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Old 09-03-2014, 13:11   #1
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Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

Our built-in refrigeration (Frigoboat) has died after three years. I am not inclined to replace it but go with a portable chest-type.

I like the Engle MT80 with the swing compressor. It has low power requirements and a 2-year warranty, but I don't know anyone with practical experience.

The ARB 82 quart box is $400 less and carries a 3-year warranty. Don't know what compressor it uses, but probably a Danfoss B50. It's power draw is approximately the same as the Engle. Again I don't know of anyone's practical experience.

Is the Engle really worth the $ difference?
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Old 09-03-2014, 18:00   #2
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

I can't comment on the ARB because I haven't seen one of them in action, but I can tell you that we love our Engle Unit! Sure that may be Heresy for a maker of refrigeration systems to say...but it's true!

Here is a link to a discussion about them on the SSCA chat room and while they are efficient, some of that efficiency comes due to their box small size rather than anything special about the swing compressor. There is a discussion of Engle power usage on the SSCA thread, so rather than just repeat it...take a look:

SSCA Forum • View topic - engel refrigerator

What we love about it isn't really the efficiency, but the ability to add it to your boat in 15 minutes and GO with a freezer rather than a huge boat project. When we cruised Mexico they were as popular as a Honda 2000 generator a quick and easy solution for a problem.
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Old 04-10-2014, 15:52   #3
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

We went with WAECO, but same thing... Turned the built in fridge into a food locker and put the WAECO in. One of the best mods ever. Very reliable.


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Old 04-10-2014, 16:06   #4
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

Engel has been amazing for the last three years we been on the water

I would replace the big box by one when it die
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Old 04-10-2014, 16:27   #5
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

I had an Engle on my previous boat; can't recall which size, maybe 35 quarts, but it was large and cost around $600. It was a great machine. We also had a frig, so I used the Engle for a freezer. Kept ice cream solid in the Chesapeake Bay all summer.

It went bad on me after six years, so I called the company's tech support. They walked me through a troubleshooting process that identified the evaporator as the culprit. The technician had me order it, and when it arrived I called him and he talked me through installing it. Worked fine. I was really impressed with the company at that point.

It would run on 12V or 110V, so I could connect it to the 110V outlet in the bed of my pickup when provisioning the boat in the spring or emptying things out in the fall. Otherwise it stayed on the boat, as it was really too large to carry up and down the companionway.

A great product with excellent tech support.
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Old 04-10-2014, 17:11   #6
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

I own an Engel and it has been great ... however, I have friends that have ARB products and they have run great .. they both do the same so you cannot make a wrong decision on either product.

Best regards,

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Old 04-10-2014, 17:40   #7
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

ARB's use to be rebadged Engels, I am not sure if that's still true.
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Old 04-10-2014, 18:35   #8
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

ARBs are a whole new product. They took the Engle idea and improved it.
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Old 04-10-2014, 19:04   #9
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

ARB blue, Engel grey


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Old 04-10-2014, 20:03   #10
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

Engel


ARB


Norcold
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:35   #11
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

Here is their current USA model:

http://store.arbusa.com/Fridges-C11.aspx
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Old 05-10-2014, 04:47   #12
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, rbjenterprises.

Are you affiliated with ARB?
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Old 05-10-2014, 05:59   #13
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

No just a carpenter with a Catalina 30. I have the ARB and have been using it heavily all summer. It works great.
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:58   #14
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

I pulled out our Adler barbour super cold machine after the second $300 module went out. We have a Norcold MRFT 80 (rebadged Engel MT 80) that has been going strong for a few years and we just recently bought a Waeco/Dometic CF-110. These things are great imho I have no plans of going back to a built in unit.
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Old 28-04-2015, 07:21   #15
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Re: Engle vs ARB 12v fridge/freezers

I've been looking at all the various specs. I'm constrained to a spot on the boat that will allow a fridge/freezer, but the maximum length I can fit is 22.5 inches. So after looking at Engel, ARB, Dometic, Norcold, etcc. etc. I have settled on the Engel MT27 as the largest capacity fridge/freezer that will fit in a 22 inch deep space. Without the handles. So we have to settle for a smaller one than we would buy if we could find one that fit.

My question for the Engel people here, does anyone know the diff between their model MT27 and the MT27F-U1?
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