motorhome fridge

How does a campervan fridge work?

Find out about the types of fridges that motorhomes are equipped with, how they work, and get tips for their maintenance.

When on a trip, the most important thing is to have a good time, enjoy new experiences, and above all, eat well. Have you ever wondered if you can cook in a motorhome? Where can you keep the food? Is there a fridge? Well, this is the perfect blog to teach those yet to discover the wonders of travelling in a motorhome.

Campervan fridges work in the same way as normal ones most people have at home, however, these fridges are much smaller, so it’s important to plan well what food to take or make stops to restock as you go. 

Before explaining how they work, know that with Indie Campers, all motorhomes are equipped with a fridge that can be connected to electricity for better cooling. They are insulated and have a capacity of 15L. Here you can find all of our models.

Built-in Fridge 

Campervan fridges can work with three different energy sources:

  1. Mains voltage (230V / external power supply)
  2. High voltage direct current (12V DC / backup battery)
  3. Gas (Propane / Butane Liquid Gas). Only in our Atlas models.

Select the power source desired at that time simply by turning the power source switch. In 12V mode, the temperature can’t be regulated. When the motorhome is on or moving, only the 12V DC mode with the backup battery can be used, otherwise, the backup battery can run down in a few hours.

Gas Supply: Only in Atlas models

Using the gas supply keeps the fridge running while parked and not connected to an external power source.

How does it work?

  1. Open the valve on the gas bottle and the shut-off valve on the valve block.
  2. Turn the power switch to Gas mode (the flame symbol)
  3. Turn the temperature switch clockwise and hold it down. 
  4. Next, press the button to turn on the battery and hold it down. The lighting process will activate automatically.  
  5. Once the flame is lit, the indicator on the galvanometer will begin to move to the green line. This means the fridge is working. Make sure to keep the button pressed for about 15 seconds before releasing.

As a basic rule, never use gas while parked at petrol stations or driving the motorhome.

Before using electricity, you must take into account these two aspects:

  • To operate the fridge while driving the motorhome, turn the dial and select the 12V mode (with the battery icon). Make sure the motor is running when using this model.
  • To operate the fridge while parked in a campsite and with the mains cable connected, turn the wheel to 230V mode (electrical plug icon).

Nomad Model Fridge 

This motorhome model has a different operation, but don’t worry, it is not complicated.

Simply turn the wheel inside the freezer and select the suitable option:

  • Turn it off while parked and without the 230V cable connection to maintain the temperature selected earlier.
  • Turn the fridge on the Min option while driving.
  • Select any position (Min. or Max.) according to the desired temperature while parked up and connected to the mains supply at a campsite.

Cool Box

Now you know how the fridge works, you may be wondering if there is a fridge in smaller campervan models. Well, good news, every motorhome (except in Nomad and Atlas models, since they have 80L and 145L fridges respectively) comes equipped with a cool box, which can be plugged in to improve electrical refrigeration.

The box is insulated and fits about 15L. Plug it into the 12V supply while on the move, which can be found in the kitchen area. The fan can cool the interior up to 4ºC.

Finally, here are some tips to save energy during the motorhome trip with the campervan fridge:

  1. Always choose a well-ventilated area that is protected from direct light.
  2. Try to cool hot food a bit before putting it in the fridge
  3. Do not open the cool box or campervan fridge more than necessary.
  4. Don’t leave the cool box or campervan fridge open for longer than necessary.
  5. Defrost the cool box once a layer of ice forms.
  6. Avoid unnecessary low temperatures. 

This is all the information you need to enjoy the trip without worrying about the campervan fridge. Now it’s time to have fun, eat well, and make new memories!

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About the Author

Sabrina Riechers

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