How is everyone powering their portable fridges?

Vanaroo

Observer
I see what you are saying now. I've never had my fridge cut out, but I don't expect to ever have it do that because I tend to keep my batteries at around 12.5v or higher, and I'm pretty fanatical about voltage drop anyway. I'd turn off the fridge or charge the batteries before it ever reached that point. I monitor them via system-wide (battery bank) monitors since I have other draws than just the refrigerator and don't use any particular automatic cut-offs. Anyway, I still don't favor the low (to my mind) cut-offs on most fridges, and I don't want them "calculating" what they think my voltage drop must be and then taking it upon themselves to compensate for it. But then we all run our systems to our personal taste and it sounds like it works well for you. :smiley_drive:

I understand about the 50% just being a guideline. It presumes that one wants to make the batteries last as long as (reasonably) possible time-wise but still allow a certain discharge - a good balance for many. I can see a good case for doing it another way in certain set-ups (lightweight rigs where you have easy access to buying new batteries and no big inverter, etc. loads). That would be to carry fewer batteries and run them down to 25% or so, then replace when they die. Even if it's twice as often, you are only buying half as many, plus you're not hauling around "extra" lead.

I do the more "conventional" way (stay above 50% [usually above 75%]) and make them last longer time-wise. This is because I don't always have access to places to buy new batteries, it's difficult for me to hoist them in and out, and the weight isn't a problem (it balances my rig side to side with water/tanks on the other side). But if I were to rig my previous small/lighter weight van again, I might do the "carry half the batteries, replace them twice as often" method.
 

Brett From Ark

Supporting Sponsor - ARK
Hi Vision Quest

if your looking for an option to power your fridge you may want to consider the Ark pak AP730 it is a portable dual battery system that you can move from car to car from Car to trailer from Trailer to boat its a very versatile unit.

some video links are below for reference

https://youtu.be/o5l-MX5Ztb4

https://youtu.be/giZd8eqJrA0

https://youtu.be/ZM_I93nwzvk

https://youtu.be/ZMtQH4CXak8

if after watching the videos you or anyone has questions please ask happy to help and good luck with your choice on choosing what is best for you.

Regards

Brett from Ark
 

Brett From Ark

Supporting Sponsor - ARK
I have an ARB 50qt fridge with a 2008 Toyota 4Runner and I would like to be able to keep this fridge running for about 5 days without having to stop somewhere to charge.

What is going to be my best cost/function option of achieving this? I'm a little confused by the pricing and performance of a dual battery setup as prices I have heard are wildly different. Maybe a Goal Zero type setup?

Would love to hear your thoughts.
Hi Vision quest

you may want to check out post 47 on this thread i have provided some information which may be helpful to your situation.

Regards

Brett from Ark
 

4x4junkie

Explorer
Yeah I think fridge manufacturers really only intended the LVC as something to prevent draining the battery so low that the vehicle cannot be started (potentially leaving you stranded), not to protect the battery itself. Monitoring/protecting your batteries is best done by other means (which it sounds like you have those means in place) which mostly makes the LVC built into an appliance moot.

I think twice in my 6 years of having the fridge I have ever had it's LVC kick in, it's just not a frequent enough occurrence for me to worry about harming my batteries.
 

Vanaroo

Observer
Yeah I think fridge manufacturers really only intended the LVC as something to prevent draining the battery so low that the vehicle cannot be started (potentially leaving you stranded), not to protect the battery itself.
Ah, good point. I wasn't thinking along those lines, but now that you mention it, I'm sure many folks have one of these refrigerators hooked up to the start battery. I don't even know how low the start battery voltage can go and still start the vehicle, but apparently the LVD works for that.
 

bajajoaquin

Adventurer
Ah, good point. I wasn't thinking along those lines, but now that you mention it, I'm sure many folks have one of these refrigerators hooked up to the start battery. I don't even know how low the start battery voltage can go and still start the vehicle, but apparently the LVD works for that.
And those who do use the starting battery are also likely to be those who have larger than average voltage drops!

Lots of good info here on this thread. I just ressurected it because I'm looking into all this electrical stuff in more detail.
 

TwinStick

Explorer
We just bought a dedicated portable battery for our Fridge/s. The X-900 from Cabela's. Stupid expensive IMHO, even after the sale-coupon-discount. It will only be used with 1 fridge & we hope to get another battery next year. I wanted something that truly was portable (even though battery is 75 lbs), easy in/out. The built in inverter in our 2017 4Runner shuts off after a while-kinda like a rear window defroster. That is not conducive to keeping food cold. We will be testing it out soon. Heading from NY to FLA. Going to have the fridge hooked up to the X-900 & a small battery charger to it, plugged into the inverter. When voltage gets low, I just turn the inverter on while we drive. When we get to destination, battery & fridge comes out in 2 minutes. Even a slightly low battery can cause issues in today's vehicles. Also, it keeps the warranty intact (10 yr, 100k). Will also be testing out the free fridge monitor we got. With this set up, I can put it in the Power Wagon, 4Runner, Corolla or camper, in just minutes. Strap everything down & go.
 
If you want to run a fridge for 5 days, but you only have enough battery capacity to run it for 2 days, why not just start the car and recharge the battery while at your camp?

Sent from my SM-N910G using Tapatalk
 

TwinStick

Explorer
We just averted disaster with our set up ! I CAN NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH---RESIST THE URGE TO USE ANY 12V PLUG EXCEPT ARB. I made up our own wiring harness on short notice...wife decided at the last minute that she wanted to bring the 50qt ARB fridge on our trip. 2 days before trip. So, I used 10 Ga wire, crimped/soldered & used heat shrink. I bought a 12v cig/style plug that said it was rated at 15 amps & was Made in China.

While at a Hotel, for no reason I decided to check on fridge & battery. Holy cow !!! Glad I did. In another 10 min, I think it would have caught fire. Everything I did was fine---not even warm to the touch, but the 12v plug in was melted & the ARB plug was so hot (but did not melt), when I unplugged it & the metal side contact touched my hand, it sizzled & instantly blistered my skin. The fuse did not blow.

While going through Jacksonville Fl., I stopped at a 4WParts store & bought 3 ARB wiring kits, 2 surface mount plug ins, another remote fridge monitor (so now i can monitor both fridges in both vehicles without switching anything veh to veh) & a Hi-Lift jack handle keeper. So now, I will be able to plug it in & thread it in for a very secure connection-to something designed to carry the current with the proper gauge wire (even inside-where the made in china one failed).
 

Steve F

Adventurer
We just averted disaster with our set up ! I CAN NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH---RESIST THE URGE TO USE ANY 12V PLUG EXCEPT ARB.....
I use 50A Anderson plugs for everything, cigarette style plugs are rubbish for anything with a reasonable Amp draw, you also want something that will not come apart. I don't know what an ARB plug is but here in Australia the norm is the Anderson, Engel or Merit plug :)

Cheers
Steve
 

DLTooley

Observer
Connecting a house battery to your alternator via a solenoid will do it if you are driving a significant number of miles each day. I'm a bit confused on what you mean when you say 'dual battery'. Are you referring to a house and a starter or a common two golf cart flooded lead acid set up? Personally, I'm still using my flooded lead acid until lithium reaches my price point. They are still the best value, even with all their drawbacks.
 

jeffjeeptj

Adventurer
I have a 50 qt ARB that i put in the back of my Sequoia wired thru the ARB plug using #8 wire from battery. Battery is Odyssey PC-2150 (group 31). I got home abbout 11:00 Am on a Monday and left the Sequoia closed up until Thursday afternoon. ARB was running. Temps were Mid 70s up to 83 during the day.
It started a bit slow, but remote locks opened, started worked, and car ran. IIRC PC-2150 is rated for 100 ah. ARB was about half full of stuff, bottles, cans, bacon box, loaf of bread, hot dogs. ARB indicated correct temp when i opened the liftgate.
Hope this helps.
 
Top