Fridges

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crinklystarfish
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Re: Fridges

Postby crinklystarfish » Fri May 25, 2018 7:04 am

Totally agree Russ.

As per the book, chest design would be my choice from this point on and I'd actually run two. One conventionally, and the other as a storage space / backup in case the unit-in-use failed.

Engel have a good rep and I know a few people on trucks and boats using Shoreline products very succesfully - there's much to commend both.

Dometic have a questionable reputation - trawl the internet.

Many - including our own Vinnie - report that once on rough roads domestic-products shake themselves to pieces. In any event, running fridge through inverter introduces layers of reliability issues and is just plain inefficient.

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Re: Fridges

Postby Ivan C » Fri May 25, 2018 12:11 pm

crinklystarfish wrote:Totally agree Russ.



Engel have a good rep and I know a few people on trucks and boats using Shoreline products very succesfully - there's much to commend both.

Dometic have a questionable reputation - trawl the internet.

Many - including our own Vinnie - report that once on rough roads domestic-products shake themselves to pieces. In any event, running fridge through inverter introduces layers of reliability issues and is just plain inefficient.


If memory serves right, Shoreline are domestic units converted to 12/24v.
Domestic units may suffer on rough roads, but at least they are disposably priced especially if you want a reasonable size unit and I doubt if they are any worse built than the over-priced "motorhome specfic" ones on offer from Dometic etc.
My comments re security of compressor mounting and pipework restraint will help deal with potential issues before they arise.
There are conversion losses with an inverter but using a quality one with a "sleep" facility will help mitigate these, especially if other 240v equipment is being used.
This is always going to be a compromise between price, type of usage and preference.
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Re: Fridges

Postby crinklystarfish » Fri May 25, 2018 3:54 pm

Shoreline use lots of different carcasses and are familiar with the rough and tumble of marine use. The feedback I've had is that the company's very approachable and will build to customer requirement. Never used them myself but know of a few in use and they haven't - to this point anyway - attracted any negative comments. Paul J (saltyseadog) who comes on here from time to time has one (maybe two actually as he has a boat as well) and seems well pleased. He convinced me they may be worth a go when I eventually tip my Waeco off the top of a cliff. He might be worth a PM for some honest feedback.

Agreed that the marine / motorhome label attracts a ridiculous premium that isn't necessarily rewarded with commensurate improved performance. Also agreed that with careful prep much could be done to improve reliability of a standard domestic unit.

Still can't quite bring myself to agreeing relying on mains-voltage ac power is a winner, though. :D

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Re: Fridges

Postby Ivan C » Fri May 25, 2018 4:54 pm

Fair enough, my view may change when I've used a 240v unit - or not :D
Anecdotal evidence from the self-build world suggests it can be a bit hit and miss, depending on the unit/inverter combo.
I personally know of one Shoreline which was built in a free-standing case which had the cooling fins in the sides, with predictable results when it was built-in, hence my comments about units designed to be integrated.
I can see the advantages of a chest unit, my fridge operative is yet to be convinced,
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Re: Fridges

Postby crinklystarfish » Sat May 26, 2018 8:22 am

The (nominal) 24V DC - 230 ac - on-board PSU conversion route that running a mains fridge entails just doesn't sit well with me. Even with efficient inverters there's (in my small world) energy loss that just doesn't need to happen. I bitterly resent the feel of a warm converter / inverter case etc.

My biggest reservation is with reliability, though. It just doesn't make sense to me to introduce a system-critical component that simply doesn't actually need to be in the supply chain in the first place.

I completely accept many happily run stuff through inverters and have probably enjoyed more reliability than my crappy Waeco has brought me.

I feel an existential crisis about freedom of choice coming on... :?

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Michael
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Re: Fridges

Postby Michael » Sat May 26, 2018 5:53 pm

Interesting to hear about the Shoreline fridge freezers. I'll do some reading up on them.

I'm well aware that the marine and motorhome market seems to be full of premium priced products, but I'm definitely more interested in good marine products as they have to be the closest environment for product use to overlanding. Obviously there's still scales of quality in every market.

I'm keen to look into chest fridge and freezers as that's the most noticeable thing with any conventional unit, as soon as the you open the door you can feel the cold drop out of it. I may just need to redesign a few things :lol:

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Re: Fridges

Postby Avid64 » Sun May 27, 2018 2:34 pm

+1 for Engel.......chest fridges definitely the way to go when running on battery power.
I had one in my LR never any problems and a really low current draw, just over an an amp :P
Stupidly, I sold it with my LR......it was my intention to buy another for my truck, however, I have acquired a Mercedes Benz chest fridge from a ACTROS artic for a very, very good price so I'm currently building using this. It's approx 40ltrs and manufactured for MB by Waeco.........we'll have to see how it performs but talking to the MB dealer, he gets very few complaints about them, in fact the only reason I got this one was the fact that the sliding drawer mechanism it is supplied with broke and you can't buy the drawer mechanism on its own.

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ClivePhoto
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Re: Fridges

Postby ClivePhoto » Wed May 30, 2018 3:14 pm

Mine came with a Dometic 3 way fridge with a small freezer compartment which does a reasonable job most of the time. The advantage for me is that it runs off gas though that should not be so important once I get around to sorting some solar panels.

The downside is that absorption fridges cool to a temperature difference between inside and outside so I found that it would often freeze stuff in the fridge overnight and when I turned it down it would start to get warm in the day. Not good. The freezer compartment is not really much use for anything as it's too small but it does keep things frozen.

I bought a Snomaster 2 compartment chest freezer from Stan and it's been good. Both compartments can be separately configured as fridge or freezer and it freezes stuff well. The only problem with chest fridge/freezers is where to put them. I currently have mine behind the driver's seat in the cab with the larger compartment as a freezer and the smaller as a fridge.

You will always need more fridge and freezer space than you think, or even have, so definitely something you want to get right.

Domestic fridge freezers running through an inverter seem to be pretty much as efficient as camper specific units but I've heard they are less rugged and break quickly when bounced around in a way which is unavoidable when travelling off tarmac roads.

Charles Sterling has YouTube video where he did some comparisons between 3 marine/camper fridges and a domestic fridge which is interesting.

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Re: Fridges

Postby crinklystarfish » Thu May 31, 2018 7:04 am

The biggest problem with absorption fridges in overlanders is that they don't work if tilted more than a few degrees; whereas compressor fridges are much more tolerant to plane. You also have the hassle of exhaustingthe gas flue - and clearing it out of dead insects and mouse nests every so often.

Mounting chest fridges on sliders is a good solution to worktop space - some are even supplied with sliders (or have them as an OEM accessory) for just this reason.

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Re: Fridges

Postby ClivePhoto » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:15 pm

crinklystarfish wrote:The biggest problem with absorption fridges in overlanders is that they don't work if tilted more than a few degrees; whereas compressor fridges are much more tolerant to plane. You also have the hassle of exhaustingthe gas flue - and clearing it out of dead insects and mouse nests every so often.

Mounting chest fridges on sliders is a good solution to worktop space - some are even supplied with sliders (or have them as an OEM accessory) for just this reason.


I've heard this but mine has always worked & I don't level the truck. I do need to get some wedges though.

Sliders! What a good idea!


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