With the many challenges that RV ownership brings, keeping cool on a sweltering summer day shouldn’t be one of them. One of the best ways to “keep your cool” during the dog days of summer is to relax under your awning with an ice-cold drink.
But keeping enough ice on hand can sometimes be a tricky feat to accomplish. You can either make daily trips to the nearest convenience store or campground office. Or you can try to keep up with your ice needs by using your RV freezer.
There is a third option, however. Enter the portable ice maker. With one of these handy gadgets in your RV or camper, you can begin to have an endless supply of ice for your camping trips or anywhere else you have a need for ice. And what’s best is these portable ice makers start to churn out ice in as little as 6 minutes.
In this article we are going to take a closer look at 5 great portable ice makers for your RV kitchen and a few things to consider before making a purchase.
Let’s jump in…
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Our Top Picks
- Best Overall – Igloo Premium Self-Cleaning Portable Ice Maker
- Best For Small Spaces – Magic Chef 27 lb. Portable Ice Maker
- Best Budget Friendly – hOmeLabs Portable Ice Machine
- Best For Nugget Type Ice – GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker
- Best Large Volume – NewAir Portable Ice Maker
- 5 Best Portable Ice Makers For Your RV Kitchen
- Things To Consider When Choosing A Portable Ice Maker
- Benefits Of Portable Ice Makers
- Drawbacks Of Portable Ice Makers
- In Conclusion
5 Best Portable Ice Makers For Your RV Kitchen
Portable ice makers make a fantastic addition to any RV kitchen. They are typically stand-alone machines that are capable of making several pounds of ice in just a matter of minutes. These portable appliances are small enough to keep on countertops or to take along on your camping adventures.
But, with so many types, styles, and sizes of portable ice makers on the market, choosing the one that best suits your RV camping style can be a bit overwhelming. We put together a list of the top 5 portable ice machines that meet the needs of any RV owner in an effort to make the decision-making process a little smoother.
Best Overall – Igloo Premium Self-Cleaning Portable Ice Maker
Igloo combined sleek styling and ultimate portability with the Igloo Premium Self-Cleaning Portable Ice Maker. This appliance is capable of producing up to 26 pounds of bullet type ice per day and starts churning out ice cubes in as little as 7 minutes.
The integrated handle and the clear viewing window are just two of the features that put this portable ice maker at the top of our list. The LED lighted control panel allows you to choose whether you want large or small ice cubes, lets you know when to add water, and lets you know when the ice basket is full.
Not only will this portable ice maker make a terrific addition to your RV or camper, but it is also easy to keep clean with the removable drain plug and five-cycle automatic cleaning function.
And since this ice machine is available in many colors, you should have no trouble finding the right one to fit your RV kitchen.
- Capacity – 26 Pounds Per Day
- Size – 13.9” X 10.51” X 15.28”
- Weight – 19.16 Pounds
- Ice Cube Choices – Large & Small
- For additional reading related to RV kitchen appliances, be sure to check out 7 Best RV Coffee Makers.
Best For Small Spaces – Magic Chef 27 lb. Portable Ice Maker
The Magic Chef Portable Ice Maker is lightweight, compact, and can produce up to 27 pounds of ice per day. It is the perfect choice for keeping your drinks cold through the day or for topping off the ice chest.
In as little as 7 minutes, this unit begins producing bullet type ice cubes while giving you the choice between large cubes and small cubes. This ice maker also comes with a handy ice scoop and a removable basket for added convenience.
This unit also features an easy-to-use control panel that let’s you know when the ice bin is full and when you need to add water. In addition, the drain plug is conveniently located on the bottom of the unit so it’s super easy to drain.
- Capacity – 27 Pounds Per Day
- Size – 15.4” X 11.7” X 15.7”
- Weight – 21 Pounds
- Ice Cube Choices – Large & Small
Best Budget Friendly – hOmeLabs Portable Ice Machine
For RV owners on a budget, the hOmeLabs Portable Ice Machine is a great option. This model can produce up to 26 pounds of pill-shaped ice per day and begins churning out ice in as little as 8 minutes.
It’s compact and lightweight design make it a perfect countertop appliance for any RV or camper.
This portable ice maker features warning lights that let you know when the ice basket is full or when the water reservoir needs to be refilled. In addition, this model also features an auto-shutoff function and a recirculation function that reuses the melted ice for better efficiency.
- Capacity – 26 Pounds Per Day
- Size – 12.9” X 9.5” X 14”
- Weight – 18.75 Pounds
- Ice Cube Choices – Small & Medium
Best For Nugget Type Ice – GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker
If you’re a fan of crunchy, chewable, nugget ice (also known as “Sonic ice”, or “Buc-ee’s ice“), you will love the GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker. This portable ice maker produces ice that is made from compressed flakes, which gives you that almost addictive ice that many campers love to crunch.
This high-quality ice making appliance makes a pound of ice every hour and the storage bin holds a whopping 3 pounds of ice so you can always have a huge batch ready when you need it.
One of the most notable features of this unit is its ability to recirculate the melted ice back to the water reservoir. In addition, this ice maker has a one-gallon water tank add-on (sold separately) that allows for more time between refills.
If there is available Wi-Fi, you can pair the GE Profile ice machine with your smartphone to allow you to operate it remotely, check the ice bucket level, and check to see if it’s time to add more water.
Since this is one of the larger choices on our list, you will want to make sure you have enough room in your RV before making a purchase. In addition, although it is a portable ice maker, you won’t be wanting to carry it around like the other lightweight options in this list.
- Capacity – 24 Pounds Per Day
- Size – 17.5” X 10.5” X 16.5”
- Weight – 35 Pounds
- Ice Cube Choices – Nugget
Best Large Volume – NewAir Portable Ice Maker
If you have a large family or tend to host guests at the campground, the NewAir Portable Ice Maker is an excellent choice if you need large quantities of ice. This unit is capable of producing up to an impressive 50 pounds of bullet ice per day.
In as little as 7 minutes the first 12 cubes are made, and the best part is you have three size options for your ice cubes.
The easy-to-use integrated control panel features an 18-hour timer to schedule your ice making, and it lights up to let you know when it’s time to fill the reservoir.
Some other notable features of this model include automatic shutoff, overflow protection, and a convenient self-cleaning function.
- Capacity – 28 Pounds Per Day
- Size – 11.3” X 13.9” X 14.6”
- Weight – 24.3 Pounds
- Ice Cube Choices – Small, Medium, Large
- For your off-grid power solutions, check out our article 4 Best Solar Generators For Off-Grid RV Camping.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Portable Ice Maker
When choosing a portable ice maker for your RV or camper, there are a few things to consider when making a purchase.
We all know that RVs and campers are extremely limited for space. Take note of the overall dimensions of an ice maker to make sure it will fit on your RV kitchen countertop or any other place you might be using one.
How Much Ice Do You Need?
While most portable ice makers produce around the same amount of ice per day, if you have a large family or will be hosting relatives or friends at the campground, a larger unit might be a better fit. In addition, if you tend to refill ice chests throughout your camping trips, make sure the model you choose can handle the task.
Benefits Of Portable Ice Makers
There are many benefits to having a portable ice maker in your RV. The main benefit being that these ice machines can produce ice very quickly. So, once you get set up at the campground, it’s only a matter of minutes before you can begin enjoying your ice-cold adult beverages.
In addition, these portable ice makers are extremely user friendly. If you have young children, they should be able to use the machine without many issues.
The final benefit you can enjoy from one of these handy appliances is time with your family. Gone are the days of endless trips back and forth to the nearest convenience store to stock up on ice on a daily basis.
Drawbacks Of Portable Ice Makers
There are also certain drawbacks to consider when using a portable ice maker. The main drawback is overall ice storage. These units are not freezers. Portable ice makers will only store ice for a certain period of time before it begins to melt.
If you are not using the ice frequently through the day, you might have to find a storage solution for the ice that has already been made. My recommendation would be an ice chest.
Another downside of having a portable ice machine in your RV is storing it on travel days. Finding a safe place to keep when you are on the way to the next destination could prove to be a challenge.
Every RVer has their own unique needs when it comes to camping gear and what is essential for them to take to the campground.
Adding a portable ice maker to your RV gear arsenal can make for a more relaxing time on your RV adventures. Who doesn’t enjoy relaxing in the shade with an ice-cold drink in their hand?
What are your thoughts on the portable ice makers in this list? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.