For many people, caravanning provides the perfect middle-ground getaway, removed from the monotony of everyday life, yet still within reach of some of the home comforts we rely on.
One such home comfort is an energy-efficient, high-quality fridge to keep your food fresh and tasty for the duration of your holiday.
Unfortunately, getting your hands on such an appliance can often be easier said than done. Buying a fully-furnished caravan is going to put you out of pocket somewhat, and many of the standard fridges available on the market aren’t suitable for caravan, motorhome, or caravan use.
We all know how time-consuming scouring the market for the perfect product can be – so we thought we’d get the hard part out of the way for you! We’ve come up with a list of the five best fridges for caravans, motorhomes and campervans for your camping convenience!
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Busy day? No problem! Here’s our top choice:
- 40-litre capacity
- Compact design
- 120-volt and 240-volt inputs
- 1-10° temperature control
- Reversible door
- Adjustable shelves
- Key lock function
- Includes two power cables
Best Fridges for Caravans, Motorhomes and Campervans
If you’re looking for a basic, yet high-performing and energy-efficient fridge for your caravan or motorhome, we would highly recommend the Smad Caravan Fridge.
This is a highly efficient 2-way fridge (for insight into different fridge types, see our buyer’s guide below) with 240 and 120-volt power inputs.
Externally, this caravan fridge is very compact, measuring just 40.2 x 46.5 x 56 centimetres. This is the perfect size for under-counter storage or slotting neatly into the corner of your caravan.
However, don’t let yourself be deceived by the compact external construction of the Smad Caravan Fridge – it’s got a high capacity of 40 litres, with plenty of internal storage space for all your perishable food and drinks.
With a controllable temperature range of 0-10° Celsius (adjustable via the thermostat), the temperature inside the fridge can easily be tailored to the kind of food you currently have in storage. You can also turn it up or down to compensate for any external temperature changes.
And the temperature isn’t the only thing about this fridge that’s adjustable! The shelving inside the fridge, which consists of two detachable shelves, is repositionable so you can organise your caravan fridge however you see fit. The shelves slide in and out without catching or sticking, so fridge organisation has never been easier.
Moreover, the fridge door hinges are reversible, which means that the door can be opened either from the left or the right. This is such a clever and useful feature for a caravan fridge because the surrounding space will so often be limited, meaning that the freedom to open the door either way can be a real problem-solver.
If you’ve been worrying about the audible presence of a fridge in such a small space as a caravan, then you’ll definitely appreciate the Smad Caravan Fridge, because it operates completely silently! There’ll be no being kept awake at night by annoying background buzzing or humming with this fridge model.
Another frequent concern of caravan fridge owners is the safety of their food when they’re away from the caravan. This fridge can help to alleviate some of this worry through its key-locking function.
Along with the fridge itself, your purchase also secures you the two power cords necessary for plugging the fridge into your outlets, so as soon as you receive your new fridge, you’ll be ready to plug it in and hit the road!
Unfortunately, although this fridge is pretty much perfect for caravan use in every way, some customers have reported that their model arrived damaged from handling during shipping.
- 40-litre capacity
- Compact construction
- 240 and 120-volt inputs
- 0-10° temperature range
- Reversible door hinges
- Adjustable shelving
- Silent operation
- Two power cords included
- Some reports of product damage during shipping
- 💜2 Way Power - 240V and 12V input.(include 2 power cords) Electricity 65Watts
- 💜Adjustable Shelves & Leveling Feet - Slidable removable shelf helps to keep your foods organized. Leveling feet keep the refrigerator stay stable
- 💜Exterior Dimensions - 40.2cm(width)x46.5cm(depth)x56cm(height)cm, Temperature Range: 0~10°C with adjustable thermostat
- 💜Reversible Door & Lock - The reversible door hinge allows left or right opening;with lock and key, keeps your foods away from the others. Best for bar,camper, traveling, car, truck ,boat
- 💜No Noise - Totally silent running with advanced absorption cooling system, perfect for Caravan, RV, Campervan, Lesiure Motorhome, Bedroom, Hotel, Dorm and etc.
If you liked the sound of the 2-way Smad Campervan Fridge, you might also be interested in Smad’s 3-way caravan fridge model.
While many consider 3-way fridges to be intrinsically wasteful in terms of energy efficiency, this fridge seems to be the exception that makes the rule. It consumes energy at a low rate while remaining a highly effective refrigerator.
This fridge is available in 3 capacity options: 40 litres (like the 2-way model), 60 litres, and 100 litres. The dimensions of the fridge, of course, vary according to capacity, but the 60-litre model, which seems to be the most popular choice, isn’t too much bigger than the 40-litre build, at 48 x 46.2 x 69.5 centimetres. Therefore, even at higher capacities, the 3-way Smad Campervan Fridge is still a compact and practical fridge model.
Unlike the 2-way Smad fridge, this model can run on propane and electrical power from the 120 and 240-volt inputs. This gives you flexibility in terms of electricity and fuel consumption.
It also means that you can use the fridge outdoors as well as indoors if you want to have your cold drinks easily accessible during a barbecue, for example.
No matter how you choose to power this fridge, it will maintain a temperature range between 1 and 10° Celsius, which you can adjust using the thermostat. You can also adjust the shelves to the heights that work best for your food supply.
Like its 2-way sister model, the 3-way Smad Campervan Fridge operates silently for minimal disturbance. It doesn’t vibrate, and even when powered by gas, doesn’t emit any pollutants.
However, there’s no gas isolation switch on this fridge model, so turning the gas off will involve switching off the gas canister.
- Available in 40, 60, and 100-litre capacities
- Compact build
- Indoor and outdoor use
- Works with propane and electricity
- 0-10° temperature range
- Adjustable shelving
- Silent operation
- No pollution
- No gas isolation switch
- 3 way-It can be powered by gas,AC 240V or DC 12V. propane - 30mbar gas pressure
- Absorption refrigeration,no vibration,no Freon,no pollution,low energy consumption,silent operation
- Temperature Range 0~10℃ with AC thermostat, a good item to keep your drinks fresh. Low gas consumption: 5g/h
- Adjustable shelves help contain messes,and easy to clean
- Used for home,hotel,bar,truck,caravan,vehicle,apartment,villa,cabin,village,chalet and other places, Ideal for installation in homes,farms,cottages,dining car,caravans,chalets or similar
While this fridge hasn’t been specifically designed for use in caravans or motorhomes, it has been designed to offer powerful and reliable refrigeration from a compact design that will fit into tight spaces.
Therefore, the Subcold Eco100 LED Under-Counter fridge is perfectly suited to most small, indoor spaces, including caravans.
The Subcold Eco100 standalone fridge model is made of high-quality materials and uses advanced cooling technology to provide thorough and precise refrigeration for all your sensitive foodstuffs. Its high-density foam injection mould and glass shelves make it a sleek, yet durable appliance for your caravan or motorhome.
This fridge is available for purchase in 3 capacity sizes. The 50-litre model should be spacious enough internally for a family’s weekend food requirements, while the 75 and 100-litre builds are perfect for longer camping trips. Using the removable shelves, you can organise and space your food out however works best for you!
The 100-litre model is particularly popular amongst Subcold’s customer base, partially because, despite its generous storage space, it manages to remain incredibly compact.
At 53.6 x 48.6 x 83.3 centimetres, it’s less than a metre high and just over half a metre wide. The reversible door and adjustable feet allow for even more flexibility in terms of placement and space management.
We should note that this fridge is not completely silent, like some of the other fridge models on our list. However, it has a very low noise output of 42 dB, which, for context, is somewhere between a whisper and the level of normal conversation.
As well as being a low-noise fridge, the Subcold Eco100 is highly energy-efficient, with A+-rated energy consumption, even with the bright LED lighting.
The noise may take some getting used to at night, but it shouldn’t be noticeable during the daytime. For some campers, though, this low-level noise might still be too much to get accustomed to.
The security key lock, complete with two keys, will keep all your food supplies safely stored away until you need them, so you can just relax and enjoy your time away!
- High-quality construction
- Compact design
- Available in 50, 75, and 100-litre capacity
- Advanced cooling technology
- Low noise output
- A+ energy consumption
- Security locking
- Reversible door hinges
- Removable shelves
- Adjustable feet
- LED lighting
- May cause disturbance at night
- SUBCOLD TEMPERATURE PERFORMANCE - Premium Under-Counter Fridge with Advanced Compressor Cooling Technology Built in with Subcold Temperature range of 0 - 10°C [Adjustable Thermostat] Chiller Suitable for Food, Wine bottles, Beer cans, Soft Drinks, Milk, Snacks and Much Much More!
- QUALITY BUILD CONSTRUCTION - High Density Foam Injection Mould with High Grade Solid Foamed Black Door. Dimensions = (W) 486 x (D) 536 x (H) 833 mm. Net Capacity = 95L
- LOW ENERGY + LOW NOISE - Economical Energy Consumption with only 116kWh / Per Year and Super Low Noise Output - only 41dB Making it Suitable for use in Most Rooms in the Home, Bar, or the Office!
- COOLER BY DESIGN - Additional Features Include 3 Removable Glass Shelves + Internal LED Light + Security Lock & Key [2 Keys Supplied] to Keep the Contents of Your Mini Refrigerator Safe at All Times Even When Your Not Around + It Now Fits in Even More Places with the Reversible Door & Adjustable Feet!
- FULL CERTIFICATION + 1 YEARS FULL WARRANTY - All Subcold Products are Tested to High UK Standards with Metal Back and Come Complete with CE and ROHS Certification + WEEE compliance and includes a Full 1 Years Warranty Period for Extra Peace of Mind!
Dometic’s CoolFreeze CDF 26 Cooler and Freezer might not look like your typical fridge, but it does the job just as well! Plus, it has a few handy additional features to make your camping life a little easier.
The main reason this fridge makes a fantastic caravan or motorhome addition is that it’s built for convenience, which is exactly what you want on a camping trip. Its slim and compact build (just 26 x 55 x 42.5 litres) means it will fit into even the tightest of corners.
In terms of capacity, this probably isn’t the refrigeration system you want to rely on for a week of camping since it’s only 21.5 litres.
But for a weekend solo trip or a couple’s overnight getaway, it’s ideal. It’s also the perfect size for keeping drink bottles chilled. You can trust the compressor cooling technology to keep all your food and drink at the perfect temperature.
Moreover, the energy-efficiency of the Dometic CoolFreeze is impressive. It can run on either 12 or 24 DC outlets or 100-240-volt AC outlets, so no matter what your caravan or motorhome power situation is, you should be able to make this fridge work.
The adjustable temperature range of the CoolFreeze goes all the way down to 18 degrees, so it can operate as a freezer if needed. However, you can also just keep it within the standard fridge temperature range for cooling purposes.
The digital temperature display will let you monitor the temperature to make sure it’s always where it should be.
Overall, this is a wonderful little fridge for any campervan, caravan, or motorhome. However, it should be said that a minority of customers have experienced faults with their product soon after delivery.
- Compressor cooling technology
- 12/24 DC or 100-240 AC
- Slim and compact
- 21.5-litre capacity
- Wide, adjustable temperature range
- Doubles as a freezer
- Some faulty products shipped
- Runs on 12/24 V DC or 100-240 V AC
- Refrigeration and deep-freezing down to -18 degrees Celsius
- Approximately 21.5 Litre capacity
- Digital temperature display
- Compressor cooling technology
For those campers who typically use their caravans, campervans, and motorhomes for just one or two days at a time, or who like to travel alone, the NETTA 15-litre Mini Fridge could be the ideal food storage appliance.
Once again, this fridge has quite a small capacity, at just 15 litres. It’s by far the smallest fridge on our list and may be too small for the needs of some campers.
However, for anyone who likes to camp solo or is just looking to refrigerate some drinks for a couple of days, this is a great little model that is bound to impress.
Measuring 27 x 33 x 38 centimetres and weighing just 4.5 kilograms, this mini fridge won’t present any issues in terms of taking up space. It’s also very portable, making it the perfect camping appliance. With three shelves, this fridge has enough internal storage space for 12 330 ml cans or anything else of a similar volume.
Something that caught our attention about the NETTA Mini Fridge is that it also as a heating function. Yes, you read that right – this tiny fridge can also keep your food warm! How great is that?
The appliance works off of the ambient room temperature and can be set to keep food at 20° below this temperature, or up to 65°. So, while you can use this fridge as normal to keep your food cool, you can also rely on it to keep hot food warm in a pinch!
While this fridge isn’t entirely silent, like some of the other models we’ve reviewed today, it operates at just 28 decibels, which is literally quieter than a whisper. So, even if you keep it running throughout the night, it shouldn’t interfere with your rest or relaxation.
The NETTA Mini Fridge comes with a 12-volt power lead and an AC mains plug to make the appliance as compatible as possible with your caravan, motorhome, or campervan.
- Portable and lightweight
- Three shelves
- Heating function
- Very low noise levels
- 12-volt DC power lead and AC mains plug included
- May be too small for some
- 15 LITRE MINI FRIDGE: This NETTA 15L Mini Fridge is the ideal gadget for keeping drinks and snacks refrigerated or warm. This mini fridge is perfectly suited for travelling, offices, student dorms, camping and more. The shelf can also be removed when not needed to give you extra space.
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE: This product is small and light meaning it is easier than ever to move around. Because of this, we’ve included a DC 12V power lead which means that you can connect this product to your car via a car cigarette lighter socket. An AC mains power plug is also included.
- COOLING AND WARMING: This mini fridge has the option to be switched from cold to hot meaning you can store an even wider range of products in it. This product can cool food and drinks up to 20°C lower than the ambient room temperature or heat products to 65°C.
- QUIET OPERATION: This mini fridge operates at just 28db which is quieter than a computer. This means it will not disturb you during use regardless of whether you use it during the day or through the night.
- DIMENSIONS: 27 x 33 x 38cm | WEIGHT: 4.5KG
As you can see, the good news about the current range of caravan, campervan, and motorhome fridges available on the market is that there’s a lot of variety and choice. The less good news is that choosing one fridge out of such a range can be tough.
Before you get caught up in the process, be sure to read the following buyer’s guide thoroughly.
It’ll tell you everything you need to know about what to look for in a caravan or motorhome fridge, and how to make the most cost, energy, and space-efficient choice for your future camping trips!
What many caravan owners don’t know prior to purchasing a caravan or motorhome fridge is that there are actually a number of different fridge types on the market.
The main fridge types you’ll come across on your hunt for the perfect caravan or motorhome fridge are 2-way and 3-way fridges.
It’s important to understand the differences and implications of both types of fridge systems to make sure you’re buying the best fridge for your budget, food type, and camping area.
2-way fridges are also referred to as compressor fridges. These appliances run on electrical power (either DC or AC), so you can run a 2-way fridge from your own generator or from whatever electrical power source your campsite supplies.
3-way fridges, or absorption fridges, on the other hand, are able to run off both electricity and gas (usually propane). Where a 2-way fridge typically runs by converting liquid refrigerant into gas through evaporation, a 3-way fridge extracts heat from the inside using heat exchange.
So, how do these different temperature regulation systems compare, and what do they mean for your camping experience?
Well, first of all, there’s a clear winner in terms of cooling efficacy, and that’s the 2-way fridge. Compression cooling systems are simply more effective when it comes to maintaining a consistently low temperature regardless of the external environment.
3-way fridges can also be made highly effective through the use of advanced cooling technologies, but this will often be more expensive.
3-way fridges often work around the ambient temperature of the environment and will cool to a certain degree below this temperature. So, if the ambient temperature is particularly hot, a 3-way fridge just won’t keep your food as cool as a 2-way fridge. However, if you’re camping in colder climates, a 3-way fridge might be all you need to keep your food chilled.
Where energy efficiency is concerned, both types of fridges is able to shine in different conditions. A 2-way fridge plugged into a 12-volt DC outlet will outperform a 3-way fridge powered by electricity in just about any scenario.
However, a 3-way fridge running on gas can hold its own against a 2-way fridge, and even outperform the latter in some circumstances. So, if you’re wondering which fridge will save you the most in electricity or fuel costs, the answer will ultimately hinge on what power sources you have available to you.
Because caravans aren’t typically very spacious environments (barring the wildly expensive models), you’ll need to pay more attention to the external dimensions of potential fridges than you would in a larger home environment.
Ensuring that your new fridge fits your caravan, motorhome, or campervan perfectly is a 2-step process. First, you will need to take measurements of the area you anticipate installing your fridge into. This area will need to be close enough to power sources if you’re going to be powering your fridge electrically. You will then need to find a fridge that fits these measurements.
When you’re choosing your fridge, you’ll need to think about more than just the basic height, width, and depth measurements. For instance, you’ll need to be sure that you’ll have enough room to open the fridge door from where you’ll be installing it.
It’s also important to leave the recommended space between your fridge and your caravan wall, or any other pieces of furniture. Where such care is required, the manufacturer will specify this on the product guidelines, so please read this carefully before you commence installation.
If you’ve got limited space to work with and are worried about being able to open and use your fridge, we would recommend opting for a fridge with a reversible door.
Reversible hinges allow a fridge door to be opened from both the left and right, depending on your spatial allowance.
This means that if you have no space on the right-hand side of your designated fridge spot, for example, you can simply reverse the hinges on the fridge to have it open to the left!
Now that we’ve got the external dimensions out of the way, it’s time to talk about the internal capacity of the fridge. This is the feature that will determine how much storage space you have available for your food and beverages, so you’ll need to think carefully about this.
The first thing to consider is how much food you’re likely to take with you when caravanning or using your motorhome or campervan.
You should base this on how many people will be using the caravan and how many meals a day you plan to source from your caravan fridge.
It helps to make a detailed list of everything you will need beforehand and try to judge how much space it will take up. If it’s easier, you could also try basing your estimate on the size of your home fridge.
For reference, a 50 or 60-litre fridge should have enough capacity to hold a family’s food for the weekend. If you’re going to be away for longer than 2 or 3 days, we would recommend a 75 or even 100-litre fridge. If you’re a solo camper or only travel with a partner, a mini-fridge of around 20 litres might be enough to meet your requirements.
Regardless of fridge capacity, campers can run into problems trying to squeeze all their supplies into fixed shelves or compartments. This is why we would strongly advise campers to opt for fridges with removable or repositionable shelving units to make housing all your food as easy as possible.
In most cases, if you want your food to be thoroughly refrigerated (which we assume you do), it’s wise to keep your fridge at between 1 and 5°C.
However, there are some cases where you might need your fridge to run colder or warmer than this (especially if you’re in a warm environment). Therefore, a fridge that can be adjusted between 0 and 10°C is a good option.
This article has been specifically focused on fridges, so we haven’t talked too much about the other potential temperature-related functions fridges might have to offer yet. However, even if you’re only looking for a fridge, having the ability to ramp the temperature up or take it down to below freezing can be more useful than you realise.
For example, some caravan freezers have very wide-ranging temperature controls that allow them to function as freezers. Even if you don’t usually take frozen food with you on camping trips, it can always be helpful to have the ability to take your fridge temperature all the way down to freezing if you need to.
You might end up with leftovers on your trip that you want to keep fresh until you get home, for example. Whether you get a lot of use out of it or not, a freezing function on a caravan fridge is always a good backup to have.
Alternatively, if you also need some way to keep your food warm while you’re camping, it’s even possible to get a fridge with a heating function! What a world we live in! Anyway, a fridge/heater is a really handy appliance to have in your caravan, campervan, or motorhome.
These models are also very easy to use, with just a simple switch to change between cold and hot, so if you find that you regularly end up with leftovers, we highly recommend considering one of these fridges.
In addition to everything else we’ve already touched on in this guide (we know, it’s a lot) we also think it’s important to take into account any extra features (and/or functions) that a fridge has to offer.
For example, does it come with all the cables you need to set it up? It can be so frustrating to receive something you’ve bought in a hurry, only to find it doesn’t include everything you need to start using it right away.
If you’ve got a last-minute camping trip planned, a mishap like this could be a real problem. We’ve tried our best to include products on our list that are pretty much ready to use out of the box to avoid this type of situation.
Another very optional but helpful feature we’ve seen on a couple of caravan or motorhome fridges is repositionable feet.
Rubber feet on the bottom of your fridge can help to keep it stable at all times, even when your caravan is in motion. However, the positioning of these feet straight out of the factory might not work for your space allowance or the flooring of your caravan.
Being able to reposition these feet will ensure your fridge is always as stable as can be so that your new appliance and all the food in it won’t come to any harm on the road.