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Hammergun

12 volt truck refrigerators

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Hammergun

I’m thinking of replacing my Yeti 50 cooler with a refrigerator in my Land Cruiser. I am wondering if any of you guys have one and what models you like etc. The prices range from $200 to $1400. 
thanks Jeff

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Vermonster

I had an Edgestar for 6 years before the compressor crapped out. I got it scratch and dent for $275; it owed me nothing.

Now I have a Dometic (CFX series I think). It's been running for almost 2 years solid in the workshop at home (on 120 AC) or in the truck. I got it on sale for ~$700 but it seems to be around $1K now.

 

The best source of real world info will be the forums at Expeditionportal.

 

Make sure you understand:

How much space this takes up compared to a standard cooler of equal capacity; and that you can't pack tightly around it on all sides

Battery requirements (I run a second 100 AH battery and in the summer it's barely enough if we don't either run the truck a couple hours or have full exposure sun on solar panels all day). Some people do run it off their starting battery but I don't like to play chicken.

Voltage drop; usually you need to run a separate power line of appropriate AWG; running off the cig lighter or power socket usually won't work.

Which way the door opens with respect to how you will orient it in the back seat or cargo area.

 

 

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watermen

^^^^^^^ What he said exactly!  I can tell you from experience the recent 12 volt refers are junk as told to me by a tech.  I have replaced a Norcold 4 cube 3 times in 7 years.  They are prone to overheating and are large for the benefits over ice if you  can get it.

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Hammergun

Wow thanks guys. I appreciate the initial and thorough feedback. Yes, I have been reading up on the expedition portal. I didn’t know that you couldn’t just plug it in to your cigarette lighter or need another battery. Good to know. 

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Jim Vander

I have an ARB its an older model and is one of the greatest things Ive owned. Its 9 years old and been flawless.  I use it as fridge for half the trip then start freezing birds in it. It will freeze them overnight and keep them that way no issues at all. You should not use cig lighter run a dedicated fused line of heavy gauge wire. ( I think I used no 10). It has never killed my truck batter the power guard feature works a charm. I have  started to shop for an additional one so I can use one was dedicated freezer. Some of the new domestic model are highly rated. You will wonder how you lived without it. 

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blanked

my ARB used to run on 12 volts then it stopped.  seems to put too much of a load on the battery to keep it running.  despite a new fully charged battery

 

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studdog

Mine is an RV fridge runs on 12 or 110.  Full range of cooling from cool to freezing.  Don't get anything less. There's lots of junk out there.  Size of a large cooler but smaller inside.   I'll try and find brand name. 

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Hammergun

Okay after advice from here, on the expedition portal and IH8Mud and my TLC salesman, I’m on my way. 
I ordered the Iceco VL45 1.6 cuft. refrigerator from Wayfair at the lowest price I could find at $459 and am replacing my LC battery with an Odessey Extreme AGM battery. 
I can plug the fridge into the 110 plug in the back of my LC for now until I get it wired directly. 
I will let you know how it goes. 
 

thanks everyone 
Jeff
 

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Chukarman

I had an Engel 45 which worked flawlessly for years. I would make Ice with no trouble and drew less than 3 amps. I sold it to a friend and bought a National Luna 51 stainless with a separate freezer compartment several years ago and have been using it with complete satisfaction ever since. It lives in a Tembo Tusk slide in the back of either my F350 or my Landcruiser. There are a lot of miles on both these units.

 

A quality 12V fridge/freezer is WAY better than any cooler. Just is.

 

PS: I do use a Yeti 150 in my boat, but that is day use. I use a 6.9 CF Norcold 12V in my Airstream and it does OK if I keep the batteries charged.

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Hammergun

I got it today. I will keep you all updated 

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Az Draht

With the switch to the agm battery, you need to make sure your alternator is charging at over 14.x volts.  The battery should say what the actual value is.  Toyota owners, like me, have upgraded to a GM diode which boosts the output.  You should be able to see a thread on ih8mud or a Tacoma forum.  I’ll look for the part number of the one I put in

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Vermonster
13 hours ago, Az Draht said:

With the switch to the agm battery, you need to make sure your alternator is charging at over 14.x volts.  The battery should say what the actual value is.  Toyota owners, like me, have upgraded to a GM diode which boosts the output.  You should be able to see a thread on ih8mud or a Tacoma forum.  I’ll look for the part number of the one I put in

Decent advice here if you will be routinely deep discharging that AGM.  More details starting on page 15 of this document: https://www.odysseybattery.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/US-ODY-TM.pdf

But here is the take-home:

The message to be taken from this graph is clear – in deep cycling applications it is important to have the charge voltage set at 14.4 – 15.0V. A nominal setting of 14.7V is a good choice, as shown by the test results.

Another option if you are only away from shore power for a few nights is to buy an Odyssey charger. The Odyssey batteries really like a long absorption charge, which few of us drive long enough to achieve on a regular basis (especially now with many of us traveling closer to home).

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Hammergun
20 hours ago, Az Draht said:

With the switch to the agm battery, you need to make sure your alternator is charging at over 14.x volts.  The battery should say what the actual value is.  Toyota owners, like me, have upgraded to a GM diode which boosts the output.  You should be able to see a thread on ih8mud or a Tacoma forum.  I’ll look for the part number of the one I put in

Thanks AZ. 

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Az Draht

https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/agm-battery-charging-alternator-voltage-booster.611314/

 

here is a good thread of the gm diode.  I put in just the diode in my gx 470 4.7l and it bumped my output to 14.1 at idle.  I haven’t checked what it is at 2000 rpm.  I will probably put in the fused link shown but my box is not laid out like the pictures so I have to make sure I have full understanding of it first.  Also, a number of people like the variable output add on from Australia that’s mentioned but it’s around $50

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