Is This Cheap Vanlife Fridge Worth It?

Having reliable refrigeration is key to full time vanlife. But a good 12V refrigerator can be one of the most expensive items in any DIY campervan build. Top-of-the-line models, like those from Dometic and ARB, can cost you $1,000 or more – which is tough to stomach when you’re on a budget, or just don’t want to spend that much.

Enter BougeRV and their 53-qt (50L) portable refrigerator/freezer. BougeRV is a Chinese company that sells solar components, RV accessories, and 12V refrigerators in the US and elsewhere. They’ve gotten a lot of attention in the vanlife community lately due to their low prices and surprising quality.

BougeRV offered to send us one of their refrigerators to test out and review, and we took them up on it so that we could see if this cheap 12V refrigerator can stand up to life on the road.

Can the BougeRV portable refrigerator compete with our top picks for best vanlife refrigerators, including much more expensive fridges from top brands? Is it worth your hard-earned money, or should you hold out for something else? Is it energy efficient or a power hog? And how does it hold up to the rigors of fulltime vanlife? 

To answer these questions, we tested the BougeRV fridge in different scenarios, all while tracking power usage. Read on for our thoughts on the BougeRV 53-quart portable 12V refrigerator.

Disclaimer: BougeRV was kind enough to send us a refrigerator for this review. However, our thoughts are our own, and the content of this post is not sponsored by BougeRV.

BougeRV 53-Qt (50L) Portable Refrigerator

This inexpensive 12V refrigerator offers features, efficiency, and the best bang for your buck out there.

Also available in other sizes.

Coupon Codes

  • Use Gnomad90 for $90 off the 53-Qt fridge.
  • Use Gnomad15 for 15% off all other refrigerators.
  • Use Gnomad10 for 10% off sitewide.

Buy on BougeRV

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you).

Note: In order to run a fridge in your van, you need electricity. Check out our epic post on vanlife electrical for info on setting up your system.

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