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Whether you're taking your campervan out for a weekend in the woods or living long-term off the grid, you'll want a quality refrigerator unit on hand. After all, the whole point of a campervan is to make your vehicle a home — whether it's a vacation home or your primary address — and you're going to want to store perishable food and beverages.
There are a wealth of options when it comes to campervan fridges, and you'll want to take several factors into account when choosing one. That includes the interior design and storage space of your van, as well as the electrical system you have installed and how much power your vehicle can afford to spend. This is especially the case if you own an all-electric campervan. You may also want a fridge that operates quietly enough not to disturb your sleep, one that has enough room for all your food, or one that easily connects to your van's 12-volt outlet.
Cost may also be a factor when deciding on a fridge, especially since the prices of campervan fridges have a wide range. You may also decide to choose one based on the wisdom of the crowd, going with a product that is popular among campervan owners. There are a few brands that, in general, campervan owners have a particular affinity for. Here are five of the most popular fridges for your campervan.
Costway Portable Car Refrigerator
The Costway Portable Car Refrigerator is a popular and affordable option choice with campervan owners. It has a moderate size of 55 quarts and has an energy-efficient compressor that can quickly cool the unit. The fridge is also made of durable thermoplastic plastic that can withstand off-road driving and keep your food secure on bumpy roads. Other features include three different power levels to best work with your campervan's electrical system, a quiet motor that runs under 45 decibels, and a handle for better portability. It also has digital temperature controls with an LED display, so you can set the inside of your fridge exactly how you'd like it.
It's a top-loading fridge, which is more energy efficient because less cold air escapes when the door is open than it would with a front-facing model. However, you'll need to make sure you have enough clearance above the fridge so that the door can open all the way. You can install a drawer to save vertical space, or — because it's portable — just move the fridge to an open-air spot whenever you need to use it. That inconvenience could quickly get annoying, though.
The 55-quart Costway Portable Car Refrigerator has product code 24755US-SL-CYPE and is available from Amazon for $250. An alternate model with a silver-colored top is also available for $270.
Whynter FMC-350XP 34-Quart Compact Portable Refrigerator
If you're looking for a campervan fridge that's also portable enough for you to take with you on long hikes, fishing trips, or to outdoor campsites, the Whynter 34-quart Compact Portable Refrigerator is a great option. Its small size makes even less of a footprint in your vehicle thanks to its flush back, which allows you to place it cleanly against the wall without wasting space. It works with both 12-volt and 115-volt power sources and can be set at a temperature anywhere between –8 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can use it as a freezer. The appliance also conveniently has an automatic alarm that will chime if you've left the door open for more than a minute.
One downside to its portability is that it's pretty small and you'll find that its 34-quart capacity fills up pretty quickly. If most of your food isn't perishable and you only need a fridge for the essentials, however, it's a great choice at a relatively low price point. The Whynter FMC-350XP 34-quart Compact Portable Refrigerator is currently available from Amazon for $380.69.
Dometic CoolMatic CD 30
Dometic is a popular brand that makes vehicular coolers, fridges, and freezers of all shapes and sizes. The Dometic CoolMatic CD 30 is a solid option for smaller conversion campervans if you're looking for a drawer-style unit that can be tucked away in your vehicle to maximize interior space. As a drawer, you still get the benefits of a top-loading fridge without sacrificing the vertical space above it — the unit requires less than 10 inches of height for installation. The drawer has a pull mechanism on roller bearing slides that can be unlocked and opened with a quick, single movement. It can also be locked with a key for security and added stability on bumpy terrain.
The CoolMatic CD 30 also has a sleek, modern look to it and runs on 12V power with low-voltage protection. However, one reason you might want to go with a different fridge is its 31-quart capacity. You can fit a decent amount of perishables in a space that size, but off-the-grid campers may be frustrated that they'll have to restock at a nearby grocery store more frequently than they would with a larger unit. You can find Dometic's CoolMatic CD 30 on Amazon for $600.
ARB Zero Fridge Freezer
One of the most popular names in campervan fridges is ARB, which makes a variety of accessories for 4x4s and other larger vehicles. Its Zero Fridge Freezers have some of the highest-quality options available for your campervan and have a modern yet rugged look that will allow you to camp out in style.
A big advantage to ARB's Zero Fridge Freezers is that they come in many different sizes, so you can get the capacity that best suits your needs. The larger ones, like the 73-quart and 101-quart models, are dual-zone units, which means that they contain two completely separated compartments that can be set at different temperatures. This is useful if you'd like to have both refrigerator and freezer temperatures available to store your food.
The Zero Fridge Freezer is also portable and ergonomically designed to be easy to carry if you're taking it out of your van. It's also built with both front and rear DC inlets, making it easier to install and connect to your campervan's power source. If you're looking for an appliance that's not too large for your vehicle, the 47-quart model is a good choice. However, keep in mind that the 47-quart model is also only a single-zone appliance, so you'll have to decide whether you want it to be a refrigerator or a freezer. Its dual-zone counterparts will cost you more money.
The ARB 47-Quart Zero Fridge Freezer is available for $1,136.00 from Amazon.
The Engel MT60 is a top-rated fridge and freezer unit from Engel, one of the more popular brands among campervan owners. Its 60-quart capacity should be enough space for one or two people to stock more than several days worth of perishables. One big advantage of the top-loading unit is its high energy efficiency. The fridge's swing motor system will usually only draw around one to two amps per hour, which Engel claims is 40 percent less than a traditional compressor. It can run on either 12V/24V DC power or 110V/120V AC power, giving you options for how you'd like to power the appliance.
The fridge has an industrial look to it that you might find appealing, and it's durably constructed. It has an incline operation up to 30 degrees off level, and the compressor is made to handle the heavy vibrations of off-road travel. One drawback to the product is its premium cost, which is near the high end of the price range of campervan fridges. You can find the Engel MT60 AC/DC Fridge-Freezer (product code MT60F-U1) on Amazon for $1,929.99.