ARB/Engel size

Trunk Monkey

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Searched around and didn't see an answer. What size are most people buying? I don't want to plunk down for the 33qt. and wish I'd gotten the 45 qt., or pay out for the 64qt. and find out it's way more than I need.

Seems like the 45qt. could be a good compromise?
 

spressomon

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I am going to order either the Waeco CF50 or the Engel 43L this week. I think the extra space, for very little $$$ more than the next smaller fridge, will be better for me...and they are the same amp draw as the next smaller units too. So, unless the height of the 50/43 is an issue, I think you are better off with the larger unit...JMO.
 

NorCalDoug

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The 64 qt is nice, but draws much more than the 45. The 33 is too small IMO.

I have the 45qt and am very happy with it -- I don't think I've seen anyone with anything but a 45 qt ARB/Engel/Norcold on any of the trips I've been on (translate this to mean, "all my friends have a 45qt too" ;))
 
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My ARB(engel) is the 45L I think! The outside specs including the handles which add about an inch each (x 2) are 20"hX 29" (27" if you remove the handles) x 14.5". IIRC the next smaller size was just not as high, the other dimensions were the same. The current draw was just about the same also. I figured the best bang for the buck was the 45L unit. I have heard that the 65L is so heavy that it is hard to move around. My 45L is so heavy that I take all food/drinks out, and remove the top before I try to lift it into tall rigs. ( I've got a really tall 4runner). One reason to get the smaller fridge is that the lower height allows a bed to go over it if it is installed directly aft of the drivers seat. I bought mine before I had an 80 so I never thought of that.
But I have spent thousands of dollars on outback gear, and I consider that fridge the best money I have ever spent. Every time I get into it and don't have to worry about "ice management" I just smile. Plus I have done battery drawdown tests with it. If you have a good battery you can leave it plugged in for a couple days with no worries. The insulation is so good that you can unplug it for a day or two if you have it well chilled and keep it in the shade.

Major downside is that I am much more worried about "Yogi Bear". I didn't care if Yogi destroyed my cheap cooler. But I find that I don't sleep as well with the very spendy ARB fridge sitting in the back of an open (or closed for that matter if you've seen pix of cars broken into by bears) rig. I have spent at least 30-40 nights in bear country with that fridge, with no problems but I have to admit I don't get that much sleep when I'm out there.
 

Wrench

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How will "Yogi Bear" be able to smell the food that is in the fridge if it is sealed and locked? They only attack if they get a whiff of food.
 

spressomon

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Wrench said:
How will "Yogi Bear" be able to smell the food that is in the fridge if it is sealed and locked? They only attack if they get a whiff of food.

Just because you can't smell it don't assume a bear (or any other animal for that matter) can't...
 

cruiseroutfit

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Hey Cory, you can come take a look at my new 33qt, Jack just picked one up too... They way I figure, I can fit as much stuff into the smaller unit as I can a normal cooler considering the fact I don't have to carry ice (usually two bags for a weekend).

Just a not to future ARB buyers. They are no longer going to carry the 33 or 64 quart units, thus why they are on sale right now ;). They will continue to sell the 42 quart. Reasoning: they are trying to simplify and the 42qt is the middle of the pack. However they are currently out of the 42 :(

Engel will continue to make the 33 & 64 under different names... :D
 
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There are quite a few bears in the Sierras that have learned to identify an ice box by sight. They have (and do quite often) tear the doors off of vehicles in order to raid the cooler, which often does not even have any food in it. Black bears are smarter than you might think. And stronger than you can possibly imagine unless you have seen a car with the rear doors torn off. They have broken into cars locally (South Lake Tahoe) because of candy bars left inside that have not even been unwrapped.
Two weeks ago I was camping at 7500' and woke up to find bear prints (and nose prints on the windows) of my 80. The arb was inside and covered with towels just in case. I was sleeping on the ground (no tent) less than 10' away and am a really light sleeper and looked around a whole bunch of times and I still never saw or heard a thing. That bear stood up on the side of the 80 and had a look inside, and then left. I am thinking he didn't recognize anything edible in there. And I guess I smelled too bad to be considered edible because he could have eaten me if he was so inclined.:eek:
I am very careful with food prep, I try to burn all packages, even cans (which I fish out of the pit when cool) but bears that have contact with humans learn very quickly how to get a free lunch, even when you think you have eliminated all scents.
It is a thing to keep in mind when considering an arb fridge, if in bear country keep it covered up so Yogi can't see it.
 

NorCalDoug

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Smart thing would be to cover your cooler/fridge. :idea:

The area around Tahoe is one where I've been told that they either still do or used to send "trouble" bears from Yosemite. The black bears there are smarter than your average Yogi...;)
 

Dunbar

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Hey Kirt,

Do you know what the sale prices are on the 64qt and 33qt units?

Thanks,

Dunbar
 

Dunbar

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I can get a Norcold MRFT 60 brand new for $595 plus $49 shipping. I would probably rather have a bit smaller one but for the price I think I can handle it.

Dimensions: Height = 17 3/8" , Width = 31 1/4" , Depth = 191/4". 2.12 cu. ft

Model Spec's: Volume = 2.12 cu.ft. , Net Weight = 70 lbs.

Power Source: 120V/AC = 1.2

12-24V/DC = 4.2 - 2.1

It will eat space in the cargo area but I haul a trailer on road trips anyway.

Should I get it?

Dunbar
 

spressomon

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Just remember, although it might be moot (I am getting ready to purchase my first fridge/freeze also)...any fridge/freezer has to work harder to keep a lower volume of goods cold than a full or nearly full cooler.
 

Dunbar

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Always keep it mostly full of beer and you should be ok. If you need to squeeze in some food you will just have to drink some beer.

I am going to go ahead and get the 60 qt unit.

Dunbar

spressomon said:
Just remember, although it might be moot (I am getting ready to purchase my first fridge/freeze also)...any fridge/freezer has to work harder to keep a lower volume of goods cold than a full or nearly full cooler.
 

Dunbar

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Well, I just learned that the outfit has MRFT40's available as well as the 60's.

The 40 is 1.5 cu.ft. at h20" w24-7/8" d14-1/8" and can be used with a cigar lighter plug which makes it a bit more versitile. I have a dual battery set up and can wire it direct but keep the cigar plug for using it in the boat or someone else's rig.

The 60 is 2.12 cu.ft. at h17-3/8" w31-1/4" d19-1/4" and draws 4.2V on a 12V DC system versus the 40 drawing 2.5V.

Damn, I was ready to order the MRFT60 for $599 but can get the MRFT40 for $499. Both cost $49 to ship and can get here in a few days.

The Norcold units are about the same as Engle and ARB so I might be able to use the coverblanket thing on the 40.

What do you guys who have fridges think? Go big or go versitile?

Thanks,
Dunbar
 

mmw68

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Get both...one for beer, and one for food. Of course the larger one would be for beer! :)
 

mmw68

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David, Don't know how fast you are going to move on this, but do you want to borrow mine for a while and see what you think?

:)
 

desertdude

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at first you think the 45 is too small when you get it. But after you learn to pack it in layers it is plenty big inside for everything ( no ice needed) then you are glad because it is not to large on the outside- Plus the 45 uses less energy - I keep my 45 engel running 24/7 inside my tacoma - ice cold everything all the time ;)
 
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