Portable Fridges Feedback

Just on fridges and electrics...........I have a 37L Engel and a 35L 3 way. can't run them both together as the alternator won't keep up when driving. They will take a 13.8 v deep cycle battery down to 5.6v in about an hour. A good idea is to carry a multimeter on your trip to keep an eye on battery voltages and current draw. You can buy a good digital from Jaycar for less than $20. Just as deep cycles can take time to discharge they take an equally long time to fully charge up again.

Comments about running 3ways on 12v and 240 v have some creedence. They perform best on gas. My 3 way is the cheapie from Repco also sold as Coleman from K-Mart. Performs very well on gas. Despite comments elsewhere I have never had to hang from my ankles from a tree to light it. First thing to do is to remove the plastic feet off the bottom and put something decent there. They need to sit level and sans one foot compromises this concept. The handles are obviously for small mitts as I can't get a grip on them either. The fridge and I have developed quite a relationship as I give it a cuddle every time it needs to be moved. Chop the non-removeable 240v lead short as well as it is a pain away from home base.

Just on that, had another camper fooled one night as I found a hole in a tree trunk that took the plug perfectly. Had this guy and his wife convinced that the fridge would run off 'tree power' and fill a gas bottle at the same time! (sorry mate, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.)

Our modus operandi is to run both engel and 3way on 240v overnight prior to departure and to put the critical stuff in the engel for the journey. 3 Way will hold some cold for about 4 hours with no power/gas so it is useful for non-critical stuff. If we do travel away from the camp for a drive we load some food into the engel for the trip and chill it on the drive. Can be useful for freshly caught fish which would take overnight in the 3way to chill to below 5 degrees. As for the beer, nothing beats the ice esky. Use it to transport the hot tinnies and throw the ice in at the last ice stop before the camp. Bloke I saw recently transported 2 slabs of cans and the EMPTY esky to the campsite and then went off to buy ice. Thing to remenber with the 3 ways is that they perform heaps better if you turn them upside down before plugging them in if they have been sitting for a while. Obviously, do this before your partner loads it up with the camembert and the caviar!

Quebec 1770
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 23:40

Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 23:40
A nice write-up including helpful tips on your Repco XC-35L 3-way fridge can be found here ==> http://www.campertrailers.org/repco_fridge.htm.

The specs mentioned in the link above state 7.5A draw for the 3-way, and up to 2.5A for the Engel. Based on this i would summise that the Cable sizing and its associated volt-drop is more the issue. 10A "should" be no problem for your vehicle.....5.6V?

AnswerID: 295727

Follow Up By: Member - Craig M (QLD) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 07:57

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 07:57
Hi Andrew,
My immediate reaction was the cable size too. I have 2 x 10mm running directly from the aux battery to a 50a anderson plug x 2. I don't trust the 'lighter' plug configuration. The aux battery is controlled by a Redarc controller and my second reaction was to condemn this device. Are you aware of any issues with the Redarc units? The battery was replaced before Xmas like for like with another deep cycle.

FollowupID: 561755

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 08:16

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 08:16
Sorry Craig, i'm not an expert in this field and will leave the question about the redarc for others to answer.

FollowupID: 561760

Reply By: Member No 1- Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 08:02

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 08:02
"They will take a 13.8 v deep cycle battery down to 5.6v in about an hour"..??? my 80 engel willl run for at least two days in fridge mode on one battery.....my 60l freezer also last longer than two days on freezer mode....you sure you dont have something wrong....battery taking full charge.....cable size too small..etc etc

AnswerID: 295740

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 14:34

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 14:34
G'day Craig, interesting report. Like others I believe you have a
charging problem somewhere. Your point re gas is quite right. I used to
have problems sometimes preventing my 25 year old Finch freezing
on gas. It doesnt work very well on 12v anymore. I suspect the
element is dicky, so I run it off 240v via an inverter & it works
just great. Voltage drop & wiring issues give many users angst
with 3 ways & compressor types. The ice esky is sure the way to go for beer. Still had ice after 5 day trip recently. cheers...oldbaz.
AnswerID: 295784

Reply By: oldtrack123 - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 23:03

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 23:03
If you have discharged the battery to 5.6 v a few times it is probably already cactus .Battery should not be dicharged below 11.6v onload @ most & not below 12v onnoload for long life.
suggest you get a hydrometer to test acid sg if they are wet cell type
For fully charged reading should be 1260 or higher,are they getting near this ? & noload{ engine not running}12.7v.
Do they get charged to 14.2 to 14.5 volt {fully charged} noload with engine running?
AnswerID: 295893

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 23:08

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 23:08
Hi Craig
What size ,amp/hrs ,battery do you have?
FollowupID: 561920

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