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How do others run their Fridges?

Discussion in 'Fuel System & Electrics' started by heartland, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. heartland

    heartland New Member

    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    Drained both the second and main battery again last night as we misunderstood the instructions from the Auto Electrician - we finally had a switch put in the Kombi to isolate the second battery from the first so we could run the fridge might have to go back and see him tomorrow.


    a. Just how long will we get out of the second battery running the fridge?

    b. Does anyone use gas we are not keen on using gas at all.

    Some places we will be staying on our trek we will have power.

    What do others do please help!!!!!!!! Tony heads of on Wednesday...

    The fridge is an electrolux standard caravan fridge.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2007
  2. Schmoburger

    Schmoburger Active Member

    Messages:
    4,381
    Location:
    Nowra/Jervis Bay area, NSW.
    Well before I destroyed my battery by leaving my ignition on overnight a few times, I used to get a whole night out of the 1 battery in my van and could still start the engine easily in the morning, so never really needed to use anything but 12V... I too am very very standoffish towards gas in any capacity whether it be in a home or in a caravan or camper, especially where pilot lights are involved so needless to say gas is out for me too.

    You should be right running the fridge off a secondary battery so long as it is in good condition and never gets run totally flat (totally flattening a car battery reduces its capacity to hold a charge), and so long as there is nothing else draining current.

    Cheers!
     
  3. Sheriff

    Sheriff Active Member

    Messages:
    1,560
    Location:
    Warburton - Yarra Valley
    Hey Jane, from talking to my mechanic the fridges chew through battery power pretty damn quickly. They are not intended to be run overnight on batteries, that is what the Gas or 240 is for. Basically, you only run them on 12v whilst travelling. Once arrived you should cut over to either gas or 240. As you say, (and schmo and I agree), dont like the idea of gas so sadly it might be a case of just letting the fridge slowly warm up on days with no power, that is my intention also...good old fashioned ice in the eski for those days. In summary, my advice from the mechanic is that the battery is not the camping solution for refrigeration. Keep it for lights, stereo etc!
     
  4. heartland

    heartland New Member

    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    So the second battery is only for lights etc? Others I have spoken to have run their fridges on their second batteries for two days max - parked at their camp spot - they must have a different type of system...

    Promise not to have a repeat of Ballart Sheriff.
     
  5. Sheriff

    Sheriff Active Member

    Messages:
    1,560
    Location:
    Warburton - Yarra Valley
    Dunno how they would have run them that long based on what I have been told by the sparky. Maybe they had big ass batteries or small butt fridges??
     
  6. ttmck

    ttmck Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,769
    Location:
    Hallett Cove STH AUS
    if you do a search under how to and handy hints there are numerous posts on dual battery systems , i have the traxide system and if you contact traxide via kombi club you will get a discount its the easiest system in the world to fit a 10 year old could fit it with the instructions and i just cant recomend any other system for the price and the help you will get from tim

    tim actually is a member of kc as well

    start the fridge on 240 v the night before you head off
    turn onto 12 volt whilst travelling
    gas yes can be used and is just great but no when travelling
    agm battery should and will charge quickly but like higher voltage but quite low current
    you can buy a smart charger that will charge an agm battery and keep it on float charge when not in use . they can be bought very cheep and worth it

    here is the link

    http://forums.kombiclub.com/showthread.php?t=9221&highlight=traxide
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2007
  7. heartland

    heartland New Member

    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    So would that mean I could run the fridge from the second battery overnight while camping and not run the battery flat?
     
  8. Alice in Kombiland

    Alice in Kombiland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,153
    Location:
    Melbourne
    we never run ours on gas as it can be dangerous... (if it doesn't explode, you could fall to sleep and never wake up...). But that could be just paranoia. Our fidge also runs off the second battery if the gas runs out...

    I find that an esky, ice, and charging the fridge through the mains before you leave works fine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2007
  9. ttmck

    ttmck Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,769
    Location:
    Hallett Cove STH AUS
    jane what happens with the system in lay terms is

    both batterys are used up to a certain point for the fridge running .The main start battery the battery that acutally comes with the kombi
    gets to a certain point it becomes isolated the 2nd battery will be rendered basically flat but you will be able to start your engine as the traxide box works out the critical voltage in order to start your engine you will never become stranded again .
    but the wonderfull thing is the traxide system utilises both batteries so you can run the fridge for alot longer than just switching to a second battery as in the old key type isolators that where used many years ago and alot of kombis still have them . i hope this makes sense for you

    traxide system a couple of years ago i think i got it under 100 bucks just so worth the effort and as i said i cant fault tim with they way he helps his customers just good ol fashioned service at its best
     
  10. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,911
    Location:
    Gunnedah
    Marley Has an AGM battery and smart charger. I leave the fridge on .....now the unofficial beer fridge......love to hear the sound of clinking as I hit a pot hole. When garaged I plug him/her/it into the 240 volt.... the smart charger then comes on and charges away......then I kick back and pontificate about Kevlar and porsche shrouding the beer is cold and my battery is charged.

    As for working out how long a battery will last.....find the compliance plate on the fridge.....Know the amp-hour (Ampere-hour)of the battery divide one with the other and thats how long your battery should last in its peak condition. Don't run your battery flat as that will damage your battery and if you do don't post about it on the web as it will send a flurry of emails about the use of deep cycle verses agm batteries....hohum....
     
  11. Tassiedave

    Tassiedave New Member

    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    Dodges Ferry, Tas
    g'day jane
    All the 3 way fridges i've ever had, you only run on 12 volts while the engine is running. These fridges use a heap of power. There is nothing wrong with using gas so long as long as there is a vent down low (once you have stopped).
    Dave
     
  12. heartland

    heartland New Member

    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    Hi, Thanks everyone for your thoughts and ideas. We think that most of the places we will be going will have 240V in so we will be running the fridge that way - then when we leave we will switch to 12 volt while driving and when stopping we will flick the switch over to the secondary battery and hopefully between all methods things will remain fresh.


    Dave, we have removed the stove that was on top of the fridge and as yet haven't blocked off the hose for the gas - gas freaks me out anyway.
     
  13. Rev.

    Rev. Active Member

    Messages:
    1,435
    Location:
    Eastwood NSW
    I went to my local gas specialist today and asked him what he knew about gas & kombi's. He knew a lot, not just about kombi's but caravan's, three-way fridges and a few other things.

    My main question was the safety of using the gas stove & fridge. He said everything would be fine as long there were no leaks in the pipes or connections and that there was adequate ventilation.

    I asked about carrying the gas bottle on the roof rack but his opinion was it would be safer were it was meant to be.

    In the gas man's opinion he thought the gas set up in the kombi's were as good as any other and he would use it.

    To check for leaks he said to spray the lines with soapy water - no bubbles = no leaks.

    My new gas friend checked out shirl - made me a new hose, and sold me a new gas bottle to fit into the side of the kombi.

    The gas man reckoned I should get about a week running on gas - only use the gas when sitting or camping in the one spot - use the 12v when driving - if your in a camping area - plug into the 240v.

    I used the stove today to make coffee in my stove top espresso and to boil the billy. It all worked well.

    [​IMG]

    Rev.
     

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