Fridge on Tow Bar

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 17:35
ThreadID: 97670 Views:2125 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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The camper trailer we are buying has the capability to wire the fridge into a sealed box on the tow bar. Have been told this is not a good option because of dust. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated as we are new to the camping/caravanning world.
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 17:50

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 17:50

I was just about to answer on the effect of all that weight on the drawbar has on towing, when I thought no - I won't deliver another sermon.

But then decided against it when I read the thread "tragedy north of Alice" three threads down.

Please note, and to all out there, it is a fact that a badly loaded trailer will start to swerve at speeds (death wobble) It happens suddenly, and more often than not t is due to too much weight up front.

I have spoken to manufacturers at the shows etc. and a few admitted to me that it was not ideal to have all the storage compartments and fridges on the drawbar, but that they had to react based on customer demand only to keep up with KKamper etc.

Please keep your weight balanced.

AnswerID: 493661

Follow Up By: Member - Barnray (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 20:15

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 20:15
CJ I beg to differ If the tow ball weight is at balance you will have death wobble and I have had quite a bit of experience with this, I have had to tow a trailer with an difficult load for better than 300 Ks at a max speed of 78kph because the tow ball weight was TOO Light. The recommendation is that the weight be 10% of the all up weight of the trailer and cargo. My Camper has 200kg tow ball weight and has been to the Cape and elseware and thru some hairy situations without giving me problems with the vehicle. Barnray.
FollowupID: 769275

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 06:15

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 06:15
CSeaJay ....And when you do deliver a Sermon you should check your facts first. Trailer wobble is generally caused by too much weight at the rear of a trailer when it is too far back. This is borne out by both experiences and physics. A fridge on the frond would actually reduce the effect.

Too much weight at the front has other effects such as reduced steering and braking on the front wheels of the tow vehicle.

Do a little homework.
FollowupID: 769293

Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 11:39

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 11:39
Boobook, Barnray

I emphasised "keep the weight balanced"

Yes in some circumstances you are both correct correct but that does not take away the message to Lynn just to be careful. Too much of anything is not good, including too much weight on the towball which also affects the towing car's characteristics.

Load up th fridge and the drawbar bow, maybe on a trailer with a front-of-axle water tank and the spare wheel also on the drawbar and you have a unbalanced trailer.

The wobbles are a terrible thing, and for the unwary it can happen suddenly without much forewarning. And, as we see with deadly consequences. Sorry if technically not 100% correct, but I am sure you know what I mean
FollowupID: 769420

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 17:55

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 17:55
And if you speed, and take your eye off the road, and if you drive too long and if your shockers are too old and if your vehicle is out of alignment.......

FollowupID: 769457

Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 09:18

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 09:18
So what you are saying is there are sooo many causes and effects so we can just ignore all advice and look the other way if there are costly/deadly results.
Your broad vision is quite narrow
FollowupID: 769494

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 11:37

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 11:37
No I am saying ignore bad advice or nanny state attitudes.
FollowupID: 769501

Reply By: Member -Hilton Hillbillies - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 21:25

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 21:25
Hi Lynne,
CJ has an excellent point, Especially if you are not experienced with towing.
I think that you may also have problems due to heat if you have it in an enclosed box.
All fridges need air flow to prevent them from overheating.
They will work much more efficiently if they have this air flow.
I suggest that you talk to a fridge tech and I would think very seriously about CJ's comments.
I hope you have a wonderful time with your new camp trailer.


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AnswerID: 493673

Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:14

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:14
If you do have to have a fridge on the draw bar, as mentioned the loading aspect is very important.
The fridge however, can be used in a box which has positive ventilation provided by a computer fan which must run 24/7 to prevent the fridge from wallowing in a pool of hot air. Also requires car air filter quality filtering to prevent dust ingress.
AnswerID: 493678

Reply By: mountainman - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:58

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 22:58
death wobbles dont just happen on single axle trailers.
they also happen to tandem trailers ESPECIALY on ones that have the slippers. or eye to eye setup.
the rocker setup is by far the best setup.

ive towed a eye to eye set up, 14hrs heavily loaded and i couldnt get to a 100, if i went over, the trailer nearly took me off the road!! and this was in the WET..
it was a massive long road trip.
the eye to eye should be BANNED on tandem trailers!! when regoed.
no way of the axles sharing the load, between the front and rear!!.
AnswerID: 493682

Follow Up By: Outnabout.. - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 21:18

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 21:18
Many expensive campers have fridges on the drawbar and kitchens etc. Its really all about whether the trailer was designed for it or whether it is a tacked on afterthought re the balance issues.
FollowupID: 769362

Follow Up By: Member - Barnray (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 18:08

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 18:08
They also happen on load sharing so don't get complacent. Barnray
ps the load needs to be on the towbar at or about 10% also that weight has to be within the towing vehicle capacity
FollowupID: 769459

Reply By: gbc - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 06:04

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 06:04
Plenty of campers with fridges on drawbars. Our Camp-o-matic had one. It was o.k. but I abandoned it for a number of reasons.
1. Had a fridge already in the ute and found I was trying to run 2 fridges for no reason.
2. The camper fridge was and upright waeco which is not very space efficient
3. Recharging the camper batteries with a fridge running off them took some time.

Dust etc is a non event on the quality trailers. More dust got in our car than in the trailer.

KK, campomatic etc in the top of the range models will run you to 300k.g. of ballweight. The only counterbalance in them is the 120l water tank, and when it's empty you sure know about it.

Excessive for a small trailer, yes. Dangerous on a vehicle that's designed for 300 k.g. ballweight - no. Too much weight behind the towed axle is what you need to worry about, and these simply don't have the ability to be overloaded in that way.
AnswerID: 493689

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 08:23

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 08:23
I'll stay clear of the wobbles debate ,but a couple of thoughts on the fridge location..
You may require new wiring from the alternator to the trailer...undersized wiring..??
fridge wont perform...6 AWG minimum.
If you go on a day trip you dont have your fridge..unless you have two.
If you leave the trailer, & dont have 240v (or gas) fridge will flatten camper battery.
Fridge subject to all shock/vibration etc that trailer may produce..better ride in car.
Easy access to fridge while travelling. Dust may be an issue. Unwise to operate
fridge in a "sealed box", ventilation is essential......cheers...oldbaz.
AnswerID: 493694

Reply By: ozjohn0 - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 09:49

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 09:49
I'll throw in another question.
Has the trailer Drawbar (A Frame) been engineered to carry the additional weight and still comply to ADR 62/01 ?
I know plenty of travellers add box's etc to drawbars, but are they safe, and are they legal?
AnswerID: 493699

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