Jump to content
onewheelonmywagon

Electric Coolboxes

Recommended Posts

I'm off to France, Spain and Portugal at the end of August and I want to enlarge the refrigeration storage of my outfit by getting an electric coolbox to go in the awning, but also to continue its cooling when it travels in the car.

Currently we have an undercounter Dometic fridge which performs reasonably well but is not big enough to hold all of the liquids, butter, cheese, meats, salads etc that we regularly consume. I have done some research and have rejected the low end thermoelectric boxes because they only cool to 16 or 20 degrees below ambient, which isn't much use if ambient is 30 degrees plus. I have also rejected the 3 way boxes because they are usually too big and heavy and still suffer from the degrees below ambient limitation.

Oh, it needs to be about 30 litres or so and I'm not paying more than £300.

I have narrowed my search down to two boxes:

 

Dometic Tropicool TCX35

It's a thermoelectric but claims to cool to 27 degrees below ambient.

 

Mobicool FR40

This is a compressor fridge that will cool to -10 degrees. It also has continuous fine temperature control.

 

Has anyone used either of these boxes in hot climates and would care to comment on their performance and useability.

Edited by onewheelonmywagon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dometic Tropicool TCX35 gets good reviews on Amazon.  Probably work better in the car, not the boot.  Buyers say it's a bit larger than they thought.

Edited by kelper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a Mobicool W40 which looks about the same spec as the Tropicool. 39litres and a few less watts. Works very well indeed with variable cooling, mains and 12vdc operation.

Its still available at £80-90, so a bargain by comparison.

We have used it to hold stuff whilst van unit cools.

GB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a Mobicool W40 which looks about the same spec as the Tropicool. 39litres and a few less watts. Works very well indeed with variable cooling, mains and 12vdc operation.

Its still available at £80-90, so a bargain by comparison.

We have used it to hold stuff whilst van unit cools.

I would expect Peltier type units not to have the cooling performance that compressor units might provide in hot climates. If you want to hold stuff that is already cold they are fine but cooling from ambient takes a while. Compressor types may come with a noise penalty of course.

GB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I was getting an entry level thermoelectric box the W40 would be high on the list but at 18 degrees below ambient it's a non starter for hotter climes.

The noise level of the FR40 could be a problem at 49 dB(A).

It's not the compressor noise that is the problem but rather the cheap and nasty cooling fan - Mobicool is the budget end of the Dometic/Waeco brand. I've seen a video showing how to swap out the fan for a near silent Arctic PC fan but wouldn't consider doing that while the box is in warranty.

Edited by onewheelonmywagon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know you said no to the thermoelectric boxes. I have just purchased our second one from Halfords. (Gave our old one to daughter, who has just started caravanning).

I tend to plug it in at home 240/12v/24v, getting it cool! Plug it into the car for the commute.

I don't keep it in the awning, because of the high temperatures, In the shade, usually behind caravan, unless it looks like rain?

It will turn the condensation into ice, over a week or so. It keeps the amber nectar and wine at a drinkable temperature, which frees up space in the fridge, for the mundane stuff like milk, butter, cheese??????????

They are on offer at Halfords?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Food safe temperature is 4 deg C.  On the continent, in summer, even a 30 deg drop from ambient may not be enough.  So a compressor coolbox seems necessary.

 

Have yoou considered a hybrid?  The Dometic CK 40D uses a compressor on mains but a thermoelectric on 12V.  This will consume 3.9A from the car battery so you could leave it running for a couple of hours during a journey break.  Once hooked up it will cool to -10 if necessary.

Edited by kelper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, David P said:

I know you said no to the thermoelectric boxes. I have just purchased our second one from Halfords. (Gave our old one to daughter, who has just started caravanning).

I tend to plug it in at home 240/12v/24v, getting it cool! Plug it into the car for the commute.

I don't keep it in the awning, because of the high temperatures, In the shade, usually behind caravan, unless it looks like rain?

It will turn the condensation into ice, over a week or so. It keeps the amber nectar and wine at a drinkable temperature, which frees up space in the fridge, for the mundane stuff like milk, butter, cheese??????????

They are on offer at Halfords?  

We use a Halfords unit  as well - it must be alt least 20 years old (probably more). As yours, it will get a film of ice on the cooling plate. It's obviously got a thermostat in it because once it's down to temperature the fan switches on & off.

 

We use it in the awning for the drinks & wine. but generally not food. I've thought about replacing it but as it still does the job there's not a lot of point

 

I doubt it would be adequate on the continent but it's fine in this country (even last year when it got everso hot). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new one is a lot quieter. it has an efficiency label on it A+, 45db. We take to France and as said keep it cool and it works a lot better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have the Halfords box and found it will keep food frozen, but needs to be topped up with ice every couple of days.  Been thinking of buying an ice maker like this one.  A compressor fridge would be better as it takes up less room.    The other option is a small bar compressor fridge for milk and drinks freeing up the caravan fridge and it can be used at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, kelper said:

Food safe temperature is 4 deg C.  On the continent, in summer, even a 30 deg drop from ambient may not be enough.  So a compressor coolbox seems necessary.

 

Have yoou considered a hybrid?  The Dometic CK 40D uses a compressor on mains but a thermoelectric on 12V.  This will consume 3.9A from the car battery so you could leave it running for a couple of hours during a journey break.  Once hooked up it will cool to -10 if necessary.

 

I've added the 40D Hybrid to my list, thanks for the link.

It's a square box rather than an oblong like the Mobicool FR40 so I will need to measure the space in the boot again, but the thermoelectric option would be good for running in the car. It's got very thick insulation so won't warm up much on a long trip between campsites. It's a bit heavy at 21Kg compared to the FR40 at 12kg even though the capacity is the same at 38 litres.

Definitely a contender though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They recommend it's not stowed in the boot; it needs air circulation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...