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Old 01-04-2015, 10:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Do any of those 12v "Coolers" not suck?

I have a 62qt ARB for the Cruiser, but looking for something much smaller to keep in the car. Doesn't have to keep stuff ice cold, but if they can only do 40* below ambient that might still make the temp 70-80*.

I could get a small ARB but it's going to be $750, and it's still to big to put anywhere except the trunk.

This one is a nice size.\/

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Old 01-04-2015, 10:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In my experience, nearly all of those 12v coolers are a waist of money. Only half ass cool and most that I've had will eventually over heat or melt the 12v (lighter) plug they connect to.

ARB is the way to go. I have one that has been hooked up and running nearly non stop for 4 years. That would be impossible for those cheap units.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There are other brands that are good and a lot cheaper than the ARB fridges. I had a Edgestar for years and have been happy with it, how about something like this one Dometic Coolfreeze Portable Refrigerator Cool Freeze Freezer CF 18 DC Waeco New | eBay
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You want a small one from what it looks like, Engel makes the MD14. We have the MT60 Combi in my wife's car and really like it. I would suspect that their smaller ones are just as good as the larger ones.

The MD14 states it will operate 90 degrees from ambient so if you wanted to keep your beverages or medicine at say 35 degrees you would need to stay under 125. I would say this is possible where you lives if you had dark windows a sun visor and left the windows or sunroof cracked. I would bet cars his 150 plus inside where you are without venting which means it's only going to keep the fridge at 60 then.

Engel MD14 DC Fridge-Freezer | Engel-Coolers.com
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I use a small Engel cooler at work. Can hold slightly more than a six pack...pricey I know, but small enough to easily stash anywhere. Or see if edgestar makes a small model.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm trying to avoid paying the real DC fridge price for my cargo trailer camper conversion, so I've done quite a bit of reading into peltier cooling.

Its just an inherently bad solution for cooling a big open airspace. They're heavy electrical draws (6 - 8 amps continuous at 12 VDC), don't actually cool very well considering the power consumed, and only get worse over time as the hot side gets heat soaked.

You might be able get decent cooling performance out of a cooler modified to hold two or three peltier units, but it would be a total battery murderer if that's your only power source.

It's not a matter of brands that suck, it's the whole concept.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 1sicbronconut View Post
There are other brands that are good and a lot cheaper than the ARB fridges. I had a Edgestar for years and have been happy with it, how about something like this one Dometic Coolfreeze Portable Refrigerator Cool Freeze Freezer CF 18 DC Waeco New | eBay
They seem to get good reviews, and I can get one for $280.

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Old 01-04-2015, 11:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You want a small one from what it looks like, Engel makes the MD14. We have the MT60 Combi in my wife's car and really like it. I would suspect that their smaller ones are just as good as the larger ones.

The MD14 states it will operate 90 degrees from ambient so if you wanted to keep your beverages or medicine at say 35 degrees you would need to stay under 125. I would say this is possible where you lives if you had dark windows a sun visor and left the windows or sunroof cracked. I would bet cars his 150 plus inside where you are without venting which means it's only going to keep the fridge at 60 then.

Engel MD14 DC Fridge-Freezer | Engel-Coolers.com
Thanks for doing the math for me, subtraction can be especially hard.

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Old 01-04-2015, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm trying to avoid paying the real DC fridge price for my cargo trailer camper conversion, so I've done quite a bit of reading into peltier cooling.

Its just an inherently bad solution for cooling a big open airspace. They're heavy electrical draws (6 - 8 amps continuous at 12 VDC), don't actually cool very well considering the power consumed, and only get worse over time as the hot side gets heat soaked.

You might be able get decent cooling performance out of a cooler modified to hold two or three peltier units, but it would be a total battery murderer if that's your only power source.

It's not a matter of brands that suck, it's the whole concept.
At 8 amps, you'll be aroud 25btu/hr. Pretty shitty.

There must be portable propane fridges out there.
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for doing the math for me, subtraction can be especially hard.

I'm just saying I don't know what you are storing but that cooler may not cool enough if you are keeping medicine in there or something perishable like that..
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i purchased a Waeco almost 6+ years ago...

I use it in the garage when we need an extra fridge for drinks
it's been awesome ...

the one i have:
WAECO CoolFreeze CF-40

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Old 01-04-2015, 01:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've had an ARB (same as the current Engel) for 8 years and love the thing. Yes it was expensive, but it was worth every penny.
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I used those before I got the ARB. They're only good to cool to about 30-40 below outside temperature. So if it's 70 out, they'll keep things cold. If it's 100 out, not so cold.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Love my 34 qt Engel shop beer fridge

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Old 01-04-2015, 05:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Love my 34 qt Engel shop beer fridge
I like my shop fridge better!
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i purchased a Waeco almost 6+ years ago...

I use it in the garage when we need an extra fridge for drinks
it's been awesome ...

the one i have:
WAECO CoolFreeze CF-40


That's good to know.

Thx
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I have a Coleman Powerchill that i bought about 10 years ago and it has been awesome!

It will cool to 40 degrees below the surrounding air temp. Putting a pillow or blanket on top of it really helps to keep it cooler inside.

I also got the 120VAC to 12VDC wall adapter. when we go on trips, we will often pack the cooler a couple days before leaving and plug it into the wall. then plug it into the car while traveling, and when we get home it plugs back into the wall for a couple days until get get it unloaded.

It spends most of the summer in the back of my wifes Honda Pilot and she will throw the cold groceries into it. Its nice not to have to hurry straight home from the grocery when its warm out.

Its been out for the past week or so with food that wouldn't fit in our fridge in the house.

Its a great way to keep from having wet food when traveling. For drinks, i prefer ice...but its been a great cooler for the $100 i spent on it.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have a Coleman Powerchill that i bought about 10 years ago and it has been awesome!

It will cool to 40 degrees below the surrounding air temp. Putting a pillow or blanket on top of it really helps to keep it cooler inside.

I also got the 120VAC to 12VDC wall adapter. when we go on trips, we will often pack the cooler a couple days before leaving and plug it into the wall. then plug it into the car while traveling, and when we get home it plugs back into the wall for a couple days until get get it unloaded.

It spends most of the summer in the back of my wifes Honda Pilot and she will throw the cold groceries into it. Its nice not to have to hurry straight home from the grocery when its warm out.

Its been out for the past week or so with food that wouldn't fit in our fridge in the house.

Its a great way to keep from having wet food when traveling. For drinks, i prefer ice...but its been a great cooler for the $100 i spent on it.
Do you work for Coleman? Because I've never heard or seen someone with a long term positive review of one of those.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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After researching a bunch, I had found a link to a waeco or an engel, for $3-400, that was a decent size. I was some discount warehouse, but I have since lost the link. The cooler had great reviews on here and other websites...
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I bought one the day before my wife and I took a trip to Florida. Found it new on the list that they were selling. They got it as a wedding gift and never used it. I paid $20 after starting to walk away. It worked great on our trip. It held the lunch meat and a few drinks and kept them cold. Power usage was not an issue as we were driving when it was plugged in.

It was worth every penny of that $20 I spent. Saved me that in not having to buy 1 meal. Would buy another no problem. This trip was in the summer and we went to Miami, with the AC in the car around 75 it worked fine.



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Old 01-05-2015, 02:22 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I have a Coleman that was 200 bucks. Hasn't let me down.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Do you work for Coleman? Because I've never heard or seen someone with a long term positive review of one of those.
Nope.

My wife (girlfriend at the time) and i were in the clearance isle at Target and just got back from a camping trip. She saw the cooler and wanted to buy it. I told her it would never work and was a waste of $$. We went back and forth and i finally gave in, fully expecting to soon be saying "i told you so".

A month later we go on a trip with some friends. The guy was one of my college buddies and we both had the same engineering degree and had Thermodynamics class together. His wife sees the cooler and asks if it works, and as much as i didn't want to admit it, I told her it was working fine and had actually frozen some things on the bottom. He couldn't believe it and admitted that they had had the same argument at Walmart and didn't buy the cooler.

I think the critical thing is that it will take the temp down 40 degrees from the surrounding air temp. If its sitting in 90 degree air, it will be around 50 inside. If you can keep it around 70, it will be around 30 inside. we have to put vegetables towards the top to keep them from freezing when its cool outside. Also, make sure the fan side has good ventilation. When traveling we keep it plugged in and in the shade, and limit the amount of time the lid is open. It is no miracle worker, but it does work.

Its also nice not having your food floating in water at the end of a weekend of camping or boating.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:04 AM   #23 (permalink)
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More for the non-Desert Dwellers.

Snapped this several moments after getting in the car at Lunch 2 summers ago. I accidently left the A/C Vent Thermometer in the center dash vents. Shows 140 there. I think it was mid 150s before the A/C started blowing. Hot enough to warp/ bend the heavy plastic storage tube.

Decently tinted windows all around and a windshield cover, sunroof in vent position, direct sunlight in Mesa, AZ.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:18 AM   #24 (permalink)
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More for the non-Desert Dwellers.

Snapped this several moments after getting in the car at Lunch 2 summers ago. I accidently left the A/C Vent Thermometer in the center dash vents. Shows 140 there. I think it was mid 150s before the A/C started blowing. Hot enough to warp/ bend the heavy plastic storage tube.

Decently tinted windows all around and a windshield cover, sunroof in vent position, direct sunlight in Mesa, AZ.
but it's a dry heat you know .
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