So recently we came back from a camping trip and unpacked as we always do, but this time to find a lot of the leftovers waterlogged with melted ice. Now i’ve been hinting to the wife that having a fridge would be great for some time but it wasn’t until that last trip that she agreed to it. Woo! Time to go shopping.
There are quite a few options around, the Engels, Waeco/Dometics, Snomaster, Evakool, ARB etc, but newest kid on the block was myCOOLMAN. Yeah i’ve never liked the way they capitalise the name but anyways.
I guess you can think of this article as a mini review of sorts, I wanted to share my experience of the fridge with anyone else whom might be on the same journey. A lot of research went into it, but to tell you the truth as of when I write this there’s not a lot of reviews and real world experiences out there as the fridge is so new. I even took Steve’s (Australian 4×4 Adventures on Youtube) experience with his fridge into consideration, the fact that he was still happy with it after failing on him a few times says a lot. To be fair his previous Engel failed a few times too.
Side note after some research into the company, the same fridge models can be found overseas under the Truma brand. Something to do with do with a partnership between the parent company Leisure-Tec and Truma.
I’m usually willing to pay a bit more for a quality product but the difference in price between an Engel or a Dometic was pretty substantial. We’re talking $300 – $400 more for a roughly equivalent sized unit, and even being the price that it is the myCOOLMAN was feature for feature on par with the more expensive fridges, even the warranty. There’s the compressor to think about and how well it performs but I guess we’ll find out when we take it out in the real world. This is not an Adventure Kings fridge, far from it. Read into that however you like, but the fridge looks solidly built, had what looks like decent seals, and well thought out. I really like the recessed handles. Why don’t more manufacturers do that?
What it eventually came down to was cost. Well value not just raw cost. We paid around $1.1k for the fridge and thats with the insulated cover thrown in. Bargain! It’s normally around $1.3k if you shop around, and the cover is an extra $160. I’ve seen videos of tests done with fridges in general with and without covers and they make a big difference especially if your fridge is sitting in the sun, so a cover was a must if you want to lower power draw and keep your fridge cold.
We’re a family of 5 so we need a fair amount of food for our camping trips, after umming and arring over what size we need and taking the size of our previous ice boxes into consideration we decided to go for the 69L dual zone model, which is also the smallest sized dual zone fridge freezer they make. That should give us options around what kinds frozen and unfrozen food we can take. And if we don’t need to freeze things we can always turn the freezer compartment into a normal fridge.
So far i’ve used it on a weekend camping trip with just my daughter and it seemed to perform fine. Paired with a secondary battery in the boot, the fridge sat in the wagon the entire time with the compressor cutting in and out as it needed to. I did notice the compressor staying on longer than usual one time and that’s when I realised I forgot to put the cover back on the top and the lid got very hot in the sun. You need the cover!
Since then i’ve had the opportunity to conduct some very unscientific power consumption tests in my garage. The fridge was powered on from room temperature and left on to cool to the target temperatures (-15 degree freezer and 3 degree fridge). It was empty, had it’s insulating cover on, and was not opened during the testing period. Here are the results.
|Peak power draw (Turbo mode on)||4.5 Amps|
|Maintenance power once temp was reached||2.8 – 3.0 Amps|
|Total power draw over 24 hours||24 Ah|
|Total power draw over 48 hours||51 Ah|
|Average power draw over 24 hours||1 Ah|
|Average power draw over 48 hours||1.06 Ah|
Results are over a 48 hour period with temps ranging from 18 degrees during the day to 10 degrees at night. Fridges tend to be more efficient with stuff in them so the next test i’ll do is during an upcoming week long trip. I’ll update this article with the results, stay tuned.