Best Fridge setups for stationary camping




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  1. #1
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    Default Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    Looking to see what others have & what they do.




    My own:




    Early on I considered an 89L dualzone then looked at large upright units like a dometic 3way 120L with built in freezer or 85L compressor.
    I original hoped the upright especially 3way would be the final solution for me & was attracted to their simplicity & organisation. However now I sure that single large fridges whether chest or upright are not for me.


    For years some people I know have been using 4-5 eskies with ice just sitting outside, despite ice having it's drawbacks, this gave quick access without much procesing required.


    I have now concluded that 3x 40-50L friges are most likly best for me for the following:




    One large fridge is hard to carry & is too big for smaller trips, arguable a large single compressor unit consumes too much 12V & a large 3way uses too much gas.


    No matter the fridge you can't get a temperature to suit all contents, if the temp is cold enough to chill drinks, it is far too cold for fruit, veggies, snacks etc.


    If your like me & drink alot of chilled water you can't rely on gas alone & will need a whole compressor fridge designated for drinks. Due to the time it takes to cool down large quantities you need a large buffer.


    relaistically fridges lack far more space than the rated size suggests, my 40L unit only has enough space for around 18- 20L of bottled drinks.


    Chest style are probably better at keeping in the cold when opening vs an upright.


    In fact its clear chest is easier to access on the ground while uprights are easier in cargo bays or on a tray. never liked the idea of a chest permanently in the rear of my 4wd


    multiply small chest fridges having there own separate contents is more organised & quicker to access than uprights.






    Fridge 1: 40L compressor for drinks only
    Fridge 2: 50L gas for food
    Fridge 3: 40L compressor or another 50L gas for frozen stuff. (the freezer can also double for rapid cooling of drinks)


    I have chosen this setup because its a good balance, one 40L compressor fridge is already a handful solar wise in small sunlight hours, since gas is used for cooking and boiling water, it makes sense to use gas as a fuel.


    my 40L unit consumed 38amps @25C in 24hrs at chilled setting in a test with a few bottles of water inside. using gas by itself is problematic in winter & when the temps sore.
    Most times I don't bother with frozen stuff on shorter trips, so that just means two fridges which has a chance of fitting both in rear cargo bay.




    Having two mid sized gas & battery fridges allows for a total of 4 configurations that is far better at suiting the conditions which change all the time.




    Touring in 4WD alone?


    If I was seriously going to tour in my 4wd by it self alone I would go an upright over a chest, can't see why not. All wagons have a poor payload limit anyway so space for me is not an issue, long before I run out of space the payload is exceeded.


    Caravans?


    Looks like they suffer the same. Big gas units chew through the gas & big comp units rely on alot of solar which can be impractical. All depends where your going. I would no doubt settle on gas & take with me a small comp unit to make sure drinks are cold.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    More ek het 1x 80lt National luna in my explorer vir di kos en koue vleis , 80liter kellerman vir my koeldrank en bier soos ek gebruik sit ek net terug en dit werk reg vir my en dan het ek n 52 NL vir my vleis wat gevries moet bly als loop op 12v vanaf die karavaan wat 2 deepcycles het deer die hercules gecharge word het nog niks probleeme gehad nie. En hulle kan so 3 dae hardloop op 12v hang af hoeveel keer oopgemaak word.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    In my Bush Lapa I have 90l National Luna, running of a 100a/h deep cycle battery powered by a 140w solar panel when we camp without 220v, this lasts a good 3-4 days, mostly this fridge is used for food stuff, as we eat we add to drink.

    In the Hilux I have another 100a/h battery running a 40l Engel fridge with another 140w solar panel. The Engel is mostly used for drinks. Drinks are restocked in the mornings while it's still cool outside. Meat that needs to be defrosted is also added to the Engel to help keep the fridge cooler while the warmer drinks are added.
    NJ Vermaak

    Toyota Hilux 3.0 D4D | '85 PUCH Geländewagen | Bush Lapa Miskruier 136

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    Just for interest sake - experience has taught me that a 4.5 kg gas bottle will last 10 days keeping a 38 litre Edesa cold. In those days we used to camp for a month over Christmas. In a month three refills will, at present day prices, cost one R 336. I wonder what a 50 litre gas fridge's consumption will be.

    Swambo's pet hate when it comes to gas fridges was their lack of a thermostat to prevent stuff from freezing when it gets really cold. Lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes etc. do not like being frozen and thawed.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    IMO a gas fridge is fairly economical in terms of consumption - apart from the other drawbacks that have been mentioned. (Yes, frozen salad is just horrible).

    With proper planning of meals and conservative habits (avoid opening too often) I have found that having both a compressor fridge/freezer and a well-insulated cooler box is generally ideal.
    ZS6VL


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    Quote Originally Posted by An3s View Post
    IMO a gas fridge is fairly economical in terms of consumption - apart from the other drawbacks that have been mentioned. (Yes, frozen salad is just horrible).

    With proper planning of meals and conservative habits (avoid opening too often) I have found that having both a compressor fridge/freezer and a well-insulated cooler box is generally ideal.
    Agreed. With two Hart water bottles, the one in the freezer whilst the other one keeps the cooler box cool, swopping them around at breakfast and supper. That way we kept veggies edible for ten days.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    When I do stationary camping I am normally close to 220 and if the length of stay and the amount of people warrant it I take a bar fridge with as the caravan fridge is then not enough. Still saving up for my 12V fridge freezer. I am also thinking of going with two 40 or 50L fridge / freezers instead of one big one. I will just have to work out the viability of the power drain of two against one over a fixed time period. I would be using one most of the time as we are just two camping over weekends and a 90L would be overkill then, The second 50L would then be used for the longer trips

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    Im camping with my jurgens penta, 4 weeks every desember and 3 weeks every april without electricity.

    So I installed 400w solar panel on roof, 4x 105ah batteries, 1kw pure sine bi-directional inverter.

    Im running a devy 180l fridge/freezer combo and a 90l NL dual and still able to charge all my laptop phones and run the lights

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    I have a 90l national luna in the bushlapa, one side for drinks, other side for fresh food. Then i have a choice between a 50l waeco and a 22l snomaster for the meat to stay frozen, depending on the length of camp
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    And what temperature do you guys use for the fridges?
    Meat/chicken/dairy - 2-3'C?
    Fresh fruit/veggies/salads - 6-7'C?
    red wine and nature are my hobbies

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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    Quote Originally Posted by ralton View Post
    And what temperature do you guys use for the fridges?
    Meat/chicken/dairy - 2-3'C?
    Fresh fruit/veggies/salads - 6-7'C?
    All depends on the length of stay and whether you have separate fridge/freezer options. If you vacuum pack meat (beef/mutton), if does not necessarily have to be kept frozen, but chicken is risky business at fridge temps for more than a few days IMO. For a single compartment fridge, I usually set it at just above freezing which is then fine for drinks and meat.
    ZS6VL


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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    Quote Originally Posted by ralton View Post
    And what temperature do you guys use for the fridges?
    Meat/chicken/dairy - 2-3'C?
    Fresh fruit/veggies/salads - 6-7'C?
    Whem my NL are in the bakkie I keep it-on -5 and -2.

    When stationary for 3 weeks meet side in -10 and other side -5

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    I have two Engel 40L, when stationery, fridge runs at 7C and freezer at -4C, have two 80w solar panels connected in parallel, and two 102 ah batts driving the fridges..works great.

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  16. #14
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris G View Post
    Still saving up for my 12V fridge freezer. I am also thinking of going with two 40 or 50L fridge / freezers instead of one big one. I will just have to work out the viability of the power drain of two against one over a fixed time period. I would be using one most of the time as we are just two camping over weekends and a 90L would be overkill then, The second 50L would then be used for the longer trips
    The 40l Luna uses 1.53 - 2.26 amp/hour average power draw, the 80l uses 1.74 - 2.39 amp/hour average power draw. I am no expert here, and maybe someone with more experience can chime in - but for the same amount of space, one 80l should use less power than two 40l fridges.

    Quote Originally Posted by ralton View Post
    And what temperature do you guys use for the fridges?
    Meat/chicken/dairy - 2-3'C?
    Fresh fruit/veggies/salads - 6-7'C?
    Meat etc all one side of the Luna if it needs to stay frozen longer trips, running at about -6'C, if we have ice cream, -10'C.

    Fresh fruits etc, running the fridge at about 1-2'C, I refuse to go higher than this, blare of geen blare. If nothing needs to stay frozen, both sides run on 1-2'C.
    NJ Vermaak

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  18. #15
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    Hi All,

    I use a 90L 12V/220V Atlas fridge set at -15 for the meat, etc. I also freeze 500ml coke buddies filled with water that I use in the cooler box for the veggies, etc. I just change the bottles for new frozen ones every day or so. I use a separate 12 can cooler box for beers(a bit of water in the bottom and two frozen buddies work perfectly well). To make ice for drinks I use little ice cube holders(such as you use in the freezer at home)

    The fridge runs off a 102 ah deep cycle battery that is hooked up to two 90W Solar panels and a 30A PWM Charge regulator. I have a second deep cycle battery that is portable that can charge in the vehicle and is on standby - especially for longer trips

    I have been using this setup for the past six years - no problems so far

    Have a good one

    Willie
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  20. #16
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    Thumbs up Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    I use

    4 x Solarworld 80W Panels (mostly 2-3 connected, 4 on cloudy days)
    2 x Dixon DC105DT batteries
    1 x 20A HCdP MPPT
    1 x 10 year old 60l Snomaster - set at 5deg for drinks
    1 x new 66l Dual Snomaster
    - 30l side set at -12deg for meat and ice cube making
    - 36l side set at 5deg for salads, butter, yoghurts etc etc

    Works wonderful, BUT its a > R30k setup !!
    Last edited by Dungbeetle; 2018/01/13 at 02:26 PM.
    2000 Patrol GU 4.2D(onkey) @ 800 000 km

  21. #17

    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    My setup:

    1. 265w solar panel
    2. 2x110a/h batteries
    3. WRND dc to dc
    4. Waeco 95l fridge. Fridge -2 And freezer -12
    5. Ammeters, voltmeters built in
    6. 12v setup with no inverter

    Overkill for some but batteries stay well charged in over 40 deg. My longest camping trip using this system was 10 days and was perfect.

    Key is to understand Ohms law, understand your system limitations and be able measure the volts and amps of all your components during your camping trip.

  22. #18
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    Default Re: Best Fridge setups for stationary camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Therackermann View Post
    ............Overkill for some but batteries stay well charged in over 40 deg.................
    There is no such thing as too much solar power, especially at current prices.

    I also started with cooler boxes, then migrated to 3-way fridges/freezers and then to compressor fridges. Our 3-way fridges worked very well, but it was a pain to level and start them at the end of the day after travels. This was not a problem for longer stays, but also know all about frozen lettuce.

    Managing the 2 x 40l compressor fridges (one was the freezer) also took some effort when stationary for a few days in high temps and 2 x 80W panels. This was much better though than the 3 way setup we previously had.

    But since I added bigger solar panels, connected flat to the roof, I can park in shade for a few days and not worry about the batteries being run down by the fridge and freezer.


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