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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
lot of price difference in Demeric and costway dc cooler....Is the more money well spent?

Smeta has propane/dc/ 110 electric refrigerator
Not many reviews and some cautionary reviews

any comments on any of these refrigerator options
Ice is dependable but messy and pain.

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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I think, besides the electrical system, the next place where you should put your money is in the fridge. It runs 24/7. You don't want a power guzzler or something that won't last. I personally don't want any propane in my van, so the only fridge choice for me is a 12v. So I can't really respond well to your question besides to say, buy the best.
 

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2019 159 High Top - White, of course!
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I used a propane fridge at a semi-permanent campsite for one summer (not in a van - the fridge was sitting outside under a tarp awning). A 40 pound tank lasted about a month, as I recall. It worked fine. The weather was cool, as it was at high altitude in the mountains.

I have an ARB fridge in my van. Works great, is efficient. Expensive, yes, but worth every penny IMHO.
 

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Are you going to be taking extended trips/full timing? Or just shorter trips? For trips of a week or less a high quality cooler and ice blocks are hard to beat. In that scenario there's no reason that ice needs to be messy. Before I bought my 12v fridge I froze half gallon jugs of water to keep in my cooler, and just refroze them when I returned home.

Now that I'm on the road more often than not, I use a Dometic CFX DZ65 (Dual zone) and have been very happy with it. The small freezer portion is plenty large enough to keep ice, ice cream and more importantly for me as a fisherman, frozen bait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mainly I do short trips....only one trip just short of a month....i agree with you on ice blocks....i usually keep 2 of 1 gal frozen for when we lose electricity here at house..... I use 2 different sizes of diet cola frozen for 1st 2 days of trip....then start adding bags of ice.....i have 72 qt Colman 5 day cooler
travel day tuesday... 2 of 2 liter & about 10 of 16 once cola frozen of water


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2020 136" High Roof Based in Central IL
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The low price of a Costway initially lured me in. After receiving it I ran some tests and found that it isn't controlled by a thermostat, but by a timer. The compressor ran for exactly eight minutes and then was off for 20 minutes. It repeated this cycle endlessly. On for 8, off for 20, over and over.

That said, whether it was fully loaded with food and drink or only partially loaded, it maintained the set temperature, give or take 2-3 degrees.

I ended up selling it and buying a Dometic. The Dometic is controlled by an actual thermostat and only runs when needed to maintain temp and it varies only a couple of degrees. It is also quieter than the Costway, although both are very quiet.
 

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I have a metal cased stakol bought for about $550 I like the sturdiness of it because we step on it to get to the bed.I tells me by the digital read out that it’s 2 or 3 celsius.There is no freezer something I didn’t want.Had it about 2 and a half years works good.Something I do that I think is unusual is it’s on all the time the solar system keeps up no problem.I just went to visit some family and I’m not packing an ice chest just toss drinks in a already running fridge ready to go.
 

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The fridge is probably the largest total energy consumer in most vans.

Nonetheless, it is also super handy.

To me, what it brings to the party is that it can be kept running and ready to go without thinking about it if you either have solar panels on the van or keep the van plugged into the house to keep the batteries charged.

If your power system can handle it, consider to buy the biggest refrigerator and biggest freezer that you can physically fit in the van. You can always run them slightly warm if food is not inside and it is a great way to keep insects and rodents out of food and food related items like spices, plates, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
some of these truck fridge are

ac/dc ..... is this something that would be useful?

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some of these truck fridge are

ac/dc ..... is this something that would be useful?

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It may be for some, but for me the AC option actually created a problem. Most are designed to automatically switch from DC to AC when AC power is detected. The issue I ran into is that when I switched the inverter on to run something like my induction burner or blender, the fridge would automatically switch to DC and therefore increase the load on my inverter. It's an easy fix to simply unplug the AC cord, but my fridge is built into a cabinet, so that's no so easy.

That said, it may be useful for those that have regular access to shore power, and have a limited amount of battery capacity.
 

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I got a Whynter 95 quart dual zone fridge from Home Depot, totally happy with it. Don't know how much power it draws because my batteries are always at 100 most of the day. I think it's like 5A when it's running, which isn't very often even with our 100 degree days. And it's over $500 cheaper than Dometic.
 

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Don't get a 3 way fridge that uses Propane. They are ok running on propane, and terribly inefficient and ineffective on either aC or DC. They have trouble holding temperature even under best circumstances and just will not keep safe food temps when really hot, sometimes even on propane, but definitely on either AC or DC power.
 

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We've been on the road for 2 1/2 weeks. We have a Dometic Dual Zone 97 LT cooler. I wired it for both 12v and 120v.

I gotta tell ya - I'm impressed. We're making ice everyday and have never used the 120v even when available. The cooler draws so little the solar recharges even on a cloudy day. Worth the $$ in my book. good luck
 

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I just ordered the IceCo VL60 with insulated cover- $743 shipped. The combo are on sale on the IceCo website and I figured having the cover will help efficiency in the heat of summer.
 

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For a PM City, I'd buy an Alpicool that fit and a 100ahr SOK battery, same price as the expensive frig brands.
Just something to think about :)
 
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