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Disco Kid

Fridge temperature when towing ...

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I know they say you can't cool the fridge from ambient when running on 12v (towing), but I understand it it is supposed to be able to maintain the low temperature after cooling by mains or gas ..

 

So, has anyone tested that ..???  (apart from me)

 

Just spent a few days off hook,

 

The fridge (freezer compartment) was down to -15 (on gas .. will go to -20 on mains) when I packed up to leave and only closed down the gas minutes before hitching .. 

 

On getting home, after a 3 hour, mainly motorway (non stop, no holdups) drive, the freezer had gone up to -5. 

 

Is this what you would expect .. 

 

The indicator light showed solid blue, so the fridge was getting the 12v from the motor, but how can you check that the fridge is actually working?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Can’t give absolute temperature figures, but last week we left a campsite in France, drove 1hour to the tunnel, 40min engine off in tunnel, 3hours motorway towing, 30min engine off having lunch, 1 hour minor roads tow home. A frozen chicken breast left in the freezer compartment was still hard frozen and not even soft on the outer edges. The milk in the door was still chilled.

 

The door was opened twice during the journey....at the tunnel to get out/replace butter (fresh bread and butter breakfast!) and to get out lunch items. My wife is very bad t leaving door open unnecessarily. So I was surprised the milk was still cold and the chicken frozen.

 

I suspect actually having the compartments full of prechilled/frozen items helps keep the thermal load in check. 

 

The only way to monitor the temperature changes during travel is to have a a datalogger monitoring   each section.  

 

https://www.elitechonline.co.uk/Temperature-data-logger/RC-5

Edited by ericfield

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Posted (edited)

Most caravan fridges have a similar wattage rating on 12v as they do on 230v or gas so is nominally as good on any source - many car/caravan combinations have inadequate wiring which causes voltage drop so reduced power on 12v.

 

It can be checked by measuring the voltage at the fridge when connected to the car and the engine running.

 

On my previous car, I had the fridge/battery circuits wired using 80A cable - way over-specced but reduced voltage drop - to do a proper job the circuits from the 13-pin plug into the caravan would need to be similarly uprated.

Edited by Black Grouse
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You can also add a small buckboost power supply into the circuit and adjust it so that a true 12 (or 14v) arrives at the fridge. I've done it both ways, heavier cable on my Sprinter and a power supply on my Touareg, both improved fridge performance, it would actually freeze during the tow.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, all .. very good points there .. 

 

Can't connect the car till hitched up in the street, but going away tomorrow (another 3 hour tow) .. see what I can check once on site ..

 

Thanks again

 

DK

Edited by Disco Kid

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