ARB fridge/freezer,how long does it last, what size and where to buy? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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ARB fridge/freezer,how long does it last, what size and where to buy?

Hey guys,

my wife wants an ARB fridge/freezer so when she pumps at work she can store it without worrying about a cooler. (she didn't have to ask me twice lol)

my question is this. can you leave it on for a few hours in the jeep without the jeep running? i'll dual battery the JK if i have to. Right now it has a brand new optima yellow top.

2. What size? it'll be in her 2 door.

3. who has the best deals on these?

Thanks!

31 jeeps in... still have issues
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post #2 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 08:56 AM
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ARB fridge is awesome. When camping I can run mine for 3 days with out turning the jeep on. The fridge has a voltage safety system that will shut the fridge off if the voltage goes to low. This is programmable also. (low med high)
http:// .sierraexpeditions.com has good pricing and free shipping.

I have the 50QT and some times wish I had the bigger one but when I bout mine it was the only size.

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post #3 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 09:40 AM
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I have large 60qt and small 15qt Engels.

The large is too large for a Jeep really, though it fits in the rear cargo area. It works in my tear drop trailer or Suburban. I think the 40-50qt sizes are too large too, except for camping.

The small Engel will fit behind the passenger seat and still leave plenty of leg room for an adult passenger up front. Kids can still manage in the back for shorter trips - I did a five hour trip with three kids in the back ages 11, 11 and 14, I rotated them about every hour and a half and they were fine. The driver can reach into the cooler while driving when its behind the passenger seat (there is a smaller "hatch" in the top for easy access.) Or it will fit between rear passengers, and of course in the rear.

The small Engel will hold about a 12 pack of 12oz bottles of beer, maybe 20 or so 12oz cans, so it would hold plenty of baby bottles.

When not being used exclusively for baby bottles or beer it holds lunch and plenty of drinks for four.

The small Engel doesn't have a low voltage cut off but you can buy a 12v extension cord with one in it for a few $'s, and you'll need the cord to reach the rear cargo area anyway. I have a Group 31 Blue Top in my Jeep (around here the marine barreties are common but darned if I could find a Yellow Top when I was looking.) The fridge will run two days without a charge before the 10v low voltage switch interupts power. That leaves plenty of juice to start the Hemi in my Jeep.

There isn't a good small fridge alternative to the Engel. No other good brand offers a small fridge like the small Engel, at least that I know of. The better 12v fridge/freezers include Engel, National Luna, ARB, Waeco and on or two other brands which escape me right now. The cheaper alternatives just don't cut it in my experience.

If the small Engel interests you, I found the best price at Roadtrucker.com. Current price is $645 including shipping. No sales tax since you're in PA. (Don't know how much the extension cord with the low voltage cut off is, but its available from Roadtrucker too.)

Here is a link to the Roadtrucker Engel page. Their site can be confusing btw. Link: http://www.roadtrucker.com/engel/eng...or-freezer.htm

{Edit: ARB, Engel, National Luna, Waeco life expectancy is long if kept clean and out of the elements. Some overlanding or Aussie camping forums have threads on freshening up decade or two old fridges.}

Hope this helps mama!

JPK

Last edited by JPK; 06-18-2011 at 10:04 AM.
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post #4 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys. 4wd has a 100 dollar rebate on the 50 qt putting them at 699... That's not bad

31 jeeps in... still have issues
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post #5 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 01:18 PM
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Do a (favorite search engine) search for WAECO (Adler Barbour, Dometic, Marine) refrigerators. I choked at the price of the ARB and ENGEL brands. There are less expensive alternatives available.

I have a Waeco CF-110 quart model that I have used as a second refrigerator on 110V (12v/110v dual plugs) for almost continuously for the last year. (Long story but a 'temporary' need by my wife last year at thanksgiving for additional refrigerator space became a longer term use.)

The price at the time IIRC was around $800 online for that model, way less than the exorbitant price Engel wants. The Waeco (made in Germany) uses the same DANFOSS compressor that (from my research) the rest do.

I found the refrigerator would run for a minimum of 24 hours on a fully charged deep cycle (Sears Platinum/Odessey) battery (external temp was 80+ degrees while sitting in my garage), (final battery voltage was around 10 volts) and internal temperatures as low as 20 degrees (IIRC, I'll have to find the chart I did while testing). It draws around 3 amps when running.

The CF110 is way too large for the jeep, I should have gone with a 60 quart model. I was looking for a larger freezer capacity when I bought it (I end up being cookie on the annual jeep trips so I do the food logistics end of the planning). It barely fits through the back door of my JK, but it does fit.

My biggest two complaints are minor. If you use the lift out basket, the basket design itself limits what you can fit in it. The second complaint is condensation. If you do NOT use the basket, the normal condensation from use will accumulate on the bottom with no easy way of draining. A third minor complain is there is no internal circulating fan as on a residential refrigerator. This was resolved with the addition of a battery powered circulating fan (JC Whitney R.V. products section). A pair of "D" cell batteries lasts about a month... long enough for most camping trips.

I am pleased with the performance in both refrigeration and freeze modes.

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post #6 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Is there any reason not to go with the arb but to go with one of those?

31 jeeps in... still have issues
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post #7 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 04:20 PM
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I have the new big ARB that I might sell in order to get a smaller one. That is the only reason I would sell it.. Nothing like pulling out popcicles on the trail.
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post #8 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 04:28 PM
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http://www.compactappliance.com/FP43...ances-Freezers

I have one of these and love it. Works great and is much cheaper than others. If you go on Expeditionportal.com, there are all sorts of people who have this brand and love them as well. They may not be as pretty as ARB, but work just as well.

As for time, like other have mentioned, mine goes for a couple days without turning on the jeep. Even unplugged, it'll stay cool for quite a while. I've had no problem pulling it out of the jeep and leaving it at camp unplugged all day and things still be cool when I returned (keep it out of the sun, obviously).

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post #9 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 06:30 PM
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post #10 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 08:09 PM
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I second the engel fridges. I've got two that work great. I've had my small one for 5 years or so now without issues.
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post #11 of 37 Old 06-18-2011, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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does anyone make one that'll fit behind the rear seat of a 2 door? i'm just curious.

31 jeeps in... still have issues
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post #12 of 37 Old 06-19-2011, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k2wranglerx View Post
does anyone make one that'll fit behind the rear seat of a 2 door? i'm just curious.
I forgot that you have the two door. Opps.

The RoadTrucker website I gave a link to gives good, accurate dimendsions. They show the small Engel that I as having an 11.25" width, but it is wider at the bottom and thinner at the top, which helps make it fit. With the extra hatch in the top you don't need to open the lid to load it unless you're loading larger items or trying to pack it full. To load larger items in mine I tilt the passenger seat forward, same when I want to take it out, otherwise the seat back wedges it in.

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post #13 of 37 Old 06-19-2011, 08:47 PM
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"The Waeco (made in Germany) uses the same DANFOSS compressor that (from my research) the rest do."

This in inaccurate. National Luna and Waeco use Danfoss compressors. But Engel uses a unique swing arm compressor with only one moving part.

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post #14 of 37 Old 06-19-2011, 09:21 PM
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Here is a link to the WAECO brand speficications for their refridgerator/freezers. http://www.dometic.com/01253888-348b...22f257c4.fodoc

They also have a smaller one, their smallest is 18l. Its also a little narrower @ 16"w, but it doesn't get narrowr at the top like the Engel.
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post #15 of 37 Old 06-19-2011, 09:51 PM
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I run the Engel 45, keep it in the jeep almost at all times. It does not have the shutoff that the ARB does, but I have a solid 2 days without starting jeep before the Blue top gets low. I love it, one of the best purchases I ever made. The old lady flipped out with the price when I got it, but when we were camping for 6 days, and never ran for ice once, and had milk, eggs, etc with us.... she was sold Size sometimes can be a little difficult in the 2 door, unless the seat is out.
BTW, Engels ship out of FL I believe so shipping might not be too bad
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post #16 of 37 Old 06-21-2011, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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I nabbed a 50 qt arb today from bustabizz for 699 shipped.

Thanks for all the input!

31 jeeps in... still have issues
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post #17 of 37 Old 06-21-2011, 04:53 PM
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I'm running the ARB 50 QT. and I LOVE it!!! You can't go wrong with any of the ARB units. Cold beverages on the trail and back at camp are Super Terrific!!!





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post #18 of 37 Old 06-21-2011, 05:33 PM
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While I'm all about supporting vendors when possible, the prices I've found on google shopping are astronomically lower than alot of Jeep product vendors charge.

http://www.ecrater.com/p/7223631/arb...-50qt-10800472 - $595 w/ free shipping.

http://www.truckcampersupply.com/arbfridgefreezer.aspx - $690.

http://www.northridge4x4.com/proddet...d=ARB-10800472 - $750 w/ free shipping. Much higher.

http://www.quadratec.com/products/96010_1000.htm - These guys are really smoking the good stuff. $812 plus shipping.


Edit: Guess I should've read the whole thread to see you already bought one! Bustabizz's price aint bad. I just refused to pay over $700 for one. $200 or more over what some places charge is insane.

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Last edited by highoctane; 06-23-2011 at 01:24 AM.
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post #19 of 37 Old 06-21-2011, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highoctane View Post
While I'm all about supporting vendors when possible, the prices I've found on google shopping are astronomically lower than alot of Jeep product vendors charge.

http://www.ecrater.com/p/7223631/arb...-50qt-10800472 - $595 w/ free shipping. I bought mine here.

http://www.truckcampersupply.com/arbfridgefreezer.aspx - $690.

http://www.northridge4x4.com/proddet...d=ARB-10800472 - $750 w/ free shipping. Much higher.

http://www.quadratec.com/products/96010_1000.htm - These guys are really smoking the good stuff. $812 plus shipping.


Edit: Guess I should've read the whole thread to see you already bought one! Bustabizz's price aint bad. I just refused to pay over $700 for one. $200 or more over what some places charge is insane.
I pm'd bustabizz that link. He usually takes care of me on that stuff. Thanks man!

31 jeeps in... still have issues

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post #20 of 37 Old 06-21-2011, 07:35 PM
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Congrats. Don't forget to do something to tie it down so it doesn't overturn...

Enjoy the cold beer too, after the little critter has enoyed his own bottle!

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post #21 of 37 Old 06-22-2011, 01:11 PM
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Don't buy from the ecrater link
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post #22 of 37 Old 06-23-2011, 08:45 AM
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I second the Waeco brand, they are now owned and branded by Dometic. I have had these for 10 years with no problems. I have the 50 QT for camping (use as a beer fridge at home for parties, take it to vegas for a fridge in the room) and also have a 18 qt that pretty much stays in the tow rig for cold drinks and snacks on the road, also put it in the jeep for day trips. Similar to the ARB, they have a low voltage cut off and you can run them for days on a good battery without recharging, I wouldn't worry about adding a second battery.


Best prices I have found are here http://www.americanrvcompany.com/Wae...ricanRVCompany

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post #23 of 37 Old 01-14-2014, 08:43 AM
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Buy an Engel, definitely worth the money. I've had my 39 litre for more than 25 years and it's never missed a beat, even after being left in a storm and filling the case with water. It's been all over Australia, including the worst corrugated roads you can imagine. It lives in my rig permanently and is in use most weekends.

We used the little Engel in the riggers trucks and they travelled all over Australia setting up Air Force radio installations. Happy riggers with cold beer at the end of the day makes for good communications.
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post #24 of 37 Old 01-20-2014, 10:20 AM
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The ARB Fridge is one of those things that you really wonder how you got by without it after owning one. Might wanna look at one of these Fridge Slider Mounts too. I am getting ready to mount one in each of our 3 company JKs.


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post #25 of 37 Old 01-20-2014, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oz97tj View Post
http://www.compactappliance.com/FP43...ances-Freezers

I have one of these and love it. Works great and is much cheaper than others. If you go on Expeditionportal.com, there are all sorts of people who have this brand and love them as well. They may not be as pretty as ARB, but work just as well.

As for time, like other have mentioned, mine goes for a couple days without turning on the jeep. Even unplugged, it'll stay cool for quite a while. I've had no problem pulling it out of the jeep and leaving it at camp unplugged all day and things still be cool when I returned (keep it out of the sun, obviously).
That is very intriguing. I might have to pick on of these up.

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