Getting The Most Out of Your Caravan Fridge


How do you make sure your caravan fridge stays cool when the mercury rises?

Whether you chose a compressor driven fridge or 3-way absorption fridge, a whopping 230 litres built-in RV fridge, or super compact portable 30-litre fridge unit - you have the same consideration: how can you get the best efficiency from your caravan fridge?

Caravan Fridge
Caravan Fridges come as either 2 Way Compressor models, or 3 Way Absorption style

Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your caravan fridge.

1) Cool early

We know how frantic things can be before you head off on a trip. But a couple of days before you head out, make sure you turn on your caravan fridge using your mains power at home. This will give the fridge enough time to cool down to a constant temperature. While you're there, pre-cool your food and drinks too.

2) Make space

It's tempting to fill every little bit of space in your caravan fridge. But that actually stops your fridge from working efficiently. The more stuff filling the fridge, the less the air can circulate and cool the unit. Leave some room and you'll notice the results...noting that you don't want to leave too much room as this is extra air for your fridge to cool. Not too much, not too little :)

3) Get a fridge fan

If you want to improve the air circulation inside your caravan fridge more, get a fridge fan. They're pretty cheap and don't need any installation. Another option is a solar fridge vent fan, which fits behind your unit to help the heat exit faster.

4) Keep the air vents free

Speaking of air vents, these are the only way hot air can leave your fridge during the cooling process. Make sure nothing is obstructing them at the start of your trip, and do this check at regular intervals as you travel.

5) Keep your caravan fridge clean

Three-way absorption fridges are hugely popular for caravans, as they can run on LPG or natural gas in addition to 240V/12V. But take notice of any dust and debris that might be blocking the burner, and stopping the caravan fridge from working at its best. In other words, keep it clean!

3 Way Fridges for Recreational Vehicles

6) Minimise external heat

When it's hot outside, your caravan fridge needs to work harder. So, pay attention to the ambient temperature and adjust the fridge's cooling setting as needed. Park your vehicle in a cool spot, maybe under a big tree, making sure the fridge is in the shade. Use your awning and any other gadgets to keep your caravan cool, especially from the afternoon sun. This isn't just good for the caravan fridge, it's good for you too.

7) Buy an icebox

Every time you open the fridge, cool air escapes and your fridge has to work harder to cool the unit again. One way to limit this is to put frequently used items in an icebox. Actually, iceboxes are an essential caravan item, as you can also use them for day trips too.

By taking these small steps, you will not only make sure your fridge is working at maximum efficiency - you will also help it last longer.


Need some extra information about Caravan Fridges?...then check out some additional RV Fridge articles HERE. You can also check our YouTube Channel for more Caravan Fridge videos such as this clip which looks at the difference between Compressor (2 way) and Absorption (3 way) RV Fridges:

2 Way Fridges vs. 3 Way Fridges for Recreational Vehicles

How do you keep your caravan fridge working at its best? We'd love to hear them in the comments section below!

DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

1 thoughts on Getting The Most Out of Your Caravan Fridge

13 March 2018
You say to leave space between items for cool air to circulate. This gives the impression having fewer items in the fridge is desirable. You should also mention it's just as undesirable to have large amounts of empty space. Particularly in fridges with vertical-opening doors. As you explained, when a fridge door opens, cooled air quickly "falls out" and gets replaced by warm outside air. That warm air must be cooled again, which results in the fridge working longer/harder - which uses more power/gas. (Obviously this is less of a problem with top-opening portables/freezers, because the cold air cannot fall out of the cabinet.) So while it's good to have gaps between items for cool air to circulate, it's just as desirable to fill blocks of empty space. For example, with milk bottles of water. Now when the door is closed, there is a smaller volume of warm air to be cooled. Additionally, the water mass helps cool that warm air faster. (Air changes temperature faster than items of denser mass.) Finally, note that (quality) 12/24V fridges designed for remote area power supply (RAPS) homes, have noticeably thicker cabinet walls than typical consumer-grade whitegoods. So if you don't wish to carry the extra weight of water, you could instead cut some lightweight styrofoam to size, and insert it against the inner walls as food is consumed. This effectively increases wall thickness of the cabinet, decreases the internal cavity size, and again, less air to cool = less gas/power used. (Whitegood stores often have skip bins full of styrofoam.) I saw this done years ago to a typical home fridge in a magazine called "Soft Technology" (later renamed to "Renew"). I forget the difference in power use now, but I do remember noting the saving seemed well worth the effort.

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