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Old 08-01-2019, 02:24   #16
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

+1 for Engel. Low energy consumption, tough and reliable. I think the extra few hundred dollars for an Engel is worth it in the long run as they seem to last forever.
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Old 08-01-2019, 07:49   #17
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

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Originally Posted by TassieBloke View Post
One thing that I found annoying was due to being a single zone, so either a fridge or freezer, I sorta forgot that when I bought it. There are now dual zone Engels
Buy two, max flexibility
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:03   #18
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

We took a look and thought the capacity was not worth the space they took up - we looked at engel. We have been out 12 years as full time liveaboards and we had our Frigaboat condenser really enlarged in Colombia without changing the compressor and saw no need to added capacity. We continue to look but always come to the same conclusion - to little space for the bulk of the unit and where would we store it?
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:18   #19
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Portable refrigerator freezer

Our Engle sits in the spare head floor, washing machine on top of the head itself.
Ours is used as a freezer, our fridge is huge and is half freezer, Engleís purpose is to take 6 months of quality frozen steaks etc to the Bahamas etc so you donít have to buy overpriced, lower quality meat.
Swing compressor is neat, but not more efficient than a recip compressor, efficiency comes from insulation. Engel is OK, but when we put the trash can on top of it, it sweats, indicating of course not great insulation, and mold grows under it, again indicating not great insulation.

From an efficiency standpoint, my Cool Blue conversion is more efficient when you take box size into consideration, though of course the bigger the box, the more efficient as the interior size increases more than the exterior space does.

Itís very humid this morning with occasional drizzling rain, and you can see the condensation on the Engel.
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They are likely the best portable, but a built in if done correctly may be better, more efficient etc. but cost more and can be way more trouble to service / replace.
Great thing about an Engle is the same as a Honda generator, X amount of money and just get a new one, built in is xxx amount of money and likely a lot of work.
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:31   #20
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

I absoulely would NOT carry a Dometic in the cockpit. The circuit board is not protected from a heavy salt spray. I kept mine inside the boat, but under the cockpit ladder, and a drop of salt water still found the circuit board. I had to run it in manual for a long time (almost two years; Dometic customer service was not helpful) until I found a replacement board. I still have it and use it a lot, but only in the protected interior of the v-berth.
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Old 10-01-2019, 17:42   #21
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

I did some research before I bought and Engle and ARB came up as sturdy dependable units. I ended up with a 60 qt ARB and it has been excellent. Runs on 120 AC or 12v DC and will freeze ice cream rock hard. I bought it because I caught it on sale for $600.00, typically over $1000.00. I keep it in the cockpit, being in fresh water thereís been no issues. If running on 12v DC it has a user setting to shut off at a selected voltage. Only complaint is itís size and weight makes it awkward for one person to move around.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:42   #22
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

Bought two Waeco's whilst in Australia when we went on our 'half-loop' (4 month trip across the center and over the top end), a 80L and 50L (CFX). The small one was our freezer the 80L as our fridge installed in the camper trailer. They are now 4 and 5 years old and I'm still blowing out red dust now and then. I had to re-solder the 12vdc power of the 80L is all. They are both still working and used them as additional freezer/fridge space when moving our current boat up the USA west coast. Haven't had any issues other than the previous mentioned repair. In the warmer months here I use the 50L daily.

With that said, I think I'd replace them with an Engel when the time comes. We have a reasonably large freezer/fridge on our current boat that I'm upgrading and expanding our permanent freezer space has been given a lot of thought. We've decided to just use portable units when needed as they can be used while camping too.
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Old 16-01-2019, 15:40   #23
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

I would put National Luna pretty high on the list along with Engel.
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Old 25-06-2019, 22:33   #24
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

Wow, only one mention for SnoMaster. Engle seems to have a lot of fans in this thread.

I just watched (skimmed through) this review between Engle, SnoMaster, Waeco, and ARB.



It's multi-part and quite long. I'll spare you the details and say their results show the Engle is quite good, and the SnoMaster does some good power management. The ARB does a fine job, and the Waeco seems to be the least favorable but still gets the job done.

I believe I'm leaning toward a SnoMaster, probably the biggest they make, use it as our freezer, and convert our built-in freezer back to a fridge.

It could be a bench seat in the salon or the cockpit.
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Old 28-06-2019, 22:11   #25
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

We used an Engel that we borrowed from a friend on 12v as a backup refrigerator- it was outside on the aft deck under a standard Engel padded insulated cover and also a weatherproof (salt water proof) cover which worked OK.

We left New Zealand bound for Fiji and with Engel set at 5 out of 6, it kept frozen product frozen and cycled about 50%. By the time we reached warmer climes, it was cycling about 75% and the frozen product was thawing. By 25 degrees south, lots of sunshine, Engel now cycling 85% and frozen product now chilled product.

By the time we were in Fiji, it was running 24/7, never cycling off and struggled to keep anything cold. After 2 months, the power consumption was killing our electricity reserves so we turned it off and whenever we got to a marina, we bought ice, filled the Engel and used it as an ice box for 3 to 4 days.

Iím not suggesting that Engel is not good quality. When used indoors or in cooler climes it works fine and can be used as a freezer. In the tropics and outdoors, it uses an inordinate amount of power for limited cooling (8 - 10 degrees). I have since replaced our down-below built in freezer with a new 12v Isotherm unit that works really well.

The reason we never gave the Engel the benefit of being down below is that it was way too big and took up most of the saloon. It has now been retired to the ownerís garage where it continues to perform admirably at 25 years old.

This is not a scientific study- just my own experience - YMMV.
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Old 29-06-2019, 17:52   #26
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

Yes outdoor tropical full sun is likely outside their design parameters.

That said, a bit of mylar, sheet foam and a tiny computer fan may well have tipped the balance.
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Old 02-07-2019, 13:37   #27
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Yes outdoor tropical full sun is likely outside their design parameters.

That said, a bit of mylar, sheet foam and a tiny computer fan may well have tipped the balance.
Yeah it seems a rather unfair test condition

I have to imagine an added layer of this stuff might have gone a long way.

Are you saying to have the fan on the inside to stir the air? Seems like that would need some conduit from top to bottom to ensure the temperature layers are truly getting mixed. Maybe even a simple 1" pipe with small fan on one end moving cold air to the top?
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Old 02-07-2019, 14:20   #28
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

Reflectix provides shade only, near zero valie as insulation.

No by fan I meant cooling the "hot bits" outside the box, electronics and condenser getting forced air ventilation when ambient climbs greatly increases the whole systems' efficacy as well as efficiency.

Otherwise just surrounding on six sides with 4" polyiso would do the trick, but on portable units you can't close off those hot areas.
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Old 02-07-2019, 14:22   #29
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

We, after much research purchased an Engle one week ago, running it on 12v.
Like it a lot.

Fair winds,
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Old 02-07-2019, 14:31   #30
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Re: Portable refrigerator freezer

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Originally Posted by LoudMusic View Post
Yeah it seems a rather unfair test condition

I have to imagine an added layer of this stuff might have gone a long way.
Seems you may have missed part of my post. The fridge was not standing in blazing sun. It had a custom insulated, padded cover supplied by Engel as well as another insulated, waterproof cover made by me over the top of the Engel cover. Probably as much cover thickness as the coachroof of the boat. Plus the fan area was exposed to breeze that it would not have had if the unit was down below.

So in real terms, the test conditions were not quite that unfair.
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