Best 12-volt coolers for taking your Tesla camping

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Camping season is upon us and if you want to camp in your Tesla electric car you’re not alone. Many Tesla owners are putting down the back seats, setting up a mattress and climbing in for the night.

#RVLife is a thing and you don’t need an RV to get out, hit the open road and camp right alongside your fellow Tesla electric car owners or RV-ing friends. Camping in a Tesla and using its Camp Mode means you can keep the vehicle cool — or warm — depending on when and where you’re camping, but you may be wondering how you can keep your food cold or frozen while you’re driving or on the overnight.

Truly, who are we kidding! After a long day of driving, you just want a cool glass of red wine or an ice-cold craft beer, right? When you pick the right 12-volt cooler you can rest assured it will be waiting for you when you stop for the night.

There are many 12-volt coolers that are ideal for Tesla owners and campers and we researched a few and give you our roundup on what other Tesla owners feel are the best.

1. Dometic CFX3 Portable Refrigerator and Freezer

dometic cfx3 portable refrigerator freezer 1

Do you want a 12v fridge-freezer combo that will hold enough food for a day and one-night of camping? Then the Dometic CFX3 electric-powered portable model could be your best bet.

You’re looking at spending — on the low end for this model of around $900 up to $1,500 when you buy the Dometic CFX3 on Amazon.

This 12v portable model received a 4.9 star out of 5 rating. It was touted as being great at keeping foods frozen and cold and for its portability. Its 4 star review was because its temperature settings didn’t jive with what the purchaser thought it should, but that customer said he’d been using it for more than four years with no issues.

2. ARB Portable Fridge and Freezerarb portable fridge freezer

Check out the ARB Portable Fridge Freezer — this fifty-pound model has a 63 quart capacity, has been a staple for the off-roading, RV communities for years and features simple voltage monitoring, is backlit, has nighttime operations and can be controlled via an app. It has a 4.3 star rating out of 5 and was dinged by one purchaser because it arrived dented (the issue was addressed by the company).

3. Aspenora Portable Fridge and Freezer

aspenora portable fridge freezer

Our third 12v fridge-freezer cooler for your Tesla electric vehicle is the 37-quart Aspenora portable refrigerator, it has updated touch pad controls, has the efficient operation and intelligent battery protection. Close to 150 reviewers gave the Aspenora a 4.5 out of 5 stars and rated it highly for temperature control and value for the money.

What you need to know about 12-volt coolers for your Tesla:

We checked out the Tesla Motor forums to see what Tesla drivers, like yourself, we’re talking about when it came to camping trips in their Teslas. Forum members noted that the 12v power outlet will shut off when the vehicle locks. Using Camp Mode can help eliminate that issue because using the “always-on” climate control feature makes it difficult to keep foods cool or frozen.

Power consumption is also another issue noted by Tesla campers. Using a 12v fridge-freezer could drain the battery overnight. You need to make sure your vehicle is fully charged and also, using Camp Mode helps with the power consumption the cooler will use when you’re parked overnight.

Before you hit the road this summer, look for a refrigerator-freezer that is energy efficient and that holds the food and/or beer you need when you are ready to kick back and enjoy the camping experience.

Written by Robbi Hess
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