Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

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Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Dahlia47 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:15 pm

Next month we are taking a 5-day trip. I was going to try out the mini 12 V mini fridge this weekend while we were out, but it was so darn cloudy, I wasn't able to put up the solar panel. I still have a month to test it out. But I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the 12-volt coolers long term or short term? I am not sure if I want to be messing around with ice while we are about and about for those 5 days. We won't really be near any places to get ice nor do I want to be running around trying to find some. I am looking to keep the very basics cold. Such as milk, butter, creamer, lunch meat, cheese, and eggs. I pack light! :D
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby ArkansasDon » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:00 pm

I have no idea if your talking about actual 12v.\110 fridge\freeze or 12v. thermoelectric cooler. I run 12v.\ 110 Engel MR040 Eclipe 40 qt. portable fridg\freez, I have no problem running this cooler on cloudy days for an entire week end. My solar is Renogy w\30amp Renogy charge controller 15ft. 10 awg cable & Renogy portable suit case 100watt folding panel.
My fridge depending on weather temperature will pull 1.0 amp to high as 1.7 amps per hour on fridge mode. I can run a full week end (all day Friday thru Monday am hours on my VMax AGM 125ah battery, this includes running 12v. interior, exterior lighting & still have plenty of battery left over. Amp draw is what is important to know when you looking for 12v. gear, lower the amp draw (power consumption) better your off, the worst of this is low power consumption 12v. gear\equipment cost more money than the cheaper 12v. gear. Longer periods of travel if the sun isn't in my favor & can not use solar do to heavy cloud cover or heavy tree foliage I will take a 500watt Honda Inverter generator so I can keep my battery full charged if needed. I never let my battery drop below 80%. When I was doing my electrical on my squaredrop build I wanted more than 1 choice of battery charging: I have solar & 55amp Powermax Converter Charger which I can run on 110 shore line power or inverter generator.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby GuitarPhotog » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:43 pm

Dahlia47 wrote:Next month we are taking a 5-day trip. I was going to try out the mini 12 V mini fridge this weekend while we were out, but it was so darn cloudy, I wasn't able to put up the solar panel. I still have a month to test it out. But I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the 12-volt coolers long term or short term? I am not sure if I want to be messing around with ice while we are about and about for those 5 days. We won't really be near any places to get ice nor do I want to be running around trying to find some. I am looking to keep the very basics cold. Such as milk, butter, creamer, lunch meat, cheese, and eggs. I pack light! :D


Do you not have a battery? You can't run a fridge directly off solar power, you need some sort of storage in between.

As someone said, what kind of 12V cooler do you have.

All that said, I frequently go on month long trips in my 70 year old teardrop, and do fine with a good picnic cooler and block ice for 5-7 days depending on the ambient temps. Take two coolers, one for beverages that you can open often, and one for food that you open as little as possible.

My $0.02 worth.

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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Dahlia47 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:49 pm

I have a really small little solar set up. It does the basic job I need it to do, and I have very limited space. The same with the mini-fridge/cooler. Its a cooluli. I can fit my milk, butter, creamer lunch meat and cheese. And the little solar set up actually runs it using eco mode. But this is for the one or two-night trips that we make. We are going to be gone for 5 days. I think I'm going to need something a tad bigger to cool my stuff in. I also have a really good gas generator, but I can't run that while driving or after 10 pm quiet hours. That's where my little solar set up will be used. Also, with the limited space I have, I have to make sure it fits. Trying to balance power and space can be crazy!
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby tony.latham » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:20 pm

And the little solar set up actually runs it using eco mode.


I assume you are talking about one of those boxes that has a battery, a bunch of ports to plug things into and a solar panel to keep it charged?

I don't think this is an answerable question without knowing the battery capacity in that magic box and the amp draw that your cooler needs.

:thinking:

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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Dahlia47 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:56 pm

That's exactly what it is. So far, so good. Does the basic job it needs to do. I think down the road I will upgrade to a real battery and solar panel, with one of those regulator thing a ma bobs. My father's and his wife's house is all solar. They did it themselves. When I am ready, I am going to have them help me do the upgrade. I'm quite impressed by the power they get from the solar. But I don't think I am quite there yet.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Graniterich » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:43 pm

GuitarPhotog wrote:
Dahlia47 wrote:Next month we are taking a 5-day trip. I was going to try out the mini 12 V mini fridge this weekend while we were out, but it was so darn cloudy, I wasn't able to put up the solar panel. I still have a month to test it out. But I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the 12-volt coolers long term or short term? I am not sure if I want to be messing around with ice while we are about and about for those 5 days. We won't really be near any places to get ice nor do I want to be running around trying to find some. I am looking to keep the very basics cold. Such as milk, butter, creamer, lunch meat, cheese, and eggs. I pack light! :D


Do you not have a battery? You can't run a fridge directly off solar power, you need some sort of storage in between.

As someone said, what kind of 12V cooler do you have.

All that said, I frequently go on month long trips in my 70 year old teardrop, and do fine with a good picnic cooler and block ice for 5-7 days depending on the ambient temps. Take two coolers, one for beverages that you can open often, and one for food that you open as little as possible.

My $0.02 worth.

<Chas>
This, good cooler, block ice. Second if needed, not opened for the first few days. Five days should be easy

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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby ArkansasDon » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:23 am

if your going to up grade, research what will give you the best out come to run your 12v. equipment \ gear. When I was doing the electrical on my current trailer "for me" battery capacity (AH) amp hours was important, I wanted a battery that can withstand cold weather the capacity & performance is not reduced by low temperatures whether cold weather camping or storage. I wanted a battery that will give me years of use, I went with a AGM type battery, VMax Tank AGM 125ah.
Charging was another important factor "for me" to keep my battery full charged & I wanted 2 sources of charging. Solar was one & in my 1st post I went with Renogy & was happy with them on my 1st trailer build. I went with the exact same set-up on my current trailer, 100 watt Renogy Monocrystalline folding solar panel (suit case type), 30 amp Renogy Adventurer Charge Controller w\ battery temperature scensor, 15ft of 10 awg cable. I like the Monocrystalline panels because of their ability to give excellent performance in low light environments. I like the option to move my panel to follow the sun than having a stantionary mounted panel.

My tongue box on the front of my trailer holds most of my electrical, houses my solar charge controller (keeping it weatherproof), I installed a solar shut switch to shut down my solar completely since the charge controller can draw power continuously because it is connected to the battery. I have another shut switch for 12v. power separate so I can shut the entire electrical down while storing the trailer when not in use.
My 2nd source of charging is 55amp Powermax Converter Charger which is integrated 3-stage 110V ac power to 12V dc power to charge a battery or power 12V equipment. The 3 stage modes offer 13.2 Vdc range "float" mode, 13.6 Vdc range "absorption" mode, & 14.4 Vdc range "bulk" mode the converter charger will automatically choose the mode to maintain the battery depending the battery's condition of charge needed. Otherwise fast charge, normal charging & trickle charge explaining this in English. This can be connected to shoreline power 110 or inverter generator. It will not over charge. I have a system I can use in sun or heavy overcast days w\o sun & still have the ability to maintain charge to my battery w\o hindering our use of 12v. equipment.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Dahlia47 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:36 pm

I got the block of ice frozen, Ill be testing that this weekend. I am charging the solar battery as I type this. The sun finally came out! YAY! After it charges Ill see if it can handle 5 days. I have a thermometer in there. A lot of trial and error! Whew! With all the work we've done, you'd think we built it ourselves! LOL

I have read and seen quite a few videos about the renogy. They are pretty darn good. With my roof, I can place it just about anywhere and have the best angle to gather some rays. Most likely when I am ready to upgrade ill be using renogy. When the panel is folded, it will fit right under the bed perfectly!

I wish I had some more room to fit certain things in our little TT. A decent little fridge, ac/heat unit a potty/shower room would be great! But that's why I have done extensive research on how to make everything compact and fold away/stowaway. Its actually been fun researching and making things, putting things together and making it what it is. A very unique little travel trailer. I love the darn thing!!! LOL

Thank You ALL!
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Cikan Vuz » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:06 pm

Just me and my dog. I am opting for dried foods with no refrigeration required. Down the road when I have funds saved again after paying the JA for this build and then another 2k in to make road and life worthy... I will probably get one of these afer I get more solar panels for my Goal Zero Yeti 400 https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07 ... UNB2&psc=1 :D
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Modstock » Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:36 pm

Graniterich wrote:
GuitarPhotog wrote:
<Chas>
This, good cooler, block ice. Second if needed, not opened for the first few days. Five days should be easy

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X2 on this.

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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Shadow Catcher » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:48 pm

Cooluli is a peltier cooler and will take the temp 40 degrees below ambient temperature which can get you into trouble in high temps. They are not particularly efficient in current use. Were it me I would use an Ice chest unless you want to spend the $$$$ to buy a Engel or Dometic fridge.
We have a WAECO very like the Dometic and have had it for ten years, My wife loves it. It rides in the TV when traveling powered by the cars alternator.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Dahlia47 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:49 am

And the winner is.....

THE BIG BLOCK OF ICE!


It lasted much longer and the thermometer was steady for several days. I'm the kind of person who needs to see the results. Thank You All!

And I'll be saving for one of those dometics :thumbsup: chaching!
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Cosmo » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:16 pm

I am testing a Dometic CFX-35 compressor fridge https://amzn.to/2vjs5fr
using Jackery Power stations.
I put a 4 gallon container of water in the fridge and chilled it to 34 degrees. I had the fridge running on AC/grid power for the cool down in my 64 degree living room.

After the 24 hour cool down I switched to Jackery battery power stations using the 12V output to power the Dometic CFX-35 on 12V. The CFX-35 is drawing about 8 watts an hour or .66 amps an hour according to the Jackery display. I ran down the batteries with no recharging. In real life I would charge them with solar during the day. This test was to see how long the power supply could run the fridge with no recharging.

The Jackery 160 watt ran the fridge for 14 hours https://amzn.to/3cdUkwP Weighs 3.84 pounds

The 200 watt ran the fridge for 26 hours https://amzn.to/383twf6 Weight 6.6 pounds

The 500 watt ran the fridge for 60 hours. https://amzn.to/2PICKaH Weight 13.3 pounds

The 1000 watt mode is scheduled to arrive Friday for review. It will be released late March! But I predict 125 hours Specs https://www.jackery.com/products/explor ... er-station Weight 22.4 pounds. A comparable lead acid would weigh over 100 pounds.

=Cosmo



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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Vtec44 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:13 am

We have an Alpicool CF45 from Amazon. It can be on either 12v or household AC outlet and the package comes with both connections. I keep it plugged into my car when traveling and plug it into the trailer when we setup base camp. It has a digital temperature control and can go down to -4. We tested the inside temperature with an analog thermometer and it's fairly accurate with 2 degrees. It will make ice! We typically put in a few freezer blocks to keep the inside temperature cool so the compressor doesn't come on frequent. It's very quiet when running. We did a 7 days trip last month and the freezer performed flawlessly. The ice were still frozen by the end of the trip and nothing spoiled. :lol:
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