The best refrigerated vans in the UK are purpose built vehicles but not from the factory. These specialty vehicles are converted by professional outfits that only do this type of work. The better the reputation of the conversion company, the lower your truck insurance will be in part due to the availability of parts necessary for repairs and the quality of their work.
It is true any van can be converted to a refrigerator van, but the following list is the most common and the correct parts are readily available for installation and repairs.
Both the refrigerator van and a freezer van do keep the contents at a constant temperature, the construction of the vehicle and the temperature ranges are different.
The refrigerator van has a temperature range of 0C to 8C. The walls of the van are insulated to contain the cooler temperatures that can be up to 3” thick. On the back at the opening of the doors there are also either plastic strips or a curtain to help minimize the loss of cold air so it is easier to maintain a constant temperature.
The freezer van has a temperature range of -30C to 0C. The insulation of the cargo area is thicker than what is required for a refrigerator van because of the colder temperatures that are at a minimum of 3” or more. These also have plastic strips or a curtain to help keep the cargo’s air temperature as constant as possible when the doors are open.
While it is possible to use a freezer van as a refrigerator van, it is not recommended to use a refrigerator van as a freezer van due to the possible variation of maintaining the colder temperature properly.
In the past many van conversion companies used spray insulation. This has given way to solid insulation being installed similar to what is used in most homes. This solid insulation is then covered with a barrier that is most often metal on the floor and a light weight composite material on the walls and ceiling.
The problems with spray insulation are as follows
An eco-friendly refrigerant is a great way to keep your refrigerator van cool and not harm the environment. R600a is made from isobutane and does not deplete the ozone layer when it leaks out of the refrigerator system. It is not as efficient as R134, but can still do the job. Many truck insurance companies do provide a discount for using the eco-friendly refrigerant. One of our friendly truck insurance brokers can assist you in getting this discount if available in your area.