Cold on the road
To keep your food cool when travelling in a camper van, especially in the summer, ensuring your vehicle is fitted with a suitable compressor or hybrid three-way fridge is an absolute must…
There are two main categories of fridges for campers, caravans and motorhomes: built-in camper fridges and mobile camper fridges. The technology used in both cases can be three-way refrigerators (absorption), two-way refrigerators, compressor refrigerators or hybrid refrigerators; they all have their own characteristics that make them ideal for different purposes and climates. Built-in camper fridges are installed as part of the camper’s cabinetry and can have one or two doors and a freezer compartment just like domestic appliances. When installing a built-in camper fridge it is important to choose exactly the right position to ensure correct ventilation and check that the heat difference between the freezer and room temperature does not exceed 40° when the thermostat is set to maximum. The technology of the operating systems for campers can be divided into: three-way absorption fridges, two-way absorption fridges and compressor fridges. A three-way fridge can be run on gas, 12 volts or 220 volts. A concentrated ammonia solution is heated in a hermetically sealed boiler and then vaporised and released. The high-pressure gas is liquefied in a condenser and evaporated with hydrogen. This removes heat from the cooling area. The ammonia gas next reaches the absorber where it is reabsorbed by an unsaturated ammonia solution. Finally, Cold on the road the saturated solution flows back to the boiler and the cycle starts again. The main advantages of this system are that it is completely silent (very important in the confined space of a camper), the fridge can be run on gas when no electricity supply is available, the refrigeration capacity is up to 33°C less than the room temperature, and the fridge can be run on 12 volt DC or 230 volt AC. Two-way absorption fridges for campers can either be powered by gas or 220 volts, and compressor fridges for campers work with a coolant that changes from liquid to gas form as it flows through the evaporator. Heat is removed from the fridge compartment which then cools. The main advantages of this system are the opportunity to maintain excellent performance levels even with extreme temperatures outside, the fridge works perfectly even when the vehicle is on a slope, low energy consumption, and the fridge can be powered by solar panels, with 12 / 24 volt DC or 12 /24 volt DC and 100 – 240 volt AC. But without question the most versatile fridge for campers is the hybrid version. Thanks to a thermoelectric module in addition to the compressor, this type of mobile refrigerator can also be used out on the porch and easily switched to the vehicle’s 12 volt battery for use in the caravan or camper.
Vitrifrigo snc is one of the few companies that produce a complete range of three-way refrigerators (12/220/gas) with capacities ranging from 40 to 150 litres.