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Caravan Fridge Freezers: Choosing the Right Unit

When buying a fridge freezer, check for more than just the capacity for beer and wine. Find out how to choose the right refrigerator for your recreational vehicle.

In today’s market, refrigerators and freezers are available for caravans, motorhomes, campers, boats, horse floats, and other vehicles. However, when you try to find the perfect caravan fridge freezers for your needs, it can be a bit of a challenge. The types of refrigerators you can choose from and the features to consider are listed below.

2 Types of Caravan Fridge Freezer

In general, these freezers fall into two categories. Among them are;

Absorption Fridges or 3-Way fridges

While 3-way refrigerators require more time to get to room temperature, once they do, they hold their temperatures just as effectively as compressor models. So even though 3-Way refrigerators must be levelled more than a 12-volt compressor refrigerator, you wouldn’t camp on an angle anyway.

For a 3-Way refrigerator to run on 12 volts, the power required is higher than a compressor refrigerator. If you switch it to LPG, the 3-Way refrigerator will not use electricity when your engine is off. It is necessary to install a three-way refrigerator unless it is a portable model meant to be used outside the home.

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Compressor Fridges or 2-Way Fridges

A compressor refrigerator runs on 12 volts and typically achieves low temperatures quickly. 12-volt compressor refrigerators can function even if they are not levelled.

In general, 12-volt compressor refrigerators do not require as much ventilation as 3-way refrigerators; however, a poorly ventilated refrigerator will require an additional 12-volt compressor current.

If you want to be as flexible as a 3-Way refrigerator, your batteries will have to be rechargeable. So, in addition to solar panels and a generator, you will need a charger for your AC batteries if you are free-camping.

When designing a solar panel, keep in mind that a compressor refrigerator requires more than 12-volt electricity the warmer the environment.

What to Consider?

Purchasing caravan fridge freezers involves many considerations. These include;

The Space You Need

Caravan fridges come in various sizes, ranging from 30-40 litres to 280 litres. If you plan on “going ’round the block,” larger refrigerators with capacities of 140-280 litres are recommended.

If you only use your trailer for long weekends and short trips, a 60–80-gallon compressor fridge will suffice to keep your food cold. Even compressor drawer refrigerator-freezer types are ideal for internal or external small places in your vehicle.

The Power

Three different power sources, including LPG, are available with the 3-way fridge. A 2-way compressor fridge, will only work with 12/24 volt or 240-volt power sources, but it will be more efficient when using the 12/24-volt power source.

Its Safety Features

LPG-fueled camping fridges can produce carbon monoxide poisoning. Burning LPG gas or other fuels (oil, kerosene, or wood) emits odourless, tasteless, and invisible carbon monoxide.

An experienced and licensed professional gas-fitter should complete the installation and certification of a 3-way Absorption refrigerator to avoid voiding the manufacturer’s warranty and posing a safety hazard.

The Noise it Create

A refrigerator that uses absorption technology runs silently since they don’t contain the parts found in compressor models, which is a huge benefit if you live in a small space. However, refrigerators with compressors make a slight noise when the compressor kicks in.



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