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Fridge Elimination and standalone fridge OR Truckfridge?
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built in refer OR stand alone refer
Built in Refer (i.e. Truckfridge or equivalent)
54%
 54%  [ 31 ]
Standalone Refer (i.e. Engle, Edgestar, or equivalent)
45%
 45%  [ 26 ]
Total Votes : 57

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DeadSetMonkey Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:32 am    Post subject: Fridge Elimination and standalone fridge OR Truckfridge? Reply with quote

I have a working Dometic.

But it is small, and it doesn't get things ICE cold on the HOT days.

While cute and fun to have a stock fridge... with its cute little ice tray... and it's quaint 90's style...

I'm thinking ahead to get more functional refridgeration.

Debating replaceing the stock fridge with a Truckfridge or converting the space to storage and getting a standalone fridge - like the Engle units ot Edgestar or similar.

Any advice out there about this?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:50 am    Post subject: TF-49 Reply with quote

Blue Bay Bus My vote a TF-49 . Bigger then stock, good price ,lower power draw, easy to put in, you even gain a storage compartment under it. Mine will cool down in 30 min. And oh boy to have ice cream when camping! And who wants anything more on the floor when camping. Very Happy
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course there is no 'correct' answer here. It's what you want to do that is important. Very Happy

With that in mind I removed the Dometic for storage and have a stand alone fridge behind the passenger seat. For our needs we like the extra storage and since we do not always need the fridge for everyday use we only put it in when camping, but the storage is there full time. YMMV. It's all good!
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a fan of loosing floor space with the stand alone, even if you can take it out at the camp. My floor space is usually utilized for additional gear, and movement around the cabin while traveling, and the stand alone would compete for that space. Hard enought to alot space for a porta potty, but with a wife and daughter, I lost that argument. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have gone with a TF-49, and a 40L Icecube from Ironman......love the combo for both power usage, and storage options
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We tried the Dometic for a year when we got the van but didn't like it, not enough space, too much temp variation between the modes (food safety). So we removed it, got the Gowesty Fridge Eliminator Kit and now use a cooler with ice behind the passenger seat.
We love the extra storage space (old fridge) and the ice cold beers.
I installed a secondary battery this year and now toying the idea of an electric fridge like Engel/Ironman but still undecided. It will be interested to follow this thread.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I picked up an Edgestar 45Qt about a month ago that sits right behind the passenger seat. Took the old fridge out and using that for dry food storage. I thought I may miss the space that the floor model takes up, but just got back from a 3 week tour with my wife and son, and didn't really miss it. Makes for a good seat or a foot rest when you have the passenger seat turned around.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex Proulx wrote:
We tried the Dometic for a year when we got the van but didn't like it, not enough space, too much temp variation between the modes (food safety). So we removed it, got the Gowesty Fridge Eliminator Kit and now use a cooler with ice behind the passenger seat.
We love the extra storage space (old fridge) and the ice cold beers.
I installed a secondary battery this year and now toying the idea of an electric fridge like Engel/Ironman but still undecided. It will be interested to follow this thread.


I used a cooler as well for years, but I'd never go back after having an electric fridge, especially with a solar panel setup. But I recognize that my needs do not match everyones and that this is truly an individual decision. One size does not fit all. Very Happy
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hans j
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I plan on a built in for mine. I currently have an Engel MT35 which is small but I got it for a great price. So with a built in, I can take my Engel along with me to use either as a full freezer or extra storage. I don't have A/C built in so I have the storage in that space instead.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use a Dometic CF-18. it is 12v only and can run overnight on my deep cycle. We usually do not stay more than one night in an area so it is running off the alternator as we drive. It fits between the front seats (barely) so you can access ice cold drinks while you drive, but you can not pull the parking brake if you put it too far forward. and fits nicely behind the passenger seat when you park. we spin that seat around and use the coolfreeze as a footrest. it can also be put in the passenger footrest area or on the drivers seat. It has a real Danfoss compressor and will make ice all day long if you want to run it as a freezer you could theoretically make ice for a separate cooler and have both cold and frozen storage.

I used the extra space to mount a half pint microwave and a portapotty.

They are very cheap and may be discontinued soon so buy one now if you want one.

Plan on making clips to attach to battery or a real connector because the cigarette lighter plug is no beuno for this thing and if you extend the cord use heavy gauge wire.

http://www.americanrvcompany.com/Dometic-CF-018DC-...-Camper-RV

We can and do store 3 quarts (water, juice and milk), half dozen eggs, a couple of sodas and several packs of meat and some butter all the time and it doesn't even cycle on again after opening because with a top opening, the cold stays in when you open it. you can also alternate extra things into another cooler because this thing can turn things to ice in less than an hour.

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SCM
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this thread. We're debating the same and will probably go with the GW fridge delete kit and continue using our ice chest. I actually like having something on the floor because, as someone else said, it makes a nice footrest, outside serving table, step to the top bunk. Some questions though,

About how much additional space to you gain with the fridge delete kit? One of the things we're looking to do is gain more space for shoe storage of all things (bike shoes, sneakers, flip flops, hiking boots x two people is a lot of darn shoes).

About how long can can I expect an electric fridge to run without a solar setup?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Truckfridge 65 just showed up this morning, so you know my vote. Something to keep in mind when deciding. I haven't seen anyone moving a portable outside while camping. I assume they are too heavy when full to easily toss around. I would also assume people don't fill them up in the house ahead of time for the same reason, which would be a nice benefit of a portable.

People that get the Engel seem to get the big ones. Perhaps incremental cost is the reason. They look like take up an aweful lot of floor space. Personally I don't like crap filling up the floor space. And turning the swivel seat around seems impractical with the height of the Engel.

Quality-wise the Engel seems to be the one to get but will cost more than a Truckfridge. And you have to give some consideration to it getting stolen.

No installation is nice and I do like the idea of an extra cubboard of storage with the stock fridge gone. But those are the only benefits I can see for the portable.
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rockfish
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many people go camping in your Westy? Another way to think about it is how many people do you "entertain" in your Westy?

If it is just you or just two of you, I can see how a floor unit might work. Beyond that - it gets pretty crowded...especially if you are spending any amount of time indoors due to weather or what have you.

The Engel units work great. So do Isotherm and TF. It is really more about how you use your Westy's floorspace than what unit is a better product.

We have a TF49 and are very happy...larger than stock and much more reliable and colder. Though I have to admit that I think it I should have gone for a larger unit. We have also supplemented our long-term fridge needs by bringing a traditional cooler.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have it both ways. Isotherm CR49 in place of stock fridge and for extended stays I bring the Engel MT45 that, as others have said, fits very well behind the passenger seat and acts as a seat, table, footrest, etc. My solar panel set up keeps up with power demand as long as sun is shining. Family of four plus friends that usually come along with their own vehicles. The Engel MT45 was a great find, used, here in the classifieds. I could not resist.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SCM wrote:

About how long can can I expect an electric fridge to run without a solar setup?


Impossible to answer with no variables. Must know heat load, ambient temp, battery size, times opened.

FOR A FAR MORE COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS, search the sailing webpages. these people LIVE in their boats and have excellent data on wind and sun power generation, battery life, etc.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do any of the floor units slide underneath the rearseat/bed when the seat is flattened for sleeping?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DeadSetMonkey wrote:
Do any of the floor units slide underneath the rearseat/bed when the seat is flattened for sleeping?


The Engel MT45 sure doesn't. Not sure the MT35 will, I would say it doesn't either but somebody should check.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

madspaniard wrote:
DeadSetMonkey wrote:
Do any of the floor units slide underneath the rearseat/bed when the seat is flattened for sleeping?


The Engel MT45 sure doesn't. Not sure the MT35 will, I would say it doesn't either but somebody should check.


I don't think my MT-35 will either. But the front seat could swivel as it's nearly the same height as that part of the van. I can check later tonight to see if it will fit.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I vote for the hard-installed compressor fridge. I use the TF65. Here's why:
1. Way more fridge space than the factory Dometic, but same space as 65 litre Engel
2. Way colder than Dometic;
3. No loss of floor space - - that's very valuable real estate!
4. No need to move the Engel to get a big load in the van.
5. I added a LARGE drawer under the TF65 that you can't install with the factory Dometic;
6. No need to scout for ice.
7. No risk of theft of fridge or cooler.
8 I reconfigured the space beside the water tank to use all of it for storage. Everything fits.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

furrylittleotter wrote:
SCM wrote:

About how long can can I expect an electric fridge to run without a solar setup?


Impossible to answer with no variables. Must know heat load, ambient temp, battery size, times opened.


FWIW, 1 yellow top Optima battery, open fridge 5 times/day in 80 degree ambient temps, keep fridge around 35 deg C.

I'm just looking for a ballpark. 1 night, vs a week kind of accuracy.
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