Chescold fridge

Submitted: Friday, Sep 28, 2001 at 00:00
ThreadID: 440 Views:5501 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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We are on a tight budget and plan to travel for up to a year around Oz. It's likely that we will stay in each camp (bush not caravan parks so no 240 volt access) for many days. Given our tight budget and the extended fridge use without battery recharge via running the vehicle we are leaning towards the Chescold 50 litre three way fridge. This way we can avoid the need to buy a dual battery system and large solar panel. This may save over $1200 (allowing more days without working whilst on trip!!). Do you agree that this makes sense given our budget and use patterns? Or will we still need a dual battery system to run the fridge via 12 volt whilst driving to next destination (I presume running on gas in car is dangerous). Any suggestions/comments would be welcome. Thanks. Gary
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Reply By: Simon - Saturday, Sep 29, 2001 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 29, 2001 at 00:00
We have a Chescold fridge/freezer and find that it works fine in the car without a dual battery system. But we unplug it from the 12 volt if we are going to be stopping for an hour or more. When we set ours up on the ground, we put it on a piece of plywood with a screw in foot at each corner so we can level it. We use one of Dick Smiths $25 electronic thermometers to monitor the temp of it constantly. We have found you have to protect the flame from blowing out if there is any wind. They work well.
AnswerID: 1136

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Saturday, Sep 29, 2001 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 29, 2001 at 00:00
Gary,I want to point out that dual batteries are not only for running your fridge. You mention that you will be outback for several days at a time. What happens if your primary battery goes flat/faulty - you will be stranded. The dual battery system has far wider range functions than just the fridge - lighting, radios, compressors etc the list does go on and on. The number of single battery users that we have come across with flat or faulty batteries is a concern. You will be outback and should have a backup of all critical systems and the battery system is one of the most critical vehicle components that I can think of.Running your fridge on gas whilst moving is paramount to suicide - if the pilot goes out or you have a leak you will be pumping gas into the cabin of your vehicle. The three way frigde is a good idea and you are correct in that you will not need to use solar etc however, invest in the dual batteries at least you will not have to switch to gas as one of the first things to do when you get to camp and you will have the backup electrical system. During a lot of our travels we often carried three batteries and have had to rely on this once.Good luck and enjoy.
AnswerID: 1140

Follow Up By: Chele - Monday, Oct 01, 2001 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 01, 2001 at 00:00
Just a follow up on your comment re dual battery and what happens if main battery goes dead.
We had second battery put in before our trip but never needed it. We got home for only three days and went to get in and you guessed it the main battery was dead as.Solution jump started it from the second battery. Easy. Don't need to travel anywhere to get your monies worth from that second battery!!!!
FollowupID: 334

Reply By: Porl - Monday, Oct 01, 2001 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 01, 2001 at 00:00
If you are on a tight budget then I think this is a solution worth considering.

I have a friend in a Hilux who went West from Brisbane and is now in Darwin. He bought an ARB fridge - last year's model, i think a 30L for about $900. His mechanic then put in a heavy duty battery - not dual battery, just heavty duty to replace the existing one. His mechanic then told him to buy a good Battery Power pack to start the vehicle if the battery ever runs too low. He e-mailed me over the weekend that his battery got drained only once when he had the car parked for 2 days in 35 degree heat. The power pack stated his vehicle immediately and he drove off with the fridge going and the battery charging.

I personally have a stand alone deep cycle battery and a generator. I can charge the battery from the car's alternator or the generator, and run the fridge direct from the car battery. But that is of course not a budget set up.

Unless you plan to be stationary for more than a day or two at a time - I'd recommend go the single heavy duty battery and the battery power pack option.

Also, from what I have read the Chescold does not perform very well in extremely high temperatures, it cools but won't freeze in high external temperatures and has a very high amp/hours usage compared to a fridge with Danfoss motor. But if you bought it to use with a gas bottle then the a combination of gas bottle and heavy duty wagon battery should see you do fine.
AnswerID: 1148

Reply By: Pat - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2001 at 00:00

not many people have the funds to take a year off and travel this fabulous country.. But before you take off with no money get your set up right!!
Get a dual battery system set up to run a decent fridge and not screw up your trip wondering and withering over a pathetic battery problem for your fridge--- you will need it no matter, just get the set up right before you leave-- so much cheaper than a stuffup in Woop Woop!! Leave the big smoke with a problem and it only gets worse, etc., etc..

Get your set up right before you leave!!
AnswerID: 1163

Reply By: Greg - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2001 at 00:00
I've had my Chescold fridge/freezer for 16 years and have found it to be very useful for extended stays in one spot. It is a bit fiddlier if you are only stopping for one night, as you need to unload it and get set up on gas. A couple of tips:
-Never run in a vehicle while on gas
-Find it's optimum working angle (trial and error). Mine likes to be a little high on one side. I have marked the case and then align it with a small spirit level each time. The angle can make all the difference.
-Protect the gas light from blowing out (it does have a gas cut off if it happens)
- I also take a small esky (20lt) in which I put 4 X 2lt frozen water containers. Each night I rotate a few of these in the freezer. This keeps the esky cool for drinks etc in the day and leaves the fridge unopened. By doing this, the fridge stays cool without being run in the car

AnswerID: 1166

Reply By: andrew dixon - Thursday, Oct 04, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Oct 04, 2001 at 00:00
geday gary, i belong to a four wheel drive club of around 80 members for a large number of years and during that time have associated with people that had already purchased chescold friges (poor buggers) and seen them spend more money on a proper fridge. some names that come to mind that has been used chesHOT
depending on the climate , under 18o celcius it will work fine, if hotter - no good on 12 volt at all.... ok on gas , has to be level as, 240 volt, have to carry a long,long,long lead..... at kings canyon 2 years a go a freind of mine, who had purchased the fridge brand new prior to the trip actually had to purchase ice and used it as an esky.......
try a engel, try a autofridge . money$$$$ well spent..........
AnswerID: 1169

Reply By: Mark - Saturday, Oct 06, 2001 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 06, 2001 at 00:00

I agree with some of the comments about three way fridges, if your staying in one spot for a few days then they are great while running on gas (away from the vehicle). However if you are on the move every couple of days and would prefer the fridge stayed in the car then a compressor driven unit is the way to go as they consume far less from your battery than the 3 way units. We have a 60Litre Supakool (now Evakool) 12/240 (with transformer) unit and after heaps of problems with an earlier compressor (aussie made) we have now got a retrofitted unit that now boast a Danfoss BD 35 compressor which has been excellent and draws only around 3 amps while the compressor is running. The duty cycle varies with ambient temperature, however as this fridge was essentially a fiberglass ice box prior to a compressor being stuck on the side, it has very good insulation and we can normally unplug the unit at night. We have a dual battery but if you're moving around every couple of days you may just want to buy a $30 low voltage protector from Dick Smiths which should cut out leaving enough charge to start the motor. Happy travelling
AnswerID: 1182

Reply By: SCOTT - Monday, Oct 22, 2001 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 22, 2001 at 00:00
Gary I have a chestcold fridge/freeze (blue one) and on recent touring trip to NT from Brisbane the fridge preformed faultlessly. On 240 or gas they work very well however on 12 volt they will just maintain temp. (we were in 40c + in the NT and never lost any foodstuff and the beer was cold...).
Invest in a dual battery system though because if you forget to disconnect fridge when u stop it will drain a standard battery in a matter of hours. We have since purchased a wacoe for touring and keep the chestcold for when we are going to stay for an extended period in the bush. The gas option is great.
AnswerID: 1256

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