car fridge freezer advice

Hi members
Earlier this year some members gave me great advice about road trip syd to darwin return. We had a ball thankyou....we are hooked and planning another next feb mar.
What do you think about car fridge freezers. I did precook and freeze dinners which were great but van freezer bit small.

Advice please... experience make model size etc

Thanks again Cecily
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Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 14:31

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 14:31
We run a single or double fridge setup in the car (no van) depending on the length of the trip. For short one week or less trips it's a single 40 litre Engle, just as a fridge. For longer we add a 21 litre Engel, purely as a freezer. Works for up to three people.
AnswerID: 542432

Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 15:30

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 15:30
I use two fridge freezers - a 40 litre Engel and a similar size Waeco.
If I had my choice over again I would buy two Engels – they are a lot less trouble.
AnswerID: 542436

Reply By: Notso - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 15:30

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 15:30
EVA Kool, Engel, Waeco are all good. I have a 50 litre EVA Kool which I've had for 15 years. Never missed a beat. I know people with Engels who have had the same sort of use. You can get them a lot cheaper than these but to some extent I guess you get what you pay for. Still if you don't need a Rolls Royce then a Holden does a pretty good job.
AnswerID: 542437

Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 17:48

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 17:48
We used one 40 litre Engel in the back of our troop carrier for 4 months while travelling this year.

But we are thinking about buying a 21 litre to use as a freezer only .

I wont use anything but Engel.

Less chance of having trouble I figure

Cheers



AnswerID: 542439

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 09:02

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 09:02
Good idea Mark. It upsets some (jokingly) when you pull a paddle pop out in the middle of the desert. But if you want to stay put for more than two nights you may want to install another battery and have two for the fridge and accessories. We run three, one for crank and standard car duties and two through a Redarc isolator for all 4wd stuff.

You may have considered all this already.
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FollowupID: 828830

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 20:08

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 20:08
In all the years I have been camping and touring, I have never needed a freezer.
On longish trips all we need to do is vacuum seal the meat in practical portions and keep in the compressor fridge until required.

Vacuum sealed meat will last for weeks if kept cool. No need to freeze.
All we use is a portable 40 litre Engel in the back of the vehicle.
We also have a 65 litre upright compressor fridge in our camper van.

Running fridges on freeze just chews up valuable battery Amp Hours.
Bill


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AnswerID: 542445

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 22:34

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 22:34
How do you make the ice for the scotch?
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FollowupID: 828820

Follow Up By: Kelpie D - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 08:24

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 08:24
I thought Engel is a compressor fridge.

I know my 40lt Engel is compressor.
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FollowupID: 828829

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 21:05

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 21:05
Dennis,

No sweat mate.
There is a small freezer compartment in the Camper fridge, specifically for ice cubes for herself's G&T. This freezes on the normal cycle setting so it is economical on battery power.

Although I have the occasional scotch, my vice is beer, cider & red wine.
I have been known to drop a cube or two in the red wine to chill it down a bit:-)
Bill


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FollowupID: 828898

Reply By: Cecilyt - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 00:09

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 00:09
Many thanks for all your replies and helpful info.
All much appreciated. I am still not sure what to do but no rush at this stage. Cheers Cecily
AnswerID: 542454

Follow Up By: Kelpie D - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 09:06

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 09:06
Don't get an up right. The cold air drops out each time you open the door.

Any of the brands you see in BCF, BBQ Galore etc are good. Given a choice I prefer Engel but that does not mean there is anything wrong with the other brands.

Vacuum packing is a good idea but don't take the above advice, it is wrong and dangerous. VP does not extend storage life by weeks if kept cool. The general rule is double shelf life. Pretty much all raw meats have a fridge life of 4 days at 4c. VP will extend that to 8 days. Freezer storage as a general rule is 4 times. So if you have meet with a 6 month freezer life, VP will extend that to 2 years.

40 litre is a good size. Along with a good quality cooler (esky) of around 20 litres. Make up three 1 litre bottles of salt water to use as ice blocks.

Run the fridge in freezer mode when you are driving or have other power such as solar. Turn it off or right down to minimum at night. The 3 salt ice blocks will keep everything frozen over night. If you defrost your meat and other frozen foods in the esky, it will keep it cool. But you also have 3 very cold ice blocks if extra cooling of the esky is needed.

Go in to Kmart and get one (or 2) of the foam exercise floor mats. They are $12 (not the thin $4 ones). Use the floor mat as a fridge and esky blanket. Be careful not to cover the air vents on the fridge. If you use two layers of the floor mat foam, you will notice a serious difference. A double layer dropped my Engel power usage down from 1.3ah to .95ah per hour.
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FollowupID: 828831

Follow Up By: Kelpie D - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 09:10

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 09:10
Sorry. Of course you have a fridge in the van. So you might not need an esky.
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FollowupID: 828832

Reply By: Tony F8 - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 17:49

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 17:49
We also have a 40lt engel and a 27lt engel in the back of the 80 series, works like a charm, and for the ice for the bundy and scotch, we use glad ice cube bags. Fill em up in the morning, throw em in the 27lt (freezer), by rum time, plenty of ice.
Cheers.
Tony F8.
AnswerID: 542477

Follow Up By: Cecilyt - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 18:04

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 18:04
Thankyou all so much for your helpful advice and helpful hints. I intend to have a look at the setup inside the different brands. I saw a 40l waeco and the freezer area was very small. As this is a main reason for buying one, the freezer area is important. Any comments please?
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FollowupID: 828882

Reply By: sub - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 18:23

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 18:23
hi Cec,
I have just bought a national luna 50 litre fridge freezer 10 litres of freezer and 39 litres of fridge. have yet to use it but allways wanted a small freezer space.I have also got 2 39 litre engels,both of them are older ones and have never let me down.What made me go with the national luna is that its foot print is not much bigger than the engel.
regards Dean,
AnswerID: 542479

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014 at 10:24

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014 at 10:24
Hi Cecily,

Pleased your maiden voyage was such a success - now you are hooked!

There's good advice above, but nobody's mentioned the electrical demand of fridges and freezers.

A very important consideration with fridges, and especially freezers, is how you are going to supply power to them. Probably 3/4 of your total electrical requirements will go to running the fridge, even more if it's running extra cold or a freezer. Supplying that electricity isn't easy. This is discussed in some detail in Electricity for Camping

Having a fridge in the car is good, but it will call for an extra battery in the car, plus provision for charging and controlling everything. (The car's own battery should not be called on to run a fridge - it could do it for a little while, but it's important to be able to start the engine too! )

Cheers

John
J and V
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AnswerID: 542500

Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014 at 23:52

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014 at 23:52
We have a 47 ltr Evakool which we've had for 10 years we find having a freezer handy and it suits our needs. I know with the Evakool some models have the option of running your fridge in 3 different modes it just depends what you require for each trip you do you can run it as a fridge only or a combined fridge/freezer or a freezer only which is very very handy option that most other brands don't have. Adding a dual battery system will give you the security of knowing you car will start up in the morning. It also helps to learn the basics about how much power the fridge consumes and how long the battery will last if you plan staying somewhere for a few days. Don't forget if you get a fridge take the 240 volt adaptor with you so you can always run the fridge when you stop in the motel etc.
AnswerID: 542523

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