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Old 29-08-2012, 10:24   #31
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

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I had a Waeco CF50 in the tropics for a while and was happy about every aspect of its operation but one. The lids on most of the models are too thin. When set on freeze mine was always cold and wet meaning that the insulation wasn't doing its job. I would recommend that anyone buying a Waeco avoid the 40, 50 and 60 and get a 35, 80 or 110. All have better and thicker lids.

If you want your Waeco to be a drinks cooler then don't bother. Any CF model will be just fine in that role.

If you just want a portable frezer take a look at the Isotherm series which has better insulation. Indel Webasto Marine - Isotherm Travel Boxes - Light and Compact Design for Outdoor Conditions

If you are starting with room temperature food it is important to realise that 12v won't freeze it. You must freeze everythng in the box before leaving the dock by running it on shore power overnight.

Ill agree with you on the thin lids but my CF-40 makes icecubes and freezes meat just fine off 12V, faster than overnight too. Will probably get the insulating cover then add so foam to the top. Also I just looked at the Indel Webasto units in your link and the 41 is identical to my CF-40.
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Old 29-08-2012, 10:56   #32
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

Looking at reviews on the Edgestar, there are lots of bad ones. Most are early failures and problems with customer service. It seems that most have to pay about $100.00 to ship back for repairs. I'm not sure I would purchase one of these. Chuck
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Old 29-08-2012, 11:04   #33
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

All my Waeco CF50 would do off 12v on a 90f day was freeze the bottom half leaving everything in the top half cold but soft. I always had to use 110 for one day to start with and then it kept everything frozen off 12v after that.

The lid was cold and wet the whole time.
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Old 29-08-2012, 11:23   #34
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

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Looking at reviews on the Edgestar, there are lots of bad ones. Most are early failures and problems with customer service. It seems that most have to pay about $100.00 to ship back for repairs. I'm not sure I would purchase one of these. Chuck
Chuck I saw a few of those reviews and have often found that only people who have problems go to the trouble of posting a review. Not saying I would get the Edgestar myself but there was at least one fellow on the forum here who raved about his. My research led me to conclude that the edgestar was the cheapest but least efficient with the engel being the most expensive but most efficient. I chose the Waeco as it was in the middle.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:31   #35
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

Yes, I realize this is a year old thread...but hey, at least it proves I AM using the search function before inflicting my inane newbie questions on anyone.

This 28 year old boat we bought last year came with a "5 cu. ft." freezer, made by Rich Beers in Ft. Lauderdale. I am assuming that this custom installation is probably at least 20 years old. It has a heavy, kick butt 12 vdc compressor on a 30 minute timer that gets the freezer way cold real fast. Then there is a completely separate little compressor that is supposed to keep it cold. We've been having issues since the lightning strike. Mainly, I found that the power leads to the small compressor seem to be shorted, so for now I have disabled that. We're not cruising at the moment but I would have to get into fixing this fridge before we do. Without going into too many whiney details, I really don't like the entire setup that much from a logistics point of view. The compressors are below, and restrict access to one of my engines, its all old and beat up. Lots of components are rusty and looking 20 years old. Controls and wiring are all over that side of the boat. The insulation for the freezer and fridge boxes is not all that great, blah blah blah.

Instead of putting more money into a 20 year old system, I am thinking of just removing it all from the boat and replacing it with two Engels 84 quart drop ins. Using one for a freezer, and the other for a fridge, with 100% backup. I don't have the power specs for the system already in the boat, but I have to believe that newer technology must have been an improvement over this old custom installation, with support from Ft. Lauderdale but nowhere else in the world.

Can anyone think of any drawbacks to this approach? I was thinking two of the engels, installed side by side in a drop-in countertop, with the attached compressors underneath them. This would free up a lot of space in my engine room, put all the refrigeration equipment in one location, and they would be easy to lift out for repair, replacement, etc.

If we were in the US or someplace where meat and frozen goods were available, we could use both Engels as freezers and live out of a portable cooler ( with plenty of ice) until we smuggled all that frozen meat home. Lots of flexibility with two identical Engels.

Thoughts on why this is, or is not, a good idea?
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:01   #36
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

Refrigeration is my trade.
I put a Whynter 63 qt from Amazon with a three year warranty for a little over $500. Amazon will send a ups pickup anywhere, and will deliver anywhere they are asked to. Yes it has the Chinese knockoff of the Danfoss bd35/50, but so what, with the warranty its a non issue. That's my .02.

Oh, Canibul, I think that's an excellent idea, although I would go with two Amazon bought units. You can't beat their customer service.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:20   #37
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

I just came off the engels site and realized that their largest "drop-in" seems to be 40 qt. and they don't have an 80 qt. in that configuration. I'm not looking for portable, just reliability and ease of access.

So I'll go tramping through the internet looking for larger drop-in 12vdc freezers....

and I deal with Amazon a LOT. We get FedEx, UPS and DHL deliveries here, so as long as we stay completely away from ANY postal service, we can usually get parts in three days.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:49   #38
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

How about something like this: Solar Powered Appliances - Steca PF166
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:01   #39
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

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How about something like this: Solar Powered Appliances - Steca PF166
That is impressive. I need to refigure where I could fit it, but I have the space. Would still need to have a fridge in addition to the freezer, but that's probably workable. One thing we did get with this boat is plenty of space for stuff.

I do like German engineering. And I'm willing to pay for quality. Haven't seen where it's manufactured yet, though. The best engineered unit on earth can have some serious issues if it was assembled by poorly paid, unskilled personnel.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:42   #40
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

Cost is usually an issue for me. Some of the things I would consider include calculating the R factors of your current insulation and compare it to that of a replacement. There is a point where the gains of additional insulation will gain little. All of these topics are discussed here in the forums.

Another factor that I would consider concerns the type of refrigerant in your current system. If it is R134a that in itself would encourage me to repair/rebuild it rather than taking on a major renovation and its cost. Refrigeration principles of thermodynamics are well understood and have been for decades so I would not hang my decision on German engineering.

Final comment--- other than the introduction of modern electronics for refrigeration controls, I doubt there are significant differences between today's refrigeration technology and that of yesteryear.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:30   #41
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

All good points. And I understand what you're saying. This was probably a great system back a few years. I'm not a refrigeration guy, so I'm not really clued in as to what kind of foam they used for insulation back in the 80's. Nor do I have a clue what kind of refrigerant it needs. there are no manuals. This installation takes up a lot of space in the living quarters, and in the engine room. There are tubes and power lines and valves and hoses running all over about a quarter of the boat to operate this thing. It's ugly. Hunks of rusty metal and greasy cables. No way to drain it, and icing up is a constant hassle. I have to defrost it and clean the water out with a sponge. Looks like something from a hunting camp. It's caused us some problems. And continues to cause problems. I can see a number of components that look ready to fail, to me. I don't have a manual for it, and the previous owner modified it, and basically everything he touched is tainted with cheap chinese components and low quality parts. There is a hole drilled into the side of the thermostat, with wires running to switches and lights that don't seem to do anything, yet they're hooked in. The quality of those mods reminds me of a seventh grade science project. Wires twisted together, with no insulation, inside metal boxes. That kind of thing.

I'd like to rip it out and replace it with something from this century, I think. We're totally not into the "must preserve old boat ambiance" at all. We're gutting it, essentially, and replacing everything we don't like.

I think I have a better chance getting quality products from German firms than I do buying parts made in China to try to repair this one. I don't mean to offend anyone, and I absolutely LOVE Chinese food and I wish them well in their space program, but if I had my way I'd never buy another piece of their version of American consumer hardware.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:58   #42
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

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Yes it has the Chinese knockoff of the Danfoss bd35/50, but so what, with the warranty its a non issue. That's my .02. .
The Danfoss BD35/50 are MADE IN CHINA...so all the easier for them to knock them off....


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How about something like this: Solar Powered Appliances - Steca PF166
12v Solar Refrigerators and Freezers for Off the Grid Living

Simular product but less expensive.
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Old 09-12-2013, 13:03   #43
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

Anybody know where I can get an ENGEL worked on in east Florida?
Mine is cycling on too long, probably needs some refrigerant or perhaps a new thermostat. I've tried a lot of refrigerator repair shops, including "marine" ones, and also some rv dealers. No joy.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:46   #44
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

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Anybody know where I can get an ENGEL worked on in east Florida?
Mine is cycling on too long, probably needs some refrigerant or perhaps a new thermostat. I've tried a lot of refrigerator repair shops, including "marine" ones, and also some rv dealers. No joy.
Doubt a thermostat, they reach a temp and shut off, don't help it get there.and a unit will only need refrigerant if it has a leak.
Sounds like coils need cleaned, be it air or water.
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Old 18-08-2015, 11:52   #45
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Re: Evaluating 12v Portable Freezer Options

Just a quick update. The Dometic unit we fit in Spring of 2012 has not missed a beat. Been running 24/7/365 onboard in the caribbean. Very efficient, consuming maybe 25ah per day set at 12F. Keeps ice cream and everything else frozen well. Only slight complaint would be the accessory cover we bought as the zipper has failed but seriously we are in and out of this thing daily with a family of 4 live abaoard.
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