Fridge Options

Look at options for a portable fridge for my ML Triton. Couple of questions I've got that I'd appreciate some input on

Looking under the hood there doesn't appear to be much room for a second battery - does anyone have any hints on if it is posible to install one ?

And fridge choice. There is so many on the market, looking for something that will suit a couple for four day trips between re-filling. If I can't fit a second battery in, is it worth looking at a model that can work on gas as well ? Any thoughts on ideal models ?

Any advice would be great.

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Reply By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 10:34

Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 10:34
Hello Iain,

if you only have got room for one battery, select a spiral wound pure lead/tin deep cycle/cranking battery. Replace your ordinary flooded cranking battery with it.

You can run a 12V/240V 40/50 litre fridge with an average current draw (on 12V) of 1.5A for 24 hours and still have enough juice left for cranking.

This particular type of battery recharges to 90% within 45 minutes.
So you'd have to drive for 45 minutes per 24 hour period to keep the fridge cold 24/7.

When you come home from your trip (or in between in caravan parks), fully recharge the battery with a good 3 stage charger:
12V 25A precision charger

That's the simplest an least expensive setup for your purpose.
And mainly for piece of mind: get a small (30 or 40W) solar panel you can use to recharge your battery with, just in case you manage to drain it too much.
30 to 60 minutes of full sun will put enough juice back into your battery for cranking.

More on this special type of batteries in my profile, and here:
spiral wound AGM battery

Best regards, Peter
AnswerID: 422254

Follow Up By: dazza0503 - Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 10:43

Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 10:43
I've had a duel battery system fitted to my 2009 Triton diesel from O Lock.

Works great I run a waeco 24/7 in back under the canopy. So it can be done.

FollowupID: 692616

Reply By: Notso - Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 11:55

Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 11:55
ARB make a dual battery tray for the triton.

Check out Triton Forum

Do a search you'll find heaps of options.
AnswerID: 422257

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 15:13

Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 15:13
G'day Iain, while not disputing any of the above re extra batteries,solar etc, by
far the cheapest option is a good 3 way fridge, wired correctly & run on gas when camped. Sure,you can install another battery, hook on solar if you wish, but
nothing beats the convenience of gas if camped for more than a few days. The
engel/waeco forum will bleat about the superiority of the compressor fridge & they may be correct under conditions of prolonged high ambient temperature, but
the average user will find a 3 Way quite satisfactory. Compare a total cost of under $1k to the combined cost of an equivalent compressor job plus solar plus extra battery & all the control system stuff & you will get the idea. Add on the cost of a generator in case the sun dont shine. Excuse me now as I go take cover from incoming rounds...:)))....cheers...oldbaz.

AnswerID: 422269

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Jun 28, 2010 at 07:23

Monday, Jun 28, 2010 at 07:23

Nothing may beat the convenience of gas while camping, but nothing comes close to the efficiency of a compressor fridge either.

The average user will find the three way almost useless in the hotter regions of our country.

I have had a three way fridge before and wouldn't consider another, whatever camping setup I was using.

Providing one has sufficient battery capacity and a method of recharging it, a compressor fridge wins hands down, regardless of the brand. This does not require a generator either.
I get by quite adequately with an in-car charging kit, plus supplementary charging via solar panels on longer stops for my battery system.


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FollowupID: 692706

Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, Jun 28, 2010 at 09:50

Monday, Jun 28, 2010 at 09:50
G'day Bill, I guess we must agree to disagree. While I have no issue with compressor fridges you cannot get away from the fact they are expensive & require big battery reserves &/or solar backup. We have just returned from a
month long trip to the gulf with many days around 35 deg plus & the 25 year old
Finch performed perfectly. In fact it was freezing fluids overnight. Run via an
inverter while mobile & on mains 240 or gas when camped. Correct stable current is essential , but if given that, there is no need for extra battery capacity or other
charging systems. 240v is by far a more stable current & I feel this is a big contributor to the good performance I achieve, combined with big 12v wiring to
the inverter. I dont expect to convert you or others to 3 way, but it works for a fraction of the cost & no compromise in efficiency.
FollowupID: 692716

Reply By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 15:32

Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 15:32
Iain Hi,
The better compressor type frigdes have an auto cutout,when the voltage drops below a preset point the fridge turns off,in theory you should always be able to restart your vehicle.The three way fridges are very efficient on gas but power hungry on 12 & 240 volts. generally with no cutout.IMO they are great if you go camping & stay in one place for an extended time.
I have a caravan & bought a 32 L Engel to use as a freezer ,an excellent unit.
I now find that I tend to use the van as a base & take the tent eskies are not much better than a pocket in a hankie, So am looking for another fridge. If I had bought a larger unit maybe 50L with a freezer compartment in the first place would be better off. Sorry to be long winded but suggesting think of the possibilities.
AnswerID: 422270

Reply By: greyemu - Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 17:36

Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 17:36
Captain Crunch
I,ve put a dual battery in my ml by installing a plastic battery box in the ute tray & have used a baintech controller. I have a waeco 50 that is mounted to the tray with just straps. Had no dramas with this setup.

Regards Greyemu
AnswerID: 422278

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Jun 28, 2010 at 07:34

Monday, Jun 28, 2010 at 07:34

Have you considered mounting a secondary battery in the rear of your Triton?
This gives you the distinct advantage of choosing an AGM battery over a standard wet cell deep cycle.

For a bit under $400 you can install an ABR Flyer in the rear and connect it via the supplied cables to your primary battery. This setup includes a built-in isolator to protect the starting battery and will recharge the battery inside the box via the vehicle's alternator.

For somewhere between $200-$350 you can add an AGM battery of your choice and you will end up with a more practical and cheaper option than an "under the hood" dual battery system with it's inherent limitations on battery capacity and size.

The Flyer will take an AGM battery up to a 120Ah capacity, but a 100Ah battery will give a good solution for anything other than a "normal size" fridge.

As for brand of choice, that is up to you and how much you are prepared to pay.
For two people, a fridge of around 40 litre capacity will give you adequate storage capacity and will not unduly drain the battery too mucm.


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AnswerID: 422335

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Jun 28, 2010 at 13:41

Monday, Jun 28, 2010 at 13:41
I recently bought a 'battery box' from Supercheap ($66) it has voltage gauge and battery connections built into it, the customer had their own battery and we placed it in the back of their 4wd to run the fridge.
It was charged from the alternator when vehicle running as had an isolator under the bonnet.

Have to admit I previously only had negative thoughts of 3 way fridges, however at Cowley beach we had a 150Lt 3 way running on 240v and it was keeping things very cold.
We also had an Evakool used as a freezer and it was running on 240v also, but running non-stop, so I now have reservations about what is possible with various compressor fridge models running as a freezer off 12v.

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 422367

Reply By: Cheeky1 - Tuesday, Jun 29, 2010 at 21:07

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2010 at 21:07
I have a conopy on my ML and therefore installed the auxillary battery in the back. I housed it in a placcy battery box and secured it. I then wired some outlets (ciggy and anderson) to feed my 60l Waeco. I'm guessing you too have a canopy?? It was a cheaper option for me than getting a second battery installed under the bonnet.
You can see my setup on
AnswerID: 422514

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