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What PORTABLE fridge do you use?
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childofthewind
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: What PORTABLE fridge do you use? Reply with quote

Greetings.

So, I'm in the market for a portable fridge. My question is for those who are using/have used them and NOT for built-in fridges. Also, it's not about fridge vs. cooler as there's plenty of those threads on here and I've already made up my mind in that arena.

What are you using? Why do you like it? What would be better? (as in a better portable)

I am one person but I like to eat healthy (fresh veggies and fruits); like cold beer and half-n-half for the coffee.. cheese and the occasional meat product. I've done the whole camping/canned/packaged food for a while. Unless I'm out on a trail with my backpack sleeping under the stars, I'd like some more options.

I'm thinking something around 35+ quarts would be enough space. I've been reading about what brands are reputable and am willing to spend some money (but pref under $600).

I was just looking at this one..

http://www.bigriggifts.com/cgi-bin/acart/apple-search.pl?&action=viewprod&id=1274655822

Also, I'm installing an aux battery either under driver seat (having a wolfsburg hardtop I have more space under there) or under bench seat.. not sure yet.. which will be powering said fridge. An option to do this via solar would be nice in the future but for now I'd like to get the fridge and battery set up.

*THANKS*

luka
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Thebiggestfro
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in the market as well, and am looking forward to everyone's reply. Anyone have any experience with one of these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Whynter-65-Quart-Portable-..._523wt_922 ?

The price is riight for me, but I haven't heard anything about this brand.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 50 quart ARB and love it. Might be a little More than you wanted to spend. They do have a smaller 37 quart unit though. It works with 12/24 DC and 100-240 AC. So, we can bring it in the house or plug it into port power if available. Also has a front digital control panel and an LED light in side, that comes on when you open it. So far it has worked great in both of our road trip vans. One has a 55 amp hour battery and one has a 90. They say it draws about .87 amp per hour in 90 degree weather.
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childofthewind
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mpabegg wrote:
I have a 50 quart ARB and love it. Might be a little More than you wanted to spend. They do have a smaller 37 quart unit though. It works with 12/24 DC and 100-240 AC. So, we can bring it in the house or plug it into port power if available. Also has a front digital control panel and an LED light in side, that comes on when you open it. So far it has worked great in both of our road trip vans. One has a 55 amp hour battery and one has a 90. They say it draws about .87 amp per hour in 90 degree weather.


Just checked it out; good reviews and a bit spendy.

http://www.amazon.com/ARB-10800352-Fridge-Freezer-Quart/dp/B004P9C032
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:33 am    Post subject: fridge Reply with quote

You might want to check out the 43 quart model Edgestar from Compact Appliance. Works well, good value.
http://www.compactappliance.com/FP430-Compact-Edge...lt,pd.html
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been running a ARB for a few years that I love. The best thing about these units vs. a cooler is that the temps are adjustable and there is no ice water to deal with. Produce is fickle with temps and the fridges can be "tuned in" better.
There are several brands to consider- ARB, waeco, engle, whynter, edgestar and others. Scouring the craigslist classifieds may net you a used unit.
The whynter and edgestar are cheaper but I have no experience with them.
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childofthewind
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

syncrodoka wrote:
I have been running a ARB for a few years that I love. The best thing about these units vs. a cooler is that the temps are adjustable and there is no ice water to deal with. Produce is fickle with temps and the fridges can be "tuned in" better.
There are several brands to consider- ARB, waeco, engle, whynter, edgestar and others. Scouring the craigslist classifieds may net you a used unit.
The whynter and edgestar are cheaper but I have no experience with them.


After reading a bunch of ARB reviews I'm thinking it might be worth the extra $$.
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have Engel mt45. Pricey but known to last 30 years. Not sure of that but nevertheless one of the best and most expensive. One of the best thing, it does not consume that much power.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ones that run on both 12 volts and 120 volt house power are nice if you travel and stay with friends along the way. It is nice to be able to carry them into the house and plug them in when sharing the hosts kitchen on longer stays. Be sure you can comfortably lift whichever one you choose as some can be pretty heavy even when empty. Think small and remember that they have fans that need open/free space at the vents on the unit so your orientation choices in the van may be limited by that.

Mark
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

whynotvw wrote:
I have Engel mt45. Pricey but known to last 30 years. Not sure of that but nevertheless one of the best and most expensive. One of the best thing, it does not consume that much power.


X2

Got mine lightly used and well discounted here on the classifieds. Stoked about it. This thing rocks. And has the 120v option mentioned by Mark so it doubles as beer fridge in the house.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto on the Engel.
I've had mine for about 5 years, no problems. These things are built for solar operations in remote and 3rd world situations and are pretty bullet proof. Keeps things cold and uses very little power. I power mine off a stand alone deep cycle with a small solar panel.
Got it on sale thru Cabela's.
I try to eat fresh, but like my beer cold, similar to what you mentioned.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a full Westy, but have never had the fridge operational. A brick of dry ice and a couple freezer coolers keep it cold for up to a week.

A little low tech, but you can do the same with a conventional cooler too.

Just a thought...
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Wynter and Edgestar brands are the same company. The Wynter fridges were sold by GW
a few years back. Looks like they still have a few on ebay. The compact appliance site has them
for more$$ but will probably ship for free. Keep an eye out for their specials. I got the 63 quart
for under $500 shipped over a year ago.
http://www.compactappliance.com/FP630-Spacious-Edg...le_Coolers

I have been running it non-stop since last spring and I have been more than pleased with it's
operation as well as it's size. If it's only used for one person maybe the 43 qt would work out better?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ARB is well worth the extra money. Really quiet and really efficient in a tough package. The beer was still plenty cold in Moab in the summer in direct sunlight.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timwhy wrote:
The Wynter and Edgestar brands are the same company. The Wynter fridges were sold by GW
a few years back. Looks like they still have a few on ebay. The compact appliance site has them
for more$$ but will probably ship for free. Keep an eye out for their specials. I got the 63 quart
for under $500 shipped over a year ago.
http://www.compactappliance.com/FP630-Spacious-Edg...le_Coolers

I have been running it non-stop since last spring and I have been more than pleased with it's
operation as well as it's size. If it's only used for one person maybe the 43 qt would work out better?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Everything's so cozy looking! Love it.

Thanks.. I'll do some more reading on Edgestars.
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themervino
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been running an Edgestar 43qt non stop for a year and a half. It has been flawless. Very quiet. I have a 135 watt solar panel and two six volt batteries wired together for around 200 amp hours of reserve. It's like a home fridge where you never really think about it. It just keeps on staying cold. Very pleased
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childofthewind
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This seems like a good deal with just a couple weird reviews...

http://www.amazon.com/43-Portable-Compact-Refrigerator-Freezer/dp/B0012EGZ9S/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

It seems ARB are going to be a few hundred dollars more. I'm wondering if there is a big difference in quality between the two?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I have limited personal experience, and am well-known as an ice chest guy, feedback from others over the years indicate you really couldn't go too wrong with many of the mentioned brands like the Engel, ARB, Edgestars, etc.

As Crazyvwvanman implied, perhaps more important and telling are the specific features you want and especially how you intend to set it all up.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vermontgirl wrote:
This seems like a good deal with just a couple weird reviews...

http://www.amazon.com/43-Portable-Compact-Refrigerator-Freezer/dp/B0012EGZ9S/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

It seems ARB are going to be a few hundred dollars more. I'm wondering if there is a big difference in quality between the two?


I don't know anything about the ARB but before I bought my Engel I did a lot of research and called many vendors who sold different makes. Almost always they all said Engel was the best hands down. What really sold me was this one vendor said he owned Engel for twelve years without any problems. And when he sold it he got more then half what he paid for. If you can wait I would try to buy a good used one or save and by the Engel.

I bought mine for Engel Mt45 for $650 from Van-Cafe two years ago, but now the price has gone up a bit.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you're spending a lot of time in constant 100 plus degree weather, this has worked great for me and can be found for $100 or less on sale.
If you buy the ac/dc convertor you can run on either 12 v or 110v. It also nice because it sits on it's end like a normal fridge or you can set it down to use it like a normal cooler.

http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-40-Quart-PowerChill-Thermoelectric-Cooler/dp/B0014VSR90
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