Maybe you’ve scored big on a Christmas present or just splashed out and gotten yourself the best of the best in portable refrigeration. Either way, you’re currently thinking about how you’re going to install your Dometic CF11. In this guide we’ll outline the steps we took to properly install the Dometic CF11 in Sam’s 80 Series.
You’re most likely familiar with the rule: measure twice, cut once. The most important thing here is to get the space properly prepared, and have what you need before installation to ensure the install goes smoothly.
The dimensions you’re working with on the CF11 are as follows:
This will come in handy because, if your vehicle is anything like Sam’s, your car likely won’t have a perfectly flat area in which to sit the cooler comfortably without the chance of it moving. We created a bracket for the fridge suiting the base dimensions in order to give it something level and secure to sit in, with a rubber surface to reduce any chance of it sliding around or rubbing unnecessarily during rough rides.
Quick side note, make sure the fridge is going to be sitting reasonably level. It has the capacity to run smoothly at a maximum incline of 30° (in order to accommodate use in a marine setting), however, the more evenly it sits the better.
Depending on the space you’ve got set aside for your CF11, this idea might be just what your set up needs. The beauty of an external bracket system means that the fridge can be easily removed when necessary. Luckily, the CF11 includes a handy strap to tightly secure the fridge for temporary or permanent placement.
Another part of properly preparing for your install is considering exactly how you’re going to be supplying power to your CF11. It’s highly recommended to have a dual battery setup in place, as the last thing you want is your starter battery to run flat while you’re in the middle of nowhere (or anywhere really).
In Sam’s 80 Series we got power to the fridge by way of the supplied cigarette lighter, running off the auxiliary battery. The fridge is capable of running on either 12V or 24V DC power, or on AC power between 100V and 240V (the cable for which is also supplied). It’s largely situational how you want to run power to your fridge, but the important thing is knowing what you have access to and planning accordingly.
When you’ve prepared your space and you’re across exactly how your fridge is going to be powered, installing the fridge is simply a matter of securing it in place against your bracket with the supplied strap to ensure it’s not going to bounce around.
Now that you’ve got your fridge powered and in position, getting it running and understanding the controls at your fingertips is just as important.
Firstly, your on/off power button. Pretty straightforward. Long presses (about 1 to 2 seconds) are needed here, designed that way so that you don’t accidentally bump the fridge with your elbow and turn it off while you’re driving. Next, your ‘Power’ indication light. Green means the compressor is on but that your selected temperature is not yet met. Flashing orange means the supplied voltage is too low, while solid orange means your desired temperature has been reached. Below this is the ‘Error’ LED, and if this is flashing red the device is on but not yet ready for operation.
Once the fridge is running and has a temperature displayed on the main panel, you can make adjustments using the +/- controls followed by pressing the ‘Set’ button. The ‘Power’ button will flash orange until it reaches the temperature you’ve set, when it will then turn solid orange.
Some quick tips on usage: if you’re storing anything that’s hot in the fridge, allow it to cool down before putting it straight in the fridge. This will reduce the load on your fridge and reduce unnecessary power waste. Also, try to minimise the amount of time the door spends open while in use. And finally, keeping the fridge full (when possible) will reduce how hard it needs to work to stay cool.
For a deeper look into how to install your CF11, check out the video below. Of course, if you haven't already got one of your own, you can purchase one right here!