Best fridge / freezer poll - post reasons why you picked

Which is the best brand of refrigerator / freezer combo?


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Joined
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I'm starting the journey towards a purchase of a good refrigerator / freezer for the 100. Interested to see what people have experienced, why they regret or don't like what they have, and of course the reasons they like what they have. Feel free to post photos too. Thanks.
 

BadReligion

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Just picked up an engel mt60 combi. Will be using it on a 4 day trip next weekend and then a 5 day off road trip the following weekend. Will report back on how it does.
 

1911

chupacabra
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Not sure how anyone could say which is best without having owned or at least used all of them.

I bought an ARB when they were on sale, and really like it. Really useful, never regretted buying it. The only thing I don't like about it is that the temperature settings are not accurate; you have to set it about 8 degrees cooler than temp you really want. Other than that, it works consistently great. I do like that you can set it for freezing, put the frozen food on the bottom (and it will stay frozen), then put other things you don't want frozen in the top half or top third, and they won't freeze. So you can have both a freezer and a fridge at the same time.
 

Cruiserdrew

On the way there
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There is no best or worst, just one that suits your needs.

I have an Engel that is like part of the family. I bought it in 2003-2004, it's been on countless trips, and never even once hinted that it would let me down. It's efficient, quiet, reliable as a rock. In my mind, the reliability is likely due to it's minimal electronics. If you want more features, you get more electronics and less certain reliability.

There are basically 2 styles of compressor-the swing motor type like the Engel and old ARB, and the newer Danfoss compressors. The Swing motor types are said to have just 1 moving part.

I'd likely pick by what you can get serviced if needed. ARB, and Engel have good US based service. Not so sure about others. National Luna seems overpriced to me, but that's just me.
 
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Not sure how anyone could say which is best without having owned or at least used all of them.

I bought an ARB when they were on sale, and really like it. Really useful, never regretted buying it. The only thing I don't like about it is that the temperature settings are not accurate; you have to set it about 8 degrees cooler than temp you really want. Other than that, it works consistently great. I do like that you can set it for freezing, put the frozen food on the bottom (and it will stay frozen), then put other things you don't want frozen in the top half or top third, and they won't freeze. So you can have both a freezer and a fridge at the same time.
You can 'calibrate' the readout if grossly off. See the ARB PDF (service manual, page 36) that I have locally hosted on my website:

http://www.taskled.com/mud/ARBFridgeFreezer_serviceManual_8-2013.pdf

OP:

I have an ARB in oz and it works great. Have used it in 100F+ weather for several weeks at a time and it keeps everything inside nice and cold. I also have an OLD engel and other than being too small it still works reliably though does draw considerably more power than the ARB. Of course the ARB is much newer and any of the newer fridges will have comparably improved efficiencies.

I really like the lid design of the ARB since it is SOLID and so easy to remove the lid if needed for access.

Anyhow seems to me that any of the big names will provide you years of reliable service. ARB or Engel are good brands that offer good performance for the cost.

cheers,
george.

Edit: Dumb typo.
 
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I've heard a lot of good things about ARB, Engel, and National Luna. I have an Edgestar, and price was the deciding factor. It works fine, but if I really couldn't have a fridge fail, I'd probably get an Engel.
 
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Thanks guys, that's the stuff I'm looking for:
-ARB: solid lid, easily removed, swing type compressor, can be calibrated if temp grossly off, easily serviced in US.
-Engel: Easily serviced in US.
-National Luna: Expensive?

One thing mentioned above is actually a little confusing and maybe worrisome- If I turn it to freezing, it won't freeze the whole thing, just the stuff on the bottom?
 
Joined
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Thanks guys, that's the stuff I'm looking for:
-ARB: solid lid, easily removed, swing type compressor, can be calibrated if temp grossly off, easily serviced in US.
-Engel: Easily serviced in US.
-National Luna: Expensive?

One thing mentioned above is actually a little confusing and maybe worrisome- If I turn it to freezing, it won't freeze the whole thing, just the stuff on the bottom?
The Engel has the Swing type compressor (essentially an oscillating piston). ARB and many others uses Danfoss. Both good.

ALL fridges of this class are just a box and things will cool based on their location within that box. There's no magic that ensures even cooling (no fan etc). Stuff closer to the cold plate area will cool faster, but eventually everything will be at the same temperature.

The ARB has a 'dairy area' in a sort of separate top shelf/location where the cooling takes longer due to distance from the cold plate. Handy when you don't want to freeze stuff in there...'

All I care about is locating the beer CLOSE to the cold plate area to ensure it is COLD and ASAP!

Anyhow, don't overthink it, these kind of fridges work extremely well.

cheers,
george.
 

MANUCHAO

omnia mea mecum porto
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I gots the NL 90L.
Def.. expensive.
I got the double bin fridge/ freezer. It's huge, but I went in knowing this, and it serves my needs just right.
It's great at keeping temps separate. I have taken frozen meats, Ice cream, and made ice while in a trip...

It has ran for 4.5 days in DV without draining my aux battery..
Only thing I wish is that I could switch the the way the lid opens....
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2013
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Fullerton, CA
I've been running the Truckfridge TF-51 for about a year. I bought it because it's got a digital thermostat, lights inside and the Danfoss compressor. I also like the format (tall and skinny) for the way I have my truck laid out. It will hold full wine bottles, and power consumption is on a par with the ARB. Price is good too:

http://www.truckfridge.com/tf51.html
 
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Luna is probably the best of those listed but it was way out of my price range. Therefore I recently bought an Engel based on their history of longevity, and low power consumption since I'm usually powering other things a bit too much, like a 100 watt amp blasting away and lights running off an inverter.
Since I'm always on the beach the newer design Engel with the plastic case for boaters made sense.

The cooling plate wraps all the way around the interior and the control goes up to 5, but I get 35 degrees 'fridge cold' on 1, and things start freezing on 2. This is in a 90+ degree FJ80 and after two months I still haven't gone past 4 and that was just to see what would happen. It doesn't have a low power cutoff like all the brands are doing now, so I rigged up a separate one under the hood. Cuts off at 12V.

I also got a remote temp sensor that has a sensor, transmitter, and a display that sits up front giving you fridge temp and interior car temp. Engel sells it for $35 but I found the same exact thing for $20. So now I have a display and cutoff like the others.

I think I made a good choice for $850 delivered and I see it lasting for many years to come.














 
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Only ever had the ARB (47 litre). It's awsome 'cuz it only cost something like $40 in raffle tickets :) I've had it for a number of years now, works flawlessly.
My only complaint with it is the removable wire basket; some of the plasti-coating has cracked and rusted which stained the bottom of the fridge a bit. I've since removed the basket as I really didn't use it or see the need for it much.
 

Tapage

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I like my ARB .. and wish you have the option to have the lateral lid opening more than longitudinal as ARB came ..
 
Joined
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Not sure how anyone could say which is best without having owned or at least used all of them.

I bought an ARB when they were on sale, and really like it. Really useful, never regretted buying it. The only thing I don't like about it is that the temperature settings are not accurate; you have to set it about 8 degrees cooler than temp you really want. Other than that, it works consistently great. I do like that you can set it for freezing, put the frozen food on the bottom (and it will stay frozen), then put other things you don't want frozen in the top half or top third, and they won't freeze. So you can have both a freezer and a fridge at the same time.
You took literally every word out of my mouth.
As someone else mentioned, you can calibrate it and I did but you can only adjust it about 3 degrees.
I have the small ARB and set it at 34, which seems to be the magic number to get it to around 39/40 in the box after maximum calibration, which is where it needs to be for safe food keeping for refrigeration (not freezer). It keeps it consistently below 41 and I do use real thermometers inside to make sure. It does have a defrost cycle where it gets a little warmer.

Anyway I don't know which one is best, having only owned the ARB. I wish I did. But the ARB has been a solid performer and I honestly have no idea how I ever did without it. Even the small size, (37 quart?) I can get 3 days worth of meals in there plus a 2 liter bottle of water and fruit in the upper back section.
 
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I like my ARB. Low power consumption, the features work for my needs. One time I called the Tec line, wile camping on a Saturday, and promptly had my question answered about a blinking red light. My 12v power supply was installed with a light gauge wire.
All the fridges are expensive. I bit the bullet-no regrets.
I'm not endorsing this product but it looks interesting. http://www.bushman.com.au/ I just discovered it the other day. I like the expandable fridge box.
 
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If anyone wants to adjust their ARB's thermostat, press and hold the + & - buttons at the same time until "ALS" shows up then use those keys to move the setting up and down. Then just leave it and it will exit and save on its own.
 

1911

chupacabra
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If anyone wants to adjust their ARB's thermostat, press and hold the + & - buttons at the same time until "ALS" shows up then use those keys to move the setting up and down. Then just leave it and it will exit and save on its own.
Thanks for posting this. Which direction do you move the setting if fridge is not as cold as the setting currently indicates?
 
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I like my ARB .. and wish you have the option to have the lateral lid opening more than longitudinal as ARB came ..
Not sure I am understanding you, however for information sake anyone with an older metal ARB 45 which is hinged on the compressor end...you can install some friction hinges on the long side: https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/ar...er-if-it-opened-like-this.98524/#post-1249408

I just did this with my metal sided ARB and had the transit cover cut and stitched to fit with the new latch (and for my turnbuckle hold-downs). I nutserted instead of using self tapping screws.

I've had this ARB MT-45 since 2006 and have been very happy with it.

I also have a Dometic CF-35. Bought it on a clearance sale at a local RV shop approximately 4 years ago. I thought I had mucked it up as I put the ARB on top of it (both in the garage and turned on as spare mini-fridges at the time) when getting access to something and forgot about it till the following week. It was stuck in freeze mode and I figured the control panel was damaged from a foot on the ARB fridge pressing down on it all week. After trying a few things to get it out of freeze mode and nothing working I put it away to deal with at a later date. Fast forward a year: I was cleaning out the garage, moved the Dometic to the barn and plugged it in. Works like a charm again. Dometic makes Waeco from what I have gathered on line.

hth's
gb
 
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