Power source for a fridge

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 23:03
ThreadID: 12173 Views:2629 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
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Hi all! Have a question regarding the best power source for our portable fridge. It's a Waeco 39L, with an insulation cover. We are looking to travel to the North of WA throughout the dry season, and are after information on the best way (and most cost efficient!) to power the fridge. We are looking to stay put in areas for possibly up to a week without driving the car. The car, by the way, is a 88 hilux forerunner 2.4L diesel. We are tossing up between a dual battery system or a battery attached to a generator. Solar panels seem too expensive an option. Our trip up north is only for 3 months.
Any and all ideas/opinons are grateful!
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Reply By: The Publican - Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 23:16

Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 23:16
Bunnings have the GMC 850w (650w continuous) on special for $198.00. No issues with quality, however they are two-stroke but with unleaded petrol and quality 2 stroke oil like Mobil 2T plug fouling is not an issue.
A dual battery for overnighting would be good and for lights and your fridge and the generator for the extended stays. Suggest you get a Jaycar XC-0116 $39.95 which you use the external temperature sensor to monitor the fridge temperature and the volt meter to see how your battery is going.
Link to Jaycar XC-0116 that may work, otherwise go to www.jaycar.com and enter the part number in the search box.
AnswerID: 54902

Follow Up By: Boeing - Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 23:24

Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 23:24
Hi Publican, The generators from Bunnings are cheap, no doubt about that but from the threads there appear to be a quality issue, some say they are great others say they are best used as boat anchors. If you have a GMC, I would be interested in how you have found it.


FollowupID: 316583

Follow Up By: The Publican - Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 23:36

Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 23:36
Quality issues, surprising, considering they come out of the Yamaha factory in China. The other interesting thing is that the returns have been not worth talking about. Yes I did buy one and have tested it out pretty thoroughly including running it at 800w on a travel iron for 2 hours. I consider with unleaded petrol that 50:1 oil mix is a little lean and prefer to use 40:1 using Mobil Extra2T two stroke oil.
Many of the retired people in the local Seniors club we assist at have bought them and nobody has had any problems at all. I would say at least 12 of them have used them now caravaning. Bunnings locally have sold around 5 pallets. To date one has been returned with a leaking fuel cap. It appeared the person tipped it upside down to get it out the box and it came out to fast, but as usual with Bunnings the customer is always right.
FollowupID: 316585

Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:06

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:06
I have one of those cheap generators.
Works a treat, no problems at all, have used it about 12 times out camping.
At $189, I thought if I get 2-3 years out of it I would be happy.
Better than paying $800-900 for a Honda
FollowupID: 316651

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:23

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:23
I just wacked one of those volt/temp guages in the surf, bloody awsome, good value and look great. Also give me a very noticble chirp every few seconds once the aux battery starts to drop too low, which is handy because once the bat drops below 11v my Jaycar isolater only trickle charges the aux (to try and save it's life a little more) until it gets back above 11v, the only prob with that is that with all the crap I hang of the aux if it's tricke charging only it can't keep up running everything. Prob best to put an ovride switch on the isolater so I can give it a full charge even if it's under 11v, but the point is they look great, easy to install and cheap.
FollowupID: 316654

Reply By: Boeing - Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 23:19

Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 23:19
Hi Mike, If it was me, I would go down the track of having a battery box with a good quality battery that could be used later as a starter battery as well. You could get hold of a generator secondhand and use this to charge it.After the trip -sell it. This is all based on the assumption that you would not be camping on a regular basis after your trip. Duel batteries are pricey as a set up and will not give you a week of power. The other thing to consider is if you are in a camping area, you will not be popular running the genny.
Almost sounds like a good senario for a 3 way fridge.

AnswerID: 54904

Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:01

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:01
3 way fridges, the evaporative element type, don't seem to work too well when the temperature gets over 33 degrees and high humidity
FollowupID: 316648

Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 07:18

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 07:18
I was just about to suggest a three way fridge.

These things are designed for people who are camping in one place for a while, no mucking around having to charge batteries.

1 9kg bottle of gas will keep you going for 3-4 weeks.

I have both, 2 car fridges and a 3way, they each have their place, and the scenario that you are describing, is screaming out for a 3way.

BTW, if it were me I'd have a DB anyway.
AnswerID: 54911

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:39

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:39
I most certainly agree with Dave. 3way is the go, I have a Chescold and on gas its a purler, on 240v its great and on 12v it'll kill a battery in 7 hours, but of you're running it in the vehicle when driving 12v is fine and dandy. We do lots of the kind of camping you speak of, stop and prop and spend a while. If you are travelling and need to keep something cool then a dual battery setup is useful too and shouldn't be too costly if you have a bit of electrical nous, just a redarc, ARB battery holder (cheapest of the lot and very serviceable) and a battery, get a friend with some nous if you're lacking there, and he'll probably have access to a few bits of necessary wiring to make the whole thing work.

Have a good trip mate, IMHO forget the genny and preserve the peace.
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FollowupID: 316615

Follow Up By: Baz (NSW) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 11:39

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 11:39
Three way is the go, thats what we use and IMHO for extended stays in one spot the only way. Our fridge is an electrilux caravan type upright.

FollowupID: 316624

Reply By: Rick Blaine - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:47

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:47
I'm not positive about the gennies but all the GMC products that I own have a 2 year replacement waranty...I bought one of their saws with a laser light to guide it and this failed after about 18 hard months of work but they repaced it with a new one.... very few questions asked so i figure that $189 is a good buy even if you amortise the outlay over the warranty period... & if your off road a gennie is almost an essential... or so I would think...I mean how are you going to power your TV, Fridge, theartre organ, PC, George Forman fat free griller,washing machine,elecric hedge trimmer & heated bed for the family dog, let alone keep the batteries charged on your environmentally friendly electric scooter and your electric fishing boat. One of these is my next purchase... after I get a washing machine in the van.
AnswerID: 54971

Reply By: Mike D - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 23:39

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 23:39
Thanks for the speedie replies everyone! Seems the debate will continue on... Have heard good reports on the 3 way fridges, but (unfortunately) we have already outlayed money for the Wacoe. Will look further into the gennies and the double battery system! Thanks again!!
AnswerID: 55417

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Saturday, Apr 24, 2004 at 13:40

Saturday, Apr 24, 2004 at 13:40
the 3 way fridge would work, however as you have the Wacoe then my experience states that you need a 'good' Deep Cycle battery system, not a cranking battery or a cheap compromise battery that is a bit of each, as a battery is built to do only one job well and also an Isolator that is suitable for a deep cycle battery system, as some cheap ones are not!

Generators are NOT permitted in _any_ national park here in WA!

they are noisey in the nite time when you pull up where there are other people you will be asked to concider their privacey and buggga off or maybe they will leave and as I once saw will leave your genny in a mess, they dont work too well with kerro or whatever it was in the fuel tank.
FollowupID: 317598

Follow Up By: Mike D - Monday, Apr 26, 2004 at 09:02

Monday, Apr 26, 2004 at 09:02
Was leaning toward the deep cycle battery system. The generator was an added bulk to carry along with the extra fuel (apart from also taking diesel for the car). /would prefer the "quieter" option too!
FollowupID: 317823

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