Engel 12v cooler/refrigerator questions

El Scotto

New member
I know there are other threads about this, but they are dated and do no address the specific question that I have (not that I was able to find, anyway).

First, has anyone used one these (12v 60 quart refrigerator/freezer)? Any issues/concerns?

Second, can it be plugged into one of the stock "cigarette" lighter outlets, or do I need to install an outlet with beefier wires directly to the battery (for a 2020 crew 4x4 V6 diesel)? Until I install an auxiliary battery, the unit will be powered by the starter battery only when the vehicle is running. Supposedly, Engel's compressors are very efficient, claiming to only pull 1-2 amps per hour.
 
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RVBarry

Active member
Second, can it be plugged into one of the stock "cigarette" lighter outlets, or do I need to install an outlet with beefier wires directly to the battery (for a 2020 crew 4x4 V6 diesel)? Until I install an auxiliary battery, the unit will be powered by the starter battery only when the vehicle is running.
Hi, the cig plugs can handle the current, but they will turn off shortly after the key is shut off.
Add a 10A fuse if you hard-wire.
 

aksotar

Active member
I have a 2017 with the factory aux battery package... I have a Dometic CFX45 (which I love) and don't seem to recall it turning off when using one of the 12v plug ins…. I use my inverter and run it on 120 when using my house batteries, haven't installed a 12v plug with them yet...
 

RVBarry

Active member
I have a 2017 with the factory aux battery package... I have a Dometic CFX45 (which I love) and don't seem to recall it turning off when using one of the 12v plug ins…. I use my inverter and run it on 120 when using my house batteries, haven't installed a 12v plug with them yet...
AUX battery option changes how the outlets work, at least on VS30.
See
The van I ordered has E2M, additional battery for retrofit, engine compartment. It looks like it powers the following:

The following equipment is connected directly to the additional battery:

 Code E46, Power socket in cab
 Code EE3, 115 V Socket
 Code ES2, 12 V Plug socket in trunk / load compartment
 Code ES5, Charging package, dashboard
 Code V85, Smoker package
 Code E1I, Smartphone cradle
 Code E1U, USB-C Socket, 5 V

I believe it will power those thing for up to 4 hours after the engine has been turned off.
But OP here only mentioned starter battery.
 

Jupiter_Shrugged

Junebug vs. Hurricane
@El Scotto
We've had an Engel cooler for almost a year. We have the MT45 - https://engelcoolers.com/collections/powered-fridge-freezers/products/45-combi-portable-car-fridge

It is a game changer when compared to using an ice chest... We carried it over from our VW SYncro... Super quiet, super efficient.

I currently run it off of an Optima deep cycle battery that is only charged when i plug in to a 120v outlet. I've run it for 4 days without charging!

As for running off the cig lighter - I don't think you'll have any issue at all. I did this weekend actually. You can even set the low voltage shut off on the fridge to a higher point (12.5 or so) to avoid draining your starting battery when parked.
 
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MsNomer

Member
Yes. Some good info here:


The one admonition from Engel is don’t run it from an inverter.

My Engel MT45 has run continuously for five years. It can maintain 0°F inside a 100° van.
 

djsincla

Active member
We have used the Engel for 15 years and it has been perfect. Standard 12V sockets work fine. Out last van had the accessory battery and fridge would remain powered overnight. Current van only has the starter battery and I need to install a second battery. 12V sockets turn off without the second battery.
 

El Scotto

New member
Thanks everyone. I ordered the 60 quart. Should be here in time to drive cross-country next week. Not cheap, but solid warranty.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
You won't regret it. My Engel experience more or less mirrors those above. Superb unit, in other words.

My MT 45 draws about 2.5A when running and I'll bet the compressors in each fridge are identical. The duty cycle varies with ambient temperature, but it's never more than about 20%, even in Death Valley. It's not silent, but I've come to love the sound at night. Very comforting.

and, best of all...
NO MORE SOGGY LETTUCE! :rad:
 
Today I ordered the Mt45 after 3 years of using 2, often 3 ice chests thinking a dc fridge was too expensive. My 2017 has the aux battery package and deep cycle 120 ah Lifeline under the hood + 175 W of solar. Will use this thread to let y’all know how it goes.
Scotto thanks for starting the thread and thanks to those that contributed. It really helped me go all in..
 

El Scotto

New member
Well, I received my Engel 60 quart yesterday. Despite having called Engel before ordering to verify that it came with the 12v plug, it definitely does NOT come with the 12v plug. Upon reading the user's manual, I found that the size 60 and up do not come "standard" with the 12v plug, but needs to be hardwired to the battery (no explanation why). One would assume that's because of greater amp requirements, but their website, nor the user's manual, does not indicate there is a greater amp draw for the larger models. Normally I wouldn't really care that much, but I just finished installing my swivel seats. The unit also showed up with two large dents. Lame. First-world problems, I guess.....
 

RVBarry

Active member
does NOT come with the 12v plug
Hi, you can add a plug to the wires, as long as your outlets are wired and fused adequately.
Marine style plugs are much more reliable; see @Hodakaguy's video:

Or Anderson power-pole connectors would be great if you're adding an outlet.
 

El Scotto

New member
I'm going to hardwire it for the time being, mostly because I'm getting ready to drive from Colorado to Maine and I don't have time to wait for more parts. I'm planning on wiring it to the "ignition on" pole because it already came with an in-line 15amp fuse. However, I cannot find a good place to attach the negative (ground). What do people recommend for this? I thought I would see an obvious ground pole somewhere, but I don't.
 

elemental

Wherever you go, there you are.
I'm going to hardwire it for the time being, mostly because I'm getting ready to drive from Colorado to Maine and I don't have time to wait for more parts. I'm planning on wiring it to the "ignition on" pole because it already came with an in-line 15amp fuse. However, I cannot find a good place to attach the negative (ground). What do people recommend for this? I thought I would see an obvious ground pole somewhere, but I don't.
In my 2017 there are ground points under the driver's seat. Look for a screw/bolt with some brown wires if you don't have the BEG that shows where they are. Use a two-wire cable from under the seat (I assume that by the "ignition on" pole you are talking about the EK1). Do you really want the "ignition on" pole - won't that kill the power when you aren't running the van?
 

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