Camping fridge

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Camping fridge

Postby RYAINS » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:40 pm

does anyone recommend engel fridges? i want to buy a 12v/24v portable frideg and they are so expensive, so i'm wondering if they are worth the money?
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Postby Scolers » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:06 pm

If I could afford one I'd get one.

My neighbour has a 20 y/o engel and it's still going strong. aka a lot of my camping freinds have old oens that are still going strong. There are a lot of makes on the market now but Engel is the only one that has really being going for 20 yrs plus.

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Postby Komodo » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:11 pm

I have a Waeco CF-80 does a good job and IMO not as noisy as the Engel (resonance of the metal is obviously at a higher frequency than the dampened resonance of the plastic of the waeco)

Both use the Danfloss compressors so really it comes down to the actual build quality of the fridge and thermostat at the end of the day...

Waecos are cheaper

Theres plety of other brands out there worth look at too. Evakool is one that springs to mind
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Postby Derek Bullock » Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:34 pm

Gotta agree with Komodo. I have a Waeco CF50. Very quiet and runs well.

My new camper will be wired for 12 volts with a deep cycle battery. Looking at a solar panel to match it.


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Postby RYAINS » Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:47 pm

yeah i've heard stories of those engels going for like 20 years and never miss a beat..... guess they are worth the dollars! i've heard good things about the waeco's as well.
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Postby RYAINS » Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:55 pm

My new camper will be wired for 12 volts with a deep cycle battery. Looking at a solar panel to match it.

i'd really like a setup like that myself. would it be hard to set that up D.I.Y?
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Postby Derek Bullock » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:30 am

Hi

While I havent got it yet, I know how they do it. Will post some photos in a few weeks of my actual setup. It's really simply a good battery box with a deep cycle battery. Solar panels come complete and all you do is clip them to the battery.

Stay tuned for more. Below is a photo from the Camel Website. Battery box has a volt meter and a cigarette lighter type connector. All you then do is run a couple of cables. Throw in a 6 amp charger for when you are in suburbia and you are in business.

Simple.


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Postby Komodo » Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:44 pm

Looks good Derrick.

Though just a little clairification. Some solar panels come complete. The majority how ever come with nothing.

Solar panels come in a variety of nominal voltages mostly 1.5, 3, 6, 12, 18,24, 36 & 48. The most common is 12V - especially for use in camping applications.

So i'll talk about 12V "solar panels". A panel marked as being 12V is actually only nominally 12V its watt rating is gained by mutipling the peak voltage and peak current by one another. Therefore most panels are generally running between 60-80% sometimes higher for a small portion of the day upto 100% of their POWER (watts) rating. P = IxV.

A panel rated at 12V can push out voltages as high as 20 odd volts and so low that they can actually use power from the battery :( - therefore you need to regulate your feed from the solar. There are many different regulators out there and I would suggest you talk to a 12V / Solar specialist unless your buying an off the shelf ready to go setup with regulator and everything.

I'm personally looking into a 24V solar setup using 2 x 12 V cells in series through a pulse rate regulator / invertor with UPS function. My fridge runs more efficiently off 24V than 12V and thats about the only thing I use from DC electricity other than lighting and I can get 24V LED lighting easily enough (and in most instances cheaper because of their extencive use in trucks) Also (V)DC - 240VAC inverters run marginally more efficient from 24V because the higher voltage means a lower current drawer for the same amount of power. I can still opperate 12V appliances if needed though as a center tap can be applied to the batteries in series - not the greatest solution but for how often i use 12V it doesnt really matter.

Im using a pair of 12V 100Ah AGM batteries in series for 24V at 100Ah (if i went a 12V system it would be 200Ah @ 12V. All these specs are C20 ratings of the batteries).

The batteries are maintainedusing a PWM charger and the sulfation reverced. the only problem with AGM batteries is that they do swell.
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Postby Derek Bullock » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:54 pm

Thanks for that Komodo. Very good advice. Yes, I should have said not all panels come complete.

The other interesting thought is that a generator costs far far less money than a solar panel system so do your homework. A small genni and battery charger can be a very viable option.


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Postby Komodo » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:21 am

Thanks Derrick.

Generators are very cheap these days! The only issues I have with generators are noise and the need to carry petrol (PITA if your vehicle is diesel)

If you are handy you can pick up honda "copy" motors fairly cheap
5.5HP 4 stroke side shaft for under $300 a little bit of handy work with a welder and a high current alternator off a car and you have a very good high rate 12V (or 24V) battery charger for under $500.
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Postby Derek Bullock » Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:13 pm

Going to be running dual fuel Coleman Stove and lamp on unleaded fuel on my camper. Am getting a jerry can holder put on just for to hold the fuel can for them so the more I think of it the more perhaps a genni is an option that I haven't really explored before. I am also aware that a number of camp grounds in state forests and national parks have either banned gennis or frown on them.

Going to have to give this some more thought.


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