Chescold RC1180 advice

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 10:09
ThreadID: 41187 Views:2944 Replies:4 FollowUps:9
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Hi guys,

Firstly wanted to say thanks for the wealth of knowledge i've gained by reading through these forums for the last week or two. Unfortunately that and Google haven't been enough to answer my question..... For all of those rolling there eyes at yet another Fridge thread.. i am sorry...

So some background.

Typically we go camping and stay in one place for a week or so... I have been using a large Tropical cooler with 10 x 2L frozen milk bottles to keep it cool. I limit the kids to opening it only a few times during the day.. but even so after 5 days its really not much good.

After all the reading the ultimate solution would be an AGM second battery combined with 80-120W of Solar.. unfortunately the wife just won't let me spend the $3K at the moment :-) (She doesn't come camping with me and the 3 kids..) Also the camping spots around here are typically in forests ie surrounded by trees.. so not sure if the shade would stop the solar working...

So, been looking very closely at the Chescold RC1180, I'm a little concerned if its going to be able to handle the temperatures. I live in Canberra and we regularly get days over 35c and up to 40c.... I don't really need it as a freezer, but i was hoping to be able to add beer and drinks as we went along. So my thought was remove the divider and use the extra cooling power and make it one large fridge.

So far the info I am reading seems to contradict itself.. some people saying if you remove the divider it freezes things even in the Simpson, others saying if you add warm drinks then it pretty much fails.

I'm suspicious that the variance comes from people who owned the older models v's new ones... Would a love to hear from some people who own one of the newer models for there opinion on whether it would be up to the task..

Thanks kindly.

PS I've already bought the bulls eye level for it :-)
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Reply By: pixiemops - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 16:35

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 16:35
Hi 75troopy (re-posted with a bit extra from post 41109)

I already own the finch fridge and only last friday decided to buy the rc 1180. Have been very pleased with the finch fridge but wanted to spoil myself . Today in Perth the forecast temperature was 36 degrees so decided to do some testing on the fridge to see if it is O.K.

I too googled to try and find something about what kind of performance I should expect from the fridge. This way I could compare to check I haven't got a dud etc. I couldn't find what I was looking for so set up the fridge in the garage and put in my two way in/out digital thermometer to try and get some readings.

I did have the fridge on overnight then by the time I got to the garage and set up the gas bottle and thermometer the temperature inside the freezer bit was -6.9 and the outside temperature was 32.2 deg.

Just now a good 3-4 hours at 2.06pm the outside temp according to my thermometer was 36.3deg and inside the freezer bit of the rc-1180 it was minus 10.9deg. As it is so hot well we dont get much hotter here in Perth I seem to think that that sort of performance seems o.k. Intend to ring up a repairer over here just to check as I have know idea if that is good bad or otherwise.That is 47.2 below ambient. Would like to hear if anyone does know what to expect re- temperatures.

I left the fridge on overnight on 240v without the divider and in the morning the temperature was reading minus 10deg.(ambient of around 25deg i think). Feel it would make a great big fridge as long as you Turn it down a bit. Reckon if you first put warm drinks in the freezer bit and then later put them out into the fridge bit should knock the temp of them down pretty effectively .

Cheers and good luck with whatever you decide.

AnswerID: 215245

Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 17:04

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 17:04
That was probably a fairly good test, but what about repeating it with the fridge outside under a tarp to simulate an awning of a tent ?? You may find the outside temp a little higher than inside a garage ??

I have a little Finch fridge ( 36ltr ) which performed pretty good over chrissy, but even with the thermostat up to max, the beers, while cold, weren't icy cold, and if you wanted to add some warm beers it would take 6 or more hrs to get them down to a cold temp, so adding them at night before going to bed was the go.

But it's not big enough for a good nights drinking, so a Waeco or similar will probably be the go for me !

Have a friend with a rc1180 and while it peforms very well ( keeps everything a lot colder than my Finch ) I'm not sure it is suitable for stop start type camping that I will do. That is ; maybe drive around all day ( 4x4 thrown in as well ) then stop somewhere for the night ( and not take the fridge out of the 4x4 ) then pack up in the morning and head off again ??
If the only camping I did was to go somewhere and setup camp for the week then a 3 way would suit me fine.
FollowupID: 475540

Reply By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 17:40

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 17:40
Go with the Chescold.

I have owned a Finch for a few years and am very happy with it for my style of camping which, like yours, is generally staying in one spot for some days or even weeks. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is the optimum solution unless one is prepared to buy a good sized battery and large solar panels or a generator in addition to the $1000 or so for the fridge.

About one year ago, iirc, I asked a similar question on this forum and received many informative answers from people who own the modern Chescolds, I was specifically interested in their ability to freeze in high temperatures (~30+C). This was the post:
Site Link
Post 30140 if the link won't work.

I think it will confirm your decision - I haven't upgraded yet (mainly because of space reasons in the vehicle and I'm finding it hard to justify $1k for a better fridge) but probably shall this year.

Let us know what you do and how the solution works for you please.

Mike harding
AnswerID: 215254

Reply By: 75Troopy - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 18:00

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 18:00
Guys thanks very much for the confirmation.. I'm going to fork up the money and give it a go...!

Will report back in after my Feb camping trip with the kids, heading into Bendethra, very excited about the prospect of not coming out half way through due to ice melting :-)

Now, just need to buy some heavy duty cable and a decent connector. Might also take down the computer fan etc, that way if its needed i've got it all ready to go.

Thanks again..!

AnswerID: 215258

Follow Up By: Flight Sargent - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 21:20

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 21:20
Hi Troopy....yes chescolds are the way to go. They are hopless on 12v and you will need to watch the temp settings because the only problem Ive had is mine gets too cold. They are a rugged fridge just make sure you have it chilled done a day or two before you go and you will be happy as a pig in....

FollowupID: 475585

Follow Up By: Member - Min (NSW) - Monday, Jan 15, 2007 at 14:58

Monday, Jan 15, 2007 at 14:58

I agree with Sarge. We have had the Chescold for about 5 years. It is fixed in a fibreglass frigebox on the drawbar of our ct. It is not good whilst travelling on 12v but at least keeps things cold for the amount of time we're on the road. We have to be careful at night to turn it up (i.e. warmer) especially in cold weather or things in the fridge section freeze. In below zero temperatures it's probably worth turning it off. It works very well on gas.

We tend to have 2-7 night stops. We live in Canberra but have travelled all over Oz, with the thing and it works quite well in hot conditons.

On the whole we are very happy indeed. Just get a bit annoyed in the mornings when the milk is frozen!
FollowupID: 475720

Reply By: 75Troopy - Monday, Jan 15, 2007 at 10:51

Monday, Jan 15, 2007 at 10:51
Question for you guys.... I did some reading last night about transporting LPG inside the 4WD and it gave me a scare or two... maybe even 3 :-)

I was thinking i'd build a small timber box and line it with high density foam to reduce some of the bounce and rattling and help protect it from accidently being hit and opening.

Be interested to know what other people do..
AnswerID: 215392

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Jan 15, 2007 at 11:20

Monday, Jan 15, 2007 at 11:20
I've carried one 2.5kg and one 4kg gas bottles, upright, behind the driver and passenger seats for years - never had a problem.

However asking such a question on this site will, undoubtedly, result in a number of responses which foresee potential doom, death to your children, plagues of locus, flagrant breaches of the law and, probably, destruction of the total planet resulting in the death of billions all because you carried a gas bottle inside your vehicle!

Keep it upright and tightly packed in - she'll be right mate :)

Mike Harding

PS. My 4kg cylinder is now two years out of date – oh! I’m an irresponsible rebel! :)
FollowupID: 475678

Follow Up By: pixiemops - Monday, Jan 15, 2007 at 12:23

Monday, Jan 15, 2007 at 12:23
I tow a trailer with a toolbox on it and the gas bottles go in that.
FollowupID: 475693

Follow Up By: 75Troopy - Sunday, Feb 04, 2007 at 09:42

Sunday, Feb 04, 2007 at 09:42
Got the tools out and made a small MDF box and lined it with high density foam... no doubt it had the smoothest ride of all :-)

The chescold worked a treat down in Bendethra, even on half way it was still -2.5 on a 37c day... biggest trouble was keeping it from freezing everything, thank goodness for the warm beer :-)

FollowupID: 480160

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Feb 04, 2007 at 10:02

Sunday, Feb 04, 2007 at 10:02
Good to hear you have found it an effective solution.

We'll elbow the Engel and Waeco boys out of the picture yet :)

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 480163

Follow Up By: pixiemops - Sunday, Feb 04, 2007 at 11:56

Sunday, Feb 04, 2007 at 11:56
Good to see you are happy with the rc1180. Didn't think you would be disappointed.
Interested to know Troopy if you had the divider in/out and used is as one big fridge. Cheers
FollowupID: 480195

Follow Up By: 75Troopy - Thursday, Feb 08, 2007 at 19:51

Thursday, Feb 08, 2007 at 19:51
Hi Pixie,

Yeah I had the divider in, worked pretty well.

FollowupID: 481249

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