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Old 30-07-2018, 15:58   #1
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Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

Hello

I am considering buying a portable ac/dc refrigerator/freezer and would like to hear any recommendations for like a 40qt unit

Thanks,
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Old 30-07-2018, 19:11   #2
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Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

Everyone raves on an Engel, and based on that I have one.
However Iím not convinced itís actually all that much better than others, the swing compressor isnít an Engineering marvel, yes itís interesting, but I donít think itís super efficient or any of the other claims, just another way to skin a cat.
However it due to its operating principle, vibrates. There is no doubt when itís on, Iím watching TV and know itís on, I can hear it over the TV.
My Cool Blue which uses a Secop BD80 however except for the fan is completely silent with no vibration, you have to put your hand on the compressor to see if itís on, you can feel barely a vibration that way.
The Engel has a knob for temp control, and no temp display, something for the money it cost I think you should be able to set a temp and it display current temp, not just turn a knob. I live with it cause I run it wide open using it as a freezer. It sweats showing that itís insulation is not as good as it could be, but if the insulation was better, Iím sure the box would have to be bigger to keep it a 40 gt interior, so itís a good compromise.
It will however get to and hold -5 F so it does what it is supposed to.

Itís AC and DC powered, comes with a cigarette lighter plug, which I cut off and wired direct, cigarette lighter plugs can come loose and you find out after all your food is defrosted.
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Old 30-07-2018, 19:29   #3
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Re: Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Everyone raves on an Engel, and based on that I have one.
However I’m not convinced it’s actually all that much better than others, the swing compressor isn’t an Engineering marvel, yes it’s interesting, but I don’t think it’s super efficient or any of the other claims, just another way to skin a cat.

It's not about efficiency but about reliability. Our 1978 boat came with a factory-installed 14L Engel fridge that still works fine in 2018, now on a liveaboard boat in the tropics. We just recently sold it to a friend with a smaller boat because we wanted to have more fridge storage.



40+ years seems like a pretty good lifetime for a fridge to me
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Old 30-07-2018, 19:32   #4
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Re: Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

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Hello

I am considering buying a portable ac/dc refrigerator/freezer and would like to hear any recommendations for like a 40qt unit

Thanks,
I have had good results with Waeco, they are available in a variety of sizes.
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Old 30-07-2018, 19:32   #5
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Re: Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

Yes Engel is noisier than others, but fantastic rep for longevity based on outback 4x4 abuse. Norcold same swing compressor?

Compressors are just one component, I believe pretty universally robust, Danfoss / Secop set a great precedent. General build quality is more important, especially the electronics are a common point of failure / expense after warrantee.

ARB well respected.

Indel B (isotherm, truckfridge, vitrifrigo) also good.

Dometic / Waeco is the 800-lb gorilla, quality varies widely depending on model and where made.

But if price or a certain feature is important, the category is in general very competitive wrt quality.
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Old 31-07-2018, 01:15   #6
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Re: Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

Check out National Luna.
Probably the best available but youíll pay top dollar.
I have the 55litre model with the 60mm insulation.
Very happy with the performance.
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Old 31-07-2018, 04:39   #7
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Re: Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

I was considering doing the engel drop in as an upgrade for a permanent unit for the boat but its $1000 and a project, and I was also thinking a portable unit might be better because I could use it on and off the boat.

If I install the permanent unit I will go with the engel MB40 that is mentioned in the Hunter mod upgrade and for its reliability

This link is the upgrade for my boat from the standard under counter cooler to the freezer
Hunter 33 Owner Modifications and Upgrades
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Old 31-07-2018, 05:06   #8
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Re: Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

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I was considering doing the engel drop in as an upgrade for a permanent unit for the boat but its $1000 and a project, and I was also thinking a portable unit might be better because I could use it on and off the boat.

If I install the permanent unit I will go with the engel MB40 that is mentioned in the Hunter mod upgrade and for its reliability

This link is the upgrade for my boat from the standard under counter cooler to the freezer
Hunter 33 Owner Modifications and Upgrades
I have the MB40 and it's a great little fridge/freezer.

My Engel is absolutely silent. I wonder if only the portable models have this problem with noise. I have to put my hand on the compressor to see if it's on - it's that silent. Since the portable models use the same compressor, I would imagine the noise comes from somewhere else (maybe the box itself).

I think the Engel is a good solution for boat refigeration if you don't have the inclination to build a proper box and install a fridge compressor kit. I also like the fact that it can be replaced easily should it give up the ghost one day. Just pull out the old one and drop the new one in. I bought the Engel based on the very positive reviews about longevity and energy efficiency.
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Old 31-07-2018, 05:15   #9
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Re: Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

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Check out National Luna.
yes great rep for build quality.

Do you know if made by Dometic? Or which compressor?
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Old 31-07-2018, 17:17   #10
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Re: Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

They use the danfoss/secop BD135 and implement variable speed control for the compressor to optimize the power consumption.
The thicker insulation makes a huge difference the downside is it takes up more space, but you dont need to buy the optional insulating cover as offered with other brands.
Theyíre designed and manufactured in South Africa but I donít know if dometic are part of it.
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Old 31-07-2018, 17:33   #11
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Re: Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

Sorry, typo. BD135 should read BD35f.
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Old 31-07-2018, 18:08   #12
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Re: Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

I have a 35 qt Engel. Works as advertised. Not cheap but reliable. Not the lightest thing either owing to the compressor and insulation weight, but it works and works. AC/DC. Handles at both ends for carrying.
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Old 31-07-2018, 18:36   #13
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Refrigerator/Freezer Recommendations??

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40+ years seems like a pretty good lifetime for a fridge to me


40 years is about twice what an average quality compressor lasts.
I assume it wasnít in constant use for 40 years?
I grew up being told to always buy the 40 yr roof, cause they last the longest, but not 40 years.
Then it hit me the other day, I have no need for a 40 yr anything, itís unlikely, very unlikely that I will be around to care.
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