One thing many of us have learned from this crazy world in the last couple of years is that we need to appreciate the freedom we have. Hopping in our beloved vehicle and exploring can be one of the most rewarding yet simple feelings.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a quick beach day or a month-long road trip across Canada – getting out there and experiencing what our surroundings have to offer is more important now than ever.
Camping and overlanding have received a large spike in popularity because quite frankly, it was one of the only places we were still allowed to go. Overlanding gear is a hot topic now and companies are having to deal with a lot of fresh competition on the market.
12V refrigerators are no exception. For the longest time, you had to spend at least $1,000 to get a decent one. Those days are over now that a new group of affordable fridges has arrived.
SetPower is one of those companies and when they offered to send me their top-of-the-line RV60D Pro refrigerator, I gladly accepted. We’ve been using our beloved Yeti Tundra 45 cooler on all of our trips but after playing with the SetPower unit, I think it’s time to make the switch. Bye-bye, ice packs!
SetPower RV60D Pro Overview
- Large capacity fridge at an affordable price
- All of the features you need without fancy gizmos
- Ideal for someone looking to get into overlanding on a budget
|Bargain price||Fewer features than more expensive fridges|
|Sturdy build quality||Mostly plastic construction|
|True dual-zone design||A little big for a 4runner with wheels mounted|
|Battery protection cut-off|
|Easy to use digital controls|
|Holds 72 cans!|
As I mentioned, the RV60D Pro is the largest refrigerator in the SetPower lineup. This is a big, 60-quart unit that offers tons of space for food and beverages. This is a true dual zone fridge (separate temp settings for both sides) with a center divider that converts it to a single zone when removed.
The temperature controls will allow for settings anywhere between 0-50F and can be adjusted in 1 degree increments.
The Pro version of the RV60D adds a retractable handle on one side and a set of removable wheels to make transportation easier. If you feel like these features won’t be helpful to you, sticking with the regular RV60D will save you about 70 bucks.
Are SetPower fridges any good?
SetPower fridges might be cost-effective but that certainly doesn’t mean they feel cheap. Quite the contrary. The entire fridge is solid.
The controls are easy to use with firm clicks when you engage them. The digital display is very clear and can be seen in most lighting situations. The handles feel sturdy with very little flex in them. Even the wheels on this Pro model are high quality with rubber tread on them.
You aren’t going to get some of the features you’d find on premium models from ARB and Dometic. There’s no wifi/Bluetooth function to control the fridge from your phone. Most components are made of ABS plastic rather than steel or aluminum. The RV45S model is an exception – it’s made of aluminum.
SetPower refrigerators are simple but they do their job very well. Those other features might be nice to have but are they worth paying double the price for? In my opinion, they aren’t. I want a fridge that will keep food cold – I don’t care about talking to it from my phone.
|RV45S||RV45D||RV45D Pro||RV60D||RV60D Pro|
|Height/Width/Length||18.8 x 16.0 x 27.3”||17.3 x 16.7 x 25.4”||18.7 x 22.8 x 28.7”||21.1 x 16.7 x 25.4”||22.4 x 22.8 x 28.7”|
|Capacity||45L (72 cans)||45L (52 cans)||45L (52 cans)||56L (72 cans)||56L (72 cans)|
|Weight||46 lbs||38 lbs||41 lbs||41 lbs||43 lbs|
|Retractable handle and wheels||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
SetPower RV60D performance and capacity
What good is a fridge/freezer if it doesn’t actually get cold? That’s really all I’m asking of this one and I have to say, it does it quite well. It does take a little while to cool off from hot summer temps, but it will eventually get to the desired temp and stay there.
The RV60D is a pretty large fridge. It’ll hold 72 12oz cans or 21 wine bottles, depending on how fancy you are. The RV45D is smaller but it’s worth noting that they both share the same outside dimensions – the RV60D allows for more capacity because it’s a bit taller.
The height could pose a bit of an issue if you’re going to use this fridge in a smaller SUV like a 4runner, especially if you’re running luggage drawers that raise your floor up. With the wheels and legs mounted, I wasn’t quite able to open the fridge door up all the way without hitting the ceiling.
This was easily solved by removing them. I don’t have any drawers or a sleeping platform in my 4runner though so if you do, you’d be better off sticking with the RV45D model.
As far as the Tacoma goes, it seems like most people with overlanding setups tend to have the larger Double Cab. With all that space, nearly any refrigerator should be able to fit. Our Tacoma has the smaller Access Cab though, so I wanted to see if it would squeeze in behind the seats. I’m happy to report that it fits just fine, with room to spare. No issues there.
It’s no surprise that the compressor makes some noise but I don’t find it very noticeable at all. It has a quiet hum that doesn’t attract much attention.
Battery life and power drain
SetPower claims that the RV60D uses 2-5 amps per hour once it’s been cooled down. For that reason, I’d recommend cooling it off in your house first before you pack and leave on your trip. It’ll be much more efficient that way.
Feel free to use the Max mode when plugged into a 110V source but the Eco mode should be utilized when running off your vehicle’s battery. If you’re planning on being parked for a few days, you might want to invest in a secondary power source for peace of mind.
The RV60D comes with built-in battery protection with 3 different sensitivity levels. Depending on which setting you choose, the fridge will turn off if your vehicle’s battery drops to a certain point. Here are the cut-off levels for each setting:
Your desired temperature will play a big role in how much power your fridge uses. Running one zone as a fridge and the other as a freezer will drain the most power. By removing the center divider, you can convert it to a single zone fridge which will definitely save on power.
SetPower refrigerator value – are they worth the money?
Being cost-effective is one of the biggest selling points of these refrigerators. So do they succeed at providing the best value? Absolutely.
While $599 still isn’t considered pocket change for many of us, they’re still half the price of other competitors. That’s hard to beat for a true dual-zone fridge. Based on my experience and many reviews online, they perform well and last for a long time.
SetPower offers a 3-year warranty on the compressor and a 1-year warranty on the refrigerator as a whole. If something goes wrong, you can contact their North American office and they’ll either fix yours for free or give you a new one.
In the end, saving a bunch of money on a 12V refrigerator for your rig doesn’t mean you’ll be sacrificing performance or longevity. SetPower fridges do their job and they stand behind them with a good warranty. I think we’ll be seeing them become more and more popular very soon.
Want to get 12% off your very own SetPower refrigerator? Hit the link below and use code “GEARHEAD” for a discount!
Tim is the creator of Canadian Gearhead. His experience with auto detailing and working for Toyota shows through all of the articles posted here. He runs the Canadian Gearhead site and YouTube channel full-time now and currently owns a 2007 4runner, 2006 Tacoma, and 1991 MR2. Read more about Tim: