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Thread: Camping Fridges - Pros and Cons

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Draper, UT
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    697
    Quote Originally Posted by 5Runner View Post
    Is this a riddle, or are you going to tell us about it?
    I will soon. It's difficult trying to get something off the ground when you're using your own money. I've been discussing this on RME (not really in any more detail) but I also have to be careful not to violate any of the rules of the forums I plan to ultimately launch the product on. I did give a live demo of this product to a couple of people in the outdoor enthusiast community one of which is a member here. There were NDA's involved as well.
    One of the key components in the prototype works but doesn't offer the adjustability I need to offer a wide range of custom-tailored options for the end user. The concept is sound and repeatable.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Somewhere west of north
    Posts
    770
    Quote Originally Posted by MarcFJ60 View Post

    First - You're somewhat married to your power source. Most cases, this means keeping the fridge in the car. But when camping with smaller kids, it can be difficult for them to retrieve a drink and you need to keep the car unlocked. I have cargo drawers in the back of my LandCruiser, and it can be a pain to get stuff out of the fridge due to the height. I have started bringing a second battery so I can leave the fridge out as I would a cooler.

    Second - You need adequate power. Your car's battery will run most fridges for a day, maybe two. But how far do you want to push it before you harm your battery or are left stranded? Or do you factor in the cost of a dual battery setup? Having a second battery, not even a dual battery system, has alleviated some of this anxiety, however.

    Third - this one is really minor, but it does bug me a bit. I love grabbing a drink out of the ice cold slush in a cooler. I don't know why, but something is missing when I grab a drink out of the fridge. It's too sterile. I want the beer label to peel off from soaking in ice water for two days.
    I've solved the power and portability issues, and I'm sure you can tell by the picture, my beer labels are in place and didn't prevent me from drinking them


  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    1,059
    I have had. Waeco 40l fridge for nearly 10 years and it's been great. Much easier than the old cooler. One thing I probably will start doing again is getting a small six can cooler filled with dry ice.

    This will allow us to keep drinks out of the fridge saving space. If we want a ice cold drink just lay it on the dry ice and rotate it on the ice for about a minute, nice and cold. The dry ice easily lasts the weekend, no mess and cold drinks.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tijeras, New Mexico (in the woods)
    Posts
    2,466
    My ARB 50 which Ive had for 3ish years or so has revolutionized the way I camp. Of all the upgrades I have done my fridge is probably the best one. Ive had that thing on trips over a month in duration, in temps nearing 115 deg., never had a problem. I do use solar to help out, and my truck has a massive battery, but still. I LOVE not having a slushy mess all over the place or having floating soaked food, or having to get ice every two days. A con?.. Cant think of one. UNLESS, something breaks...not sure how to get it fixed here in the US.. Knock on wood Ive been lucky.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Front Range, CO
    Posts
    3
    I'm debating this very issue right now and have come to the conclusion that I need both. A high quality 12V fridge/ freezer is a must and, from my experience, I'd stick with Engel, ARB, or National Luna. I own various Coleman coolers and always take at least one of them with me for overflow or last minute items- especially when the kids are along. I use the ice chest for items that are sealed and needed more regularly, i.e. beer, coke, kids drinks, etc while the Engel stores the meat, cheese, eggs, etc.. This way my 3 year old never needs to rifle through the Engel breaking the eggs while looking for a CapriSun. So my latest question is whether I upgrade from my el cheapo current coolers to a nicer Engel (which have gotten much better reviews than Yeti and are $100 less)? If so, what size? I wish they made something between a 35 and 65qt.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tijeras, New Mexico (in the woods)
    Posts
    2,466


    I had this set up bouncing around that back of my pickup for a week in Utah recently. Worked great, I charged the battery whenever I was stopped for a while. (And then an unfortunate wind incident that killed my inverter, totally my fault.). I love my ARB fridge. And running it off of the sun
    2006 Dodge Power Wagon. Warm M12,000 lb winch, Front and rear lockers, disconnecting Sway Bar, 4:56 gearing. Aluminess Slimline Front Bumper, BuckStop Rear Bumper, Airflow Snorkel, Mombassa Roof Top Tent on a Front Runner "Bakke" rack. BFG 35" KM2's.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Vista, CA
    Posts
    327
    I know I'm even more of an outlier - but I really like not taking any food that requires cooling. I can live without fresh stuff for a couple of days, and it saves a lot of hassle; if I've got ice for the beers and such that's nice but not a requirement.

    That said, am considering an electric fridge; I've already got the solar panel and wouldn't mind a spare battery.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Vista, CA
    Posts
    327
    Follow-up: I found an ARB 42 (MT45F-ALT), used, on Craigslist for $350, picked it up today. We plugged it in to the wall at the guy's house and it worked fine. I just plugged it in to the Rover and I get nothing - no green light on the cable or the fridge. Wondering if my plug is wired backwards or if there's some other obvious problem, haven't had time to mess with it or call the guy back yet; will start by plugging it directly to the battery and make sure that works. I already checked both fuses, and they seem good, I'll try replacing them anyhow when I get home.

    Anyone else have ideas why 120v would work, but 12v wouldn't?

    (edit)

    Never mind. Stupid cigarette lighter socket. Fridge works great, bought a yellow top Optima to go with it, now I just have to get some beer so I can wire the batteries!
    Last edited by justfred; 05-24-2012 at 12:41 AM.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Cuyamaca, CA
    Posts
    404
    I don't miss (and haven't used) a cooler since I got my Engel about 3 years ago. I already had the dual battery system, and now have solar, so power is not a problem. I have used it on day runs to bring ice cream bars for the group. I ususally keep it near freezing, since I like my drinks cold and fresh food can handle that for a few days. For drink ice, I put cubes from the home freezer in a zip lock bag. They stay frozen enough for several days on the trail. VO and Seven is the preferred beverage. I have a friend who still uses a cooler and his solution to soggy food is to put everything in a river-trip style drybag inside the cooler.
    Tim
    KG6WFV

    2003 Tacoma V6 4x4 TRD ExtraCab

    Tuff Country 5" Lift, King Coilovers, 33x10.50R15 BFG MT's, Black Steelies, Viair 450C Air Compressor and Tank, Custom Swaybar Disconnects, Yaesu FT-857D All Band Amateur Radio, Aerocover Bed Cover, K&N Filter, Dual Batteries, LED Rocklights, Custom Sliders, Engel Fridge

    Deck Plate, Gray Wire, Rear Shock Spacer, Two-Low, Free Alarm Mods


    Member Cal4Wheel, Tierra Del Sol 4WD Club

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Hampton Roads, VA
    Posts
    133
    I have a 75 quart Yeti I use for my weekend adventures, and I'm not sure why so many have problems with soggy food. I imagine evaporation as the ice melts causes warm air and moisture to rise causing anything not sealed to become soggy, but using freezer bags in the Yeti tray, I don't have that problem at all. I don't eat bread though, so that may be a large part of it.

    Being on the East Coast and not having the amazing views of you folks out West keeps my trips short, so the cooler will work fine for me until I can figure out how to move out West permanently.

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