Dometic CRX 80 12v Fridge Review

We installed a Dometic CRX80 fridge in our van and we’ve been using it for the last 3 months as we’ve adventured 7000 miles across Europe.

Watch our video review below!

Dometic CRX 80 Review

Chest vs Standard Fridge

If you’re going to be putting a fridge in a van energy efficiency is key, you want a fridge that won’t drain your battery and allow you to be off grid for as long as possible.

Chest fridges are undoubtedly more energy efficient due to their design. In a chest fridge cold air can’t escape as easily when opened. However it’ll probably take longer to get to your stuff which can be tedious. The comparative fridge in chest format is the ARB 78L fridge.

This uses 1.07 amps on average which is slightly less than what we’ve used. We measured 1.2 amps when we were not using the fridge. Opening for extended periods does greatly increase the time that the compressor is on in the Dometic and therefore it’s power usage.

How much power does the fridge use

1.2 amps on a typical day at room temperature 21 degrees celcius

How big a battery do I need for my 12v fridge

This fridge would run down a 200ah battery to 50% (the lowest your should run a traditional battery) in 5 days. If you’re not going to use solar then you’ll need a hookup regardless, if you’re a weekender then a 100ah battery will do with hookup. Longer trips you’ll need a 200ah battery. For more information on the solar setup in our van check out this post I’d recommend at least a 200W solar setup to go in conjunction with this fridge.

Pros & Cons of Dometic CRX80

Pros:

  • Energy efficient
  • Easy access to food
  • Good size freezer compartment

Cons

  • Build quality could be improved on hinges and the latchbroken hinge on the salad compartment

Are Dometic CRX 80 fridges easy to install?

There are two connections you need to make to a positive and negative wire (they’re colour coded). We used crimp connectors with heatshrink, alternatively you could solder. It’s very easy to install and secure with 4 fixing points which you will need to drill through on the sides of the fridge. You can then screw/bolt to your walls so that it’s secure.

What cable size do you need for a CRX 80 fridge?

The cable size in your van conversion will always vary depending on how long the distance is from your fuse block to your appliance. The longer the distance the thicker the cable needs to be to carry the current that distance.

For our install the fridge is 2m from the battery and we used 6mm2/10AWG cable as per the installation instructions.

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5 Comments

    • I sadly don’t have the figure but the compressor doesn’t run constantly it stops and starts. Probably on for 20mins per hour once cool. We couldn’t hear it at all from our bed and is very quiet.

  • Various of your articles quote figures like “1.2 amps per hour” which are quite meaningless. It’s like giving your height in feet per minute.

    You could say it uses 1.2 amps, or that it uses 14.4 Watts. Perhaps more use would be to quote a daily figure in amp hours for ease of comparison with the size of a leisure battery.

    So, assuming that this fridge actually uses an average of 1.2 amps (*not* 1.2 amps per hour) then it would need a battery capacity of 28.8 amp hours in your leisure battery for each day of use.

    • Hi John, appreciate the feedback, have updated the use of the metric. Initially was used to help people contextualise the use of amps, amp hours etc but it is unnecessary. Thanks,
      Will.

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