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Portable Refrigerator Suggestions


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Would like to hear from owners that have purchased portable refrigerators that they use while camping.  We hope to go on some extended trips next year and I'd like to be able to have a little more food kept consistently cold than will fit in our trailer refrigerator.

I've done a little reading on them and the price range is pretty broad.  I'd like to spend $1k or less, if possible, and get something decent.  I already have a well made and very large cooler but I also feel like I've spent a fortune on ice keeping the contents cold while traveling.  And if we're far away from places that sell ice, I'm out of luck.

 

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spacer.png2021 Elite 2 Hull # 832 "Bucket List"

2021 F250 7.3L Gas / 4.30 AR

 

 

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I bought a DOMETIC CFX3 75-Liter Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator and Freezer about three years ago. It has been used on every trip we’ve been on since then. When not traveling, it comes into the house and provides additional cooling and freezing space. 
 

As a result, it has essentially run constantly since we purchased it. At home it is plugged into the wall but in the truck it runs on solar augmented 12 volt DC off its own separate battery. We have also successfully run it on a 500 watt Jackery. 
 

It has been absolutely bulletproof and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It easily and dependably maintains the temperature you set down to at least -10 degrees F. Ice cream will remain rock solid. 
 

This model is slightly above your stated price range but I shopped around and found it under $1K with free shipping. 

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

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4 minutes ago, ScubaRx said:

I bought a DOMETIC CFX3 75-Liter Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator and Freezer about three years ago. It has been used on every trip we’ve been on since then. When not traveling, it comes into the house and provides additional cooling and freezing space. 
 

As a result, it has essentially run constantly since we purchased it. At home it is plugged into the wall but in the truck it runs on solar augmented 12 volt DC off its own separate battery. We have also successfully run it on a 500 watt Jackery. 
 

It has been absolutely bulletproof and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It easily and dependably maintains the temperature you set down to at least -10 degrees F. Ice cream will remain rock solid. 
 

This model is slightly above your stated price range but I shopped around and found it under $1K with free shipping. 

That’s the one I have my eye on. Good to hear a testimonial.👍🏼

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2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

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21 minutes ago, AZ Wonderer said:

I discovered the Truma portable refrigerators/freezers at the Quartzsite RV show in January this year.  I took advantage of the show special and bought one...the C44.  It works well and I recommend it.

Truma Cooler Portable Fridges and Freezers

 

@AZ Wonderer I’ve been looking at electric coolers/refrigerators, it’s on my want list! We have a Yeti and I love it but would like to do away with ice. 

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2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

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I've had the Iceco VL75Pro for about a year.  Works great, has the danfoss compressor and I paid about $870 bucks with a coupon.  I have a similar setup to Steve with solar to charge a battery in the truck bed that then powers the fridge.  With partial sun it will run indefinitely.

IMG_0032.thumb.jpeg.16690889679ecfd17ee1109cca45fd73.jpegIMG_1428.thumb.JPG.0d471aa439824ed068317f6b58df5326.JPGIMG_1462.thumb.JPG.ca1c4289b38243bc49e061a23bd910c9.JPG

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John and Kim

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II.   Hull #887

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After a lot of deliberation about weight, size and cost we went with the F40C4TMP. We've used it in multiple settings for nearly a year now and it has performed better than expected. For us it has been a great compliment for the camper, truck, car and house.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08D3T3CJ2/

 

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Jerry & Kathy

2019 LEII Standard #539 + 2019 Tundra Limited 4X4

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When we bought our fridge/freezer in 2016, there were very few choices, and all of them expensive. The "in" fridge was the ARB50 at $850 plus $150 shipping. We were visiting the Conqueror trailer importer in our home town of Bellefontaine, Ohio, and he was swapping out the National Luna 90 Twin fridge that came in the trailer for another combination fridge/freezer.

At the time, the NL 90T retailed for $2700, and we got one from him for $1000. That's a lot today, but a steal six years ago. National Luna is what is in UN vehicles, and what the Red Cross uses to transport organs in Africa and other remote areas. They have since designed their own more efficient version of the previously used Danfoss compressor, and reduced the price by about $1000. If you want the best available, check them out at the sole US importer, Equipt1.com Their custom service is second to none, and owner Paul May goes out of his way to accommodate your needs, often at his own expense.

Mine has been running in the back of my black Toyota 4Runner and now black Toyota Land Cruiser for 24 hours a day, March through Christmas since early 2016. We've not had a single regret.

https://www.equipt1.com/collections/fridges

equipt.thumb.png.2d1d4b1d11e91f4c0f2acf19de82a256.png

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Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 5X8 Hiker Highway Deluxe Squaredrop Trailer
2023 Oliver Elite II Twin on order - due March 28, 2023

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1 hour ago, Mountainman198 said:

Have been using two Dometic CFX35w,  one as fridge and one as freezer

Good idea, divide the weight, separate fridge and freeze plus add redundancy. Something for me to seriously consider before going to a larger unit.

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Jerry & Kathy

2019 LEII Standard #539 + 2019 Tundra Limited 4X4

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4 hours ago, Steve and Deb said:

When we bought our fridge/freezer in 2016, there were very few choices, and all of them expensive. The "in" fridge was the ARB50 at $850 plus $150 shipping. We were visiting the Conqueror trailer importer in our home town of Bellefontaine, Ohio, and he was swapping out the National Luna 90 Twin fridge that came in the trailer for another combination fridge/freezer.

At the time, the NL 90T retailed for $2700, and we got one from him for $1000. That's a lot today, but a steal six years ago. National Luna is what is in UN vehicles, and what the Red Cross uses to transport organs in Africa and other remote areas. They have since designed their own more efficient version of the previously used Danfoss compressor, and reduced the price by about $1000. If you want the best available, check them out at the sole US importer, Equipt1.com Their custom service is second to none, and owner Paul May goes out of his way to accommodate your needs, often at his own expense.

Mine has been running in the back of my black Toyota 4Runner and now black Toyota Land Cruiser for 24 hours a day, March through Christmas since early 2016. We've not had a single regret.

https://www.equipt1.com/collections/fridges

equipt.thumb.png.2d1d4b1d11e91f4c0f2acf19de82a256.png

I am going to look into one of these. Very impressive! 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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Ok, I'll chime in here on my experience with a lower-end, less expensive electric cooler.  After reading through the reviews, I bought a Massimo CX40 cooler from Costco in April.  I paid only $270 for it with and $80 off promo.  I knew it wasn't the build quality of a Dometic or Iceco but it's like one-third of the cost and the reviews were good.  I've used it on 4 trips and it's been great.  It plugs in to the 120v outlet in the bed of my truck during travel.  It has bluetooth and I can monitor and control the temps with the app on my phone.  It cools down very quickly.  It's just the right size for fitting under my tonau cover in the truck bed and I can then move it to the dinette seat in my LEII and transfer food back and forth to the refrigerator.  I've also plugged it into the 12V in the trailer and found that it's pretty efficient (especially if it's already been running in my truck and fully cold inside). I've kept it running set to 36 degrees on 12V in the trailer while having good sun exposure for the solar and it's been no sweat at all over a 3 day trip. 

It's kinda cheap looking compared to the $800-$1000 units and may not have the same quality of insulation - but honestly it's worked really well so far.  I figure that if something goes wrong I can easily retrun it to Costco.  It appears Costco is out of stock on the CX40 and only has the larger CX50 right now at their regular price.  If you want to go electric but spend less, it's worth a look when it comes back in stock especially when Costco adds an $80 promo discount every few months.

https://massimoelectric.com/e-koolers/cx40/

https://www.costco.com/massimo-cx50-12v-portable-e-kooler.product.100566509.html

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2020 Elite II #627, 2021 Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax, Colorado

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22 hours ago, connor77 said:

Would like to hear from owners that have purchased portable refrigerators that they use while camping.  We hope to go on some extended trips next year and I'd like to be able to have a little more food kept consistently cold than will fit in our trailer refrigerator.

I've done a little reading on them and the price range is pretty broad.  I'd like to spend $1k or less, if possible, and get something decent.  I already have a well made and very large cooler but I also feel like I've spent a fortune on ice keeping the contents cold while traveling.  And if we're far away from places that sell ice, I'm out of luck.

 

We bought a Dometic CC 40 Portable for $524.99 two years ago right before we picked up our Ollie.  It's no frills AC or DC and has worked great.  It seems to be a good size for us.  Coupled with the Ollie fridge, we've had plenty of room for everything without having to buy ice.  I can even manage to lift it on the back of the truck tailgate when it's full of drinks still...  barely.  🙂 I use it a lot even when I'm not camping.  Definitely love not buying ice, so whatever you end up with you will be happy with that!

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2020 Elite II, Hull 688 --- 2021 Silverado 2500HD, 6.6L Duramax Diesel

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I went with the Iceco VL45 for $699.00. We previously had a Dometic in our previous teardrop trailer that had the dual opening lid but I didn't want to spend the higher amount of the Dometic. The Iceco uses the same Danfoss compressor as the Dometic, the lid opens both ways and has a light inside.

We used to stress over the increase in refrigerator temps while traveling through the Texas panhandle in August, we now place the Iceco on the back seat of the truck and plug it into a small Jackery 240 power station for uninterrupted cooling, once we get to Colorado we have all of our meat, etc. at the proper temps and no more stress, plus we can access cold drinks while driving.

The small Jackery will run it for a few days by itself.

It's amazing not to have to worry about reloading ice, draining thawed water, etc. and you have increased storage capacity by eliminating ice.

Iceco VL45

Jackery 240

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