Keeping your perishable food cold while living in a van is very important. While conventional ice chests can adequately keep food cold, the constant annoyance of melting ice and soggy food make it a hassle. The cost of replenishing ice also adds up quickly.
Thermoelectric coolers are probably the best option for basic van conversions. They don’t use too much electricity and they are small and quiet.
It is possible to utilize a conventional mini-fridge but the electricity they consume make them incompatible with most 12 volt set ups.
The goal of this list is to show you what’s available and help you budget and plan your van build. Here are a few great options to choose from.
Probably the best bang for your buck. Koolatron coolers are manufactured in Canada and are high quality. They come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit your needs. Personally I have the P85 Crusader that has a 52 quart capacity. It holds a lot of food and drinks and keeps things nice and cold.
While I recommend Koolatron, there are other options available. Igloo and Coleman both make thermoelectric coolers. Both of these companies have their products manufactured in China and there are mixed reports about their quality.
Personally I have used the Coleman Powerchill and it does work okay. I did have to replace the original plug because it got too hot and melted. After that the unit worked just fine.
The stock plug they use isn’t durable enough and will melt. I highly recommend that if you buy a Coleman Powerchill you replace the plug immediately.
High End ThermoElectric Coolers and Refrigerators
I wanted to include some of the higher end options that are available. They are expensive but you know what they say…”you get what you pay for”.