12 volt fridges worth it?

Hi all,

I've been looking for a little while but never seriuosly at getting a 12 volt fridge for the boat as a second eskie for the 3 day weekends, family days or even just dawn to dusk cool drinks thing and saw that Hooty just sold one on this site.

does anyone have any they use? Worth the money? are the cheaper ones nasty and not worth the head ache and if you plug it into the boat (granted I have two batteries), will it suck the life out of them and will it handle the abuse a boat in a southerly sometimes gives it?

I already run two eskies with one for fish adn one for drinks/food when away but not dealing with ice on the second one would be nice - or would it?



Iceman's picture

Posts: 744

Date Joined: 17/03/09


Mon, 2012-02-13 15:51

I have a 60ltr Waeco and would not go back to an esky only. It is 240/12v so you can cool it overnight before going out. Also monitors batteries and if getting low will shut down so not to drain the batteries. I also have TwoZone on top. Allows me to freeze bottom section and twozone works as fridge.




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Faulkner Family's picture

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Date Joined: 11/03/08

 might be better off with

Mon, 2012-02-13 15:54

 might be better off with something like an engle or waeco which are more designed to take a bit of pounding. either way it works out a lot more expencive than a bit of ice


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Posts: 198

Date Joined: 25/05/10

The cheaper ones do not use a

Mon, 2012-02-13 16:09

The cheaper ones do not use a compressor and are not very efficient, they will suck the living daylights out of your battery. Most the quality brands ($1000) will hold up pretty well if secured properly and if you have the correct dual battery set up will not give you any hassles. Like anything that uses your battery power you have to keep an eye on it.

glastronomic's picture

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Date Joined: 16/02/11

 My boat has an inbuild

Mon, 2012-02-13 16:14

 My boat has an inbuild fridge that runs both on 240V and 12V supplied from batteries.

brilliant bitta kit!




marble's picture

Posts: 712

Date Joined: 03/09/09

Got a 60 litre waeco in the

Mon, 2012-02-13 16:50

Got a 60 litre waeco in the console, wouldnt be without a fridge on the boat ever ahain.


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solly's picture

Posts: 375

Date Joined: 11/09/05

best thing to camp with

Mon, 2012-02-13 18:34

 mine has a inbuilt fridge thats about 70 litres.It gets colder faster than both my waeco and engel and have camped for three days on the boat and its current draw didnt effect the batteries.


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chris raff's picture

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Date Joined: 09/02/10

Been considering the same

Mon, 2012-02-13 19:16

I'm leaning towards 3 way bar fridge type and run it off gas ...after priming it with the 240v ... we will also use the gas for a little two burner bbq sometimes...but I got a cabin that I can build it in...on a open deck a waeco type would be the go , more versatile/portable too as you can throw it in the back of the bus as well...I suppose just have to weigh it up investment wise ,if using fairly often be well worth it and be handy at times for other adventures...bags of ice are a extra ongoing overhead x $3.50 ea every outing


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kempy's picture

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Date Joined: 28/05/09

Got the good old 40L  engel

Mon, 2012-02-13 20:22

Got the good old 40L  engel in our boat keep everything nice and cold/frozen and doesnt draw to much power.


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Happy Hooker's picture

Posts: 275

Date Joined: 12/11/08

Yep Kempy is on the money

Wed, 2012-02-15 07:36

I have the same, a 40l engel, draws sweet FA power wise, your food doesnt get soaked in water,drinks cold, no stuffing around with ice and you can crank it down temp wise and use it as a freezer. Hreat for boat and also when camping / beach fishing. Got a small solar panel from a site in SA for around $200 which tops up batteries when parked up.

 Esky wise, I save all of the 2 and 3 lt empty milk / cool drink bottles when empty and fill them up with water and throw in deep freezer so dont have to buy ice.Give them a whack with the axe and have big ice chunks.  

neville hood's picture

Posts: 51

Date Joined: 26/09/11

Happy HookerWhat size solar

Wed, 2012-02-15 08:54

Happy Hooker

What size solar have you got and or recommend. Also fill and freeze 2ltr milk bottles when I go away, 5 or 6 does the trick and you just hose them off when you get home and bung em back in the freezer for next time. Saves a packet. 

Cheers neville

Happy Hooker's picture

Posts: 275

Date Joined: 12/11/08

Nev , This is the one I have...

Wed, 2012-02-15 15:13



Couldnt rememebr how much I paid till i re-googled it.It was same price ($140) buy too much stuff to remember what i pay but knew wasnt much !! 

Hook up the boat when at home to keep them topped up and used it hooked up at Dirk Hartog to 4WD.   

No issues with it all for the last 2 years.  


Mate bought an Engel and a  Waeco Powerpack ....works really well.