When it comes to choosing the right fridge for your caravan, there’s more to it than ensuring cold beer at happy hour…
What is better, a 3-Way Fridge or a Compressor Fridge?
Compressor fridges are designed for 12V to be their primary power supply, so are much more efficient, especially in extremely hot ambient temperatures in Far North Queensland and across the Equator.
A bonus with the Compressor fridges, is that your van doesn’t have to be completely level so it’s perfect for off-road usage and you dont need to spend time messing around with jacks trying to get it level.
The down side is that you do need to power them, so you need extra solar panels and batteries which is all extra weight, and expense you are carrying around with you. They are weather reliant also, so if you have a couple of weeks of bad weather you will inevitably need to go and book into a caravan park to recharge the battery, which is something to be mindful of.
The Compressor Fridge is far more efficient – there is no argument about it, however being weather reliant may be an issue at times, as is the extra cost involved for the initial set up.
These fridges are designed to run on three alternative power sources. They will run off 12-volt DC battery in your car while travelling, 240-volt mains while you are at a caravan park or LP Gas if you are free camping.
There is no doubt that these fridges have improved out of sight, and are much more efficient these days than they have ever been. They now make them in a Tropical Climate Class, which has a different coil and work far more efficiently when travelling to warmer parts of the country.
The downside of the 3-way fridge is that when on gas, they require strict attention to levelling of the caravan to obtain optimum refrigeration. This means you will need to get out the levelling ramps and get it as close to spot on as possible.
On the downside also, is that they don’t have as high an ambient range as the compressor fridge and the gas to run them will obviously cost you money (although relatively cheap). One 9kg gas bottle will run a 184L 2 door fridge/freezer around the clock for 2.5 week. So really, it’s not that expensive and on the upside, they are great for those who wish to stay off the grid.
The choice of refrigerator for your caravan is essentially a personal one that will be influenced by your previous experiences and the way in which you wish to operate whilst travelling.
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