poor trucker cant afford new freezers every year I need advice for a 12volt dc freezer.

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Moneyhungrytrucker, Jan 31, 2023.

  1. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    I spent my first 3 years OTR using a Coleman 12v thermoelectric cooler. I replaced the power cords fairly often, say 3 times a year. I replaced the fan once. The key to them is to have an instant indication when it stops working. I used the remote temperature probe of a cheap electronic indoor/outdoor thermometer inside the cooler to show me the temp of my food. within minutes of the power plug or power cord melting or failing I could stop, and replace the cord or put a new fuse in the cord. I paid $99 for that cooler. These days enough trucking companies are getting trucks from the factory with real refrigerators in them. That is the best solution.
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  3. Freightliner22

    Freightliner22 Bobtail Member

    Apr 22, 2022
    Athens tn
    Couple drivers I know use coolers from Costco, it has temperature range like real fridge, not too expensive and they have two sizes. 12v, about 200 300$ I believe. Don't know the brand but I could ask.
  4. zaroba

    zaroba Heavy Load Member

    Aug 28, 2012
    South East PA
    I was going to suggest a whynter, I've had an 85qt for over 4 years now that I've always used as a freezer and strapped down tightly on my upper bunk. Running off the AC plug though, not the 12 volt plug.

    What happened with yours? Did the compressor or a related part actually break or was it just something with the 12 volt plug? Only reason I ask is because it might be something simple and easily repairable. Try the AC plug and see if it works with that? Make sure the fuse in the 12 volt plug didn't blow?
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2023
  5. abyliks

    abyliks Road Train Member

    May 2, 2010
    ludlow MA
    Truck fridge imo is the only way to go, going on 5 years with my current one
  6. peabody747

    peabody747 Light Load Member

    Jan 1, 2022
    u need a power inverter, take out cabinet or seat and get you a dorm room fridge. they will eventually go out but only 150 or so to replace
  7. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

    Aug 27, 2017
    There's a lot of misinformation here that I'm not going to bother arguing since the topic has been covered a ton of times. Use the search.


    A thermoelectric cooler is NOT a DC fridge. DC fridges have a dedicated compressor and any of them can be used as a freezer, just turn the temp down to 0 and expect them to cycle more and use more power. Look at the price difference. That alone should tell you something.

    An AC dorm fridge (Walmart or similar) uses a ton more power than a DC fridge converting DC to AC through your inverter. My Truckfridge has been running 24/7 since the day I installed it except when my truck was at the shop for longer than a couple days. It will run over a 4 day weekend and truck still starts fine. Try that with an AC fridge/inverter. You won't go more than a day or two.

    Any of the Amazon DC fridges are decent for the price. I've had a few. My wife's Jeep has had a Domende running in the back of it for a year now off a small lithium aux battery.

    Good brands: Domende, Iceco, Alpicool, Bodega, Bouge RV.

    Better brands (with price tags to match): Truckfridge, Engel, IndelB, Dometic, Whynter, National Luna, ARB, Norcold, Vitrifrigo.
  8. Short Fuse EOD

    Short Fuse EOD Road Train Member

    Jul 29, 2015
    12v Dometic. They stand behind their products. Also good aftermarket repairs after a year in northern Indiana country.
  9. mmk trucking

    mmk trucking Light Load Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    I have a truck fridge going on 7 years
  10. SteveScott

    SteveScott Road Train Member

    Nov 10, 2015
    If you buy one at Walmart with the 2 year extended warranty, you're covered for 3 years. If you buy one at Costco, they'll take returns years after a purchase, most of the time without a receipt. I went through 3 in 3 years when I first started driving, all from Walmart and the 2nd 2 were free replacements.
  11. annwlenox

    annwlenox Bobtail Member

    Feb 22, 2023
    If you don't have a factory-installed refrigerator, I'd recommend a 12V compressor refrigerator/freezer. They are more expensive but more reliable and efficient. They don't need as much maintenance as thermoelectric coolers and last longer. They are a bit noisy. And they can be powered directly from the truck's battery or an inverter connected to it. I know some people using the same compressor refrigerator for five years or more.
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