When it comes to outfitting your caravan for adventures on the road, choosing the right fridge is a decision that carries considerable weight. It's the unsung hero of your mobile kitchen, preserving your food, cooling your drinks, and ensuring that you have the comforts of home even in the great outdoors. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best caravan fridge for your needs?
In this in-depth review, we'll take a close look at the top contenders in the caravan fridge world. We'll explore the features, benefits, and real-world performance of these fridges to help you make an informed decision to guide you toward the perfect caravan fridge companion for your next trip.
Opting for an upright fridge in your caravan is a game-changer for several compelling reasons. Firstly, it's all about accessibility. With an upright fridge, you can effortlessly grab what you need on the go, without the hassle of manoeuvring around stacked items. No more squashed bananas at the bottom! In terms of practicality, upright fridges prove to be surprisingly lighter. For instance, a 130L upright fridge can weigh in at a remarkable 2kg less than a 95L chest fridge. This means you get 35 extra litres of storage without the additional weight.
Plus, there's no need for a hefty fridge slide, contributing to an overall reduction in weight. Upright fridges also eliminate the need for a step stool to peer inside, providing a more convenient and ergonomic solution. Surprisingly, the smaller range of upright fridges also tends to come with a friendlier price tag compared to their chest counterparts, making them a cost-effective and practical choice for caravan enthusiasts.
Fridge Options For Canopy And Campers
If you have the space and power setup in your canopy or 4WD opting for an upright fridge introduces a world of convenience and possibilities. Unlike traditional coolers, these fridges offer precise temperature control, keeping your food and beverages at the ideal chilling level. This means no more dealing with soggy sandwiches or lukewarm drinks.
Dometic NRX Range
The New Dometic NRX Refrigerator series goes beyond the conventional, offering a 3-in-1 cooling solution that can function as a fridge, freezer, or both simultaneously. The key to its exceptional performance lies in the powerful high-end compressor, providing users with the flexibility of three operating modes: Eco for maximum energy efficiency, Performance mode for a rapid cool-down, and Quiet for a peaceful night’s sleep. The interior has also been thoughtfully designed, featuring a removable freezer compartment, multiple shelves, two crispers, a bottle holder, and door shelf/shelves. With five new models ranging from 50L to 126L the NRX series stands out as a fresh design with superior energy efficiency.
The Bushman DC range, spanning from a practical 65 litres to a spacious 130 litres, stands as a testament to reliability and innovation in refrigeration. These fridges are built tough for off-road use and come with a 5-year compressor warranty for peace of mind. They're designed with efficiency in mind, using a Secop Danfoss BD35 compressor and averaging just 1.0 Amp/hr over 24 hours. The fridges also feature user-friendly elements like a crisper drawer, easy-to-use thermostat, and spacious door shelves. With their Anderson plug connection, setting up is a breeze. The Bushman DC range ensures you have a dependable fridge for your 4WD adventures.
The Vitrifrigo 130L fridge is known for being quiet and well-built, blending seamlessly into any mobile living space. The C130L model offers extra storage with a remote compressor setup, and flexible pipes for convenient compressor placement. The door hinge is reversible for easy installation, and it includes a frame for flush or outside door mounting, plus with a new 'Airlock' door handle you can be rest assured your fridge will not open while your vehicle is moving. The fridge is energy-efficient with its LED light and has excellent insulation, including a 3-star freezer compartment. Opt for the Vitrifigo 130L 12-24V/240V model that conveninetly comes with a 240V module directly built into it. Overall, the Vitrifrigo 130L fridge combines practicality with thoughtful design, making it a top contender for mobile refrigeration needs.
Fridge Options For Small Caravans
The Dometic RUC5208X 153L fridge is designed for small caravans, featuring a slim cabinet for extra kitchen space without compromising storage. It's known for reliable performance in various temperatures, making it suitable for all conditions. The user-friendly control panel allows easy temperature adjustments and has a service mode for diagnostics. With its narrow design, it fits through RV doors easily. The fridge comes with a full-width crisper, efficient LED lighting, and ample door storage. It offers plenty of room for food and drinks. Plus, its strong cooling unit ensures excellent performance even in tough conditions, making it a great choice for compact caravans.
The Vitrifrigo DP150i is a 2-door fridge/freezer combo with a total 150-liter capacity, including a separate 30-liter freezer. It runs on 12V or 24V DC power, fitting various settings. Inside, it's bright with LED lighting and practical crisper drawers, making it a popular choice for caravans, motorhomes, and boats. The Airlock closure system offers four features: positive door closure, a versatile mounting flange, quick reversible opening, and a vent position to prevent odours. With features like the Airlock system, LED lighting, and optional D power compatibility, the DP150i is a functional and stylish choice for mobile refrigeration.
Fridge Options For Large Caravans
The Dometic RCD10.5XES 200L fridge and freezer is a space-efficient fridge powered by versatile compressor cooling technology. It offers Silent, Turbo, and Performance cooling modes. The smart door can be easily adjusted for different layouts, making storage convenient. The interior is adaptable, with crispers and a customizable decor panel. It complies with food safety regulations and has a user-friendly control panel with LED display. The smart locking system ensures safe use. It's eco-friendly, using R600a refrigerant. The fridge maintains the same size and fit as the RMD series. Overall, the RCD10.5XES is a smart, efficient, and flexible choice for mobile refrigeration needs.
The Thetford T1274 is a compact and powerful black stainless compressor refrigerator. It's slim at just 614 mm wide, yet it cools efficiently. It has a 202-liter fresh food compartment and a 72-liter frozen food compartment. This 12V fridge optimizes space and offers separate compartments for fridge and freezer. It doesn't need external vents, making installation easier. You don't need a licensed electrician for servicing, and it prevents external dust buildup. It runs quietly and has a night mode for peaceful sleep. The design is modern and stylish. With 350+ service agents across the country, help is always accessible. The improved fans are built for the Australian climate. The Thetford T1274 combines efficiency and convenience in a sleek package.
Introducing the DC230-X, a new addition to our popular DC-X series of 12V caravan fridges. At 230 liters, it's the perfect size for caravans, RVs, or mobile homes. With its genuine Bushman cooling system, it works efficiently even in hot weather up to 43˚C. You can install it flush with your cabinet or use the provided mounting kit. It comes with a 5-year compressor warranty and features like ample door storage, a 45-liter freezer, and a reversible door. Designed for off-road use, it's user-friendly with an easy-to-use thermostat and room for tall bottles. It's highly power-efficient, averaging just 2.2 Amp/hr over 24 hours. The variable speed drive compressor ensures top-notch performance. With its exceptional insulation, the DC230-X is a reliable and efficient choice for your caravan.
These are all compressor fridges that run off your 12V or 240V power system. There are options available for Absorption fridges that also run off gas. Find out what the difference between a compressor and 3 way refrigerator is here.
Cons Of Upright
Upright fridges, while highly practical, do come with their own set of considerations. Firstly, they require secure installation and can't simply be tossed into the back of your car. Adequate ventilation is crucial for their efficient operation, and they need space in your canopy to function optimally. When the door is opened, upright fridges tend to lose cold air more quickly compared to chest fridges, where the cold air remains contained for longer. Additionally, some chest fridges offer the versatility to convert entirely into freezers, which may not be an option with upright models. These factors highlight the importance of thoughtful planning and proper setup when opting for an upright fridge in your outdoor adventures.
They can’t be just thrown into the back of your car, they need to be secured properly
They do require more ventilation than chest fridges to run efficiently and clear of other items in the back of your canopy
Can lose cold air quickly when door is open as cold air rushes down, with a chest fridge the cold air stays in the fridge longer.
Some chest fridges can be changed to all freezer.
If you would like to view our full range of caravan fridge options click here. And if you require further information, please feel free to contact one of our friendly team members on 1800 787 278 or on our live chat www.caravanrvcamping.com.au.
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.