In this article, we describe our experience with the BougeRV portable fridge.
If you are thinking of buying a BougeRV refrigerator and you haven’t decided because you haven’t been able to try it yet, you’ve come to the right place.
We have had the opportunity to test and use the BougeRV Portable Fridge CRPRO30 30 Quart 12V/24V many times during our last trips.
Both during a day trip with the car, as when we do a long trip with the van.
Finally, we have decided to share our experience with you so that you can make the most informed decision possible.
BougeRV Portable Fridge CRPRO30 12V/24V features
First of all, the BougeRV CRPRO30 is not only a portable refrigerator, it is also a freezer.
This is an added value because the fridge in our van has a very small freezer.
The fact of having the option of being able to carry some more frozen food, ice or ice cream, etc., for a long trip, is frankly a convenience that we do not have now.
Some BougeRV coolers have the ability to connect via Bluetooth to your cell phone. This is not the case with CRPRO 30.
The BougeRV portable fridge only operates at 12/24 volts. The only power input it has is located on the right side in the lower area and is a 12V/24V input.
However, it works with AC/DC current and with DC current.
- You can use a 12V transformer that is included with the refrigerator to connect it to the AC/DC network.
- Or, you can connect it directly to a DC supply using a car cigarette lighter adapter.
In our case, in the van, we have an installation with an additional 85Ah battery connected to a 150W solar panel that allows us to have 12-volt current in the van.
To have 220V current, we have installed a 500W victron inverter that would serve us perfectly if we want to connect it with the transformer from 220V to 12V.
Use the inverter if you do not have a direct 12V output installed, but if you do, I recommend always connecting directly to the 12V output as the use of the inverter, even if it is a quality one, reduces the performance and will wear out the battery sooner.
In terms of design, one functionality I really like is that the lid is magnetic, so you don’t have to lock or unlock a latch every time you want to open the fridge.
The chain for the lid is metallic and quite resistant. It is used to prevent damage to the hinges or lid due to accidental over-opening.
The cooler has an integrated compartment in which a 220 Wh battery can be inserted to power it wherever you are.
According to BougeRV the battery can power the portable refrigerator for up to 6 hours (in Eco mode). I haven’t had the opportunity to try it because we didn’t buy it since we do not need it.
This refrigerator consumes very little energy. This is a huge advantage. Depending on how it is configured, it can consume a maximum of 45 Wh and in Eco mode it consumes 36 Wh.
The CRPPRO 30Q BougeRV portable fridge is not noisy at all. According to the instruction manual the noise level does not exceed 45 decibels.
Inside our RV, at maximum power the noise level was bearable and we could sleep without any problem.
When the refrigerator is in normal operation, the noise level is much lower and I love that.
Finally, there’s a feature that I have not heard about in any other review or seen in any other article when I was looking for information on the BougeRV fridge/freezer.
While the refrigerator is connected to a battery, the refrigerator has a monitoring and control system to protect the battery charge.
So, when the battery voltage drops below a certain level the refrigerator shuts down.
And if the battery voltage rises again (because it is connected to a solar panel, for example) and exceeds a certain level, the refrigerator switches on again.
Protection level can be set in 3 modes, high (H), medium (M) and low (L). (L). Depending on each mode, the minimum voltage required by the battery decreases. We will talk about this later on.
This feature is very important for us because it allows us to protect the charge of the van’s battery when we are not plugged into the 110V supply or the day is cloudy and the solar panel doesn’t generate enough energy.
|Capacity:||30QT or 28 L or 0.99 cubic feet|
|Dimensions exterior (L*W*H)||23” x 12.6” x 16.2” / 58.4cm x 32cm * 41.14cm|
|Inside Measurements(L*W*H)||13.8” x 9.8” x 13” / 35cm x 24,9cm x 33cm|
|Item Weight||27.55 pounds / 12.5 Kg|
|Noise Level||45 dB|
|Rated Power||ECO MODE: 36 Watts, MAX MODE: 45 Watts|
|Warranty||2+2 Years (Exclusive benefit for purchases made on the BougeRV official website)|
We received the refrigerator by FedEx. FedEx is a guarantee of quality shipments. They give you an estimated delivery date and time and barring catastrophe, they do not fail. This time, they didn’t fail either.
We received a simple, very sturdy cardboard box.
The box had a small scratch on one side and a bump on the other that had broken the cardboard a bit but thanks to the fact that the cooler came well-protected it was of no consequence.
The fridge has two expanded polystyrene protections on top and bottom and comes wrapped in a plastic bag.
Inside the refrigerator, there is a small cardboard box containing the instruction manual, the transformer to connect it to the 110V supply, and two DC cables to connect it to a cigarette lighter socket.
A first very short cable that is intended to be used with the portable battery that is integrated in the refrigerator.
And a second much longer cable that is intended for use with the cigarette lighter of the car or with a 12V cigarette lighter socket that you have in your motorhome or van.
During transport, the fridge may have been turned upside down. This refrigerator is cooled by a compressor and inside the compressor, there is lubricating oil.
If the refrigerator has been turned upside down, the oil may not accumulate in the lower part of the compressor (which is where it should be) and when you turn on the refrigerator you can damage the compressor.
I fully understand that you are keen to put the fridge on to go out, but it is important that you follow this advice, if you do, you will have a fridge for a long time.
The BougeRV refrigerator is designed with great attention to detail.
The first thing I like about the design is that on the external surfaces, there are virtually no protruding elements. Even the handles are flush with the surface. This is good if you need to store it in a space that fits tight, as nothing will get caught if you slide it.
The lid, when closed, can act as a small table and has four holes to place cans or beers and a small space in which a snack can be placed.
It has a side compartment that can be used to store the portable battery and if you don’t have a portable battery as in my case, you can store the cables and the transformer inside which comes in handy.
The refrigerator has a built-in bottle opener on the left side at the top, a very nice detail that costs very little.
On both sides, there are slots to place flat straps to hold the fridge while driving. The straps do not come with the fridge , you will have to buy them separately.
On each side, it has handles to carry it without any problem.
In addition, you can also buy the cover on the BougeRV website. This cover insulates even more the fridge and allows it to be carried easily.
The lid is held in place by an inner chain that is quite strong, I like the detail that the chain is made of steel and not plastic or fabric.
Inside the refrigerator, there is a slot on each side so a divider panel can be slid to create two distinct spaces.
Inside the the refrigerator, there’s an LED light to illuminate the contents which is great when you are in low-light conditions.
A bottle of water can stand upright in the fridge but be careful if the bottle is too high the lid will not close.
I have tried with different types of bottles and only with one of them, the lid didn’t close. To ensure that the lid closes tight, the bottle should not extend beyond the rim on which the lid rests.
Installation of the refrigerator
The installation of the refrigerator is very simple. Just plug it in and it will start working.
Once plugged in, the different operating options can be configured. We will detail each of them below.
Different power supply modes of the 28L BougeRV CRPRO30 refrigerator
As mentioned above, the BougeRV refrigerator can be powered in several different ways. Let’s discuss each of them with more detail.
The first is through a 220-volt to 12-volt transformer. Logically, this is the one that gives the most constant power and is the one we use to cool the refrigerator before leaving on a trip.
The second is by using a 12-volt direct current network. Either by connecting it to the cigarette lighter of the car or to the 12-volt socket of your van or camper.
If you connect the battery to the car’s cigarette lighter and it only works while the car is on you will have a fairly stable power source. But when the car is off you will need another power source.
If you have a 12-volt installation in your van or motorhome with a battery and a solar panel, this is more than enough to power the refrigerator.
The third way is to use the BougeRV portable battery that is integrated into the fridge in the compartment specifically designed for it.
Take into account that the purpose of this battery is to preserve the cold. It is not advisable to run the refrigerator on battery power if the food and beverages to be stored inside are at room temperature.
If you do so, cooling them will require several hours of operation at full power and you will drain the battery completely in a few hours.
It is highly recommended to use the battery when the refrigerator has been previously cooled by connecting it to the 220V supply or to the 12V socket of your motorhome or van.
When using the refrigerator with a battery be sure to set the battery protection system of the refrigerator.
Remember to set the battery protection level to high or medium when using the portable battery.
Finally, the fourth way to power the refrigerator is with an external power station and portable solar panels.
These power stations have plenty of power and can be charged using portable solar panels.
It is an excellent solution if, for example, you are going camping with your car for a few days and do not expect to have access to a 220V supply at any time.
Using the solar panel and the power station you can supply the refrigerator with electricity continuously during your stay at the campsite.
Configuration of the different options of the BougeRV refrigerator
The options that can be configured are:
- Desired temperature inside the refrigerator
- Power modes: Max or Eco
- Battery protection modes: High, Medium or Low
- Temperature display mode in Fahrenheit or Celsius
Let’s get into the detail of each one of them.
Desired temperature inside the refrigerator:
The desired temperature inside the refrigerator is regulated with the + and – buttons located on the command panel in the lower left corner.
It is logically the most used option. You can regulate the operating temperature from -8°F to 50°F / -22°C to +10°C.
The refrigerator does not have a “freezer mode” button; in fact, it is sufficient to set the temperature low enough to freeze whatever is inside.
I do not recommend setting a temperature of -8Â°F / -22Â°C because of the energy consumption that this can generate and the excessive work for the compressor that can end up reducing its life.
For us, a temperature of 14°F/-10°C was more than enough, although it should be noted that BougeRV’s recommendation for meat or frozen products is 0°F/-18°C.
Power modes: Max or Eco
With this option, we regulate the operating mode of the compressor so that it consumes more or less energy.
Eco mode is an energy-saving mode in which the refrigerator consumes 36W. The refrigerator in this mode will cool more slowly, but if you already have it at the target temperature and you just want to keep it cold, this is the mode to set.
Max mode is a mode that consumes 45W, it is a higher power consumption but cools faster. If you want it to cool as fast as possible and you have the refrigerator connected to the 220V plug or to a constant and/or almost unlimited power source, this is the mode to use.
Battery protection modes: High, Medium or Low
The BougeRV portable fridge is equipped with a control and monitoring system to preserve the battery.
It has three possible levels of control: High, Medium or Low.
The difference between one mode and the other is the battery voltage threshold below which the refrigerator decides to shut down to preserve the battery charge or decides to reactivate as the battery has recovered the minimum charge required.
As the BougeRV refrigerator operates at 12V or 24V, the thresholds for each protection mode are adapted depending on whether you are using a 12V or a 24V battery.
|Voltage||The factory default protection system is H (High).|
|12V DC||Auto Power Off||11.3 V||10.1 V||9.6V|
|Auto Power On||12.5V||11.4V||10.9V|
|24V DC||Auto Power Off||24.6V||22.3V||21.3V|
|Auto Power On||26.0V||23.7V||22.7V|
|Note||Auto Shutdown: Below this battery input voltage, the refrigerator/freezer is turned off.|
|Auto Start: From this battery input voltage the refrigerator/freezer starts automatically.|
Fahrenheit or Celsius temperature display mode
This is the mode to configure how the temperature is shown on the display. By default, we received the refrigerator with the temperature in Celsius.
Setting the temperature display to show in Fahrenheit is very simple and is well indicated in the instruction manual.
It is sufficient to press the key with the gear wheel and the + at the same time for a few seconds.
How we have used the BougeRV Portable Fridge
This summer we did a road trip through Europe with the van in which we traveled through several countries, including France, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Germany, and Austria.
It was a summer road trip between July and August during which we suffered several heat waves.
The most important use we have given it has been as an auxiliary refrigerator for drinks, especially water and soft drinks, and as a freezer when we made some larger purchases of meat basically.
When we take the car out on the weekend for a day trip, we also use the BougeRV fridge to carry the food and refreshments we will need for the day.
But usually, we use the RV, and the refrigerator is connected to a 12V outlet that is connected to the auxiliary battery that is powered by a solar panel located on the roof.
I was most concerned about the nights since the solar panel doesn’t generate power and I didn’t know if the battery would be able to hold the whole night.
I have always had the BougeRV refrigerator configured with the high battery protection level and the truth is that it has worked perfectly and has not given us a single problem.
The refrigerator is well insulated and the fact that the lid is magnetic allows the refrigerator to always be well closed. It avoids losing the cold as it prevents the lid to not closing properly.
The temperature that I have set by default is 39°F/4ºC which is the same temperature that I have in my refrigerator at home.
Unfortunately, the trivalent refrigerator I have in the RV does not allow us to set the temperature with such precision.
I really love the product overall and it works great.
If you travel in a van or RV and you do not have the possibility of having a trivalent refrigerator, this refrigerator is certainly to be taken into account. Even if you have one, this refrigerator is a great add-up to win more fridge space.
We had the experience of using a conventional passive cooler that had to be iced every day when we drove the Route 66 from Los Angeles to Chicago.
We used it because there was no other alternative. It did not keep the cold well, it was very uncomfortable to change the ice every day and the worst part was that the food was soggy. Overall it was a bit unpleasant.
With the BougeRV refrigerator/freezer you will have none of these drawbacks, food stays cold and dry, it makes little noise and energy consumption is reasonable.
Use of the BougeRV App
Some refrigerators allow connection via Bluetooth with the cell phone through an application.
Our BougeRV CRPRO 30 refrigerator does not allow this connection as it does not have Bluetooth.
The warranty offered by BougeRV is 2 years and starts from the date of purchase either on their website or on Amazon.
Products purchased second-hand, damage caused by natural disasters, misuse, or disassembly of the refrigerator are excluded from the warranty.
Temperatures to use the BougreRV as a Refrigerator
As we have already mentioned in the post if you want to use the refrigerator as a refrigerator, the ideal is to set a temperature between 37°F and 43°F (3ºC and 6ºC).
The refrigerator cools perfectly, makes little noise, and consumes little energy. Keep in mind that the lower the reference temperature you set, the more energy the refrigerator will consume.
It has worked great for us with a reference temperature of 37°F (4ºC).
Temperatures to use the BougeRV as a Freezer
We have used the BougeRV as a freezer on very few occasions.
Setting it to a reference temperature of -10° keeps things perfectly frozen.
On the manufacturer’s recommendation panel for frozen food or meat, the temperature is -0°F/-18ºC.
As I have repeatedly said, the lower the reference temperature, the more energy the refrigerator will consume.
So if you put it in freezer mode, keep in mind that it will need to be cooling longer, which means more energy consumption and a bit more noise, especially at night.
How long does it take to cool
When we did the unboxing, and after leaving the fridge in a horizontal position for a couple of days to make sure the compressor oil would be in place, we ran the fridge empty with a thermometer inside with a target temperature of 37Â°C/4ÂºC.
According to the thermometer, the ambient temperature on the wall of the refrigerator was 71.6°F/22ºC, however, the refrigerator’s temperature indicator showed a temperature of 77°F/25ºC Celsius.
We turned on the refrigerator and I put the cell phone on top of it to show you the time intervals and the evolution of the temperature.
In 8 minutes the temperature dropped to 73°F (23°C) and in 16 minutes the temperature dropped from 77°F (25°C) to 57.2°F (14°C). After 20 minutes the temperature inside the refrigerator was already 42.8°F (6ºC).
At that moment we put into the refrigerator four bottles (1L) of water and 18 cans of beverages that were at room temperature.
The thermometer began to show an increase in the temperature inside the refrigerator that reached up to 71.6Â°F (22ÂºC).
After 1:20 h of non-stop of the compressor, the temperature started to drop. The refrigerator took 7 hours since we put the drinks in to reach a temperature of 44°F (7ºC).
Considering that we introduced the beverages at room temperature, it seems to me a pretty good performance to cool the entire contents in about 7 hours.
This reinforces what I have told you about the portable battery as an aid to keep cool but not to cool from room temperature.
If you go hiking and that same morning you put the drinks at room temperature in the refrigerator and the only source of energy is the portable battery, first you will completely deplete the portable battery charge and secondly, you will not be able to enjoy cold drinks for about 7 hours!.
Therefore, if you go on a trip with the fridge, it is highly recommended to cool the contents the night before with the refrigerator connected to the 220V plug.
Regarding the noise level I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how quiet it is.
Even when we were doing the cooling speed test where it was running at full power for 7 hours I found the noise to be more than bearable.
When you use the refrigerator in the van and its only job is to keep the refrigerator cold, the noise it makes is negligible, especially since it only turns on when it needs to recover the target temperature.
We were able to sleep perfectly throughout the trip with the refrigerator working.
If, on the other hand, you want to sleep in a tent or van with the refrigerator running at full power continuously, you may be bothered by the noise.
Durability and resistance of the BougeRV Portable Fridge
The design of the BougeRV CPPRO 30 fridge is quite robust.
A couple of times it got a little bumped when we were taking a curve and it wasn’t well fastened, and it took it pretty well.
I’m not going to tell you that it is super resistant to shocks, but for the use you are going to give it, that is, in your car or RV, you shouldn’t have any problem.
What we like
We like the overall design of the refrigerator, it is a simple, functional, and easy-to-store design. It has some details such as the bottle opener or the battery compartment that are very well thought out.
It seems to us that the fridge is sufficiently resistant and that it will be durable over time.
The BougeRV portable fridge cools in a fairly reasonable time and keeps the cold properly.
The noise level is more than acceptable and allows you to have it inside the RV, van, car, or tent even at night.
It has a battery discharge protection system that we love because for us is key not to run out of power when we are traveling in the RV.
It comes well equipped with a transformer and two 12-volt connection cables.
Our overall impression is very positive and we believe it is a great investment to gain in quality of life during our travels with the van or car.
What we would improve
I find myself in one of those rare times when it is very difficult for me to say what I would improve about a product.
Frankly, I think it is a fantastic product at a very affordable price considering the prices of similar products on the market.
It seems to be a more than recommended purchase, either for travelers like us who do a lot of traveling by car and RV or to go camping from time to time.
Last Updated on 29 September, 2023 by Veronica
Disclosure: Some of the links on this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Vero, a seasoned traveler, has explored 25 countries and lived in five, gaining a rich perspective and fostering an infectious passion for travel. With a heart full of wanderlust, Vero uncovers the world’s hidden gems and shares insights, tips, and planning advice to inspire and assist fellow adventurers. Join Vero and let the shared passion for travel create unforgettable memories.