Dometic CF-80 fridge mini-review
We bought a Dometic CF-80AC fridge freezer a couple months back so I thought I'd post a mini-review now that we've had "in the field" a bit.
We chose the CF-80 based on it's large capacity, Dometic/Waeco's excellent reputation and reasonable price (comparatively).
Prior to purchase I called Dometic USA 3 different times, asking a variety of questions, each getting right through to a person who was very helpful and pleasant to talk to.
The body of the fridge is steel, finished in a textured powder coat (Dometic calls it an advanced polymer).The top and bottom are a high quality plastic that look to be very durable (only time will prove this). The lid is plastic as well and easily reversible. The latches are plastic, cam-over and easily replaceable if damaged. (Dometic USA stocks all the replacement parts as well).
There are two power connectors, one DC and the other for AC power. The fridge auto senses AC/DC power and switches to AC automagically when it's available. The DC cord is plenty long for my application (about 6ft) and has a connector that works with both the USA 12v sockets and the Hella type sockets by means of a removable ring on the tip of the connector. We had no problems with the connection to Conqueror's 12v outlet. The AC cord is on the shortish side (about 3ft), but has the standard computer-style plug on the fridge end so a longer cord could be had easily.
The interior is made up of one large and one small space with a wire basket that fits into the main space to divide it up into 3 sections. The Main space has room for full size bottles (gallon milk/juice/wine) to stand upright). The small space is great for snacks/fruit/etc. There's also a nice little built-in interior light. There's no drain however, so spills will require some clean up...
There is a nice, easy to read and simple to operate control panel on the end of the fridge, located up where it's accessible. The digital temp display seems to be reasonably accurate (I used an IR thermometer to verify the internal temperature a few times).
The temperature is easy to adjust and the fridge recalls the last temp set even in the event it is shut off or loses power completely. The fridge maintains temperature well, only varying by one or two degrees F.
There is also low battery cutoff that is easy to adjust between 3 different settings and works as advertised. It's never cut power in the field, but I did test it with a 8 year old Optima marine battery (55AH) and it works as advertised.
As far as power consumption goes, I didn't (don't have) a meter to measure actual current draw so this is very subjective. My 'test' was to run the fridge (half-full) on an 8 year old Optima (see above) until the low power cut-off shut it down. In 100+ ambient temps, the battery powered the fridge about 24 hrs before it shut off. This works out to just over 2.2AH.
This lines up with observed power use in field where we were parked in one camp location for two days running off the 110AH DieHard marine battery. In addition to the fridge, there were lights, a 12v fan and the water pump running at times as well during this period. The ambient temps were above 90 during the day and mid 60s or so at night. There was power to spare when we got rolling again.
We never had issue with power during our recent 2 weeks on the road, despite minimal charge (driving) time, averaging 18~20hrs per day on trailer battery power only.
We also spent quite a bit of our driving time on rough roads, both dirt and paved and had no problems of any kind.
Mounting the fridge to the Compact's fridge slide took a little thought as the body of the fridge is about 5mm 'deeper' than the slide. My workaround was to build a floor for the slide and make some hold-downs using turnbuckles and battery hold-down bolts.
Also, due to the height, the lid doesn't open all the way with fridge in the forward position. It does open far enough to get items in/out though, so it's not a big concern to me.
Noise is minimal, could barely hear it running.
Nice handles are included and bolt on in a couple of minutes. I don't have them installed due the extra width interfering with the trailer body. I keep them in one of the trailer boxes.
The fridge also did a great job of keeping things cold!
Last edited by red_5; 08-16-2010 at 07:46 PM.
What would Yukon Cornelius do?
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