Furrion's battery-swapping, rolling electric cooler confidently caters campsites without the ice
Along with showing smart yachts and luxury glampers, Furrion used this year's CES to present its new Outdoor Living lineup, a series of smart products designed for tailgating and outdoor entertaining. Chief among those products is the Rova, an iceless cooler that's essentially an electric fridge-freezer on wheels, offering up to a week of cooling power. It's a great solution for van lifers, car campers and others who want to keep their food cold for days on end without being tied to a vehicle or having to deal with melting ice.
Not to be confused with the Rovr cooler from Rollr, the Rova (say that 10 times) is essentially a more portable answer to the electric fridge-freezers commonly equipped to the likes of camper vans and teardrop trailers. Furrion is marketing it as an "iceless cooler," but it does admit that it's really a wheeled fridge-freezer.
The Rova relies on a removable 400-Wh "E-Pod" battery module that drops into place in a dedicated compartment separate from the food compartment. This battery provides enough juice to chill food for up to seven days, and pulls out easily for charging or swapping. It can be charged via shore power or using a 12V cigarette lighter adaptor or available solar kit. Those willing to buy a spare battery or two will be able to keep the compressor running even more easily.
The Rova also includes a built-in charging station with three USB ports and Qi wireless, allowing campers and tailgaters to tap into the battery to keep their devices fired up.
It sounds as though keeping the Rova charged won't be a problem for most campers and tailgaters, but should the electricity stop flowing, the poly foam-insulated cooler compartment can also be filled with ice. Furrion says it'll retain ice for up to 10 days.
The 36-L Rova offers enough space for up to 48 cans of beer. It has three selectable cooling modes: beverage, eco and freeze. In "freeze" mode, the Rova can drop temperatures right down to -8 ºF (-22 ºC), but then it turns into a dedicated freezer since there's only one food compartment.
Also separating the Rova from other fridge-freezers are the wheels and retractable handle that allow for easy rolling. The model at CES featured an airless rubber wheel/tire design, but the Furrion rep we spoke to wasn't sure if that would make it to production. The cooler weighs roughly 45 lb (20 kg) with the battery installed (38 lb/17 kg without) before you put any food in it.
Furrion plans to get the Rova to market by June 2019 for a price around US$799, not including battery. The E-Pod battery will run around $299, so just under $1,000 for the full kit. That's quite expensive in comparison to roto-molded ice chests but not far off similarly sized 12V fridge-freezers like the $900 Wi-Fi-equipped Dometic CFX 35W. Considering the advantages of the modular battery and wheeled design, the Rova seems competitively priced.
Furrion plans to add accessories like an attachable worktop, cup holders and an umbrella mount in the future.