If you run a business that needs to keep items cool during delivery, or want to sell refrigerated or frozen items right from your vehicle, you need to invest in a high-quality refrigerated van. This might be more challenging than you realize, as you may know how to check the condition of a van's parts under the hood, but may not know how to choose one with a refrigeration unit in the back. Note a few commonly asked questions about such vans, so you can ensure you get one that works for your business needs.
What is the difference between a chiller van and a refrigerated van?
When shopping for a refrigerated van, it's good to note that these terms are often used interchangeably, and they don't typically denote one type of van over another. The important detail to look for is if the van allows you to maintain a constant temperature in the back, or if it's just outfitted with a cooling unit and thick insulation.
If you're delivering prepared foodstuffs such as cakes and pies, you'll probably need a van that allows you to set and maintain a constant temperature. If you're going to be selling ice cream or delivering frozen foods, ensure that the van's cooling unit can reach and maintain frozen temperatures. However, if you're delivering items like flowers, an insulated van with a cooling unit may be sufficient.
What is standby power?
Standby power allows you to plug the van into an external power source, such as a battery pack, and keep the cargo area chilled, even if the motor isn't running. This can be good if you make several deliveries in one day, as you can plug the van in and keep all your items cool while making those deliveries. It's also a good choice for pre-cooling the cargo area before loading.
Can any van be converted to a chiller van?
While most vans can be outfitted with a separate refrigeration unit and needed insulation, if the van's body is especially rusted or damaged, it may need repairs before the conversion can be done. You also need to note if the conversion would reduce the amount of space in the back of the van, as adding a chiller unit and thick insulation will reduce headroom and the van's interior square footage. In some cases, it may be better to simply but a chiller van rather than having yours converted with a refrigeration unit.