The Whynter FM-Series offers portable refrigeration at a fraction of the cost of the big name brands, and with many of the same basic features. There aren’t a lot of accessories available, but they do offer a slide mount. We cover everything you need to know - pros & cons, bathrooms & showers, where to sleep, making money on the road, FAQ - and more! I used the included cigarette lighter cord for all this testing.
They also draw much more power than 12V compressor fridges, making them tougher to run on an off grid electrical system. This seems like an interesting option because freezers have additional insulation built in, and the temperature relay eliminates the problem of power loss by constantly leaving an inverter on. Luck would have it that the AMAZON Black Friday sale is orchestrated from California and I’m in Massachusetts…..It was still Friday there! Norcold (and parent company Thetford) has been making marine and RV refrigerators for a long time, and the NRF-series refrigerators are their entry into the 12V portable fridge market. A quick search and reading a few reviews showed this unit to be highly regarded and it used a very good compressor (SECOP Compressor) that had a 5 year warrantee. We haven’t heard of any reliability issues with ARB fridges, and we’ve had zero problems with ours. It means you don’t have to fuss with a cooler full of ice and water-logged food. There are a variety of accessories available, including slides, remote displays, and tie downs. Thank you! Read our free guide. My wife and I are building a van that we can live in full time starting next year. That can make a huge difference in how you configure your interior. But there are some things to consider when incorporating an upright fridge into your layout. The unit came fast and it works great so far. © 2012 - 2020 Touch of Modern, TouchOfModern Inc. ICECO // Portable Refrigerator + Freezer // Large. https://www.amazon.com/Costway-Portable-Refrigerator-Electric-Camping%EF%BC%88-4%C2%B0F/dp/B07CG4Q1YJ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1550274832&sr=8-4&keywords=12v+fridge, Hi Alex, thanks for commenting!
We took all of this info and compiled it into a massive spreadsheet for you to examine on your own. I ordered it up and ten days later it arrived………But damaged.. , Looks like UPS dropped it on a corner, bent some metal and broke the plastic foot. Chest Fridges Hold More and are Easier to Organize, Chest Fridges Are Portable and Can Double as Coolers in Emergencies, Which One is Better for Your Layout? There are videos of people putting… Read more », Hi Walt, thanks for commenting! I have an app on my phone to measure it so was going to see when I should shut it off.
For detailed info on wiring and installing your van’s electrical and solar setup, check out our guide to DIY van build electrical! Both are quality units, but sometimes which one you go with comes down to how you… Read more », lol, I’m pretty sure he was also asking about the sturdiness of the fridge and lid to hold the weight of a person. Whynter (also known as Edgestar) fridges are the least expensive that we looked at, and they’re a popular choice among budget-conscious vanlifers. Im in a 1984 chev hightop G20. According to Whynter’s own data, their 43L FM-45G draws a low 1.10A per hour at 90°F ambient temperatures with the fridge set to 39.2°F. Dometic and Norcold offer 2-year warranties (Dometic offers a longer warranty in Australia), while Truck Fridge and Whynter offer shorter 1-year warranties. CFX fridges are highly efficient and use very little power. As far as which one would work better as a seat, I would take a look at the exterior dimensions of each unit and see if one of them might fit better into your build (one might be taller than the other, etc).
Dometic CFX fridges aren’t cheap, but they’re also not the most expensive fridges out there. Powered by Secop Compressor, we offer 5-year warranty on compressor and 1 year for other parts. ARB fridges are some of the most expensive we looked at. How Much Electrical Capacity Do You Need to Run a Fridge? Hi JD, ARB doesn’t provide noise level specs, but we have the ARB 50 qt and we hardly ever notice when it’s running. So get out there and start exploring! These are full-featured units with Danfoss compressors, and they cost less than many other fridges out there. It was a brand I was not familiar with so some research was needed. yes, VL60 single zone can be a refrigerator or a freezer. Since all these numbers have caveats and may not be directly comparable, we’ve treated energy efficiency more as a discussion point in our analysis. I wish this article did list all the decibel levels. Even though having a 12V fridge in your van makes vanlife a whole lot easier, don’t let not having a fridge stop you from hitting the road! I set it for 0 and put a plastic cup of water inside - I figured it would fight to get an empty cooler to a low temp and keep it there - I was very impressed to see the cup solid as a rock. And even though campervan refrigerators aren’t cheap, having one means saving money (and eating healthier) by cooking your own meals.
With the Compressor Speed at “MAX” it took only 15 minutes to get to 39 degrees! 4.8 out of … And used the cigarette lighter plug with an Anderson plug as an adapter should I ever want to connect to a cigarette lighter. I set it for 0 and put a plastic cup of water inside - I figured it would fight to get an empty cooler to a low temp and keep it there - I was very impressed to see the cup solid as a rock. Also, when will the cover be available to purchase and why is it soooo EXPENSIVE?! But if your goal is to turn your van into a comfy, off-grid mobile dwelling, investing in a high quality 12V compressor fridge is totally worth the cost. Posted in Epic Guides / Van Build / Vanlife, By John Serbell / 32 Comments Last Updated August 8, 2020, This post may contain affiliate links. We couldn’t find any accessories like slides or insulated covers out there, but that doesn’t prevent you from making your own. Planning a van build? I am between the Dometic and the ARB, which one do you think runs quieter? Engel fridges are on the high end in terms of price, so this is not a budget buy. I think inverters are another area where the groupthink comes in terms of expensive pure sine units.
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I sent them pictures and 30 minutes later they told me a new replacement foot was in the mail.
Whynter is a budget brand with their own compressor, and anecdotal evidence from users raises questions around long term reliability.
$559.00 ICECO VL35 Portable Expandable Refrigerator, 12 Volt Fridge Freezer, Full Steel Cabinet, 4 Sizes in One, Powered by SECOP (37 Quart, Original Version, Extension Kit Not … Its a poor warranty from what I am reading and a lot of money for their product! But if any fridge manufacturer wants to loan us a unit to conduct our own field tests, we’ll happily oblige :). As associates we may earn from qualifying purchases. Norcold NRF fridges are priced in the budget range.
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There are few accessories available, but they do offer a transit bag. ARB and Engel both offer 3-year warranties on their fridges. Wow! Whynter fridges also don’t use Danfoss compressors (instead, they use a proprietary knockoff), adding more reliability concerns. They also have a ton of accessories available, including fridge slides, tie down straps, a transit bag, and a remote display. A great portable refrigerator freezer companion for your next adventure that can keep your food and drinks chilled to temperatures at or below that of your home refrigerator. Thanks! The TruckFridge website looks pretty crappy, but their fridges are actually pretty good. ), Again, with Compressor on “MAX” it only took 20 minutes to get down to indicated 12 degrees, (A word on INDICATED DEGREES…….They don’t jive with my remote thermometer. JP 50 But they’re wildly inefficient on 12V DC power, running them all the time on 110V AC means additional drain from your inverter, and running them on propane means you have more fuel lines to deal with (and you’ll have to vent the fridge to the outside). These appear to be SS also. The front-open fridges in stationary dwellings are huge, and give you plenty of space to spread out and organize your food items.
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