In the world of 12V DC car refrigerators, there are two main styles: top-opening refrigerators and front-opening upright refrigerators.
Many upright refrigerators run the exact same compressor as their chest-mounted cousins, so you'd think choosing between the two is just a matter of how you like to access and organize your refrigerated food. But box refrigerators have some great advantages over upright refrigerators, which, in our opinion, make box refrigerators the best option for an off-grid camper.
When you are using batteries and solar panels as your only source of power in the wilderness, energy efficiency is a prime consideration. Chest 12-volt portable refrigerators are generally more energy-efficient than upright 12-volt refrigerators.
Why is this happening? This is partly due to the natural sinking of cold air. Cabinet refrigerators have doors at the top, which means cold air collects at the bottom of the refrigerator and has nowhere to escape. But with upright refrigerators, you rely on the insulating seal around the door to keep cold air in when the door is closed, and any accumulated cold air will escape whenever the door is opened.
Since food has a higher heat density than air, most of the cold air in any refrigerator is actually "stored" in the food (or beer) inside the refrigerator, so a full refrigerator is easier to keep cool than a full refrigerator space. Because of the interior shelf arrangement of an upright 12-volt refrigerator, you're likely to end up wasting empty space on top of your food.
All of this means that upright refrigerators have to run longer to keep your food cold, which equates to draining more battery power. And chest refrigerators hold more and are easier to organize
Zhejiang Yunge Electric Appliance Co., Ltd. is a car-fridge freezer manufacturer from China that specializes in camping car freezers and other car refrigerator series. You can come to consult if you have any questions.