There are so many fridges for vanlife. I am clear that I want a DC Front Door Fridge (not the cooler style) about 60-65L in size. I’d love to hear about your experience. Thank you!
Greetings & Welcome!
While I don’t have a direct answer for you, the shopping tab on google might be your friend.
I opted for a 3-way, since the 12v ones are power hogs. I got mine from a wrecking yard out of an RV and had my choice of several for $50. I mounted it on a gimbal so it’s self leveling, and I love it.
Just curious, why ruled out all but DC fridges?
I have a variety of refrigerators / coolers.
My first was an Igloo Iceless thermoelectric cooler which did a great job but was an absolute energy hog.
I also have a EuHomy 48QT DC/AC fridge that uses very little energy.
And I also have a small AC dorm fridge which has a front door, a freezer section and is comparable to the DC fridge in power usage even with an inverter. It uses more energy than the DC fridge but FAR less than the thermoelectric cooler so it is a good compromise since it costs about $80.00 and has a capacity of 1.7 cubic feet or 50 Quarts. My DC fridge cost over $400.
I think Walmart has them for $100 now.
I was skeptical about an AC fridge but over time it has proven MORE than suitable for RV life.
I have run power usage tests on the fridges but I can tell you the AC dorm fridge only uses about 40% more power than the DC fridge which is very manageable. It uses about 4 times less power than the thermoelectric cooler which is only 26 Quarts.
Here is the result from a 10 hour power usage test of the AC dorm fridge. It was run on a Renogy 1000watt 12v inverter. I’m not advocating an AC fridge, just showing (for those interested) that there is a much cheaper alternative to DC fridges which is very efficient, similar to DC fridges and about 1/4 the cost.
By comparison, the thermoelectric Igloo Cooler uses about 72Watts Continuously 24/7.
Note that at the instant this snapshot was taken, the compressor was running. Most of the time it was off and power draw was around 600 milliamps. Over 10 hours it used 227 Watt Hours. So on an hourly basis it averaged about 22.02 watts That’s the key.
My philoshpy is a little different than others possibly. For me it’s easier to be electricity/battery power frugal, than to generate my own. I can go a full two weeks on battery power alone, with no solar or generator needed. I couldn’t last a week if I added an electric fridge, without adding extra batteries.
That’s just my current mindset for my current camper van though. I’ve experimented with many different systems & configurations ranging from cheap, simple, & easy, to expensive & complicated, and many in between. RV’s are great, push a button to turn on your generator and you have instant power & battery charging whenever needed.
I have a generator, but it’s not built in, so it requires work to set it up. Sure it works, but I don’t want to have to go out in the dark & rain or snow to set it up. Since solar depends on the weather, it was never reliable enough for me… So 2 weeks by being power frugal is where I wound up.