An ice-cold drink makes sense on a hot summer day, especially when you have perfectly chilled ice cubes.
But why run to the grocery store every time you need some ice cubes? With one of the best portable ice makers for RVs or camping, you can have ice ready made when you want it.
Whether it is a counter-top ice maker or a tabletop ice maker, your ice maker should not be be portable, but also have the capacity to produce enough ice cubes for your drinks.
Portable ice makers are a perfect fit for home bars, RVs, boat trips, camping trips, birthday parties and activities when you need to entertain your family and friends.
We reviewed the top rated portable ice makers that you can get under budget. We considered the performance, portability, price, popularity and capacity of the ice makers to come up with the 10 best portable ice makers for the money.
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Best portable ice makers for RVs and camping
- NewAir AI-100R Portable Ice Maker
- GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
- Magic Chef MCIM22ST 27 lb.
- Igloo Portable Ice Maker ICE103
- IKICH Portable Countertop Ice Maker
- Hamilton Beach PIM-1-3A Portable Ice Maker
- Ivation Portable Countertop Ice Maker
- EdgeStar IP210SS1 Portable Ice Maker
- Della Portable Ice Maker with LCD Display
- Ivation Counter top Ice Maker
1. NewAir AI-100R Portable Ice Maker
The NewAir AI-100R is a very portable ice machine that can be moved at any time and is ideal for use either in small kitchens, RVs, and boats.
It has a red finish that gives it a sleek appearance and goes perfectly well with any décor. If red is not for you, you can choose either a black, silver, cyan blue or vermillion orange NewAir AI-100R model.
This portable ice maker machine produces 28 pounds of ice in a day, making sure that you do not run out of ice. The unit offers consistent and dependable ice production, perfected over the years.
Using the NewAir Portable Ice Maker takes only a few minutes, and is one of the best portable ice maker machines for use during a family gathering, BBQ’s, pool parties and outdoor picnics. Instead of buying a bag of ice from your local store that melts rather quickly, this model will save several bucks for you.
- Well insulated to keep ice frozen for long.
- Makes ice soft and crunchy (perfect if you like “chewable” ice).
- Compact design.
- No installation required.
- Plastic water cup may require replacement after a few uses.
2. GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
While the price may put some people off, there is no doubt that the GE Profile opal countertop nugget ice maker is among the best portable ice maker for rv use. It is a little heavy, which is what makes it suited to RVs, but fully portable with the plug in and chill operation.
If you’re not familiar with nugget ice, it is a “chewable” ice made from compacted ice flakes, that is perfect for all drinks from cocktails to sodas.
The machine produces up to 24 lbs. of ice per day while producing the first batch of ice in 20 minutes. You can choose from two selectable ice cube sizes depending on your preference.
The GE Profile nugget ice maker has a hassle-free operation, with no installations required. You just plug it in the outlet, add water to the side reservoir and press the power button.
Oh, and this thing is smart! It is Bluetooth enables which means you can set up an ice making schedule from your phone with the GE Profile Opal app. It will also sense when the bin is full of ice, so it won’t overfill.
- Best ice in the business.
- Bluetooth connectivity for easy scheduling.
- Sensor stops it overworking.
- Easy to use and operate.
- The side water tank is a nice convenience.
- Not as quick as some of the others on this list.
- NUGGET ICE: Enjoy chewable ice made from compacted ice flakes, perfect for cocktails, sodas and other refreshing beverages. Instead of the traditional hard cubes, enjoy soft nuggets of ice that retain...
3. Magic Chef MCIM22ST 27 lb.
The design of Magic Chef Portable Countertop Ice Maker aims at providing a steady supply of ice for those who love ice. This ice maker machine can make up to 27 lbs. of ice per day, which is enough to entertain a couple of friends. With this machine, you don’t have to hold on to the old ways of making ice that takes forever.
The Magic Chef Portable Ice Maker comes in an elegant and compact design that can comfortably fit in any place, whether it is at the office, garage, and poolside or at the park. The machine allows you to make ice cubes instantly in two sizes.
As the name suggests, this countertop portable ice maker is magical in all ways. Just add water to the required water level, press the power button and allow the machine to do its work. Depending on the choice of ice cube size, this unit takes approximately 7 minutes to produce 9 ice cubes.
- Digital control panel.
- Compact and small enough to fit on the kitchen countertop.
- Very fast- produces 9 pieces of ice per 7 minutes cycle.
- 27lb Capacity
4. Igloo Portable Ice Maker ICE103
The Igloo ICE103 Countertop ice maker is an amazing portable ice maker that keeps ice frozen and produces 26 lbs. of ice per day. This unit produces the first batch of ice in six minutes, making it one of the quickest and best portable ice makers.
The stainless steel ice maker machine has an over-sized ice basket that holds 2.2 lbs. of ice that is enough to use while serving your friends. The unit features three ice cube sizes i.e. small, medium and large.
Igloo ice maker is lightweight, making it possible to carry it anywhere you can plug it into a power outlet. The unit runs on 120w of power and can be cooled using an air compressor. This ice machine is quite simple to operate, and you can use it right away. Its compact design allows you to store it in a small space when not needed.
- Produces ice in as little as 6 minutes.
- Three ice cube options.
- Easy to use control panel.
- Produces 26 lbs. per day.
- Spacious ice basket that holds 2.2 lbs. of ice at a time.
- Portable Stainless Steel Ice Maker
5. IKICH Portable Countertop Ice Maker
The IKICH ice maker machine is efficient, reliable and it is more convenient than a freezer ice maker. The unit produces 26 lbs. of ice per day and the first batch of 9 pieces of chewable ice is produced in as little as six minutes.
It produces bullet shaped ice that are mouth-watering. What’s more, you get to choose your preferred ice size, either large or small.
IKICH portable ice maker is lightweight, weighing 17.6 pounds while its measurements are 8.7 x 12.6 x 12.3 inches. Hence, it is compact and can fit in any countertop whether at home, bar, office, or even outdoors.
You can carry it during parties, camping trips, overseas vacations as well as boat trips. The unit has a simple, sleek silver design that matches any given setting.
The unit is equipped with easy to use push button controls to manage how the machine works. The lighted indicators remind you when the reservoir is full or when to add water.
- Easy to set-up and use (clearly labeled push buttons)
- No installation required.
- Large production capacity for such a small size ice maker machine.
- Quick ice maker – produces the first batch of ice in just 6 minutes.
- Easy to clean.
Pro tip: Once you purchase the IKICH ice maker, don’t use it immediately. For the best performance, let it sit upright for up to 4- 6 hours before using it to allow the coolant to settle.
6. Hamilton Beach PIM-1-3A Portable Ice Maker
If you are in need of the best portable ice maker that will give you a steady supply of ice, Hamilton Beach PIM-1-3A ice maker machine is an excellent option.
The portable ice maker machine produces 9 ice cubes in every 7 minutes, enough to keep your drinks cool during a hot summer camping trip or outdoor party. The unit can make up to 26 pounds of ice per day.
The design of this unit is unique. It has touch button for quick and easy operation. The machine has three LED indicators that update you on what’s going on with the machine. These indicators alert you when the basket is full, when to add water and when the machine is making ice for your drinks.
- Easy to use and operate.
- Quiet operation.
- Self-cleaning function ensures there is no manual cleaning afterward.
- Makes ice very fast; 9 ice cubes/7 minutes.
- Low volume use.
- May not produce enough ice for a large family
- Makes up to 26 pounds of ice per day
7. Ivation Portable Countertop Ice Maker
The high capacity Ivation Portable Countertop Ice Maker is a compact and incredibly fast machine that produces fresh ice cubes in just a few minutes. This unit allows you to select 2 ice cubes sizes so that everyone gets enough for a cold drink, whether it’s a bottle of whiskey or just a fruit juice.
The Ivation portable ice maker machine produces 26.5 pounds of fresh ice cubes in 24 hours. The machine produces the first batch of solid ice in as little as 6 minutes. Once ready, the ice remains separated and does not agglomerate. Unused ice cubes melt back into the reservoir and turn into ice in the next session.
The unit has easy-push buttons for smooth operation. Also, the machine sounds several alerts to let you know what is happening. When the water reservoir runs low, this Ice Maker will alert you to add water. Once the ice basket is full, the machine will alert you to remove them awaiting the next ice-making session. The Ice Maker will also inform you when it is on standby or when the ice is not moving into the ice bucket correctly.
Once Ivation countertop ice maker machine has completed making ice, it shuts off automatically to allow emptying of the ice cubes into a cooler or freezer. The ice tray is removable for easy transfer.
This unit is one of the best portable ice maker machine in the Ivation list of ice makers.
- Easy to use and operate.
- Fast ice making (under 6 minutes)
- 2 selectable ice sizes.
- Touch-enabled settings.
- The first batch of ice may be transparent but works fine in subsequent sessions.
8. EdgeStar IP210SS1 Portable Ice Maker
The EdgeStar portable ice maker is a portable and compact machine that you can use anywhere, either at home or outdoor events. It is an excellent choice if you have a small kitchen or need to use it during your next camping trip, boat trips or RVs.
This unit makes at least 28 pounds of ice per 24-hour cycle, and it produces the first batch of ready-to-serve ice in 10 minutes. The machine features three ice cube size options i.e. small, medium and large. The integrated storage bin is well-insulated to hold 2.5 lbs. of ice at a time.
The innovative water-use feature makes it possible to reuse the melted ice to make more ice, thereby saving on water and time. To make the ice, use either clean tap water or bottled water.
EdgeStar ice maker machine is easy to operate, with the easy-to-use soft touch controls. The controls make it possible to turn the unit on or off, and also choose the preferred ice cube sizes. If you are looking to add an attractive machine to your countertop, EdgeStar is the ideal choice for the best portable ice maker. Choose from three colors: black, titanium and stainless steel.
- Three ice cube sizes.
- The machine makes soft crunchable ice.
- Large production capacity of 28 pounds of ice per day.
- Saves time with the melted ice reuse feature.
- It comes with an ice scoop.
- The machine gets a little noisy sometimes.
- Easy to use electronic controls; Stores up to 2 pounds of ice at a time
9. Della Portable Ice Maker with LCD Display
The Della Portable Ice Maker is the best portable ice maker if you are planning to make ready-to-serve ice in under 6 minutes.
The unit produces 9 ice cubes in just 6 minutes and 28 lbs. of ice per 24-hour cycle. With such efficiency, this machine rules out the possibility of ice running out in the house.
The integrated storage bin is well-insulated to hold 2 lbs. of ice at a time. Della ice maker machine uses modern compressor refrigeration technology to give you bullet-shaped chillers enough for the summer. The machine has three choices of ice cube sizes.
The machine is quite easy to use. The easy-to-use control panel makes it possible to turn the unit on/off and select the preferred ice cube sizes. The light indicators alert you when the water reservoir runs low or when the bucket is full. The LCD display allows for easy monitoring of ice production.
- Fast ice making – 9 ice cubes in as little as 6 minutes.
- Three selectable ice cube sizes.
- Automatic shut-off.
- Easy to operate with a simplified control panel.
- A little noisy especially towards the end of each ice-making session when ice cubes are falling.
- 【Compact & Portable】 Perfect for your RV, boat, or small kitchen, this ice maker is compact, bars, restaurants, portable and works anywhere there is an outlet available
10. Ivation Counter top Ice Maker
The super high capacity, counter top ice maker is a real workhorse when it comes to making perfectly sized ice cubes. The ice maker machine produces 48-pounds of fresh ice per 24-hour cycle. The unit produces 12 ice cubes in the first batch within 8-15 minutes. The machine has three selectable ice cube sizes depending on your preference.
Although the Ivation Countertop ice maker is a high capacity machine, it is also compact and portable. You can carry the portable ice maker anywhere you need ice. It is a perfect option for RVs, small kitchens, and camping trips. The unit produces enough ice cubes to satisfy all your guests.
The ice maker machine has a recycling system that ensures there is no wastage of ice cubes. Unused ice cubes that melt are deposited in the water reservoir and used during the next ice-making session.
Smart alerts keep you updated on what is going on. When the water level in the reservoir runs low, the machine alerts you to add more water. When the ice bucket is full, the unit alerts you to remove the ready ice to allow it make more ice. This Ivation model shuts off automatically when the bucket is full.
- Makes 12 ice cubes in 8-15 minutes.
- It makes soft crunchable ice cubes.
- Easy to use.
- Smart alerts give you a piece of mind.
- Ice does not melt fast.
- Slightly heavier and bigger than other ice maker machines.
Modern Ice Makers: Are they better than the old models?
Modern portable ice maker models have undergone vast improvements regarding performance, speed, portability and design. The current models only take an average of 6-10 minutes to produce the first batch of ice, which is a significant improvement from the traditional ice makers.
The advantage of the current portable ice maker machines is that you can carry them along anywhere you need ice, either at the park, boat trips, birthday party, camping and other fun activities. Also, they produce large quantities of ice cubes, enough for all guests to enjoy an ice-cold drink.
However, it is appropriate to distinguish that ice makers are different from freezers. Although they are insulated, they are not designed to store ice cubes for long periods. If left unused, the ice cubes will melt and trickle back to the reservoir, and the machine starts making the second batch of ice. The process continues until you empty the water reservoir.
Factors to Consider While Buying a Portable Ice Maker
There are various factors that you should take into account when shopping for the best portable ice maker. Here are few factors that we recommend to help you find the right machine.
Size, Dimensions, and Capacity
Although portable ice makers are smaller than freezers, some models take a lot of space than others. Also, the production capacity varies from one model to another. Manufacturers provide the product specifications i.e. weight, dimensions, and production capacity, making it easy to compare several ice makers.
If you are looking to purchase a portable ice maker that keeps ice frozen for camping and boat trips, consider the weight of the product. A lightweight ice maker machine is easy to carry from one place to another without asking for extra help.
However, if product dimensions and weight are not an issue, consider how much ice the unit can hold at a time. Make sure you have an estimate of how much ice you will need and compare that to the capacity of the ice maker.
Ice Maker Production Capacity
The production capacity per day and per batch varies from one model to another. The production capacity per day is measured in pounds, and most portable ice makers have a production capacity of 25-40 pounds.
High capacity ice makers are an ideal option if you need a lot of ice on a regular basis either at your home bar or office. The high capacity units produce an average of 6-12 lbs. of ice cubes in the first batch of 6-12 minutes. Confirm the product specifications before making an order.
Ease of Use
Portable ice makers are the easiest to operate since they do not require any installations. Just plug in, add water and press the power button. The only accessories you’ll need is a scoop and a glass!
Most models have easy-to-use touch buttons that make it easy to turn the unit on or off as well as select the preferred different sizes of ice cube.
The smart alerts give you a peace of mind by letting you know what is going on in the machine. For example, when the water reservoir runs low, the machine sounds an alert asking for more water.
When the ice basket fills, the unit sounds an alert to inform you that the ice cubes are ready to be removed. The signals give users a peace of mind especially when they are unable to figure out how the machine operates.
The water recycle feature, is an improvement from the earlier models resulting from customer complaints on water wastage. The feature works by reusing water resulting from melted ice that remains unused. The ice melts, and water collects in the water reservoir ready for the next session.
The water re-use feature saves you the trouble of refilling the water reservoir every time you need to make ice, by first using the melted ice.
Ice maker machines are relatively affordable compared to freezers. The machines cost $100-$300 per unit depending on the brand, production capacity, and durability. High-end ice makers cost around $200-$400 because they last longer and have higher production capacities per day.
If you will be using the machine on a regular basis, go for the durable models with a long warranty. Also remember to check the product reviews to know what other customers are saying about the machine.
Frequently Asked Questions Portable Ice Makers for Camping and RV
Before narrowing down to a particular ice maker machine, you need to ask yourself these questions to fully understand the kind of equipment you are looking for.
How much ice do I need?
The amount of ice that you need determines the size of the equipment that you need. If you regularly host several friends for parties, you should go for a high capacity ice maker.
A large countertop portable ice maker produces 35-48 pounds of ice per day that is enough for your friends.
If you are just two or three members at home who use ice cubes, a small portable ice maker machine will be an excellent choice. A compact ice maker produces up to 26 pounds of ice per day. In case you are not using the extra ice cubes immediately, store them in the freezer.
How much Ice can I store?
Although portable ice makers produce ice, they do not store it for long before it melts. The ice cubes that remain unused should be kept in a freezer for later use. If you have a freezer at home, go for a high capacity ice maker for better performance and convenience.
What Ice cube sizes do I need?
Most portable ice maker machines have two or three selectable different sizes of ice cubes. The touch/push buttons allow you to select the preferred ice cube sizes. There are a few models that have only one selectable size in case you don’t want a variety of ice cube sizes.
Will I be able to maintain the machine?
Proper maintenance of the ice maker will mean optimal performance at all times. A portable ice maker requires cleaning just a few times in a week, in between the ice-making sessions. Clean the water reservoir and the outer side using clean water. You may use lemon juice or vinegar during the cleaning.