Originally Posted by DosMars
Hey Daveb, what have you come across as far as chest freezers? I do a lot of travel in Baja and have been looking into the feasability of a freezer so I can vacuum pack and freeze fish fillets for the trip and drive back.
I just ran across the Sundanzer site http://sundanzer.com/survey/chest-style/
but the 1.8 cf freezer seems like low volume while the 5.8 cf model may take up more room than I have available.
This looks like a good article on 12v options but haven't had a chance to dig into it yet...
Iím not sure yet Mark and still open to suggestions. That article is OK but doesnít really cover off road refrigerators subject to rough conditions. From the articles Iíve read, itís hard to beat a National Luna-40, but wow, are they an expensive unit not to mention somewhat large in height. Fridge-Freeze models are priced out of this world and made for medical use. Iím not paying $3,000+ for a little ice maker. Maybe if I was looking for a larger dedicated fridge/freezer or fridge-only unit, my views might be different. But what Iím after is simply a way to make ice to use for keeping things in my Yeti cold and to supply ice for a night of drinking but will admit having a backup refrigerator has its merits. As I posted earlier, Iíve been using a Yeti Roadie where I keep a bag cubed ice frozen solid via a slab of dry ice. Although this has worked, I still find that I run out of ice on trips well before my engine fuel gets low during extended stays in the middle of nowhere. Leaving out of the backcountry for ice wastes time and fuel. So I really donít need a huge freezer just one large enough to supply ice.
Iím still trying to figure how Iím going to make ice while on the trail. Iíve seen some covered ice trays but they are plastic and that is an insulator which would require longer times to freeze the water. I might have a custom set of ice trays made out of stainless but that would be very expensive. Freezing metal ďdrink cubesĒ is a solution but would have to be washed after use and I donít want that. I might just freeze solid trays and use an ice pick but will probably just use the plastic covered trays to see how that goes.
I have narrowed my choices down to the EngleMT-17 but am looking closely at the Indel B (TB 30). Although a bit larger than the Engel, the Indel is priced to move @ $430.00 (according to Expedition Outfitters) and has some good reviews. Expedition Portal has the Indel TB31A priced @ $601.00. Is it the same unit? I donít know but the web site says the TB 30 will arrive in Dec-2014. Iím not sure about Expedition Outfitters. They are the only US company that sells the NL & Indel products, and being the Indel -30ís are out of stock, I hope they are not playing a numbers game. The dimensions will matter but the Engel-17 costs $815.00 and if Expedition Outfitters is posting the correct price, the Engel-17 is almost double the price of the Indel-30. The National Luna comes in at a price of $1,550.00+ putting it slightly out of my reach unless I turn my pockets inside out. The ARB and Edgestar are cheaper than the National Luna but I canít seem to find a smaller sized unit than a 40cu.
For short trips I can load any of these with pre frozen ice and just keep it frozen w/o having to worry about making ice. In that case, the larger units have the advantage. Also a larger fridge can be more useable as a backup if my front fridge takes a dive. That alone can save vacation time and/or a high dollar fuel bill requiring me to return home due to a loss of refrigeration. With vehicle space as a top priority, Iíll have to weigh the options I have. I usually bunk up top but Iíd like to keep the lower bed as clear as possible and putting the NL-40 might have height issues installing it above or below the lower bed. I will not move the lower bed up just to install a freezer so the smaller Engel is the top contender. This will all depend if the lid can be opened while sitting on the lower bed.
Yeti Roadie: 19.25Lx13.75Wx14.33H
NL-40: 25L x 16.5W x 20.25H (35Ē lid up) The inside has two levels that I really donít need.
Engel-17F: 21.2L x 12W x 14.2H I donít know if it has a split level or just a basket.
Indel-B-30: 23L x 13.75W x 15H The inside also has a split level IIRC.
NL-40: No info available
Engel-17: 11.5L x 8W x 10H
Indel-TB30: 10.5L x 12.5W x 11.5H
The Yeti Roadie fits very well on the passenger side behind the bench seat on top of the bed pad in my EB-50. There are no issues opening the lid but the Engel and Indel lids open length wise which Iíll have to measure. When I designed my van I had the necessary 12vDC/110AC outlets installed where Iíd want to carry an additional fridge. If I need to sleep on the lower bed, I can squeeze in as a single person and move anything off if I need room for two. With all of these refrigerators Iíll have to factor in a slide out tray if mounting under the bed.
If I do put the unit below the bed, it will force me to do something with my camp chair and small table. Maybe a water tight bag can be made to house the chair/table on the rear bumper.
I have also looked at smaller medical type units primarily the Engel MD-14 mini fridge/freezer but it cost $645.00, and doesnít automatically switch over from AC to DC when the AC is de-energized. Not a deal breaker but itís so small Iíd be lucky to get 5 standard ice trays in it. I think I need more room than that.
http://assets-production-webvanta-com.s ... Report.pdf
http://expeditionportal.com/overland-jo ... ge-review/
http://expeditionportal.com/introducing ... ge-series/
More back on topic, I do love my Yeti's but wish I had skipped the 200 bucks I spent on the Roadie and put it toward an electric. I might keep the Roadie on board for food storage and as a good outside bear proof ice chest but it just takes up so much room. I'll keep my Yeti 35 for my beer tote. Makes for a great extra seat inside the van.