It’s been a long search, a long wait as well, but this fridge popped up on Amazon with all the specs I wanted for an onboard fridge/freezer. It’s the Alpicool C22, not an Engel nor a Dometic. Given both the budget build and the room restrictions of the Nomad, this 23 quart fridge fit the bill and it’s spot under the sleeping platform perfectly for under $270.
(I’d normally post a link, but as I’ve searched for it the C22 model is now nowhere to be found on Amazon.) This unit powered from the Nomad’s house 12V system I installed eight months ago. There’s a service panel under the platform accessible from the RH passenger door that has a 12V plug and a USB outlet along with a voltage meter.
Power is distributed from the house battery via this Blue Sea blade fuse block to two panels, the one that powers the fridge and another on the rear of the platform.
The C22 fridge is Aplicool’s latest and it has its quirks, perhaps the reason it can’t be found on Amazon. It’s not plug and play, but instead requires several hours of “rest” after shipping, unpacking and powering up. I’m guessing this is a protection program to keep the compressor and electronics from damage during shipment.
The control panel is far from intuitive and the manual is vague about operations, even missing instructions on setting user preferences such as Fahrenheit versus Celsius. A search through buyer ratings on Amazon along with a download of a manual from a previous model (under a different manufacturer) provided enough info to figure it all out. The control interface is touch sensitive and is sealed except for a USB charging port.
The fridge is located in its intended spot under a hinged panel on the platform behind the front passenger seat where there’s enough space around the fridge to allow air flow.
Inside its 22 Liter cabinet is an ice tray, ample enough for a pair of cocktails, along with about the same amount of room we had with a cooler full of ice. I’ll be updating this post on its performance during this summer’s adventures.
And I’m hoping it hasn’t been recalled due to spontaneous combustion.