Thinking Refrigerator..

RJ Howell

Active member
Getting closer to completing the exterior of my truck camper, so my thoughts are turning to specific's on the interior. Seems cost wise, there isn't much difference between an upright box frig or one of the chest units I see a lot of folks using. I was heading towards a standard upright mainly due to using propane to run it. Issues looks like just how much a can load in it vs. a chest style, but haven't found a propane run one (only electric so far). Chest style allows versitility in so much as it could be moved from this camper to another (or vehicle) easily.

It's a pretty big debate I'm having (with myself) and still undecided. Pro's / Con's either way please...
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Electric, DC compressor really is better than propane these days.

Engel chest type x2 the same gives good flexibility, either both switch to freezer mode.

If staying put you need a good solar setup, maybe 4-600W maybe more for freezers in a cloudy place
 

old_CWO

Active member
Why not both? Small traditional RV absorption fridge permanently installed and a small portable electric. They both have pluses and minuses but together you are pretty well configured. It's also an easy way to segregate food/drinks for refrigerator performance and food safety.

You don't have to buy a top of the line brand name portable if budget is part of the calculation; I have a plastic cased low price Chinese fridge and it performs valiantly. Some of those are in the $200 price range now. Sure it's not "expo sexy" like an ARB but it does the same thing for a lot less money. I did slap some broverlanding stickers on it so it doesn't feel self conscious when hanging out with the branded fridges:cool:
 

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LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
Buy a compressor 12v fridge and never look back you will be happy you did. Like any fridge make sure it is well ventilated for best performance.
 

4lowdean

Observer
Chest fridges are more efficient since they won't dump all their cold air out when you open them the way an upright fridge will.
 

Joe917

Explorer
There is almost no heat gain from that air dump.The thermal mass of the fridge contents is massive compared to that little bit of air.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Yes keep the "empty spaces" filled with water bottles, takes much less energy overall.

That front door vs top idea is a myth.

Generally speaking, energy efficiency between modern DC compressor fridges is not much of a differentiator.

But ability to get parts & service in ten years is critical, as of course is the reliability to last that long.

Cheap stuff won't.

Engel & ARB for the win, former best of all IMO.
 

RJ Howell

Active member
Why not both? Small traditional RV absorption fridge permanently installed and a small portable electric. They both have pluses and minuses but together you are pretty well configured. It's also an easy way to segregate food/drinks for refrigerator performance and food safety.

You don't have to buy a top of the line brand name portable if budget is part of the calculation; I have a plastic cased low price Chinese fridge and it performs valiantly. Some of those are in the $200 price range now. Sure it's not "expo sexy" like an ARB but it does the same thing for a lot less money. I did slap some broverlanding stickers on it so it doesn't feel self conscious when hanging out with the branded fridges:cool:
Interesting thought!
 

Brianj5600

Member
I like my chest fridge. To me not having to worry about things getting down in the melted ice is nicer than worrying about if I have enough ice. With a chest type there seems to be a lot less movement of things, especially if you get off the maintained roads. Vertical fridges also waste more space because there is unused space above each item unless everything is the height of the shelf spacing.
 

RJ Howell

Active member
I did end up purchasing a chest frez/frig that's of interior size of our old upright. Looking forward to it being here to run some tests on it and get real-life readings on power consumption.
 

billiebob

My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
Getting closer to completing the exterior of my truck camper, so my thoughts are turning to specific's on the interior. Seems cost wise, there isn't much difference between an upright box frig or one of the chest units I see a lot of folks using. I was heading towards a standard upright mainly due to using propane to run it. Issues looks like just how much a can load in it vs. a chest style, but haven't found a propane run one (only electric so far). Chest style allows versitility in so much as it could be moved from this camper to another (or vehicle) easily.

It's a pretty big debate I'm having (with myself) and still undecided. Pro's / Con's either way please...
My kitchen is in a trailer so I will never need to remove it. Plus of an upright is not needing a slider. Plus for me is the convenience of extra flat counter over the cooler and the ease of accessing stuff thru a door rather than a lid. For me, always travelling alone, I don't need more than 30L and rarely open the door so none of the advantages of the lid style cooler matter to me.

Still a work in progress, after pricing the main stream fridges and coolers I've turned my $10 Kooltron Cooler on its side. The door opens as a drop leaf.

DSCN2405.jpg
 
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