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Camping Fridges Refrigerators

Car Fridges – Vehicle Refrigerator Options

Installing a car fridge in your vehicle allows you to have refrigeration on the go in your vehicle. It can prove to be a very gratifying modification.
If you have a large truck or SUV, and like to go on long trips, a car fridge will prove itself extremely valuable as a camping fridge on family vacations or off-road trips.
However, you don’t have to hit the open road in order to enjoy the benefits of a portable car refrigerator. It can serve a simple a task as that of providing a supply of cold drinks for the family while you run errands about town, or at the kids soccer game.
Portable Car Fridges come in several different styles. They can be powered solely by 12V DC, 24V DC, or even 110V AC; and are even available with combinations of these power options. Some fridges, known as 3-way fridges, even have an LPG propane option. However, you should definitely not attempt to power your fridge using propane when driving.
If you are going to be giving your fridge regular use in anything but the most benign of conditions, you will want to invest in a quality car fridge. Some good quality portable car fridge manufacturers are National Luna, ARB, Engel(a manufacturer with a long history) and Waeco.
Car Fridges come in various sizes, from very small – roughly a dozen quarts – to very large – some over 80 quarts of storage. Some car refrigerators even provide two compartments, one which serves as a fridge, and a second one which serves as a freezer. This expands your options by allowing you to take frozen meat, and other similar perishables, with you on the road.
If you will just be using your fridge on quick errands around town, then a very small cheap 12V mini fridge may serve your purposes better than the more expensive models intended for more serious use.
When planning a car fridge purchase there are some important things to consider.
How much storage do you need?
This fridge will be occupying space in your vehicle, so if you buy one that is too large you may regret it.
How will you power it?
Make sure the fridge is compatible with your power supply. For example, if you are going to run it off your 12 Volt car battery, make sure it is a car fridge that will run on 12V DC (12 Volt Direct Current).
Do you have sufficient power?
This is an important item. If you are going to run the 12v refrigerator full time, you may want to consider installing a second battery in your vehicle especially for the use of the car fridge. You do not want to run your starting battery down keeping your beer cold.
Enjoy your new car refrigerator!

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Camping Fridges Refrigerators

Picking your Portable Fridge

When you are in the market for a Portable Fridge, it is well worth your time looking at the Engel product line.
Engel fridge-freezers have been manufactured for well over 40 years, and are popular throughout the world. Engel portable fridges are widely used in the rugged Australian outback, where their solid Japanese engineering serves them well in rough dusty terrain.
Their smallest portable fridge is the 16 quart MT17. This model can fit two dozen cans of the beverage of your choice. It draws 2.5 amps of 12V DC, or 0.9 amps if run on 110V AC.
Middle of their size range is the 40 quart MR040, which can hold five dozen cans of soda or beer. It’s power draw is very similar to that of the MT17, so if you have the room, this model could be a good choice.
The largest Engel portable fridge (although using the word ‘portable’ to describe it is a stretch) is the 84 quart MT80. This Engel car fridge – which can also be used as a freezer – has room for almost ten dozen soda cans. This is sufficient space for food for quite some time. This model can be run on either 12V DC or 24V DC (this option might be good for setting the fridge up to run on Solar Power), or also 110V AC. It draws a rather substantial 4.2 amps.
If you are considering the purchase of an Engel portable fridges, you are unlikely to regret it. They have been used for decades as camping fridges and caravan fridges around the world. They are not cheap, but should last you a long long time and provide many years of good quality service.
If the Engel line of products does not appeal, you do have some other quality manufacturers you can consider.
The recently combined Dometic/Waeco company is another major portable fridge brand. Pioneers in the portable fridge industry, their portable fridges are popular in marine settings among the sailboat cruising set.
Another well known brand that caters to the camping fridge and caravan fridge market is National Luna. The original pedigree of their portable refrigeration products was for transporting vaccines in third world African conditions. Their advertising likes to utilize this to emphasize the toughness of their products.
Whether you choose Engel, Waeco, or National Luna as your portable fridge provider, you should be assured of a decent quality product. Enjoy your purchase, and enjoy the cold drinks!

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Camping Freezers Fridges Refrigerators

12v Fridge

If you are in the market for a 12v fridge for your car or off-road vehicle, there are several points to consider before taking the plunge. I will briefly discuss here some of the more pertinent factors relevant to the purchase of a 12V refrigerator in the hope of making you a more informed buyer.
Compression Or Absorption Technology
The cooling system in nearly all refrigerators utilizes one of two basic technologies: Compression refrigeration or Absorption refrigeration. Each of these systems has its respective advantages and disadvantages for use in a 12 volt cooler.


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The major advantage of an absorption refrigerator is that these devices can potentially be powered using gas. If you are considering a 3 way fridge like those used in a caravan for its flexibility (they can be run off 12v DC, mains or LPG) then they will be an Absorption type fridge, as Compression refrigerators cannot run from gas.

One cheap 12v refrigerator good for those on a budget is the Koolatron KWC-4 Coca-Cola Personal 6-Can Mini Fridge. This highly decorative fridge can conveniently cool half a dozen cans of soda to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit below the ambient air temperature.
However, if you plan to run your 12v fridge freezer off DC all the time, rather than using LPG propane, you should definitely lean towards purchasing a compression refrigerator. This type of unit has several advantages absorption units’ lack.
Firstly, while both technologies can be setup to utilize 12v DC, a compression model will use a lot less power than a comparable absorption. This will make a huge difference when you are parked and have the 12 volt fridge freezer powered from your vehicle. An absorption fridge will draw down the car battery quite rapidly, with a well-chosen low amperage compression fridge it may be possible to leave the unit plugged in several hours with minimal impact to your battery charge state.
In fact, a compression 12v fridge can be so energy efficient is it possible to rig yourself up a setup using solar panels to keep it running indefinitely. Given the price of solar power, the fact that this is considered an option speaks volumes to the efficiency of these 12v refrigerators. Particularly noteworthy for their cooling efficiency are the 12v Danfoss compressor fridges.
A second drawback to absorption units is the issue of leveling your portable fridge. They really need to be maintained very close to level in order to work correctly. If you take your vehicle off-road you may well be deliberately seeking out ‘non-level’ terrain. 12v DC Compressor refrigeration shine under these conditions.
Fridge Or Fridge Freezer
If you want a 12v freezer, you should probably again opt for a compressor unit. Absorption 12 volt fridges can usually cool only a certain number of degrees below the ambient temperature and thus makes for a poor 12 volt freezer. With a properly equipped compressor fridge freezer temperatures are possible.
Choosing A Brand

There are several manufactures of 12v fridges suitable for use in vehicles. Norcold, Waeco and Engel are all well regarded model lines, Engel and Waeco refrigeators in particular have a very good reputation for ruggedness and durability. Engels Engel AC/DC Fridge Freezer – Engel MT45F-U1 is a very well regarded 12v fridge freezer that gets rave reviews. The firm Novakool has a line of 12v marine refrigerators intended for use on a boat.
When shopping around you will notice these 12v compressor fridge models are generally significantly more expensive than a similar 12v absorption model; and you may be tempted to purchase a cheaper 12 volt refrigerator freezer absorption model.
However, when buying a 12 volt cooler a budget model may be more trouble than it is worth.
If you are looking for a true 12v fridge intending to use it solely with a 12 Volt power supply, it is almost certainly worth the extra expense for the compressor type of 12 volt refrigerators.

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Camping Freezers Fridges Refrigerators

Caravan Fridge

For the owner of an RV or Caravan, one of the absolute essentials for comfortable living is to have a Caravan fridge inside your touring vehicle. Without one of these handy small caravan fridges you will be left with no ability to store cold food and drinks, a very undesirable situation!
A caravan fridge is usually a 3 way fridge. This type of refrigerator is popular in all sorts of off-grid settings; including frequently being used as camping fridges. The chief defining factor that makes a 3 way fridge is its ability to run from any of three different sources of power. While a home fridge generally runs off mains power only, and a car fridge might run off 12v DC power only, the caravan fridge is more versatile. These units can not only run off mains electricity, but also can be operated from 12v DC and LPG.
When you are in a location that has mains power available, the best option for powering your appliance is to hook your caravan fridge up to a power outlet. This gets you an unlimited supply of almost free power, and saves you money on Propane.
For those of us who have caravanning adventures take us off the beaten track, odds are there will no shore power readily available. This is the situation where the LPG power option really comes in handy. LPG – Liquefied Petroleum Gas – is a form of bottled gas that can be used to power 3 way fridges. For a caravan fridge this gas will quite frequently be propane. This gas can be readily stored in a small tank on the caravans hitch, and will potentially power a small caravan fridge for a couple of weeks before needing a refill.
Please note, when you are towing your Caravan or RV, you should not leave your caravan refrigerator running off of Propane. This would potentially be very dangerous!  When you are actually on the road with your caravan, you want to utilize the 12v DC power supply. This option draws power from your car battery.
As long as your vehicle is operating the battery is constantly charged, and you can keep your refrigerator cool while driving with no hassle at all. There is one item worth nothing however. If you run your fridge from your cars battery while the vehicles engine is not on, you will quickly drain your starter and potentially find yourself unable to start your vehicle up. For this reason be very careful about when exactly you run the fridge from 12v DC!
You can clearly see the type of cooling flexibility you gain by the addition of a 3 way caravan fridge to your caravanning or RV trips.   When it comes to selecting a quality brand, Dometic caravan fridges and Electrolux caravan fridges are both well regarded. Norcold and Engel fridges are other popular brands. There is no shortage of quality products to pick from your RV or motorhome fridge freezer.
Once you have a caravan fridge installed you will save a significant amount of money. Instead of buying fresh food each day you can buy once, cook a batch, and store leftovers in the refrigerator to be eaten on subsequent days.

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Camping Fridges Refrigerators

3 Way Camping Fridge

For families that love to camp, one of the most useful items of equipment they can own is a 3 way camping fridge. The beauty of a mini portable fridge for camping purposes is that you can cool food and drinks away from home. When that fridge is a three way model, you can power it almost anywhere!
These camp refrigerators are referred to as ‘3 way’ because they run on any of three different power sources. You choose the power according to what is available to your 3 way camping refrigerator at any given time.
The best choice, of course, is to run your fridge off 110V – or whatever your local voltage is -mains power. When shore power is available to power your electronics, it is usually available in unlimited quantities. When running from mains your camping fridge can run non-stop and you will have no concerns about running out of fuel.
For those camping locations where shore power is not available, the next best choice is to run the 3 way fridge on propane. Most 3 way camping fridges are designed to be very efficient when powered by LPG, so a small tank can last you quite some time. Because of this propane camp refrigerators are ideal for extended camping trips in remote locations. Propane fridges are also great if you want a permanent fridge for an off-grid cabin.
The final power source three way camping fridges can utilize is 12V DC. The usual source of this is your vehicles battery. The chief drawback to this means of power is that you can quickly drain your starter battery if you leave the fridge plugged in too long without the engine running. This makes 12V DC refrigeration best suited for use while your vehicle is actually on the road. There are solutions to improve the viability of 12V for your refrigerators – dual battery setups, solar panels – but they do not come cheap.
There can be no doubt that the addition of a 3 way camping fridge freezer can really add a lot of pleasure and enjoyment to your next camping trip or adventure.
These fridges will allow you to maintain chilled food and drinks on just about any camping trip you can imagine, and are a great addition to your camping sites facility list. A lesser camping refrigeration solution does not have 3 way capability will give you fewer options, and may leave you without cooling capabilities in some circumstances.
As discussed, the great flexibly in powering these fridges is what makes them so popular. If you are in the market for a 3 way camping fridge, one of these units is definitely worthy of consideration.

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Camping Freezers Fridges Refrigerators

Norcold Refrigerator For The RV

When considering the purchase of a gas refrigerator for any kind of vehicle a major concern is going to be safety. For this reason is it in your best interest to only consider a trusted Norcold refrigerator when buying your gas fridge.
Thetford Norcold is a well-known manufacturer of electric and gas refrigerators for RVs, the trucking industry and boats.
Below I highlight some of the technology used in Norcold motorhome refrigerators intended for Recreational Vehicle and caravan use.
Many Norcold RV refrigerators utilize a technology called ‘Gas Absorption refrigeration’. The basis of this technology is using heating to cool. This sounds counter intuitive, so here is a brief description of how it works. The cooling cycle is based on the refrigerant Ammonia. Heat from burning gas is used to boil ammonia into a gaseous state. This ammonia then gets absorbed into water, and the chemical process it undergoes during this absorption causes the cooling effect.
If your intended application for recreation vehicle use, the Norcold Gas Marine refrigerators are worth consideration. They are available ranging in sizes from 1.7 to 17 cubic feet. I will touch upon a couple of the more popular models below.
The smallest is the Norcold 323T 1.7 cubic foot gas absorption refrigerator is very popular with owners of smallish RVs or travel trailers. They are known for their ease of installation, reversible doors and a special travel latch that can be engaged while traveling.
At the very top end is the Norcold PolarMaxRF 2117. This unit is really only practical for the very largest of RV’s, the very lengthy ones with several slides. That said this build in fridge is a great unit. It has 17 cubic feet combined of fridge and freezer space. Built in ice-maker, automatic defrost, recessed door handles with travel safe built-in latches and food fences to keep the contents securely in place. Essentially this unit has all the features you might find in a midsized fridge-freeze in a stick house. These are a good choice for RV freezers or RV fridges.
Norcolds N510 and N512 product lines are somewhere between these two extremes. I it has all the essential features needed for RV refrigeration. With 5.5 cubic feet of storage it is a happy compromise between having sufficient space inside, without taking up too much precious space outside.
All of these fridges/freezers have the flexibility of multiple power sources. With the ability to operate them as 3-way fridges, you have the ability to operate them an electric refrigerator from 12v DC or mains power when you lack – or are not comfortable utilizing – propane.
If you are considering the purchase of an RV refrigerator, seriously consider buying a Thetford Norcold refrigerator freezer.

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Camping Fridges Refrigerators

3 Way Fridge — Versatile Cooling

The 3 way fridge is one of the most popular choices for use as a camping refrigerator.
So exactly what is a 3 way refrigerator? The ‘3 Way’ in the title relates to the 3 different power sources these small portable fridge freezers can operate on. Usually they can be powered by any of the following: 12V direct current, mains power alternating current and LPG gas.
3 Way Fridges can be powered using 12V DC, such as that found within a car battery. As when powering a car fridge, limited battery life is a drawback. If you operate the 3 way refrigerator too long without the car running, you can run down your starter battery leaving you stranded.
A regular power outlet, or mains power option, for powering a 3 way camping fridge is very useful. This is the same power source a standard in house refrigerator uses. By liberating the operator from the restrictions of their car battery, they can run the fridge full time. Of course, the related drawback is that mains power is not always available everywhere you might want to run your 3 way refrigerator.
The third power option is the use of LPG gas. Generally propane – but sometimes butane – is used. Having this final power source available lets a three way fridge owner fill in the gaps when electricity to power the refrigerator is not available. Running the camping fridge off gas does, of course, require that the owner keep a supply of gas on hand.
The key to the popularity of the 3 way camp fridges is their versatility. With the three means of powering them that are available, the owner will always have an option to keep the fridge freezer running anywhere. This flexibility is what distinguishes them from their chief competition, the 12v fridge freezer.
For a cookout in the backyard the fridge can be plugged into the mains power. On a road trip, the owner can have a supply of cold drinks available by running the fridge from the car battery. Finally, when camping in a remote destination – like one might find on a 4WD off road trip – the propane option can be used to power your 3 way fridge freezer.
Probably the best known manufacturer of 3 way camping fridges is Dometic; so if these devices sound like something you might want to buy, you might start with their model line. Another well known manufacturer is Waeco refrigeration – a subsidiary of Dometic. Also worth considering are Norcold and Engel.
If you are looking to buy a portable mini fridge, and want to ensure your fridge can be used in as many location as possible, you should definitely consider the purchase of a 3 way fridge.

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Camping Fridges Refrigerators

Choosing a Camping Fridge Freezer

The addition of a camping fridge to your outdoor gear is a great idea. Many of us have dealt with the hassles of a cooler, and dirty melting ice. A portable camping fridge freezer can eliminate many of the problems a cooler poses.
When shopping for a camping fridge there are several essential items to consider.
How much fridge is too much fridge?
Do not buy more fridge than you need. Camping fridges rapidly become bulky and a pain to move around as their volume increases. If a smaller model can serve your needs, buy the smaller refrigerator. A smaller camping refrigerator will also use less power, and keep your food and drinks colder. Make sure you have room in your camping vehicle for whichever fridge you choose.
What power source?
How much power does the fridge freezer you are looking at use? While it is possible to find camping refrigerators that run from the grid using mains power, most camping fridges will use 12v DC (from a car battery) as their power source. You do need to be conscious of your camp fridge power source; if your car fridge is a power hog, you will run down your battery too fast. If this happens you potentially will have a cold beer, and a flat battery. On the plus side there’s no chance you will drink and drive!
Do I need an extra power source?
If your camping fridge is going to run 12V DC, you should carefully consider options other than running it from your cars starter battery. One popular option is to install a second car battery in your vehicle. This provides you a deeper reservoir of amperage, which can be used not only to power your fridge, but to power other non-vehicle electronics such as a laptop. Battery kits are available that include an auxiliary switch so you can ensure that electronics only run from the second battery, thus ensuring your starter battery is always fully charged and ready for its primary use – starting your vehicle.
Is this a quality fridge?
Be sure to research the quality of a camping fridge, and not just the price. A portable refrigerator can experience all sorts of bumps and rattles when you are camping. Therefore you need to purchase a fridge that is able to take rough treatment without breaking. There are many ‘bargain’ camping fridges out there that will just end up costing you money. A couple of the most respected companies to manufacture camping fridge freezers are ARB and Engel, both of which are worthy of your consideration. Spend the little extra and purchase the recognized brand. As the saying goes: ‘When you buy quality, you only cry once’.