These days, knowing how to get the most out of your 12V fridge is pretty much the equivalent of everyone having their own slightly different way to scale a fish, bake banana bread or put vegemite on toast.
We thought it would be a great opportunity to share some of our tips and tricks to getting the most out of your 12v Fridge.
12v fridges, while designed to draw as little power as possible still have moments when they require a healthy draw. Some people have even measured pull of up to 50amps on startup in hot weather.
We often see people that are not getting peak performance out of their fridge because they haven't run cable that isn't designed to take the load or they are experiencing substantial voltage drop between the battery and fridge.
When planning where your fridge and 2nd battery are going to live, try and get them as close together as possible. The rule of thumb for fridges is 8 B&S cable up to 5m and 6 B&S after that. Additionally using connectors such as Anderson plugs will give you a much more stable connection than a traditional cigarette plug.
Not something that you can always achieve, but ensuring that your supplies and the fridge are cooled prior to going in the vehicle can make the world of difference. An average 40L fridge will average around 1-1.5 Amps per hour when in a state of holding temperature. However when it is running full bore to get the temperature down it can easily increase that to 4 - 6 Amps essentially meaning that you will lose 3 hours of “holding temperature” for every hour of cooling.
Fridges work most effectively when they have items in the fridge to fill the space - air is a terrible thermal conductor. If you run an 80L fridge but you are only going away overnight, throw in some crumpled newspaper, extra drinks or some frozen water bottles.
As an added bonus, Frozen water bottles or freezer bricks are going to help keep your fridge colder even longer.
We know it is pesky, takes up space and often makes things more complicated, but having the basket in the fridge allows cool air to circulate throughout the fridge with greater ease. This ensures that all your items are cooled evenly but it also means that the fridge is not running more than it has to. The internal temperature reading is usually just from a simple point in the fridge.
It might seem pretty self-explanatory but we see a massive number of people that will leave their fridge in the vehicle, with no space around the compressor and expect it to perform. Most fridges are comfortable lowering the temperature around 30 degrees from the ambient temperature. If the ambient temperature is 40 degrees it means your fridge will be sitting around 10.
Products like solar shades can be a great option to help keep your vehicle cool
A Fridge compressor is also going to perform best when it is cool and has ventilation, so ensure that you have space around the compressor for airflow.
There are plenty of other common-sense things to do that will also help in their own way like;