Portable Fridge+Freezer suitability

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 16:03
ThreadID: 3652 Views:4638 Replies:2 FollowUps:5
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Am amazed how much info is on your site. I didn't know much about portable fridges before! Thanks!
We don't have a 4WD as many of you do - we have a commodore s/wagon & were wondering the feasibility of putting a fridge+freezer in the back for our weekly shopping trips & the occasional longer trips. We would like a 50-80L Fridge+Freezer such as the Waeco or EvaKool. Will these run Ok in the back of a s/wagon without a 2nd Battery for the day trips? How long will they run off the car battery when stationary before flattening the battery? We've been advised to put a direct cable in from the battery. What's the best & most economical way of doing this? How close can you pack luggage around these units? Do you need to leave ventilation space or can you put things right next to them? Do they give off much heat? Are they very noisy? We live on gravel roads - do units such as these take continuous average corrugations & bumps OK? Is a 2nd Battery set up all that's needed for the short stays? What's the best, economical way of running a second battery?
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Reply By: Troopie - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 17:28

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 17:28
Wow - lotta questions. Without getting into the complexities, here are some shoot-from-the-hip answers:
1. Fridges will run happily in most vehicles while the motor is running (the "day trips" you mentioned.
2. Fridge running without a second battery - depends! Battery, current draw of fridge, ambient temp etc etc - my preference would be not to to risk it. Having said that, I suspect that a spece for a second battery will be difficult in a sedan - there is a brand of battery (I have forgotten it's name - anyone?) that is basically two batteries built into the one case - it even has seperate terminals for accessories.
3. Direct cable is the way to go - the goal is to minimise voltage loss (i'm no expert here though).
4. It's best to leave at least a small amount of space around the fridge - but it's most important to leave space around the vents for the motor/compressor.
5. Heat given off is minimal, but noticable on some models.
6. Noise is not much of a problem, I have not seen one than can be heard much above average road noise. I actually don't mind hearing the fridge cut in and out from time to time - reassuring to know it's still going!
7. Handling the gravel roads shouldn't be much of a problem - as long as you buy a decent fridge (not entering that debate) and look after it. My fridge has copped several years of rough trips as well as acting as an extra fridge at home and it hasn't missed a beat.
8. Not sure about the most economical 2nd battery set-up - I actually have three batteries under the bonnet of my troopie so economy went out the window some time back. There is a device called a "power tank" which is basically a battery pack that charges from the 12 volt socket in the car - one of these may serve your purposes.

That about does it in summary form - all of what I said is subject to debate though!

AnswerID: 14429

Follow Up By: Rosalie - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 18:14

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 18:14
Thanks for your reply! I need to ask a lot of questions!! As for running a fridge from the car battery (eg a Waeco82L Fridge+Freezer) on the day trips - can you run a unit like this for any time at all when the car's not going? Say 3-4 hours?? Anyone know???
FollowupID: 8687

Follow Up By: Rowena - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 18:23

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 18:23
Troopie - would love to know which battery brand you are referring to which has 2 in one. We are facing the lack of space issue for installing a second battery at the moment. I might post a separate question on this.
FollowupID: 8688

Follow Up By: Coops - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2003 at 15:02

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2003 at 15:02
3-4 hours will be fine if fridge not up too high and working too hard but it is a risk if you're on your own.
Portable battrey pack would be a good option in case you need to jump start car.
FollowupID: 8734

Reply By: Member - Peter- Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 18:10

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 18:10
see waco.com.au (remote power systems ) I have the unit called the URBIN it has a 24 amp hour charge ,a fast charge unit is also avalible with it, that should charge the battery in approx 2-3 hours when engine is running. A waeco cf50 fride freezer running at the second setting ( 2 lights ) willdraw approx 1-2 amps so you are at least going to get 12hrs running time before a recharge is required. this same fridge has a auto cut of ,so if you are running it of your main battery it will not fully flatten it . The remote power packs are a dry cell battery so are quite same to gharge inside your car .Hope this is of help Peter York 4x4
AnswerID: 14432

Follow Up By: Member - Peter- Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 18:12

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003 at 18:12
sorry that site is waeco.com.au (not waco) Peter
FollowupID: 8686

Follow Up By: Coops - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2003 at 15:05

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2003 at 15:05
I'm not familiar with Waeco but Engel cut-out (since removed I think) is designed to protect compressor and not battery and as such battery is too flat to restart 4wd. Might be okay on a car though.
FollowupID: 8736

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