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  #1  
Old July 12th, 2004, 10:42 PM
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Trevor Tarr
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Onboard refrigerators

I know the Engels are often discussed, but I'm wondering if anyone has used any of the portable PROPANE-powered units, such as this model from Zero (which also runs on 12VDC and 120VAC)? Propane seems to make much more sense for extended campsite use (e.g., preserving my battery). It's 2.2 cubic feet, and $660 at http://www.propanerefrigerator.us/pr...rator_zero.htm.

Any thoughts?

Trevor
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  #2  
Old July 12th, 2004, 11:54 PM
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seems pretty versitle. the engles seem to be pretty popular. I think coleman has something similar to the engel it may be of interest.
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  #3  
Old July 13th, 2004, 02:14 AM
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Steve Cooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor Tarr
...Propane seems to make much more sense for extended campsite use (e.g., preserving my battery)...
At 1lb of propane a day, I think it makes more sense to use a 2nd (or 3rd in my case) battery to run the fridge. It's recharged everytime you drive and costs very little over time. If the aux. battery should die in the middle of nowhere you just start the engine. What do you do if you run out of propane? Drink warm beer? Oh, the horror

SC
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  #4  
Old July 13th, 2004, 10:56 AM
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Nicholas Orros
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You guys read my mind... this was my next post wondering WHERE to get an ENGEL, and I'm glad there are other alternatives. I had no idea about the propane route.

I saw EE's website and they have a wealth of information about the Engels but at $200 SHIPPING ! that's insane. I'm going to have to try and buy it locally. I can't see why the shipping is so expensive on these, I mean it's about the same size as a computer monitor and for all practical purposes weighs LESS so I'm lost...

anyway, new at this subject.

just 'budding in!




Thanks for the information!

Nicholas
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  #5  
Old July 13th, 2004, 11:22 AM
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Check out 4x4 Connection. Not sure how their prices stack up.

http://www.4by4connection.com/enfreezfrid.html
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  #6  
Old July 13th, 2004, 11:53 AM
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Cool...

Dante,

Thanks for the link, I'll have to check them out.

Sorry for hi-jacking post, but since we're on the subject of refrigeration and there are a number of different options out there, I just came across this... at actionafrica.com ... (just spoke to the guy about a rooftop tent... in the misc section.. my post on Hannibal the Cannibal...)

Anyway, they make refrigeration units for the military which are stainless steel inside and not plastic, and hold a charge for about 48 hours WITHOUT a power supply attached which means they have internal power supplies... neat... And they draw a lot less power and hold the temp inside for much longer.
The also are coming out with a Diamond Plated editiod shortly... I attached a pic. VERY EXPENSIVE though, but there's really not much out there like these.

Nicholas
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  #7  
Old July 14th, 2004, 10:21 AM
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Larry Walton
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Anyone checked out the Koolatron refrigerators? They dont freeze but they are solid state and impervious to vibrations, shock and can be operated at extreme angles. I have one but have not taken it out yet. Inexpensive to boot!!

Larry
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  #8  
Old July 14th, 2004, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norros
You guys read my mind... this was my next post wondering WHERE to get an ENGEL, and I'm glad there are other alternatives. I had no idea about the propane route.
Nick

I would go with either the Engle or the ARB. It doesn't really make that big of a difference between the two since they're both produced by the same manufacture in Japan, at least as far as their specs go. If you decide to go with one of the larger Engle units (35, 45, or the 65) I would definitely take into consideration their lid system and give ARB preference. In my opinion the larger Engle models have a poorly designed lid system. The lid is able to slide of its hinges so that you can clean the fridge/freezer etc. etc, but it also does this when you're using it and is definitely irritating. To my knowledge the larger ARB models have a different lid system in which the lid hinges are designed to lock much like the Engle 15 and 22 fridge/freezers. This lock system provides a much more stable lid and is still easily removable. I'll take some pictures of my Engle 35 tonight to better illustrate my gripe!

As far as the propane option goes, I'd stay away from it unless itís to be used as a more permanent feature in your D90. It seems as if the propane would be just one more thing you have to worry about. Tanks, gas lines, fittings, leaks, etc. Granted, it could take awhile for the propane to drain down, but why worry about it when you can just plug in an Engle/ARB and hit the road? Depending on which Engle you get the maximum draw is 5 amps and that's spec for the largest Engle probably at %100 duty!

I'd ask EE about the shipping if you haven't already because if memory serves it didn't cost that much to get mine to the door. But then again, I live on the West Coast. If EE were too much for you then I would definitely go with the 4x4Connection like Dante mentioned. The shipping should be a bit easier on your pocket book since they're in Virginia. Plus theyíve got pretty competitive prices.

DJ
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  #9  
Old July 14th, 2004, 02:38 PM
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Nicholas Orros
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Thanks DJ...

DJ,

Where you been hiding ?

Thanks for the info.

I think I'm going to go with the ARB most likely.

Got a small question for you!

Now, I have a dual Optima battery setup almost exactly like they did it on EE (with the audiopipe terminals etc... load balanced if you will) and I have one Red Top Optima for the vehicle and the Yellow Top Optima for the winch & newly installed lights...
SO... my question to you is, if I hook up one of the more 'medium sized' ARB/Engel's to the Yellow Top, will I drain the sucker if I say take my lady out for a weekend of camping ?
Definitely worried about how much 'juice' it's going to need.

Thanks man,

Nicholas
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  #10  
Old July 14th, 2004, 04:14 PM
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Not to hijack the frig thread, but Nicholas would you mind outlining how you set up the dual batteries in your rig?
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  #11  
Old July 14th, 2004, 04:19 PM
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Ron,

Sure...

To make life easier:

https://www.expeditionexchange.com/audiopipe/

Just scroll down and you'll see how this way is done... I did it almost exactly like they did.

(they do a much better job at outlining than I could)

Hope this helps <and if it doesn't and you have a more 'specific' question and need a more 'thorough' answer I'd be more than happy to oblige... I just thought that link to EE may be of better instruction>

Also, while I'm editing my post... I have been doing a bit of research on what people are saying about the ARB/Engel units, and if the 'outside' temperature is 100Degrees+ (like it is in Florida) they really don't cool all 'that well'. Some are saying that the FRIDGEFREEZE (.com) one's are the BOMB. But they are REALLY EXPENSIVE$$$!!! Insane...

Anyone ever use these ?



Nicholas
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  #12  
Old July 14th, 2004, 04:30 PM
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Remember the propane refrigerators need to be kept reasonably level to work. 'might not be a good idea if you're doing alot of steep dtuff on the trip.
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  #13  
Old July 14th, 2004, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norros
DJ,

Where you been hiding?
Oh I haven't been hiding. I've been changing diapers and cleaning up puke from my shoulder!

Quote:
Got a small question for you!

Now, I have a dual Optima battery setup almost exactly like they did it on EE (with the audiopipe terminals etc... load balanced if you will) and I have one Red Top Optima for the vehicle and the Yellow Top Optima for the winch & newly installed lights...
SO... my question to you is, if I hook up one of the more 'medium sized' ARB/Engel's to the Yellow Top, will I drain the sucker if I say take my lady out for a weekend of camping ?
Definitely worried about how much 'juice' it's going to need.

Thanks man,

Nicholas
Nick

Short answer, No. Although youíre going to tax any electrical system when you overload it with accessories. When you have your engine running and you were to turn on your aftermarket lights, fridge, GPS, Laptop, running lights, etc. then you'll definitely notice the difference. With your current setup you should be ok since those fridge/freezer draw a relatively low current (say 3.0 amps at the most).

Since you've elected to connect the batteries in parallel (and not in series, which is good since you're using two different makes) what you've done is essentially created a really big battery. While the EE setup is an elegant one you really can't beat a dual battery system with the proper isolator. I know, more money, but this particular one is very user friendly. What it does is manage your system by using the second battery as a backup. You place all of your loads on battery 1 (accessory lamps, fridge, GPS, Winch) and the isolator will essentially make sure that battery 2 supports battery 1 as needed. Itís a really convenient item and I highly recommend it.


DJ
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  #14  
Old July 14th, 2004, 05:06 PM
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Nicholas Orros
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First off... TREVOR, I apologize for Hijacking the Hell out of this post... I'm a typing bastard.

Second, DJ, I hear what you're saying on the isolator, I'm going to have to look into that, more money yes, but not too bad. Not as much as these damn REFRIGERATORS... the prices are really insane. For another few bucks I could replace my refrigerator in my house! haha...

So, aside from the ENGEL's lid not performing up to par, does the 'cooling system' work well ?

I'm wondering how it will work in this humid 100+ weather...

I found a site at 4wheelsupply.com that has the 33qt ARB Frig for about $650 including shipping... not bad.
Still debating on this one.

Thanks again,


Nicholas
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  #15  
Old July 14th, 2004, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norros

So, aside from the ENGEL's lid not performing up to par, does the 'cooling system' work well ?

I'm wondering how it will work in this humid 100+ weather...

Nicholas
Well, its going to function just like the ARB or any other system for that matter, harder! The greater the difference in an increase in temperature between the inside of the system and the outside more "work" will be required in order to keep the inside of the system at a low temperature. Which is probably when you 'll pull the greatest current.

I know that doesn't answer your question, but hopefully it'll provide you with a little more insight on what to expect.

DJ
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  #16  
Old July 14th, 2004, 07:29 PM
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Robert Dassler
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I have had the medium sized ARB freezer Fridge installed in the D90 for several years now and am very happy with the performance. It will continue to run with the truck laying on it's side. I've been in Moab many times with temp's over 100 degrees and we make it a point to bring ice cream. The fuller it is, the better it cools...we usually end up with stuff frozen even on the medium settings. It helps to plug it in the night before you load it and to load it with stuff that is already cold. I have a dual Optima setup....I run a yellow top all the time to drive the truck and have a red top that can be manually switched into the system in parallel for jump starting or winching. I will run the fridge all night on the yellow top and it has never failed to start the truck the next morning...have never had to switch the red top into the system to self jump start. Leaving the proper cooling space around the unit is very important to proper cooling. Living in the southwest, we haven't much humidity, so I don't know how that would affect operation. The temperature knob is graduated 1-5, I have never had to run it past 3, however, I do have the optional insulated cover also.
Cheers, Rob Dassler
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