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How to choose your caravan fridge

Caravan Refrigeration – Caravan Fridges which type should I use?

When you are hitting the road in your Caravan you want to make sure that you have all the gear that is suited for you. An important decision to make is what sort of refrigerator you should have. After all, one of the best parts of being on the road is having the freedom to cook your own meals, especially with excellent Australian local produce.

So how do you choose which type of refrigerator is best for you and your Caravan?

Choosing the right refrigeration system to suit your needs is not so clear cut. You need to consider how you want to use the refrigerator and the overall cost. An 3-Way refrigerator is generally a little more expensive than a 12 volt compressor compressor refrigerator and the ongoing cost and availability of LPG should be considered. On the other hand, it offers greater flexibility than compressor fridges, offering operation through three power sources.

Here are more key differences between the two to better inform your decision:
12 volt Compressor Refrigerators (sometimes called a 2-way fridge)

  • 12 volt compressor refrigerators are usually compact, achieve low temperatures quickly and are lightweight.
  • 12 volt compressor refrigerators are able to run efficiently, even if not level.
  • 12 volt compressor refrigerators can run with less ventilation than an 3-Way refrigerator; however, the refrigerator will use more 12 volt compressor current than normal if poorly vented.
  • To have the same freedom you have with an 3-Way refrigerator, you will need to have the ability to recharge your batteries. You will need solar panels or a generator when free camping and an AC battery charger when connected to the mains power.
  • When sizing suitable solar panels it needs to be noted the hotter the ambient gets the more 12 volt compressor power compressor refrigerators use.

3-Way Refrigerator (correct name is an Absorption Refrigerator)

  • Initially, 3-Way refrigerators are slower to come down to temperature compared to a compressor refrigerators,  however once down to temperature 3-Way units hold and maintain the temperature equally as well as compressor units
  • When stationary, 3-Way refrigerators need to be more level than a 12 volt compressor compressor refrigerator – but then you don’t camp on an angle anyway.
  • The 12 volt current used when running an 3-Way refrigerator on 12V is more than a 12 volt compressor compressor refrigerator. Switch the 3-Way refrigerator to LPG when your engine is off and it will use no 12 volt power at all.
  • 3-Way refrigerators are a gas appliance and must be installed as per the Australian gas code unless it is a portable model for use out- doors.

It is up to you and your needs to make the decision, however if you need help we offer an extensive range of fridges for your caravan.  They offer many different styles and sizes to suit your Caravan. If you need additional cooling space consider a portable fridge/freezer, again there either compressor or 3-Way driven. Both are portable and can be used out- doors.

Brands of caravan fridge we can stock and supply for use in your caravan are Vitrofrigo, Engel, Evakool, Dometic, Thetford, NovaKool and Waeco amoungst others.