What are you using for a fridge/freezer.

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Steve

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There was such a great response in the portable air thread that I thought I'd ask the same about what fridge/freezer you are using in your travels. I'm sure we'd all love to have a National Luna to keep our burgers cold, but $1500 and up is a lot of dough for many of us.

In our family travels and vacations, I've tried several coolers from Igloo to Coleman. plastic and steel. But I have never had anything work better than the dense foam coolers that Omaha Steaks used to be delivered in. The new ones are not near as dense, but one we have had since the late '90s still works better than any cooler we have had.

Eventually, I want to purchase a powered fridge/freezer so we don't have to mess with ice, water accumulating in the bottom, and soggy food. I don't want something cheap that doesn't work well, but I also don't want to spend more than I need to do the job.

So, what are you using?
 

Robert OB 33/48

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Hello Steve,

Well, 1500$ for a fridge is a bit expensive. And yes we do have a very good fridge, but lucky us, just about 590€.

Its an 38 ltr Engel fridge. Here in Europe one of the best brands. And it does work on our 80Watt solar panel/battery power supply.



Greetings from Robert
 
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UKCRD

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@Steve I did a short write up on ours a couple of weeks ago:

http://4wdx.com/waeco-cab-40-3-way-fridge-freezer/

Mine is a Waeco CAB 40 (Litre) 3 Way fridge/freezer which runs off 12v, 240 or gas. It's been great on the two trips we've taken it on but a lot will depend where you plan to go. This one will cool at 30 C below the ambient temp so for most of Europe it's perfect. If you're heading into seriously hot climates where the in-cab temp is likely to be 60 C+ you'll probably need something with a compressor. If you can get away with absorption cooling then they're quite as a mouse and cheaper to purchase. I bought mine lightly used for $120.

 

Lifestyle Overland

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As with our compressor; the ARB 50 quart unit was what we went with for our freezer / fridge as well. We have been on a couple of trips with it and I can safely say it's been one of our favorite gadgets so far. Once you get past the initial price, the benefits more than make up for any buyer's remorse ("Buy the best and cry once.")

Typically we stage the fridge in the house the day before the trip and plug it into the 120V outlet (dual voltage inputs are standard) and load everything we need. This will keep everything at our desired temp without draining the vehicle battery, plus it's easier on the wife to have it a few feet from the home fridge while she preps.
When it's loaded and ready to go the rig you really appreciate the sturdy handles ARB built into the unit as it's easy to reach the 60-75 lb mark when you're packing for a multi-day trip. The handles are also designed to be used as tie-down points with the optional tie-down kit from ARB which makes cinching it down a breeze.
The beauty of the freezer/fridge is the fact you don't need ice so your food stays dry and cold at the temp you select. In my opinion this makes up for the additional weight and apparent reduction of storage space. When you don't need ice, you can pack things much tighter so what we would usually put in say a 70-80 quart cooler fits great in our 50 quart unit. Plus, you can rotate new items in a few hours from when you need them, like water bottles, etc.
I know battery drain is another hot topic for the freezer / fridge units and there's some argument as to who has the most efficient design. We have ran our unit for 2 days without starting the vehicle and found no lack of voltage when it was time to roll. If you're using your rig on a daily basis on the trails then you don't even have to worry about it. However, if you did hit that limit; the ARB will shut down at a pre-determined voltage range which you can select so you won't be stranded.
There are several videos on YouTube that go into more detail on the features of the unit if you're interested. As for me, I am totally sold on ARB's quality and ease of use on this item.
 

UKCRD

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S12, we were chatting about these on another forum and we believe the ARBs are made by Waeco. Not sure why that's relevant but just thought I'd throw that in. :blush:
 
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Robert OB 33/48

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ARB/Weaco/Engel, all the good brands are expensive but very good.
Just one thing is price and the gadgets or if you like big, metal or whatever.
A compressor fridge is better on the road and the other ones are cheaper and good on a campsite.
Best is when you have a solar panel and then there is no worries at all.
 
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Cappy410

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My trusty 96 can Coleman cooler with my ICE3 ice packs that hold six cans in the middle. @administrator
 

hookjaw

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I've been using an ARB 50 Qt fridge freezer for over 4 years now and have not had a single problem with it. Like @StringTwelve I typically stage the fridge a day or two early. I used to do this in the house but the last couple of years I just stage/pack it where I store it... on top of the SCT fridge/stove combo slider in the back of my LC.

Power consumption has never been an issue. I've "bench tested" consumption a couple of times using a fully charged 150 A Sears Platinum battery and each time the battery lasted 4.5 days before the auto shutdown feature of the fridge kicked in. In the field I rarely camp in the same spot for more than 3 days so I've yet to have the fridge shut down on me. So if you are going to be driving around every few days there really is no concern about draining a battery and having your food spoil.

Yeah, I know they are pricey, but once you pull the plug and commit, you'll be glad you did. Not having to deal with ice or nasty cooler water while always having dry food and access to cold beer on the trail is pure gold.

 
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iamout

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I hace a NL 52 weekender. I had lots of gear in my garage that I didn't need, Sold most of it and finally was able to buy one. Paul at Equipt1 Expedition Outfitters is great to work with. Its been more than one year and I am very happy with it. I sleep right next to it and don't even hear it run.

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Steve

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Thanks for the great info, guys! This thread (and the portable air thread) can be a good source of information for other people like me who are putting together a new ride.
 

Lifestyle Overland

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Maybe we should have Michael relocate them both to the Overland Gear Review forum?

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SonOfNeptune

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So I won a YETI 125 from work and I am coupling that with a NL52 Weekender... its still in the box though. I intend to hook it up next time I am free to work out in the garage. Once I do I will give my take of a review.
 

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I've got a dual battery kit in and a special run of 10 gauge with anderson plugs just waiting for a 63qt ARB fridge for my second row middle seat area. So sick of dealing with a cooler and ice...even though it works ok for 2/3 days, living out of the vehicle for a week or more just sucks. Everything gets wet no matter how careful you are.
 

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I have the 82qt ARB in my rig Steve. Works great
 

dagen

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I just use a Yeti cooler and ice. The yeti's are amazing at how long they keep things cold for. Can't imagine going back to a regular cooler. . .
 

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we've tried all the ice chests over the years... The Coleman 52 qt Extreme did surprisingly well, 3 maybe 4 days on the high desert, but we needed at least 6 days out so we upgraded to a Yeti Tundra 75. We should have gotten one years ago. We also are using an Engle MD 14 as a dedicated freezer unit.
 
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