Fridge care and maintenance





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  1. #1
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    Default Fridge care and maintenance

    I have recently bought an Invader Duo and have fitted a National Luna 90 Lt fridge.
    Should I keep the fridge running when stored at home, in between camping trips or should I switch off and leave the top slightly open?
    Also should I leave the 220v external power supply plugged in permanently or should I just check the deep cycle battery status regularly and charge when necessary. What is the level I should recharge at?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by Chubby View Post
    I have recently bought an Invader Duo and have fitted a National Luna 90 Lt fridge.
    Should I keep the fridge running when stored at home, in between camping trips or should I switch off and leave the top slightly open?
    Also should I leave the 220v external power supply plugged in permanently or should I just check the deep cycle battery status regularly and charge when necessary. What is the level I should recharge at?
    Getting in first

    I leave my NL90 open and off when it's parked, and I have my batteries on an intelligent charger...
    A couple of days before a trip, I start up everything, and use the mains cable...
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    Personally I believe a fridge should run. So both my Lunas run on a permanent basis, one I am using as a drinks fridge in house.

    I also keep my caravan plugged in to 220. The charger goes to "float" and maintains the battery for the next trip
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    I think the biggest danger is a freezer being left unused for 6 months and longer. The seals can evidently dry out and leak if left unused for very long periods (same thing happens to an engine). If you can run it for a day every 3 months it would be fine.

    I bought a demo 40L Campmaster from Makro about six years ago. An elderly gent (daughters FIL) immediately showed interest as he wanted to go camping. He had it a year and maybe used it 3 times then passed away. It stood totally forgotten and unused for four years in my SIL's storage unit. My son took it home a year ago and wanted to see if it was worth anything. We have all been waiting for it to pack up. It has not missed a beat....... and we camp a lot!

    I would still not leave my freezer without running it for longer than 3 months or so.

    We have a 40L Waeco about 6 or 7 years old. We by mistake, closed the lid and the cover while it was wet inside . It created a lot of condensation some of which got into the control panel which is right at the top. The press button controls now do not work with every press and has to be pressed repeatedly to change settings - bottom line - make sure freezer is perfectly dry and store with lid ajar.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    I keep mine running 24/7 365 set to 0°

    Just make sure there is something inside (never empty) for it to keep cold. A case of beer works for me.

    I also use a UPS to protect the fridge from Eskom.
    Last edited by DC Polokwane; 2018/10/02 at 12:20 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    Why waste energy, switch it off when not in use. Done it for as long as I can remember, just dont close the lid.
    Last edited by JLK; 2018/10/05 at 06:27 AM.
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    For any ones interest, we are staying in a chalet over the weekend so just need the smaller Waeco as a freezer. Put a bottle of water for th cooler bag in set at -5 after 3 days, cold but not frozen. Went and got my digital meter and yes definitely -5.5!
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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    I ask myself - for how long does refrigeration equipment stand idle after being manufactured? I cannot answer that question, but I can guess some must stand in warehouses for years before first being put to use.

    I have been using a caravan and or camping fridge since 1970, and have always switched them off with the door or lid slightly open when not camping. I must still experience my first fridge failure, other than one caravan fridge which developed a gas leak which was deep inside and could not be fixed economically. So, I cannot advise others what to do, but I switch them off. I also switch my cars off when there is no need for the engine to run. I am aware that some clever guys suggest the thermal cycle, which is the equipment cooling down altogether and then running from cold to reach working temperature, on a regular basis, is causing more wear than keeping the equipment running non stop, but running it calls for the constant supply of energy. Incidentally, I read about a combustion engine used to power an electricity plant where electricity was required 24/7. It is now ten years and the machine has been running flawlessly without stopping once. Makes one think - also of the fuel costs.
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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    My simplistic view is that compressors are probably rated at running for so many hours in their lifetime so it is better to turn off your fridge when it is not being used. My fridge some 7 years old has not been repaired as yet....

    But there are probably many factors which can affect fridge life.

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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by Chubby View Post
    I have recently bought an Invader Duo and have fitted a National Luna 90 Lt fridge.
    Should I keep the fridge running when stored at home, in between camping trips or should I switch off and leave the top slightly open?
    Also should I leave the 220v external power supply plugged in permanently or should I just check the deep cycle battery status regularly and charge when necessary. What is the level I should recharge at?
    I switch off and after wiping it clean and drying well, leave lid slightly open. Mechanism for lid already built into NL 90. Just flip latches up and lower lid slowly down.
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  12. #11
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    To the guys who leave the fridges on..Why do you leave something in there? Does it make a difference?

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    A fridge does not like running with nothing inside.
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  15. #13
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinBravo View Post
    To the guys who leave the fridges on..Why do you leave something in there? Does it make a difference?
    I was adviced by the manufacturer. Not sure why.

    In my case, there are always leftovers from our last camping trip plus overflow from the kitchen fridge in the camp fridge, we camp very regularly so the fridge stays on.

    The fridge sleeps in my study so it's very convenient to use it as a second fridge especially for keeping drinks (beer) extra cold.

    The power draw is very negligible.

    If I was not using it for 6 - 8 weeks I would probably switch it off but it gets used monthly.

    Leaving it on with nothing inside will be a waste, rather switch off.
    Last edited by DC Polokwane; 2018/10/04 at 12:25 PM.
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  17. #14
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    I have 2x camping fridges. A NL thatis installed in my van. This fridge is never turned off. The van is plugged into 220V when we return home. On emptying the van after a trip i wipe the inside of the fridge and refil with bears ready for our next trip. The van is used mounthly.
    My 2nd fridge is a Snomaster that is used in our vehicle, this fridge is used for trips without the van. As we do not always take this fridge it is left at home switched off with the lid open when not in use. I do not supppose there is a right or wrong way, but what is more suitable for you as an indervidual

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  19. #15
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    I used to keep my Invader plugged in the mains but recently I connected a week cycle timer and set it to only charge 1/7 days because the charger cooked a battery. I know the charger has a float function but I do not trust it any longer. Interesting is that my battery level drops about 50% each week without any thing that should draw current other than the led lights on the smart charger display. My fridge stays switched off with the door open(as shown in previous post)unless I have use for it.
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  20. #16
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinBravo View Post
    To the guys who leave the fridges on..Why do you leave something in there? Does it make a difference?
    When a fridge is running, the compressor cycles on and off as temperature in the fridge fluctuates. If the fridge is empty, it is only the air inside that gets cooled. The air heats up quickly again if the compressor cycles off. Of the fridge is filled with beer, the beer will stay colder for a lot longer than the air, and would maintain the internal temperature in the fridge for longer.

    The result is that a filled fridge would cycle less, use less power, and probably last longer.
    Last edited by SAND; 2018/10/04 at 10:40 PM.

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  22. #17
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by SAND View Post
    When a fridge is running, the compressor cycles on and off as temperature in the fridge fluctuates. If the fridge is empty, it is only the air inside that gets cooled. The air heats up quickly again if the compressor cycles off. Of the fridge is filled with beer, the beer will stay colder for a lot longer than the air, and would maintain the internal temperature in the fridge for longer.

    The result is that a filled fridge would cycle less, use less power, and probably last longer.
    Only if the fridge door is opened.

    If the fridge is full of stuff, it may take longer to warm up, but it will take even longer again to cool down for the same reasons. eg, It will take longer to cool 40L of air by 20deg than 40L of beer.

    If one factors in the initial first time cycle, empty fridge wins hands dow on total energy consumption.
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  23. #18
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    I would like the guys who has a little knowledge on wear and the thermal cycle to give their views on this issue.

    Thermal cycling is defined as the alternate heating and cooling of a material. It is being suggested that moving parts experience more wear during the period it takes to warm up from cold to working temperature, than what it wears during the entire period it operates at working temperature. Apparently an engine driving a generator for 24/7 has now been running non-stop for ten years without showing significant signs of wear. Apparently oil changes were done during running.

    If one can assume the above to be the case, then I think it is safe to say, in spite of cooling that will only take place partially, running a fridge 24/7 opposed to running it for 6 weeks per year will make a vast difference on the life expectancy of the moving parts in the fridge.

    I think we all agree that a car being used only for short distances experience a lot more wear than one maintaining its running temperature for long periods. Does this principle not also apply to fridges?

    What is your opinion?
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  25. #19
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    So often one will hear of a scenario where a person is frantically searching for assistance with a broken fridge days before a camping trip.

    One often hears the same words "but it was working fine when we came back from our last trip, three or six months ago, but now it's not switching on/cooling down".

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...80#post4012180

    Did it break while not being used?
    Last edited by DC Polokwane; 2018/10/19 at 09:10 AM.
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  26. #20
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    Default Re: Fridge care and maintenance

    Whilst still working at a large manufacturer, we did a number of tests on engine wear. These were on engines that would run a life cycle of hour on a dynamometer, a vehicle that had run an accelerated durability cycle and your typical taxi with 500000kms plus. This of course was when components were locally manufactured. The lowest wear rate was on a taxi engine.

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