Motorhome Manufacturers Increasingly Opt for 12V Compressor Fridges over Traditional 3 Ways

12v compressor fridge campervanMany top UK motorhome manufacturers and converters are already committed to 12v compressor fridges in their motorhomes and campervans, including Vantage Motorhomes, East Neuk, Jerba Campervans and the multi award winning Hyundai from Wellhouse Leisure.


1. Efficiency.

Compressor fridges are far more efficient when run on electricity 12v or 240v.  A 3 way fridge running on 12v will draw approx 9A plus continuously (+9A per hour).  A 12v compressor fridge power requirement can be as low as 0.4A per hour for a 40 litre fridge.

2. Provides a truly independent fridge system

12V compressor fridges will run on solar power. Our tests suggest that as a rule of thumb for Vitrifrigo cabinets is that approx 1W of solar panel will provide enough power for a litre of refrigeration, (UK summer), giving you total freedom and ability to go truly ‘wild camping’.

3. Fast cool down

3 Way fridges take a long time to get cold because the cooling system relies solely on convection and gravity to make the ammonia flow.  12v compressor fridges will reach temperature within 15-30 minutes of turning on.

4. Greater Reliability

3 Way fridges will not work on a gradient due to the gravity required to make the process work. 12v compressor fridges will work on an angle of up to 30°!

5. Lower heat output

3 Way fridges generate significant heat due to the heating fundamental to the process and do not perform well in higher ambient conditions.

6. Easy to install

12V compressor fridges are easy to fit, you do not need a Corgi approved gas fitter, just a good source of 12 volt power and correctly sized cables.

7. No external vents required

No unsightly exterior vents required.  A good installation will ensure good air flow past the condenser of the 12v compressor fridges cooling unit, but does not require external vents.


What are the disadvantages of 12V compressor fridges

1. They are not silent in operation.

The compressor is extremely quiet, but the cooling fan is quite audible on standard compressor fridges.  However, following some recent work carried out with UK motorhome builders, Vitrifrigo have introduced new quieter fans across their range of 12v compressor fridges.  Cutting the noise of the fan by half means that they are now barely audible from 1m distance or when built into the kitchen furniture of the motorhome.

2. Compressor fridges do not run on gas.

C39 - 39 Litre 12/24 volt marine fridge-01

This is also an advantage if you want your motorhome to be gas free or are conscious of the cost of buying gas to run your fridge compared to the equivalent cost for the electricity to run 12v compressor fridges

Distributed through Penguin Refrigeration in the UK, Vitrifrigo provide the most extensive range of 12v compressor fridges in both front and top opening configurations.

For more details visit our Motorhome & Campervan page