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A Dometic Fridge: Large Or Small, It Can Cool It All

A Dometic Fridge: Large Or Small, It Can Cool It All

Dometic fridges are among the most popular cooling units in the mobile living industry worldwide. Regardless of what type of RV or travel vehicle you may have, you’ve probably heard of the Dometic brand.

Millions of travelers around the world use Dometic products. So, today we’re looking specifically at Dometic fridges for mobile use.

If you’ve got a little camper van, truck camper, or even if you travel in your car, Dometic has a compressor-style fridge to keep your food and beverages cold. If your truck could use a little drawer fridge or you need to replace the 2-way 0r 3-way fridge in your RV, Dometic has you covered.

Even if you’re looking for a 13 cu. ft. four-door absorption fridge that locks its doors whenever the RV’s ignition is turned on, you can turn to Dometic. (Yes, there are Dometic fridges that include automatic locking systems!)

Dometic has sold millions of cooling units of various types throughout 100 countries across the globe for a reason, or maybe for several reasons.

Let’s take a look at the Dometic fridge.

Who Owns Dometic & Where Are They Located?

To get started, let’s take a quick look at a bit of Dometic history.

It all started in the early 1920s when a couple of creative kids named Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters invented the cooling cabinet, an achievement that Albert Einstein reportedly called a stroke of genius.

The cooling cabinet was granted a patent, and Arctic, a Swedish company, acquired the manufacturing rights.

By 1925, Electrolux (yes, we’re talking about the Swedish vacuum cleaner company) acquired Arctic, recognizing the immense potential in the refrigeration industry. They began the mass production of absorption refrigerators almost immediately.

In the 1950s, with America riding a post-war boom, Electrolux moved into the recreational/leisure mobile market. They acquired numerous brands and, somewhere around the end of the 1960s, Electrolux named their leisure appliances division “Dometic.”

By this time, compression technology had arrived, and because it was so much easier to manufacture, it became the common technology behind home refrigerators.

However, virtually silent absorption cooling remained the top choice for use in the RV and marine industries, which remains the case to this day.

In 2001, Dometic separated from Electrolux and has since remained an independent company, currently operating 25 manufacturing and assembly sites in 11 countries (with sales in about 100 countries), including, but certainly not limited to, mobile refrigeration.

What’s So Great About Dometic RV Refrigerators?

Dometic mobile refrigeration products are known for their quality & durability over time and terrain, making them incredibly popular in the mobile industry.

They’re also known for their energy efficiency (using little power), which is a very important feature for mobile use.

Dometic fridges are also offered in a number of types and sizes, which means there’s a Dometic fridge for just about any and all mobile applications.

The interiors of small and larger fridges

Whether you need a small fitted RV fridge or a larger freestanding residential-style fridge, Dometic will likely have what you need.

How Does a Dometic RV Refrigerator Work?

Dometic offers two different types of refrigeration for mobile use – gas absorption and compressor-driven fridges. Each type works differently.

Gas Absorption

If you saw our detailed post on RV refrigerators, you may recall that an absorption fridge uses heat to cool.

Absorption fridges can run on LP gas (propane) or electricity, making them perfect for RV and marine use. In these applications, a refrigerator must continue working even when it isn’t connected to shore power or a generator.

The circuitry that controls the “brains” of an RV fridge always uses some 12V DC power, but it’s extremely minimal. For this reason, the “propane” mode on absorption fridges is perfect for off-grid use.

Gas absorption fridges aren’t frost-free, so they do require periodic defrosting. And because of the physics of the gas absorption cooling process, they require the refrigerator (and, thus your RV) to be fairly close to level (Dometic’s recommended guideline is if YOU’RE comfortable with the amount your RV is off-level, your fridge is likely OK, too).

2-Way Absorption Refrigerators

2-way absorption fridges offer both propane-fueled cooling as well as 120V AC electric cooling.

The 120V AC is great for when you’re plugged in, but the availability of propane cooling allows you to operate the fridge while you’re boondocking (camping off-grid) or traveling from place to place.

3-Way Absorption Refrigerators

A 3-way absorption style RV refrigerator offers the two cooling options noted above plus a third option: 12V DC power. When you’re driving, the 12V DC power is provided by your engine & alternator.

Dometic sells absorption fridges in various sizes, styles, and capacities.

12V Compressor Refrigerators

A 12V compressor fridge uses 12-volt power, provided by your RV’s house battery bank, to cool. This is different from how a 2-way gas absorption fridge uses 12V power. A 2-way fridge running on propane uses a small amount of 12-volt DC power only for operating the circuitry that controls the fridge.

12V compressor refrigerators are generally more efficient than gas absorption fridges when they’re running on 120V AC or 12V DC power, so they can run for longer off of the same type of power.

12V compressor fridges are also far less susceptible to frost, much like typical residential frost-free models.

There are a couple of different types of 12V compressor fridges:

Residential Style 12V Compressor Fridges

Dometic sells residential-style 12V compressor fridges in various sizes, styles, and capacities, from 6 cu. ft. all the way to 13 cu. ft.

They operate completely on 12V DC power.

Portable 12V Compressor Fridge

Dometic also makes some of the most popular portable 12V compressor fridges. These are often used by van campers, car campers, and boaters, and are also offered in various capacities.

Dometic’s 12V portable compressor fridges are known as some of the most energy-efficient portable fridges on the market. We have one that we use in the back of our towed car, enabling us to bring cold food along on day trips… or ensuring that groceries remain fresh, regardless of how far we have to drive to get them back to our RV.

Dometic RV Refrigerator Options

Dometic sells 11 different types/styles/capacities of compressor fridges and 29 different types/styles/capacities of absorption fridges.

Obviously, we can’t represent all of them here, so we suggest you take a look at Dometic’s website to see more about the full line of Dometic compressor fridges and Dometic absorption fridges.

Meanwhile, let’s take a look at a few different types of Dometic fridges.

Dometic Compressor Fridges

First, we’ll take a look at a few different Dometic compressor refrigerators.

Dometic CRX Pro 65

A Dometic CRX Pro 65

This is a compact 3-in-1 refrigerator/freezer that can be used as a fridge, freezer, or both at once. The CRX Pro 65 offers 45L of refrigerated/frozen storage space and has a patented removable freezer compartment (freeing up more room for larger/taller items).

Dometic CRX 110S

A Dometic Dometic CRX 110S

A larger option in the CRX series is this energy-efficient 3.8 cu ft fridge/freezer with a stainless steel door. The 110S offers a soft touch control panel and includes a bright, infrared-activated LED interior light.

Thanks to smart electronics, the system regulates the compressor speed of these fridges, and in doing so, saves as much as 25% of the amount of energy needed to run other makes/models.

Dometic DMC4081

A Dometic DMC4081

This is an 8 cu. ft. residential-style refrigerator with a recessed side pocket latching handle to keep the fridge closed while the RV is underway.

It features Dometic’s energy-efficient, variable-speed compressor cooling built for mobile travel, as well as digital controls, dual crisper drawers, and easy-to-clean glass shelves.

Dometic CFX3 Portable Compressor Fridge/Freezer

This is a different type of compressor fridge/freezer, meant for use in portable applications such as cars, camper vans, and boats. Dometic’s CFX portable compressor fridges are among the most popular portable fridge/freezer units on the market, largely because they use very little power.

They also have a rugged build to withstand off-roading and being moved in and out of vehicles, hotels, trucks, etc.

This particular unit is a 45-liter fridge/freezer, but Dometic offers the CFX series in capacities from 25 – 100 liters. The 75-liter and 95-liter units are dual compartment units that can function as both a fridge and a freezer at the same time, while the CFX units that are smaller than 75 liters can serve as a fridge or a freezer at any given time.

Dometic’s CFX line of portable fridges/freezers can be powered by 120V AC, 12V DC, or solar. All have a built-in, 3-stage dynamic battery protection system to prevent dead batteries.

The CFX3 app allows you to use your smart device for temperature control via WiFi or Bluetooth and provides performance history.

A high-resolution color display built into the unit allows for easy monitoring of the fridge’s performance.

Dometic’s portable fridges come with power cables for a 12/24V connection and a 120V connection, as well as removable wire baskets.

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Dometic Absorption Refrigerators

Dometic also offers 2-way and 3-way fitted and freestanding absorption refrigerators for the mobile market. These noiseless absorption fridges give you the option to cool your fridge with LP (liquid propane) gas or via electricity.

Dometic’s newest absorption refrigerators are said to provide high-performance cooling regardless of ambient temperatures. And because of their low 12V power demand, they can also be run on solar power!

Here are just a few examples of Dometic’s extensive line of absorption fridges.

Dometic RM 2354

A Dometic RM 2384

Dometic’s RM 2354 is a 3 cu. ft. fridge/freezer with 3-way power (AC, DC, or LP gas). It features adjustable door bins for storage flexibility and a defrost water drain system.

Designed to be permanently installed, these fitted units are available with right- or left-swing doors and switchable panels.

Dometic DM 2672

A Dometic DM 2672

The DM 2672 is a 6 cu. ft. refrigerator that features a solid steel frame construction and electronic controls. It’s an extremely popular size for smaller trailers and motorhomes.

The cooling unit is automatically controlled based on the surrounding ambient temperature. Reversible hinges allow for either a right or left swing doors, and high-grade seals & magnets minimize frost formation.

The unit has automatic LP electronic ignition with temperature control, and the thermostat is accessible on a control panel discretely hidden behind the freezer door.

Dometic RM 1350

A Dometic RM 1350

Dometic’s RM1350 Elite 2 + 2 refrigerator is a 13 cubic foot, four-door, absorption refrigerator with three crispers and dual-action shelf guards. It features a patented automatic door lock that is activated by your RV’s ignition system, ensuring the doors stay closed while your RV is underway.

Unique to this series of RV refrigerators, it features a divider-less freezer compartment that increases the available freezer space and allows for wall-to-wall cooling.

Thoughts on Dometic Refrigerators

Dometic has been in the mobile appliance space for a long time, and its reputation for quality is stellar. Our own experiences with Dometic products over the years have been excellent.

If you’d like to share your experiences with Dometic products, please leave a comment below!

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Stephen Klinger

Friday 19th of May 2023

You mention the option of running an RV fridge on propane while driving. I have a 2-way Dometic in my small motorhome, so running on 12-volt power is out of the equation for me. I'm wondering how safe you think it is to leave the propane on while traveling.


Monday 22nd of May 2023

Hi Stephen. That's a good question. The official word from the manufacturers about this is that you shouldn't run the fridge/freezer on propane while in motion. The long-and-the-short of it is that the motion and wind can result in components in the absorption refrigerator mechanism getting too hot and either (1) reducing its ability to cool the contents properly or (2) potentially creating a fire hazard due to overheating.

We know LOTS of RVers who leave their fridges on while driving and haven't heard of any of them having a problem. We did it for years when we had a gas-absorption RV fridge. But we now have a residential (120V AC compressor) fridge and so don't have to worry about that anymore. Guess you could say that running the fridge while driving may have shortened its life (it failed on us after about 7 years of full-time use)... so be your own judge on that.

Bill Thomas

Tuesday 16th of May 2023

Have a 25 year old made in Sweden Dometic RM 3662 that is still going strong in my 1998 Class C. Works well on both propane and shore power.

Have a battery powered circulating fan in the fridge for more even cooling in warm weather. Always cooled well even on the warmest days.

I’m the second full timer as owner so the fridge has gotten plenty of use.

John Duddleston

Tuesday 16th of May 2023

We have a 3 cf Dometic absorption refrigerator/freezer that runs on propane or 120v. Especially in warmer weather it doesn’t cool well when on propane. We have installed fans inside the unit to circulate air across the coils and two fans outside to draw air from the lower vent across the coils and exhaust out the top vent. Sometimes it still struggles to stay at a safe cold temp. Any other suggestions?


Tuesday 16th of May 2023

Not sure the 3 cf model is the same as the larger ones, but on the cooling fins in the refrigerator there's usually a white plastic sensor clipped to one of the right-most fins. That sensor can be moved up/down the fin to adjust where it's sensing the cold... and, thus, how cold it gets in the fridge. Yours may need to be moved. Typically... moving it UP the fin will make it colder in the refrigerator and moving it DOWN the fin will make it warmer. So, if your fridge isn't staying cold enough, you'd want to move it up.

Lyn Greenhill

Tuesday 16th of May 2023

We have a Dometic DMR 702 fridge in our trailer. While it works well, the handles are terrible. Cheap, flimsy, and break easily. Anyone know of an alternative handle that is sturdier?

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