Selection of Fridges for Mobile Homes
For mobile homes and off road vehicles, there are several options to meet your refrigeration needs.
1) A Standard 230V fridge: In our opinion, this is the worst option if you wish to run the fridge from your battery. After allowing for inverter inefficiency, we generally have found that a 230V fridge will use about double the power of a 12 - 24 volt compression driven fridge. This means more batteries and more solar panels. For a more detailed discussion of this point, see the Fridges section in our FAQ Articles.
2) Esky with Ice: This works pretty effectively for the occasional camping trip but buying ice all year round is going to be rather costly.
3) LP Gas Fridge: These generally work pretty good, however, you are not allowed to run them while the vehicle is moving. Some models can struggle to keep cold in tropical weather.
4) LP Gas with 12 volt and/or 230V Options: You can run this fridge on gas or on 230 volts (if available) while you are stationary. When the vehicle is moving, you can run it from your battery. However, do not expect to run this type of fridge on solar power as they use too much power.
5) A 12/24 volt DC Compressor driven fridge: This is the most efficient type of fridge to run from an auxiliary battery. If you drive the vehicle for at least a few hours every day or two, you should be able to keep it charged from your vehicle. However, if you wish to camp for more than a couple of days without power, you will need to use solar panels (or some sort of generator) to keep your batteries charged. In general terms, select a fridge with a Danfoss compressor. A chest or smaller fridge will use less power than a front opening and/or a larger fridge. Contact an experienced solar shop to work out your solar panel and battery requirements.
6) A 12/24 volt Eutectic fridge: This type of fridge has eutectic fluid (rather than conventional insulation). Once run for 4-6 hours, it will then hold its temperature for some 2 days. Using a ~70 Litre Eutectic Chest Fridge in conjunction with a good deep cycle battery could allow you to maintain your fridge for 4-6 days without solar or other power input.
In conclusion, we would advise that selecting a fridge for your mobile home is perhaps the most important decision you make. See all our Fridges & Freezers.