The tragedy happened about a month ago just before we went away camping for the weekend.  I went to grab some food out of our fridge in  Dusty our VW Van and noticed that the food was hardly cold.  I headed to the buttons overtop of our windshield to turn the fridge on and realized that it was indeed turned on. My heart sank. Our fridge had reached its maximum potential and decided to die right before our 3 month Van trip.

Something else has broken – Adventures in our VW Van

I have tried to google 1993 VW Eurovan Fridges to see if there was an easy fix. My head started spinning as I combed through the articles on google.  Most people said that the fridges could not be fixed and the ones that did manage to fix them well… their  mechanic  language  just flew right over my head. I then decided to visit some local RV mechanics in Calgary, Alberta. The RV  mechanics took one look at the fridge and told us good luck before sending us on our way.  I am really beginning to understand the phrase “you only own a VW van  if you feel an extreme nostaligc love for them”.

That is us. Completely wrapped in the infatuation of owning a VW van.

To me this is such a tragedy. That may sound like I am overreacting and that a cooler should be fine. A cooler is fine for short camping trips but we are planning on exploring in the van for 3 months with two little kids. We want to be able to keep fresh food from spoiling so that we can explore out of service free camping areas for more than 2-3 days at a time.

It is not all a lost though. Before we bought Dusty we knew that every year a VW Van would suck about 2-3,000 dollars in repairs. This may seem like a hefty cost but many RVs and trailors are significantly out of our price range. We also do not already own a vehicle that would tow a trailer.

The broken fridge is not going to end our big Van trip. It is just going to make it a little bit more uncomfortable unless we can find a fridge/freezer that means our needs at a decent price. If we can’t find one then we will have to eat our perishables quickly once we purchase them. After that we will stick to canned goods, dried fruits and  packaged snacks.  But the biggest tragedy?! The powdered milk that will have to adorn my morning coffee.


By Annika Mang



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6 thoughts on “Something else has broken – Adventures in our VW Van”

  1. There may be some hope, my fridge also broke down, but it was just the control unit. Found a guy in Holland that repairs them… contact me for more info if you like.

      1. I don’t think it would be a problem to send the control unit to Holland for a repair. It might cost a few quid tho. I paid 145 euros for the repair without shipping. It should be good for many more years of service now. Its up to you, but I didn’t want to give up on the original fridge myself.

        1. That is not too bad if it can get repaired but if it can’t then it woul dbe a huge bummer. We leave tomorrow for our trip tho! We did end up buying a plug in fridge so will see how that stands up for now. Takes up some space and I will miss the old one for sure.

  2. We have a yeti type (knock off from Costco I think) cooler and it keeps food amazingly cool for extended periods of time. We fill up on ice when we can but camp for weeks with fresh milk and perishables. It’s huge and heavy so that might be a major downside for a van, but it is head and shoulders above those typical blue coolers.

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