The Engel fridge /freezers are very tough, long lasting and super reliable.
There are more premium brands such as National Luna and Snomaster. These have better insulation
and extra features, but are perhaps slightly less durable in the long term. We have one of each (Engel and National Luna).
There are many more budget
products such as Dometic, and even these work
The advantage of all these types of fridge/freezers (even the more expensive models) is that they can be thrown away and replaced when they fail. This is often cheaper and is significantly less hassle than the costs and trouble associated with a repair
of typical marine refrigeration
. You also end up with a completely new unit.
They are typically designed for 4WD use. This is a hard life with plenty of shocks, vibration, hot ambient temperatures and low battery
voltages. They have a much easier life on a sailboat, so even the inexpensive units tend to be reliable, and these can be a good solution.
I have never owned a Dometic unit, but 4WD users, at least in Australia
, become very upset if their meat does not stay frozen or their beer
is not icy cold. Ambient temperatures inside a parked 4WD, where these units are typically stored, is sometimes above 40° C so I would be surprised if the market tolerates units that cannot maintain temperatures in 90°F (32°C).
Overall, we have found these units a better choice (for us) than traditional marine refrigeration