10 Must-Know Tips for Choosing and Maintaining Your Campervan Fridge [A Personal Story]

Short answer: A campervan fridge is a type of refrigerator specifically designed for use in a mobile vehicle such as a camper or RV. These fridges typically run off of electricity generated by the vehicle’s engine or batteries and come in various sizes and types, including absorption and compressor fridges.

How a Campervan Fridge Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

As avid campers and outdoor enthusiasts, we understand the importance of having a functional and reliable campervan fridge. Considering the limited space and resources available while camping, having a well-functioning fridge can make all the difference in your overall experience. Many people are often curious about how a campervan fridge works, so we decided to put together a step-by-step guide to explain this complex yet fascinating process.

Step 1: Basics of Refrigeration
Before delving into the mechanics of a campervan fridge, it’s essential to understand the basics of refrigeration. The refrigerator takes advantage of two physical phenomena: evaporation and condensation. A gas cools down as it expands, which causes it to evaporate and absorb heat from its surroundings. As this same gas is compressed, it heats up, releasing that absorbed heat.

Step 2: Absorption-based Refrigeration System
In most modern-day setups, absorption-based refrigeration systems are commonly used in campervans because they don’t require an electrical supply for operation. Instead, these fridges use propane gas as their primary power source to cool stored food or drinks inside them.

Step 3: Propane (LP) Gas Fueled Heat Source
The propane is typically ignited by either match sticks or with an electronic ignition system within the fridge unit’s control panel. A flame heats up one end of a continuous tube containing a chemical solution called ammonia at high pressure – forcing substance towards another location known as an absorber.

Step 4: Heat exchange
Using convection, cold air passes over the evaporator coils situated behind or above where you store your food storage items into what is termed as freezer compartment area via heat exchange. Behind these cooling plates lies circulation fans that move around cool but dry air around refrigerator section via convection cycles through compressor motor assembly before exiting back out again.

Step 5: Formation Of Ammonia Absorption
As the ammonia heats up and evaporates due to the LP gas fueling it, it rises through the absorber unit while mixing with water before settling back in an evaporator compartment where they mix again.

Step 6: Reaction between Ammonia, Water, and Hydrogen
The mixture of water, ammonia, and hydrogen forms a reaction that produces heat energy as NH3 combines with H20 (absorbate) along with excess hydrogen releasing heat and causing massive pressure difference inside fridge volume via compressor motor fan. The absorbate solution goes from being warm to becoming much cooler due to this chemical reaction process because loaded freezer plates get colder over time is more rapid than straightforward refrigeration cycles powered by electricity.

Step 7: Continuous Refrigeration Cycle
This continuous cycle causes a steady stream of cool air to flow throughout your campervan fridge. And voila! You have a working campervan fridge!

In summary, a camping trip without cold drinks or food can be quite miserable on hot days! Thankfully, understanding how a campervan fridge works has now been made easier by following our step-by-step guide. A well-maintained campervan fridge allows you to enjoy fresh ingredients that last longer on those memorable outdoor excursions without any worries about spoilage or lack of necessary resources. Happy Camping!

Campervan Fridge FAQ: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy

If you are considering buying a campervan fridge, there are a lot of things to consider before making your purchase. From the size and power source to the layout and storage capabilities, it’s important to know everything you can about the different types of campervan fridges available on the market.

Here we’ve put together a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about campervan fridges to help guide you in your decision-making process. This is everything you need to know before making your purchase.

Q: What are my options for power sources?
A: There are three main power sources for campervan fridges: 12V DC, 240V AC and LPG gas. Many modern campervans will come equipped with a 12V DC socket but this is typically used as an auxiliary supply rather than a primary one.

Q: What are the benefits of each power source?
A: A 12V DC fridge consumes less energy than an equivalent AC model. They’re designed specifically for campervans and motorhomes so can cope with being powered from various sources – batteries, alternators or solar panels.

Q: How does LPG work with fridges?
A: LPG-powered fridges use propane or butane in place of electricity, allowing them to operate completely off-grid without needing batteries or other power sources.

Q: What should I consider when choosing between compressor and absorption models?
A: Compressor models tend to be more efficient and consume less energy than their absorption counterparts. However, absorption refrigerators do have one major advantage – they operate silently due to not having any moving components meaning they’re especially useful if you’re sleeping in your camper van directly above the fridge.

Q: Does size matter when it comes to my fridge choice?
A: Absolutely! You’ll want all the space possible if you’re planning on spending more than just a weekend away. Carefully consider the size you will need before making your purchase.

Q: How much storage do I need within the fridge?
A: This really depends on how many people are using the campervan and for how long. Be sure to review dimensions of models, not just volume capacity, so you can get a good idea of what each model offers.

Q: How is temperature controlled in campervan fridges?
A: Refrigerators typically utilize electronic thermostats to regulate temperatures. Keep an eye out for adjustable temperatures so that your food and drink isn’t too warm or frozen solid.

Q: Do I need special installation help or a technician to install my new fridge?
A: Many refrigerators will come with comprehensive installation instructions. Whilst it’s true that some may require charging prior to use (compressor models) they certainly won’t require any technical expertise beyond simple insertion if you plan ahead enough.

Choosing the right campervan fridge for your needs can be a difficult decision – but hopefully our FAQs have helped answer any questions you had prior. Your campervan is an investment that should last years and travel through kilometres of adventures with you, ensure it’s well prepared for all scenarios.

Top 5 Facts About Campervan Fridges That Will Surprise You

If you are a camping enthusiast, then you know that one of the essential features of a campervan is the fridge. Campervan fridges come in different sizes and brands, and they all serve the same purpose – keeping your food and drinks cool while on the road.

But did you know that there are some facts about campervan fridges that may surprise you? From their power consumption to their design, here are the top five facts that will make you appreciate your campervan fridge even more.

1. Campervan Fridges Can Run on Multiple Power Sources

Campervan fridges are designed to run on different power sources, giving you the flexibility to choose what works best for you. Some models can run on 12V DC when your van’s engine is running, making them perfect for long drives. They can also run on LPG or propane gas, which is ideal for off-grid camping where electrical hookups are not available.

Additionally, most modern campervan fridges come with an AC adapter which allows them to be plugged into a regular household socket whenever they need to be charged.

2. They Come in Different Shapes and Sizes

Campervan fridges come in various shapes and sizes to suit different needs and budgets. You can choose between a compact model ideal for short trips or a larger one suitable for extended stays. Some of them even have multiple compartments allowing you to separate food items easily.

Furthermore, there are several designs including top-opening or front door models depending on what suits your preference.

3. They Are Energy Efficient

One significant advantage of campervan fridges is that they consume minimal energy compared to regular home appliances such as refrigerators. Most modern models use advanced technology such as dual evaporators that save energy by controlling temperature distribution inside the fridge.

Furthermore, many come equipped with automated temperature control mechanisms which ensure optimal cooling at all times without consuming too much power.

4. They Are Durable

Campervan fridges are built to last. They are designed using high-quality materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, and tempered glass which makes them sturdy and resilient. Moreover, the doors are made of robust plastic that can withstand the harsh outdoor environment.

5. They Enhance Your Camping Experience

Lastly, campervan fridges offer convenience and comfort while camping. You can store perishable foods such as meat, dairy products and vegetables without worrying about spoilage or wastage. You can also have cold beverages on hand whenever you need them.

In conclusion, if you plan on going camping with your campervan anytime soon remember that having a fridge inside brings a lot of advantages along with it including energy efficiency, durability and convenience in storing food during your trip. These Top 5 facts about campervan fridges should come in handy when choosing a new one to install in your camper van or looking for maintenance advice on an old one! Happy trails!

Keeping Your Campervan Food Fresh: Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Your Fridge on the Go

As a van lifer, you know that one of the greatest challenges you’ll face is keeping your food fresh while on the road. Unlike conventional living arrangements, where your fridge stays plugged in and running all day long, maintaining a campervan fridge demands some effort to preserve perishable items.

It’s easy to assume that as long as you have a functioning fridge in your van, it will keep your food fresh at all times. But the truth is, several factors can affect how well your fridge cools food while on the go, and neglecting them could lead to spoilage or waste.

So how do you maintain a fully functional and efficient campervan fridge while also ensuring the freshness and longevity of your groceries? Here are some tips and tricks:

1. Plan Your Meals

While this may seem like an obvious suggestion, planning meals is pivotal to maintaining a healthy stream of fresh foods while traveling in your campervan. Having meal plans ahead of time ensures that you shop for ingredients strategically rather than just grabbing whatever looks good at the moment. It also prevents overbuying quantities that cannot fit into your limited storage space.

2. Purchase High-Quality Coolers

The cooler option might sound archaic now that most campervans come equipped with fridges. However, coolers still come in handy when space gets tight or when extra fresh food must be carried for extended periods without refrigeration capacity.

When it comes to coolers, investing in reliable high-quality brands such as Yeti or Coleman goes a long way since they retain ice longer than most ordinary coolers—maintaining an optimal temperature range during transit from point A to B.

3.Use Refrigerator Fans

A cooling fan is essential for optimizing airflow and reducing heat from inside a refrigerator unit keeping internal temperatures consistent throughout their reasonable volumes regardless of weather changes outside Van life summers get hot! A 12-volt refrigerator vent fan helps remove heat emitted by the refrigerator’s cooling unit. Placing fans below the refrigerator can improve airflow into it and prevent overheating of its components.

4. Keep Your Fridge Level

For a mini fridge to function optimally, this means it must be kept level at all times while in operation. Any deviation from levelness will cause the refrigerant fluid to move to one side of the unit, causing damage over time. Making provisions for keeping your campervan parked on a flat surface can prevent any knocking or banging of your fridge— thereby extending its lifespan.

5.Watch What You Store

Certain perishable products should not be refrigerated lest their quality is compromised – these include tomatoes, potatoes, onions and avocados; keeping them at room temperatures guarantees optimal results.

Conversely, other items such as eggs and dairy products should always be stored in designated compartments within your fridge unit to keep them fresh.

In conclusion, maintaining your food’s freshness while on campervan travels might take extra effort beyond just purchasing and installing a regular refrigerator – but taking some precautionary steps such as meal planning, using high-quality coolers with adequate insulation; adding fan units for optimal air flow, parking on level surfaces as well as being mindful of what goes into storage space will go far ensuring you only consume fresh foods during your trips!

DIY Solutions: Building and Installing a Campervan Fridge Yourself

If you’re planning to convert your own van into a campervan, then you’ll want the essentials like a bed and storage in place. But how about installing a fridge? It’s not an easy task, but with some patience and perseverance, it can be done. Here’s our guide to building and installing a campervan fridge yourself.

Why install a campervan fridge?

There are lots of reasons why having a campervan fridge is beneficial. Firstly, it saves money. If you’re on the road for long periods of time, then purchasing food which requires refrigeration can get expensive quickly – especially if you’re eating out multiple times a day.

Secondly, storing perishable items such as milk, cheese and meat takes space in your vehicle (and can result in bad smells!) Having an onboard refrigerator frees up space that would otherwise be taken by ice chests.

Thirdly, having access to cold drinks whenever you want them is always appreciated on hot summer days!

What type of fridge should I choose?

The type of fridge that best suits your needs will largely depend on personal preference and the size of your campervan. Some people might opt for compressor fridges which use less power than absorption fridges but are more expensive upfront.

Absorption fridges work by using heat to cycle refrigerant gases creating cold air displacement within the unit. They require propane or electricity to function.

Top-loading coolers offer the least maintenance needed but also cannot function playing dual roles like heating or serving as freezers.

Budget plays into account with this choice too so knowing how much care; purchases rates plus potential energy consumption per day helps narrow down further what type to buy – or if customizing/upgrading certain units during installation is necessary so all bases can possibly be covered collectively inside one unit instead!

How do I install the campervan Fridge?

Before diving into installation read through manual guidelines from manufacturers completely! Secondly, choose what spot to put the fridge – preferably a flat surface, reachable exterior panel to fasten bolts to as refrigerators weight reaches 60-70lbs and securing bolts attached (new addition of extra support brackets always works). Also think about ventilation and avoiding enclosing the installation.

Now all surfaces must be cleaned off thoroughly pre-installation! Consider protective methods like insulation with foam inserts beneath refrigerator for stability during transport plus measures taken around compressor too prevent excess noise/vibrations while in operation. Wiring is usually straightforward via DC power source. Again manual guideline might provide additional steps or suggestions on how to make connection work most efficiently with other electrical systems within van.

Next comes testing phase after the recommended time given for full cooling effect elapses. All settings should still be double checked too before smashing that first cold beer open!


Turning a vehicle into a budget friendly moving space that fits your lifestyle also means upsizing potential features such as DIY installed campervan fridge accessible by mere arm’s reach at any point throughout journeyed travels. With that said, just remember investing a small chunk of money upfront could possibly save mucho dinero in the long runnings!

Choosing the Right Size Campervan Fridge For Your Needs: A Complete Breakdown.

If you’re planning on hitting the road with your campervan, it’s essential to ensure that your fridge is the perfect fit. After all, a campervan fridge will be responsible for keeping your food and drinks fresh while you’re on the go. A fridge that’s too small can lead to constant restocking or no space for leftovers, while one that is too big will take up valuable space in your van.

Now choosing a size for a fridge can be an overwhelming task as there are several options available in the market of different shapes and sizes. So how do you figure out what size will work best for you and cater to all of your needs? Well, don’t worry! In this blog post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about selecting the right-sized campervan fridge.

First and foremost, think about how many people are going to be using the campervan. If it’s just two adults traveling together with no plans for entertaining others or cooking elaborate meals regularly, then a smaller fridge would be sufficient. However, if you have kids’ aboard or plan to cook more often, then it would make sense to opt for a larger refrigerator.

Next up is considering how long your trips typically last. If you’re someone who enjoys long adventures- traveling weeks at a time without making any stops at restaurants- then consider opting for a larger sized fridge as it allows you to pack more food ahead of time.

Additionally, It’s also important to consider what type of foods and beverages you’ll be storing in the refrigerator because this will impact its capacity requirement. For example – perishables like milk bottles should have ample storage capabilities(smaller) because they tend to occupy extra space than packaged or dried goods products which require less cooling.

Another aspect worth considering when selecting refrigerators’ size is how much electricity/battery usage they require because power consumption translates into sustainability concerns over longer durations already explained above. Smaller fridges consume less power and smaller capacity can operate on minimal power consumption, which makes them ideal for van conversions that rely on renewable energy sources like solar.

Lastly, consider how much space you have in your campervan. It’s essential to measure the area/space of your vehicle where you want to install a fridge and understand how much extra storage the shelves/storages will take up to accommodate enough food and drinks for multiple people onboard. Installing a large-sized fridge in a tiny cabin will reduce cabin space, impacting your comfort level adversely during longer trips.

In conclusion, understanding what size campervan fridge is right for you comes down to several personal factors- the duration of your trip, the number of people traveling with you, storage needs as well as type of food storing. Take into account these aspects highlighted above before making any purchase decision; it will ensure that you have ample space available while also ensuring that your food stays fresh throughout your journey without draining too much juice out of batteries powering other appliances/devices/LED lights inside the van. Happy Camping!

Table with useful data:

Brand Model Capacity (Litres) Dimensions (mm) Power source Price (USD)
Dometic CFF45 43 707 x 392 x 425 12/24V DC, 100-240V AC 799
Norcold NRF45 45 510 x 420 x 470 12/24V DC, 120V AC 689
Igloo Iceless 40-Quart Cooler 37.8 652 x 384 x 429 12V DC 156
Engel MT45F-U1 Portable Fridge/Freezer 43 648 x 364 x 508 12/24V DC, 110V AC 800
ARB Classic Series II 63 489 x 829 x 490 12/24V DC, 100-240V AC 1,187

Information from an expert: Campervan Fridge

As a campervan expert, I know the importance of having a reliable fridge on the road. When choosing a campervan fridge, there are several factors to consider such as size, power source, and efficiency. Brands like Dometic and Engel offer high-quality fridges designed specifically for mobile living; they are compact yet spacious enough to store all your essentials. To prolong the life of your refrigerator and avoid costly repairs, proper maintenance is key. Regularly cleaning the coils and checking for leaks will ensure optimal performance on your adventures.

Historical fact:

The first campervan fridge was introduced in the 1950s, revolutionizing the way people could store and transport food while on the road.

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