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Old 07-18-2016, 07:45 PM   #1
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Help me choose a fridge....

Now in the right section...

I've researched and it seems to be personal choice but I'd like to throw it out there personally.

My two choices are the ARB (50qt???) and the Norcold 751.

Undecided on size, no frame of reference. There is a smaller Norcold and one smaller and two bigger ARB's.

Either way, I like what people are saying about the ARB as being purpose built for the 4x4 crowd. It's hardcore, easy to clean, super efficient, blah blah blah.

The Norcold just has the traditional front opening and would mount easier and have a clean install vs the ARB that would not be as neat of an install (thinking SMB 50 look). Don't know how the ruggedness or efficiency compares to the ARB????

Thoughts????
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:00 PM   #2
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I'll be watching this thread. I'm after something to replace my Yeti. A couple of articles:

12V Fridge Freezer Buyer Guide
Expedition Portal: Expedition Vehicles and Equipment
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:03 PM   #3
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It really comes down to whether or not you would realistically move the fridge out of the van, in which case the ARB would be the way to go. Does you interior conversion lend itself to a top opening fridge (either directly or if on a slide-out)?

BTW, I have an 80qt ARB fridge in my teardrop.


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Old 07-18-2016, 10:37 PM   #4
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One of the main reasons a traditional RV fridge is so inefficient is the fact that every time you open it all the cold air flows out. Then you close the door and basically push hot air in.

I have used Yetis on 10 day long rafting trips in 100 degree weather and the biggest factor to keeping ice was just making sure the damn thing stayed closed.

If I was doing a home build and power savings was my top priority I would go with an Engel, ARB or National Luna chest freezer.

If my top priority was looks and ease of use I would most likely go with an Isotherm and add the smart controller. I was't all that impressed with my Norcold but it was about 10 years old so that might be part of it.
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
It really comes down to whether or not you would realistically move the fridge out of the van, in which case the ARB would be the way to go. Does you interior conversion lend itself to a top opening fridge (either directly or if on a slide-out)?

BTW, I have an 80qt ARB fridge in my teardrop.


Herb

About the only time I might move the ARB outside would be while camping in a designated spot with bear lockers.

I just got a cargo van that is unconverted and I'm planning the build now so I can go with either. I like the functionality of the ARB but traditional ease of use of the Norcold. The boyscout inside has the ARB winning at the expense of a nice looking clean build out. Unless I can think of other mounting options.

Also, that 80qt seems huge. Is it? I don't know anywhere I can see these in person so choosing a size is a shot in the dark.

Thanks
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:37 PM   #6
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I just had this discussion with a friend. When you look at most comparisons, Waeco always finishes close to the top if Not top. I ran one in my old truck with no problems. The prices are half of the other brands:

Welcome to American RV Company -

You can buy a double compartment Waeco for the price of a regular ARB/Engel/national luna. I commented on the comparison Overland Journal did. The Waeco finish at the top and was a third of the price of the national luna that won. Waeco has been used in Australia forever. I have been thinking of switching out my Norcool for a Waeco(Dometic) chest when it dies. Do the research and save some money.

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Old 07-19-2016, 01:07 AM   #7
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There's a post on Expo (expedition equipment for sale) where someone posted a picture of their Waeco showing some issues with it. Said fridge ran great but was separating at the seam.



I'm not familiar with the brand so can't comment. I had an Edgestar in the past, fraction of the cost as well and never let me down...

At the end I bought a TruckFridge and love it!

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Old 07-19-2016, 09:18 AM   #8
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If you're buying a front loading type I would recommend a Truckfridge hands down. If buying a chest I would go ARB or Engel. Whatever you do don't buy anything from Norcold. Ever.
I recently bought a Tryckfridge chest model but its actually an IndelB. It's ok but seems a little finicky and I don't love the digital only controls. Seems like a knob would last a lot longer. Anyway, it works. It will freeze water in 2 hours.
How cold do you like your beer? Chest fridges freeze stuff fast and can be used as a freezer completely if needed. Front loaders hold more food but don't keep beverages as cold.
I'd say both! Mount a front loader for the food and buy a small chest for a freezer or beer cooler when needed.




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Old 07-19-2016, 10:43 AM   #9
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I'm very satisfied with my Engel 45. Sometimes but not often I wish it was one size bigger.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:47 AM   #10
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I'm very satisfied with my Engel 45. Sometimes but not often I wish it was one size bigger.
I have an Engel 65 Combi which has a dedicated freezer and fridge.... amazing piece of gear. It is currently in my apartment running on 110, and goes back in the van for trips. It has 35,000 earthquake banging miles on it, and just hums right along. Very expensive, but the dependability is proven, and I will buy another if this one fails.
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