I have both a traditional top load ice box and just a regular under-counter fridge like you buy at Walmart or Lowes.
We put a cold plate from West Marine
, can't remember the brand, in the ice box and it works great. It is AC/DC and simple to install.
I would almost say build a top loader box and use the cold plate. It holds a lot more than a front loader because you can cram it full and nothing falls out when you open it. It is also very efficient, drawing relatively little electricity. The top load also loses less cold air when you open it, thus adding to the efficiency.
One drawback is that if the beer
is at the bottom, you have to dig through all the lunchmeat and other stuff to get to it about 12-24 times a day. (Depending on consumption
Another drawback is that if your wife is short, (as mine is) you have to get out anything she needs that is not on the top because she will say
she can't reach it.
The only real issue we have with the ice box is that it butts up against a bulkhead between the galley
and the sailors berth and causes condensation
on the bulkhead, which gets on one of the cushions
. I'm going to address that problem by moving the cold plate to the opposite side, away from the bulkhead. Hopefully, that works since there is no space between the box and bulkhead to add more insulation