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Van #2 2021 EXT
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Hi @Catlalib

When I researched this back in 2018, my conclusion was;

The most efficient 12vdc supplied fridges were Danfoss DB35 compressors with variable speed controllers.

Now Secop;


The other efficient 12vdc compressor is the Engel.

In a pretty big World, back in 2018 it was Danfoss DB35 or Engel. Not sure what the deal is today.

My ARB & TF130 have the DB35. The ARB specs out an average of 0.87 amps per hour or 20.88 Ahrs per 24hr period. Fridge “performance specs” for RVs, you have to take with a grain of salt as the test standards are to be suspect & scrutinized as they are non-standard. After enjoying the extreme efficiency of the ARB, we decided on the TF130 as we find it more convenient & holds more “readily accessible” food by simply opening up a standard swing door. Even with our 250Ahr AGMs, the ARB could probably last say 200/21 almost 10 days if nothing else used battery power (theoretically). We plan on 3 days on battery power without charging, so figured we would go TF 130 this time around (2021 build), & are very happy with that decision ( so far ).
 

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2014 hightop 3500
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64 Posts
Just to clarify, I looked up specs on my iceco vl 60: the power supply should be 85 watts capable, not the consumption. Runs at about 55 watts when pulling down.
Energy used in 24 hrs is .545 kw hrs. Typ.
My experience has Been very satisfactory and the unit is robust and well built.
We. Moved it from under the sink to across the van and lifted it to 36 inches so its really nice to access and when closed is just more space for an extra ad-hoc counter. What's not to like about more flat work space?

R
 

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2014 136” HR
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7,992 Posts
Thank you so much everybody. I decided to buy the Engel MT45, thanks to your remarks. It could have been the Truckfridge TF65 but I prefer the chest format. I was able to pay 18 month no fees so the price looks less prohibitive for us.
Get two of these baskets. You won't be sorry.
 

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Hello campervan builders: probably a question asked many times but what kind of chest 12v fridge did you choose, if any?
I've read that those with compressor are better; that Danfoss / Secop was good, as well as the Dometic' homemade?
Many trademarks that come back on forums are Dometic, Iceco, ARB, Truckfridge.
45L should work for us, 2 people. We will travel only during the summer, west coast and midwest, south and north, perhaps a week in October and some week ends, on the north east coast or south. We will be off grid sometimes but most of the time in campings. All of this, in the US and Canada.
I was wondering if a dual zone would be better than a single, but they are larger with bigger capacity so single should be enough. I wanted a freezer for ice cream, now I think I can buy my ice cream somewhere and eat it on the spot.
I found that Dometic or Iceco could be my last choice but I've read reviews on forums that worrie me, especially related to the customer service. If we are lucky, we will have what we ask for with a $600-$800 chest fridge, but if we are not, what a bummer for that price and I will regret to not have a simple ice cooler as we used to have during our road trips with our car.
I hope you'll have some advice for us.
I was in just your spot a couple of years ago and ended up gambling on an Alpicool C40 40 liter fridge /or freezer but not both that had good reviews on Amazon and was under $300. It has worked perfectly for me. A few times I have wished I had both a freezer and a fridge but not enough to act on it. Alpicool has a 20 liter C20 that is about $200 that you could use with a C40 and have both and 60L of capacity for about $500. Oh, and you can get insurance dirt cheap to cover the units if you don't like to gamble.
 

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Hello campervan builders: probably a question asked many times but what kind of chest 12v fridge did you choose, if any? I've read that those with compressor are better; that Danfoss / Secop was good, as well as the Dometic' homemade? Many trademarks that come back on forums are Dometic, Iceco, ARB, Truckfridge. 45L should work for us, 2 people. We will travel only during the summer, west coast and midwest, south and north, perhaps a week in October and some week ends, on the north east coast or south. We will be off grid sometimes but most of the time in campings. All of this, in the US and Canada. I was wondering if a dual zone would be better than a single, but they are larger with bigger capacity so single should be enough. I wanted a freezer for ice cream, now I think I can buy my ice cream somewhere and eat it on the spot. I found that Dometic or Iceco could be my last choice but I've read reviews on forums that worrie me, especially related to the customer service. If we are lucky, we will have what we ask for with a $600-$800 chest fridge, but if we are not, what a bummer for that price and I will regret to not have a simple ice cooler as we used to have during our road trips with our car. I hope you'll have some advice for us.
Hello campervan builders: probably a question asked many times but what kind of chest 12v fridge did you choose, if any? I've read that those with compressor are better; that Danfoss / Secop was good, as well as the Dometic' homemade? Many trademarks that come back on forums are Dometic, Iceco, ARB, Truckfridge. 45L should work for us, 2 people. We will travel only during the summer, west coast and midwest, south and north, perhaps a week in October and some week ends, on the north east coast or south. We will be off grid sometimes but most of the time in campings. All of this, in the US and Canada. I was wondering if a dual zone would be better than a single, but they are larger with bigger capacity so single should be enough. I wanted a freezer for ice cream, now I think I can buy my ice cream somewhere and eat it on the spot. I found that Dometic or Iceco could be my last choice but I've read reviews on forums that worrie me, especially related to the customer service. If we are lucky, we will have what we ask for with a $600-$800 chest fridge, but if we are not, what a bummer for that price and I will regret to not have a simple ice cooler as we used to have during our road trips with our car. I hope you'll have some advice for us.
We purchased the Iceco JP40 a few years ago. I think we got it on sale for under $300. It was ran almost continuously for 4 months on our first road trip and 6 months for our second. Its temp range can fluctuate a bit more than other more expensive types, so I usually set it a bit colder to compensate. Mine came with an insulated cover, but I had to add a bit of my own insulation to the cover to reduce the amount of time it wants to kick the condenser on when it’s hot out.
 

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I've been using one of these for almost 3 years.
SetPower
It has worked perfectly. 12v DC or AC with an included adapter.
Quiet. Maybe i'm lucky but I have nothing negative to say about this thing.
I've kept the ventilation side clear and occasionally use a blower to remove dust from the case.

Usage is most of the time in Arizona. I can freeze bottles in it when the outside temps are 100+ degrees.
I don't keep it running 24/7 except when traveling but have had it on a bunch of times for 10-14 days.

 

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We bought a BougeRV 53 quart freezer/fridge last year via a link from HoboTech on Facebook for $309 shipped: 12V 53 Quart (50L) Portable Car Freezer, it has been plugged in to the 12 volt adapter since October of last year in an enclosed but unheated porch. It was used to keep a small frozen turkey until Thanksgiving and is still keeping a few items frozen that wouldn't fit into our chest freezer. It has worked through the Winter with temps at times getting down to 20 below zero. I kept it going last Summer while we were dry camping with two separate 300 watt lithium ion chargers. The campground had one outlet available about 200 feet from our campsite in a communal picnic pavilion. I donated an 8 outlet power strip so as to not hog the outlet for just ourselves. There was not enough solar exposure at the campsite for our 130 watt folding suitcase solar panels to keep them charged as it was surrounded by tall trees. The panels did keep the single 12 volt lead acid house battery topped up.
 

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2017 - 2500 159
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Looks like most people are happy with what they use.

I got the Whynter 90 quart dual zone, and have been using it full time for 1.5 years and it's been plugged in and on for another year before that. Keeps ice cream, water ice, and meat frozen. No issues.

I would not want less space for the 2 of us, we can go over a week before buying groceries with this size and still have some space for a few beers. The only 2 downsides:
1) it beeps if the lid stays open more than one minute, which happens every time we are loading it after shopping and often when rummaging around for several items to make dinner. Slightly annoying but not a deal breaker for sure.
2) the lids only open to 90 degrees. You could potentially cut and replace the straps that stop the lids at 90. I use a magnet to hold the lids open when loading groceries.
 
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