Everyone knows that ice and recreational vehicles go hand in hand. When you’re on vacation and in an RV, you seem to use more ice than usual. It’s great to use ice for your drinks on hot summer days while you relax and watch the passers-by in your RV.
The NewAir AI-100SS Portable Ice Maker is capable of making all the extra ice you need in your RV, making it our top pick. It's capable of producing 28 lbs of ice a day.
However, it’s difficult to make ice on the go. A common solution to this dilemma is a portable ice maker. The best portable ice maker for RV keeps fresh water in a tank and fills a special container with a freezer component.
Within a few minutes, several kilos of solid ice fall into the insulated compartment that can be used to serve your needs in your RV.
Table of Contents
- Best Portable Ice Maker for RV – Comparison Table
- How Does a Portable Ice Maker Work?
- Does Portable Ice Maker Need a Water Line in RV?
- What Type of Water is Ideal to Use in Portable Ice Makers?
- How Do I Clean and Maintain my Portable Ice Maker?
- How Many Amps Does a Portable Ice Maker Use?
- How Quickly Do Portable Ice Makers Make Ice?
- What to Look for?
- Best Portable RV Ice Makers
- Key References
Best Portable Ice Maker for RV – Comparison Table
How Does a Portable Ice Maker Work?
Like any typical freezer, a portable ice maker works just like residential and commercial freezers with a fan-cooled freezer system.
- The water is manually placed at the bottom of the water tank, where it is pumped to the water tank by a water pump.
- In the water tank, the metal tips connected to a heat exchanger are lowered into the water.
- The environmentally friendly refrigerant R-134a reaches evaporator coils or tips as vapor. This will lower the temperature at the tips and freeze the water.
- Once the cycle is complete, the remaining and unused water is returned to the water tank.
- Instead of dissipating heat, the heat exchanger reverses and directs heat into the metal tips to remove ice cubes. For this reason, customers describe ice cubes as “wet” because the heat melts the ice quickly.
Does Portable Ice Maker Need a Water Line in RV?
What sets the portable ice maker apart is that it doesn’t require a continuous or dedicated connection to a water line.
- Unlike the freestanding or under-counter models, portable units only require manual filling of the internal lower water tank.
- Larger capacity portable ice machines come with an additional water line for connection to a water supply, depending on the brand.
What Type of Water is Ideal to Use in Portable Ice Makers?
When using a portable ice maker, you need to make sure you are using the correct water types.
- We recommend using filtered or potable water that is suitable for drinking.
- As a general rule of thumb, the water you put into the ice maker must be between 51°F and 90°F.
- You should also ensure that the water in the tank is changed approximately every 24 hours to ensure that it is kept at an adequate sanitation level.
How Do I Clean and Maintain my Portable Ice Maker?
Most portable ice machines require manual cleaning or have a self-cleaning feature.
A) Manual Cleaning
Use a solution of vinegar and water in equal quantities (1: 1 solution) and let the ice machine run as usual.
- Discard the first batch of ice cubes and manually empty the water reservoir.
- Run the ice maker at least 3 times with clean water, pouring out the ice cubes each time.
B) Self Clean
Use the 1: 1 solution of vinegar and water for Self Clean mode, but put the portable icemaker in Self Clean mode. Let the machine run through the self-cleaning cycle, followed by a rinse cycle in self-cleaning mode.
How Many Amps Does a Portable Ice Maker Use?
In general, most portable ice makers are 115 volts models, with some exceptions.
- These ice makers only need a 110 volts outlet to provide the right amount of power to meet the ice maker’s power consumption.
- 115 volts models also have amps needs. The current in your standard outlet is usually 15 amps, and the circuit breaker is usually 20 amps.
- These models require a dedicated circuit, ideally a 20-amp wall outlet, and a 20-amp circuit breaker.
How Quickly Do Portable Ice Makers Make Ice?
The time it takes for ice makers to make ice depends on the ice’s density or size and the temperature of the surrounding air and water.
- Some models and brands of portable ice machines offer different sizes from 1 to 3 sizes of ice.
- Large bales of ice take longer, typically about 15 minutes or more, and the smaller or less dense the ice, the less time there is.
What to Look for?
There are a few key features to consider when shopping for the best portable ice maker for an RV.
Besides size, the performance of an ice machine must also be considered. To do this, you need to know the ice making capacity of the particular ice maker. If you need many ice cubes, choose an ice maker with a higher production capacity.
B) Size and Capacity
Typically, portable ice machines are compact. However, you should opt for a model that meets your RV needs. When shopping for the best portable ice maker for an RV, be sure to measure the dimensions of the space you want it to fit in and compare it to the ice maker’s specifications.
C) Ease of Use
In general, most portable ice machines are relatively easy to use.
- A wide variety of units have basic instructions and intuitive controls that make them easy to use, even if it is your first time.
- Plus, you don’t need any installation, which means you don’t have to pay extra for professional installation.
- However, there may be slight differences in the controls. Some models feature very sensitive touch buttons, which makes them convenient to use.
When purchasing a portable ice machine for your recreational vehicle, appearance is not the most important thing. Still, it can contribute to the esthetics of the space it will be placed. Capacity and function are essential, but who says appearance cannot be considered?
An ice maker’s durability is not an easy feature to determine, as it is not possible to judge the machine’s durability just by looking at it.
- However, it’s possible to find a product’s durability information in the product reviews.
- Choose a reputable product to ensure the quality and durability of the ice cream maker.
- In general, products marketed by well-known brands are more reliable. Conversely, portable ice makers are generally very durable and can last for many years.
- So, pick a brand that offers a good guarantee. That way, you can rest assured that the product you are considering can be repaired or replaced if it’s faulty.
Best Portable RV Ice Makers
Here are the top 5 best portable ice makers for RV on the market today:
1. NewAir Portable Ice Maker
When planning your RV camping trips, a bucket full of ice cubes is a must.
- However, with the NewAir portable ice maker, you don’t need to buy ice or start making ice days in advance as you can now make your ice cubes with this ice maker.
- This unit can make all the extra ice you need in your RV, ensuring that every drink served is cold.
- It can produce up to 28 lbs of ice a day. Besides its sleek appearance, this ice maker can make 3 different sizes of ice cubes.
- With its lightweight construction and portable design, you can take it with you anywhere.
- This machine is easy to operate, and it takes a few minutes to start up.
- The NewAir Portable Ice Maker is a practical, compact, and portable ice maker that is ideal for an RV.
- The powerful compressor can produce 28 lbs of ice per day, so you can simplify the process of making ice cubes on demand.
2. Frigidaire EFIC108 Portable Compact Ice Maker
The Frigidaire EFIC108 is a very efficient portable ice machine to consider for your RV during thirsty and hot summers.
- This unit’s build quality is fantastic, and you can use it in almost any situation, even indoors and outdoors.
- This EFIC108 is an innovative machine that allows you to make lots of ice cubes in less than 15 minutes.
- The water tank is at the bottom of the ice maker, while the ice cube basket can hold a reasonable amount of ice cubes, so you can scoop them up or use them later.
- The warning lights and indicator lights let you know if your machine is out of ice cubes or requires more water.
- Beyond that, you don’t need any installation. Simply plug it into an outlet and start producing ice cubes.
- The ice machine is quiet and fast, making it one of the best portable ice makers for an RV. This unit is designed to prevent excess weight.
- There are no visible design flaws that you usually see on other ice makers. With its automatic shut-off feature, this is one of the most energy-efficient ice machines on the market.
- Thanks to its innovative design and other unique features, the Frigidaire EFIC108 Portable Compact Ice Maker can save a lot of energy and time.
3. LITBOOS Portable Ice Makers
LITBOOS IML-001 is a portable counter-style stainless steel electric ice machine with smart features and a 24-hour ice making capacity of 26 pounds.
- It has a 1.7-liter water tank and a 1.5-pound ice bank that can be used in your water bottles or various cold drinks like cocktails, iced coffee, spirits, and many more.
- You can easily take it anywhere and use it on your RV. This unit is a compact and portable ice maker that doesn’t take up much space.
- You can use it for many years thanks to its stainless steel construction. You will get 9 spherical ice cubes in only 8 to 9 minutes.
- The thick ice in this efficient ice cream maker does not melt very quickly.
- Rated at 150 watts (110 V, 60 Hz), thanks to its decent modern compressor and Energy Star rating, it is designed to make ice cubes quietly and with little power consumption.
- The warning light indicates when you need to add more water or when the ice cube basket is full.
- You will receive a BPA free plastic ice scoop and a removable ice basket.
- The stainless-steel exterior can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
- The LITBOOS Portable Ice Makers is practically a plug and play device that does not require complex installation.
4. Arctic-Pro Portable Digital Ice Maker Machine
The Arctic-Pro Portable Digital Ice Maker Machine is portable enough to take anywhere, making it perfect for an RV.
- Featuring a powerful compressor, this unit can produce up to 26 pounds of ice per day.
- The removable tray and ice scoop makes it easy to transfer ice when you need it the most.
- It has a streamlined digital control panel that indicates when you need to empty the removable ice tray or when you have to refill the water tank.
- The soft-touch control panel allows users to select from 3 different sizes of ice shape.
- Easy to clean and maintain, the Arctic-Pro Portable Digital Ice Maker Machine is equipped with a self-clean feature that ensures your ice is fresh and clean by removing impurities and minerals.
5. Prime Home Portable Ice Machine
The Prime Home Ice Machine is a sleek, modern machine that makes clear, spherical ice cubes in just 8 minutes.
- It has a total ice capacity of 26 pounds in a day. It’s a portable and compact ice maker that measures 9.5 x 12.9 x 14 inches and weighs 19.3 pounds.
- You can take it with you wherever you go and use it wherever there is an electrical outlet nearby.
- There is no need to connect the ice maker to a water pipe as you can simply fill the water tank with fresh, filtered water.
- There is no ice or water overflow, as warning lights and the automatic switch-off function switch the machine off once the ice cube basket is filled.
- It has a 120W compressor that works efficiently and quietly. You only hear the faint sound of ice falling during operation.
- The water reservoir has a capacity of 2.2 liters and is located directly under the ice basket.
- You get a removable ice basket and a plastic ice scoop in the package. With its stainless-steel finish, it appears to have strong and durable construction, and you can expect it to work like new for many years.
- The Prime Home Ice Machine offers excellent performance, produces ice quickly within minutes of being plugged in, runs quietly, and is inexpensive.
Our top pick for the best portable ice maker for RV is the NewAir AI-100SS Portable Ice Maker.
- It is a practical, compact, and portable ice maker that is ideal for an RV.
- The powerful compressor can produce 28 pounds of ice per day, so you can simplify the process of making ice cubes on demand.
Every RVer has their camping needs and preferences. The best portable ice maker for RV is your solution for making ice in a motor home.
When shopping for your portable ice machine, make sure that it is durable, compact, lightweight and that you get a unit that will produce at least 26 lbs of ice every 24 hours.
- “11 Common Questions About Portable Ice Makers”. Accessed January 23, 2021. Link.
- “What You Need to Know About Ice Machine Electrical Usage – EasyIce”. Accessed January 23, 2021. Link.