Choosing which AC/DC Fridge/Freezer to buy?

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Choosing which AC/DC Fridge/Freezer to buy?

Postby Esteban » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:46 pm

Affordable solar power enables you to camp for days or weeks without shore power. Using both solar power and an ac/dc fridge/freezer seems like an excellent combination to increase your freedom and enjoyment to go teardrop camping.

I plan to buy an ac/dc chest type fridge/freezer that will be used on a roll-out shelf in my galley. I want to eliminate the cost and bother to continually buy ice and forever end dealing with wasted soggy food. Which one to buy is a big decision.

A Truckfridge TF41 seems to be the most affordable fridge/freezer. An ARB37 is higher quality and much more expensive. A Dometic CFX-40US Portable Electric Cooler Refrigerator/Freezer - 38 Liters has features very similar to an ARB at a considerably lower price. It seems like a very good choice with good reviews.

Please share your experience using a fridge/freezer while camping in a teardrop. Which one do you use? How well does it meet your needs?
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Re: Choosing which AC/DC Fridge/Freezer to buy?

Postby lrrowe » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:58 pm

I have the TF51, usd it once so far and kept items on bottom frozen. So far I have no complaints, other then to add that I still see myself using a quality ice cooler for those "not used so much" items to big to fit into the TF51. And my experience so far has been on the grid except whole running down the road. I was able to purchase mine at a lower then advertised price through a group buy on a Tacoma Forum.

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Re: Choosing which AC/DC Fridge/Freezer to buy?

Postby phil_jr » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:16 pm

I bought an Engel MT45F ( ... g/mt45f-u1). It's pricey, but it requires the least amount of power (which means a smaller solar panel can be used) and has Engel has an excellent reputation for reliability. There are similar brands, the important criteria being that they'll operate WHILE your trailer is bouncing along on back roads.
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Re: Choosing which AC/DC Fridge/Freezer to buy?

Postby jonw » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:01 am

I have a Indel B (Truckfridge) TB41 that I leave set at 34F degrees. It lives in the back of my Mazda CX5 next to the resr 12V outlet.

Works great - highly recommended!
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Re: Choosing which AC/DC Fridge/Freezer to buy?

Postby Shadow Catcher » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:31 pm

We have the WAECO which is also a Dometic and it is fed by our solar panel. I would not suggest having what ever you buy in a compartment unless it is well ventilated, bear in mind you are pumping heat from the inside to the outside and adequate ventilation is necessary. Ours rides in the back of our Subaru Outback wired with a direct line to the battery. Most of the refrigerators of this type use a Dan Fos compressor and are going to have similar current consumption. The alternative is the Engel Which uses a swing compressor. From one comparison I saw current consumption is not enough different to make a big difference. We love ours.
I made a Reflectex insulation jacket for ours to reflect sun.
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Re: Choosing which AC/DC Fridge/Freezer to buy?

Postby Art Mini » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:36 pm

Here's a nice portable ac unit for teardrops.
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Re: Choosing which AC/DC Fridge/Freezer to buy?

Postby Crabapple » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:12 pm

I have the T-31 (the smallest one) Truck Fridge (Indel B) and I have a 100W portable solar to keep my camper battery charged. The battery is a brand new high quality deep cycle battery. If camped with reasonable exposure I have more than enough power to run the fridge, charge camera batteries etc, indefinitely. Camped in shade covered sites with overcast skies it's borderline. After 2nd day or so I have to run the tow vehicle for a bit to back up the solar.

Regarding the fridge, works great at freezing, I'm finding it tricky to hit the sweet spot setting where it keeps frozen stuff on the bottom frozen, while not also freezing my eggs, cheese etc that is sitting on top.
But still the way to go IMO :)
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Re: Choosing which AC/DC Fridge/Freezer to buy?

Postby ArkansasDon » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:56 am

I have like the Engel line of portable 12v.\110 fridge freezers. I have their MR 040 Eclipes model. AC/DC compatible, will operate up to 30° off level, 12v power consumption 0.7- 2.7 amps per hour. Engel portable fridges been around for more than 50 years. They are pricy, but they will be the last portable fridge you'll buy, a fridge for life.
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