Sometimes the video is more fun than the article.
Decide between fridges!
I searched around for a long time before settling on this Webasto TB 31. I actually was on the verge of purchasing one of the others listed below when someone suggested I look into Webasto’s fridges (I did not even know they produced fridges). I am SO happy with the efficiency and size of this fridge.
It is not large (product page here) as far as internal storage space, but as a solo van-lifer (no hot girlfriend to make my Instagram posts go viral here) I feel fine with the size of this fridge.
Other fridges I looked at: Dometic CFX 35W, Alpicool Dual Temperature Control T36, ENGEL MR040F-U1 40 Qt, COSTWAY Car Refrigerator, 55-Quart, Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator 21 Quart, Alpicool CF35 Portable Refrigerator/Freezer 37 Quart, TF49–579 Peterbilt 579 Truck Refrigerator.
Wire the fridge into the electrical system.
Let’s say you go with my fridge, the Webasto TB 31, there are two options for powering the fridge: AC power and DC power. Because every bit of energy that I convert to AC from my batteries loses a bit of efficiency in that conversion, I chose to wire my fridge using DC power.
The fridge comes with a 12v plug that fits a standard cigarette lighter 12v socket. I purchased a 12v socket, installed it near where the back of the fridge would be, connected the rear prongs to each of my DC wires using the provided smaller gauge wire stripped and connected via end cap connectors with my larger 10AWG wire running throughout the van.
Test out the fridge!
When the fridge is first turned on, it will display the temperature in degrees centigrade. To change this, press the up and down arrows on the left at the same time.
I have been running my fridge in LOW (per the switch on the back of the fridge with 3-settings) and ECO mode for the time being. Although the temperature fluctuates in the heat of the day and ambient temperature of the van, I have set it around 39 and it tends to stay close enough to that to make me happy.
I am excited to see how the fridge performs over the long term. Although I will have to be strategic with what I intend to store in the fridge and how much I can get away with keeping in dry storage, I am still very happy with this tradeoff for the efficiency of the fridge.