Australia’s breathtaking and varied landscape is reason enough to understand why camping is such a popular outdoor adventure and a huge part of the nation’s culture. Camping is also the perfect way to spend quality time in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of civilised city life. Still, this doesn’t mean you have to be completely cut off from civilised comfort to enjoy the perks.
There’s a range of essential camping accessories that can bring some of the city-life comforts into the wild, but none can compare to the function and practicality of the fridge. Having a supply of fresh food is crucial regardless of whether you camp frequently or only do so a couple of times a year. That said. having a reliable fridge on the go can help you stay full with hearty meals that make you feel at home even outdoors, and prolong your stay in your home on wheels.
While there’s no shortage of options in terms of fridge designs and brands, there are two names that stand out in the camp world, and these are Thetford and Dometic. Although both are European-based companies, they’re present in the Australian market for quite a while, and both have their extensive service networks.
Are Dometic and Thetford the Same?
If you’re a seasonal camper, you’ve probably already heard of both of these popular names by now. The two are the closest rivals because of the range of products they offer, as well as the quality, features, and warranties. Where Dometic shines with caravan slide-out kitchens, Thetford excels with the caravan toilets given that they’re responsible for the invention of the cassette toilet design.
When it comes to the 3-way fridge options, however, both have plenty to offer in terms of a 12v camper fridge freezer with varying ranges and features. Also known as absorption fridges, these are designed to run on 12v or 24v as much as 240v or LPG gas as they rely on a gas flow heat exchange system that helps remove heat and thus cool the food.
This makes them highly convenient because you have more flexibility with the choice of power to operate them, especially useful when you’re away from a main power and want to stay outdoors longer. Also, these designs are much more durable than their compressor counterparts, as they last more than 20 years as opposed to the 10 to 15-year-lifespan of the compressor alternative. Lastly, they lack noise which is perfect if you’re a light sleeper or camp in a busy camp park.
The Dometic Vs. Thetford Camp Fridges
Dometic may be more famous for the wider range of models available, but Thetford doesn’t lag given that it has its popular slim-line model that’s got less in width than the standard, and yet it doesn’t come at the expense of the capacity. The two companies have plenty to offer for the demands of the Australian market and specific climate especially if we consider the T (tropical) rating.
This means their 12v camper fridge freezer models are created to perform up to 43°C as opposed to the ST rating of some of the Dometic models (RM2350, RM2355, RM8501 to be exact) which operate up to 38°C. Some of the two brands’ outstanding models include the Dometic RUA Absorption Series which can perform great even in low external temperatures, and the space-savvy Thetford N3000 Series.
What characterises both of these series is the fact they offer the wanted features and cooling functions without compromising on the storage value or your home-on-wheels precious space. The Dometic range comes in two capacity options: 188L and 224L. The Thetford Slimline N4141 camp fridge is only 418 wide as opposed to the 525 standard widths, plus an increased height of up to 1500 mm that can fit most RVs, and impresses with the improved performance besides the compactness.
The other two impressive features are the 118L fridge and 15L freezer capacity with constant cabinet temperature. You’re also guaranteed flexibility with the installation, as these models allow you to create a 3-way or even 2-way model with the chance to connect or shut off the 12v energy source option. In terms of compressor fridges, the range of Dometic is somewhat bigger than that of Thetford, with eight among which you can find the popular CRX110, as opposed to only four of the rival ranging from 105 to 274L designs so they still aren’t to be underestimated.
Aesthetics-wise, the Dometic absorption fridge designs come without the exterior door skin which makes them somewhat better as you can easily customise them with a panel to fit in with the rest of the furnishings of your motorised home, or keep the silver-coated steel look. That’s not to say the Thetford camping fridge freezer designs lack stylishness, as they look highly sophisticated with the stainless steel part at the top.
You get at least 3 years of warranty with both options, which is another benefit that sets them apart from the rest. All things considered, the two brands are truly among the best you can find on the market, so you won’t be wrong in choosing one or the other. Consider your needs, your budget, and your space to make up your mind on which of the two you would go for. Happy camping!