How to Maximise the Efficiency of your Caravan’s Refrigerator

Author: Tahlia Maynard   Date Posted:4 December 2016 

Summer caravanning trips are packed with the promise of a world of fun. But remove refrigerators and air conditioners from the equation, and a lot of us might no longer think the same way!

Caravan refrigerators shoulder a huge responsibility as you head out on outback holidays in the summer months. Even if chilled beers and ice creams aren’t part of the plan, you would need to be able to store fruits, vegetables and meats for days at a stretch – a task that’s near-impossible without a fridge. Just so you don’t run out of supplies and frozen goodies during your next summer camping holiday, here are a few handy ways to maximise the efficiency of your caravan’s refrigerator:

1. Start the cooling process early

The night before you leave on your caravanning trip, power on your caravan refrigerator and let the cooling process begin while you’re still on the grid. This will give your fridge a few extra hours to kick-start the cooling process, and keep your supplies cold before you head out.

2. Leave some room in your caravan refrigerator

We understand how tempting that little unused corner of a fridge shelf is. But packing too many things will block air circulation inside your caravan fridge, and slow down the cooling process drastically.

3. Get a refrigerator fan

This will significantly improve the air circulation inside your caravan refrigerator, thus reducing its cooling time. Cheap battery operated fans are quite easy to get hold of and need no installation.

4. Keep the refrigerator’s air vents free

The air vents behind your caravan’s refrigerator serve as the only exit for hot air created during the cooling process. Inspect these vents on a regular basis to ensure that there aren’t any physical obstructions preventing heat from dissipating.

5. Install a refrigerator vent fan

This is usually a 12V fan that fits in behind your caravan refrigerator, helping the heat released via the cooling process to exit faster. Try getting a solar cell powered version to reduce dependence on electricity or gas.

6. Cleaning and maintenance

This is particularly important for LP gas powered caravan refrigerators. Often, soot and debris can block the burner, leading to a feeble or yellow-coloured flame. Inspect and clean the flue and burner assembly, check that all connections are intact, and power the refrigerator on again. Once the burner flame is back to its blue colour, and your refrigerator is cooling properly again, you’re good to go.

7. Minimise external heat

The ambient temperature of the region you’re visiting can have a drastic effect on the efficiency of your caravan’s refrigerator. If temperatures outside are on the high side, turn up the refrigerator’s cooling setting, and vice-versa. After a point, however, the fridge might not be able to tackle the high ambient temperatures, and in such cases, your best bet is to park your caravan in such a way that the side where the fridge is located is in the shade. An awning installed right outside can also shade your refrigerator effectively.

In addition to the above tips, good caravan refrigeration practice includes keeping your refrigerator on level ground. This will help the cooling unit last longer, and save you unnecessary repair or replacement costs. You can additionally pair your refrigerator with an icebox, dividing the load between the two in such a way that more frequently accessed items are kept in the icebox. This will reduce the number of times you have to open the fridge, thus maintaining its interior temperature and maximising its efficiency. Iceboxes also double up as excellent portable coolers that you can carry with you to the beach or to a picnic spot in the woods, helping you chill out in style and make the most of your camping holiday!