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Review: Stay Cool Anywhere With The Affordable BougeRV CR45 Portable Dual-Zone Fridge

(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)

Kelly Headshot

By Kelly Beasley

The BougeRV CR45 48 Quart Review (hands-on): This portable dual-zone fridge freezer is a versatile and feature-rich cooling solution designed to meet the needs of anyone needing a portable refrigerator.

BougeRV dual zone 12v refrigerator

It has a spacious capacity, fairly precise temperature control, ability to set a different temperature in each of the zones, and vehicle low battery protection, among other user-friendly features.

The CR45 offers a reliable companion for RVers, overlanders, and travelers.

  • What makes the CR45 stand apart from the other BougeRV portable fridge options is the optional lithium battery that allows you to power the refrigerator without needing an external power source. There are two other sizes of CR fridges that have this optional battery capability.

In this portable refrigerator review, we explore the biggest benefits, cons and our thoughts about the unit as we've had it for almost six months as of this writing.

We also discuss our experiences, highlighting both the positive aspects and areas for improvement, along with other available sizes and temperature consistency, and we provide a conclusion for our BougeRV CR45 Review.

Full Disclosure: BougeRV sent us a CR45 portable fridge to test and evaluate. As with all products we agree to test, we are under no obligation to write a glowing review for a product just because it was given to us. If we like a product and think it's a good fit for our audience, we will discuss it on Camp Addict. If we don't like the product, you will never hear about it from us.

Purchase Options

You can either purchase directly from BougeRV's website or Amazon.

Use the following coupon codes on the BougeRV website for additional discounts:

CAMP100 - $100 off CR45 refrigerator

BougeRV - 16% off sitewide

Shop the BougeRV Halloween sale through November 10th and enjoy up to 30% off select items.

First Impressions

Our first impressions, the box and opening the box, were very good.

The packaging protection was adequate with a strong cardboard box and thick foam contoured inserts.

BougeRV 12v refrigerator packing material

When we removed the BougeRV CR45 fridge from the box, it's readily apparent that it is a well-made, quality product.

We were impressed. It's made from thick plastic, nothing that will easily crack or break.

The display is large enough to easily view and the handle is sturdy. The wheels are one place we could see some improvement.

They are quite small and do feel light as far as sturdiness.

But it should last fine for us as we don't pull it over gravel drives and it mainly stays indoors.

Outer And Inner Measurements

The BougeRV CR45 has outer measurements of 20 inches tall, 18 inches wide (from wheel to wheel), and 28 inches long (from the handle to the back wheel).

However, it is worth noting that the width and length can be reduced a little by removing the wheels and handle.

The inner capacity of the CR45 is 48 quarts (45 liters), providing ample space for storing food, beverages, and perishable items.

BougeRV dual zone portable fridge interior

The inside of the fridge cooler has two compartments.

The large side:

  • 15 1/2 inches tall
  • 10 1/4 inches wide
  • 12 inches deep

The small side:

  • 8 1/2 inches tall
  • 7 3/4 inches wide
  • 12 inches deep

Weight and Maneuverability

The CR45 portable fridge freezer weighs approximately 44.1 pounds (20 kg).

While it may not be the lightest option on the market, it is still manageable for most users, even when heavier/full.

This is especially true because it features a sturdy handle making it easy to lift and transport on its two wheels.

Additionally, the removable wheels provide added convenience when moving the fridge freezer across different terrains.

Keep in mind that the wheels aren't made for hardcore off-roading, but perform well on smoother, harder surfaces.

Purchase Options

You can either purchase directly from BougeRV's website or Amazon.

Use the following coupon codes on the BougeRV website for additional discounts:

CAMP100 - $100 off CR45 refrigerator

BougeRV - 16% off sitewide

Shop the BougeRV Halloween sale through November 10th and enjoy up to 30% off select items.

Temperature Settings And Consistency

The BougeRV CR45 offers precise temperature control with two modes: Max and Eco.

The Max mode ensures rapid cooling, ideal for quickly chilling beverages or freezing perishable items.

On the other hand, the Eco mode optimizes energy efficiency, maintaining a consistent temperature while minimizing power consumption.

The ability to switch between these modes provides flexibility to adapt to various cooling needs.

The lowest setting you can get with this is -4º Fahrenheit (-20º C).

This is great in optimal temperatures, but understand that it likely will not maintain that low (or higher) a temperature when it's blistering hot out or the unit is in full sun. It's just the nature of the beast.

Its highest cooling setting is 68º Fahrenheit (20º C).

Naturally, putting both sides in freezer temperatures and in max mode will use more power than, say, if both sides are in refrigerator mode and in eco mode.

This is important to understand if you have a limited power supply.

Low Battery Protection And Battery Options

One notable feature of the BougeRV CR45 is its low battery protection system.

The purpose of it is to NOT kill your vehicle's battery when you are using it to power your refrigerator cooler.

It safeguards the vehicle's battery from being drained by automatically turning off the fridge freezer at different voltage thresholds (you choose one of three cut-off voltages). Meaning, it won't give your vehicle a dead battery.

Optional Detachable Battery

The CR45 is compatible with a (sold separately) detachable lithium battery.

This battery offers a reliable power source for off-grid camping and extended trips without needing to have a big portable power bank.

BougeRV dual zone portable fridge bottle opener end

Battery insertion point below handle

It's also invaluable for being a battery backup if you lose power in your vehicle, RV, etc.

It will keep your goods cold until you realize you've lost power and fix it or until the power comes back on.

There have been a couple times the power cable wiggled loose during a drive (common occurrence with any portable refrigerator) and the backup battery saved the day!

BougeRV fridge detachable battery

The battery can run the fridge from 4-24 hours, depending on many different factors (ambient temp, how full fridge is, is it in Eco mode or not, etc.).

This battery takes about 3.5 hours to fully charge using the 12V/24V adapter.

BougeRV CR45 48 Quart Features

  • LCD Screen: The CR45 is equipped with a user-friendly LCD screen and control panel, allowing easy temperature adjustments and monitoring.
  • Baskets: The interior of the fridge freezer should include baskets on each side for easy removal of contents and better airflow around the food, making the fridge more efficient. (Our fridge did not come with any as a no basket option is available to save $10. We think the baskets are worth the nominal extra amount.) Anyhow, you can also take the baskets out to avoid bending over and letting cold escape the whole time you're looking for an item. Of course, this somewhat depends on how high you have the refrigerator mounted.
  • LED Lights: When you open the lid, built-in LED lighting enhances visibility, especially in low-light conditions.
  • Detachable Door: One of our favorite perks is the door/lid that can open either way. This is especially helpful for van life builds and also for RVers that need to move it to different places in the RV at different times. One can move the lid opening to whichever way works best for that locale. To change the lid to the opposite side, just open it to a 90-degree angle, lift it off, and flip it around to insert it on the other edge of the refrigerator cooler.
  • Extra Seat: The lid and unit are strong enough to double as an additional chair for someone on a camping trip.
  • Cutting Board: The unit has a built-in cutting board mounted on the underside of the lid.
BougeRV 12 volt fridge inside lid

App Compatibility and Connectivity

BougeRV offers a dedicated mobile app allowing users to control and monitor the fridge freezer remotely via Bluetooth (can only connect to a single smartphone at a time).

The app provides:

  • Real-time temperature readings
  • Battery status
  • The ability to adjust settings
  • Turn the unit on/off conveniently from your smartphone

The app controls provide convenience and flexibility, especially when managing the fridge freezer from a distance (within Bluetooth range).

  • Download the BougeRV CR45 manual here (PDF).

Cables And Accessories

The BougeRV CR45 comes with all necessary cables (2) for DC and AC power connections, providing versatility in various settings.

The cables are good quality and ensure a secure and reliable power supply.

Cable lengths are adequate - the DC cable is 11 1/2 feet long, and the AC cable is 7 feet long.

Additionally, the fridge freezer includes a handy storage compartment for cables, preventing clutter and improving overall organization.

Our BougeRV CR45 Review: Experience And Impressions

BougeRV 12v fridge handle end

During our testing, the BougeRV CR45 proved a reliable and efficient cooling solution.

The temperature settings allow for customization of the cooling performance according to your specific needs.

The low battery protection provides peace of mind. It prevents potential vehicle battery drain issues during extended trips.

Though we mostly used this at home and then in a van, NOT using a vehicle's primary battery supply, we did use it in my 4Runner a few times to get groceries and welcomed the battery drain protection.

What We Like:

  • Optional Battery Pack: With the optional lithium battery pack, you have a truly portable refrigerator/freezer that you can take places you don't otherwise have a power supply.
  • Spacious Capacity: The 48-quart (45L) interior offers ample storage space for food, beverages, and perishable items.
  • Precise Temperature Control: The Max and Eco modes allowed us to choose between rapid cooling and energy efficiency, adapting to different cooling requirements.
  • Low Battery Protection: The three levels of low battery voltage protection ensures the safety of a vehicle's battery, preventing it from draining excessively.
  • Maneuverability: The sturdy handles and removable wheels made transporting and maneuvering the fridge freezer easy, even on uneven terrain.
  • LCD Screen and Control Panel: The user-friendly interface provided clear temperature readings and convenient control options, enhancing usability. The user manual is necessary for learning how to adjust temperatures.
  • App Compatibility: The mobile app allowed us to monitor and adjust settings from our phone, adding convenience and flexibility to our experience.
  • Price: While BougeRV may not have the reputation and long-standing name like, say, Dometic, the cost savings is HUGE. The comparable size fridge/freezer from an established brand would cost 2-3 times as much. So far, reliability has been good, reviews have been good, and we have high hopes that BougeRV is a great and long-lasting product.

What We Don't Like:

  • Weight: While manageable for most users, the fridge freezer's weight could be a consideration for those seeking a lighter option.
  • Temperature Consistency: We noticed slight temperature variations in different areas of the fridge freezer, requiring occasional repositioning of items to ensure uniform cooling. The fuller the unit, the better it holds temp and the less power draw it takes.
BougeRV 12 volt dual zone fridge lid open

Other Available Sizes

So this is not the only unit they sell. BougeRV has two other sizes in this series and many other sizes in their other series of units.

These are called the "dual-zone" series. We're only sharing the other Dual-Zone series on this page as they have many other models, too many to list.

Conclusion 

The BougeRV CR45 48 Quart Portable Fridge Freezer impressed us with its versatile features and reliable performance.

The optional lithium battery pack lets you take this fridge anywhere, including places you don't have access to power.

The outer and inner measurements, along with its manageable weight and maneuverability, made it suitable for various travel and camping setups.

The precise temperature control, low battery protection, and other features added to its appeal, ensuring efficient cooling and peace of mind during off-grid adventures.

While we noted some temperature inconsistencies and weight as minor drawbacks, the CR45 remains a solid choice for RVers and outdoor enthusiasts looking for a reliable and convenient portable fridge freezer.

All said, our BougeRV CR45 Review is a positive one!

Purchase Options

You can either purchase directly from BougeRV's website or Amazon.

Use the following coupon codes on the BougeRV website for additional discounts:

CAMP100 - $100 off CR45 refrigerator

BougeRV - 16% off sitewide

Shop the BougeRV Halloween sale through November 10th and enjoy up to 30% off select items.
Kelly Headshot

I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.

  • Hello,

    I tried asking this on the BougeRV website and I just might completely off but when you say battery protection mode for the car battery….does this mean you can leave the cooler plugged into a car overnight without the car being turned on and the battery will not get drained? Or is this meant to protect the car battery when charging the cooler while the car is being driven?

    • How it’s supposed to work is that you can leave the cooler plugged in when the car isn’t running, and it will shut itself off when the battery supplying power to the fridge reaches the set voltage.

      Though I might be a bit weary of doing this (relying on the fridge to turn itself off at a specific voltage) without having some way to jump the vehicle’s battery in case it is drained too low.

      Fortunately, you can purchase a lithium battery jumper pack for a reasonable amount if you need to jump-start your vehicle. Not a bad idea to have one of these whether you use a portable fridge or not.

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