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  1. #21
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    -5 is ideal for the "speed" at which food/meat is consumed and replaced in a mobile freezer. If you intend to keep meat for long periods then lower temperatures would be ideal. -10 and lower is a waste of energy.


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  2. #22
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    I think too much worry goes into freezer temperatures when one is supposed to be relaxed and stress free during camping. I set the freezer on -5 and never bother to re-set it. Same with my fridge (12 volt compressor) - I set it to 3 degrees when I installed it, and that is the end of the story. The only time I ever had fridge/freezer problems was at Klein Kariba and Loskop Dam, in the days before 12 volt freezers and fridges. I still have the Edesa which cannot cope with temperatures above 32 degrees. We lost half a lamb that way.

    If you buy stuff for a trip and have it vacuum packed in required portions then the modern freezer does not have to be nursed. My 200 watt solar setup keeps two batteries and a fridge and freezer happy without hazzles. I know I will be in trouble with continuous foul weather, but that is why the stuff gets vacuum packed.

    One thing though - if your freezer does not have a basket that allows for air flow below the items at the bottom of the freezer, get a trivet or cake cooling rack to allow air to circulate. Hot air rises, and unless there is space for it at the bottom, the cold air cannot get to the stuff down under.
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    vacuum pack... another idea to add to the list of good camping practices
    the news paper isolation between layers is also one im adding to the list.

    we camped with a cadac cooler box in 35 degree heat. filled the box with ice the friday before we left. the sunday while packing up the last of the vacuum packed meat was defrosted and still very cold to the touch. sometimes we over think things.

    ill set to -5 when on battery and will monitor the situation but i think we will be ok. for me it is more about being able to predict how long one can go without power or ice to keep the meat from spoiling. that way one can relax and not stress about the food going off. heaven forbid if it should happen. then it will be back to expensive chalets and limited options for camping
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    My NL at -6 keeps the frozen stuff frozen, and keeps a couple of beers and bottles of wine nice and cold during the day.
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    ~1998 I went to visit a Freezer Manufcturer (name withheld) in Cape Town. Factory Manager stated -5 oC is the optimum setting for max battery life vs food preservation. (factory tests they performed). Temperature Switch differential is usually 3 oC. (Kick in at -2 oC and out at -5 oC)

  6. #26
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    Even in 42 deg c ambient I find -5 setting to be adequate.
    We do shield the fridge (mounted in canopy) from direct sun when practical and it has the correct padded fridge cover.
    In camp it is frequently opened but still seems to cope provided warm items are not added in any significant amount.
    Otherwise let it run on "turbo" setting for about an hour - then back to normal.
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  7. #27
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    Cool Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    HI guys, I focus more on the battery than the fridge. For reasons mentioned above it is unlikely that food will spoil unless you're without a battery for a good couple of days.

    It try to avoid the fridge labouring i.e. drawing more heavily on the batteries. During the night, when there's no solar and it's cooler, I turn the fridge down -2 to -5 to preserve the batteries. Early in the morning, when I have solar and it's still chilly, I push down the setting to -12 to -15 depending on ambient . During the day as it warms I gradually turn the temp up to prevent the fridge labouring.

    Just spent 5 days with no power (beautiful sunny days it must be said) managed to make ice at night and left with full batteries.
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtBasher View Post
    Stationary using solar:
    If the battery is full at sundown and I know there is good weather next day , I wack the freezer higher.
    Also we rotate ice bricks/bottles from cooler to freezer before sundown.
    Sunup, we rotate the ice bricks again back to cooler for the hot day.
    Frozen meat goes into cooler to defrost and assist cooler box.

    If we are getting cloudy days and rain, I start freezer management, -5 to -8 to stretch the power.

    Using single freezer 40l , 160 W solar, 100 A/h lead Crystal battery, no lights , odd charge on cell phone.

    That makes sens thanks ..

  9. #29
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    Quote Originally Posted by hogbeast View Post
    vacuum pack... another idea to add to the list of good camping practices

    ... Yes. Absolutely. As long as the meat was not frozen before.

    I think you just gave me the solution for this year.
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    Quote Originally Posted by biltong View Post
    ... Yes. Absolutely. As long as the meat was not frozen before.

    I think you just gave me the solution for this year.
    You are very correct there. Freeze your vaccumed pack packs in the portable freezer beforehand.
    Otherwise they wont fit. if frozen in the home freezer.
    Last edited by janseekat; 2019/09/06 at 05:56 PM.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    Quote Originally Posted by janseekat View Post
    You are very correct there. Freeze your vaccumed pack packs in the portable freezer beforehand.
    Otherwise they wont fit. if frozen in the home freezer.
    Nope. Don't Freeze. They don't age well....
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  13. #32
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    Quote Originally Posted by janseekat View Post
    You are very correct there. Freeze your vaccumed pack packs in the portable freezer beforehand.
    Otherwise they wont fit. if frozen in the home freezer.
    I pack my fresh meat directly in the Snomaster baskets and place these in the big freezer to freeze before a trip. Then I know the meat fits properly. I am not using vacuum packs - which I do think are very good.
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  15. #33
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    This is how I measured the use of my one battery in KNP, December 2018. I have another as backup and both charge either Solar or DC-DC.
    Never had power issues in 7 days.

    Name:  Waeco CDF-35.jpg
Views: 228
Size:  92.3 KB

  16. #34
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    I HLhave the NL 52l Weekender with a fridge and freezer compartment the temp setting is for the fridge and the freezer is designed to be 10 degrees lower. Through trial and error we settled on a fridge setting of fridge 4 degrees (freezer -6) and in hot ambient conditions a fridge setting of 2 (freezer -. This combined with switching the fridge off between 8pm and 5am. Meat in freezer compartment does not defrost.

    But on our last trip had the experience where the fridge was battling and ultimately ciuld not get down to a setting as low as 4 but only between 6 and 7 to get despite a reasonable ambient which meant the battery worked far harder and a few times between 4 and 8 pm or 5 and 9am the low battery cut out kicked in. Fortunately at those times before drive or solar charging took place again meat did not start to defrost.l but must have been pretty close to doing so. It appears that it is simply time for a regas of the fridge and I will be taking it to NL. If this is the issue then the lesson will be to maybe periodically on a oroactive basis do a regass to ensure optimal performance of the fridge and associated battery saving

  17. #35
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    Quote Originally Posted by AntonN View Post
    This is how I measured the use of my one battery in KNP, December 2018. I have another as backup and both charge either Solar or DC-DC.
    Never had power issues in 7 days.

    Name:  Waeco CDF-35.jpg
Views: 228
Size:  92.3 KB
    where can we buy one of these in Pretoria?

  18. #36
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    Default Re: best fridge setting to save battery

    Quote Originally Posted by D-tox View Post
    where can we buy one of these in Pretoria?
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