Dometic CFF45 Fridge Freezer Review – Worth It?

Planning on getting a portable fridge and have your eye on the CFF45 but wondering whether it’s worth the price tag?

Well, in this Dometic/Waeco CFF45 review, I will be showing you the pros and cons, main features and the key points of difference to its competitors. Finally, I’ll let you know whether I think that it’s a good buy or not!

A combination of the old Dometic/Waeco CF50 and CF40, this unit aims to give you the best of both worlds. But does it live up to its bold claims? Let’s find out!

Pros + Cons

Dometic CFF45 with cover
  • 4.9 ★ average user rating - See all 10 reviews on Snowys
  • Accepts 100-240V AC and 12/24V DC power
  • Can set temperature from -18°C to +10°C
  • 45mm thick insulation
  • Reversible lid makes for easy access
  • Carry handles feel solid
  • 3 stage battery protection
  • Internal organiser basket
  • Insulating cover included in price
  • Fits wine bottles upright
  • 3 year warranty
  • Slide available at additional cost
  • Only 50mm ventilation required around fridge (Kings and Brass Monkey require 150-200mm)
  • Not dual zone - can only be run as a fridge or freezer, not both at the same time
  • No drain plug for water
  • More expensive than the likes of Kings and Brass Monkey (although still cheaper than Engel)
  • 12V and 240V cables only about 1.9m long - might be a touch short for some situations
  • No USB port
  • No Bluetooth app control

Let’s now review the CFF 45 in more detail.

Appearance & Functionality

The CFF45 is a sleek black and white unit with two steel carry handles on either side.

Dometic CFF45

The temperature controls, current temperature readout and battery protection settings are all located on one end of the fridge.

The interior is just a single compartment, as this unit can only be operated as a fridge or freezer, not both at the same time.

There's an organiser basket with two separate sections along with a removal divider to help you partition your food and drink. There’s also a nice, bright LED interior light to help you find your food and drink late at night.

Internal organiser basket

There is unfortunately no drain plug for purging water that has accumulated in the bottom of the fridge - you will need to empty it and place it upside down.

The lid is easily reversible - it opens from either side without the need to adjust any internal chains. The 45mm thick insulation in the walls means that there will be minimal unwanted heat reaching your chilled goods.

Speaking of insulation, the CFF45 now comes with an included insulating cover by default, rather than it being an optional extra. The cover protects the unit from damage, dust and dirt as well as further insulating it to keep the contents cool, reduce power consumption and prolong the life of both the fridge and your batteries.

The cover includes openings for hot air exhaust from the unit, plus external organiser pockets to store any other loose gear you may have.

Dometic CFF45 with insulating cover

Keep in mind that Dometic recommends that you keep 50mm of clearance around the sides of the unit while it is in use, to prevent overheating.

Overall, the fridge and cover combo look very smart and the simple black and white colour scheme will match any car or caravan setup.

Unfortunately, it does lack some of the features that newer fridges have, such as USB ports for charging your mobile devices, and Bluetooth control via a smartphone app.

How Cold Does It Go?

The Dometic CFF45 can be set at temperatures ranging from -18°C to +10°C. It can be set as low as 50°C below ambient air temperature, which is very impressive.

Users of this fridge/freezer have said that the unit doesn’t have any problem hitting the set temperatures, often reaching them within 5-10 minutes of turning it on.

The refrigeration cycle is powered by a Secop (formerly Danfoss) compressor, which is generally regarded as being high quality.

Energy & Power

As you would expect, the CFF45 can be powered by 100-240V AC or 12/24V DC power.

Power connections

Unlike other cheaper 12V fridges, this unit can be powered directly off 240V AC without an adapter transforming the power down to 12V.

It comes with 2 cables, one for AC power and another for DC power, which also includes the necessary connector for plugging into the cigarette lighter socket in your car.

These cables are about 1.9m long each, which is shorter than the leads provided by other brands. For most people this will be long enough, but just keep this in mind if your setup involves the fridge being further than 2 metres from the power source.

At 12V and 24V, expect it to draw 5.2A and 2.6A respectively, while in operation. Current draw falls down to just 0.4A when the unit is run at 240V.

Dometic claims that this unit chews through about 1.07 Ah/h while in operation, assuming a set temperature of 4°C and an ambient temperature of 32°C. This is pretty similar to competing models, so nothing too surprising here.

Just be aware that you will likely use more than this quoted figure in real life, as you will be opening your fridge to take food and drink out, plus return warm goods. Of course, if you decide to use the unit as a freezer, this will increase energy consumption.

In saying that, the insulating cover will help keep this number low, and the ambient temperature won’t be at 32°C all day, so your mileage will vary.

The CFF 45 also comes with in-built low voltage battery protection. You can select from 1 of 3 modes for your battery protection.

This ensures that the fridge switches off before the battery is entirely drained. You can see the corresponding voltages for each of the 3 stages in the table below. (Source: CFF45 manual)

Battery protection system

Optional Add-ons

Seeing as this unit now comes with insulating cover as a standard inclusion, there aren’t too many extras that you can purchase, other than a fridge slide and the solar panels.

Fridge Slide For Your Car

A slide will allow you to mount the fridge in the back of your vehicle and slide it out when you need to access it. This saves you from reaching deep into the boot while trying to find something right at the bottom of the unit.

The Dometic CFX-SLD35/40 fridge slide works best with this product.

12V Battery To Keep Your Fridge Juiced

Don’t already have a suitable 12V battery to run your fridge? Dometic’s CoolPower RAPS battery has a 44Ah capacity and is rugged enough to handle the rough and tumble of an Australian camping trip.

It’s also nice and portable. You can use them with a wide variety of 12V appliances, not just your Dometic fridge.

CoolPower RAPS 44 Battery

Solar Panels For Charging On The Go

If you want to use your refrigerator for extended periods without access to mains power, consider investing in some solar panels. This will allow you to run your fridge and charge your battery during the day, which will then run the fridge overnight.

Dometic sells both 120W and 180W solar panel varieties.

Dometic solar panels

Manufacturing Quality & Guarantee

Dometic (formerly Waeco) are widely regarded as one of the best fridge freezer manufacturers in Australia. They pride themselves on producing high quality goods that stand the test of time.

The CFF45 fridge freezers are no different. They are very solidly built units that perform well in Australian conditions. Even on scorching hot days, your CFF45 will reliably keep your food and drink cool.

Cheaper brands often have trouble maintaining their set temperature but this does not seem to be a problem for the Dometic range.

Recurring Problems

I have gone through tons of reviews by real users and haven’t found any recurring issues. The feedback is almost invariably positive for these units.

Manufacturer's Guarantee

By default, these units come with a 3 year warranty. This is pretty standard for portable fridges, although lower than Engel, their main competitor, who offer a 5 year warranty.

Because these fridges are so reliable, I haven’t actually spoken to anyone who has had to go through their warranty claim process. I can’t really comment on how well Dometic handles returns and warranty issues, but it’s a good sign that not many people have had to return their units.

How Much Does It Cost?

Pricewise, these units are solidly in the middle ground. They are more expensive than the likes of Kings and Brass Monkey, but still considerably cheaper than Engel.

Expect a CFF45 to set you back around $850, although you may be able to get it cheaper during a sale. Use the buttons below to check the latest prices.

Summary - Dometic CFF45 Fridge Freezer Review

The Dometic CFF45 fridge/freezer is a very solid option when it comes to 12V refrigeration and cooling. It is a high quality, well built unit that you can expect to get many, many years of service from.

True, dedicated 240V operation, excellent build quality, an included insulating cover and a 3 year warranty all combine to make this an outstanding choice.

To my mind, the quality isn’t too different to the famous Engels, although the price is far, far lower.

The major downside of this unit is of course, that it is a single zone fridge/freezer. It cannot be run as both a fridge and freezer simultaneously. There’s also no drain plug in the bottom, nor any USB ports or Bluetooth app control.

If these features are important to you, consider upgrading to the CFX3 range. You can find out more info in my CFX3 review.

If the CFF45 is a little out of your price range, I highly recommend that you take a look at the Brass Monkey range. They are surprisingly high quality units, considering how much cheaper they are than Dometic.

I also have an article on the best caravan fridge freezers in Australia!

In any case, I hope you have enjoyed this Dometic/Waeco CFF45 fridge freezer review! Did you end up buying one of these? Or did you buy something else instead? Let me know in the comments below!

Review Summary

Reviewer: Louis
Review Date: 2021-04-20
Reviewed Item: Dometic CFF45 Fridge Freezer
Author Rating: 4.5/5
Product Name: Dometic CFF45 Fridge Freezer
Price: AUD $848
Product Availability: Available in Stock

This article may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product or service after clicking on my link. This helps pay for the cost of running the website. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by using my links.

Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.

Our Testing Process

In creating this article, we have completed a rigorous review process on not just the Dometic CFF 45 Fridge + Cover, but we have also compared it to out there. We have also read hundreds of reviews from fellow campers to help form our opinions.

The primary goal of this review is to figure whether this product is right for you, the user. We systematically compare the product to all of the available options on the market, to determine which ones are worthy of our list.

To see which products we compared the Dometic CFF 45 Fridge + Cover to, check out the list below. Please note that we have never accepted free products from manufacturers.

Full List Of Considered Products

This article may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product or service after clicking on my link. This helps pay for the cost of running the website. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by using my links.

Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.


While Louis does most of his trips near his home in south-east Queensland, he has been camping as far afield as South America and Africa. He loves researching, testing and experimenting with camping gear whenever possible.

    • Yes it works well. Mine is on the tray of my 4wd which is often lot level when offroading or stopped overnight. No issues at all.

  • Have just purchased a CFF45 for $499 @ Aldi. Setting up as I text to you. Your review reads well. Mine is a replacement for an old CF50 from Anaconda a long time ago.
    So far I’m very impressed with the CFF 45, as I was with my old Waeco.


  • Good read, just bought one today. See this review is very recent too. Upgrading a cdf35 I’ve had for years. So far very happy.
    Do you know where the temp sensor is? Handy to know when packing frozen items within.

  • Thanks for the review, I just purchased one because of this review. Upgraded from my old Ironman 40l and this is way better, got on special for $499 can’t beat that.

  • A spot on review here 👍

    As most here. I grabbed one of these for $499.00 ( Model about to be superseded possibly ? ) I think that is brilliant bang for the buck

    I am running this constantly at home for now in lieu of vanlife.

    I like it, have had no issues thus far and may well grab another one to use as a freezer in the future

    Looks like Dometic ( Formerly Waeco ) may well have raised their game which is nice to see after some hit and miss years in the wilderness.

  • Thanks for the review. I must say that the “con” of not having a USB is not a “con”. It’s a fridge not a charging point. It doesn’t need an App to control it either. Like I said. It’s a fridge.

    • Well said Scott and was thinking the same thing. I am looking for a fridge/freezer, not a charging station and Louise review has pushed me to commit. Thanks.

  • Hey everyone, I also bought one for $499 which is exceptional value. I’ve also bought a XTM 200w solar blanket, Hardkorr heavy duty battery box with a 12v/120Ah pop deep cycle AGM Century battery and a CTEK battery charger. I don’t currently have the twin battery system setup in my 4×4 so this is second best option. Ready for some off-grid action

  • I have had one of these in the tray of my 4wd for almost 3 years now.

    It’s a ripper!

    I do have a 100Ah dual battery that it runs off. I keep it permanently on and the battery has been fine so far.

    Those times where I have removed it from the tray and put it back in, when it is at normal/ambient temperature, it pulls 5 amps to get down to my preferred 1 degree as I run it as a fridge. From about 30 degrees outside it will take about half an hour to get to 1 degree. So, pulls 2.5 amps of juice out of my battery to get there.

    Once at temperature I find it takes just under 1 amp of power from the battery.

    So mathematically, with my 100Ah battery having 50 usable amps, and thus using roughly 1 amp per hour, I can use it for 48 hours or 2 full days without needing to top up the battery.

    A great bang for your buck fridge.

  • Yes, just purchased for BCF today, runs om on 240v, however, it almost stared on 12v then switched off twice. It was plugged into my 2021 toyota hiace front cig socket which says 120w, I didn’t check voltage of battery. But when I start6ec vehicle the volts were showing 13.6 as I had fridge outside door on a trolley, I left vehicle idling and went to see if fridge was running, it was.

    Now that I know it runs on both power sources, I just need figure out the best affordable simple way to get get 12v cig socket to rear of hiace. SuperCheap have a m/f heavy duty cig 5m extension – I’ll try that first, as I am going to get a lithium house battery as soon as I can afford it.

  • I have 2 pin socket in my car (I think its used for engel fridges) and I read that the CFF45 fridge comes with 2 charging cables… 1 being the typical cigarette lighter style. This actually unscrews (near the base) to reveal a 2 pin plug, is this accurate?

  • After a lot of research and not wanting to pay the price of an Engel, i purchased a CF40d today from BCF on sale for $449.00, down from $799.00. Couldn’t pass that price by.

  • My Dometic CFF45 is a piece of garbage. Very noisy clunks when cycling, attempts to cycle several times before it starts. Been repaired once in the first twelve months would never have another Dometic fridge.

  • My CFF 45 died on its first trip. Took it in on return and thermostat replaced. Good service that time. Next trip blew again. This time the board went. Put in to fix under warranty – no parts took July-October to repair. Need reliability when away so changed to National Luna. A shame as it is a nice setup with the door etc.

  • These are rubbish units.

    I bought one a year or so ago and it worked fine for the first two uses then the half the LED screen stopped displaying followed by the compressor failing to turn on (1/3rd of the way into a month long trip). I could only run the unit as a freezer at -18C. It has been repaired and on first use last night the “On” button malfunctioned and the unit no longer functions.

    I have two friends with the same unit, purchased at the same time who have experienced exactly the same problem before me (they use their more). Both units have been repaired twice so we are not optimistic about reliability. I will be seeking a refund.

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