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12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - Printable Version

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12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - Freelander - 01-17-2021

I have been using this Coleman 12v cooler, and it draws about 6 amp all the time, it doesn't cycle it runs 24/7 unless I unplug it. It says it will keep food up to 40* cooler than ambient air. But what I have found it is runs to cold and will freeze my food, my eggs or frozen and broken, and my bacon and other items are kind of semi-frozen. 

Since I have my Propane/Elec fridge working now I don't need it, but I would consider gets a small 12v freezer since my RV fridge isn't very big.

What are your thoughts on which model I should look for?


RE: 12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - highdesertranger - 01-17-2021

how big of a freezer do you want? I use an Engel 40 quart for a freezer. works great, keeps the contents below 10°F and sips power doing it.

some people complain and say the Engels make to much noise. I have 3 of them and while they do make some noise it doesn't bother me but I don't know if it will bother you. all 3 of mine are under my bed.

highdesertranger


RE: 12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - Freelander - 01-17-2021

The 12v Cooler I have is 40qt, that may be the best size.


RE: 12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - highdesertranger - 01-17-2021

yeah you can fit a boat load of food into a 40 quart. you even have room for ice cream, yum. LOL. highdesertranger


RE: 12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - Freelander - 01-17-2021

My Propane fridge will actually freeze ice, I hear a of complaints about these, but now I have it working again, I can make ice cubes for drinks.


RE: 12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - highdesertranger - 01-17-2021

yeah propane refrigerators work ok when the ambient temp is low but they struggle when the temperature rises. in 90° + temps mine could not keep up. they have gotten better but so have the 12v refrigerators. you already have one so use it until it gives up the ghost. when that happens I myself would not replace it with another. highdesertranger


RE: 12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - Freelander - 01-17-2021

If the unit goes bad I will probably replace it with a 12v compressor unit.


RE: 12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - tx2sturgis - 01-17-2021

What did you do to get the RV fridge working again?


RE: 12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - Freelander - 01-17-2021

The ignitor was to far away from the burner, it was about 3/16" away and we readjusted to to less than 1/8". It will freeze water now.


RE: 12v Cooler vs 12v Fridge/Freezer - tx2sturgis - 01-17-2021

I wish everything was that easy and cheap to fix!

I just want to point out an observation that I made when I added a 12v compressor fridge to my camper, in addition to the built-in propane absorption fridge that the factory supplies with most campers. 

It's nice to have both, using one as a fridge and one as a freezer. BUT...each one now needs a different source of primary energy. 

You have to provide propane(energy) for the absorption fridge, by filling the propane tank every now and then...BUT....you are free to park the rig in shady areas and the propane fridge will still work (assuming you have minimal 12v power for the control board)  

But now if you add a 12v compressor fridge that is powered with solar panels, well now you need to always have the solar panels in the sun, meaning that camping in shady areas may limit the intake of 'energy' needed for that fridge. And...parking in sunny areas can reduce the ability of the absorption fridge to operate effectively, especially if that bright sunlight is heating up the RV wall where the propane fridge is located.

So what you end up with is a combination system that will require propane refills AND solar input. You kinda end up having to be very concerned with providing BOTH sources of energy and keep TWO units full of chilled and/or frozen food safe and cold. This might be OK if it's really needed for very remote boondocking for long periods of time with several people requiring a good supply of frozen food, and you have a large capacity propane tank.

As a solo camper, I found it to be less than ideal and ended up removing that 12v fridge and just make do with the absorption fridge. With the one small 50w panel on the roof of the camper, this provides enough energy to keep the absorption fridge electronics happy...and as long as it has at least a ray of light occasionally thru a canopy of trees, it provides enough for the built in absorption fridge 12v drain, which is VERY minimal. 

Of course, if you want to give it a try, let us know how it works out for you.