Are Alpicool Fridges Good
Many friends on the Internet have recommended Alpicool Fridges. I wonder if Alpicool refrigerators are good? Take a look at the reviews of users who have purchased. The Alpicool fridges are immediately notable for its relatively low cost compared to other compressor model coolers. It saves money but it failed to come even close to its advertised lowest temperature. It offers an "Eco" mode to save energy consumption and has good insulatory properties if you need to unplug.
Anyone use any alpicool car refrigerators?
We've been using one full time in our RV for the last 6 months. Currently in Mexico in extreme heat conditions. The fridge runs awesome and can be ran solely of our solar set up. It also has a low voltage shut off so that it will not damage your battery.
About 2 months ago we came to the conclusion that we needed to replace our fridge in our RV and bought an Alpicool ECX50. Incase you’re new around here, we’re currently about 3 months into a 1 year overland trip from Nova Scotia, Canada to Panama and back. We’ve decided to do this trip in our trusty stead, a 30 year old motor home we affectionately refer to as “Old Buckie”. Now when we bought Old Buckie, the previous owners had removed the propane system. This meant the onboard 3 way fridge could only be used in 12V or 110V mode. Considering how often we’re plugged into shore power (almost never), we only really have 12V available. Trying to power an RV fridge with 12V only is not the greatest idea.
Our Existing 3 Way Fridge – The Dometic RM2401 Gas Electric
Prior to this trip, we did a 3 week overland trek through Southern Africa in a Rental Hilux. Our rental came with a decent sized Engel 12V fridge that ran off a second deep cycle battery on the truck. No additional solar was needed to run that fridge, the second battery only charged off the alternator. As we began planning this trip, we knew our onboard fridge wouldn’t be as efficient as that little Engel fridge, but hadn’t realized just how inefficient it would be.
In preparation for being “off grid”, we installed 2 x 217 Amp Hour 6V batteries and a 250 watt solar panel. It didn’t take long to realize just how much power this fridge was pulling when in 12V mode. With our batteries fully charged and in direct sun we could barely keep up with how much this fridge was drawing. Off grid and in ideal situations (good sun and lots of driving) we could keep that fridge going for 3 days before our batteries starting getting dangerously low.
Why power draw is so important
At this point I did what I should have done a couple months ago. I looked into how much power this fridge actually pulls compared to a dedicated 12V fridge. Our Dometic 3 way pulls up to 18 amps when it’s running. Not only that, its duty cycle (time it spends running compared to idle) is well over 50% when in 12V mode.
So how does that work with our battery bank? With a full charge in our batteries we have 217 amp hours available. That means we can take a continuous 1 Amp discharge for 217 hours. Or we could take a 5 amp continuous discharge 43.4 hours. At 18 amps continuous discharge our batteries would be at 0% in just over 18 hours. If you have sealed lead acid batteries like us, you never want you batteries to go below 40%.
Why is this fridge so inefficient? The 3 way fridges like what you have in an RV use heat to make things cool. They do this so that they can make use of the onboard propane to operate the fridge. The propane boils an ammonia water mixture and those gases move under their own pressure into the condenser. There the Hydrogen gasses from the water and the ammonia gasses mix and cause a chemical reaction that pulls heat from the fridge. This method is terribly inefficient compared to a compressor style fridge. Compressor fridges can only run on electric, either 110V like the fridge in your house or 12V like the Engel fridge we had in Africa or the Alpicool we have now. These 12V fridge usually only pull 2-3 amps to run and have a much lower duty cycle.
Why we chose the Alpicool ECX50
Budget, we were already on the road when we realized we needed to change our fridge situation. We also didn’t budget for replacing such a large item this early into the trip and really didn’t want to spend too much money. The fridge also needed to be able to carry enough food for around two weeks for the two us. We loved our little Engel we had in Africa, and it did great in the heat. We also know that Dometics 12V fridges are very popular in the overlanding community. Unfortunately both of these options in a size that worked for us were out of our budget.
We knew we needed at least a 40 quart fridge for the type of extended travelling we were doing. As we scoured Amazon we came across two well reviewed off brands. Alpicool and Costway. (Ausranvik also had a couple models but not many reviews at time of purchase). Both Costway and Alpicool had models that were big enough for us. What won us over though was the fact the Alpicool model was on wheels. We thought it would be nice to also use this as a wheeled cooler. In the end we ended up with their largest ECX50 Model.
Purchase Details: Alpicool ECX Series Car Refrigerator 30L/40L/50L
Alpicool Portable Fridge Freezer – Cheaper, but Better?
Do you want a compact refrigerator/freezer that you can take on long road trips or use daily in your truck or RV? The Alpicool portable Fridge Freezer offers a great solution, plus it costs significantly less than its competitors.
As with many other mobile electric coolers, the Alpicool gives you lots of versatility. For example, it can use both AC and DC power.
Therefore, you can plug it into your vehicle or use it at home. Furthermore, it can even run on solar!
As a result, you can use this cooler virtually anywhere (ie. camping, fishing, tailgater, picnics, at home, the office, trucking and more). For that reason alone, you can really get your money’s worth out of this car cooler.
Second, you can adjust the cooling temperature to act as either a refrigerator or a freezer. In other words, you can use it for different purposes on different occasions.
Plus, this model comes in 3 different sizes, so you can choose the size that fits your vehicle and needs best . For example, the smallest version (the 35L) can fit 36 cans of soda.
Not to mention, the unit doesn’t require ice to chill the interior contents. Therefore, you don’t have to allow extra space for ice packs, etc..
Alpicool VS Dometic Fridge Freezer:
Below, the video review covers the similarities and differences between these two brands. Surprisingly, the Alpicool may have some features that you’ll like even better than the more expensive models.
This budget-priced cooler demonstrates great cooling efficiency too, which might be the most important feature of all. (By the way, the reviewer is looking at the freezer-only model, which explains the price difference.)
For comparison, a 35 liter Dometic fridge-freezer has a price about double of the 35L Alpicool.
However, this higher-end model does contain some advanced features.
For example, you can control the temperature remotely from your phone.
It also has an energy-saving design and heavy-duty construction to handle more extreme activity.
Specs for the Alpicool Portable Fridge Freezer:
- Dimensions: 27.2″ Long x 15″ Tall x 13.6″ wide
- Weight: 28 lbs
- Size/Capacity: 35, 45 or 55 Liter Sizes
- Lowest Cooling Temp: -20°C (-4°F)
- Voltage: 12 Volts
- Wattage: 45 Watts
- Comes with Internal Basket
- Built-in LED Light
- Package Includes Power Cord & AC Power Adapter
- Model #: CF35, CF45 and CF55
- Manufacturer: Alpicool
- Get the Alpicool CF35, CF45 or CF55 Here
You can get this portable fridge/freezer in 3 different sizes, depending on your needs. They each come with identical features, just different storage space.
4 Handy Features for Frequent Cooler Users:
If you plan on using your portable cooler frequently, the Alpicool fridge freezer has some handy features that you’ll appreciate.
1. Battery Protection for Your Vehicle:
First of all, it includes a 3 stage car battery protection system. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the unit running down your car battery unexpectedly.
2. Low Maintenance Cooler:
Second, the compressor has a vibration-resistant design and can operate while sitting at an angle (up to 45°). Consequently, the device can last longer in more extreme environments without having problems. Who wants a high-maintenance cooler, right?
3. Eco-Friendly Compressor:
Third, the high efficiency compressor also has adjustable modes. For instance, you can set it to either ECO or HH modes, depending on your cooling needs.
4. LED Light:
Fourth, the lid features a built-in LED light. I know, this component might not be a game changer for many people, but it sure comes in handy at night!
Alpicool VS Costway Travel Fridge/Freezer:
Similar to Dometic, Costway electric coolers will cost you more than the Alpicool. However, they ofer an extra-large version that has 2 separate lids.
Therefore, you can open the fridge and freezer sides separately. If you live in a van or an RV full-time, you might prefer this larger version.
Having said that, both models have a significant difference in wattage. The 80 Liter Costway uses 85 watts vs Alpicool’s 45 watts. You probably expected this variance in power consumption, due to the size difference.
Click to view: Alpicool C25/30/40/50/75L Car Camping Refrigerator
To learn more, please follow:
- Car refrigerator with compressor
- Camping fridge freezer
- Fishing cooler
- Boat refrigerator freezer
- Car refrigerators with handles and wheels