Lots of people enjoy ice for beverages, and many campers require ice for coolers to keep food cold. But most RVs and campers don’t have ice makers, so in this post we’re looking at some of the best portable ice makers for RV use.
Whether you need to replenish ice regularly for use in a cooler, or you just need a few cubes to keep your drinks cold, there’s likely a portable ice maker that’ll work for you.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of having an ice maker on board your camper (or boat), what to look for when shopping for a portable ice maker, and some of the top-rated portable ice makers on the market.
- 1) What Are the Benefits of Having a Portable Ice Maker in an RV?
- 2) Things to Consider When Shopping for a Portable Ice Maker
- 3) Some of the Best Portable Ice Makers on the Market
- 4) BONUS: The Evo Icer Battery-Powered Ice Maker
- 5) Do You Use a Portable Ice Maker in Your RV?
- 6) Free RVing Tips, Tricks, Reviews, Giveaways & More
What Are the Benefits of Having a Portable Ice Maker in an RV?
Having a portable or countertop ice maker in your RV, boat, or in any type of camping situation offers several benefits, depending on your situation.
Most RV Fridges Don’t Have Ice Makers
First, most RVs and campers don’t have refrigerators with ice makers. Some do, but most absorption and 12V refrigerators (all but the largest) don’t have ice makers.
So, unless you have a residential refrigerator in your RV, you’re unlikely to have an ice maker. This is why portable ice makers are so popular among RVers.
No Room for Ice in a Small RV Freezer
RV freezers tend to be small, so keeping a couple of trays of ice cubes frozen takes up too much of that valuable freezer space.
No Plumbing Required
Portable ice makers often use their own refillable water reservoir rather than requiring a connection to your RV’s plumbing system.
Ice is Made Faster
A portable ice maker creates ice faster than a typical RV fridge ice maker can. Just like gas absorption (RV) fridges aren’t great at keeping ice cream frozen hard, they take longer to freeze water, too.
This also means you can use it intermittently. For instance, if you’ve got the space in your freezer, or if you have a portable freezer in your RV, you can make a batch or two of ice and then bag it, and put it in the freezer for later use, 0nly running the ice maker as needed. This is also a good plan if you’re having company over for drinks and want to have enough ice on hand.
However, it’s important to remember that portable ice makers aren’t good at keeping ice frozen over time. So, you’ll want to make only the amount of ice you intend to use in a short period, or you’ll need space in the freezer portion of your RV fridge or in a separate portable freezer to store the bags of ice you make.
Use at Home or In the RV
A portable ice maker can be used at home as well as when you’re camping.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Portable Ice Maker
There are a number of things you’ll want to consider when shopping for a portable ice maker for RV, camping, or boating use.
You’ll need to consider where you’ll put the ice maker in your RV.
Countertop space is usually at a premium in an RV. So, where will you keep or store your ice maker?
If you don’t have room to keep it on the counter, is there a cabinet where you’d like to be able to store it? If so, be sure to measure the space and shop accordingly.
As always, keeping things as lightweight as possible is always helpful in an RV, especially with a smaller rig (the type that’s the least likely to have a fridge with an ice maker in it).
Also, any portable appliance is only useful if you can move it easily when needed.
How Quickly It Makes Ice
Speed may or may not be important to you. But if you want a portable ice maker that produces ice fairly quickly, you’ll want to focus on this performance aspect for the units you’re considering.
For the sake of realistic expectations, it’s important to note that most portable ice makers make a fairly small amount of ice cubes in each cycle.
Quite often, the ice size is small or hollow or “pebble” cubes. Small ice will tend to melt faster than the cubes you may be accustomed to, though they’ll still give you cold drinks.
As always, we recommend spending some time looking at user reviews, because very often, you’ll find this type of important information coming from reviewers, either in the form of kudos or complaints.
How Much Ice It Makes at Once
Depending on your intended use, how many people are in your travel group, etc, you may only need a dozen or so ice cubes at a time. In this case, a very small portable ice maker may suit you just fine.
However, when you’re shopping for a portable ice maker for RV use, you’ll want to make sure you know how much ice is produced when running the unit.
Again, most portable ice makers aren’t designed to keep ice frozen. They’re not freezers, and they’re not insulated for the job of keeping the ice from melting for long periods of time.
So, if you make a large batch of ice, the unused cubes will simply melt slowly over time.
Energy efficiency is always a concern for us boondockers, though less of an issue for RVers who are generally connected to shore power.
Most portable ice makers run on 120V AC power, so you’ll need to have enough shore, generator, or battery power + inverter to run them.
Some of the Best Portable Ice Makers on the Market
Now let’s take a look at some of the most popular portable ice makers currently available, and what makes them among the best countertop ice makers for RV use.
As usual, we’ll include products at various budget levels.
COSTWAY Countertop Ice Maker
Costway’s portable ice maker measures 9.5” x 14” x 13”.
This ice maker can produce 9 ice cubes in 6-13 minutes (depending on whether you’re making small or large cubes), producing up to 26.5 pounds of ice daily.
Ice from this unit is hollow, smooth, and bullet-shaped.
The Costway ice maker is made from food-grade materials and has indicators to remind you to remove the cubes when the basket is full, and to add water to the 2.2L water tank when needed.
It comes in white, black, green, red, navy blue, and silver, and comes with a removable ice basket and an ice scoop.
- 🧊【Portable Ice Maker and Wide Applications】With a size of 9.5” x 14” x 13”, this countertop ice maker is small enough for most...
- 🧊【 Fast and Efficient Ice Making】Equipped with high-power compressor, 9 corrosion-resistant condenser and R600a refrigerant and a 2.2L/74oz...
Frigidaire EFIC189-Silver Compact Ice Maker
Frigidaire’s compact portable ice maker produces 9 bullet-shaped cubes of ice every 7-15 minutes, depending on whether you select small or large cubes, and is able to produce up to 26 lbs of ice in a 24-hour period.
The dimensions of this ice maker are 9.5″ x 14.1″ 12.9″.
A large see-through window makes it possible to see inside the ice maker without opening the lid, and a drain plug allows you to drain and clean your ice maker quickly.
Control panel indicators remind you to remove the ice cubes when they’re complete. When the ice maker is low on water, you’ll be alerted to add more.
There’s a 2.3 qt water reservoir, and a bin large enough to store 1.5 lbs of ice. An ice scoop is included, too.
- Note : Please check the dimension and item weight of the product and confirm it fits your space.Rated power : 105W..Refrigerant : R600a
- MODERN DESIGN: Ice Maker with a large transparent window so you can always see your ice being made and the level.
hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker
This 9.5″ x 12.9″ x 14″ portable ice maker from hOmeLabs makes small or medium-sized ice cubes in 8 to 10 minutes, and can produce up to 26 pounds of ice per day.
Warning lights indicate when the ice basket is full or when the water reservoir needs to be refilled.
This ice maker features auto shut-off and a 2.2-liter reservoir that reuses water from any melted ice to make more ice. This model also includes an ice scoop.
- Take a Chill Pill: Our powerful ice maker creates refreshing, chewable pill-shaped ice to keep your drinks icy cold. It's just what the doctor...
- 26 Pounds Per Day: Fill the 2.2 liter water reservoir, which holds up to 1.5 pounds of ice at a time, and you’re good to go for many rounds of...
GE Profile Opal 1.0 Nugget Ice Maker
From GE comes the Opal 1.o, a “nugget” ice maker. Nugget ice, created from compacted ice shavings, is described as “chewable, crunchy, and airy in texture.”
This unit is somewhat larger than those featured above, with dimensions of 17.3″ x 9.67″ x 17.1″.
This model allows you to make a batch of ice in around 20 minutes. It has a large-capacity bin that holds up to 3 lbs of nugget ice at once, producing up to 24 pounds of ice per day. It can make about one pound of fresh ice per hour.
An optional side water tank, (sold separately), is available to provide an additional water reservoir to create more ice. According to GE, the side tank increases ice production by up to three times that of a typical built-in reservoir.
This ice maker includes a triple-wall clear plastic pull-out ice bin, an ice scoop, and a drip tray.
- OPAL NUGGET ICE, THE GOOD ICE - Serve up chewable, crunchable, craveable nugget ice that's ready fast and retains its flavor, unlike traditional hard...
- 34 POUNDS OF ICE PER DAY - Begin enjoying your first batch of ice in 10 minutes. Never run out of nugget ice thanks to a large capacity ice maker that...
EUHOMY Countertop Ice Maker Machine
Euhomy’s silver countertop ice maker can produce 24 ice cubes per cycle (every 12 to 18 minutes), and up to 40 pounds of ice cubes every 24 hours. (Now, that’s a party!)
With dimensions of 14.1″ x 11″ x 13.7″, this ice maker is pretty compact despite offering a number of neat features, including the ability to adjust the thickness of the cubes.
It also has an automatic cleaning function. Simply press the “TIMER” button for 5 seconds to start the automatic cleaning cycle.
This portable ice maker has a water recycling system and a reservoir that holds up to 2.2 liters of water. When full, it can run 5 cycles, which is roughly 120 ice cubes. The removable ice basket holds up to 2.2 lbs of ice at one time.
Electronic controls include a timer with up to an 8-hour delay, as well as an indicator to alert you to a lack of water, or a full ice bucket.
- HIGH-QUALITY ICE CUBES - Euhomy's silver countertop ice maker machine can produce 24 ice cubes per cycle (every 12 to 18 minutes). That means you can...
- LCD & DIGITAL DISPLAY - Electronic controls for ease of use. Features an easy-to-read push-button digital design for comfortable use. Timer with up to...
EUHOMY Countertop Ice Maker with Handle
Also from Euhomy, this small countertop ice maker is an inexpensive entry into the portable ice maker market.
With dimensions of 8.7″ x 11.6″ x 11.4″ and a weight of only 14.7 pounds, this compact ice maker will fit in nearly any camper.
This ice maker produces bullet ice in 6 minutes and can make up to 26 lbs of ice daily. It comes with a 1.3 lb removable basket.
This little portable ice maker has a heat insulation layer made of non-fluorine foam, which says it helps block heat to store ice temporarily.
The LED touchpad has easy-to-operate buttons and function indicators, as well as an infrared sensor.
You’ll see an “ICE FULL” indicator flashing when the basket is full, and the words “ADD WATER” when the reservoir is empty.
This model comes with an ice basket, a carrying handle, and a scoop.
- 6 Mins Fastest Ice-Making & Bullet Ice: Meet your new nice-looking friend: Euhomy Ice Maker. Only takes 6-8 mins, you’ll enjoy the first batch of...
- Insulation Layer & Portable Handle: Still bothered by ice melting too quickly? The heat insulation layer is made of thickened non-fluorine foam, which...
Free Village Countertop Ice Maker
This unit also features an automatic self-cleaning function.
It makes 9 bullet ice cubes in 6 minutes, 26.5 lbs of ice in a 24-hour period, and comes with ice bags, a scoop, and a removable basket.
This unit weighs 14.74 lbs and has dimensions of 11.4″ x 8.7″ x 11.6″, so it’s very compact.
It operates at a noise level of less than 45 decibels and comes with a carry handle for convenient portability.
This unit has a self-cleaning function that can be activated by pressing the on/off button for 5 seconds.
This portable ice maker will alert you when the basket is full and will remind you to add water when the reservoir is low.
To start making ice, you’ll simply add water and turn on the switch. The clear window allows you to watch the ice being made.
- [2023 New and Improved Ice Machine] This ice maker has been upgraded with a new compressor, allowing it to make 9 ice cubes in just 5-8 minutes and...
- [Bullet Shape & 2 Different Ice Sizes] The FREE VILLAGE ice maker machine countertop offers two sizes of ice to choose from. The popular bullet-shaped...
BONUS: The Evo Icer Battery-Powered Ice Maker
This is actually a Kickstarter product, and as we write this, the campaign has just over a month left to run.
But, we’re featuring the Evo Icer in this post because it’s a pretty… ahem… cool concept — an ice maker that runs on battery power.
Made by Flextail, the Evo Icer is 11″ x 12.6″ x 12.6″, and weighs just over 20 lbs.
A 200-watt-hour lithium battery powers the Evo Icer. A 3-hour charge of the battery should be good for about 30 cycles of ice-making. A single cycle produces 12 cubes unless you select a smaller amount.
It also features one-click cleaning and draining, low water warning, full ice alert, and the ability to charge other electronic devices such as smartphones.
You can read more about the Evo Icer on the FLEXTAIL EVO ICER Kickstarter page.
Do You Use a Portable Ice Maker in Your RV?
If you’ve been using a portable ice maker that you like (or not!), we’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.
While we’re on the topic of ice makers, we had one in the residential fridge on our motorhome… until the whole thing failed and had to be cut out of the RV to avoid removing the windshield! For your entertainment and viewing pleasure, we captured the whole thing on film:
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