A compressor fridge is a perfect solution for using in your caravan. This fridge type offers much in the way of your usual home fridge but is conveniently a lot smaller.
A compressor caravan fridge is also referred to as a 2-way fridge or even a compressor cooler. Not only can it resemble a standard fridge shape, but you may also find that cool boxes and drawers often fall under the compressor fridge category as you search for these products.
Yet another important item, it’s doubtful any caravaner will be able to manage without one of these appliances in their caravan. Perfect for storing and keeping essential food products such as milk, butter, cheese, and salads, it also has many other valuable uses!
This type of fridge is great to have on board for when you turn up to a pitch and are looking for a cold beer or a glass of wine to chill out with! Additionally, if you must travel with medicine which needs to be kept refrigerated, a caravan fridge will be your essential appliance for storing this in.
Below is an excellent selection of six different types of compressor fridges currently retailing on Amazon. These are great for those who want something more permanent in their caravan – or those who may just be looking for a more portable fridge to save on space and even take out with them when they leave the van.
Best 12V Compressor Fridges for Caravans
This compressor fridge is once again offered by Waeco, but this model allows customers to select from a choice of sizes to suit. This one is available for purchase in 50 litres, 65 litres, 80 litres, 110 litres, all the way to an impressive 140 litres.
Though these models only run on electric, they all offer a three in one style of fridge which means they can, in turn, be used as a full fridge, full freezer or a conventional fridge and freezer.
The freezer compartment is also removable, should you wish to use it merely as a fridge or require more fridge room on specific occasions.
Overall, the design of this Waeco model offers slightly more to customers with its claim to use less energy consumption through an intelligent electronic control, which works on the compressor speed.
Customers highly rate the addition of a freezer in this fridge which allows you to place a couple of frozen items in it if you choose to, but the smart ergonomic layout seems to be its biggest pull for many people.
Dometic sells a more compact choice of fridge with their CoolFreeze CDF – Compressor Cooler.
Lightweight and super slim in design, this is a simpler version to fit into even the smallest of spaces making it great for those who don’t want a permanent fridge in the caravan or those looking to take their fridge out with them when away from the caravan. With integrated handles it is hassle-free to use, operate and carry from one place to another.
Available in a vast range of sizes including 10.5 litres, 15 litres,18 litres, 21 litres, 31 litres, and 39 litres, this model has a 12/24 V DC Connection and boasts an interior light alongside user-friendly display.
Highly efficient with compressor cooling technology, not only can this product keep food cold and chilled, but it also offers a deep-freeze option which uses the minimum of power consumption.
Customers purchasing the Dometic fridge/freezer find it runs very well, not taking too much battery up in the process, with many claiming it’s a quieter model which works at keeping temperatures consistent.
Yet another offering from Dometic, but this time one of their most powerful compressor coolboxes which offers a staggering A++ Energy Class. This makes it one of the lowest power consumption models on the market!
Available to suit those looking for bigger cooling capacity, it can be bought as a 32 litre, 38 litre, 46 litre, and even a 60 litre!
Running on 12/12 V DC or 100-240 V AC, this model offers deep freezing down to -22 degrees Celsius.
Using enhanced cooling performance-end compressor cooling technology throughout, this can work against those higher ambient temperatures.
Complete with add-ons such as three-stage battery protection, energy efficient interior LED light and a USB port for charging those MP3 players and smartphones, it’s a heavy duty designed coolbox with reinforced corners.
Customers purchasing this specific product believe it’s one of the best model types for the caravan as it noticeably draws less on the battery and offers many great additional options as standard.
A 12-24V DC model, there is also an internal LED light present alongside an electronic thermostat and display included.
An adjustable shoulder strap makes this the more portable of fridges with everything combined design wise to fit into the smaller of products – making this extremely lightweight to handle.
Customers purchasing the Indel fridge find it a simplistic buy, which adequately fits a couple of essential items.
With fridge and freezing options, this A+ energy rated model has an AC/DV operation and packs a punch with its 21kg of overall weight, giving total measurements of 52 x 51 x 45cm.
Perhaps the only one of the bunch here that visually takes on the dated look of coolboxes, it’s updated interior makeup rather makes up for its old-fashioned outer style!
Customers purchasing this model do note that it’s a heavier compressor/cooler but find it works perfectly well and is as durable as Waeco claim it is.
How Does a Fridge Compressor Work?
You’ve probably read or heard about the compressor in a fridge but may not know what it does. Let us explain.
The compressor inside a fridge is very important to the entire refrigeration cycle and works with the evaporator, expansion valve (also known as the capillary tube) and condenser. Each of these components has a special role in the transportation and conversion of liquid refrigerant to a gas and back to a liquid. As this process of evaporation at extremely cold temperatures absorbs heat in, colder temperatures are created inside the fridge. A compressor is there to function when temperature sensors detect that the temperature has increased to a specific level.
When the fridge compressor starts working, it uses its pump to draw the cold refrigerant gas in from the evaporator and then needs to warm this gas up. There’s a motor that powers it to perform this task, compressing the gas and increasing its temperature. This gas is sent to the condenser to be liquified by reducing its temperature and then the expansion valve lowers the temperature and pressure, evaporating at least half of the refrigerant.
The fridge evaporator then takes what’s left of the refrigerant in liquid form and converts it to gas, starting the cycle again.
12v Caravan Fridge Power Consumption
You’re probably wondering, when looking at the best compressor fridges available on the market right now that are mentioned on this page, how much power they consume. If you’re running everything off the main battery, a leisure battery, the electric hook-up offered by a site or your own solar power setup, this important to know.
The thing is though, although the voltage may be the same for all these compressor fridges, figuring out how much power they need depends on several different factors. This includes the ambient temperature, compressor style, fridge size, temperature they’re set to cool at, thickness of insulation and what you’re going to use it for, to name but a few.
Though, most will use between 1 to 6-amps an hour. Most fridges, like any other appliance, will have their power consumption listed. However, if they don’t you just need to know the voltage, in this case 12v and the wattage to work out the amps per hour. You first take the Watts and by the number of hours you’ll be running the fridge for. This will give you the watt-hours. Now take that answer and divide it by the voltage to get the amp-hours.
Final Thoughts on Caravan Compressor Fridges
As you can see from these products, there is an undoubtedly plentiful choice when it comes to selecting the best compressor fridge for your caravanning needs.
There’s no denying that whether you travel regularly or occasionally in your caravan, a good-sized refrigerator is a perfect appliance to have installed. However, if you find that you simply can’t justify the room or the expense, then a smaller more compact and transportable fridge will work just as well.
Better still, if you do have the room and opt for a standard fridge which fits perfectly into your van, there’s also no reason why you can’t look at purchasing those smaller and portable of fridges in the meantime. Perhaps as an additional way of keeping your food fresh when you’re away from the van or even just as a second option, maybe even for extra storage in your awning?
Do you need any other appliances for your caravan? Have a look at some of our other pages: