JK's Guide to the Best Fridges for Your Campervan

JK's Guide to the Best Fridges for Your Campervan

Written by the JK Team
Published 14 November 2023
Just Kampers

If you’re looking for the best fridge campervan fridge to install in your camper, then you’re in the right place!

We’ve put together this helpful guide, to make it easier for you to select the ideal fridge for your camper.

Whether you’re looking to replace your old fridge with a new one, or you’re converting your van into a camper, this quick guide will help you select the best fridge or coolbox for you.

Just Kampers’ Guide to the Best Fridges & Coolboxes for your Campervan

Discover our up-to-date summary of the best campervan fridges, including compressor, three-way, and thermo-electric cool boxes. We will introduce to you, the different makes and prices and compare them for you, so you don’t have to do all the homework!

It’s difficult to choose the right fridge or cool box for your camper, if you’re not entirely sure how they work and what the other options are! The most common of the lot are compressor fridges, but there’s lots else out there for you to choose from. It’s not just about the brands and the prices, you must consider how the fridges work and what will be the most viable option for yourself.

To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a guide to the different types, and listed what we think are the best fridges for campervans.

Different campervan fridge types

There are three main types of campervan fridges: compressor, three-way, and a thermo-electric cool box.

Compressor fridges: These are very similar to the fridges you would typically have at home, only they use far less power. A normal fridge, however, could not possibly run from the power of your leisure battery, so compressor fridges have been developed! These usually run using 12volts and switch between the normal 240volts, changing voltage every 20-30 minutes. It’s during this time that they use power from your camper’s battery. Compressor fridges are usually recommended for their reliability, efficiency, and easy installation. Compressor fridges are the most common choice amongst avid campers.

Three-way fridges: Three-way fridges are so-called because they can be run in three different ways: through a mains electric supply of 240v, using 12v electrics, or using LPG gas. These can be suitable if you don’t have the means for what is considered a regular setup, or you need that extra bit of fridge capacity. These are usually much larger than compressor fridges and thermo-electric cool boxes. A three-way fridge can be the better of options for larger groups of people travelling, due to the spaciousness of the fridge and the variety of sizes they can be purchased in. Whilst they can be more efficient and longer-lasting, gas fridges also run silently compared to many fridges, which emit a mechanical hum. If you want to use a gas supply to power this type of fridge, it’s recommendable to seek the help of a licenced gas engineer.

Thermo-electric cool box: The final option is, in fact, not a fridge at all, but rather a large cool box. These use electric power to remove warm air from the cool box, instead of keeping it at a set temperature. They tend to reduce air temperature by around 20°C, so are only suitable for short trips in cooler weather. This option is perfect for kitting a camper on a lower budget. They’re great for shorter trips, or if you’ve already got a compressor fridge but you need a little extra space, you can put the less perishable items in the cool box and reserve the compressor fridge for the meat and things that require a very cool temperature.

Our JKF50 Fridge-Freezer. Image originally taken for VWT MagazineOur JKF50 Fridge-Freezer. Image originally taken for VWT Magazine
Our JKF50 Fridge-Freezer. Image originally taken for VWT Magazine

Compressor fridge vs 3-way fridge

If you use your campervan for long trips or travelling abroad, it’s probably worth taking cool boxes out of the equation, just because they won’t be able to effectively keep those important food products cold for long. No one wants curdled milk in their tea, on their travels. This leaves you with compressor fridges or 3-way fridges. The choice will largely depend on your power supply.

Compressors tend to be slightly more expensive, and they will run much better if your campervan has a solar panel. So long as there’s plenty of power going to the compressor fridge, then it will run efficiently and will need minimal attention.

Those who don’t have a solar panel might prefer a 3-way fridge, because of the choice you’re given, regarding power supply. Choice between mains, 12v battery power, and gas means that you can use the fridge in different settings – whether you have an electric hook-up at a campsite, you have an installed gas source, or you’re happy to rely on your battery.

What are the Best Fridges for Campervans?

Before converting your camper with a new fridge option, you should consider the sizing, fittings and voltage requirement to ensure smooth compatibility with your camper. Should you choose to install a compressor fridge, your best options include:

JKF50 12v Fridge-Freezer, with LG Compressor

We might be biassed, but we're really impressed with the Just Kampers JKF50 refrigerator! We created it to offer campervan owners a super efficient fridge-freezer which used top-end components, but at a more affordable price. For us, the JKF50 is the best campervan fridge in its price range - but we would say that, I guess! 

Available in black or silver, the JKF50 has a with removable freezer unit, shelves which can be repositioned, and a door that you can have open to the left or right. Designed for a range of touring vehicles, including campervans and motorhomes, we've made sure that our exclusive compressor fridge is affordable without compromising on quality. 

The key features of this fridge include:

Quiet, highly efficient LG compressor to regulate temperature responsively,
42-litre capacity, including a removable 8-litre freezer compartment,
User-friendly control panel (with an LED display),
Intelligent battery protection system.

Click here to learn more about the JKF50 fridge-freezer from Just Kampers

Dometic CoolMatic CRX50 Compressor Cabinet Fridge-Freezer (48 litre)

Easy to install across a variety of camper conversions, this Dometic fridge has space that can be modified to clear room for your food storage. This fridge/freezer is great for long hauls and offers camper owners flexibility for the long road.

The key features of this fridge include:

Adjustable interior storage, allowing for extra space,
Automatically adjusts temperature,
Noise reduction.

Click here for more information about the Dometic CRX50.

Webasto Cruise Elegance CR49 Compressor Cabinet Fridge-Freezer (49 Litre)

Webasto design high-quality and innovative products time and time again. This 49 litre fridge features a polished steel design and is designed to be compact and slot into your campervan kitchen setup. It’s a great option for longer trips and time spent travelling.

Spacious by design, this fridge is great for camper conversions given its flexibility to adjust shelving and compartments. This fridge has great temperature retention, with a thick outer wall. Complete with fixable mountings to finish off your modern conversion.

The key features of this fridge include:

Extra insulation – lower power consumption,
Intelligent vent-lock system to prevent mould over inactive periods,
Innovative fitting removes the need for a mounting frame.

Click here to learn more about the Webasto Cruise Elegance CR49.

Just Kampers 45 Litre Electric Compressor Coolbox

This portable fridge-freezer is ideal for food storage on your travels and also doubles as convenient seating. Complete with two compartments – the larger of which can function as a fridge or freezer, and the smaller drawer is always a little bit warmer, better for storing things like salads and fruit.

The key features of this fridge include:

Dual compartments for greater temperature control,
Doubles as extra furniture, for example seat or table,
Low power drain product.

Click here for more information about our 45 Litre Electric Compressor Coolbox.

In summary

Before hitting the road, having the right storage options can be essential for long or short journeys. With a growing number of fridge and freezer options, there are several reasons to consider how a new unit can be the next fitting upgrade to your ride.

For cleaner, lower energy use, to adding more space, a new fridge for your camper could settle the craving to bring new life into your campervan.

21 days ago