12 volt compressor fridge

Discussion in 'Refrigerators and Coolers' started by BillyMc, Nov 9, 2020.

  1. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

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    I'm a big fan of 12V compressor fridges. They're reliable and perform well, something that seems to be hit-or-miss with propane absorption. They do require a decent battery/solar/charging system, but this benefits off-grid camping generally - not just the fridge.
    Install 150W to 200W solar (1 - 2 medium panels), and this is the key: a 12VDC input charge controller for the batteries. This, combined with heavy-gauge wire from the tow vehicle plug will allow you to properly charge your battery from the TV in an emergency (no solar). And charge it *effectively* and fast thanks to the voltage boost from the charger. You're no longer at the mercy of voltage drop over long wires.

    I have such an electric setup (sans the expensive compressor fridge, some day) and can charge my battery at 40A from the tow vehicle. It doesn't have to idle very long to top off my batteries.
     
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  2. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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  3. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    I really don't understand why people have a problem getting a 3 way cold. I have to be careful what I put in the bottom or it may freeze. Just spent over a week hanging out in the PUP because I had a coworker with Covid-19. Had slush in my beer a couple times.
     
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  4. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    might be because they need a new main burner orifice
     
  5. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    We have been using absorption fridges for over 30 years. Its a learning thing. They work well, but not fast. In warm weather, you can not keep opening the door, or keep the door open to figure out what you are having for supper.

    Where we live the difference in dry camping between absorption vs compressor is the need to bring a generator. We have solar panels, but campsites are well tree covered, sun is not that reliable, and sun angle is 10 degrees greater than Dallas TX.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
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  6. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    That's why stuff the kids want frequently goes in a cooler under the table in the screen room. We pack the fridge full and as we remove food we replace with bottles of water.
     
  7. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

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    Apparently nobody has caught on to the existence of 12V DC input battery chargers. I have the 40A Redarc in my camper, but there are others. If you're using a generator just to charge the battery, this is a far better replacement. Doesn't take long at all, and idling the tow vehicle engine for 30 - 40 minutes (even with no solar) is more than enough to cover a day's compressor fridge use. And much quieter. Think outside the box.

    To be clear, this is not at all the same as connecting the power wire from the TV to the camper battery(s), with the associated voltage drop and weak charging. My battery is boosted to 14.8V charge voltage at 40A, while the long wire to the TV is dropping the input voltage to the charger below 11V!
     
  8. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    I look at the redarc years ago only for charging the batteries when traveling and running the 12v heater on the fridge. For some reason I decided not to go that direction. I dont think redarc is the solution to recharge the batteries after two days of running the furnace in 30 degree weather. Forget about running a 12v compressor fridge. The batteries need at least a couple hours of charge. With out the fridge, Every 2 days I need between 30 to 40 amps of charge to bring the batteries to 90%
     
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  9. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Not looking to run the TV a couple hours day to top off batteries nor do I wish to increase solar a couple hundred watts just to keep up with a fridge. While I generally carry the generator while off grid I don't care to be required to run it a couple hours a day to prevent a dead battery. Currently I can camp with a family of four a week or more with 100 watt solar system using a 3 way fridge on propane.
     
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