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Welcome back for another Amazon review of the products we used in our van build. Today, I wanted to briefly review the refrigerator we selected for our mini kitchen. Before going over the pro’s and con’s of this specific model, let’s go over a things to consider before buying any fridge for your build.
Things to Consider Before Buying any Fridge: You’ll want to consider each of these things altogether, like a circle rather than in a line.
Energy Consumption vs Budget
As you shop different models, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the energy consumption of the fridge. The more expensive models have more efficient compressors, so they’re easier on your electrical needs. One day, we’d like to upgrade to something like this from Dometic or this from Whynter. However, this was an area where we decided to save on the budget for now and consider an upgrade at a later time.
I’m not super knowledgeable about the voltage/consumption/watt hours, but Ivan figured that if we could not recharge our batteries for some reason, we’d last about 3-4 days with the fridge running. So, you’ll want to carefully consider how you plan to recharge your batteries and how much fridge you actually need.
On the one hand, we have a less efficient fridge – but on the other hand, we’re using propane for our heating and cooking so we have a bit more electricity to give to the fridge.
In the midst of determining your budget and energy needs, you’ll have to visualize your space. We built our van from scratch, so we knew we could essentially build around the fridge. We settled on the Euhomy model and basically built a cabinet area for those dimensions. If we ever do an upgrade, we’ll have to reanalyze the space and possibly do a little construction to fit it in.
We decided to go with the cheaper, simpler option for a fridge. We got the 120volt. You have to take into account how much energy it uses, the cost, size. This is why we are using propane for things like heating and cooking, so we can give more electricity to the fridge.
There are so many options and a lot will depend on your layout. Do you buy a fridge to fit the layout? Or, build your layout to fit the fridge?
We decided on the Euhomy 3.2 cu foot mini refrigerator with a freezer from Amazon. We purchased it at $199.99, it’s currently available for $189.99. I’ll briefly run through the pro’s and con’s.
- Decent size fridge area and freezer area. This is a major pro for us. The freezer is a separate compartment with it’s own door. I’m surprised how much we’ve actually fit in there. We currently have like 8 pounds of elk meat and 2 (unboxed) Costco pizzas nestled in there. The fridge area is also decent. I do not think it would be enough if we had any kids or extra mouths to feed, but for the 2 of us we are able to keep quite a few ingredients in there.
- Slot for cans – we didn’t drink pop, until we discovered Zevia. So, the designated can area in the door is a nice little perk. It holds 6 cans.
- Bar on door – there is a swinging bar on the door that allows are bigger items to be stowed like a carton of milk or a jug of orange juice. I’ve been please a few times when I thought something was too big and then realized it would fit in the door.
- Good size drawer/crisper on bottom and shelf in the middle.
- You have to get used to the small size – we’ve lived with “dorm” fridges before, so it’s our first time scaling down from a full refrigerator. If this is the first time you’ll be using a tiny fridge, it’ll take some getting used to. Particularly, eating left overs before buying new food.
- Not as efficient as more expensive models – Without any solar charging, we calculated that we could run the fridge for maybe 3-4 days on the batteries. This isn’t a major con, just something we keep an eye on.
That said, I’m enjoying our little fridge! Hopefully this gives you some helpful information while you’re shopping for your fridge. Questions? Let me know in the comments!
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