After a successful van conversion, you can’t go on your travels, relying on roadside stores for your daily living supplies. Doing this is not only expensive, but it is also risky. There comes a time when you are so hungry, and there are no convenience stores on the road. So you end up starving until the next pit stop.
A fridge is one of the "must-have" fixtures in your campervan. It is a life and sanity saver for those of you who love being on the road. You can use it to preserve food and maintain a constant supply of fresh refreshments and food (nourishment) throughout your planned expedition.
But with so many fridges on the market, how do you know what fridge is the best choice for your camper van?
Well, because I know how you can be spoilt for choice when salesmen tell you the specs of each fridge, I have narrowed down your selection to the three best fridges for campervans. And these are;
The thermoelectric coolbox
These are the three types of fridges that can easily fit into any campervan. Read on to find out why these three fridges are a must-have for your campervan. Here we go.
The 2-way fridge
Also known as the compressor fringe, it is the commonest fridge you can find in people’s homes. But although this is so, you cannot just transfer your home fridge into your campervan. Doing this has many problems to it. Your home compressor fridge uses much more power than what your campervan can supply (240V).
For this reason, the 12V 2-way fridge is the best option for your campervan.
The 2-way fridge is called so because it runs on two voltages. It can either run on 12V or 240V. The regular house fridge uses the 240V since it runs on the household mains. On the other hand, the campervan 2-way fridge uses 12V, making it the perfect fridge for your travels as you can power it using batteries.
The 2-way fridge is very economical. Its compressor only turns on when the fridge temperature increases above a specified range that you put in your fridge settings. Once the refrigerator cools to the desired temperature, the compressor turns off.
This means that the 2-way fridge only draws power from the batteries when the compressor is on for a short period of time.
One of the best 2-way campervan fridges is the Waeco Domestic CDF-26 21L. It is a portable 2-way fridge freezer that runs on 12V and 240V. This means you can use it on the road (batteries) or plug it into the mains.
Apart from being energy-efficient, here are the other benefits of using a 2-way fridge.
Benefits of the 2-way fridge
It is easy to install
It is efficient
It is safe
It consumes low power. (You can use a solar panel or leisure batteries)
It is bigger on the inside
It is durable and needs little or no maintenance
It is cheaper than the 3-way fridge
It is easy to use
Disadvantages of the 2-way fridge
It doesn’t operate silently
Some brands are costly
The 3-way fridge
The 3-way fridge is called so because it runs on three different energy sources. You can either use gas, a mains electric supply (240V), or the 12V (batteries).
If you are the kind of person who loves staying on the road for a long time, this can be the perfect fridge for your campervan. It is also great for people travelling in large groups if you have a large car (it comes in bigger sizes than the thermoelectric and compressor fridges).
One of the best pros of using the 3-way fridge is that it runs silently. This is because it runs on gas. So if you are on the road when you want to enjoy your silence or don't like noise, this 3-way fridge is an excellent option for you.
One of the best 3-way fridges is the Smad 3.5 Cut. It uses propane, electricity (12V/110V), and an electric/gas thermostat.
Benefits of the 3-way fridge
It runs on 12V, 240V, and LPG gas
It runs silently
It comes in larger sizes
Disadvantages of the 3-way fridge
There are things to consider when installing the 3-way fridge in your campervan.
3-way fridges run on gas. And this makes them very efficient and durable. On the other hand, gas comes with its risks. Gas installation is tricky. You must exercise reasonable care while installing the gas components of the 3-way fridge. Any mistake or negligence can lead to gas leaks which exposes you to dangers like fire.
Relying on gas to run your 3-way fridge means that you will have to maintain its constant supply. And if you have committed to living in your campervan, this can increase your travel costs.
Other disadvantages of the 3-way fridge
It needs more expert installation
It requires routine maintenance and servicing
It produces more heat than the 2-way fridge
It needs good ventilation and a flue to the outside
It sometimes experiences difficulty in hot weather
Knowing these things will help you make the necessary changes or allowances during your van conversion process. You can plan where to put the vents and gas lines in your campervan.
The thermoelectric coolbox could be your best choice if you are on a budget.
Thermoelectric coolboxes work in a simple way. They keep your items cool by heat reduction. A thermoelectric coolbox uses electricity to remove any hot air from the inside of the coolbox. This makes the temperature in the coolbox up to 20 degrees Celsius cooler than the temperature or air outside in the campervan.
Because of this, it is the best campervan fridge if you are travelling for a short time and want to save money.
But although they maintain the items within the cooler at a lower temperature, they are not as efficient as other fridges. They will not provide you with the cold temperatures you will need in hotter seasons like summer.
Also, thermoelectric coolboxes are small, so you cannot use them for long travels or with many travellers.
Benefits of a thermoelectric coolbox
It is durable
It is environmentally friendly
It is easy to install
It runs silently
It comes in smaller sizes (are compact)
It runs on dual voltages; 12V and 240V
Whatever fridge you end up getting, it should have these features;
Handle road vibrations sufficiently
Take this course to learn more about installing a campervan fridge the right way. It will teach you everything about converting your van to a campervan.