Portable Fridges - The Ultimate Buying Overviews Of Portable Fridges
 

ARB 10800472 Fridge/Freezer: A Comprehensive Review + What-To-Buy List


With such a great variety of portable fridges and freezers available on the market, it can be a challenge to choose a good fridge that will serve you for years. In this article, we will make an attempt to cover all aspects of ARB 10800472 - a fridge/freezer that is characterized by a number of positive reviews on Amazon.

Let’s take a look at its technical characteristics, performance, advantages and disadvantages.

 


 

Its capacity is 50 quarts (47 liters), which means you can store up to 72 12-ounce (355 ml) cans in it - that’s a lot of space. Consequently, the fridge itself is rather large. Here are the dimensions:

External dimensions:

27.75" (70.5 cm) (length) x 14.96" (38 cm) (width) x 20" (50.8 cm) (height)

The fridge is equipped with two compartments so that you could store fruit/dairy and other products separately.

Main compartment dimensions:

13.27" (33.7 cm) x 11.22" (29 cm) x 15.79" (40.1 cm)

Dairy compartment dimensions:

5.95" (15.1 cm) x 11.22" (29 cm) x 8.11" (20.6 cm)

The manufacturer claims the fridge is capable of cooling products even if the vehicle is off. It is equipped with a Danfoss compressor that can reduce the temperature within the fridge compartments to 0 oF (-17.8 oC). The mechanism that makes it possible to cool your food even passively works in the following way: when the temperature inside gets too high (which is detected by a special sensor), the compressor fixes it draining some energy from the vehicle - yet it does not mean the vehicle battery will be emptied fast, as there is an integrated battery protection system that prevents complete battery drainage.

As to the efficiency, the model is characterized by quality insulation. ARB developers say it can keep low temps in 90 degree heat (32.2 oC) and require only 0.87 amps per hour from a 12-volt power source for it.

The heavy-duty construction of this fridge makes it possible to use it while travelling and driving off-road. The freezer is equipped with a durable hinge system and a front-opening lid. It is flexible in mounting - you can adjust the angle and install it at angles up to 30 degrees: it will not affect the quality of operation.

The fridge comes with 2 power cords (DC and AC). The first one makes it possible to connect the freezer to the vehicle’s DC power outlet (it grants 12 and 24-volt power), while the second one is for plugging into a common electrical socket. The cord length is 74 inches (188 cm). The fridge has a cable retention system to avoid damaging the cords when they are not needed.

As to the startup power, it requires 80-90 watts and then this number can be lowered to 55 watts.

The front panel features an LED display. An LED light is found on the internal rear side - it helps you use the fridge when it’s dark.

When it comes to noise, all feedback is positive - no one hears it working, and it is comfortable to sleep near it (though no exact numbers have been provided).

The fridge has no wheels - you can carry it using two sturdy handles (though you can also choose a hand truck, and we will recommend one below). It weighs 53 lbs (24 kg), so some hand truck will be useful if you intend to move a fully-loaded fridge a lot.

An important point to mention is that it’s supposed to be either a fridge or a freezer at a time, which means you cannot combine both modes. Some manage to set the temperature in such a way that the products placed closer to the bottom remain frozen, while those on the top are a little bit warmer, though it’s not intended and thus not recommended.

It is frost-free, which means no ice build-ups will be inside the fridge. The dairy compartment is a nice addition for two reasons: you can put smaller dairy products there so that they would not get lost among other packs and remain undamaged - for instance, yoghurts tend to spill because the top can be cut by edges of other packs. Besides, the temperature there is a little bit lower. The digital thermostat range is +50 oF to 0 oF (+10 oC to -17.8 oC).

The fridge is sturdy and can even be used as a seat if such a need arises (though do not carry elephants on it - there are limitations which are unclear, but the freezer is rather costly - Amazon offers it for $830.92 - which means few would venture to experiment).

All in all, it is a good solid freezer/fridge that really keeps food cool without building up ice. One of the drawbacks mentioned in the reviews is that the fridge insulation is not perfect - you can feel how cold escaping through the metal elements. To fix it, you can buy a special casing. In fact, it is almost required - but it seems to be so in case of all portable fridges, because it both benefits the products inside and saves energy.

Yet there are other devices, products and appliances that can be combined with this fridge to increase its efficiency and enhance its performance. We have compiled a list of thing you may be interested in when buying ARB 10800472.

1. ARB 10900013 Canvas Travel Bag

The first thing that is definitely needed is an insulation bag. It costs $127.29 and provides good insulation, which makes the fridge consume less energy, and the compressor starts less often. Besides, it protects the fridge from the elements. The weight is 2.2 pounds (1kg) and the dimensions make up 28 x 20 x 2 inches (71.1 x 50.8 x 5 cm). It is a canvas cover with foil inside.

There is a drawback which is relevant only in case of pet owners. The material easily gathers per hair, so if your cat likes relaxing on portable fridges, expect it to have additional fur insulation. You can remove it using a brush, but it really gets covered with pet hair fast. Another disadvantage is that the color can rub off easily, though it does not seem to be a common issue.

The bag has a pocket on the side where you can keep the cord (or whatever else you like). The cover fits the fridge, but it can be difficult to install at the freezer corners. Anyway, the bag helps save on energy and protects the fridge from scratches, dust and elements, so we recommend buying this travel bag if you intend to use it outdoors, in your van, truck or some other vehicle.

2. ARB 4x4 Accessories 10900026 Remote Fridge Monitor

This is an ARB device that works as a remote temperature monitor. You can switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit modes. It comes with a bracket to install the LCD display so that you could easily control the operating conditions of your fridge. It also shows supply voltage and the compressor status.

The main drawback is that there is no alarm to indicate that the temperature has got too high for some reason. As to the working distance, the manufacturer claims it is 30 m (100 ft) line of sight or 15 m (50 ft) interrupted transmission.

Note that the monitor works only with ARB fridges! The plug receptacle is only for ARB freezers.

Amazon offers it at the price of $78.43.

3. ARB 10900010 Fridge Freezer Tie Down System

This tie down system costs $27.67. It holds the fridge in place even if you are driving off-road and in harsh conditions. The quality of the materials used is good, and it fits the fridge (note that is designed for ARB fridges only). Yet the feedback suggests it is recommended to buy this tie down system together with a special ARB slide, otherwise it would be cheaper to buy some other tie down straps, because there is only one anchor point on the rear side, and no double tie-down is needed in this case. All in all, customers seem to be satisfied with the way it holds the fridge, so if you intend to place the freezer in your truck or other vehicle, this tie down system is a must.

4. ARB 10900021 37/50 Quart Fridge Freezer Slide

The ARB slide costs $350.33, which is rather expensive. There are certain drawbacks which definitely need to be mentioned. While it is well-built, the design itself is not perfect. The slide is too heavy, the roller bearings are unadjusted, and there is rattling that does not benefit the fridge and makes noise. Anyway, the slide out feature is still good, and if you can tolerate certain inconvenience with the sounds (which can occur only in some cases - some customers are satisfied with the results), you can still buy the ARB slide, because the above mentioned criticism may be the case of a damaged product. In the majority of cases, the quality of the slide is good, and no rattling notices. So check what you have bought and replace it in case of some issues - it is a good model ARB will be happy to maintain. One of the best advantages is that it eases the access to the fridge - you install it in the back of your vehicle and slide it out when you need it.

5. RoadPro RP-203EC Extension Cord

This extension cord costs $7.81 and does what the name suggests - it enables you to place your fridge farther from the socket. It plugs directly into the cigarette lighter socket, and the length makes up 12 feet (3.66 m). The cord has one male plug for one female socket. The package says the wire gauge is “18 gauge” and “15 amp capacity”. Though it is rather cheap, it can be an affordable substitute for the expensive ARB wiring kit in some cases.

6. Renogy 200 Watts Bundle Kit

Amazon offers this solar kit for $324.99. It is one of the best options if you intend to supply your fridge with power using an eco-friendly solar battery. The kit can supply you with up to 200 watts of energy, which is enough to have your freezer running. It is protected against the elements (though no storm is beneficial for solar panels). The items included in the package are the following: 2 monocrystalline 100-watt solar panels, 30A Wanderer charge controller, 9in MC4 Adaptor Kit, and two pairs of branch connectors. As you can see, the charge controller is already included in the kit, so you don’t have to spend more money on a separate one.

The dimensions make up 47 x 21.3 x 1.4 inches (119.4 x 54,1 x 3.556 cm) - it can be considered compact and portable, so you can take it to any trip, just place it in your van or other vehicle of your choice and get it out on sunny days.

If 200 watts are not enough, you can extend the system so that it would give you up to 400 watts. Note that no batteries are included in the package, so take a look at models that meet your requirements (this one is an example).

Another advantage is that this panel can generate quite a lot of energy, so you will have spare watts for your smartphones and tablets too and you won't need to buy a separate solar charger.

Yet we would like to warn you that the controller that comes with the kit is kind of cheap, so handle it with care. As to all other aspects of using these solar panels, the feedback is really positive, so we definitely recommend buying this kit.  

7. Camco 44033 Fridge Brace

These tiny items are dedicated to keeping your food in place if there are holes on the road surface or the general conditions do not allow you to handle the fridge contents carefully. They cost $4.77 for a 2 pack, so it is very affordable to have to products fixed to keep all milk in the bottle and avoid mixing food. It is very easy to use too - just attach the braces to the fridge basket wires and stop worrying about the Brownian motion within your freezer. To secure the products, fit the brace nut through the wire spacing and turn it 90 degrees to prevent falling out.

8. Vergo S300S Hand Truck

As it has been stated above, the fridge weighs 24 kg - it is not VERY heavy, but still a hand truck would bring more convenience to the process of transporting the freezer. We recommend buying the Vergo S300S. Its capacity is said to be 150 pounds (68 kg), though some say it is not good to load large boxes on it - the balancing is not perfect, and loads close to the maximum do not benefit the hand truck. Yet when the fridge is concerned, it is more than enough to have this model. It can be folded and has a telescopic handle, which means it does not require much space and convenient to store (the nose plate can also be folded, by the way). The hand truck weight is 8 pounds, or 3.6 kg. The frame is made of steel, and the 5” (12.7 cm) wheels are of solid rubber, so it a good heavy duty hand truck that can serve you not only for carrying the fridge, but also when harvesting or moving. As to the dimensions, the full size is 39" x 16" x 14" (99.1 x 40.64 x 35.6 cm). When folded, the size is estimated at 29.75" x 15.25" x 2" (75.6 x 38.7 x 5.1 cm). The nose plate dimensions are 15" x 11" (38.1 x 27.9 cm).

The hand truck is available on Amazon for $35.00.

9. Camco 44123 Fridge Airator

It has been stated above that there may be slight difference in temperature in different parts of the fridge compartment. To fix it, one can buy a freezer aerator. It distributes the cooled air and prevents food on the bottom from freezing. This Camco aerator costs $15.92 on Amazon. Besides handling the fridge microclimate (as an alternative you can use one of the personal fans. They are even cheaper and more compact than this one), it can also absorb odors using charcoal filters (actually, these are simple charcoal packs that are placed in the way of the air flow). These filters need to be replaced in the course of using the fridge, so don’t forget to buy additional ones - they are really cheap.

Another advantage is the on/off switch - not all models have it, so the simple feature adds convenience due to more flexibility, as you don’t have to remove batteries every time you want to turn the device off. By the way, when speaking about the batteries, it must be noted that the device uses D cells that last for a month or so. The aerator is compact; its dimensions make up 7.5 x 5.4 x 2.1 inches (19 x 13.7 x 5.3 cm). It is also lightweight (4.8 ounces / 136 g).

The efficiency of the aerator is reported to be very good, though don’t expect the plastic elements to be sturdy and be careful when replacing batteries - the lock is rather cheap.

10. Freezer Meter

This item is useful only for those who intend to use the ARB as a freezer. This Freezer Meter is offered at the price of $6.99 on Amazon. It is a rather small (3 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches / 7.62 x 3.8 x 3.8 cm) meter that indicates whether something happened to the fridge when you were away, and the ice inside started melting. Well, to be honest, we placed this ‘device’ in the list because it looks so ‘scientific’, so some may like the way it looks. For those of you who want to save these ~$7, we recommend freezing a cube of ice and putting it to some small box or transparent bag - the effect will be the same, you will be able to monitor the freezer condition by checking the cube shape.

In the case of this stylish Freezer Meter, you are to freeze water poured into the container, and when the water is frozen, put the ball on the top of the ice. If it starts melting, the ball will “drop” to the bottom.

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