Will a fridge work for us ..

GDSQDCR

Adventurer
First, if I am in the wrong section, please move this discussion.

My family of 5 (two adults, kids 7, 6 and 4) like camping. This year we have ventured into the more remote locations for extended periods of time. We have been using ice chests and they seem to last 3-4 days.

Would a fridge be better suited for our needs? From those of you that have them, or have opinions on them, how big does it need to be?

What is a good brand? ARB, Edgestar, Engel?

If I do not want to leave it on the trailer year round (utility trailer when not camping), how hard is it to remove and store?

Thanks!
Anthony
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
IMO once you've lived the Fridge Life you won't want to go back. ;)

ARBs and Engels are great, and also very pricey. Edgestars are less expensive, some people swear by them, others just swear at them. I think they must make a decent product or they wouldn't still be in business but they do have their quirks.

I've been using a small Dometic (Waeco) for the last year and the only problem I'm having with my fridge is that it's getting too small!

Sounds like you're planning on mounting the fridge externally? Personally, I wouldn't do that. I'd keep it inside where it will be protected from the elements, where it won't be exposed to extremes of heat, and where it can't be stolen as easily.
 

mtnbike28

Expedition Leader
I have a ARB 47 qt and move it easily between 2 trucks and a trailer. No problem and I use a cable lock on each. I just use a deep cycle battery when the trucks are not running and it lasts for 4-5 days no problem. We (3 of us) fill the fridge too easily but we like cold drinks. I went through 3 Edgestars before giving up and getting the ARB.
 

GDSQDCR

Adventurer
The fridge would sit out in either the bed of the truck or the trailer. Both of those are exposed to the elements.

Thanks for the input. Where is the best place to buy one? I will search Google, but if someone has a great place to buy from, that helps me. Gotta get a feel of the price.
 

evilfij

Explorer
I have a Coleman powerchill and it has served me well. I used it as a house fridge for six months. It won't freeze or keep frozen anything, but it keeps perishables cool enough (so long as it is not really hot) and it was like $100. Beats the heck out of an ice chest. Sure it is not an ARB fancy expo fridge, but it also was not the price of an actual fridge and it draws fewer amps.
 

Ozarker

Explorer
We used an apartment wally world fridge and genny, or plug in at a park. On the other side, get a good ice chest, metal well insulated box and try dry ice, has lasted 7-10 days in AZ and NM in late summer, if you can conserve and keep the kids from leaving it open. :coffeedrink:
 

bob91yj

Resident **************
I've been using my Edgestar 45qt on a daily basis for over 5 years now with no problems. When it's not in one of my vehicles, it's on the back patio keeping our drinks cold. On longer trips we still use ice chests. Usually keep the food in ice chests, drinks/snacks in the 'fridge.

Check this site for the Edgestars, they come up in the scratch/dent section now and again.

http://www.compactappliance.com/
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Great reading there. I never knew there were two types of units. The thread also got me to look at the cost of them, WOW ... I was not expecting the price. Anyplace to buy them used? I saw that he rented them, but he is to far from me for that to work.

Thanks!
Anthony
If price is an issue (it was for me) you could also go the "hybrid" route: Get a small fridge for perishables like meat, cheese and milk products (basically anything that will spoil if not kept cold) and a cooler for drinks and things that you would like to stay cold, but they won't spoil if they warm up. That's what I did, my fridge is a small (19qt/18l) Dometic that cost about $300 (vs. $450 for an Edgestar and over $700 for an ARB.) Meat, cheese, sour cream, and some fresh fruit goes in the fridge. I then augment that with a standard cooler for water, beer, soda, etc.

There are also techniques you can use for your cooler to make the ice last longer. One of the best IMO would be to freeze several 1 gallon water jugs and put them in there instead of cube ice. Not only does it reduce the mess of melted ice in your cooler, it also provides a reserve of water for drinking.
 

Ozarker

Explorer
part of the fun of camping at night is bobbing for a beer, like bobbing for apples, more fun watching someone else try to get one!

Keeping any cooler or fridge or freezer so that there is less air to cool will help keep things keep cold longer. Milk jugs full of water or frozen certainly helps. Leaving the cold water that melts in a cooler helps. You can also add insulation to a cooler, especially the lid. Use containers that are sized for what you cool down helps, if the container is full it gets cold and stays colder than if you have two cups of potato salad in a gallon container. Air is the enemy in an ice chest or a fridge, grab what you need and shut the door. Keep them in the shade, covered, away from heat sources. Some say wrapping meat in butcher paper as individual meats helps keep them colder longer, not sure about that. You can always put ice in a container in the fridge too.
 

camper357

Observer
fridge question

For a family of 5 without using any coolers, I would suggest 63 quarts. I bought a couple of older norcold (engel) fridge freezers on craigslist over the last few years. You should be able to find one nice one for $300 or less. They are nice if you have a large battery capacity or solar.
 

Enigma

Observer
I have a Coleman powerchill and it has served me well. I used it as a house fridge for six months. It won't freeze or keep frozen anything, but it keeps perishables cool enough (so long as it is not really hot) and it was like $100. Beats the heck out of an ice chest. Sure it is not an ARB fancy expo fridge, but it also was not the price of an actual fridge and it draws fewer amps.
Price is right, but they DO NOT draw fewer amps than a "proper" ARB style fridge. From the stats I'm reading, they draw 5 amps, and I'm going to guess that's a fairly consistent 5 amps. An ARB will draw .7 to 2.5 amps. They are very efficient, but very pricey.

http://www.costco.ca/Coleman®-Power...-Thermoelectric-Cooler.product.100028791.html
 

Ozarker

Explorer
How long do they run? If they cycle on and off every 30 minutes that might be something of a concern or do they last for a couple hours and kick on for 3 minutes? None should be a continuous draw.
 

ADVrider76

New member
I have a ARB 50qt unit and I love it. It is pricey but very efficient, It works well and worth the cost IMO. I bought mine from Sierra Expaditions. After using ice chests all my life most 60qt I was amazed how much you can get in a 50qt fringe without the ice. I can load that thing up. Just keep the frozen stuff on the bottom and they stuff you need to get refrigerated on top.

Mine does tend to run for 3-5 minuits every 20-30 minuits but if you measure the load and calculate it out, it uses very little energy. I have used it in the back of my toyota pickup on the main battery at the lake all day long and it didn't effect it at all and it is usually hot and opened a lot.
 

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