Autofridge Owners

Submitted: Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 00:20
ThreadID: 30227 Views:2105 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Evening All,
Throwing around a few ideas in regard to transporting the 73 litre Autofridge that we have in the camper trailer. I have seen from other posts that people have put the fridge on the drawbar in a box made for the task (alloy or steel). I like the idea of the fridge going on the drawbar and was considering using a spacecase to house the fridge. The spacecase would be on a frame made of angle iron and then also locked down with those twist locks. You can get spacecases big enough to house the fridge.
The only downside that I can see is ventilation within the box whilst on the move as I understand that these are well sealed.

Any comments ?

Regards

Mark
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Reply By: Rod W - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:18

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:18
I have a 39lt. So with the price of the unit (around $2,000) why would you want to put such a valuable item in such a vunerable location.
As you are aware the side panels are heat dispersment panels, if you were to place the fridge in a sealed box then the fridge may be getting cooked or over working. Then there's the heat from the sun also cooking the box. I would be getting advice from the manufacturer cause I'm sure you would void any warranty.
AnswerID: 151726

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 11:05

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 11:05
Mark
A couple of thoughts (have owned an Autofridge for about eight years).

The big problem with what you suggest is ventilation. Easier with most fridges as the heat is dissipated from vents. '

As you will be aware (but non-owners may not be) is that when running, Autofridges dissipate the heat from the side panels - and also via the circular top vent. These must be left clear with about 50 mm minimum air gap at the sides with ample air flow. Later Autofridges also have a small computer fan sucking hot air from the top vent.

As you will also be aware however, Autofridges can be used in pump-down mode - where they are run flat out for only an hour or two morning and night - and then switched off (for those unfamiliar with them - the 'cold' is held in holding tanks within cavities in the walls and floor enabling the fridge to stay within a degree or two for the better part of a day).

You could therefore consider housing it so that you run it only whilst camping. It can thus be very well ventilated during this time.

When driving and thus switched off have it closed up. You could even consider insulating those sides and top against 'cold' loss. This could readily be done via hinged heat-insulating doors and/lid.

You would probably need to experiment a bit first but I see no reason why this should not work well. (As a matter of interest I have a thick insulated pad to cover the top of our unit - and this assists quite a bit).

Only other concern though is the weight. That's a heavy fridge to put on the drawbar. Keep it as close inboard as feasible.
Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 151733

Follow Up By: mowing - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 20:34

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 20:34
Thanks Collyn, The idea of just running it whilst the lid could be opened of the spacecase is what I was thinking. If I run it flat out whilst in this position then that will cover the days requirements and as you know the heat build up only really occurs when the fridge is running flat out to refreeze the eutectic fluid. The space case has the internal dimentions of 1050 x 500 x 625 with the 73 litre having the dimentions of 840 x 480 x 510. From this you can see that the sides will have less than the recommended 30 mill space but their will 115 mill on the height which will be sufficent for the placing of a foam insulation. The lid is the area that will let the heat in as it does not have the eutectic fluid. What have you used as a insulation pad for the top?
When I had the camper made I had a box made up especially for storing a fridge so the A frame has a centre piece 100 x 50 running from the trailer body to the treg hitch which the A frame joins onto and supports. Works quite well. I will note the weight all the same.
We used to rent out the Autofridges as a side business but it was hard for people to get their mind around how they work. Great fridges.

All the best

Mark
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FollowupID: 405492

Reply By: Trekkie - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 04:38

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 04:38
I have an Autofridge in my Kimberly Kamper. Have a look at one of them - there is a fan and filter in the gullwing to keep the air circulating - works well
AnswerID: 152001

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 11:16

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 11:16
Mark
I think this will work extremely well.

Insulation for the top? We just place a six-inch seat cushion over it during the day - works well!

I have recommended these fridges for years - but many people reject them because they cost more than most (about $2200 for the 71-litre) - yet then go on to pay another $750 or so for the extra solar or whatever needed to drive them.

Also, some fridge engineers refuse to believe they really do use about 60% of the energy of non-eutectic units in pump-down mode. They argue (rightly) that if used on a thermostat setting they use a few per cent more than - and argue that the intermittant mode can make no difference.

Fortunately the users know differently - but as an engineer, I would really like to have a physics-based explanation of just why. Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 152031

Follow Up By: Member - AdrianLR (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 13:49

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 13:49
Collyn,

This site provides a comprehensive (and accurate!) explanation of how a eutectic system works. There is a bit of "our system is best" but generally there is some useful info to make sure that you use the Autofridge in the best way. We are delighted with our 39L.

OzeFridge

Adrian
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FollowupID: 405633

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 14:55

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 14:55
Thanks for that Adrian

I agree - it is a very clear and substantially no-bull bleep explanation.
Collyn
AnswerID: 152073

Follow Up By: mowing - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 00:29

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 00:29
Thanks all for the advice, will let you know how it all goes in due course.

Regards

Mark
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FollowupID: 405848

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