Whether traveling for pleasure or work, everyone likes to have the conveniences of home with them. There are a lot of 12 volt appliances available to make life on the open road easier. From portable coffee makers to portable sandwich makers, whipping up a homemade meal is easy. With all these available accessories all you need is a place to store the food. 12 volt refrigerators are the answer. They come in a wide range of brands and sizes, but most operate under one of two methods. There is the Engel brand, which features the patented “swing pump”, and the thermoelectric cooler, which uses the Peltier effect for cooling.

The Engel brand portable cooler features Engel’s patented swing motor compressor. This unique motor design makes Engel coolers highly efficient. The swing motor is a true reciprocating compressor which has no high start up current draw. They contain only one moving part, which is self-lubricated, so there is no maintenance needed. This portable cooler has the ability to cycle on and off assuring the temperature is sustained. They are quiet, reliable, and have a high life expectancy of 10-20 years. These models also have a low power consumption which is perfect when running this in a truck, boat, or RV. Engel coolers are slightly more expensive and a little heavier, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Engel brand is known for their efficiency and durability.

Thermoelectric, or Peltier coolers, use the Peltier effect. This effect was discovered by the French physicist Jean-Charles-Athanase Peltier. The Peltier effect, put simply, says that electricity can cause a heat difference at the junction of two different metals. The semi conductor simply transfers heat from one side to the other, depending on DC polarity, creating a simple cooler or heater. Brands such as Roadpro, Igloo, and Coleman offer thermoelectric Peltier modules. These models are extremely light weight, and with no moving parts, they rarely require maintenance. They are a little less expensive and are also very reliable. The life expectancy is considerably shorter and they have higher power consumption. It’s also hard to maintain temperature because of insulation issues. Without the ability to cycle on and off, they can drain a car battery pretty quickly and are a greater risk for over heating. Peltier coolers are also noisy. With all negatives aside, these portable 12-volt refrigerators will get the job done.      

Portable coolers are a great addition to any truck, boat, or RV. They are efficient, convenient, and can save you a lot of money on meals while out enjoying the world. Choosing a 12 volt refrigerator to best suit your needs is easy. Whether you choose a thermoelectric Peltier cooler, or an Engel fridge, your 12-volt refrigerator cooler or warmer needs are sure to be satisfied. Life on the open road is a little bit easier now that there is no worry about storing food and drinks. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the trip knowing your food and beverages will be fresh and cool when you are ready for them.

Shop for An Engel Now.


0 #3 Jed 2012-01-19 12:17
I bought an Engel cooler because I wanted the freezing capabilities. I've only owned mine for about 6 months and already wonder how I ever traveled without it.
0 #2 Austin 2011-03-24 12:46
This article does have a lot of good info. I personally prefer the Engel Coolers. I've owed one for about 2 years now and haven't had a problem with it.
0 #1 Salah 2010-10-22 13:34
This helped a lot. I was trying to figure out what the difference between these two types of refrigeration were and this really explained it in easy to understand words.

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