12v Fridge vs Esky & different ice blocks

Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 18:24
ThreadID: 142552 Views:1340 Replies:8 FollowUps:27
Hi,

I have this coleman 47L cooler- https://www.bunnings.com.au/coleman-47l-chest-hard-cooler_p3240585 and so far it has done us well and seems to keep everything cool. There are only 2 of us and we have been going to caravan parks so have been able to refreeze our extra ice packs and rotate them each day to keep everything cool.
I am considering a 12v fridge as we are thinking about branching out to locations with less facilites and was wondering what is the cutoff point in number of days when you need to switch from a cooler to a fridge? I'm not a huge fan of half filling the cooler with ice, and it is annoying having to shift all the ice packs around all the time.
From what I have read a lot of people seem to say that they got fine with a cooler until they tried a fridge and now would never go back!

Has anyone tried the black wolf ice bricks?
https://www.snowys.com.au/reusable-ice-brick-0-to-minus-6c
https://www.snowys.com.au/reusable-ice-brick-minus-12-to-minus-18c

Are they worth the extra cost?
They are 2.5x the cost of these https://www.snowys.com.au/slim-ice-brick-large Coleman one's

Many thanks
Back Reply Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Core420 - Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 19:58

Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 19:58
On our first long distance trip of 6 weeks we took along a cooler. Halfway through we decided that a fridge would be more versatile, especially if you are in remote areas for a couple of days. So for the next trip we installed a fridge and connected it to a portable battery system (Coleman). That battery is connected to the alternator through a vsr. A very simple and reliable system that hasn't let us down yet. The cooler now holds the non perishables.
AnswerID: 637884

Reply By: RMD - Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 20:08

Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 20:08
Bob.
Keeping things cool isn't necessarily refrigeration. Not sure what the significance of the two ice bricks is, each will freeze down to the - temp of the freezer if left there long enough. Everything stores cold, and ice frozen to -18c lasts longer than ice frozen to -1c because it has to gain a greater amount of energy before thawing. Having an Esky half full of freezer bricks which constantly require refreezing seems to be self defeating and only near the start is all ok.
Having a 12v / 240vac fridge is a whole different thing and requires appropriate power supply and recharging of battery/ies via driving or solar if "away". Some fridges are dual zone to allow freezer section and fridge section, no ice bricks! All depends on use and need and travel type. What suits one person may not be suiting another.
Last Esky use for me was about 1986. I found food doesn't swim well and in Luke warm water it doesn't keep, and if new cool ice or bricks isn't soon, unhappy Life. Change the "L" to a "W" if you wish.
AnswerID: 637885

Follow Up By: Gary W3 - Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 20:46

Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 20:46
I have a 100lt fridge/freezer in my Trayon. It only draws about 2ah and is excellent. However, when storing fresh vegetables , fruit , milk, beers, etc., the fridge can get full quite easily. I now tend to run the fridge on high to freeze everything. I have a cooler box which I keep cool with bricks frozen in the fridge and rotate them through the cooler to look after perishables and keep drinks cool (if not cold!). This works very well and I can store the cooler out in the annexe to free up room inside. As the 'frozen' food (generally just below -1 deg) in the fridge part) is used up, I can back off the fridge and move stuff from the cooler. Using both systems in tandem is great for extended trips.
Another huge benefit is a cryovac system. Vac sealed food lasts for weeks, if done properly. I prepare a lot of meals/food at home for her indoors, then vac seal and freeze the leftovers. They make a convenient meal because I just heat them in some simmering water, cut the bag and slide onto the plate.
Job done!
1
FollowupID: 916035

Reply By: OzzieCruiser - Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 20:13

Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 20:13
See this THIS very recent thread.
AnswerID: 637886

Reply By: Gary W3 - Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 21:05

Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 21:05
If you have room, definitely a fridge, but keep the cooler. You'll need it if going remote or for extended trips.
Consider investing in a vacuum sealer. The can extend food life by weeks and you can get them for about $50 at KMart or Kings Off Road. I've had my cheapie for a few years and it gets plenty of work!
AnswerID: 637888

Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Sunday, Sep 19, 2021 at 15:38

Sunday, Sep 19, 2021 at 15:38
Another one for the Vacuum sealer. We purchase meat and some veges then vacuum pack them and keep them in the Engel at 3 Deg c . Meat lasts up to 5 weeks like this and veges a bit longer however you will eat them out well before 5 weeks .
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 916166

Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Sep 12, 2021 at 09:22

Sunday, Sep 12, 2021 at 09:22
Hi bob,

Vacuum sealing alone will extend the life of most food items if kept cold. Obviously you cannot vacuum seal everything, particularly liquids, (unless pre frozen), but vacuum sealed items take up less space in the fridge/freezer. Dometic make a 12/240 volt vacuum sealer, so you can take one on the road with you for when you need to resupply, that is what we have.

Refrigeration is the most cost effective way of keeping food cold. As RMD as said, continually freezing freezer bricks seems counter intuitive as the space needed in the freezer for the bricks could be utilised for food instead.

A good quality 12/240 volt compressor fridge/freezer with the appropriate batteries and charging system will last for many years.

Macca.
Macca.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 637892

Reply By: StormCamper - Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 03:50

Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 03:50
With fridges come extra continual ongoing costs of batteries and babysitting. In some cases its simply cheaper and easier especially longterm to just use an esky and ice. People often only look at the trip and not the behind scenes of the work involved in a fridge setup.

Fridges work where you got free energy (alternator) driving every few days, but if always stationary, you need, solar, fancy electronics and people sadly underestimate how much you really gotta spend to get a quality setup.
AnswerID: 637899

Follow Up By: qldcamper - Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 07:18

Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 07:18
Some of what you say is true, but you dont "need" fancy electronics.
If you stick with a flooded type battery you dont need any electronics at all, just the battery, fridge and a cheap panel that has an on board reg. There are plenty of people doing it that way.
It is forums that insist that what people do successfully cant possibly work. Many myths come from forums invented by confused authers thinking they know what they are talking about but misunderstood what they read on google written by uneducated people. There are also books available by self proclaimed experts that didnt own their own multimeter till they retired and set up their first travelling rig.
By the way, this little rant is not directed at anyone in this forum.
9
FollowupID: 916048

Follow Up By: Briste - Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 10:01

Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 10:01
As someone who has just purchased a fridge for travel (when we're allowed to), and who is contemplating the cost of the fancy electronics, I'd be interested in any guidance about where to find more information about the sort of budget approaches to powering a fridge when stationary mentioned by qldcamper.
0
FollowupID: 916052

Follow Up By: qldcamper - Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 10:19

Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 10:19
Interesting question.
Most info available leads you to believe you have to have everything conceivable or it wont work.
I run 2 seperate systems, my camper is simply a battery and a cheap solar panel through a victron reg, pretty simple.
The one in the car is a bit more complex.

Just do the math on how much power you need for the way you use your fridge and size the battery and solar accordingly, if you even need solar.
1
FollowupID: 916054

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 11:17

Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 11:17
.
Hi Briste,

Further to Qldcamper's advice, if you could advise answers to the following questions we can probably offer informed advice........

1) What is your vehicle and will the fridge be in the vehicle or in a towed camper or caravan?
2) What else is to be powered other than the fridge? e.g. lights etc.
3) What size is the fridge and will children use it for drinks?
4) Will you be storing frozen food in the fridge?
5) How long will the vehicle be stationary? e.g. overnight, a full day plus night, or more?

As Qldcamper has said, well specified simple systems can usually provide adequate performance in most cases. However, there are constraints and you need to be aware and accept them to avoid disappointment.

Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 916055

Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 17:53

Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 17:53
Briste.
As an example of simple stuff, For many years I used a 12v, manually switched ON solenoid, ie, constant duty, to connect some reasonably heavy wiring to an aux battery. Therefore it was charged from the alternator. The fridge ran off the aux battery.
If I wanted the aux battery charged I switched on the solenoid. It can be made to auto connect and disconnect by running the solenoid coil feed from IGN source.
Rules change in todays world. Unfortunately, if your vehicle has a modern Dumb, some call them Smart alternator, it may be best to have automatic charging of the Aux via a DC DC charger which is initiated by Ign sensing. Either install a Volt meter, Small Digital) on the Aux battery or regularly/daily use a multi meter to monitor the battery voltage as fridge is used.
Off camping now!
0
FollowupID: 916059

Follow Up By: Briste - Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 21:53

Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 21:53
Thanks for those replies. Answers to Alan's questions, with a bit of context:

1) Toyota Prado Kakadu 2021 model. The fridge will be in the back of the Prado, rather than in the hybrid off-road van that I will be sometimes towing. The fridge is intended to compliment the smallish fridge freezer in the van. It may also be used for trips without the van.

[Context: the Kakadu is payload-challenged, esp when towing, so I am doing all I can to work with that payload. I therefore have a strong preference for anything light such as a lithium battery. They're definitely not cheap, but have a number of advantages in addition to being light.]

2) I only really plan to power the fridge. No inverter. I guess if it was possible to add some 12V charging outlets for as-yet-unknown low current bits and pieces without adding to the cost too much then I'd tick that option.

3) Bushman SC 35-52. No children planned on any trips. The Kakudu has a chilled centre console - I haven't used this feature yet, but it seems the obvious place for frequently-accessed cool drinks when travelling.

4) Sometimes as a 35L fridge, sometimes as a 35L freezer, and sometimes as a 52L multi-zone fridge freezer.

[Context: We discussed this fridge recently in a separate thread, much to the amusement of some people. Can I suggest we leave the discussion about the wisdom or otherwise of that multi-zone approach to that other thread. I'm experimenting with it at present, and will report back at some stage. I'd rather the discussion here be focused on powering the fridge.

Speaking of which, there was some discussion in that other thread about whether the Bushman really is as economical to run as some people claim. The Choice review of camping fridges found that the Bushman was the most economical to run. HOWEVER ... despite Choice's attempts to make comparable measurements, it wasn't really a fair fight. They only ran it in 35L fridge mode, and the Waeco Dometic CFX50W 50L was close behind. On an amps per litre basis the Waeco would be ahead. The reality was that both these units were close and *way* ahead of the rest, notably the Engel MT45FP 40L. They both seem quite economical to run.]

The obvious, and expensive, solution seems to install a lithium battery in the back with the fridge and hook up all the basic Redarc gear required to charge the battery from the car when possible, and via solar at other times. I guess I was attracted to the alternative of a system not charged by the car. I assume it would be cheaper, and more flexible. I.e. you could remove and run it outside the car, although that really isn't a priority. I was attracted by price and simplicity.
0
FollowupID: 916065

Follow Up By: Briste - Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 21:56

Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 21:56
5) I'd like plan for being stationary and off-grid for 3-4 days, occasionally.
0
FollowupID: 916066

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 22:34

Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 22:34
"5) I'd like plan for being stationary and off-grid for 3-4 days, occasionally."

My fridge is a 55 litre $600 (12 years ago) Chinese no-name that refuses to die. It draws 2.5 amps when running. I usually use it as a minus 10 freezer when camped. (It has a chiller compartment for non frozen items.)

I have 120Ah AGM (would like lithium, but the AGM was a warranty job so I had to take it), a mid range PWM solar controller and 200 watts of solar in 2 light weight, portable, thin panels so I can run one if the sun is good, 2 in parallel if not so good.

As long as there is reasonable sun, my system keeps up with the fridge for as long as I want to stay.

FrankP

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

2
FollowupID: 916067

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 06:14

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 06:14
For a more economical solution and one that doesn’t impede on your storage space you could consider a AGM dual battery under the bonnet. You could compliment that with a solar blanket when needed

A very simple and cost effective solution
0
FollowupID: 916068

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 10:01

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 10:01
.
Briste,

Thanks for those excellent answers. So often people offer assistance only to find they were not fully informed.

I believe the Prado to have a temperature-controlled alternator but it is not 'voltage-regulated' (smart) so it is suitable to charge an auxiliary battery without needing a dc-dc charger. Just use a voltage-sensing solenoid. Redarc is good but there are cheaper ones.

A lithium battery would be nice although expensive and would desirably require an appropriate charger although people some have stated that they have connected directly. I would not wish to risk the investment. A 100Ah battery should be adequate for your fridge load and would also handle phone charging and modest LED lighting.

A 120W solar panel would sustain your fridge for most of the time and you can also use the engine to charge on occasions when the solar is inadequate. A "solar-only system" would likely need more than 120W and having it removable from the car could be messy.

Frank's answer above is reassuring but does incorporate extra solar panels for "those days".
And Alby's idea of putting a battery under the bonnet affords less intrusion into the cab. It would be wise though to use a battery that will withstand heat.

Other members may provide more good advice and feel free to ask more questions.


Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 916071

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 11:53

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 11:53
Hi Briste, and for anyone else who may be interested,

My set up for the back of my wagon is a 60 Ltr. Engel fridge/freezer, a 100 amp LiFePo4 battery in the right wing and a Redarc 1240 dc/dc charger in the left wing of my drawer system. The Redarc is powered from the cars alternator when driving, and from a 200 watt folding solar blanket when stationary. Solar blanket is connected via an Anderson plug on the back of the car. The fridge is used mainly for drinks and as an overflow for the van fridge.

Only reason we have a 60 Ltr. Fridge is that it is 18 years old and purchased long before we had a caravan, so this was our only fridge at the time. When travelling it is at least 3/4 full with drinks, and then whatever else we cannot fit in the van fridge. If we were setting the car up from scratch now, we would probably only buy a 40 Ltr. Fridge.




Macca
Macca.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 916080

Follow Up By: Briste - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 13:24

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 13:24
Thank you for those excellent responses. There's a lot of useful information there to consider and pointers for further research, which is what I asked for.

I'm not sure whether people realise just how payload-challenged the Prado Kakadu is in practice, despite what the varying Toyota spec sheets say. I took the new car over the local public weighbridge with a full tank and found only a payload of 510kg, + or - given the weighbridge accuracy. Put two slightly overweight people in there, add an estimated 180kg towball weight (based on measuring an identically-specified, loaded model), and I've not got all that much left. I would like to have the capacity for light-weight front bar. The rear seats are coming out, which should save 40-50kg, but I've bought a 24kg fridge plus an extension pack. There's going to be plenty of spare cargo space in the Kakadu - so the battery would not be that much of an imposition on space - but not a lot of spare payload. The van will be the opposite - spare payload but not much spare space. Some may say that the Kakadu wasn't the best choice for towing, and there's *some* truth to that, but it is what we have, and so the question is how to make it work?

Thus why I would strongly prefer a lithium. I've dropped the coin on the Kakadu, and the cost of that choice may well be dropping a bit more on the second battery choice, and that may require yet more coin on "fancy electronics". If I had the spare payload I may well put an AGM the engine bay in the spot intended for one, but that extra weight may well be the difference between having a front bar or not.

My reading of the responses seems to suggest that lithium would be difficult / risky to do without a connection to the vehicle, and thus hard to make portable. I've got that right?

@Frank_P: you find that you need your fridge left over from the Cultural Revolution in the back of the tug to compliment the capacity of the fridge in your early model KK? I.e. that it's difficult to survive on just that KK fridge?
0
FollowupID: 916089

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 14:46

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 14:46
Hey Briste,

The Long March fridge was bought when we had a camper trailer. As I said, it won't die - so why not use it? When we're towing the KK that fridge is all minus 19 freezer and along with the KK fridge allows us to be where we like to be for longer - away from the masses. (Actually -19 when driving and the fridge running off the alternator, -10 when camped up and running off the KK.)

But the KK is not always with the tug. I like to rough it occasionally, Mrs P not so keen. So the tug is fitted out for solo camping and part of that was including the already-owned People's Revolutionary Fridge.

The power scenario I gave above was my solo camping setup.

When the KK is with us those little solar panels don't get used - the KK with its oodles of power and solar runs everything.

FrankP

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

1
FollowupID: 916095

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 15:49

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 15:49
Briste,

The 100 amp LiFePo4 battery in the back of my wagon (LC200) only weighs around 14 Kgs from memory. You don’t need fancy “electronics”, but you do need a suitable dc/dc charger with a LiFePo4 profile. All up weight would be less than 18 Kgs. A folding solar blanket would weigh less than folding solar panels, and take up less room. Renogy & Solar King seem to be the most cost efficient quality LiFePo4 batteries, check them out on line. I would steer clear of the cheap Chinese batteries for now.

ITech have a LiFePo4 battery they say is suitable for in the engine bay, but if putting any battery under the bonnet, I would certainly ensure there is plenty of heat protection around the battery.

Macca.
Macca.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 916096

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 17:38

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 17:38
.
Hi Briste,
I think that I can see where your heading.

You certainly could put a 100Ah lithium in the back of the Prado together with a dc-dc charger with solar input. I would however select quality products rather than cheapest. For my new motorhome I have used Enerdrive throughout. Redarc are good quality but Enerdrive offer more value.
So I suggest:
Battery: Enerdrive 100Ah E-lite at $870
Charger: Enerdrive EN3DC40A at $445 (Redarc 25A is $450)
The advantage of a 40A charger is that the lithium will easily accept the higher current and faster charge from the alternator. Useful if you need to recover from overcast conditions.

I cannot see where you gained..... "lithium would be difficult / risky to do without a connection to the vehicle, and thus hard to make portable."
I see no reason why you could not configure the system with Anderson plugs such as to simply lift the battery and fridge out of the vehicle and connect to portable solar panels. If you went that path you could opt for a cheaper charger sans solar input for when the battery is in the car. The solar can still be connected directly to the battery via its regulator.


Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

2
FollowupID: 916099

Follow Up By: Briste - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 23:05

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 23:05
Those are some mighty useful responses. Thanks to all. I'm off to digest them.

@Allan B: Where I got that "difficult / risky" comment was from a misinterpretation of your statement "A lithium battery would be nice although expensive and would desirably require an appropriate charger although people some have stated that they have connected directly. I would not wish to risk the investment", so thanks for that clarification.

@Frank_P : my impression from inspecting a few KKs was that the fridge space wasn't too bad but the freezer space was quite limited, and so more freezer space is needed. But if you're travelling in warmer climes, and want to carry plenty of salad vegetables along with the usual fridge contents, you can run out of fridge space pretty fast. Hence my interest in something that could be run as dual zone if nec.

0
FollowupID: 916103

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 23:41

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 23:41
"@Frank_P : my impression from inspecting a few KKs was that the fridge space wasn't too bad but the freezer space was quite limited, and so more freezer space is needed. But if you're travelling in warmer climes, and want to carry plenty of salad vegetables along with the usual fridge contents, you can run out of fridge space pretty fast. Hence my interest in something that could be run as dual zone if nec."

Yes, the KK fridge is limited. We effectively get our dual zone by running the car fridge as a freezer and using the KK fridge as, well, a fridge. That freezer compartment in the KK fridge is handy for making ice blocks for the G&T and Scotch :-) and a few bits and pieces that you might want to keep a bit cold, but its real purpose is just to "generate cold" for the rest of the cabinet for stuff you want to keep fresh but not frozen.

The Peoples Revolutionary Fridge (PRF) is not a real dual zone. It has one proper, large compartment with a wrap-around evaporator and alongside that a comparatively small compartment that is cooled by spill-over from the main, adjustable with a slide that controls the amount of spill-over.

When solo camping, I run it at minus 10 with the main compartment half to three quarters filled with pre-frozen stuff which stays frozen for days. I use a beach towel folded into a thick insulator on top of that frozen stuff then on top of the insulator I put my coldies and other stuff that I want really cold but not frozen - with normal use taking cold drinks out and putting warm replacements back in that top layer doesn't freeze. Other stuff that might suffer from too much cold goes into the small compartment that under my system doesn't freeze.

It sounds dodgy but it works, has done for years.

And the microwave for thawing frozen stuff? It's the 3.2 litre 5 cylinder 138kW model. A frozen steak placed on the heat shield above the turbo some time after arriving at camp is thawed perfectly in a couple of hours :-)
FrankP

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

2
FollowupID: 916104

Follow Up By: Briste - Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 09:07

Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 09:07
@Frank_P: Re "When the KK is with us those little solar panels don't get used - the KK with its oodles of power and solar runs everything."

Can I just clarify how you're powering The-East-is-Red-Fridge from the KK? And is this with the fridge in the back of the tug, or are you removing it?
0
FollowupID: 916137

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 10:00

Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 10:00
"Can I just clarify how you're powering The-East-is-Red-Fridge from the KK? And is this with the fridge in the back of the tug, or are you removing it?"

Hi Briste,

It's not very sophisticated, I'm afraid, but certainly meets the KISS principle.

If you are familiar with the Kimberley Karavan you will be aware of the front "Multibox" on the A frame, where the batteries reside. My solar regulator is in there with the batteries. The regulator has a Load outlet to which I have wired an Anderson plug.

I've made up a suitable cable and when we're camped up I run the cable from the regulator's Load plug to the PRC Red Army fridge in the tug's canopy where I swap the fridge's power lead from its socket in the ute's power board to the cable. The fridge stays in the canopy where I keep it ventilated and shaded.



Cheers
FrankP

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

1
FollowupID: 916138

Follow Up By: Briste - Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 15:42

Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 15:42
Thanks Frank. I was forgetting that your tug was a ute with Canopy. Harder to leave the fridge wired like that in a wagon, but not impossible. I guess an external anderson plug could be installed, wired to the fridge.

@Alan_B: are you in a position to indicate your source for the pricing of the Enerdrive gear, esp the battery? Pity the slimline models are so expensive.
0
FollowupID: 916141

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 16:01

Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 16:01
.
Yeah, sure Briste. Enerdrive do not sell direct, only through dealers.
I got all my Enerdrive stuff from Caravan RV Camping. I have found them to be a good supplier.

Incidentally, Enerdrive was acquired by Dometic in May of this year, which perhaps says good things about Enerdrive products.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 916143

Follow Up By: Briste - Monday, Sep 20, 2021 at 10:39

Monday, Sep 20, 2021 at 10:39
@Alan_B: Was there anything other than price behind your recommendation above for the e-LITE rather than the similarly spec'ed B-TEC? As I understand it, they're the same technology, but the B-TEC has a wireless monitoring module and is serviceable. Asking that question another way, in your view are these features worth the extra, which is considerable? Are you using an e-LITE in your new motorhome, and if so what are you using for monitoring?

(I'm seriously considering a Baintech slimline lithium, as they're only 50mm thick, and thus easy to fit in a range of places, vs 109mm for the B-TEC slimline. But the Baintech, like the e-LITE, requires external monitoring).
0
FollowupID: 916181

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Sep 20, 2021 at 13:09

Monday, Sep 20, 2021 at 13:09
.
Briste,
I actually have a Enerdrive B-TEC 200Ah. It formed part of a package deal so I had no reason to consider the eLITE battery.
As you say, both of these are the same battery but the B-TEC incorporates a wireless monitoring direct from the battery to a phone at, of course, a premium price. I have fired up my phone monitoring and found it interesting but my installation includes the comprehensive Simarine monitoring/alarming system so the phone app is rather redundant. I am not one for what I consider 'gimmicky' devices. My system is designed to perform without my supervision. Should something be going South then an alarm will alert my attention. That is how I like things to work and how I designed systems in my time in the instrumentation industry.
However, there is nothing 'wrong' with supervising via a phone app and it may sit more comfortably with some. The only reason why I suggested the eLITE battery was because I thought you were placing economy high on your preferences.

I have no experience with Baintech lithium batteries but they are a reputable company and I have used other of their products with satisfaction.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 916183

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Sep 20, 2021 at 14:45

Monday, Sep 20, 2021 at 14:45
Briste,

Check out Renogy or Solar King LiFePo4 batteries, you can get 100 amp batteries for around $700. From the reviews I have read, they aseem to be as good as the more expensive brands.

Macca.
Macca.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 916185

Follow Up By: Briste - Saturday, Sep 25, 2021 at 18:42

Saturday, Sep 25, 2021 at 18:42
I hope it's alright to ask a few follow-up questions before this thread gets too old.

First let me say that reading the above again I can see how I created the impression that I was on a tight budget. It's more that, having dropped a lot of coin already on a touring set-up, I want to be certain that anything additional I spend represents value and is useful. If it is then well good, but I don't want to buy items or levels of quality more than is necessary.

(i) Batteries like Baintech and e-LITE don't come with built-in monitoring. Are there any tips for a useful, value-for-money monitoring system for batteries such as these? I'd like something that enables a quick visual readout. Bluetooth is a possible option but not essential. Some of the Victron battery monitors look interesting.

(ii) @Frank_P: If you always travelled with the KK, do you think it's a viable option to travel without a battery in the tug? What concerns me is powering the fridge when the van is left and side-trips undertaken. Transferring the fridge between the tug and van could become tiresome if done too often.

0
FollowupID: 916300

Reply By: Jaffles - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 09:30

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 09:30
Bob my wife was spinning out about a $1100 12v fridge, the $200 for a battery, and $500 for solar panel and a simple MPPT controller. To be honest so was I. But the first time we used it at the beach on a hot day and the wife pulled cold drinks out for herself and the kids, plus refilled with hot ones, all was forgotten.

Some 12 years on we are still using the same system ( excluding battery), and it still puts a smile on my face when I grab a 1deg beer and replace it with a hot one. Just magic.

Our 47Lt has seen a family of 4 want for not much more than an ice cream for 16 days through the Madigan. Plus many week long camps at the beach and so on. Buy right, buy once, and you will forget the cost pretty soon I promise.

I have been down the path of deep cycle closed cell auxiliary batteries, for my money and the life out of them I just use lead acid under the bonnet these days. The solar or the car running has never seen it fall short. Yes lead acid doesn't charge as fast as a deep cycle, but in my experience it doesn't matter either. We are not high consumers of energy however, fridge, lights, maybe a simple electric pump. No coffee machines for us.
AnswerID: 637915

Reply By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 11:29

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 11:29
I think there is always a case for a 12v compressor fridge and a case for the esky. If you are using an esky it's important to look at the Rotomolded styles and perhaps the use of something like Techni Ice. This means you are not wetting everything in the esky only cooling. Some items can live fine in an esky like this without the need for ice. If you have heaps of power on hand via a decent battery bank and lithium batteries with Solar on tap compressor fridges are a must. I use both.
AnswerID: 637923

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)