stretch bars and what fridge is best

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 15:48
ThreadID: 21826 Views:2063 Replies:8 FollowUps:9
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We have a vr commodore sedan (with a heavy duty tow bar that goes under the car to just above the diff) and tow a coramal camper trailer, that we have pretty well loaded up. Are we best off to have anti stretch bars fitted in the boot as we have heard that the commodores and the falcons have a tendency to stretch, if we do fit them are they in the way of getting to the spare wheel? also we are looking at buying a 35-40 litre fridge and as there are so many different types it's hard to know what is best, we need it mainly for keeping drinks cold, we already have a cooler/warmer type (old one) that is no good unless the stuff that you put in it was really cold, and then it's not the best.
Hope some one can give us a bit of advice thanks.
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Reply By: Boo - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 16:23

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 16:23
Evening ....
First off... No idea about the stretch bars... sorry. Have had no experience with them.
As for the fridge, a friend recently bought a 35lt three way fridge/freezer from Repco for $399 (on special) and thinks its flamin great. It cools quickly and will freeze containers of water over night without any trouble. I also noticed that K-Mart had one on sale exactly the same (with a different brand label) a few weeks ago for the same price. Dont know what their normal price is but even at a hundred more their still a fairly cheap effective fridge. I have a Chescold three way and find it great. Believe the Waeco's are pretty good also but quite a bit more expensive.

On one last note... sorry to read your stuck driving the Commodore...hope you can Upgrade to a Falcon or better still a Patrol soon... lol
AnswerID: 105422

Follow Up By: gone bush - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 16:38

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 16:38
thanks for that, must have a look, I've never seen one in our K Mart but will ask, the price sounds quite appealling too.
ps. we're not soory we drive a holden, at least we know we can get back home after our holiday.
FollowupID: 362515

Follow Up By: Toy_Hilux - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 22:22

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 22:22
Too True about the Holden, Have always been a fan. Owned a HZ and a VN. Upgraded to something better in two Toyotas.
FollowupID: 362581

Reply By: D-Jack - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 17:14

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 17:14
I 'm not a big fan of stretch bars after my wife got pregnant.
AnswerID: 105427

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 18:21

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 18:21
Gone Bush,

Based on your description of the tow bar, I'd guess you have a "Hayman Reece" style and therefore should not need anything else.

To be sure though, why not drop into a Tow Bar Installer and ask for their advise.


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AnswerID: 105436

Reply By: Rosco - Bris. - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 21:32

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 21:32
Don't know about the tow setup, but as for a fridge, I reckon you are not suited to a 3-way, (only going from your description setup).

I would suggest a small compressor job.... Waeco, Engel, Trailbrazer ... what ever.

Sounds like you'll only be using it in motion, hence a 3-way is not the go as on 12V they are not the best.

AnswerID: 105467

Follow Up By: gone bush - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 21:41

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 21:41
thanks anyway for the advice but I think it will be the gas side of it that will get the most use as the camper's fridge isn't that big so the fridge we are looking for is mainly for soft drinks and water (the joys of having teenaged kids) and anything has to beat those endless bags of ice and everything floating. since I've just found out about those Repco/KMart fridges we are leaning that way.
FollowupID: 362572

Reply By: Boo - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 13:11

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 13:11
Just as a quick followup to the 3 way fridge .... If your planning to carry it in your boot at all and not in the camper, make sure it will fit with the lid closed as I found mine wont...
Just a thought.
AnswerID: 105548

Follow Up By: Boo - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 13:25

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 13:25
Just been talking to the local Repco (Belconnen, ACT) so asked about the fridges they had.. they still have some in stock but they have gone back up to the normal price of $562 but after he went and checked the system he said they could still match the sale price of $399 on that stock.
Probly doesnt help where you are but maybe your local one will do the same..
FollowupID: 362663

Follow Up By: gone bush - Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 18:37

Friday, Apr 08, 2005 at 18:37
i checked with our local Repco and was told that there is none at all in SA and he said that he looked it up and that there was one one lelf in stock in all of Australia and that was in Vic and the price not on sale was $499 but I would have to pay about $78 extra to have it bought over to SA, KMart has quite a few and they too are $499.
FollowupID: 362887

Reply By: pixiemops - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 16:16

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 16:16
I have a 3 way fridge and after a few mods it goes great. It was turning itself off on the highest setting on 240v on a 30deg day the other day. Some polystyrene to cover it 2 fans one under the coils and one under the condenser and it now freezes stuff if im not careful. As for 12v I havent yet been able to test it out properly with the mods.I would recommend the f400 model chescold as it is better insulated which i believe to be the only problem with these fridges which dont perform on a hot day....the insulation on mine has made a HUGE difference well as fans
AnswerID: 105577

Follow Up By: gone bush - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 20:39

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 20:39
hi, we have just gone and bought a 3 way fridge from repco, it seems to be working great but in the event that we need it to work a bit better I was wondering if you could fill me in a bit more on the fans that you have put on yours, what have you got to power up the fans? Is your fridge one of those repco/kmart ones? Thanks.
FollowupID: 363436

Reply By: pixiemops - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 21:45

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 21:45
The fridge I have is the chescold type . What I did with the fans is wire the positive lead into the positive of the 12v lead on the fridge. The negative I wired together and into the neg of the 12v leads of the fridge. So I can run the fans outside the car I attached a further two leads to the fan wires (positive and negative) with some aligator clips attached . Then i just connect a small 12 v battery so I can run the fans . As the fans are directly wired into the 12v lead of the fridge I had to install a switch on the positive lead of the fans between the fans and the fridge lead so the battery isnt trying to run the fridge as well as the fans. So the switch needs to be closed when in the car and open i.e no connection when out of the car. If you forget which i did once the fridge ends up drawing too much current through the fan circuit and i melted one of the wires. So it cant happen again i installed a fuse 5amp between the battery and the fans on the outside of the fridge.

I know it seems like a lot of fiddling around but it isnt. Im just a novice at this sort of thing but got it to work. Heavy duty double sided tape is all you need to stick the fans in place. One under the condenser fins and one under the coils on the right hand side looking from the back opposite side to the heating elements. Some polystyrene foam stuck to the outside including underneath (on the inside of the lid ) and the fridge on 240 v and gas runs fantastic even in stinking hot weather icy cold infact ice in the cans cold. Enjoy your camping
AnswerID: 106442

Follow Up By: pixiemops - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 21:48

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 21:48
The foam I didnt stick on the outside of the lid just inside as it would have looked a bit strange on the outside of the lid.
FollowupID: 363451

Follow Up By: gone bush - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:20

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:20
thank you very much for such a detailed discription, my hubby will have a go at it and he feels quite able now of getting it right. I must agree with you that the foam would look quite strange on the outside.
we tried our fridge on gas today outside (and empty) and the temp got down to 1 in less than 4 hours, the ambiant temp was 31 and quite muggy so we can't winge at that.
thanks again and happy camping.
FollowupID: 363583

Reply By: dingbat - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 21:04

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 21:04
I have one of those Repco fridges as well and am happy as it supplements the one in the van-note to keep it deadlevel when on gas and 240v -someone on this forum built an adjustable leg table, so did I and it doubles as a holder when transporting. also the repco fridge has a fan that works in the 12volt mode and i agree with the other guys about a fan when on gas or 240v-have fitted one to the van fridge but not yet to the Repco. Some commodores it was a GMH recommendation to fit the bracing plates above a certain weight limit-check your handbook under Towing, Caravan/trailers where it is usually spelt out. Recent ones no longer require this modification but I dont know from which model it was-although VS models needed them so the VR would as well. Probably a good idea as some campers are quite heavy an d stressful to the vehicle.
Good luck and see you on the road sometime
AnswerID: 106587

Follow Up By: gone bush - Saturday, Apr 16, 2005 at 22:12

Saturday, Apr 16, 2005 at 22:12
My hubby has tried a 12 volt fan on the back of the fridge on 240 volt and the temp did drop from 2 down to -2, the air temp that day was about 20 outside and this was inside. He has also made up the base for it to sit in, not only for the adjustable legs but also to keep it off of the ground incase of dampness or sand etc. I have made a cover that goes over the fridge, making sure that none of the vents were covered (the back and the vent on the top are left open.) It is made of a woolen blanket which I cover with light canvas, and I put some foam in between it, it was all at a cost of $3 total (bits bought from the opp shop), this seems to help quite a lot with extra insulation and protection. If you would like the measurements or more information on the cover I will gladly give it to anyone interested. Please note we are heading off on a camping trip, I will get back to you if wanted when we return.
About the stretch bars we have heard from someone that we need them but it is not written in our owners book about them at all.
thanks from Gone Bush.
FollowupID: 364044

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