My local big box store has refrigerators too. Why are they so much cheaper?
A fridge you will find in most stores are designed to sit still while running in a house. The compressors are not designed to bounce when they run and will break internally. In some cases they will also require a 12VDC to 110VAC invertor to run on in trucks. These also use 3-4 times more power than a refrigerator designed for trucks therefore may require additional batteries to achieve the same run time.
A true truck refrigerator has a 12v DC compressor that is made to run while going down the road. It uses less power in 3 days than a house fridge does in 1 day. They also have low voltage cut out to protect batteries from being killed or ruined.
Remember, if a truck factory could get away with using a cheap house refrigerator, they would do it. They’ve tried and found they will not hold up. That’s why truck factories use a real Truck Refrigerator. No invertors or converters needed!
Can I only order the fridge on-line from the website?
No. You can order directly by calling Northern Fridge at (877) 322-7283 and we will be happy to take your order over the phone. You can pay using Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Bank Debit Card, Money Order or Personal Cheque.
Please note that money orders and personal cheques must clear the bank before your order is shipped.
Are the portable models refrigerators too? Or are they coolers like I would take to the beach?
Yes. The top opening portable fridge/freezers with 12v DC compressors are designed to be used just like a normal fridge, except they are very energy efficient and can be used as a fridge or freezer. No messy ice needed that ruin your food if it gets wet. (Although a real fridge can make ice for your beverages!)
(NOTE: The cheap thermoelectric coolers sold in many stores and truck stops are like wise, not refrigerators. If there is not a 12v DC battery powered compressor, it is NOT a truck/camper van refrigerator and not safe to keep perishable foods at safe storage temperatures.)
Should I buy a portable refrigerator or a built in model?
If you want a fridge designed to fit into your truck cabinets just like the factory, the built in models are the right one for you. MOST company owned and fleet trucks like our fridges as there is NO cutting, splicing or modifications to the cabinets are typically needed for most trucks. If you either have no factory cabinet for a fridge or want additional fridge or freezer space, the portable fridge/freezers might also be just what you are looking for.
There appear to be several models from different manufactures on the market. Why should I buy from Northern Fridge instead of another company brand?
Northern Fridge is a wholly owned Canadian company that only sells the Indel B / Truckfridge brand products within Canada. The Truckfridge brand products are made for trucks and camper vans, using the same 12VDC HD compressors that are found in most OEM fridges. The Northern Fridge line of Truckfridge is very competitively priced and spare parts and service available even long after the product is out of warranty.
You can also reach our sales and service department very easily, M-F 8am-5pm EST and speak with a live person to answer your questions about truck refrigerators. Some people use the comparison GE vs Whirlpool, McDonalds vs Burger King, Coke or Pepsi. It’s really a matter of choice, and price.
Can I install the fridge myself?
Yes. In most cases installation is easy, fast and simple. No special tools required. Installation trim frames are included on the refrigerator cabinet making the built-in Truckfridge models extremely easy to install. It is very important for the refrigerating unit, consisting of the compressor and the condenser, be well ventilated, with the cool air coming in from the bottom/sides and going out from the top.
Note. If refrigerator has not been upright prior to installation, allow a minimum of 4 hours after installation before turning refrigeration on. WARNING: Failing to do so will VOID the warranty.
See "Truckfridge Installation Manual" for complete details.
How soon after installation can I turn the fridge on?
The refrigerator MUST be in the upright position for a minimum of 4 hours before turning refrigeration on. WARNING: Failing to do so will VOID the warranty.
How much will the shipping cost be?
The shipping cost of your product is based on the actual product shipping weight and "Ship To" province. Shipping rates quoted are based on standard ground transportation by a carrier chosen by Northern Fridge.
You may request special shipping instructions (ie. next day, Saturday delivery, etc.) at an additional cost. Additional cost may also apply if shipping multiple product to the same location. You will be advised via email of any additional costs and you must approve any additional costs prior to shipping. In the event you do not approve any additional cost, a full credit for your purchase will be processed to your credit card.
Please note that in order to keep overall product costs as low as possible, Northern Fridge does not markup shipping costs.
How long will it take for me to get the fridge?
From the time of the completed order, Northern Fridge will ship the product (if in stock) within 2 business days. Unless otherwise requested, all product will be shipped via a carrier chosen by Northern Fridge using standard ground transportation. In most cases, the carrier may deliver the product within 2-4 business days. Note. Northern Fridge cannot guarantee delivery or delivery time of your product. At the time of a completed order, Northern Fridge will notify you of your shipping information including carrier name and tracking number. It is your responsibility to tract the shipment if required. See 'SHIPPING' for complete shipping details.
How much power will the Truckfridge use?
This is the most frequently asked question of all, and one of the most difficult to answer. There are many variables that determine the power consumption such as ambient temperature, internal fridge thermostat temperature setting, duration of operating time (duty cycle) and frequency of entry to the refrigerator. All these factors affect power consumption.
Based on an ambient temperature of 22°C / 72oF and inside fridge temperature of 5oC / 41oF, the Truckfridge built-in models will typically consume 2.0 Amp/Hour. The amount of run time available is dependent on the 12VDC deep cycle battery used to power the fridge.
It is recommended that the Truckfridge is powered using a good quality deep cycle AGM auxiliary battery with 100 Amp/Hour capacity or better. This type of battery can typically be discharged by up to 80% without damage and takes less time to recharge. Therefore, based on the typical consumption of 1.67 Amp/Hour, the Truckfridge run time would be approximately 40 hours (100 Amp/Hour x 80% = 80 Amp/Hour / 2 Amp/Hour = 40 hours).
Additionally, the auxiliary battery should be isolated from the vehicle main starting battery using an intelligent battery isolator / separator. The battery isolator will protect the main starting battery by only allowing the auxiliary battery to be charged from the engine alternator once the main starting battery is fully charged. This will also reduce the charging load of the vehicles alternator for extended life.
All Truckfridge built-in models use the world famous Danfoss compressor that is known for their long life, reliability and efficient use of power. We’re sure that you will find Truckfridge at the leading edge in power consumption.
For the above reasons, Northern Fridge does not warranty performance of the Truckfridge. For best performance Northern Fridge recommends the following;
- Avoid direct sunlight and other heat sources close to the fridge
- Ensure adequate ventilation for the compressor/condenser unit mounted on the rear of the fridge. Refer to Truckfridge Built-in User Installation Manual for ventilation requirements. Ensure that cold air can enter at the bottom, pass behind the fridge and warm air can leave the top in the area where the fridge’s compressor and condenser are installed.
- Use of one or more good quality deep cycle AGM auxiliary battery with 100 Amp/Hour capacity or better.
- Keep the inside of the fridge at a temperature of 5-6oC / 41-43o
- Place only pre-frozen items in the freezer compartment.
- Load the food inside the fridge in such a way, air can circulate to equalize the temperature.
- Let all hot foods cool well before placing them into the fridge.
- When making ice in the ice tray, place it directly on the evaporator (bottom plate) and put nothing on top of the ice tray.
Will the fridge damage my battery?
No. The fridge typically draws only 2 Amp/Hr under normal duty cycle. A 100 Amp/Hr deep cycle battery would therefore power the fridge for up to 40-50 hours. Additionally, the fridge has a built-in voltage cut-out of 10.4 VDC and voltage cut-in of 11.7 VDC that will protect the battery from being fully drained or damaged.
Does the fridge come in different colours?
No. The fridge comes standard with a black front panel and black trim, however, on the TF49 and TF65 models, you can replace the door panels with your own panels. See "Truckfridge Installation Manual" for details.
Can the door open left or right?
Yes. On the built-in Truckfridge™ models TF49. TF65 and TF130, the door normally opens towards the right. To change the direction, simply move the hinges. See "Truckfridge Installation Manual" for details.
Is the fridge/freezer self-defrosting?
No. Defrosting must be carried out when the ice layer is thicker than 1/8". This is necessary to guarantee efficient refrigeration and avoid excessive power consumption.
Heavy frost build up can be caused by several factors:
1 – Warm foods introduced into the freezer or fridge section.
2 – Fridge door frequently opened and closed (especially in a high humidity environment).
3 – Fridge door not properly aligned with fridge body as to affect the rubber seals ability to seal as designed.
4 – Failure of the putty seal between the back wall of the fridge and the evaporator tube. Would need to be examined and resealed with existing putty.
5 – Certain foods, mainly leafy vegetables, have a tendency to cause ice to form faster due to their high moisture content.
Note: If the ice builds up more than 1/8 inch on either side, it can interfere with the freezer door opening and shutting properly and can cause the freezer door to pop loose. Also, if the ice is more than 1/8 inch thick, it reduces the ability of the fridge to cool properly and the fridge will need to be defrosted.
It goes without saying, the fridge needs to defrost naturally by turning off power and opening the door. Note. The door latch is designed with a special catch to allow the door to be secured in the open position. The ice build up will release from the freezer in a few minutes.
The user needs to be reminded to not use ANY object to pry ice loose or to use any heat source (dryer / heat gun) to speed up the defrost process as damage will occur. Make sure the fridge is thoroughly dry inside before restarting and remove excess moisture from any food and/or food packaging.
Can I run it on household 115 VAC, 60Hz power?
Yes. All models with the "ACDC" designation in the model number can operate both 12-24 VDC and 110-220 VAC, 60-50 Hz.
Is there maintenance required on the fridge?
The fridge requires minimal maintenance. Once a year, clean and vacuum dust and dirt from the condenser located at the top rear/rear section of the fridge to insure good cooling and ventilation. Keep the inside of the fridge clean and dry using warm water mixed with baking soda or vinegar. Periodically remove any condensate water which might gather in the tray under the freezer compartment.
When not in use for long periods of time, turn refrigerator off and keep door slightly open in order to air it out. The door latch is designed with a special catch to allow the door to be secured in the open position.
How to Winterize an Outdoor Refrigerator
Whether you own vacation property or simply have a patio or deck that features an outdoor refrigerator, it is important to winterize this appliance to prevent severe mold and mildew growth from engulfing the fridge's interior. It is also a waste of electricity to keep an appliance plugged in that is not being used, which creates a higher electricity bill. Perform a few steps to winterize your refrigerator that will keep it in good condition while facing the winter elements.
Remove all food and drink contents from the refrigerator and freezer. This includes any ice and ice packs -- if you need to dispose of ice cubes and water, use both to water the lawn or plants. Turn off the appliance by unplugging all cords or turning off the circuit breaker used to run the refrigerator. Place all cords in a small bag or tie them together with a piece of scrap cloth.
Clean the refrigerator thoroughly. Use soap, water and the appropriate sterile rags and sponges to clean the appliance, or use a white vinegar and water mixture to clean and disinfect the refrigerator. If using vinegar, mix a 1/4 cup of vinegar for every cup of water used, and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Remove all shelving if applicable and soap or spray them down as well. Pour all water out of the unit's drain pan onto the lawn if possible and clean the pan with soap and water or the vinegar. Wipe down and dry the refrigerator with rags or paper towels after it has been cleaned, and prop the fridge door open with a heavy book or other applicable object so the unit can dry thoroughly without the risk of mold growth.
Leave the refrigerator door slightly open to prevent mold and mildew growth. Place an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to further help combat possible odors. If you are concerned about exposure to the elements, use a synthetic cover that will not hold moisture to protect the appliance, though the door should remain open as much as possible.
Things You Will Need
• White vinegar
• Spray bottle
• Clean rags
• Scrap cloth
• Paper towels
• Heavy book
• Box of baking soda
• Synthetic cover
What do I do if I have a problem?
The Truckfridge™ built-in models include self-diagnostic capabilities that allow the customer to easily determine the problem saving you time and money while providing you the best possible service. See Truckfridge Self Diagnostics Procedure for complete details.
Should further technical support be required, please contact Northern Fridge at (877) 322-7283