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Best Budget-Friendly Fridge Options For Campervans | Ultimate Guide

Having a fridge in your campervan is one of the best features of traveling with your “home on wheels”.  But the prices for camervan fridges are often very expensive.  If you are on a really tight budget then check out these best Budget-Friendly fridge options for campervans.  They wont break the bank, while still providing much of the same functions and features of more pricey fridges.

This post is geared towards people on a really tight budget.  So the fridges recommended may come with some risk.  By purchasing budget-friendly fridge options for campervans you may not receive the same build quality, warranty coverage, and features as some of the more expensive brands/models.

Best Budget-Friendly Fridges For a Campervan Pin

If you want to see the fridges that I recommend without the need for a disclaimer, check out my Ultimate Guide to the Best Fridges for Campervans.

But with that being said, these budget-friendly options work just fine for some people.  If you need the most affordable options, then the fridges below are your best bet.

This post may contain affiliate links. Disclosure policy.

Money-Saving Tips for Your Fridge Purchase

There are a few ways that you can save money on your fridge purchase.

Go Smaller

In general, smaller fridges will cost less.  This means you will have less space to store food and drinks.  But hey, Vanlife is all about sacrifices.  And it leaves you more space in your van for other things.

If you are a light grocery shopper or know how to live with minimal refrigerated items then you may be content with a smaller fridge.

Buy Second-Hand

The market for second-hand fridge options for campervans is limited because people usually hang onto them until they bite the dust.  But it’s still worth checking for deals on used fridges.  You can search on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.

A few good ways to search are by brand name (Dometic, IsoTherm, Nova Kool, Vitrifrigo, Norcold, Engel, ARB, Whynter) or search by use type (RV fridge, campervan fridge, boat fridge, trucking fridge, etc.)

Buy A Thermoelectric Cooler

Thermoelectric coolers are often the most budget-friendly fridge options for campervans.  However, they are not my top recommendation for full-time off-grid living.  I urge most people to buy a compressor fridge instead, because they are much more capable than thermoelectric.

The primary problem with thermoelectric fridges is that the can only cool about 30-40 degrees (F) below the ambient temperature.  So if the temperature in your van starts to climb above 70-80F, then your thermoelectric cooler won’t be able to keep food around that 41 degree “safe zone”.  This is a problem because vehicles in the sun LOVE to get really hot.  The best ways to keep the temperature down inside your campervan are Reflectix window covers, ventilation, and insulation.

The other issue with thermoelectric coolers is that they don’t have thermostat control.  They are simply on or off, which gives you no control over the internal temp.

So thermoelectric coolers are only a good fit for people who live in cold-temperate climates.  Where my ski bums at?

But thermoelectric coolers are affordable, lightweight, and can often be powered via your van’s cigarette lighter outlet (when the engine is running).

Sizing Note:  Fridge sizes may be shown in Liters and Quarts, but they are roughly equivalent because 1 Liter = 1.06 Quarts.

Best Budget-Friendly Fridge Options For Campervans

Compressor Fridges

Alpicool 45L

This Alpicool Fridge has many of the same great features of more expensive brands, like thick insulation, low battery protection, internal basket, internal light, and LCD controls.

Also available in 35L and 55L models.

  • Style: Chest
  • Cooling: Compressor
  • Capacity: 45 Liters
  • Dimensions: 27.2” x 13.6” x 15”
  • Freezer: Fridge OR Freezer
  • Warranty: 1 Year

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Costway 53Q

This Costway (Stakol) Fridge has an internal light, low battery protection, reinforced corners, LCD controls, and mobile app control.  It has a separate freezer compartment, but only single temperature control, so reviews report mixed results.

  • Style: Chest
  • Cooling: Compressor
  • Capacity: 53 Quarts
  • Dimensions: 27” x 21” x 13.5” (L x W x H)
  • Freezer: Dual Zone (*SINGLE CONTROL)
  • Warranty: 90 Days

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Aspenora 54Qt

This Aspenora Fridge has low battery protection, internal light, drain plug, USB outlet, metal handles.  It has a separate freezer compartment, but only single temperature control.

Also available in 37 Quart.

  • Style: Chest
  • Cooling: Compressor
  • Capacity: 54 Quarts
  • Dimensions: 23.9 x 14.4 x 19.7 inches
  • Freezer: Dual Zone (*SINGLE CONTROL)
  • Warranty: 7 Days (yikes)

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Vitrifrigo VF51 Fridge Freezer (Honorable Mention)

This Vitrifrigo fridge is maybe a little pricey to fit into budget-friendly.  But Vitrifrigo is actually a very reputable fridge brand.  Emily and I have this fridge and it is the best value of all the “expensive brands”.  Plus it has an in-compartment freezer.

The Amazon listing has very little information, so I wrote a lengthy review: My Vitrifrigo VF51 Review.

Also available in 61 Liter

Emily grabbing a beer from one of the best fridges for campervans
Emily grabbing a beer from the Vitrifrigo 12-volt fridge in our campervan
  • Style: Upright
  • Cooling: Compressor
  • Capacity: 51 Liter
  • Dimensions: 22 3/8”(H) x 17 7/16”(W), 20 7/16”(D)
  • Freezer: In-compartment
  • Warranty: 2 years

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Thermoelectric Coolers

Coleman 40Qt PowerChill Thermoelectric Cooler

This Colemand 40Qt thermoelectric cooler is one the best budget-friendly fridge options for a campervan.  It can cool down to 40F degrees below ambient.  It is capable of operating as a chest or upright fridge.

  • Style: Chest or Upright
  • Cooling: Thermoelectric
  • Capacity: 40 Quarts
  • Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.75 x 15.5 inches
  • Freezer: No
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty

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Koolatron P75 36Qt Thermoelectric Cooler

This Kooltron Kool Kaddy 36Qt Cooler is another good option if you want a budget-friendly thermoelectric cooler.  It also can be used as chest or upright fridge and cools to 40F degrees below ambient.  It has a magnetic door closure.

  • Style: Chest or Upright
  • Cooling: Thermoelectric
  • Capacity: 36 Quarts
  • Dimensions: L 20.5″ x D 15.5″ x H 15.75
  • Freezer: No
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty

Check Price

Conclusion | Best Budget-Friendly Fridge Options For Campervans

If you are on a really tight budget, then these budget-friendly fridge options for campervans are a great fit.  The compressor fridges still manage to include some of the great features of the more expensive brands.  And a Thermoelectric cooler, while only offering limited functionality, can be a decent option for the right person.

These budget-friendly fridges do however come with some risk.  Common complaints include poor durability, short lifespan, and short warranty periods.

If you want to see the fridges that I recommend without hesitation, check out the Ultimate Guide to the Best Fridge For Campervans.  They cost more, but their reliability and quality construction make them a better value in the long run.

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