SnoMaster Classic Series Overland Fridge
After having used the SnoMaster fridge/freezer on this last trip, I don’t know how I ever went without a 12V fridge for all these years. It’s heavy at 26kgs (57 lbs) empty, so no one will want to carry this beast on a canoe expedition along with a 12V battery. However, on a 4x4 overland expedition when you plan to stay off the grid for a few days, or just any vehicle camping trip, it’s absolutely perfect.
This SnoMaster is the Classic Series (CL56D) stainless steel AC/ DC fridge/freezer double door. At first glance you notice that it’s solid and looks good with the stainless steel outside walls. Its total capacity is 56 litres split into 26 and 30 litre compartments. It’s heavy when empty so I recommend you have two people to carry it to the vehicle, or fill it up when it’s in your truck. It works on 12/24V DC, or in a normal electrical outlet of 120V AC. The fridge/freezer comes with LED lights and lid alarm so you won’t find your beers warm the next day if the cover was not shut properly. It also has a remote so you can operate the digital thermostat from a distance to set the temperature of the fridge. You can also use both sides as freezers, both sides as fridges, or one of each and the temperature can be set between – 22°C to 10°C (-8°F to -50°F). With its 60mm insulation walls you can be sure that the temperature will always remain as you have set it, and to make sure this happens, SnoMaster provides an insulated transit bag that fits tightly around the fridge. This fridge comes with three baskets so you don’t have to rummage through your groceries to find the hot dogs at the bottom of the pile. One basket can contain a 12 normal cans of beer...just saying.
As far as power goes, I have camped in the heat of Moab, Utah for four days and it did not drain that much power from my truck battery, although I do have a solar panel and I used it as precautionary measure when I was far from civilization. There are two operating levels you can use, a low and high power so when you are stationary for a few days you can switch it on low and it will draw less power (5 amps on high, 2.5 amps on low). You can also set a voltage cut, so when your truck battery reaches either 10 or 11.5 volts, the fridge will stop automatically ensuring you have some power to start your vehicle.
The SnoMaster is a great addition to our overland kit and provided some unique overland experiences, like being able to reach for a frozen Fudgsicle while camped in the Nevada desert. This fridge, however, is too high for us. Its dimensions are (715w x 450d x 525h mm), and didn’t fit between my Decked drawer system and the truck cap, so we put it on the back seat for the trip.
As a result, we will return this one to Wild Coast Tents and have arranged to purchase the SnoMaster low profile freezer/ fridge, which will fit perfectly in my cab at just 470mm high. They are not cheap, however you get a high quality product with a fiveyear warranty on the compressor. New top of the line traditional ice coolers can be very expensive as well, but the SnoMaster means no thawing ice or ice packs, no wet sandwiches, and you get ice cream for the kids no matter where you are, and yes, it keeps my beers nice and cold.
If any of you are looking for cheap ice coolers, I’m having a great 2 for 1 deal at the moment.