Smartphone apps on new fridges

86scotty

Explorer
Does anyone have any experience with these. I have not searched Youtube or here, for that matter, so sorry if it's been covered. Please link.

I am buying two, possibly 3 12V fridges in the next year or so. One or two will be chest type. I am very familiar with all of the older names in the game and have owned probably 6 or 8 Truckfridges now of various models. I'm wondering about some of these knock off brands on Amazon that have a smartphone app for monitoring. I can see this being very handy. Problem is, many of these no-name obvious Chinese knock offs have few reviews and very few in-depth reviews.

Having an app is all many people need to hear, even if it turns out to be garbage. I'd like to find some info on what is possible and how well they work.
 

WOODY2

Adventurer
I have 2 ARB's in different vehicles and their app has no difficulty in differentiating between the 2 as well as the multiple temp settings I choose.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
I am going to go the other way and say that even with an app I doubt I would use it....the thing I DON'T need or want is ANOTHER app that is doing things on my phone. That is how security breaches happen. Honestly I can't imagine what I need an app to tell me about the fridge that I can't know with it a few feet away from me.
I do use a SensorPush app to run those devices which track humidity and temp (data logger). I use the same units in my cigar humidors, fridge and van for my data studies so 1 app gives me info across a number of use cases.
I am getting a Truma fridge to test out and they have an app so I am sure I will have to load that to give honest feedback.
 

86scotty

Explorer
I have 2 ARB's in different vehicles and their app has no difficulty in differentiating between the 2 as well as the multiple temp settings I choose.
I guess it's no surprise that ARB would have adopted this tech early, I've just never had an ARB fridge. At the price you pay for an ARB I would expect any option like this to work flawlessly. I'm primarily looking for info on these cheaper fridges that have this though. The Alpicool/Iceco/BougeRV set. Two of my vehicles I'm putting fridges in soon will see rare use so I'm considering cheaper fridges.

I am going to go the other way and say that even with an app I doubt I would use it....the thing I DON'T need or want is ANOTHER app that is doing things on my phone.
I am getting a Truma fridge to test out and they have an app so I am sure I will have to load that to give honest feedback.
Thanks Lance, please do. I know what you mean about the overuse of apps in our lives, which is exactly why I'm asking how they have worked for people. In two of the vehicles I'm planning to put fridges in (not vans), we are interested in checking fridge condition from the front seat. Our third vehicle is a van and I am about to order another and in those I usually just run an indoor outdoor thermometer on the dash. This gives me temp in the vehicle and fridge temp (the outdoor sensor stays inside the fridge). I've been doing my RV/Van fridges this way for 10 or more years and it works very well.

do these apps work in no cell service areas ?
Good question. I'm 99% sure this would be bluetooth connection but definitely good question. Hopefully someone knows.
 

WOODY2

Adventurer
I guess it's no surprise that ARB would have adopted this tech early, I've just never had an ARB fridge. At the price you pay for an ARB I would expect any option like this to work flawlessly. I'm primarily looking for info on these cheaper fridges that have this though. The Alpicool/Iceco/BougeRV set. Two of my vehicles I'm putting fridges in soon will see rare use so I'm considering cheaper fridges.



Thanks Lance, please do. I know what you mean about the overuse of apps in our lives, which is exactly why I'm asking how they have worked for people. In two of the vehicles I'm planning to put fridges in (not vans), we are interested in checking fridge condition from the front seat. Our third vehicle is a van and I am about to order another and in those I usually just run an indoor outdoor thermometer on the dash. This gives me temp in the vehicle and fridge temp (the outdoor sensor stays inside the fridge). I've been doing my RV/Van fridges this way for 10 or more years and it works very well.



Good question. I'm 99% sure this would be bluetooth connection but definitely good question. Hopefully someone knows.
I'm not a big fan of apps, that being said the ability to not have more clutter in the dash area in the form of remote readouts is appealing. These malfunctions were primarily from the old style ARB plugs that would vibrate out leading to all sorts of spoiled goods. As mentioned there are more than one way to monitor temps. another benefit is the ability to start or stop the unit and change temps on the fly. In short IMHO there is no Gospel answer to this subject.
 
Does anyone have any experience with these. I have not searched Youtube or here, for that matter, so sorry if it's been covered. Please link.

I am buying two, possibly 3 12V fridges in the next year or so. One or two will be chest type. I am very familiar with all of the older names in the game and have owned probably 6 or 8 Truckfridges now of various models. I'm wondering about some of these knock off brands on Amazon that have a smartphone app for monitoring. I can see this being very handy. Problem is, many of these no-name obvious Chinese knock offs have few reviews and very few in-depth reviews.

Having an app is all many people need to hear, even if it turns out to be garbage. I'd like to find some info on what is possible and how well they work.
I have a Alpicool CF35 chest fridg that has worked great for a couple of years. The app is great for monitoring temps, adjusting them, and turning on or off. Lots to like.
 

MiamiC70

Active member
Does anyone have any experience with these. I have not searched Youtube or here, for that matter, so sorry if it's been covered. Please link.

I am buying two, possibly 3 12V fridges in the next year or so. One or two will be chest type. I am very familiar with all of the older names in the game and have owned probably 6 or 8 Truckfridges now of various models. I'm wondering about some of these knock off brands on Amazon that have a smartphone app for monitoring. I can see this being very handy. Problem is, many of these no-name obvious Chinese knock offs have few reviews and very few in-depth reviews.

Having an app is all many people need to hear, even if it turns out to be garbage. I'd like to find some info on what is possible and how well they work.
Simple and inexpensive solution that works great.

 

ChasingOurTrunks

Well-known member
I have a Unique fridge, which I got at Costco, so I would say it's a very good quality fridge but at a mid-level price point thanks to Costco's buying power.

It has an app. The app works through bluetooth and can be used to change temperature settings, automatic shut-off sensitivity (for low voltage situations), as well as cooling speed (get it cold fast, or cool it down over time to preserve amps).

It works as it should, regardless of signal status. But, because it needs to connect each time via Bluetooth, it's not practical for monitoring fridge temps for me (my phone is always playing music via CarPlay on trips, so the screen is not displaying the Unique app ever, and to do so I'd have to open it, connect, and look at the phone itself since the display is not mirrored via CarPlay.

However it is useful for making adjustments -- the panel on the fridge is located in an awkward spot for how the fridge is mounted in my truck. I knew that this panel would be obscured a bit when I did my build, but my priority was having the fridge open a certain way, and so having the BT app allows me to essentially totally ignore the panel on the fridge because I can adjust temps, turn it on and off, etc. via the app.

Something you may want to look at -- ARB's Lynx system and Redarc's RedVision system all give you pretty robust controls and monitoring, and I think they both have an app that mirrors the panel controls. This is not a "cheap" solution, but I think (not 100% sure) that it would allow you the ability to use whatever fridge you want, and hook up a temperature sensor to it that interacts with the Lynx or Vision system's app for control. Plus you can do water tanks, lights, etc. as well, so there's benefits beyond just the fridge monitoring and control, which is all you get with a fridge-specific app.
 

86scotty

Explorer
However it is useful for making adjustments -- the panel on the fridge is located in an awkward spot for how the fridge is mounted in my truck. I knew that this panel would be obscured a bit when I did my build, but my priority was having the fridge open a certain way, and so having the BT app allows me to essentially totally ignore the panel on the fridge because I can adjust temps, turn it on and off, etc. via the app.
This is precisely why I'm curious about these app controlled fridges. I am shopping for fridges based on a variety of criteria. The way the door opens, the control panel and the placement of vents/fan vs. where you need the fridge in your build can be tricky. This is where a reliable app could be quite helpful, if everything else works except the placement of the control panel.

I have some of the indoor/outdoor thermometers like @MiamiC70 showed above but they are not at all the same as a thorough app to control the fridge. They are good for temp only, the ones that control humidity are not great in a fridge long term.
 

ThePartyWagon

Active member
I've owned multiple fridges, had a Dometic with the BT app and now I'm using a National Luna.

I look at the BT app as a feature designed by the marketing team. Some have found it useful but I think it's a marketing gimmick. At what point on a trip do I need to change the temp in my fridge, at all....? I personally don't change my temps in the fridge on trips at all, I especially don't change them from my phone.

Never used the app at all when I owned my Dometic. A solution in search of problem, IMO.
 

86scotty

Explorer
I do. I keep my fridge at near freezing during the day when on a trip with the vehicle running and I turn it up at night to lower the cycles. This has been my habit for a year or so with a non-stellar aux battery and no solar panel on my current truck.

But, that's just one reason. The second reason is that the fridge I am looking for next will be going in my wife's SUV. I can't get her to do a lot of things but I can definitely get her to use a phone app. I would wager that many guys here would agree.

I do completely agree that apps for everything these days are gimmicky, however, I think this is a solid use of one.
 
do these apps work in no cell service areas ?
My Dometic CFX75DZ (not the CFX3 model) runs its app on WiFi. Do I use it? Meh…just another layer I have to navigate. I check it occasionally while on the road without having to climb in the back. Now if it would sound a power loss/temp issue alarm while the app was in the background…
 

MiamiC70

Active member
This is precisely why I'm curious about these app controlled fridges. I am shopping for fridges based on a variety of criteria. The way the door opens, the control panel and the placement of vents/fan vs. where you need the fridge in your build can be tricky. This is where a reliable app could be quite helpful, if everything else works except the placement of the control panel.

I have some of the indoor/outdoor thermometers like @MiamiC70 showed above but they are not at all the same as a thorough app to control the fridge. They are good for temp only, the ones that control humidity are not great in a fridge long term.
That’s NOT how Bluetooth works. Once you connect it stays connected even if you move away to where it’s not connected or if you close app or switch apps. Even if you shut down phone thermometer cons and continuously will collect and store data. As soon as connection is restored it will upload data to device via Bluetooth seamlessly.
 

ChasingOurTrunks

Well-known member
This is precisely why I'm curious about these app controlled fridges. I am shopping for fridges based on a variety of criteria. The way the door opens, the control panel and the placement of vents/fan vs. where you need the fridge in your build can be tricky. This is where a reliable app could be quite helpful, if everything else works except the placement of the control panel.

I have some of the indoor/outdoor thermometers like @MiamiC70 showed above but they are not at all the same as a thorough app to control the fridge. They are good for temp only, the ones that control humidity are not great in a fridge long term.
Makes sense! In that case, the App for Unique appliances does everything the panel does with, in my experience, 100% reliability. You just need to connect to it each time, which isn't a big deal.

I do. I keep my fridge at near freezing during the day when on a trip with the vehicle running and I turn it up at night to lower the cycles. This has been my habit for a year or so with a non-stellar aux battery and no solar panel on my current truck.

But, that's just one reason. The second reason is that the fridge I am looking for next will be going in my wife's SUV. I can't get her to do a lot of things but I can definitely get her to use a phone app. I would wager that many guys here would agree.

I do completely agree that apps for everything these days are gimmicky, however, I think this is a solid use of one.
Great example of a use case. Here's another couple that we ran into this past summer:

It's 4:30 and we are 30 minutes from camp and it's a 38 degree Celsius day. Wouldn't it be great if those cold drinks just had an extra bit of refreshment to them? Flick the drinks section over to "freezer" for that last 30 minutes and it's the best beer/zesty drink/water you've ever had!

Alternatively, Ice Cream. We never bring ice cream. Ever. But sometimes, it's nice to have a treat after supper. Being able to grab a couple of ice cream bars at the last gas stop of the day and toss them in the fridge by simply dropping the temperature for a few hours is handy with the app (and again, given the awkward panel access, far easier than manually doing this).
 

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