How long should I expect a mid-priced 12v Fridge to last?


Wiffleball Batter
Curious to know how long fridges typically last. Yes, I realize there is a wide variation on how they're used and that will factor in, but I'm wondering what kind of reasonable expectations I should have for the longevity of my Indel-B TB-41.
I know ARB and Engel fridges are the "cream of the crop" (and priced accordingly) but mine is not a top-of-the-line ARB nor is it a bargain-priced Edgestar or Whynter.
We got ours in the Spring of 2014 and have used it on (if I recall) about 36 camping trips over 3 years that included some mild 4-wheeling (and the fridge was always in the truck, so if we went 4 wheeling the fridge was with us) and it's still going strong.
I know that nothing lasts forever and I assume that sooner or later my Indel B will stop working.
Related question: What component typically fails first on a fridge? Compressor? Power supply? Thermostat? How repairable are these fridges?
I was just thinking that if I get 5 solid years out of the fridge that will work out to $100/year. Not a bad deal, I think.


Expedition Leader
Pretty sure Indel uses a Danfoss setup just like the other 12 volt freezers, so in theory it should last just as long as anything else that is taken care of.


My Engel MT45 has been running pretty much continuously since 2008, about 30% 12VDC and 70% 120VAC.
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This thread has been going since 2010 and there have been very few changes to the models over the years. If there were issues I'm sure it would have died as people would have stopped buying them
So I'm inclined to think they should last just fine. I just bought a 43qt at the end of last year because of it's reputation and it's easy to find open box/scratch dent ones in the $400 range essentially new. Also replacement parts are easily attainable for these if needed.


El Gringo Spectacular!
I bought my Engel in 2004...$850 if I recall...big expense at the time. It's still going strong....

Money well spent!



Expedition Vehicle Engineer Guy
Bought my Engel 45 in 2004 as well, still going strong. If it stopped working today I would go out and buy another one.


I have had my Engle MT45 since 2005, I ran it straight for almost 4 years on 110 in my house and 12v when camping, now I only run it when camping. I was even in a car accident which damaged the Engle enough to make it more of a Diamond shape than a rectangle (looking from above) and I was able to straighten it out pretty good (still does not sit perfectly flat on the ground when empty) and it still runs to this day. Best camping investment ever.


Going by past threads here, it seems the temp sensor is the most problematic part of any fridge, regardless of it's price point.
AC power supply units maybe 2nd... perhaps followed by freon leakage.

Temp sensor replacements and PS unit swaps can often be done DIY. Finding a shop that can repair a leak & recharge the unit might prove more difficult.

I bought my Edgestar in 2010. It's been over thousands of miles of washboard roads and tossed continually while crawling (probably 4-5 dozen trips total). No issues. Mine doesn't get used as a beer fridge when at home though, it sits put away.


I think a good place to ask this question here, regarding longevity: will a 12v unit last longer by being turned off when not in use or by keeping it on 24/7?

I'm about to spring for a built in Engel SR70F-U1 to replace the antiquated icebox in my '72 Alaskan CO camper. Main reason I'm looking at this model is because it fits the cutout better than any others I've checked out, without losing the drawer that is above the opening, plus I'll have room to install another drawer.
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