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Old 02-16-2021, 05:57 AM   #1
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Location: Upstate SC
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12V / 120V Portable Refrigerator Freezer

My rig came with the 12V/absorption combo.

The knock against absorption refrigerators are safety and cooling effectiveness, especially at freezing. Absorption is great to have but my personal preference is to conserve propane for cooking / heating and a dual fuel generator if so equipped.

My primary challenge was how to keep food cold when in transit. Leaving propane on is for obvious reasons frowned upon, while leaving it on battery power, well drains the main batteries. Not to mention leaving items in the fridge will toss most everything around like a salad.

My solution was to add a 12V/120V portable refrigerator/freezer to my equipment list in combination with a portable 500W bluetti generator. Total game changer.
  • Super efficient. When running, mine only draws 40W in ECO mode. I've gotten up to a 24 hour runtime on my solar generator.
  • Great for overflow If the main fridge/freezer is full. Use as a fridge, freezer or both
  • Never need to buy ice. Food stays dry!
  • Transfer food to it when in transit or when food supplies get low in the main fridge. During transit, I keep it inside my truck cab plugged into a 12V socket
  • Keep it outside for drinks and ice, reducing traffic into the trailer.
I picked up this particular one. At the time, the 38 qt. was on sale with a $60 coupon for $240 total (although it's now $300). Great reviews and less than 1/2 the cost of a Dometic.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Includes Bluetooth monitoring and battery protection
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Old 02-16-2021, 07:28 AM   #2
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That sure is a great price, about three times the Engel which is my standard for a portable DC fridge. Their power spec is a bit high though, at 50 watts it is at least twice what an Engel draws. Oh well price vs efficiency.

And it is small, about 1.3 cu ft, probably 1/4 the size of your absorption fridge.

I think there are better ways to deal with an absorption fridge. I am guessing we are talking about a trailer since you referenced your truck. Your 7 pin connector will supply 5-10 amps to your trailer batteries while underway. So start up on gas while at home and loading up. I let ours cool down at least 4, preferably 8 hours first.

Then when you start up to leave, switch to DC. That will keep it cool but probably not cool down any further while you are underway. Then when you get to your destination switch back to gas.

On my trailer, the back of the absorption fridge faces aft so the burner does not blow out underway, so I can keep it on gas all of the time. I understand that side facing fridges can blow out.

David
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Old 02-16-2021, 09:03 AM   #3
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Engle is definitely a good unit! I'm hoping to get at least 5 years out of this one.

Appreciate the advice on the 7-pin charging. It never occurred to me that the connector supplied power to the trailer battery. I was told as part of a checklist to make sure that everything is off, including the fridge even on DC. Great to know otherwise. Thank you!
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