When you’re RV camping, it’s nice to have extra ice on hand without needing to fuss with trays in your freezer or make a last-minute run to the store. The best portable ice makers for camping are fast and easy to operate, saving you both time and money, and some even offer self-cleaning features. There are a few key things to consider when you’re shopping around:
- Speed: Why have an ice machine if it takes hours to make one batch of ice? Many machines will specify how long it takes per nine-cube cycle. (The options below range from six to 10 minutes). You can also check the machine’s capacity, which indicates how much ice it can produce in a 24-hour period and might fall anywhere from 25 to 45 pounds.
- Machine size: Think about how much room you have on your RV countertop, and how much ice you expect to go through in the course of your camping trip. If you expect to be using a lot, look for a larger ice basket and water tank.
- Ice cube size: The type of ice cubes you want may vary, depending on what you’re using them for. Larger cubes are usually better for sipping cocktails, for example, while smaller cubes tend to be better for crushing up in smoothies. If that versatility is important to you, look for a machine that can make both.
- Cleanliness: When it comes to ice makers, cleanliness is extra important because, in addition to being unsanitary, dirty ice machines can produce undesirable tastes and smells. For added convenience, some of the options below feature some form of self-cleaning mode.
To help you keep your cool out in the wilderness, here are the best portable ice makers for camping.
1. This Incredibly Popular Ice Maker That Boasts Over 5,000 Fans On Amazon
Dimensions: 12.2 by 9.06 by 12.8 inches
Capacity: 26 pounds
Storage: 1.25 pounds (ice basket); 1.89 liters (water tank)
What’s great about it: With an impressive 5,500-plus positive reviews on Amazon, this popular Igloo countertop ice maker is a fan favorite on the site. The fast and convenient machine, which only takes seven minutes to produce nine ice cubes, offers two different cylindrical cube sizes. The small and compact ice maker, which is made with odor-reducing food-grade material, features an automated five-cycle cleaning system, too. Available in five colors, it has an easy-to-use control panel with LED lights. Best of all, it’s one of the smallest — if not the smallest option on this list.
One reviewer wrote: “We bought this for our camper. Everyone said running out of ice was an issue and wished they had one. [...] I did some research, and decided on this one. We were not disappointed! We had ice cubes within 10 minutes. And they just kept coming. We're going to use this in the house when we aren't camping. Easy to clean. Works extremely fast. Thrilled with this product!!”
2. An Ultra-Portable Ice Machine With A Handy Hook For The Scoop
Dimensions: Not specified
Capacity: 26 pounds
Storage: 1.5 pounds (ice basket); 2 liters (water tank)
What’s great about it: At 26 pounds, this portable ice maker has the same capacity as the first one — and the cycles are slightly faster at six minutes. The main difference is that both the water tank and the ice basket are slightly bigger. Like the Igloo model, this one has food-grade material inside with a self-cleaning system to prevent odors — and it can make two ice cube sizes. As a bonus, the quiet, 15.4-pound machine, which has a noise level under 45 decibels, has a convenient hook on the side to hang your ice scoop.
One reviewer wrote: “This ice maker was exactly what I was looking for! Small but great design. Ice came out perfectly made and works as it should. Extremely satisfied with this purchase. Ice is perfect size for your everyday drinks!”
3. A Sleek And Simple Ice Maker That Comes In Black Or Silver
Dimensions: 14.09 by 9.65 by 11.54 inches
Capacity: 33 pounds
Storage: 2 pounds (ice basket); 2.36 liters (water tank)
What’s great about it: Another popular option on Amazon, this mini ice maker has almost 2,000 positive reviews. The mid-sized machine offers a bit more space than the first two options, with a 33-pound capacity and a 2-pound ice bucket. The fast ice maker, which can pump out nine ice cubes in seven minutes (in two different sizes), features a straightforward control panel with bright LED lights. Additionally, it has a transparent lid so you can watch the ice as it works. While the materials aren’t specified, it’s safe to assume they meet the high-quality of other Igloo models, and you can choose from an exterior of black or silver. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have a self-cleaning mode.
One reviewer wrote: “Works fantastic and make a ton of ice pretty damn quickly. Super easy to clean. There's a plug on the bottom that you pull to drain the water and rinse through fresh water. Handy for when you're camping or when having a party and you need ice!!”
4. This Versatile Option That Also Dispenses Cold Water
Dimensions: 14.4 by 16.7 by 17.8 inches
Capacity: 48 pounds
Storage: 4.5 pounds (ice basket); water tank not specified
What’s great about it: If you’re looking for a bigger option, this two-in-one countertop ice maker and water cooler is just the ticket. With a 48-pound capacity and a 4.5-pound ice storage basket, it can produce a larger quantity of ice, making it a fantastic choice for bigger families or for people who like to camp with friends. And it can have ice ready to use in just six to 10 minutes. It’s made with food-grade material inside (though it doesn’t feature self-cleaning), and it has a simple LED control panel that’s easy to operate. A key distinction, in addition to size, is that this machine also dispenses cold water — it even has a cute pouring spout on the side. Another difference is that you can connect it to standard 2-, 3-, or 5-gallon water jugs to keep the tank flowing longer. (Just keep in mind they are not included.)
One reviewer wrote: “This is one of my favorite purchase for my camper! I have it in my outdoor kitchen and I find myself drinking more water and the ice machine is perfect for cocktails and keeping ice in my cooler. My kids also think it’s really cool to drink water out of this because they can get it themselves.”
5. This Mini Ice Maker That Can Make Two Sizes Of Cubes
Dimensions: 13.89 by 9.85 by 13 inches
Capacity: 26.5 pounds
Storage: 2.2 pounds (ice basket); 1.7 liters (water tank)
What’s great about it: This small ice machine, which is similar in capacity to the first two choices on this list, is another cult favorite on Amazon. Boasting more than 1,300 five-star reviews, fans noted that it is fast and efficient. Constructed with food-grade ABS plastic and stainless steel, it can crank out nine ice cubes in five to eight minutes, and it cleans itself with an automated function (just hold the “self-cleaning” button for five seconds). The popular machine, which makes two sizes of bullet-shaped ice, is constructed with a see-through observation window. It is also available in a larger version.
One reviewer wrote: “We love our ice machine, it is perfect for our camping trips. Very easy to use. You have 2 choices of large and small ice cubes; once pressing the button you will get ice cubes ready within 5-7 minutes. Very impressed so far with the quality, design and practicality. I would definitely highly recommend to anyone who is in the haunt for a portable ice maker.”
6. A Fast Countertop Machine That Also Makes Shaved Ice
Dimensions: 14.9 by 15.7 by 16.5 inches
Capacity: 44 pounds
Storage: 6.6 pounds (ice basket); 3 liters (water tank)
What’s great about it: Another larger option with a 44-pound capacity, this high-quality ice machine can make 18 cubes in one cycle, which is double that of many other options. At 11 minutes, the cycle is slightly longer than others; however, it still makes the overall production time considerably faster. The best part is that although it’s faster and bigger (with a 6.6-pound ice storage basket), it doesn’t take up significantly more space on your countertop. It has food-grade material that resists odors, and reviewers noted that the drain plug makes it easy to clean (although there’s no automated function). As a bonus, this is the only product on the list that also makes shaved ice.
One reviewer wrote: “I have already used this ice maker on a trip in our RV. It worked great; making a lot of ice. It is not too heavy and was easy to use.”