Refrigerator or Yeti tundra cooler

Going to be building out either a sprinter or a pro master.
Trying to decide if I should get a refrigerator or just put in a yeti tundra 160?
The lil fridges never hold much. I would always be somewhere where I could get ice every 3-4 days (I would think).
Thoughts? Other alternatives?

We used an RTic cooler last summer for an extended road trip and now have a BougeRV chest-style fridge in our van. The fridge is a HUGE improvement. No ice soup or grossness, with very little electric usage.

Also, it’s great not to have to buy ice. We are on a budget and the less times we “have” to walk into a store for one thing (and walk out with several things) the better.

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THANKS for the feedback.


I HATE those energy hog ice chest style 12v compressor fridges, and I’m not a huge fan of ice chests either. Upright fridges are about 1000 times more efficient and convenient.

After bad luck with 12v ice chest style fridges/freezers, and losing a fortune on them, I returned to using an upright ice box for years. Cheap, easy, and waaay more convenient. Buying ice once a week when already shopping was no inconvenience. Today, I have a $50 3-way fridge out of an RV. I like it, because it doesn’t require any power when boondocking, only fuel.

Dorm fridges are also cheap, and can use less power than those 12v compressor fridges when set up properly.

I guess the bottom line is that the promoters only promote what makes them the most money, not what the best choices are, and anybody with soggy food simply doesn’t know what they’re doing. Digging through an ice chest for what you want is the pits.


"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller

It’s pretty nice being able to have ice cream and ice cold beer in the desert. The ability to make ice is a huge plus as well. Having done it with an ice chest, a cheap knockoff fridge and then eventually just buying a Dometic, the best solution for use is the Dometic.

  • It’s not power hungry unless you consider 1.5 a/h a lot of power
  • You don’t need to consistently put more money into it to keep things cool.
  • You won’t waste money throwing ruined food out
  • Having both a fridge and a freezer simply makes life easier
  • You can make ice, you don’t have to go to a store and pay for it.
  • It won’t fail when temps go over a hundred
  • It’s quiet

I’ve seen quite a few of the ARB’s lately and they seem to be holding up well from what I can tell. Not everyone has the budget for a Dometic or ARB, but we honestly couldn’t be happier with ours.

Whether you are digging behind things or you are digging down, you’re still digging.

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An ice box is generally the cheapest way to go (initial expense) but ice does get expensive in the long run and there is the mess of the melted water to deal with. Not to mention having to find ice every few days.
An actual refrigerator is nice.
They do make those 12v refrigerators that can be freezers also, you could use the freezer to keep things frozen (ice cream, meats, etc) and rotate bottles of frozen to the ice chest for the normal day to day refrigerator stuff.

If you’re going out for weekends or a week the cooler will do fine, if you’re going out long term the cooler is better than nothing IF you want to deal with it, you can (with planning) get by without.
But having a 12v refrigerator powered by solar/vehicle alternator is a great thing to have if the van is going to be your home.

Thanks for the feedback…