If you travel to far-away places or you simply travel a lot in a van, it’s likely that you spend a decent amount of time staying in the van with your family. Therefore, your van should feel like home to some extent, a mini home. What should you look for when choosing a fridge for your van? Which is the best campervan fridge? Let’s find out.
Just like at home, you will need to store food and drink in your vans. That’s where a mini fridge comes in handy. Small fridges are compact, especially when integrated well with the van’s space; and they don’t consume much electricity.
Further reading: Solar Powered Fridge – Why Is It Best for Camping?
How to choose the right fridge for campervan
To buy the most suitable mini fridge for your van, you should consider the following factors.
Based on your specific demands and family members, the capacity of mini fridge for campervan can range from 40 to 60 quarts. Besides, knowing how much food you plan to store, fridge with freezer or without freezer will also contribute to the right choice.
Even though mini fridges are energy efficiency, you should know exactly how much power it consumes before making the final decision.
It is recommended to choose the compressor refrigerators as they are the most common types of fridges for campervans and energy efficient. Also, they work better in uneven surface or terrain as well as they have powerful compressor motor.
Depending on the storage space and your preference on organizing food, you can choose the fridge that best fits your van life needs with following options:
- Opening at the top (Top- loading fridge): This style brings the benefits like energy saving, portable, thick insulation and can make use as a seat. But the typical drawback is that food must be stacked.
- Opening at the front (Front-Loading fridge): With this upright fridge, food can be organized neatly on shelves, you can easily get the food. However, it consumes more electricity as the cold air can escape when you open the fridge. Besides, it is not portable and less insulation but it is cheaper than other top-loading fridges.
How much do you plan to invest for your van? There are many fridges with different prices for you to consider. The higher-end fridges with modern technology and special functions are more expensive.
If you need basic features only, you can find a 12-volt refrigerator with about 500 USD. However, it does not have interesting features and short warranty.
If you spend most of your time living in a van, it is recommended that you should invest to an efficient and durable fridge. However, they may cost around 1,500 USD or more but they are likely to save you money in the long run.
Brand and Warranty policy
It is best to choose a well-known or reliable brand with high ranked products and good warranty policies. Sometimes, your fridge may be more expensive than others, but you can make sure to have a qualified fridge for your van. Following are some respected brands:
So what mini fridge should you get? Here are the top 9 mini fridges for vans that should fit different usages.
Further reading: Best Mini Fridge for Semi Trucks
Best mini fridge for campervan
1. Best value front-loading: Vitrifrigo C51
Dimensions (H-W-D): 22 x 17 x 20 inches
Capacity: 51 Liters
Warranty: 2 years
If you prefer the front-loading fridge, this is a good choice as it can be seen a valuable upright fridge with a freezer. It has a very reasonable price compared to other competitors, less than 700 USD.
With 24 months of warranty and 61 liter capacity, Vitrifrigo C51 is the fridge that you should consider for your campervan.
2. High-tech features: Dometic CFX 3 portable
Domestic is one of the reputable brands when it comes to chest-styled mini fridges. Their fridges are known for great durability in the long term with mid-range prices.
The Dometic CFX 3 portable fridge comes with lots of useful and smart features, such as an ice maker, a touch screen, as well as WiFi and Bluetooth support so you can control the fridge’s temperature with your phone.
The power is just as impressive as the smart features. It has dual temperature gauges for both the fridge and the freezer. You can set the temperature to as low as -7 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Smart features
- Reasonable price
- Reputable brand
- Comes with a freezer
3. Most favorite: Dometic CF110
Dimensions: 31.1 x 19.9 x 21.9 inches
Weight: 69.4 pounds
This fridge has single cooling zone, durable construction, and powerful compressor cooling system. It is low-power consumption and considered a favorite fridge for camping van with 144 Can or 106 l capacity.
The Dometic CF series include the 12/24 V DC and 100-240 V AC connection cords. It easily changes from AC to DC power and the cooling capacity is between 0-degree F to 50-degree F (about -18 degree C to +10 degree C). Other features like control panel display and removable carrying handles.
- Friendly design
- 3-stage battery protection
4. Best for small space: Dometic CDF 11
Unlike at home, your van’s space is limited, which makes it precious. While many other mini fridges take up a lot of room, the Dometic coolfreeze CDF 11 is compact yet capable.
The Dometic coolfreeze CDF 11 is a 12-volt compressor fridge that can hold 10.5l while staying relatively small. The mini fridge measures just less than 15 inches in height and 10 inches in width, which is suitable for tight space.
Even though this mini fridge doesn’t perform as well as other fridges, it still comes with an electric thermostat to adjust the temperature, which can be displayed on the touch screen.
- Great for tight space
- Good design
- Single cooling zone
5. Affordable Price: COSTWAY 55 Quart
The COSTWAY car refrigerator is a good mini fridge for vans at a very affordable price. It’s a mini fridge with a basic look and just enough features to keep the good price.
This mini fridge can hold up to 55 quarts (roughly 52l), which is more than 80 cans of beer.
For using on the vans, the fridge can be charged with the normal 12V/24V outlet. If you want to use it at home, the package comes with a 110-240V adapter.
- Good prices
- LCD screen
- Only 3-month warranty
6. Good value: NORCOLD Portable 45 L
Dimensions: 25.5 x 15.7 x 16.9 inches
Capacity: 1.6 cu.ft.
Weight: 43.9 pounds
Power: 4.8A @ 12V DC
Cooling Capacity: 0 degrees F in 2hrs
Warranty: 2 years
The Norcold NRF-45 portable fridge is durable, energy-efficient, and quiet. It has separate freezer and refrigeration sections as well as include electronic control panel that display internal temperature. Other features like corrosion-proof plastic exterior and removable wire basket.
- Reversible and removable hinged lid
- Clean easily
- Stainless steel interior
- DC only refrigerator
- Power cord sticks straight out
7. Best Dual Zone: The Whynter Portable 62 Quart
External Dimensions: 18.5 x 28 x 21 inches
Interior Capacity: 62 Quarts, or 2.07 Cubic Feet
Cooling Capacity: Between -8°F and 50°F
Weight: 62 pounds
Voltage Power: AC (115V/60-Hz – 0.8A)
Voltage Power: DC (12V/24V – 4.5A/2.5A Car Lighter Socket)
The Whynter 62-Quart has a tough and firm outside casing, that make it durable and perform a perfect job as a good travel refrigerator. Even when being tilted at 30°, it can work very well, without any problems. It has efficient cooling technology with fast freeze feature and runs quietly. You can adjust the temperature from -6°F to 50°F.
- Fast, quiet, and efficient in cooling
- Versatile for both refrigerator and freezer use
- Interior LED lighting
- Heavy when filled up
8. Best overall: ICECO VL – Series 12V
Dimensions LxWxH: 25.94 x 14.72 x 18.78 inches
Capacity: 47.5 Quarts (45-liter)
Cooling capacity: between 0°F to 50°F or -18℃ to 10℃
Power: AC 110-240V, DC 12/24V power
With Danfoss SECOP compressor, spacious interior of a 45-liter capacity, and stainless-steel construction, the ICECO fridge is suitable for van on your holiday trips or camping. ICECO VL-Series are available in capacity of 45 to 74 liters, both single and dual zone, affordable price. ICECO refrigerators can be the best overall value for portable refrigerators in the van life space. Also, they are easy to move with two solid metal handles.
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The bottom line
Overall, these are the 8 best mini fridges for campervans that you should consider. Whether the mini fridge is good on feature set or prices, there is an option for you to choose.
Before buying a mini fridge for your campervan, you should choose the size depending on the actual space of your van where you can fit the fridge, then you can either go for prices or features.