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Old 14 Nov 2009
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HUBB regular
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southport
Posts: 33
Fridge Support Equipment

A recent conversation between myself (Me) and my girlfriend (GF) working on our to do list for kitting out the 4WD...

Me: We'll need a small fridge for the journey for food, couple of s, etc
GF: Oh, OK - how much are they?
Me: Well, we can get a cheap compressor Fridge like the Waeco CDF-25 for around £300
GF: And thats it - up and running, no more to pay?
Me: we'd need a 2nd battery - about another £100, more for a Yellow Top!
GF: anything else?
Me: Well, a split charge system about another £100
GF: right... this starting to add...
Me: ... and a solar panel / generator for when we stop for a few days - about another £200 (60W from Maplin)
GF: so we're talking about £300 for a relatively small fridge, plus £400 to keep it running - £700 all up!
Me: Hmmm, yes.

We're doing this on a really tight budget and whilst it would be nice to have the best of everything, we're really noticing that the full price of a fridge is more like £700.

Any ideas? - I'd hate to loose the fridge that we havent bought yet.
Rich & Zowi
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Old 14 Nov 2009
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: granada,spain
Posts: 157

A loaded fridge will probably weigh 40kg+ so you may wish to buy a fridge slide frame that allows the fridge to slide horizontally out of the back of the car without having to lift it every time.

You may also wish to consider an additional insulated cover for the fridge.

You may also wish to consider a couple of stubby coolers for the cans.

But hey man...........what's the cost of a few cold tinnies at the end of the shift!!!!!!
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Old 15 Nov 2009
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kandahar Afghanistan
Posts: 159
dont skimp on the fridge guys,

If your thinkng of a 30 ltr thrn go for the 40 ltr as a minimum. Stay on the compressor route. a 100 ahc bty with a 90 w pannel will work fine.

Its worth it belive me we started with a cheap coolbox then 40 ltr engle 100 ahc & 40 w pannel. We now have a 40ltr fridge 21 ltr freezer 220 ahc btys & 220w of solr pannels and havent looked back, we last 1 month with frozen food.

Ref the fridge slide only go for the ones that have the large replacable bearings like the engle slides forget the ones with small bearings in a carrier that look like they came out of the filing cabenet ours lasted 4 months before colapsing.
Land Rover Discovery 2, Yamaha Super Tenere
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Old 15 Nov 2009
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: St Neots, Cambs, UK
Posts: 8
Hi Rich,
your right, I would agree £700 is about as lean as you will get and then there is no guarantee that your system will keep up with your needs when your on the road, you could still wake up to warm milk on your corn flakes.

I think my 40ltr Engel with solar, battery’s, regulator and charging system came out at around £1500 by the time I was happy with it.

Having spent a lot of my time on bikes I look at refrigeration from two sides, Preservation and Comfort.

Do you need preservation where by you will probably need to maintain a minimum temp of 4 degrees or less for 24/7.
Perhaps you could look at where are you going, what foods will you be buying and how do the locals preserve them.
When on the road I have often noticed that nothing in my fridge really needs to be there (apart from the GF's Insulin she says).

Before I had a fridge I have had Laughing Cow triangles and baby belle rolling around in the back of the Landrover for a couple of weeks in the desert and there fine (as long as I don’t stand on them!)

Often I find I'm only using the fridge for comfort, cold water, and sandwiches etc.
If you find this is the case you could just go for a cool box wired to run only with the engine. I have a small Waeco BT15 between the front seats, it only holds a couple of bottles of water and choc bars but saves stopping to get water out of the back of the truck.

Or just have the CDF25 with half a dozen freeze packs in the bottom and run it flat out when you’re driving and turned off at night. It should still be cool in the morning.

Or if your budget is really tight you could go down the traditional route and wrap a couple of s in a dripping wet towel and bungee them to the front of your truck a couple of driving hours before you stop and let evaporative refrigeration do its thing. It’s the only option on a bike and it works.
If you’re camped you can stand your s in a bowl of water with a tea towel draped over them and into the water. It only drops the temp by 4-5 degrees below ambient but it makes all the difference.

In the end it’s all a balance between budget and comfort and
it’s worth considering how far you can get around our little planet for £700

I would rather be on the road with a warm than still sitting at home with a cold one.

Cheers, Andy
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Old 15 Nov 2009
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 17
Can remember a similar conversation with my GF not so long ago

The 2 of us (1 Landrover) are travelling overland for over a year now with the Engel MT45F (40L, no freezer) on board and are really happy with it's size (a smaller one would be a loss) and power consumption. Wouldn't travel without.

This is what we did to save out on costs:

- No slides (but placed it in dooropening instead)
- No insulating cover (nice to protect against scratches & insulation might help a little, but not a must)
- No solar panels (comes in handy, but you might as well turn the engine on once in a while or switch it off if you'll be away a little longer)

Hopes this will help you guys making the right decision. Enjoy preparing!

Jenn & Don

PS: 2nd battery and split-charger is recommendable anyway, not only for the fridge. You probably have some more gear on board (winch? etc.) which justifies this investment.
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Old 15 Nov 2009
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Dorset, UK
Posts: 333
It does not have to cost the earth

My split charge system cost £13.45
Fridge (Engel 21L) £100 second hand
Lucas 110 AH leisure battery £70

So less than £200 all in for fridge plus split charge system, if I stayed in the same place for a few days I would just start up the engine.

My split charge system uses two of these

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Old 16 Nov 2009
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Leicestershire,UK, or in my Iveco Daily 4x4
Posts: 461
keep an eye on ebay - i got a national luna 74 litre for 350 quid , new retail was £1400

I saw a 40 litre engel go for less than 100 - it needed a couple of bits i believe but worked.

There was a waeco 50 litre knocking around for £225 a while back.- might still be for sale

You can get cheaper batteries than a yellowtop that are fairly small for running a fridge imho. if you don't mind running the engine then solar is a luxury.

like folks say, its not a tripstopper if you don't have one but it is a good to have

Iveco Turbo Daily 4x4 40-10
Ex Owner LR101 300Tdi Ambi 'Tiggurr'
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Old 16 Nov 2009
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 219
for the last couple of years I've managed with a 40l engel - got a discount on it as it was a bit dented, a 12 quid smartcom split charger from towsure, and a cheapy leisure battery, cost 30 quid.
not perfect, I let the battery go flat a few too many times and it would only support the fridge for a few hours in the end when not driving, but it didnt owe me much!

Before splashing out on an Engel, I had a succesion of cheapy electric coolboxes - I just found that they killed batteries in no time, only ever made things just less than lukewarm, and always ended up with a stinky soup in the bottom from condensation
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