Fridge vs cooler?

General Discussion about almost anything Teardrop or camping related

Postby Sonetpro » Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:06 am

asianflava wrote:I saw a short review (in a car magazine of all places) of a 3-way cooler. Not a frige exactly, but a compact cooler that could use 1# propane bottles. They were pretty happy with it, but they were using it differently than a camper would. I've looked for the article but I can't find it. I'll bet that the wife "Filed it away".

Here ya go Rocky. $>
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Postby sjptak » Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:28 am

I really appreciate all of your thoughts. Remember, I'm only in the information collecting stages right now. Only pictures that I might be able to provide are maybe of some dead brain grey matter. :?

Madjack, I agree that the thermoelectrics are not efficient enough. They would drain too much battery and provide cool only ambient temp -40 Deg. I suppose that were it 90 deg out and you handed me a 50 deg beer that had been sitting in a thermoelectric for three days, I'd drink it. I'd politely pass on the burgers you just made, though. George, many campers here south of the border use 3-ways, however, I would opt for a two way. Don't think 12V is worth the $$$.

My reference to a chimney is more in line with the airshaft thing. The fridge would face to the rear just like any other fridge would. Directly in back of the fridge there would be a 2 or 3 inch X 22 inch(or whatever the width of the fridge is) hole in the floor. There would be a corresponding hole in the roof of the tear. I would use sheet metal to make a duct (2 or 3 inch X 22 inch) that would run floor to ceiling. Put a vent at the floor to let cool air in, a vent on top to let hot air out, and a cap up top to weather proof it all. Probably some screening top and bottom to keep out the bees.

All this thinking is making my head hurt. I couldn't stop thinking about this last nite. Kept me up most of the nite. I want to do this, BUT, if it doesn't work, it'll cost big bucks.

I'll try to get a drawing down on paper and maybe that'll help to actually show you what I mean. I'd give up a sink and 5 gal water supply and a microwave to make up for the difference in weight. Couldn't use a microwave without electricity anyway.

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Postby Steve_Cox » Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:30 am

Why not a portable ice maker for a tear drop? Small foot print, plenty of ice for those frozen lady drinks, keeps the beer ice cold and ice for the cooler. The smallest model on this site makes 22# of ice a day and it's only $169. I think I might need one of these, just have to get rid of the oven.

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Postby dacrazyrn » Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:25 am

as for the chimney part and venting....how would one of those solar powered roof vents work?
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Postby mikeschn » Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:38 am

GeorgeTelford wrote:Hi Mike

Can you really build a teardrop for under $600 ? My last second hand one cost me £120 a new sunncamp can be had for £150

I have a bunch of tips on building your own fridges and coolboxes somewhere, I'll try to dig em out later.


I was thinking a 3 way cost about $750. And what I meant, even if I didn't say it right, was I didn't want to build a $1500 teardrop, and spend half of that amount on a 3 way! :o :lol:

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-r ... single.htm

Mike...

P.S. I'd be glad to see what you have on coolboxes. Do you suppose any of the info could be used in the vintage plan area, or perhaps we should start a new link on the menu for coolboxes. :designing:
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Postby tk » Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:45 am

If you go with the airshaft idea make sure you follow the mfg,s. recommendations on venting. I work for an RV mfg. and messing with refer vent specs can cause serious probs with function.

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Postby Ira » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:48 am

Welcome, Stan!

I'm talking from total inexperience here since mine isn't done yet, but this hasn't stopped me from stating an opinion before.

You say you're an ice-cold beer drinker, so REALLY welcome aboard. (I was getting outnumbered by all of these Yurps…Europeans). Also, God bless you for making cold beer the predominant design function of your TD, as I have done. (Heck, I myself was gonna dispense with the cabin altogether and turn it into a walk-in cooler.)

As said, galley real estate is a real commodity in a TD, and unless you're building a really large fridge from scratch, and not carrying that much food/beverage, it doesn't seem to be worth that galley space.

Today's premium coolers will hold ice for FIVE DAYS, and when you consider the space that one of these propane units will take up, how much it's actually going to hold, and the fact that you're going to have to have a cooler ANYWAY because there's no way it will hold all of your perishable provisions, it might be a cool toy, but impractical.

However, if you really think you need one, why not build a large freestanding unit that you can store in the cabin and pull out when camping? That would allow you to make one a truly practical size. But here's another rub to this, and it's a big one.

Unless you buy your perishables at the camp site (let's forget beer for now), you're STILL going to need a cooler to keep your perishables cold for the trip from home to the site, unless you planned to keep your frdige fired up during the drive there!

By the way--I love Pirogies, but not the ones with sauerkraut.
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Postby GeorgeTelford » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:04 am

Hi all

The only 2 ways I have seen have been Gas and 12v OR Mains and 12v for the compressor types (like the engel etc that Paul mentioned)


Stan

Don't think 12V is worth the $$$.
so that leaves Mains and gas, but how would you run this while traveling? Officially you should not run on Gas while on the road?

Mike

Wow something that can be bought cheaper over here !! they are a bit dearer over there.

On the info front, some of this info is universal to all kinds of fridges coolbox's, I'll try to type some of it out later.
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Postby Nitetimes » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:23 am

GeorgeTelford wrote:Hi all

The only 2 ways I have seen have been Gas and 12v OR Mains and 12v for the compressor types (like the engel etc that Paul mentioned)


Stan

Don't think 12V is worth the $$$.
so that leaves Mains and gas, but how would you run this while traveling? Officially you should not run on Gas while on the road?

Mike

Wow something that can be bought cheaper over here !! they are a bit dearer over there.

On the info front, some of this info is universal to all kinds of fridges coolbox's, I'll try to type some of it out later.


A large part of the RV ones here are all three, I know the one in my 33'er is. They are frequently run on gas while traveling, have been since I was a kid. But a good one here is very pricey, generally can't get much under $700 for a smaller one.
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Postby sjptak » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:25 am

Now we may be on to something. We are brainstorming here. I like the idea of a solar powered vent. Anything to help get rid of the heat build up has got to be good.

Steve, the icemaker is a neat idea, but it wouldn't work for me. I'd have to get a genset for the AC and I'd have to carry a lot of water. My plans include a lot of primitive camping, so I wouldn't have hookups.

tk, I'm going to try and get hold of Dometic to see if their engineering dept will be of much help. If you can understand what I am trying to say about the airshaft and venting, I see no reason why it wouldn't work. But, nobody has ever called me smart, so......take that for what its worth.

Ira, Ira, Ira.......
If you've started a build, you've got more experience than I. BTW, I prefer potato and farmer's cheese over the kraut anyday. I'll probably need to carry a cooler anywho, but I like cool toys.

I've eliminated some of the expense involved with this concept. I've aquired a well used, but still functioning 2 way unit that is 22"W X 25"D
X 32"H. One of my motto's: "If its free, its for me!". Now, I may be able to build a shell, stick it in there, and see what happens. I'm still gonna try and pick Dometic's brain. Of course, the build is still a year off.

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Postby sjptak » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:49 am

Hey Ira, check out the http://www.golittleguy.com/options.html#tailgater tailgater listed here. I'm not sure I've got the hang of inserting URL's on this forum. If not, you'll have to copy and paste: http://www.golittleguy.com/options.html#tailgater

Seems to me, with the Tailgater Teardrop, you don't need anything more!! :lol:

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Postby GeorgeTelford » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:32 pm

Hi Nitetimes

I did say officially they are not supposed to be run on gas while traveling, but like many "rules" it is often ignored (to be honest I always ran mine on gas too) The idea of course is that 12v while traveling is pretty much free (to the scientists amongst us, I know its not free, it costs in petrol/diesel) also the other thing is that its supposed to be safer when filling up at a gas station not to have a gas appliance running.


Mike, I will start another thread with fridge/cooler building tips rather than Hijack this one
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Postby sjptak » Sun Jun 25, 2006 1:09 pm

GeorgeTelford wrote:
Mike, I will start another thread with fridge/cooler building tips rather than Hijack this one


George, I'll be reading it with GREAT interest. I'm trying to soak up as much info and knowledge as I can. Thanks

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Postby Ira » Sun Jun 25, 2006 1:39 pm

Stan--I'm ALMOST way ahead of you on this:

I DO want to put a tap in mine, but before my other galley essentials are in and fitted right (even though those essentials are less important than THIS one), I'm gonna wait.

My plan is to use those mini-kegs that you get from any convenience store. Know what I mean? They're not steel kegs, but disposaable ones. I think they hold like a gallon of beer, but they use a kind of conventional tap.

So...

It's just going to be a matter of sitting the mini-keg in a bucket of ice, and running the line to the outside. Which means I can actually sit the thing in the CABIN--it doesn't have to be in the galley.

Hey, I've been thinking and planning this beer thing for a YEAR! The other great thing about these mini kegs is that they take up less space than conventional cans and bottles, no waste, and if you're anything like me...

A mere 16 ounces of beer at a time from a conventional bottle just ain't gonna cut it.

My alt plan is to make a freestanding unit.
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Postby An Ol Timer » Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:35 pm

Having owned a VW Westfalia for several years which had a propane/12v/120ac thermoelectric unit in it, I think it was more trouble than worth.

We cooled the unit on ac for 12-24 hours prior to leaving. The food and drinks were cooled in the house fridge and placed in the unit prior to leaving. On the road we operated on 12v and when camping either the 120ac or propane depending.

Also as per a VW forum I installed an indoor/outdoor thermometer in the van. One measured the van interior temp while the other measured the fridge interior temp. I believe the best temp drop that was to be expected with the unit was +/- 40º therefore over the road we ran the van a/c to keep the interior temp down.

Now if all this seems like a giant pain-in- the-ass you're absolutely right considering the returns that you get. You get a very small, cool fridge area.

Also another point that I haven't seen anyone address is the virtue of the cooler having a top lid whereas most installed fridge units have a front door. If you are careful in opening a cooler lid you will lose little of it's interior cooling whereas if you open a front door unit the cold air will fall out only to be replaced with warmer air.

When I was young I wanted the toys but had to care for them. Now being older and some what wiser (???) I prefer to sit and have a cold drink with my only worry being, "Can I drink all 96 cans before the ice melts in that Extreme Cooler???"
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