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Showing 1-10 of 154 reviews(5 star, Verified Purchases). See all 244 reviews
on May 13, 2015
I had been getting by for years with a 30 quart cooler chest, using bagged ice or pre-frozen "blue ice" bricks to maintain low temperatures (although ice cream of course wouldn't stay frozen). I had considered buying a 12 V thermoelectric cooler, but their limited cooling ability--they can only go 40° F. below the ambient temperature, so if it's 100° in your car, it'll be 60° in the cooler--made them seem not worthwhile. Then a friend bought the 50-quart version of this Dometic refrigerator/freezer for his RV, and we tried it in my car. What a difference! I was convinced, and ordered this 40-liter version, which just fits under the back cargo cover of my 2014 Subaru Forester.

You may be wondering why this unit is relatively costly. After all, you can buy a thermoelectric cooler (such as a Koolatron) for about a quarter of the price. But as mentioned, thermoelectric coolers have a very limited range and can’t cope with high temperatures—exactly the kind of temperatures likely to be encountered in a closed vehicle. You can’t count on keeping anything frozen on a moderately warm day (70° F. or above). Also, they’re not exactly speedy when cooling down.

What you pay for with this Dometic unit is superb cooling performance, thanks to a high-efficiency Danfoss compressor system. Similar to a home refrigerator, this unit can quickly reach and hold subfreezing temperatures, even in a warm environment. Using an infrared thermometer and a FLIR One thermal camera, I measured temperatures as low as -8° F. at the coldest part of the interior (the part opposite the control panel)… and that was within minutes after turning it on. The central area was below freezing, while the “crisper” bin nearest the controls was around 45° F. (This was with the unit's digital thermostat set to 20° F.; of course one can choose less cold settings.) Incidentally, the unit remembers its temperature setting even when power is removed, so if you have it plugged into an ignition-controlled outlet or you move it from vehicle to vehicle, it will resume operation as if nothing had happened.

The unit draws an average of 3.75 amps (45 watts) when running on 12 VDC, but it can also use 120 VAC, thanks to a built-in AC adapter—no need for a bulky power brick. Moreover, you can connect it to 120 VAC and 12VDC simultaneously using the two supplied cords, and it will automatically switch over to AC when power is present. This can be useful for boaters and RVers who occasionally have access to 120 V shore power. When running on DC power, the unit has sensing circuitry that will automatically take it offline if the battery voltage drops below a certain level (settable to 10.1 V, 11.4 V or 11.8 V.), thus minimizing the chance that you’ll run down your battery and be unable to start your vehicle. (I use the highest setting.)

The lift-out wire basket (with removable partition) is a convenience, letting you move food in or out “in bulk” rather than piece by piece. It’s one of the many thoughtful touches in this unit. About the only thing I can find to complain about is that you can’t change the side on which the lid is hinged—the control panel side—but you can easily disengage it from its hinges and remove it entirely for easy access to the interior.

One last thought: if you’ve been using an ice chest cooler of comparable size, you’ll find that this Dometic fridge/freezer has much more usable space, because you don’t have to fill it up with ice.

All in all, this is a first-class product that performs extremely well. Not cheap, but well worth what you pay for it!
98 people found this helpful
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on February 6, 2017
I am an Over the Road Truck Driver. I used an Igloo Thermoelectric cooler for about 6 months. Worked fine but always needed to keep the interior of the truck between 70 and 75 degrees to keep the cooler in the 40 degree range. This Dometic is fantastic. It is a 12 volt compressor driven unit. I only use it to refrigerate my food. I have set it too low by accident and inadvertently frozen cans of soda and bottles of water. I am on the road for 3-5 weeks at a time. Truck Stop food is expensive! Worth every penny of the $350.00 I paid for it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
23 people found this helpful
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on July 27, 2015
WOW! I have owned this cooler for four months and I have used it five times. It comes with the handles detached. It took me twenty minutes to attach them, without assistance. This is a fantastic cooler. It does what it claims to do.

I bought this portable freezer/refrigerator to pack with frozen home-cooked meals to be used in hotel rooms. I travel frequently, by car, with my 74-year-old mother and we could not continue to eat road food, because it made us sick. I use to buy ice and dry ice to keep our homemade meals. These means of keeping food frozen became very expensive. So, I researched portable freezes and found the Dometic CF-040AC110 Cool Freeze Gray Refrigerator.

It is easy to learn how to use it, when the instructions are read before use. The color works for me, soft gray. It comes with the two power cords 12/24 V DC and 110 V. It works very well in my crossover's cigarette lighter and 110 V AC outlets. I have not had a problem with it draining the battery, because when I turn my automobile off the power to the cooler shuts down after a few minutes.

Its 40-quart capacity and two compartments are large enough for a two-week road trip and two people's needs. The inside dimensions of the main compartment are 12" left to right x 11'' front to back & 13" deep. The smaller compartment is 5-3/4" left to right x 11" front to back & 5" deep. I store food and drinks approximately 2" above their depths. The smaller compartment does not seem to freeze as the main compartment does, but it keeps a few 16 oz. bottles of water and drinks very cold.

The motor is very quiet. The only way for me to know it is functioning, I have to look at the control panel. It is equipped with an interior light, a basket for placing the food in and a divider. I do not use the divider. I have used the cooler without the basket, but most of the time I used it.

Setting the temperature control is simple, but the manual should be read beforehand. It takes about an hour to reach the desired temperature. I forgot to plug it in a hotel's outlet and after four hours of no power the food inside was still frozen solid.

I made a trip to Biloxi, MS and New Orleans to buy shrimp and special meats, respectively. I packed the cooler with the shrimp on the bottom and the meat on top. I did not check them for two days. The meat on the top was very cold, but not frozen. I rearranged the meat and had no problems with all of it being frozen.

After ten days of continuous use, it did not need defrosting. Cleaning it is very easy. The lid is removable. This cooler can be used in addition to a full size refrigerator or freezer, when more fresh food needs to be stored.

This unit is to heavy for me to handle when it is filled with frozen food. Its 40-quart capacity is large enough for a two-week road trip and two people's needs. I bought a steel, 150-lb capacity, folding hand truck to transport it. It fits on hotel bellmen’s carts easily.

I purchased the protective cover. Search the Internet for one, trucker supplies. It is easy to get on the cooler and easy to clean.

This a costly cooler, but it will pay for itself in a short time, because I no longer have to buy numerous bags of ice or pounds of dry ice anymore.
I highly recommend Dometic freezers/refrigerators. I will never be without one (power outages, storms) and a charcoal grill.

I travel with a 12" Presto Electric Foldaway Skillet, which works very well with the frozen foods I store in the Dometic freezer. Most of the hotels I stay at do not have microwaves, so this skillet gets the job done. It is lightweight and all of its parts fit compactly inside of it. There is a 16" size.
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69 people found this helpful
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on February 11, 2018
I am extremely impressed with this little Freezer/Refrigerator. It is extremely efficient. I was not comfortable leaving it in my car connected to the car starting battery for fear that the battery charge would drop too low to start the car. I have a Duracell 31 amp hour gell battery that is small and easy to carry around. It weighs about 20 pounds and has handles to carry it around. I thought that I would connect it to this Freezer/Refrigerator to see how long, if at all, it would run this machine. I would have been happy if it would run for 3 to 4 hours. I connected it and turned it on at 16oo yesterday afternoon. Went back about every 2 hours to see if the battery had run out of juice. I continued to check it until midnight when I went to bed. It was still running on this little 31 amp hour battery when I got up this morning and went to check it at about 0800 expecting to see that the battery voltage had finally got too low to continue. When I checked the battery voltage it read 12.5 volts with the Freezer/Refrigerator running! I needed to turn it off at that point but it looked like it would have continued to run for quite a while longer. The ambient temperature where the Freezer/Refrigerator was operating was about 62 F
4 people found this helpful
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on August 12, 2016
Great! So much better than buying ice. NOISE? The CDF-11 cannot be heard with normal conversation or HVAC noise in the background. Only in a perfectly quiet room with NO noise, can a small gurgling sound be heard at start-up, but then it goes away and while running is so quite that you cannot tell when it stops. Used this cooler for a trip from the southeast coast to the northwest coast running all day in the back seat and all night in the motels for a week out west and a week back, plus two and a half weeks while out west. Absolutely no problems. CAUTION! Always use the shoulder strap. On the second day of the trip, in the rain, I did not have the shoulder strap on and when trying to hold the cooler and open the car door at the same time it slipped out of my hands and landed on the bottom corner of the cooler while half full of food. There was no damage to the cooler and it continued to run flawlessly for the following month of the trip. Very tough unit! We regularly left the cooler in the back seat with no power while doing hikes or other sight-seeing. After two hours with no power and outside temps in the middle 90's the temp inside the cooler would rise only 4 degrees F. This is fantastic! If set for 30 degrees F while using during the day, ice packs in the bottom and water will be frozen, but water, sodas, or other food items in the upper parts of the cooler will be very cold but not frozen. Raise temp to 32 or 33 during the night to avoid freezing items in the top of the unit. It's true this unit uses only 30 watts when running. If your car battery is in good shape, it will run this unit for many hours (i.e. 8 hours easy). Our car does not have full-time 12V power, but if you do have a full-time 12V power port, set the cooler to low power mode, and it will automatically turn off before draining your battery too low to start your car. A correction to some ads is this cooler has a special space designed for only ONE 1.5 liter bottle, not two. There is plenty of room for cokes, sandwich meat, cheese, condiments and other supplies for eating at roadside rest areas. Another advantage is medications can be kept at a prescribed temp. Brings a whole new level of ease to road trips. I say buy it - or if needed, buy the same thing only larger. My wife and I did just fine for a month with the CDF-11.
6 people found this helpful
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on July 22, 2017
Just a game changer!!! We spend 3.5 to 4 months on our boat with a fridge that is cooled by a smallish Adler-Barber freezing unit. The freezing unit will hold less than a weeks worth of food with no space to make ice. Food is scarce and very expensive where we cruise, so this is problematic.
With this new Dometic unit we can freeze weeks worth of meats etc. and use it as a fridge when space becomes available. ALSO we can now make ICE!!! in the fridge and keep it frozen - no melt - no waste...and ice cost us nearly $7.00 a bag!! And we use to lose half of it to melt.
My only regret is that I maybe should have gone for a bigger unit. Also I purchased the custom insulated cover for it and it seems to be more efficient.
We couldn't be happier with this product...so far...
4 people found this helpful
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on March 14, 2015
CDL Driver, I am very stingy on giving positive reviews. I don't want to be duped or have another driver make a poor purchasing decision based on my review. This product is a winner. I've had it for 2 days now and my food is rock hard frozen just the way I wanted it. A couple of weeks ago I got food poisoning from my old cooler. Ever been sicker than a dog in a big truck? Not a pretty picture. That did it for me, I had to get a better product to ensure I have quality & healthy food while I'm on the road. I even bought ice cream at Walmart to test it. Worked great and I am thrilled to have the ability to buy frozen products. Bring on Summer! I can't wait to use my new freezer for more ice cream :)
14 people found this helpful
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on January 12, 2018
Bought this to supplement the small Dometic fridg built into our 29' Argosy bumper pull trailer. It fits aft of the couch and plugs into both a 12 VDC outlet and a 110 VAC outlet so we can keep it operating while driving and when plugged in at an RV camp site. I screwed 2x2 boards into the floor to prevent sliding and built a protective box to protect the plug. The Dometic is quieter than the fridg in our house when the compressor runs.
Engineering and build quality please me. When set to 22 degrees F, the small cooler compartment registers 33 degrees F on a fridg thermometer, so we can keep some items that shouldn't freeze. The unit was difficult (heavy) for me to move into the trailer, best have two persons. If you plan to tailgate I would suggest a smaller unit, but it is perfect for us.
2 people found this helpful
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on March 17, 2017
I had a smaller (25 liter) fridge in my Jeep for several years before I upgraded to this CF-40. When I first installed this CF-40 fridge in my Jeep, the wiring to the aux power outlet would not supply enough voltage to the fridge unless the engine was running. The low voltage caused the battery monitor to shut off the fridge. I solved the problem by running 12 gauge wires directly from the battery to the fridge. Since I upgraded the wiring, the fridge can run for about two days with the engine off before the battery monitor (which is set to "medium") shuts down the fridge. The height of the storage compartment is about 17 inches, but the coolant only circulates around the bottom 12 inches of the compartment. As a result, there is about a 10 degree F difference between the temperature at the bottom of the compartment compared to the temperature at the top. The temperature that is indicated on the control panel is about midway between the two extremes. I take advantage of the temperature difference to store items such as fresh meat near the bottom of the compartment and fresh fruit and vegetables near the top. The biggest advantage of this fridge is that I can go on a week long camping trips and not have to worry about replenishing ice or drenching my groceries in melted water.
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on September 24, 2017
Im. HUGE Dometic fan. After 3 days unplugged in a truck in 90 degree El Paso heat, the food inside was still cool. Even the ice cream was able to be used for milkshakes. I have it in my 18 wheeler and after 2 years of vibrations and continuous use its still going strong. I wish I had bought it when I first went trucking. The CF-50 is the perfect size for me. Its small enough for me to pull it out of the rig by myself but it holds a whopping 65 qts. I keep frozen fruits in it for smoothies and I no longer have to eat leftovers several meals in a row, as I freeze them for later. I once had 25 lb in blocks of shrimp in there! I freeze ice packs for the ice chest in it and swap them out so I never have to buy ice for it. If I needed the ice chest or a refrigerator more often, I would buy a cf-35 and set it to cool. I have a trucker friend who also has a cf-80 in her rig. 3 Dometics!! 80 is used as a freezer, the 35 as a fridge and the 50 for snacks and drinks.
2 people found this helpful
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