frozen and fresh on your trip. Additionally, while working, it creates only 45 dB sound, which means the sound will not disturb you when resting in the truck. Moreover, no damage will happen to the device when your vehicle runs in slopes since it is shake-resistant.
4. Koolatron P75, Electric Cooler and Warmer for Semi-Trucks and Long Haul Trucks
With 34 liters capacity, the Koolatron P75, Electric Cooler and Warmer are among the best refrigerators for semi trucks, and for truckers. Enough storage capacity makes it an ideal choice for daily use. The most significant thing about this freezer is that it can be used as both an upright fridge and a chest fridge.
Polypropylene is used to build this refrigerator. As a result, it is lightweight and portable. Its removable shelf allows its user to organize food and beverages separately. The interiors are easy to clean, and the exteriors are durable to serve you for many years to come. It can fit itself into any vehicle and an ideal refrigerator for truckers.
Another worth mentioning feature of this mini-fridge is, it can work both as a cooler and warmer. When used in cooler mode, it cools food items below 22°C, and up to 57° C, it warms food in warming mode. Also, the refrigerator uses the latest technology named iceless thermoelectric cooling system. This system ensures that food and beverages will remain cool without ice.
5. Mini Fridge with Cooler and Warmer
The Mini Fridge for semi trucks with Cooler and Warmer is one of the masterpieces from the manufacturer’s Efast. Semiconductor technology and the cooler’s powerful cooling and heating system make it a unique mini refrigerator for semi truck available in the market.
If AC power is unavailable in your vehicle, don’t worry. Because it can also run with a DC power source. According to your requirement, you can easily switch between the 2 modes. Tempered glass is used to manufacture the door of the refrigerator, which gives it a stylish look. It has also made the door dust-resistant. Additionally, it can suit itself into any environment, either in a vehicle or camping site or a house.
The dual system makes it a versatile trucker refrigerator. Using its cooling functions, you can quickly refrigerate fruits, beverages, even cosmetics. And the heating function will allow you to warm milk or hot drinks. Even if you want to store medications into it, it will enable you to do it without any hesitation. Its carrying handle makes transporting much more straightforward.
6. Chefman Mini Portable Eraser Board Personal Fridge for Truckers
For many different reasons, the Chefman Mini Portable Eraser Board Personal Fridge is one of the best semi-truck refrigerators. Its small size and the convenient handle makes it an ideal option for both long and short trip. You can easily change the temperature setting from cool to warm by merely flipping the switch.
The Eraser board front is the coolest feature of the truck refrigerator, and you will barely find this feature in other similarly ranged coolers. It will allow you to write small notes or discussions on the front board in case you forget things. The mini-truck refrigerator is suitable for numerous occasions, but it works best refrigerator for semi-truck.
In addition to that, its fabulous look can match itself with any environment. For this reason, it also can be used in office, college dorm room, coffee shop, hotel room, and many other areas. It works perfectly with regular outlets of a home as well as 12V vehicle chargers. 100% Freon-free feature makes it an eco-friendly truck cooler. It is advisable to read the instructions before using the cooling and warming feature of the refrigerator.
7. Cooluli Concord Black 20 Liter Compact Cooler Warmer Mini Fridge for Semi Truckers
Energy-efficient, ultra-versatile, and stylish – these 3 words perfectly go with the Cooluli Concord Black 20 Liter Compact Cooler Warmer Mini Fridge for semi trucks. The manufacturer of Cooluli always produces premium quality mini-refrigerators, and this cooler is also no exception.
The LCD display will show you the unit’s inner temperature, and if necessary, you can adjust the temperature with the help of the digital thermostat as per your requirement. Besides, when the cooler reaches your desired temperature, it goes to ECO-mode. Using this mode, the cooler uses only half of the power and energy, saving cost.
It is designed to store as much food and beverages as possible in a compact space. Its capacity is 20-liter, and the front door is made with tempered glass. Each side of the trucker’s refrigerator has molded inset carrying handles so that you can lift it conveniently for carrying into different places. At an affordable price, this unit will be a value-adding product for sure.
8. Coleman Cooler – 40-Quart Portable Cooler
What is the first feature that you look for while buying a truck cooler? The capacity of the cooler is the first consideration that you should look for in a truck refrigerator. Coleman Cooler 40-Quart Portable Cooler comes with a 40 quarts’ capacity to store up to 44 cans.
Its travel-friendly design will allow you to carry it in any truck, camping site, hotel room, hot garage, office, medical center, as well as a parlor. Many customers appreciate its reliable performance since it keeps food and beverages at a perfect temperature. No changes will come in the taste of the food because the perfect temperature preserves the exact jest of the food for a long time.
If you are buying a mini truck refrigerator for the first time, this wallet-friendly refrigerator will be a good choice. Either from the left or right side, you can open the door that adds flexibility. The front door design gives it a unique look, which also confirms easy access to the refrigerator’s inner part. Its efficient performance makes it one of the top refrigerators for truckers surfing in the market.
9. ICECO VL45 Portable Refrigerator for Truckers
Refrigerator, DC 12/24V, AC 110-240V, 0℉ to 50℉, Home & Car Use (without Insulated Cover)
One piece of information will amaze you that giant brands like Mercedes and Cadillac take service from ICECO due to their quality. You can rely on this brand without any tension, and it will never break your trust. The extremely compact design of the cooler makes it eligible for carrying in any place without any trouble.
In the hot and humid conditions, this portable truck refrigerator performs significantly well in trucks. It is equipped with a reliable Secop Compressor (Danfoss) that is renowned for brilliant cooling technology. Without losing much time, food items get cooled quickly within -18°C to 10°C. Also, ETL certified compressors ensure that the unit will serve you for many years without showing any malfunction.
You can easily remove the iron basket from the freezer to clean it. It can also store up to 45 liters cans, which is quite impressive in this compact sized portable truck fridge. It comes with shock and rain-resistant features that guarantee the long lifespan of the refrigerator. Due to the availability of dynamic protection equipment with an excellent safety defense system, the freezer works well to look after the truck’s battery from being damaged.
10. Igloo Iceless 40-Quart Cooler for Semi Trucks and Long Haul Trucks
The top-selling point of the Igloo Iceless 40-Quart Cooler is its glossy and elegant look. Many of us and truck drivers dislike ice in their refrigerators, and this cooler can fulfill the requirement with all the stunning features. Since it cools food without ice, it has plenty of rooms to store food and beverages.
Many cheaply made coolers are available that create much ice in them and spoil any trip or journey by creating a mess inside the vehicle. But this mini refrigerator for semi truck is out of this problem that promises to present you with a pleasant trip. The 8’ power cord is long enough, and you can easily connect it to a 12V DC power source.
The interior of the cooler remains cool all the time. Moreover, its convection cooling system confirms even flow of cool air inside the refrigerator. Below 36°, it can cool down food and beverages. Thus, drinks will be cool enough, and foods will not be ruined because of excessive heat. It comes with a handle for easy carrying from one place to another.
Advantages and Benefits of Having a Semi-Truck Mini-Refrigerator or Fridge
Mini-refrigerators have plenty of benefits, and because of that, they are gaining the attention of many truck drivers. Carrying a standard refrigerator to a campsite or truck is an impractical thought. But a mini-refrigerator can easily be carried in numerous places without any significant trouble.
Let’s look at the advantages of the best refrigerators for semi-trucks and truckers.
A Mini Refrigerator Can Save Space and can easily be placed in a small space
Space management is one of the biggest concerns of every truck driver. Since they have to spend many days in the truck, they have to carry many essential items. At the same time, they need to think about space-saving solutions.
“Compact refrigerator” is another name of the mini-refrigerator, and the best feature of these types of the refrigerator is – they can fit themselves into any space.
Mini refrigerators are an excellent option for an area where space is limited.
A Mini Refrigerator or Fridge Has Portability
Relocating a bulky and standard sized refrigerator in a truck is impractical. Even at any home party or camping site, carrying a large refrigerator is impossible. At this point, a mini refrigerator is the only and best option.
Without any worry, the dometic truck fridge comes with a portability feature, and they can be carried from one place to another.
Even if you require them to install in a new place, you can easily do it because of their portability feature.
One of the best features of a mini-refrigerator is they are easy to use. You can set up a portable refrigerator at any place in your vehicle, house, even on the patio.
Moreover, they can store not only drinks but also different food items. Because of their multipurpose benefits, mini-refrigerators are much popular among truck drivers and small homeowners.
Wallet-friendly Price Tag
Are you thinking about purchasing a refrigerator, but tight in the budget? Then it would be best if you buy a mini-refrigerator.
Compared to an average-sized refrigerator, mini-refrigerators are less expensive. Besides, the different beneficial features of the mini-fridge will amaze you a lot.
Mini Refrigerator for Semi Trucks has Easy Maintenance Features
Every electrical appliance requires maintenance from time to time. Mini refrigerators also need maintenance regularly, and the good news is they are easy to clean. This is the most unique and exclusive feature of the truck fridge freezer refrigerators that lifts its popularity among people.
You can easily access mini-refrigerators’ inner portions, and they will not take much time to clean. You will never sweat cleaning a mini-refrigerator.
Since cleaning is much comfortable, regular maintenance is also possible- to enhance the mini truck fridge’s lifespan.
Limitations of Using Mini Refrigerators
Like everything, mini-refrigerators also have drawbacks. Sometimes they offer many benefits. When you are driving, or in a camp or on a trip with your family and friends, a mini-refrigerator can be a handy option to make your trip successful.
However, have a look at the drawbacks of mini-refrigerators.
- Mini refrigerators are small in size. This means if you want to store more food and beverages in your mini-refrigerator, you can’t do so. For this, you will need to buy another mini-refrigerator.
- Controlling the temperature is another drawback of mini-refrigerators. All mini truck fridges don’t come with temperature control features. Many models are available which adjust the inner temperature of a refrigerator automatically. Also, some don’t show efficient performance in hot and humid weather.
- Also, most mini truck fridges don’t come with freezer options. As a result, you can’t store meat or any other drinks that you want to keep frozen. However, some models come with the freezer option, but they are expensive, and the freezer area is also tiny.
- For some, a mini refrigerator is the best option, and worst one for others. Undoubtedly, in the right situation, a portable refrigerator for truckers is a handy solution.
A truck driver has to spend many hours in a truck. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced truck driver, truckers’ best refrigerators will save valuable time and money.
Consider buying any of the above mini-refrigerator, and to be honest, you will never regret your decision.
The reviewed mini-refrigerators can be used for different purposes and comes with a diverse price range so that you can meet your budget. However, these fridges will give the best result when used in trucks, and a truck driver can store his/her essential items during a trip.
Let us know which mini refrigerator features attract you the most and why?
Frequently Asked Questions on Mini Refrigerators for Semi Trucks
How Much Voltage Do You Need to Run A Mini Fridge?
Before you go and buy a mini fridge, make sure you know about the voltage of the fridge. You can check the brand’s site to know about the details, or you can talk to the shop manager for face-to-face inquiry. Make sure that the voltage of the fridge is suitable for your area. Different refrigerators come with different voltage. You can check it on the side where you’ll find all the details written. For a good mini-refrigerator, that’s 3 cubic feet in volume, the average watt is around 100 to 250.
What Size Do You Need?
The size of the refrigerator entirely depends on how much room you have for the fridge. Usually, the size of a mini refrigerator differs from 1.7 to 4.5 cubic feet. The smallest one that you’ll find in the market is around 1.4 feet in width, the height is around 1.6 feet and the depth is around 1.5 feet. According to your space, you’ll have to choose your perfect mini-refrigerator. If you want a freezer along with the fridge, then the size will be a little bigger. The width will be around 1.58 feet, the depth will be around 1.6 feet and the height will be around 4 feet.
Do Mini Fridges Actually Keep Stuff Cold?
Mini fridges are quite amazing for keeping the stuffs cold for a decent amount of time. But the temperature entirely depends on the quality of the fridge. A mini refrigerator is just as good as a regular refrigerator. In fact, it can hold a temperature of below 40-degree Fahrenheit without any difficulty. If you have an attached freezer, then that might be an issue. But if you have a high quality mini-refrigerator then you won’t face any difficulties.
How often Should I Clean My Semi-Truck Refrigerator?
Cleaning a refrigerator is quite time consuming. But if you have a mini-refrigerator, then it won’t be that difficult for you. Make sure that you clean your fridge once in every week. Turn off the fridge and take out all the food. Get rid off the food items that are expired or rotten. Now wipe the fridge with the help of a wash cloth. You can use a store-bought fridge cleaner or you can make one at home. To make it at home, you’ll need 4 cups of water and 1 cup of white vinegar. This solution will help you remove any kind of stubborn stains and odor.
How much is a truck refrigerator?
The price of a truck refrigerator differs from brand to brand. Usually, you’ll find a mini-refrigerator starting from $45 to up to $350. The most expensive one is the domestic CF50 refrigerator comes at $716. Whynter mini-refrigerators are around $517 and the best in budget is Haier refrigerators which costs from around $116 to around $268. If you want the best in the market then Danby mini-refrigerators are quite amazing which costs around $439.
How do you install a refrigerator in a van?
Installing a refrigerator inside a van isn’t a difficult job. You can do it by your own, but if you have an expert around you then it’s better to take the help of an expert. Here are some basic tips that can help you do the job easily.
The first thing is to check the spacing. Make sure that the fridge isn’t directly touching the wall of the van. Keep a 3 inches distance from the wall. The surface underneath has to be flat and not bumpy. All the four corners of the fridge need to be at the same level. You can use a footing or a stand to maintain the angle. Do not turn the fridge immediately after setting it up. Wait for around 4 to 5 hours after setting it up. For better understanding, read the instruction manual carefully.