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Old 09-10-2016, 12:38   #1
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Portable refrigerator?

I am considering a portable 12v/110v refrigerator in lieu of converting my ice box to refrigerator. My boat: 1974 Cal Cruising 35. Great boat but the ice box has 3/4 inch styrofoam taped around the outside. To properly insulate the box is a MAJOR operation: tear out existing cabinetry, etc. Instead I am looking at the Engel 40 quart 12/110 volt at $849 and the Whynter 45 quart at $476. BIG discrepancy in price. They both have 4 1/2 and 5 star ratings from customer reviewers on Amazon. Does anyone have experience with these units, particularly the Whynter?https://www.amazon.com/Whynter-FM-45...t+refrigerator
Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:55   #2
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

We have an Engel. Works great for us. Biggest problem is that it WILL freeze the beer if not careful! Easy to bump the dial. Anything over 2 (scale goes to 5) freezes.
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Old 09-10-2016, 13:27   #3
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

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Originally Posted by jamhass View Post
Easy to bump the dial. Anything over 2 (scale goes to 5) freezes.
That is the the only problem we have with the Engel. Why cannot they have a more positive switching dial, or better a digital thermostat. They already cost a fortune - how much more would it cost to add a digital display and push buttons?

For the OP, you would be amazed at how much cooling you can get just by gluing some pink wallboard insulation inside.
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Old 09-10-2016, 14:58   #4
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

We've got a small Dometic 12/24v portable reefer. It has as a low voltage cutoff and a thermostat you set by degree. Goes all the way to zero F and if stocked full (with prefrozen foods) will fall to under 20 degrees in about an hour. Works well so far (we've had it for about a year and use it regularly).

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Old 09-10-2016, 15:14   #5
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

We have an Engel. It has been our only refrigerator for 5+ years. I am generally happy with it, but I would not buy another one because there are a bunch of small things that annoy me about the Engel. I think some of their competitors make a better product. Have not heard anything about Whynter.
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Old 09-10-2016, 15:42   #6
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
We have an Engel. It has been our only refrigerator for 5+ years. I am generally happy with it, but I would not buy another one because there are a bunch of small things that annoy me about the Engel. I think some of their competitors make a better product. Have not heard anything about Whynter.
Which competitors do you like more?

We have an Engel and are happy with it, but now that you guys mention it, the temperature dial is finnicky. We have had a lot of beer slushies.
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Old 09-10-2016, 16:38   #7
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

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Which competitors do you like more?

We have an Engel and are happy with it, but now that you guys mention it, the temperature dial is finnicky. We have had a lot of beer slushies.
Our Engel recently stopped working, so I have been researching this quite a bit. I am still hoping to fix it, but if not I will probably buy an ARB.

It addresses most all of what I don't like about the Engel:

- temperature control moves of its own accord
- no built-in thermometer, so I don't know what the internal temp is
- the gap between the wall and the cooling unit is almost impossible to clean
- the lid falls off regularly and is not the easiest thing to get back on
- one big basket is less than ideal for organization

Fridges
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Old 09-10-2016, 16:56   #8
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Portable refrigerator?

I'll likely buy a Whynter myself. Likely will use more power than an Engle, but I bet not much and I can't get over the price of an Engel and I would want a digital temp display. If it's junk I'll take it back to Home Depot which sells them at a great price and has an excellent return policy.
I have done quite a bit of researching and the off grid guys have had good luck and like them, but seemingly the Marine crowd worships the Engle, but when you talk to the owners, problems come up, noise is a seemingly recurring complaint, and I don't want the thing if it's loud.
I've posted here twice trying to get opinions on the Whynter, and both times, nothing.
I am having a heck of a time getting used to my CPAP. I don't hear it at home, but in an anchorage, the boat is quiet, very, very quiet and the CPAP isn't. So unless something is very quiet, like a dorm fridge, I don't want it.


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Old 09-10-2016, 17:57   #9
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
seemingly the Marine crowd worships the Engle, but when you talk to the owners, problems come up, noise is a seemingly recurring complaint
I recall only ONE poster recently complaining about the noise of his Engel. Show me at least three posters and I'll buy you a beer. Granted I didn't bother to even search.
My 30 year Engel is so quiet I can not hear it running. I must put my hand on the frame to have an idea.
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Old 09-10-2016, 18:07   #10
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

sailorchic34 loves her dorm fridge, 120V on a small inverter. You can find it by searching.

This is such a recurring topic, there oughta be a separate tab for fridges!!!
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Old 13-10-2016, 11:49   #11
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

I have the engel dual fridge/freezer and love it. Uses very little power, digital thermometer, takes a beating
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Old 13-10-2016, 11:57   #12
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikFinn View Post
I recall only ONE poster recently complaining about the noise of his Engel. Show me at least three posters and I'll buy you a beer. Granted I didn't bother to even search.
My 30 year Engel is so quiet I can not hear it running. I must put my hand on the frame to have an idea.
I've talked, personally to a couple of people that have said they have to put it in the other end of the boat and can still hear it when it runs.
Now I think they were newish Engels too, maybe the plastic ones, I didn't ask.
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Old 13-10-2016, 13:38   #13
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

We can hear our plastic Engel SB70F running. It doesn't bother me, it's as loud as a normal boat fridge and runs maybe ten minutes an hour.
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Old 13-10-2016, 20:30   #14
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

I had an ARB which gave me years of continuous daily service. Sold it with the boat. It's 12v or 110ac. Very low draw and very cold.
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Old 13-10-2016, 21:23   #15
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Re: Portable refrigerator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I am having a heck of a time getting used to my CPAP. I don't hear it at home, but in an anchorage, the boat is quiet, very, very quiet and the CPAP isn't. So unless something is very quiet, like a dorm fridge, I don't want it.

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Sorry for the thread drift but since we're on the subject of noise. ))

What CPAP machine are you using? Or could be the wrong mask or the wrong fit. There should be no noise whatsoever if the mask is a proepr fit for your face contour. Not even a hiss. I've been using ResMed models, different ones at home and on the boat, for 5 years and have no noise issues after I went through a few masks to find the one which fits me perfectly noise wise. And I'm a light sleeper on the boat and at night will hear people's phones chirping a few moorings away. For me it's the clanging of the rigging that makes life unbearable sometimes.

PS Sometimes when awake I'm thinking the thing is off because I don't feel any air moving nor any noise. And have to lift the mask to hear the "whoosh" and feel the air. That's what I call a perfect fit. ))
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