What Are Portable Refrigerators Good For?
Portable refrigerators are fantastic. People use them when camping, grocery shopping, as an extra freezer or fridge, and as an emergency backup, just in case the power goes out.
Related Product: Want a larger portable fridge? Check out the SetPower RV60D Pro (click to view on Amazon)
When we’re camping in our RV, we use a portable refrigerator as an extra freezer that we kept in the outside storage compartment.
RVs usually have limited freezer space, so it’s nice to use 12 volt freezer for extra long trips.
At home we use a portable refrigerator for grocery shopping and when we tent camp.
Basically, portable refrigerators are good for a lot of things, that’s why they are becoming so popular in not only the camping world, but for home use as well.
SetPower makes some fantastic, budget friendly options that have extra features not many other portable fridges have.
In this review, I’m going to outline the key features of the SetPower RV45D Pro portable refrigerator and talk about important things like power usage.
Since we mostly camp without power, we use batteries and solar panels to keep our electronics charged and working.
Electrical usage is a big deal to us, so I’ll also talk about how well the SetPower performed on battery and solar power.
So far we’ve been impressed by the SetPower. I’ll update this review the more we use it.
- Temperature Range: 0° to 50° Fahrenheit / -18° to 10° Celsius
- 41 lbs Empty
- 45 Quart/43 Liter Capacity
- 60 Watt/5 Amp Power Rating
- DC & AC Powered
- MAX/ECO Modes
- Dual Zone
- Removable Divider for Single Zone
- Can operate safely up to a 40° tilt.
- Button Control Panel
- Removable Wheels
- Extendable Handle (removable)
- Removable Basket (for small compartment)
- Detachable Lid (can change hinge side)
- Drain Plug
- Inner LED Lighting
- Built-in 15 amp Blade Fuse
- 3 Level Battery Protection (will turn off the fridge when battery voltage gets low so it won’t drain it completely)
- 12V Low – Cut-out 9.6 volt / Cut-in 10.9 volt
- 12V Med – Cut-out 10.1 volt / Cut-in 11.4 volt
- 12V High – Cut-out 11.1 volt / Cut-in 12.4 volt
- (there’s also 24 volt protection settings you can read more about in the manual)
Without handles and wheels attached – 16 x 24.5 x 17 inches
With handles and wheels attached – 23 x 24.5 x 17 (wheels stick out a lot and increase the length)
With Partition inside:
Small Compartment – 12.75 x 5.5 x 13.5 inches
Large Compartment 12.75 x 12 x half is 13.5 deep other half is 6.5 deep (compressor takes space and creates a shelf inside the fridge)
Without Partition: 12.75 x 18.75 x 13.5 deep with a small 6 inch section that’s only 6.5 inches deep.
What’s in the Box
- SetPower RV45D Pro Portable Fridge
- User Manual
- Wheel Base
- AC Power Cord (110-240 volt)
- 12 volt Car Plug
SetPower makes an insulated cover for the RV45D Pro you can get here (click to view on Amazon).
When you receive your new SetPower RV45D Pro 12 volt fridge, it comes with the extendable handle already installed.
The only real setup required is attaching the metal wheel base and the wheels.
Everything you need to put together the wheels is included.
The only tool you will need to supply is a Philips Head screwdriver to remove some screws that are protecting the holes on the bottom of the portable fridge.
There are also two feet you screw into the bottom of the SetPower so it sits level off of the ground when the wheels are installed.
There’s a second small handle included that can be used in place of the large extendable handle.
It’s a nice metal spring loaded handle. We didn’t want to lose it so we just installed it under the large handle.
It fits perfectly and doesn’t hinder the extendable handle. Now, we won’t lose it and we can use it to strap down the fridge.
SetPower Portable Fridge Testing
There are two ways to power the SetPower, portable fridge. You can plug it into a wall and use AC power or use the included 12 volt plug to power it with DC power.
I wanted to see how the regular power and 12 volt power options compared to each other, and if there would be any differences in power usage.
I tested it inside. The ambient temperature was around 70°F the whole time. I set the smaller compartment to freezer (0° F) and the larger one to fridge (41°F). Both compartments were empty for the tests.
When plugged into AC power, the set power fridge could get down to the set temperatures within an hour on the MAX setting. It used 58 watt hours.
I then reset my watt meter and let the fridge and freezer stay on for five hours on ECO mode. After five hours, it used 140 watt hours.
I did a similar test using 12 V DC power. The fridge got down to fridge and freezer temperatures within an hour and used almost same amount of watts the AC power did.
After running it for five hours using 12 volt power on ECO mode, it only used 110 W instead of the 140 W it had used on AC power.
I also ran it for a full 24 hours on 12 volt power and ECO mode (after getting it down to fridge and freezer temperatures). It used 516 watt hours.
I did all of the tests in the same place, at the same ambient temperature, with the fridge and freezer empty.
I’m not sure why the 12 volt used less power, but that’s good news for campers who use 12 volt batteries.
If you plan on using a portable power station, I recommend using the 12 volt option since it uses less power and the power station won’t waste energy on the inverter.
I did these tests with no food in the SetPower because any refrigerator will use more power when there’s no food inside to help keep it cool.
If you want to minimize the power usage of any portable fridge, make sure it’s away from direct sunlight and keep as much food in it as possible.
Even though I tested the SetPower in a mild 70 degree environment, it should have similar power usages in warmer temperatures so long as there’s food inside.
Power Usage Summary Table
|Power Type||1st Hour (Getting Down to Temp)||5 Hours||24 Hours|
|AC (12o volt)||58 Wh||140 Wh||–|
|DC (12 volt)||61 Wh||110 Wh||516 Wh|
The SetPower has a cooling system that uses two vents, one in each compartment.
Some portable fridges use a ventless absorption method to cool, but with the SetPower you need to make sure the vents are clear so it can pump in cold air.
It’s the main reason the divider can only be placed in one spot. When you remove the divider, the option to set two temperatures disappears. You are left with just one temperature setting you can adjust.
When packing the SetPower with food for my camping trip, I noticed a few things I wished I had thought about before buying and preparing food for the trip.
First, a gallon of milk will not fit in either of the compartments when the divider is in. To fit a gallon, you will need to remove the divider and use the SetPower as a fridge only.
I think the larger 60 quart option, the RV60D Pro (click to view on Amazon), is taller, not longer or wider, so I don’t think that version will fit a gallon either.
Second, the smallest compartment is very small. I made some freezer meals and the containers I used, which are pretty small, wouldn’t fit in the small compartment without being turned sideways.
This isn’t exactly SetPowers fault. I should have checked to make sure the containers fit beforehand, but it’s something to consider if you like to take frozen food camping.
I ended up having to use the larger compartment as the freezer because I didn’t want the containers to be sideways. Because of this, I had to leave some of my fridge food behind.
We drove 6 hours to get to our campsite. To power the SetPower fridge, I used the car’s 12 volt outlet in the trunk area.
The car only supplied power to the fridge when the engine was running. Whenever we stopped to take a break, the fridge would turn off.
When I started the car again, the fridge would turn on automatically and remember the settings, so I didn’t have to mess with it every time we started the car.
Even with a few breaks, the food inside the SetPower portable fridge stayed at the right temperatures.
In the area we camped in, the highs were around 60°F and lows around 32°F.
Because of the lower temperatures and the fridge being full of food, we had no problem powering the SetPower with a power station and a solar panel the 5 days we camped.
The fridge performed great in the back of the car and it still works like new, even after some bumpy dirt roads and vibrations from freeway speeds.
SetPower advertises the noise levels of its fridges to be around 40db. That’s comparable to a quiet library or light rainfall.
I would say that’s pretty accurate when it’s sitting on a solid surface, but when it’s sitting inside a car or RV where the floor has nothing underneath, the sound gets amplified.
It’s still not very loud, but it can sound more like moderate rainfall, around 50 db. It’s definitely quiet enough to sleep through, but it might take a night or two to get used to.
SetPower RV45D Pro Review
There are a lot of things I like about the SetPower 12 volt fridge, and a few things I wish were a little different.
Overall, it’s a fantastic portable fridge and an excellent option for those who want a removable divider to make a large fridge or freezer compartment.
Because the divider is removable, there’s not a ton of insulation between the two compartments.
I think it’s the main reason it uses a little more power than our other portable fridge that has two permanently separated compartments.
The SetPower portable refrigerator is built really well. There’s some high-quality parts on it you just don’t get with some of the other options.
I really appreciate the metal hinges and handles, and the rubber wheels. Those things alone really put the SetPower ahead of the rest as far as durability goes.
Durability is an important factor to me. Things in RVs break constantly because they are built cheaply. I get tired of having to fix things all the time.
Since a refrigerator lid is opened and closed a lot throughout the day, it’s important to have strong metal hinges instead of plastic ones.
Also, the feet and wheel base keep it off the ground so dirt doesn’t get into the compressor and fan as easily.
The SetPower had no issues staying at the set temperatures during our trip. I’ll test it more in hotter temperatures this summer, but in mild temps it performs really well.
I wish at least one compartment could fit a gallon of milk, but I just bought two half gallons instead and they fit fine.
Even though it uses a little more power than I’d like and the freezer compartment is very narrow, I would still recommend the SetPower RV45D Pro to anyone.
It’s great for camping because of the design and durable parts.
It’s perfect for home use because the ability to have just one extra large compartment works well for bringing food home from the store or using as an emergency fridge or freezer.
So long as you have a decent power source, you can’t go wrong with the SetPower portable fridge.
What I Like
- Durable rubber wheels that are also removable
- Buttons that control each zone temperature.
- Metal hinges and handles.
- Wheel base and feet keep it a few inches off of the ground.
- Can have a giant fridge or freezer when the divider is removed.
- Edge on lid allows for a better seal.
- Easy to understand settings and manual.
What I Don’t Like
- Gallon of milk won’t fit in either compartment.
- Need to pay attention to how you pack food because the vents cannot be blocked.
- Wheels stick out a lot and make it a little more difficult top pack with other camping gear.
- Uses a little more power than similar versions without the removable divider.
- No Bluetooth control or app.
SetPower RV45D Pro vs RV45D
The SetPower RV45D Pro (click to view on Amazon) is the deluxe 45 quart option that has the most features.
There’s a more simple version, the RV45D (click to view on Amazon) available.
The only differences between the two are the extendable handle, wheels, and feet.
Basically, the RV45D isn’t as portable, it’s for being used in a more permanent spot, like at home, in a van, or RV storage compartment.
The main unit is the same for both models. Which means the power usage and inner dimensions don’t change between the RV45D and the RV45D Pro.
Have questions about the SetPower RV45D Pro portable fridge? Leave a comment below.