Armed Polite Society

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

R.I.P. Scout26

Author Topic: 12v Chest Refrigerators  (Read 127 times)

AZRedhawk44

  • friends
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,298
12v Chest Refrigerators
« on: August 01, 2022, 06:37:13 PM »

Thinking of making the leap from traditional camping coolers to a 12v chest refrigerator.

Drawbacks are the need for constant power to it... but positives are the elimination of the pool of water that grows as ice melts, or the warm(er) spots that develop if you use reusable cold packs.  Thinking is that I'll get a Jackery or Bluetti power block to run it for up to 48 hours, and a small folding solar panel to extend that.

Do I go cheap and look at the Alpicool tier stuff?  Their website and product line organization is pretty awful.  Dometic and ARB are awfully spendy though.  ICECO appears to be a happy medium in build quality and support reputation, but they don't offer any that have wheels built into the chest.
"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
--Lysander Spooner

I reject your authoritah!

AZRedhawk44

  • friends
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,298
Re: 12v Chest Refrigerators
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2022, 07:18:04 PM »

Also, instead of getting a Bluetti/Jackery power bank, I'm wondering if I can use something like this?

https://www.boschtools.com/us/en/boschtools-ocs/cordless-attachments-gaa18v-24n-176698-p/

I have a bunch of Bosch 18v batteries.  This transforms the 18v output to either 5v USB or 12v DC.  The product description does describe some sort of auto turn off feature that would be a PITA for a cooler I want to leave on all the time.  Most of these coolers draw about 1.5-3.0 amps @ 12 volts (18-36 Wh) when actually pumping, but have about a 5-10% actual duty cycle depending on insulation and pump efficiency.  With an 18v 4Ah battery (72 Wh), I should get at least 6 hours run time out of a chinesium cooler and close to 24 hours out of a top tier one.
"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
--Lysander Spooner

I reject your authoritah!

Jim147

  • friends
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 7,202
Re: 12v Chest Refrigerators
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2022, 09:03:47 PM »

I haven't looked at them in a while but I remember the older ones needed everything to be completely frozen before putting it in. It was just too much load to pull a warm load down.
Sometimes we carry more weight then we owe.
And sometimes goes on and on and on.

BAH-WEEP-GRAAAGHNAH WHEEP NI-NI BONG

Bogie

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,019
  • Hunkered in South St. Louis, right by Route 66
    • Third Rate Pundit
Blog under construction

AZRedhawk44

  • friends
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,298
Re: 12v Chest Refrigerators
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2022, 10:54:27 PM »

I haven't looked at them in a while but I remember the older ones needed everything to be completely frozen before putting it in. It was just too much load to pull a warm load down.

Totally.  Thermal transfer isn't free.  But you plug it in at home and chill it, or load it with already refrigerated goods.

There's also a stark difference between the Peltier/TEC based ones and the compressor based ones.  The TECs are only good for about a 30-40 degree differential with outside in the best of conditions.  Compressor ones, at least with the better products out there, are capable of making room temperature objects drop to well below freezing with about 5 hours of run time.  They are designed to be low power draw, so they don't do it fast... but they will do the job as long as you give them power and a means to exhaust the heat from the compressor elsewhere.
"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
--Lysander Spooner

I reject your authoritah!

Jim147

  • friends
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 7,202
Re: 12v Chest Refrigerators
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2022, 11:19:53 PM »

I'm feeling like crap today but will try to look into the links when I feel better. I have installed 120 volt bathroom fart fans on some reach in coolers. If needed you might be able to add a 12 volt four inch fan with a relay to turn it on when the compressor kicks in.
Sometimes we carry more weight then we owe.
And sometimes goes on and on and on.

BAH-WEEP-GRAAAGHNAH WHEEP NI-NI BONG

AZRedhawk44

  • friends
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,298
Re: 12v Chest Refrigerators
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2022, 11:21:45 PM »

Why not one of these, and a China Fright solar panel?
 
https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/c/marine/battery---accessories/batteries---commercial/f78a23ef17b7/super-start-marine-battery-group-size-31/ssb2/31dcm

Isn't there some sort of heavy duty RV diode or switch that allows a second battery to be present on a vehicle and benefit from the alternator's ability to charge it automatically, but isolates the second battery's load from draining the primary battery?

I wouldn't mind going simple and using a motorcycle battery to run the fridge while the Jeep isn't running, and it recharges when the Jeep is running.  Maybe augment that with a 50 watt solar panel on the roof rack or something.
"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
--Lysander Spooner

I reject your authoritah!

gunsmith

  • I forgot to get vaccinated!
  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 7,771
  • I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Re: 12v Chest Refrigerators
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2022, 11:21:57 PM »

solar generator / d.i.y
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEFy7cqK5A0 220 bucks

Will Prowse is the go to youtube guy for solar/check him out
Politicians and bureaucrats are considered productive if they swarm the populace like a plague of locust, devouring all substance in their path and leaving a swath of destruction like a firestorm. The technical term is "bipartisanship".
Rocket Man: "The need for booster shots for the immunized has always been based on the science.  Political science, not medical science."

Nick1911

  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,127
Re: 12v Chest Refrigerators
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2022, 11:37:13 PM »

Isn't there some sort of heavy duty RV diode or switch that allows a second battery to be present on a vehicle and benefit from the alternator's ability to charge it automatically, but isolates the second battery's load from draining the primary battery?

I wouldn't mind going simple and using a motorcycle battery to run the fridge while the Jeep isn't running, and it recharges when the Jeep is running.  Maybe augment that with a 50 watt solar panel on the roof rack or something.

One note: I'd use a contactor in this case and power the coil from a circuit that is only on with the ignition. [like this

Diodes provide a nice solid state, two terminal device that seems like it does the same thing, but... there's a 0.6V drop through it.  Depending on your vehicle electrical system, this may allow the second battery to slowly sulfate due to charging at a lower voltage.  It might not actually matter, but I wouldn't chance it.

In any case, please use appropriate wire size, and put a fuse or DC circuit breaker in there.  Car batteries can provide a lot of current in fault conditions.

dogmush

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 11,059
Re: 12v Chest Refrigerators
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2022, 04:47:22 PM »

Looks like my response to this was lost during the blip in the Matrix.

I bought an ICECO JP40 12 V fridge right after the first of the year, and have been running it pretty much non stop in my truck till two weeks ago when I took the truck apart for some major work. 

So far, I really like it.  It does a great job keeping cool water in my truck at all times, even in FL heat.  I have, twice, run it to the point the low voltage cutout turned the fridge off, and that takes about 40 hours of the truck just sitting and not driving.  My truck is my daily driver, so as long as I drive it every day and a half or so, no problems.  In May, I put 175W of solar on the truck and set up the charger to charge my truck battery, and since then the fridge hasn't shut off.  I suspect if I parked the truck in direct sun and just left it, I would get about 3 or 4 days before the low voltage cut out kicked the fridge off.  Once the fridge kicks off, I still have no issues starting the truck.  FWIW, my fridge has no issues getting down to temp.  The couple times I've turned it off to move it, when I turn it back on it'll go from mid 90's down to 37 in an hour and a half or so.  On camping mornings I just take my cold food out of the house fridge and plop it in the truck fridge.  no special super cooling or anything.

I had originally planned (and I think I asked questions on here about it) on adding a second battery for camp stuff, and a DC to DC charger as well as solar to keep everything topped off.  I'd still like to do that, but that's another couple hundred in parts and a weekend or two that I haven't gotten around to yet.  In the mean time, running it off the trucks battery works fine, and is like an 80% solution.  90% with solar charging the truck battery.

Pluses of ICECO:  I like the brand name compressor.  The cheap Amazon fridges have mystery compressors that have bad longevity reviews.  Build quality is good enough.  I bought the JP series because that's the one that fit in the spot I had for it in the truck, but pushing buttons or opening the lid, you know it's not a Dometic.  (it's half the price)  If I had had the room I think I would have sprung for the VL series.  They seem more robust.  A 40 qt fridge holds A LOT more food than a 40 qt cooler, since you aren't wasting space on ice. (duh, but still you'll be surprised)

Down sides:  They send you an annoying cover that doesn't seem to do anything.  I took mine off and lost it after the first two weeks of arguing with it and it's straps.  It ain't cheap, especially if you have (or choose) to upgrade your power situation.  It's kinda heavy and needs to be strapped down securely.  I had to build a little platform that bolts into the seat mounts, and I'm on revision three of that to get it just "so". It should really be inside and that take sup space in a smaller vehicle.  I see people with them in their truck beds, but the condenser and compressor cooling vents will let sand, dust, water, and muck get places where they shouldn't be.  I am skeptical of outside fridge long term lifespan.

That's about it.  I'm still dialing in exactly how I want mine to sit in the truck, but over all I'm really glad I have it.  It's a little bougie to be out camping in the middle of nowhere, and pop an ice cold beer to watch the sunset while chilling under my awning, but it sure is peaceful.

*Last thing, I almost forgot:  Since mine is (mostly) always in my truck anyway I also drop my meat, fish, and frozen goods in it for the trip home from Publix.  Super handy if I want to make a stop or two while out shopping to not worry about food in the truck.