12v Fridge Turned On Whilst Traveling Question!

Submitted: Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 13:55
ThreadID: 56010 Views:5135 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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Hi All,
Just curious to know if it is ok to travel (tow) with my old 3 way fridge 'Electrolux' running on 12v?

I'm a little concerned that the 12v heating element is not robust enough to be turned on whilst traveling? I am thinking the element may be weaker than usual when in use and result in the element breaking on rough roads etc?

Or are they designed for this type of use? Keeping in mind that the van will be as level as possible when towing, but bumping around alot I'm sure!

All suggestions welcome :)
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Reply By: Go-N-Grey (WA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 14:06

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 14:06
We have always travelled with Electrolux/Dometic fridges on 12v over 25 years, including towing a Jayco Swan fitted with 3 way fridge through the Gibb River Road twice 1991 & 1993.

We counted every corrugation, have never had a problem with fridge element, although it is wise to check the positon of the 12v wiring at the back of the fridge.

We blew the sealed unit on our Jayco Finch in 1982 when the 12v feed wire fell onto the hot pipes, and eventually shorted creating a nice pin hole in the sealed unit.

Cheers

AnswerID: 295238

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 16:29

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 16:29
"We counted every corrugation"...OK how many were there!...we want to know too...:))))
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FollowupID: 561222

Follow Up By: Go-N-Grey (WA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:43

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:43
7,327.3 from the end of the bitumem out of Derby to Joe's (Jack's) Waterhole where the corrugations shook a kidney stone out of me and I stopped counting......... but that's another story and drama.

Needs another trip to finish off (June this year).

Cheers

Phil
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FollowupID: 561351

Reply By: Member - Lewis K (QLD) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 14:10

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 14:10
Redbac

The 3 way fridges are designed to run on 12v while traveling. The big issue with these is the need to have them level when stationary. The movement of the van while traveling removes this concern. Have a great trip
AnswerID: 295239

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 14:12

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 14:12
Its fair to say they are 'designed' to take the rough and tumble, of gravel road travel but the 12V elements do blow at times - part of the game I think. Re level - while quite important when static, leveling seems not to matter while mobile - the rocking and rolling of the vehicle keeps the gas happy.
AnswerID: 295240

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 14:23

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 14:23
These fridges should be operated on 12 V only when travelling. They need the alternator running to feed them their power. If you stop your motor for too long you will not be able to restart it - 20 minutes was enough to cause a fail to restart in one case with a Falcon I know about. I would suggest you put a relay in the supply from your car that is controlled by the ignition switch so that you kill the power to the fridge when you kill the motor. Most of us have forgotten the fridge at some time when we have stopped for lunch - no need for you to experience the same embarrassment.

PeterD
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AnswerID: 295242

Follow Up By: Crackles - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 21:51

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 21:51
If the battery didn't last 20 minutes then there would most likely have been something wrong with it or the charge system of the car. Most caravan 3 way fridges use around 9 to 10 amps continuous so at most it would have consumed 4 amp hours of power, well within the capacity of any starting battery. A Fully charged Falcon battery in servicable condition should be able to run the fridge for at least a couple of hours & still start the engine.
Rather than a relay turning the fridge off completly risking your food & beer getting warm, fitting a low voltage disconnect switch would continue to run the fridge turning it off with sufficient power in the battery to still start. They also have alarms on them to warn you power is getting down.
Cheers Craig...........
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FollowupID: 561330

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 15:06

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 15:06
WE used to own a Dove and we blocked off the vent inside the camper to keep the heat of the canvas and the clear PVC window. It gets plenty of air when moving from the wall vent on the outside.. MIchael
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AnswerID: 295247

Reply By: Ray - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 15:18

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 15:18
I run my 3way fridge when moving but there is a solenoid switch that isolates it when the ingition is turn off. Not even acc.
AnswerID: 295248

Reply By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 17:23

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 17:23
Redbac, G/day, if you have dual batts with an isolater, Run the 12v for the van off the aux batt via an anderson plug and some heavy # cable to lessen voltage drop. With this method you can use the frig on 12v while you are parked for a while and not flatten the start battery, and if you forget to switch over when you camp it it wont be a problem, Regards Keith C.
AnswerID: 295266

Reply By: Dunaruna - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 17:36

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 17:36
A motion sensing switch solves the battery drain problem when stationary (lunch stop etc).

fridge switch
AnswerID: 295272

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 01:30

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 01:30
This is 3 times the cost of the relay solution posted a few times above

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FollowupID: 561363

Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 08:51

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 08:51
What if you want lights/cig socket etc still active while stationary?
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FollowupID: 561383

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 21:43

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 21:43
Hi
The relay coil is fed from the "IGNITION CIRCUIT " not the acc circuit can still use cig socket /radio etc
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FollowupID: 561512

Reply By: Member - kevin Y (SA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 21:04

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 21:04
interesting comments in this one , nice to know i'm not the only one to forget to switch to gas when stopping for an outing, went into soveriegn hill came out flat battery-- bugger ---dual battery system put in when i got home
AnswerID: 295320

Reply By: Angler - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 21:07

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 21:07
Don't expect it to work really well, it may just keep the cold you started with. It certainly will not get new additions really cold.

Pooley
AnswerID: 295321

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