Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor




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  1. #1
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    Default Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Hi guys.
    I know the various topics around this have been discussed. I have searched and read a lot on here but alas.
    They are either very technical, or address the items in isolation. For someone like me who are not electricity gurus, it gets confusing.
    If i missed a thread that speaks to this, please drop me a link and kill this thread. I do apologize.

    So here is my conundrum. I can go to a fitment center and tell them what i want, and hope they sell me the right stuff and fit it proper, but my trust in a sales guy is not very high so if someone could please advise on the below it would be really appreciated.

    We bought the FJ. It will be used for overlanding rather than doing 4x4 trails.
    It is obvious that i need to be able to keep my meats and stuff cold by myself.
    So i need a fridge. Which type? I do not know. But it is vital that it can keep meat and other food stuffs lekker for about a week. Size? I would assume as big as possible.
    If we put a fridge, we would need a dual battery system. Which Battery? I do not know.
    If we need a dual battery system, we need all the goodies to charge it and run the fridge and compressor/winch safely.
    But here is the thing.
    If i later want to add a solar panel, this kit needs to be able to accommodate it. is it actually possible to charge the system if we get to a venue that has 240v? If so, what do we need?
    We are quite active so we will leave camp and go drive around, or park near the beach or whatever. So a rigid solar panel i can move around at camp, or snap onto the roofrack would most definitely be something we want to look into.

    Pardon my ignorance but i don't want to end up in a situation where we fit all the stuff, and later when we want to add a solar panel for example, we find out we needed a different controller or whatchamathing.

    So what i'm asking is..
    Most of you have already paid the school fees on this so will anyone slap together a design I can go to an installer with and say: "Fit these things"?
    We have a blank canvas now and instead of making mistakes, we rather prefer to use your advise and do it proper the first time around. a holistic, future proof solution.
    Even info on stuff like "Do yourself a favor and fit the fridge on a drawer system that can also take a slide out table", or "Do this and that with this solar panel so it is portable at camp but also goes on the roofrack easily and charge the batteries at the beach/dunes/veld/while driving", or "put the air compressor in the engine bay and connect it to the fuse box, and run your hoses to connector points on the bullbar and bumper" etc. would be extremely handy.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    See 2nd reply.



    Last edited by ekkekan; 2018/10/11 at 09:43 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Well I see no answers so far. I will start and the ppl with the experience can add to get a complete system.

    Some answers can only be provided by yourself on size of fridge, must things be frozen etc.

    Then the technical stuff can follow. Lots of great information on options as compiled by ChrisF

    1.
    Read the sticky Electrickery for camping



  4. #4
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Dear all, different strokes for different folks.
    What I have and works for me:
    1. At least 66L capcity fridge/freezer, choose a model with double door, thus inter changeable fridge/freezer.
    2. At least a 105Ah deep cycle battery, in National Luna battery box. Battery is charged either by direct leads (with fuse) from starting battery, NL battery pack has its own build in regulator.
    3. For solar charging of battery at least 120Watt panel connect to NL battery pack or bypass and connect solar panel to solar regulator and then directly on battery.

    Hope this helps, I prefer mobile application of battery in NL box.
    2007 Hilux 2.5 D4D

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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Fridge is easy, 66l is a good intermediate size and an ideal starting point. Brand--- there are enough out there to confuse one and speaking to 10 different owners will get you 10 different opinions and ultimately few people will have the guts to say I bought aXXX and it is rubbish, with big brands even more so for fear of ridicule.

    I like the SnoMaster brand because their insulation is thicker than any of the competition, their compressors are not the Danfoss but their own make that draws much less power to work efficiently, the local head office is in Jetpark and should anything go wrong they have enough spares to build umpteen units. I have seen the back up from stores to workshop to the directors and have no problem in recommending them. Oh did I mention that I am an agent and have seen how they handle returns or problems.

    Having a second battery is almost non negotiable, without it you might just end up pushing at some stage. A 105 hi cycle battery in a Nat Luna box with a HCdP dc -dc charger (includes a solar controler) is more than adequate and will allow you to remove the battery and run the fridge on solar should you want to leave it at camp

    When the installation is done double check that the installers have fitted a fuse at the pick up from the start battery as well as a second fuse right by the battery box. you have huge power available from both sides that could start a fire.

    Safety is NO accident. you are welcome to contact me if you need further advice
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Hi FDB,

    Can't really comment on the choice of fridge, but with regards to the battery set up I recently went through the same thing for a camper van I am building. I did a fair amount of research and ended up getting a smart battery box. Essentially these have everything done for you already, are able to be charged by the 12v socket in your car, mains power or solar panel and have a display letting you know the net draw on your battery, estimated remaining charge, time to charge and time to go flat. They can be removed from the car or replaced extremely easily (depending on where you place them) and can be installed by some one as ignorant of electrical matters as me. I actually spoke to 2 different 4x4 fitment centres who both suggested these box as they actually are cheaper than getting a dual battery set up because new cars have smart alternators or something along those lines.

    I am unsure of in SA, but in Aus there are three brands (all pretty much exactly the same) with pretty good videos explaining how they work etc available on each:
    - Engle Smart Battery Box
    - Thunder Portable battery box
    - Ark Pak smart battery box

    I assume you would be able to get something similar in SA (if not seems like would be a pretty good opportunity to build or export them).

    cheers.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Fridge brands are like tyres everyone has their own favourite but National Luna would be my choice. (I don't have one). They have a reputation for excellent fridges and importantly first class service.
    Last edited by Paul Dold; 2018/10/12 at 12:55 AM.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Quote Originally Posted by Duggen View Post
    Hi FDB,

    Can't really comment on the choice of fridge, but with regards to the battery set up I recently went through the same thing for a camper van I am building. I did a fair amount of research and ended up getting a smart battery box. Essentially these have everything done for you already, are able to be charged by the 12v socket in your car, mains power or solar panel and have a display letting you know the net draw on your battery, estimated remaining charge, time to charge and time to go flat. They can be removed from the car or replaced extremely easily (depending on where you place them) and can be installed by some one as ignorant of electrical matters as me. I actually spoke to 2 different 4x4 fitment centres who both suggested these box as they actually are cheaper than getting a dual battery set up because new cars have smart alternators or something along those lines.

    I am unsure of in SA, but in Aus there are three brands (all pretty much exactly the same) with pretty good videos explaining how they work etc available on each:
    - Engle Smart Battery Box
    - Thunder Portable battery box
    - Ark Pak smart battery box

    I assume you would be able to get something similar in SA (if not seems like would be a pretty good opportunity to build or export them).

    cheers.
    Thanx man.
    I am interested in the bit where you say you can charge from Alternator, Solar OR mains.
    Are you sure this allows for 3 power inputs and they are 12vDC (Alternator), Solar, and AC?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Snowmaster fridge - local backup (close to PTA)
    HCDP DC-DC in PTA so you can go and visit them, it takes 12V, 220V and Solar
    Dirk
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Quote Originally Posted by offroadbiker View Post
    Snowmaster fridge - local backup (close to PTA)
    HCDP DC-DC in PTA so you can go and visit them, it takes 12V, 220V and Solar
    Awesome thanx.
    That looks like exactly what i'm looking for from an electrics point of view.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Quote Originally Posted by Johan Engelbrecht View Post
    Dear all, different strokes for different folks.
    What I have and works for me:
    1. At least 66L capcity fridge/freezer, choose a model with double door, thus inter changeable fridge/freezer.
    2. At least a 105Ah deep cycle battery, in National Luna battery box. Battery is charged either by direct leads (with fuse) from starting battery, NL battery pack has its own build in regulator.
    3. For solar charging of battery at least 120Watt panel connect to NL battery pack or bypass and connect solar panel to solar regulator and then directly on battery.

    Hope this helps, I prefer mobile application of battery in NL box.
    Double door. Brilliant. Thanx. That is a good tip.
    Something like this?
    https://www.nationalluna.com/product...erator-freezer

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Fridge: You can't go wrong with National Luna, Engel or Snomaster. Get a dual zone and the biggest one you can fit/manage/afford. I prefer Snomaster for the price, they include the cover, baskets and great remote controller/monitor, free delivery if you order directly from them and 7-year warranty compressor.

    Dual battery system: HCDP, National Luna and WRND are the local guys. I went with the WRND DC-DC charger/controller for the price, less than R2000-00.

    Battery: Something like a 105 Deep Cycle from a reputable supplier will do it. Shop around.

    Solar: Get panels from 4x4Direct, competitive price and great service or shop around.

    Fridge slide: 4x4Direct or shop around.

    Miscellaneous stuff: For cables etc. 4x4Direct has got it all.

    https://www.nationalluna.com/

    https://snomaster.co.za/

    http://www.wrnd.co.za/

    https://www.hcdpelectronics.co.za/

    https://www.4x4direct.co.za/

    http://www.bushpower.co.za/

    DEFINITELY STUDY THIS THREAD https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...ry-for-camping

    Hope this helps!
    Jeep Grand Cherokee 2002 4.7 V8

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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Below my view:
    Fridge - Agree a must, already plenty of comments above. I would say select your requirements, number of people, number of days, then decide on the size. Take into account packing space and space to be taken up by the fridge
    Also, as an afterthought, consider 2 smaller fridges (one to use as refrigerator and another as freezer), if space and other considerations allow for this
    Dual battery - agree a must. I personally prefer to have the second battery in the bonnet, leave it there and never worry about it again, but can also have a third battery in a box that you can take out - again space and packing constraints, and I would only consider this is you intend removing the fridge from the vehicle and want to keep it running for example in a tent while camping and vehicle not available
    Solar panel - have a look at the WRND charger, it does cater for connecting a solar panel, I would go that route...

    As for compressor - consider installing in the engine bay or on the vehicle, it makes sense from packing space perspective, something like an ARB - they are expensive though, but it does work well and ensures you cannot forget it, etc...

    As for charging the battery when there is electricity available, you can always get a Benton or C-TEc intelligent charger and connect up, that would be the simplest solution for me, but to be honest, if you are travelling and have the solar panel as well, you would hardly need this
    Christo Davids
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  15. #14
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Polokwane View Post
    Fridge: You can't go wrong with National Luna, Engel or Snomaster. Get a dual zone and the biggest one you can fit/manage/afford. I prefer Snomaster for the price, they include the cover, baskets and great remote controller/monitor, free delivery if you order directly from them and 7-year warranty compressor.

    Dual battery system: HCDP, National Luna and WRND are the local guys. I went with the WRND DC-DC charger/controller for the price, less than R2000-00.

    Battery: Something like a 105 Deep Cycle from a reputable supplier will do it. Shop around.

    Solar: Get panels from 4x4Direct, competitive price and great service or shop around.

    Fridge slide: 4x4Direct or shop around.

    Miscellaneous stuff: For cables etc. 4x4Direct has got it all.

    https://www.nationalluna.com/

    https://snomaster.co.za/

    http://www.wrnd.co.za/

    https://www.hcdpelectronics.co.za/

    https://www.4x4direct.co.za/

    http://www.bushpower.co.za/

    DEFINITELY STUDY THIS THREAD https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...ry-for-camping

    Hope this helps!
    Sweet!
    Most of my electric questions are now answered.
    This page is spot on what i need:
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-camping/page9

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Quote Originally Posted by Christo Davids View Post
    Below my view:
    Fridge - Agree a must, already plenty of comments above. I would say select your requirements, number of people, number of days, then decide on the size. Take into account packing space and space to be taken up by the fridge
    Also, as an afterthought, consider 2 smaller fridges (one to use as refrigerator and another as freezer), if space and other considerations allow for this
    Dual battery - agree a must. I personally prefer to have the second battery in the bonnet, leave it there and never worry about it again, but can also have a third battery in a box that you can take out - again space and packing constraints, and I would only consider this is you intend removing the fridge from the vehicle and want to keep it running for example in a tent while camping and vehicle not available
    Solar panel - have a look at the WRND charger, it does cater for connecting a solar panel, I would go that route...

    As for compressor - consider installing in the engine bay or on the vehicle, it makes sense from packing space perspective, something like an ARB - they are expensive though, but it does work well and ensures you cannot forget it, etc...

    As for charging the battery when there is electricity available, you can always get a Benton or C-TEc intelligent charger and connect up, that would be the simplest solution for me, but to be honest, if you are travelling and have the solar panel as well, you would hardly need this
    Thanx.
    Yes i was thinking of the compressor under the bonnet too.
    I saw a guy who ran the pipes to a connector on the top of the metal bullbar. He just plugs in the hose there, press a button and the compressor pumps air and shuts off automatically when his tires are pumped to his specified pressure. I was going to connect it and the winch to the spare battery but changed my mind. The main battery would be better for that than the deep cycle spare and when winching and pumping the car can idle.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    So I went through a similar search recently and after lots of assistance from forum members, this is our setup (without compressor)

    Fridge:
    1 x Engel 40l (we already had this)
    1 x Dometic 50l CF (Could not resist the special offer on Take-a-Lot and Mrs wanted a separate freezer)

    Battery System:
    Did not go NL because of price and flexibility. Built my own box with WRND MPPT 20A DC-DC charger and 105AH Deep Cycle battery.
    I could decide on my exact configuration and expand it without any issues, including adding a battery protector from HCDP
    You really don't need to be a rocket scientist to do this

    Solar:
    Just got 2 x 80W Monorystalline panels - physical size and flexibility was important
    and
    it seamlessly integrates with the WRND DC-DC charger

    220V Charging:
    Have not gone that far yet (using my existing Noco Genius as an interim) but seems that the Midas Intelligent charger should be considered due to price/performance.


    So, depending on how much you want to outsource I found that although the NL route is fine for an integrated solution, but the flexibility and cost saving of building your own box is tops. Finally, remember that there is a wealth of experience on the forum without which I would have made some fundamental mistakes - ask and you will receive all the assistance you could need.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    If starting with a clean slate and need a complete system it should have the following:
    1. An isolator
    2. A DC-DC charger
    3. A solar controller with sufficient capacity +/- 300W and enough solar panels ie 3X80W panels =12 to 15 A
    4. A 240V charger
    5. The correct size wiring and fuses etc
    6. Monitoring system (remote)
    7. An inverter
    8. The system must be able to charge the different types of batteries on the market.

    Something like the new NL product - the NLDC- 25 seems to meet most of the above except the 240V charger and inverter, what a pity. The price from 4X4 Direct is R5999 which is steep but if one considers the cost of replacing batteries maybe it is worth it. Just add a separate 240 charger. I am sure that there are other systems out there that could meet most of your requirements. You’ll need to investigate and shop around.

    Where the problem comes in is if you have additional aux batteries. I have a total of 4 batteries, 2 in the Landy and two in the Companion. The Landy has a separate system and the trailer a HCdP MK5 with geyser circuit but not an inverter. It works OK but I think the alternator is working big time.

    One aux battery imho, is not enough to handle any fridge of 60l and bigger.

    A 110W solar panel set up will not suffice if you remain static at a site for 4 days or longer.
    Last edited by TRON; 2018/10/12 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Duplicate

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Quote Originally Posted by TRON View Post
    Duplicate
    Last edited by TRON; 2018/10/12 at 10:19 AM.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Holistic future proof solution for Fridge and compressor

    Interesting video

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