Best fridge / freezer poll - post reasons why you picked

Which is the best brand of refrigerator / freezer combo?


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Joined
Dec 2, 2017
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I have a 60 liter Engel and im afraid i will never buy an engel product again. Got the call from the local engel repairer this morning saying that my cooling unit was buggered and needed replacing. $800 + AUD. The unit that was in it failed in under two years. Two different compressors before that. A total of two new cooling units and two different compressors. Total four compressors . Im at over $1600 spent on repairs. No more for me. Stick a fork in me caus im done.
 
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Phoenix, AZ
I have a 60 liter Engel and im afraid i will never buy an engel product again. Got the call from the local engel repairer this morning saying that my cooling unit was buggered and needed replacing. $800 + AUD. The unit that was in it failed in under two years. Two different compressors before that. A total of two new cooling units and two different compressors. Total four compressors . Im at over $1600 spent on repairs. No more for me. Stick a fork in me caus im done.
Just curious because I don't have a fridge yet.
How was it mounted?
Did it get some vibration resonance where it was mounted?
How was it wired?
Warranty?
 
Joined
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Broken Hill, Australia
Just curious because I don't have a fridge yet.
How was it mounted?
Did it get some vibration resonance where it was mounted?
How was it wired?
Warranty?
It spent most of its life just tied in the back of the ute.
Wired on a dedicated circuit with 4mm2 cable.
When it first died it was out of warranty and even the engel rep could offer no help.
In the end I pulled it down myself and flushed the system out and each time a heap of small rubber particles came out. Something was failing within the system. I repeated this process about four times before i accidentally desoldered the wrong joint and could not get it back together again. I suspect this <2year old drop in unit has suffered the same fate. I am going to pick it up from the repair guy tomorrow and just ordered some charge valves from ebay. When i get a chance i will pull this one apart and flush the system to see if i get the same rubber particles out. I suspect they haveblocked the venturi tube.
 

KLF

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So, question on the ARB fridge. I just finished a long road trip with a traditional iced Igloo cooler, never doing that again. PITA dealing with ice and draining water.

I have a 200-series with the usual ARB drawers, one with a slider top. I'm looking at the 50 quart fridge (dark gray one). Question about the lid. Seems like dealing with the lid opening like this one does will be a pain, as I don't see how you could open the lid and have enough clearance for it to stay open without holding it with one hand. Wouldn't a side hinged fridge be better (Domenic)?

I wish I had a local vendor where I could go try the fitment before I buy.
 

spressomon

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I have a side hinged Waeco mounted atop drawers and love it. The lid is easily and quickly removed, which is very handy especially when loading/unloading or digging something out from the bottom. And its reversible (hinge on the left or right). I also have a SnoMaster which also has a side mount hinge that is quick & easily removed, if needed as well as reversible.

Having said all that, I once entertained buying a newer ARB fridge with the end hinged lid. I prefer side hinge but the ARB's lid is easily and quickly removable to make getting things in/out of the fridge workable.
 

GLTHFJ60

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I've got the "new" style plastic ARB with the end-hinge. Super easy to take the lid off, so it's not a concern holding the lid open.
 

KLF

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I've got the "new" style plastic ARB with the end-hinge. Super easy to take the lid off, so it's not a concern holding the lid open.
Ah, OK thanks. The ARB website doesn't really mention it that well, so I wasn't aware that it was so easy to remove.

But now there is a new model coming out from Dometic, the CFX3 line. The 55L model has a built in icemaker. Hmmm...

 
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I have owned 3. I first bought the latest model Dometic 50 qt. with the wifi capability. Great fridge, but the plastic handles felt chintzy to me. I owned it for a very short period of time before I stumbled on a deal I just couldn't pass up on an ARB elements. The ARB is stout! Nothing about this thing makes me think "cheap". The latches, the hinges, the casing - all metal and all very robust. It does lack the wifi capability of the dometic though (unless you purchase an add on module). I really liked that the feature was built into the dometic and feel for the price, ARB really should include it. I don't even know if I'd use it, but for a $1k + fridge, I want every feature available! Size and weight: The ARB is a pig. It's about 70 pounds. It's about 25 pounds heavier than the dometic. I guess all that beef and toughness has to show through somewhere and it's definitely in the weight.

I owned the dometic and the ARB at the same time and couldn't justify keeping both. I did some comparing for my needs and decided to keep the ARB. I sold the Dometic on craigslist and I'm very happy with my choice.

As a side note, I also got one of the Roofnest fridges, though not on your list. It's very simple, power draw seems on par with a first generation dometic. The lid doesn't have a latch and uses a magnetic strip to seal, just like a home fridge. For the guy who wouldn't dedicate a fulltime spot in his rig to a fridge, this is a decent low cost option.

If I was paying msrp on a fridge and doing weekend camp trips once or twice a month, I'd get the dometic. If i was doing lengthy adventures and living in my rig for weeks at a time, I'd get the ARB.
 
Joined
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After all the dramas with my engel, I called it a day.
Just pulled the trigger on a new waeco dometic 95 liter dual zone with wifi and bag.
I found them on sale for $1350 AU marked down from over 2g. It was going to cost 800 to repair the 20 year old engel
 
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Alpicool CX50 = $313.65 shipped from Amazon lightning deal.
Square Trade appliance 3 year warranty = 33.78

Total$ = $347 and set for the next 3 years with easy amazon returns, they've always done good with warranty claims in my past experiences and don't see any issues.

made in china

Has been with me to countless off road trip and has been a reliable workhorse, I researched the company when I first heard of brand so many good YouTube reviews and comments that it uses such low power. It's actually using an LG compressor so you know it's not just Chinese crap.

How I avoid issues, I ran a 12v power to my fridge using the arb kit since I heard people complaining about low power can be bad for it, so of course being an electronic device with a compressor if you don't give it stable power of course it can get fried and die.

i also keep it running 24/7 (just imagine regular compressor fridges are ran 24/7 and last years) so I'm not going to have it sitting in garage not being used.

When it's not accompanying me on trips its plugged into my room where I keep cold water and beer for when I get thirsty at night (water) and when I want beer in 33 degree temperature on weekend, its so good when its near freezing point. Since they offer a 12v and 110v for connecting inside home.

Now they have an upgraded model with a built in freezer, mine is only one setting. I wish they had this when I bought mine last year:

Alpicool Amazon

Picture of mine:

View media item 84127
View media item 83328
 

KLF

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I've got the "new" style plastic ARB with the end-hinge. Super easy to take the lid off, so it's not a concern holding the lid open.
About to pull the trigger. I went over to Main Line Overland today to look at the Dometic in person and try it in the truck. The CFX3 55IM is really nice, but too big for my needs. They also had a CFX3 35 on hand to try. Neither unit can fully open the lid when on the ARB slide, it hits the upper hatch. We were able to get the lid off the 55IM, but you have to fully open it for the hinges to release. Not useful. We couldn't get the lid off the 35, we were afraid we were gonna break it. Dometic doesn't have a phone number on their website to call. :mad:

So, with the ARB, does the lid need to be fully open to remove it? Looks like from the pictures that there are a couple of latches inside to release it?

Have you found the wireless controller and app useful?

I'm obsessed with the lid thing, I'll have to order whatever I decide so I want to make sure I've done all my homework, no surprises.
 

GLTHFJ60

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So, with the ARB, does the lid need to be fully open to remove it? Looks like from the pictures that there are a couple of latches inside to release it?

Have you found the wireless controller and app useful?
With the ARB you can remove the lid from any unlatched position. I usually open mine when it's about 1" open.

There's an app? Why? The wireless controller i thought would be useful, but it's really not. I have it, and it's been sitting in my center console, unused, for years.
 

KLF

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With the ARB you can remove the lid from any unlatched position. I usually open mine when it's about 1" open.

There's an app? Why? The wireless controller i thought would be useful, but it's really not. I have it, and it's been sitting in my center console, unused, for years.
Thank you, great info. Yeah, I figured the Bluetooth/app thing was more of a nuisance that it's worth.
 

spressomon

glutton
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FWIW, my SnowMaster, used in our HD2500, has a separate solar powered Bluetooth module I do use and find useful for monitoring the interior temp and voltage going into the fridge/freezer while driving, etc. It would be even handier if it the data streamed via app to my iPhone though. Love the fridge BTW. And my 15 year old Waeco CF-51 in my UZJ100 keeps on keeping on! I do like the side mount hinges on both units (reversible and easily removed when needed).
 

KLF

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For some reason my foggy brain is telling me there is a kit available to convert an Engel fridge lid from end hinges to side opening. But I can't seem to find any solid info on this. Is this possible? Anybody done this?
 

KLF

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Best I could find: Post #24 has a photo of the hinges I think you're looking for: Outlander Sherpa II trailer - Page 2 - YotaTech Forums

Above, in post #19 there is a link to the hinges...but its now a dead link.

McMaster has adjustable tension nylon hinges as well as easily removable hinges that would work: McMaster-Carr
Wow, that is very useful, thanks.

Leave it to @kevinmrowland (WagonGear) to come up with a graceful and well done solution, including McMaster-Carr part numbers: ARB Fridge would be cooler if it opened like this.

Still... not crazy about the idea of drilling holes in a new $900+ fridge. No more warranty for you!
 
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