ARB fridge - owners feedback





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  1. #1
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    Default ARB fridge - owners feedback

    Armed with hours of Internet research and wanting to spend my heard earned cash wisely on a 40L portable fridge / freezer, I have developed a preference for the new ARB fridge.

    Problem is that the fridge is relatively new in the market and there is not much out there by way of independent reviews from people who have or who have had this fridge - i.e. that all important feedback on things such as actual power draw (as opposed to claimed figures), quality, problem issues, ease and cost of repair, etc.

    Theoretically, the ARB makes a lot of sense when compared to the other top 3 fridges (National Luna, Engel and Waeco) -

    1. ARB is a solid company that is renowned for quality 4x4 products;
    2. Clever combination of steel chassis and plastic exterior / lid for strenght and low weight (unlike the bulky and heavy Luna or, on the other side of the scale, the plastic Waeco);
    3. Clever and seemingly robust hinge system for removable lid (unlike the National Luna lid that can not be removed or the Engel with it's finicky sideways slide-in hinges);
    4. Seemingly strong integrated handles that can be securely tied down;
    5. Reversable basket with subdivider and dairy cabinet (unlike the Engel);
    6. Seemingly good quality and easy to use digital instrumentation located at the front of the unit;
    7. Element integrated into cabinet which, together with the drain plug, will make for easy cleaning (unlike the Engel with it's exposed element);
    8. Storage space for exactly 72 beer cans (3 cases) - trust the Aussies to see to that;
    9. Although slightly larger it costs less than the Engel and a lot less than the over-priced Luna. Repairs should also not be as expensive as the Engel or as frequent as the Waeco

    So much for the theory (my opinions only so please do not flame me), and what says the ARB owners?

    Is this the fridge that will dethrone the Engel or have ARB failed in their effords to build the world's finest portable fridge / freezer?

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    National Luna have had hinges that can "unhook" (so that you can remove your freezer lid) since about 2004 or 5. They are red as opposed to the normal black hinges.

    National Luna steel freezer is heavy, but the aluminium models are much lighter, maybe even lighter than your Steel/plastic ARB

    Get your facts right!!
    Last edited by mvcoller; 2010/04/07 at 08:53 AM.
    Malcolm van Coller - retired but remained living in Johannesburg (love it here, can find everything you want and need here in Jhb)
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  3. #3
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    Get your facts right!![/QUOTE]

    Maybe you should read the post again before flaming away.

    I did not attempt to compile a factual, scientific fridge report.

    I stated upfront that these were my opinions based on internet research which most people, unlike our previous President, know is not always up to date or correct.

    That is also why I asked for actual owners to share their experiences of the ARB fridge.

    If you are not such an owner - please do not bother to reply.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvcoller View Post
    National Luna have had hinges that can "unhook" (so that you can remove your freezer lid) since about 2004 or 5. They are red as opposed to the normal black hinges.
    This is correct. Checked with Peter at NL.

    Quote Originally Posted by mvcoller View Post
    National Luna steel freezer is heavy, but the aluminium models are much lighter, maybe even lighter than your Steel/plastic ARB
    NL = 23kg
    ARB = 22kg

    Quote Originally Posted by mvcoller View Post
    Get your facts right!!
    Decide where you stand ........ then stand there!

  5. #5
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    Kykdaar, I went through the same process you did and so far have been very happy with my ARB- cools vey quickly and appears to maintain the set temperature well. no problems at all to date.

    Alastair

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    Subscribe 8)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alastair View Post
    Kykdaar, I went through the same process you did and so far have been very happy with my ARB- cools vey quickly and appears to maintain the set temperature well. no problems at all to date.

    Alastair
    Hi Alastair, thanks for the reply and glad to hear that you are happy with the fridge.

    Yes, it is very difficult for the inexperienced to accurately judge the pro's and con's of the various fridges and salesmen are not the best point of reference either.

  8. #8
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    How much will you expect to pay for the ARB?

    No personal experience with the ARB, but positive experience on the Aussie 4x4 Forums.

    Assume that you have a one-on-one visit with your Creator quarterly. Now live accordingly.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomerang View Post
    How much will you expect to pay for the ARB?

    No personal experience with the ARB, but positive experience on the Aussie 4x4 Forums.
    They were cheaper than the Engel, but I hesitate to reply with a guestimate of what I remember the cost were from my last visit to 4X4 Megaworld lest Mr. Van Coller uses the opportunity to accuse me of not having my facts right.

    I will phone them this morning and confirm the price.

  10. #10
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    Default Petrolhead

    I've had my ARB for ± 6 months now, and I am very impressed by it. Most of my friends own Engel/NL, but I liked the overall package more, so went for the ARB. 4x4 Megabucks had it on special for R6000 back then as an introductory price. I've only done weekend trips with it, and it stays on the set temp no problem. First extended trip will be in May to the Richtersveld and surrounding areas, will report back then. (it runs off a 2nd battery system in the Hilux)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by petrolhead View Post
    I've had my ARB for ± 6 months now, and I am very impressed by it. Most of my friends own Engel/NL, but I liked the overall package more, so went for the ARB. 4x4 Megabucks had it on special for R6000 back then as an introductory price. I've only done weekend trips with it, and it stays on the set temp no problem. First extended trip will be in May to the Richtersveld and surrounding areas, will report back then. (it runs off a 2nd battery system in the Hilux)
    It seems that you bought your ARB at the ideal time and at an excellent price.

    Phoned to confirm current prices. The 47L ARB currently costs R7900, the 40L Engel around R7500 and the 40L National Luna around R8200.

    It seems that the ARB is now positioned midway between the Engel and the Luna which is perhaps a clever strategy given its larger capacity and good name.

    I look very much forward to your report back on the ARB as I am seriously considering buying such a unit.

  12. #12
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    If you can get your hands on the November 2009 SA 4x4 mag, on Page 54 they do a product review on the ARB 47l fridge.
    89 110 V8

    A closed mouth gathers no foot

  13. #13
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    Kykdaar,
    I have this magazine with the product review, if you would like I can scan it and email you the article. PM me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty View Post
    If you can get your hands on the November 2009 SA 4x4 mag, on Page 54 they do a product review on the ARB 47l fridge.
    Thanks, I will see if I can get a back copy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by drepan View Post
    Kykdaar,
    I have this magazine with the product review, if you would like I can scan it and email you the article. PM me.
    Thank you - PM on the way

    I have also found this link in an ARB newsletter commenting on a fridge shoutout conducted in Aus. It came out on top.

    I do not want to start a fridge war here (people are sensitive about these things). The article is merely useful in that it seems to confirm my impression that the ARB is a very good quality fridge and that I can thus go ahead and buy one.

    http://www.arbusa.com/uploads/Newsle...dgeComparo.pdf

  16. #16
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    You can find the article regarding the ARB freezer in the SA4x4 magazine attached.

    Regards
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    40 L Engel op "special" @ R6495 tot 12/4/2010 te Tuinroete Agri (Mosselbaai)
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by drepan View Post
    You can find the article regarding the ARB freezer in the SA4x4 magazine attached.

    Regards
    Thanks

  20. #20
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    Default petrolhead

    Quote Originally Posted by drepan View Post
    You can find the article regarding the ARB freezer in the SA4x4 magazine attached.

    Regards
    Thanks for the link Drepan

    The article is self explanatory, but I don't understand why the LC 70's roof was 'fouled' because of the 'loooong' lid hinged across the width. All you have to do is remove the lid, the hinges are made specifically for that. It unclips quicker than JuliASS Malema's Breitling watch... I used to own a Zero fridge, mid 90's model (3 way) and the lid could only open a fraction in a standard canopy. Couldn't get a can of beer out sideways. With the ARB you can arguably take the lid off inside a platkar boot
    Last edited by petrolhead; 2011/04/09 at 10:10 AM. Reason: Hangover

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