The next test was to put the EdgeStar in a Jeep to see if it can run all night and not kill the battery. I did this in both a Grand Cherokee and TJ Wrangler. The Grand Cherokee had a one year old standard battery in it, the Wrangler a one year old Optima Yellow Top. On day one the fridge was plugged into the TJ with two bags of ice and the temp set to 30 degrees at 3pm. At 8am the next morning the TJ started up no problem. The temperature was maintained in the fridge and the ice was still ice. The same was tried with the Grand Cherokee over the next 24 hours with the same results. So with a fully charged battery the EdgeStar kept a temperature of 30 degrees for 17 hours without leaving me “stranded”. As a second test, the same was done over a 24 hour period with the same results. With these simple tests done, I had peace of mind knowing that the fridge can stay on all night at bascamp and will not leave me with a dead battery. It should be noted that I was told that the EdgeStar had a built-in battery drain prevention device. Good to know but I still plan to install a dual battery system on both vehicles in the future.
The next test was how it holds up to the pounding and vibrations of off-road travel. A trip on the 140 mile Devil’s Highway, “El Camino del Diablo” which is featured in this issue, would be good baptism under fire so to speak. Washboard roads, deep sand, rocks, moon dust, and everything in between made for a bone jarring ride at speed. With five members of Jeep Expeditions, I took off in the ZJ to do a one day trip on the DH to map out historic sites, other POIs, and mark mileage waypoints for a future public service project. Having to traverse the DW in one day meant faster than average speeds, a good test for the Edgestar. It held up just fine and continues to work like a fine time piece like its more expensive rivals.
The final test was a long term performance review. The FP430 uses the Danfoss compressor which is well known for quality, exceptionally reliable, and will run for years. As the compressor is the critical component of any fridge, I have no doubt that my EdgeStar will continue to give me reliable service and about a year from now, I will update my experience with this unit after more than 10,000 miles of travel.
My initial impression of the EdgeStar FP430 is that it is superior to any cooler or thermoelectric cooler for its price. Quality of construction is apparent, it cools down to under freezing in a short time and in my initial “unscientific” tests, will not drain a good battery if left plugged in overnight. It is small enough to fit in the back of a Grand Cherokee, a TJ Wrangler (with the back seat removed or folded), or any other Jeep and is big enough to cool or freeze all of the perishable food needed for a week on the trail. As a plus, you can make your own ice overnight for the next day. The friendly people at Compact Appliance also told me they will soon have a protective insulated cover for the FP430, making it more efficient.
– For more information about the EdgeStar FP430, please click here
Related – Leatherman Surge Multi-Tool
* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.