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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!

Categories
Camping Freezers Fridges Refrigerators

Engel Fridge Freezer

Without a doubt, an Engel fridge freezer is one of the greatest 12v car fridges available. Anyone who has ever done any research into 12v fridges know that Waeco fridges, Norcold fridges and Dometic refrigerators are all good units;  but many car fridge owners swear by their Engel Fridges. So what is it that makes them so popular?
Non Engel car fridges can be obtained very cheaply. Portable refrigerators utilizing thermoelectric refrigeration can be had for fewer than one hundred dollars. However these devices are very inefficient. They draw a wasteful 5 amps of power but do not cool well; generally being able to cool only a limited amount below external ambient temperatures. This type of refrigerator is very poorly suited for use in a car, where inside temperatures can get very high, and available power is limited by the vehicles battery size.
Better car fridges use compressor technology, which use a lot less electricity and are a lot better at cooling than absorption. Any car fridge that you purchase should be a compressor model. This technology is key to the excellent operation of the Engel freezer compartments.
While there are several manufacturers of 12v compressor car fridges, Engel fridge freezers stand out from the crowd.   Engel is powered by the renowned Sawafuji Swing Motor compressor technology which has several advantages over the competitors. Many car fridges are made with other types of compressors – such as the Danfoss style – which while better than absorption models, do have some limitations.
Engel compressors have less moving parts than their reciprocating counterparts. They are specifically designed to handle the vibrations and shock that car fridges are subject to in rugged applications such as 4×4 off-roading.

The Engel AC/DC Fridge Freezer – Engel MT45F-U1 is probably the most popular car fridge freezer in Engels’ lineup. It draws only 2.5 Amps and provides a generous capacity of 43 quarts for this lower power usage. Another plus is that its shape makes it a very efficent footprint for placing in the back of many trucks.
Another great feature is that the startup surge for an Engel refrigerator is a lot lower than for a reciprocating compressor. This can avoid the need to customize your vehicles electrical system for your fridge – a potentially costly endeavor.

When you purchase an Engel fridge you also have the choice of some great accessories. One of these is the Engel Transit Bag for MT45 – Engel TBAG45G to help protect your refrigerator from the daily abuses of dust and bumps inherent to many forms of off-road travel. Even more importantly the transit bags inner layer of insulation reflects a lot of external heat back where it came from, thus reducing the workload of the fridge. While at first glance this bag may appear to restrict access to the fridge, it is still easily accessed simply by unzipping the cover.

A great accessory when it comes to mounting your car fridge is an Engel Transit Slide Lock for MT35/45 – Engel TSL530/540. By mounting your fridge on one of these easy sand resistant slides, you can have easy access to your fridge without having to clamber into the interior of your truck every time you want to grab something; you back is sure to thank you for the purchase of one of these items.
While reciprocating compressors are energy efficient, the compressors Engel uses are even more so. Engel fridges are known to draw only about half the power of similar Waeco units. They are also able to cool much more effectively, being able to provide a very deep freeze.
With all these great features, Engels refrigerators should be high the list for anyone purchasing a 12v DC car fridge for their vehicle. It is rare to find an Engel fridge for sale, so you may pay a little more for their models than you would for some of their competition, but you will be able to rest assured that you have a vehicle designed for the toughest conditions.
Used from the Australian Outback, to African Safaris; an Engel fridge freezer is sure to be able to handle everything you throw at it.

Categories
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.