3 Way Caravan Fridge

3-Way Caravan Fridges

A refrigerator is an essential piece of equipment in a caravan. After all, what’s the use of having a mobile home away from home if you can’t keep your food fresh or your drinks cold? The options for powering a caravan fridge are 12V, using a battery, 240V power supplied by mains connection, solar or generator, or LP gas. Whilst travelling, the cars 12V battery can power the fridge, with 240V or gas being used when stationary.

Fridge Choices

Caravan fridges are available in either 2-way or 3-way options. Both can run on 12V and 240V power. However, 3-way fridges have the added advantage of also being able to run on LP gas. Two-way fridges are also known as compressor fridges and are similar in operation to a home fridge. Three-way fridges, also called absorption fridges, use a heat exchange system for cooling. Basically, rather than generating cold, a 3-way fridge removes heat.


The absorption system used in 3-way fridges has few moving parts, making these caravan fridges both low maintenance and quiet. They also have a longer lifespan than a 2-way fridge, up to twice as long. And the 3-way fridges ability to run efficiently on gas is a great asset if camping in the bush or staying in a roadside rest area, as it won’t drain the car or van battery or need a generator to run. A 9 kg gas bottle can keep a 3-way fridge operating for two to three weeks, much longer than a caravan fridge can run on a single battery charge.


Three-way absorption fridges dont work as well in hot conditions as 2-way compressor fridges so may not be ideal for anyone planning on spending a lot of time in tropical regions. Theyre also not as efficient when using the 12V option, but in most cases, battery power would only be used whilst on the road anyway so it’s probably not a big issue. Unlike 2-way fridges, a 3-way fridge must be installed by a licensed gas fitter.


There are a range of camping fridges and freezers on the market, which operate on 12V or 240V power. Even tiny 6 to 7 litre 12V units that are ideal for keeping food either cold or warm while travelling are available.