Cold-Food Storage

By Kevin Livingston
January 29, 2015
Filed under Gear, Gear Reviews, RV Reviews


Dometic’s new CFX35 portable refrigerator/freezer keeps perishables safe in two temperature zones


All motorhomes have a refrigerator and freezer; some have two doors, some have four doors. The size of the refrigerator is definitely a selling point when choosing a motorhome as buyers assess their needs to store food for their type of travel. It’s probably safe to assume that most RVers can manage their available refrigerator/freezer space and pack accordingly. But what happens when a local big-box store is having a great sale on items frequently used for meal preparation? Or what about that fishing trip when limits were filled each day? Storage of cold and frozen foods can easily become an issue when on the road. Ice chests will work for a short period of time, but it’s a pain to keep adding ice and dealing with water that disintegrates packaging and dilutes the food stored in poorly sealed containers.

wo compartment zones allow a temperature differential of 10-12 degrees, so the CFX35 can serve as a refrigerator and freezer.

Two compartment zones allow a temperature differential of 10-12 degrees, so the CFX35 can serve as a refrigerator and freezer.

Portable refrigerators are a great option to supplement cold-food storage. Longtime RV appliance manufacturer Dometic has redesigned its line of portable refrigerator/freezers, and the introduction of the CFX35 makes a perfect companion when RV refrigerator shelves start overflowing. Beyond the nicer look of the redesigned box, the CFX series Fridge Freezers have a new compressor from a major European manufacturer that uses new technology to improve energy efficiency and general cooling performance. It has a low-maintenance refrigerant circuit and the strong and reliable compressor runs off of 120-volt AC or 12-volt DC power.

The CFX35 is nicely packaged in a rugged gray-and-blue-striped plastic casing filled with generous portions of insulation in every place it could possibly go. Building the CFX35 in this manner allows the unit to reach desired temperatures in a very short amount of time, while not completely draining batteries when operating on 12-volt DC power. In fact, in about one hour, the temperature inside the CFX35 was down to the chosen temperature of 42 degrees Fahrenheit. The unit has a temperature range from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

DometicAtAGlanceWhere the CFX35 really shines is in its two-zone capability, which provides independent temperatures in two zones, allowing one section to serve as a refrigerator and the other as a freezer. There is a 10-12-degree differential between the sections. Aside from the basics you would expect from a refrigerator or freezer, the CFX35 has an LED display for temperature readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit and an LED to illuminate the interior. The control panel monitors the vehicle’s battery levels and even supplies a USB charging port for phones and small electronics. The battery monitor is designed to shut off the CFX35 automatically once the supply voltage falls below a certain point, when the ignition is switched off.

Controls are clearly displayed on the side of the unit; there’s even a USB port for charging portable electronic devices.

Controls are clearly displayed on the side of the unit; there’s even a USB port for charging portable electronic devices.

Obviously, due to the nature of the beast, there really isn’t any type of installation involved other than finding a suitable location for the CFX35’s 24.8-by-15.7-by-16.2-inch dimensions and selecting the appropriate power supply cable, depending on location and type of voltage. The only remaining operation from here is to depress the “Set” button twice followed by opting to press “Up” or “Down” until reaching the desired temperature reading.

The CFX35 is a perfect accessory for those who shop for a lot of food. Yes, the CFX35 is on the pricey side at $685 (Camping World price as of press time), but if the idea of keeping extra chilled or frozen foods for long periods of time in a portable refrigerator/freezer that runs nearly silently is appealing, the new Dometic unit will fit the bill nicely.

Dometic | 800-544-4881 |



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2 Responses to “Cold-Food Storage”

  1. Dean Riley on February 17th, 2015 5:30 pm

    We left an electric cooler (12v) run all night right after we bought our Navion 24G (2014). In the morning the Navion would not start. Luckily the boost switch worked to allow starting. The batteries were new.

    How do I know the Dometic CFX35 would not do the same?

    And would the above unit drain the battery while driving this particular RV?


  2. Dean Riley on February 17th, 2015 6:22 pm

    Following my previous question, we were plugged into shore power during the aforementioned night.


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