Caravanning Now - Fitting a Fridge Fan

By Mike Sansom

Please note before working on any electrical circuit switch of the mains and disconnect the battery.


12v Cooling fan (computer case fan?).

Sufficient cable to reach from the supply point to the rear of the refrigerator and another the same length to reach back again.

In-line 12v fuse.

Cable clamps / ties.

Low voltage (12v) thermostat (possibly from a aquarium shop).

Voltage meter.


Starting at the location in the caravan where the 12 volt feed is produced, connect a cable to a 'live' 12 volt supply and insert a line fuse into this cable and another (different coloured) cable to a 'return' -ve feed. In the illustrations +ve feed is red and -ve return is black. Click on any photos to view a larger image.

Start and end of the wiring
Start and end of the wiring. Click to enlarge.

Feed these 2 cables to the rear of the refrigerator, where possible using existing cable runs and secure the cables.

Securing the cables 1
Securing the cables 1

Securing the cables 2
Click for a larger picture

At the rear of the refrigerator, secure the fan 12 volt computer case fan) to the fins on the rear of the fridge. Connect the black cable of the fan to the -ve feed. Connect the red lead from the fan to one side of the thermostat and the other side of the thermostat to the cable from the fused +ve feed.

Behind the fan and a small wiring diagram
Click for a larger picture

Text Wiring Diagram.

+ve Power supply -> Line Fuse -> Thermostat -> Fan -> -ve Return

Additional Notes from Mike.

I used scotch locks to connect to exiting wiring, lighting circuit is easy to check which circuit is lighting, with a volt meter connected to what you think is lighting and pull the fuse out.
The fan is easier to fit if it is at an angle as shown in photo.
I used copper wire from a piece of ring main cable after stripping it out.

I used my caravan with this fan fitted last year in France and it works very well indeed. Last week on the camping and caravanning Tulip rally I forgot to take off the winter covers from fridge vents. It switched on and kept the fridge very cool. I noticed it was working, when I went out to refill the water. I then removed the covers and van automatically switched off.

If you cannot get a thermostat like I have an aquarium shop will have one, get the cheapest usually with a Pyrex glass tube and tie this on top of the fins is probably the best place. You will have to remove the fitted plug and utilise the wire in the same way I have. There are other types, which may be more practical. I have seen ones that fit onto the outside of the glass of an aquarium with wire hooks.

Sorry for those who have some experience of electrical work. These instructions are for those who do not have this expertise. I do not except any liability for any damage to person of property this article is for information and shows how my van is wired up to the fan. If you have any doubt get a qualified electrician to undertake the fitting of this device.