Budget 12V refrigerator (Costway, Alpicool, Vevor, BougeRV) - recommendations needed

drabina

Member
An update: After reading all the recommendations, evaluating space in my car, counting savings, adjusting for high gas prices :) I bought the 42Qt Vevor refrigerator for pretty much 1/5th of the main brands (ARB, Dometic, Engel) and about 1/2 of the other brands (Iceco, Wynther). The refrigerator is running constantly for over a week in my garage cooling water and beer. I was a bit concerned about the lid with no latch but it is magnetic so shouldn't open or bounce even when off-roading. Will have it strapped anyway. So far, all is good. Hopefully, it survives two week long camping/off-roading trips this August and continues to server as a backup refrigerator in the basement/garage till next summer adventures.
 

86scotty

Explorer
Looks exactly the same as my Domende/Alpicool one, same layout, same case and hardware, smaller size though. I'm sure you'll be just fine.
 

TNRonin

Member
I picked up an astroAI 45qt. It's my first 12vdc fridge. Running it now for break in. It's cheap. I got it for $212 before tax. I'm not an overland person, but I'm looking for something that keeps my food from getting soggy. For the price I figured I'd give it a try. Gets good reviews so far.

Sent from my SM-T860 using Tapatalk
 

dbhost

Active member
Just to chuck my own input in here. But I grabbed the LG Compressor version of the 63 quart Alpicool fridge / freezer. Works great. But I have it set as one giant fridge compartment. Max power draw is 75w which is a bit, but that number is rarely hit even with the compressor cycling. I think on average it is maybe 45w. Easily handled by my 300w solar and battery bank. My install plan is literally back seat of the cab of the truck sideways so that I can flip the door open right from the side door of the truck. Kind of wedgied by the passenger side seat back...
 

drabina

Member
Update #2: My Vevor fridge works great. Pulls about 46W when running. When temperature is set to 36F, my 500W power station can keep it running for 24 to 36 hours depending on ambient temperature. If we do a lot of driving, I get the power station connected to my car's 12V to charge and the fridge to the power station. No solar panel yet. This setup was used during 10 days of camping and off roading in White Mountains, NH and Adirondacks. Overall I am very satisfied with the Vevor fridge.
 

dbhost

Active member
Update #2: My Vevor fridge works great. Pulls about 46W when running. When temperature is set to 36F, my 500W power station can keep it running for 24 to 36 hours depending on ambient temperature. If we do a lot of driving, I get the power station connected to my car's 12V to charge and the fridge to the power station. No solar panel yet. This setup was used during 10 days of camping and off roading in White Mountains, NH and Adirondacks. Overall I am very satisfied with the Vevor fridge.
I looked at the Vevor as well, had not heard of them previously... Honestly they all seem to be more or less the same fridges broken down into plastic or metal housings of various sizes. I could be wrong but that is what I am seeing...

I was wrong about my Alpicool, looked at the wrong model. The APLT60 (the big one with the LG compressor) pulls 45w max...

I am running it presently on a group 27 deep cycle being charged by a 300w solar suitcase. I am moving to a Group 65 AGM that will charge over solar or alternator. I only need that setup for the fridge and a 15w travel CPAP.

I am not familiar with the power stations I might be building out more than I need!
 

kmacafee

Adventurer
i bought the F40C4TMP on Amazon for less than 200 bucks. It's behind the seat in my truck and is powered by either my Jackery 1000 or the truck itself. It has worked flawlessly for almost 10 months and maintains Temps with no issues.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
I had an Aspenora.. the latch fell apart on day 1, by day 3 the hinge carrying the wires broke. The Amazon Seller offered to ship another or refund 50%.... obviously admitting the unit was faulty. I said no, I wanted a full refund, I had the original packaging and if they sent a label I'd ship it.... no reply... a week later I contacted Amazon, they sent me a full refund, no questions.

Aspenora is garbage.

IMG_0909.jpeg

Next up was Joy Tutus. Performance is good. Lots of washboard roads with no issues. The only complaint is the latch is a very weak magnetic seal and you MUST tie it down. Not really an issue since I run a strap over it on the road anyway but ....

So far I've been low budget but I'm starting to believe "you get what you pay for".... If I need another it will be a brand name like ARB or Dometic or Norcold.....

The tough thing about ordering on line is you have no idea what you will get until it is paid for.
Amazon is great if you have issues.

Mine runs on pure solar, 2, 100W panels to an old car battery. I ran it all summer with beer and on 3, week long road trips. Flawless and simple. The Renogy charge controller cuts in at 11.4V and out at 14.4V. Overnight there is a 0.5V drop. I am now looking at a 2000W Inverter, electric kettle, induction single burner and microwave, all under 1500W. I figure I will need a bigger battery but I am sold on a pure solar setup. No propane, no tie into the vehicles electric system. And zero operating costs.

I travel alone, I cook for me only and I hate cooking so the simpler the better.

I see the solar starts charging at first light, long before sunrise and it charges well past sunset too. Even rainy, overcast days have little effect. My cooler stays cold all the time.
 
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