There are a number of different factors involved when considering how much a refrigerated van might set you back, and the most obvious is the type of van you are dealing with. It goes without saying that a refrigerated Mercedes Benz Sprinter is likely to cost you a bit more than a refrigerated Ford Transit, and they’ll both set you back a good bit less than a smaller refrigerated van like a Renault Kangoo. You’ll also save a decent amount of money if you buy a second hand refrigerated van, or, alternatively, purchase a second hand van and have it converted to handle refrigerated loads.
Of course there are other things to consider than the obvious. One element that will make a huge amount of difference to the price of a refrigerated van is the quality and thickness of the insulation. Good quality insulation is a bit more expensive than the cheaper stuff, but it’s much more effective. The lower the temperature that’s required, the more insulation you’ll need, and the higher the price will climb to. The extra insulation is the main reason that a freezer van tends to cost a little bit more than a refrigerated van.
You’ll also have to consider how many compartments you want. The majority of light commercial refrigerated vans only have one compartment, held at a single temperature, but for some applications it can be incredibly useful to have two or more different compartments, each working at different temperatures, inside the same vehicle. This option usually costs more.
There are two different ways of achieving multiple compartments in the same refrigerated van. The most efficient way is to use a separate evaporator in each compartment. This lets you have complete control over the temperature differential between each compartment, an essential feature if you are carrying delicate foodstuffs like meat and dairy.
The other option is a fan kit. This blows icy air from one compartment through to another, moving the cold air from the coldest compartment through to the compartment being held at a slightly higher temperature. This can certainly be a cost effective way to have two-temperature carrying capacity, but the control is less precise. The option you choose will make a difference to the price of your refrigerated van.
Most refrigerated vans will use an evaporator system to keep the insulated compartment cool, but there is another option. It’s called “eutectics”, and it’s basically a huge block of frozen gel that will absorb heat. Think of it like the blocks of frozen gel that you put into a picnic cooler to keep it cold during the day. The blocks are frozen at night, using off-peak electricity prices, then they keep the inside of the insulated refrigerated van cool all day. As you can imagine, this is usually less expensive than an evaporator refrigeration system, but it’s not suitable for all vans and all applications.
As you can see, there are a few different things to take into account when trying to determine exactly how much a refrigerated van costs. It’s possible to pick up an extremely cost effective small refrigerated van, but if you need special options, a lot of loading space or payload, or require a very low temperature to be maintained then it might cost you a bit more. Glacier Vehicles stocks a wide range of refrigerated vans, both used and new, so get in touch today and let us help you decide which is right for your business.