Keeping your food Cool

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Keeping your food Cool

Postby PaulC » Sat Aug 05, 2006 8:06 pm

Here's a good read and heaps of info:
http://www.exploroz.com/vehicle/accessories/fridges.asp

Cheers
Paul :thumbsup:
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Postby Dave Nathanson » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:14 am

I was so ready to love a 12volt electric fridge. I wouldn't ever need to buy ice again. I had heard that they suck down the juice, but I just kept the trailer batter separate from the Jeep battery. I even designed the ice chest area to be big enough for the 12v chest which is a little taller. Then I installed cig lighter plug right next to the ice chest place. Lovely. We packed cold food & drinks into it, and took a trip. When we stopped for gas I checked the fridge & joyfully reported that it was even colder than when we left. It was working! this was gonna be great!

When we got to the camp spot, I pulled the ice chest out out the Jeep (where it was plugged into the Jeep's cig lighter when the car was running. And set it in the shade. not long later I checked it again and it was room temperature! Already! :shock:

I just couldn't believe it. On closer inspection I saw that the 4" fan hole is a straight through, and just as soon as you unplug it from the 12volts, all the cold air drifts out the fan hole, and that very same thingy that makes it cold- is hot on the other side- and it's now letting that heat drift into the ice chest.

So finally I came to understand what everybody told me. These things are junk, - unless of course you feed them voltage full time.

I soon gave the thing away - which was how I got it too.

So NOW what we do is start with frozen 1.5 liter water bottles in a regular ice chest, Those will easily last all weekend. Great as there is no mess, and we can drink the water too.

For extended trips, when those frozen water bottles start losing their cool, we take out huge cups (tupperware pitchers with tight lids actually) into any fast food place and fill 'em with their free ice. Only 1 place ever wanted to charge anything and that was like 15 cents. Good deal, and I always make sure to have a couple of coins in my pocket just in case that happens again.
Last edited by Dave Nathanson on Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby PaulC » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:37 am

Hi Dave, Was it a thermo-electric cooler or a fridge. All the fridges I've seen are completely sealed. Your description seems to suggest thermo-electric and I agree with you on their efficiency. Have a good look at the link and compare the differences.
We use our 40 litre Engel as a freezer over the Festive season, you can't do that with thermo-electric.
Cheers
Paul :thumbsup:
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Postby Dave Nathanson » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:45 am

Oh yeah, I meant to say that! It was a thermo-electric. The kind that if you plug it in backwards it Heats the food! Nice feature if you want that i suppose. I will say that it kept the food about 30-some degrees F colder than the air temp, just as advertised. But it gets warm just as soon as you unplug it. So IMHO it's not practical for camping unless you give it a few batteries to drain.
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Postby asianflava » Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:12 am

Usually the heat sink fins are the only part inside the cooler. The fan is on the other side of the peltier on the outside of the cooler. There shouldn't be any air exchange between the outside air and the inside air. Maybe it was an old design or something. Either way, they still suck down the juice.
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Postby phlyfish » Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:20 pm

I would like to get an ARB or Engel fridge...I have talked to guys that have run them in for several days in a row with little drainage on the battery. They run $600 to $900 depending on size, quite steap...but they can make ice when you camp..

I think Engel makes a 3 way fridge, 12v/120v/propane that would be the ultimate.

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Postby pauld3 » Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:31 pm

:thumbsup: Paul's dad loaned us one and it did not have an opening for the fan like you discribe...so I reckon there are different one.

Cool idea though! . . . get it, ... cool idea! hahahahahahahahaha :lol:

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Postby Steve F » Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:34 pm

I have a 50lt Waeco fridge on a slide in the back of the Jeep. Some of the trips I do are several weeks and sometimes I go days without the chance to restock etc, the longest I've done is 14 days without getting supplies.

I get my meat vacum packed at the butcher, it lasts longer, and chuck it in the Waeco. I couldn't do some of the trips I do without it if I want fresh food :)

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Postby Tear Les » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:49 pm

phlyfish wrote:I would like to get an ARB or Engel fridge...I have talked to guys that have run them in for several days in a row with little drainage on the battery. They run $600 to $900 depending on size, quite steap...but they can make ice when you camp..

I think Engel makes a 3 way fridge, 12v/120v/propane that would be the ultimate.

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Most of the small AC/DC refrigerators (made by many like...Norcold, Isotherm, Waeco, etc) use the Danfoss compressor. These operate like a regular house refrigerator but the Danfoss compressor is very much more effiecient. On the DC side many of these units are consuming only 2 to 3 amps; on the AC side less than 1 amp. Downside? Kind of expensive.

When you introduce propane you're talking about a gas absorption refrigerator. The upside is that it uses propane; the downsides are that they need to be keep relatively level and if you run them on electricity they're very inefficient (since they have to produce so much heat to operate). If you're running off of shorepower on AC that's not a big deal but they're hogs on DC and will take even a fairly large battery down quickly. They're less expensive than the compressor units.

Back to pick your poison, eh? :)
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Postby steve wolverton » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:06 pm

I've had nothing but good luck with my thermo-electric cooler. I never shut it off though. It stays on the entire time in the camper (I run the AC all the time) and it runs in the car on the way to/from the campsite. It's *very* lightweight unlike a fridge. I've had ice in my sodas on occasions. It fits my needs perfectly.
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Postby flygal6 » Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:09 pm

I ditto Puffin's comments on my thermo/elec cooler. Love it, Love it. Again most my camping is electric dependent due to CPAP machine so the power drain is not a problem for me. Just my 2cents.
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Postby mikeschn » Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:20 pm

I posted a bad experience with my thermoelectric last summer in another thread...

basically it was okay at the campground... kept things cool enough...

but on the 13 hour drive back from MO we unplugged the thermoelectric, thinking the cold in the fridge would stay cold for 13 hours....

NOT...

Everything was warm, and ruined by the time we got back to MI.

Upon closer inspection we realized that the heat sinks on the rear of the fridge, which got things cold with 12volts, did just the opposite without current. The heat sinks were sucking up the heat from the atmosphere, and pumping it into the fridge. :o :cry:

We still have it for sale, cheap, if anyone is interested.

Mike...
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Postby nikwax » Wed Aug 29, 2007 6:16 pm

check out this thread
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