Like most portable fridge/freezers, the Engel units can operate on a 12/24 volt system in your vehicle or 110v AC household power by using an integrated circuitry system; while drawing 0.7 to 2.5 amps, averaging 1.75 amps. Engel includes plugs for both AC (standard computer power cord) and DC operation. The AC and DC plugs are configured differently so that the AC power cord cannot be plugged inadvertently into the DC plug, and vice versa. The fridge/freezer will automatically switch from AC to DC. To switch, simply set the selector knob to off and plug in your respective cord, the fridge will automatically run off the current power source supplied. If both cords are plugged in and AC power is available, then it will automatically cut off the DC power source. If the AC is disconnected, then the DC power will resume powering your unit. This feature has passed every test I put it through.
Since I live in Arizona, I also purchased the Engel Transit Bag for protection and additional insulation. It is made from high quality canvas with a reflective inner layer that aides the unit when in direct sunlight. The lid of the fridge/freezer is connected to the Transit Bag using Velcro strips that are strong enough to open the lid using the cover without removing the cover from the lid of the Engel. The front of the bag has a pocket with space to store the power cables, spare fuses, and thermometer.
Engel ships its fridge/freezers without the lifting handles attached. There is some confusion as the directions do not state which way to put the handles on, as in facing up or down. The handles are installed facing up, with the bolt holes on the bottom. Using the supplied stainless steel mounting screws, the handles fit effortlessly. Thread lock may be applied to the screws for increased durability.
Near the power input terminals there is a grounding terminal for suppressing radio interference. If you experience radio interference, grounding your fridge/freezer using a 16 gauge wire or larger to your vehicle’s body should resolve the interference issues. I would suggest using quick connects and disconnects if your install will not be permanent or you use one unit and swap it among your vehicles such as I do.
Overall, I am very pleased with my decision in picking a Engel unit. I have had the chance to enjoy an ice cream with friends in the middle of the desert on a 115°F day, grilled steaks on the beaches of Mexico, and enjoyed some luxurious dishes I could never have dreamed of when using a cooler. Oh, did I mention it keeps my beer ice cold?
* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.