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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Be gentle, I don't speak watts or volts or amps.

I want to put a fridge in my PM. Specifically THIS ONE.

According to my windowsticker, my PM has a 100 amp battery and a 220 amp alternator.

If I were to add a second battery (under driver's seat?) strictly for the fridge, is it realistic to think that I can charge that 2nd battery off of the stock alternator?

If so, what else will I need? Other than someone to do most of the work so that I don't kill myself...

If t's not realistic, why not?

Like I said, be gentle, this is not my area of expertise!
 

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WOW Ed that was a perfect referral. I bet you used the search box to find it. Lots of folks never think of that I guess or perhaps it is just easier to have you look it up for them. You are a nice guy to do it for them. I’m sure mikesee will give you a “Thanks”. Sorry we don’t have an At-a-Girl or an At-a-Boy tag.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I had seen that thread (because I did search), and I get that it is applicable here. What isn't answered there, and the reason for this thread, is that there is no indication of what that guy is running with his battery. Nor does he answer (to my uneducated/electronically ignorant brain) whether the stock alternator is up to the task of charging both batteries.

Instead of being smarmy and smug perhaps you could be legitimately helpful?
 

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I use a battery box with a 110 amp/hour battery inside. The battery can be charged via the alternator, a solar panel or can be plugged into 110 volt current.

While it won't fit under the front seat, at least I don't have to dismantle the front seat when the battery needs to be changed. Also, by having this independent of the vehicle battery, I don't worry about depleting that battery. I have tried to understand electricity, like you, and have found that this sorts it out rather elegantly.

I am installing an Engel refrigerator/freezer today that will run off this system. I also run LED lights and a fan off it.


Here's a link. There are others like this. http://www.arkportablepower.com/pages/about-the-arkpak
 

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Name calling will not make you popular here I am afraid. I hope my posts have been useful and you need to learn etiquette, which in part would suggest that you have made some attempt on your own.

To be helpful- Yes you can run those on your new 100 AH battery and the van will charge it up if you run it every day you run the appliances. BTW it may be my computer but the hyperlink for the fridg. does not point to one for me so I assumed it was a 12Volt DC-120AC volt unit that draws 20 or 30 Amp Hours a day. Very realistic. Swarmy? really? As it isn’t an English word I will assume you intended it to mean “Thanks for setting me straight?” Have a sense of humor. I’ll thank Ed for you.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Name calling will not make you popular here I am afraid. I hope my posts have been useful and you need to learn etiquette, which in part would suggest that you have made some attempt on your own.

To be helpful- Yes you can run those on your new 100 AH battery and the van will charge it up if you run it every day you run the appliances. BTW it may be my computer but the hyperlink for the fridg. does not point to one for me so I assumed it was a 12Volt DC-120AC volt unit that draws 20 or 30 Amp Hours a day. Very realistic. Swarmy? really? As it isn’t an English word I will assume you intended it to mean “Thanks for setting me straight?” Have a sense of humor. I’ll thank Ed for you.

I have a sense of humor. I didn't find anything funny in your initial response.

I understand internet etiquette just fine, thanks. Which is why I searched first and then, only after reading and digesting the thread that was linked to, did I ask my particular questions.

I didn't call you any names, I merely used common descriptors to point out that your initial response was less helpful than it could have been.

Your second response has mostly made up for that. Thanks.

My bad on the link -- editing now. Juggling too many things this AM when I posted.

Your posts *have* been helpful and I have both 'thanked' and been thankful for them. I was surprised at the lack of usefulness to your original post, which is why I didn't let it slide. Sometimes we (and yes I am guilty of this too) spend a larger % of our time online and the smaller % (you know -- the one with actual human interaction) can suffer. Doesn't take much -- just a nudge from a friend or well-meaning stranger -- to get us back on track.

Cheers,

MC
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I use a battery box with a 110 amp/hour battery inside. The battery can be charged via the alternator, a solar panel or can be plugged into 110 volt current.

While it won't fit under the front seat, at least I don't have to dismantle the front seat when the battery needs to be changed. Also, by having this independent of the vehicle battery, I don't worry about depleting that battery. I have tried to understand electricity, like you, and have found that this sorts it out rather elegantly.

I am installing an Engel refrigerator/freezer today that will run off this system. I also run LED lights and a fan off it.


Here's a link. There are others like this. http://www.arkportablepower.com/pages/about-the-arkpak
Great info -- thanks much. Where did you install your 2nd battery? I'd love to not have to deal with removing the seat.
 

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It is right behind the front seat. I use the underseat area for a fat notebook of official papers so I can cross borders.

I suggest you research how much power your fridge is going to require. That will help you determine if you have enough battery capacity to serve it without worries. There are various threads where people puzzle over this.

I bought an Engel (they make top opening and front opening versions) because it has the lowest power requirements and is quiet.
 

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Ours is also directly behind the seat on the cargo floor. Bolted into the vertical part of the step-down. We are currently adding another behind the passenger seat with a step between them. This arrangement makes for short cables and easy access. The boxes also serve as foot rests when the seats are swiveled.
 

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...I bought an Engel (they make top opening and front opening versions) because it has the lowest power requirements and is quiet.
...you're really gonna like that fridge a lot! MsNomer has the metal MT45 top loading and I have the plastic MR40, also top loading.

They sip electricity. Mine will run over a week from my 100Ah aux battery and still be sitting at 35 degress a week later.... in a van that gets to 100 degrees inside! Recent trip to FL confirms that data. :)

ed
 

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I bought it because of you and MsNomer. So thanks for that. Mine is like yours.

I am also considering a slide but won't get one unless it helps manage the space better..


My configuration is unlike anybody else's. All my camping stuff is pretty much within 3 feet of the back of the seats. The rest of my PM is filled with my horse drawn carriage. I can roll that out but it is a hassle.
 

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mikesee,

That fridge is nice but appears to draw a lot of power. 24watts/hr translates to 2A/hr (watts=volts x amps) or (24w=12V x2A).

2A per hour translates to 48 amp hours per day (2A per hour x 24 hours= 48Ah). That's about 1 day's use before a 100Ah battery is at 50%.... you don't want to discharge any lower to prolong battery life.

I too found the wrong picture when I looked, but figured the thread I referred you to was a very good way to put it all in perspective for you. I thought it was a good reference for an under-the-seat install, with the other required part (Wirthco Battery Doctor) illustrated. slamit06 did a great job in documenting his install for those less-electrically skilled (which you suggested you are)

best wishes,
ed

ps. RD.. I searched the forum for "battery" "seat" and it was the first thread listed!
 

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Ed, that's a good baseline for figuring out what he would need to make it work but we know the fridge doesn't run all the time right, or does this model run 24 hours?

Also I would add, yes you can charge it from your alternator but it is not a very good way to charge a deep cycle battery, I'm not talking a marine battery which is something of a hybrid, but a true deep cycle. They really need to have a higher charge voltage to keep them healthy. A 3 cycle charger should be used.

Depending on what kind of battery you buy, it would be a shame to have to replace a $200 battery in a year or two.

However, if this is something you would only use a couple times a year then it would make sense to charge it by alternator when travelling and then use a regular charger for deep cycle when you get home to keep it healthy
 

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Bconno,

On that fridge, the specs say... nominal input = 60watts which at 12V = 5A. So, it draws 5A when it's running. The specs also say average consumption = 24W per hour.. that's what I used for my calculations. That would be "running" about 12 minutes per hour. The Engel I have usually runs about 5 minutes per hour. The fridge cited appears to be about 40% bigger then my Engel.

My battery is a 100AhAGM start/deep cycle (hybrid)... It has worked well for the year I've had it. Added a second one about 2 months ago. They charge up to fully according to their specs, using the Battery Doctor most of the time, and a 3 stage converter/charger occasionally. My batteries come with a 3 year free replacement warranty and were about $160 each, so I figure even at 3 years life, they are worth $100 a year for all my aux battery needs. Ft. Wilderness camping was more than that for ONE night!

OP will have more decisions to make once he gets some plans solidified...

ed
 

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For a fridge, W/hr or Ah/hr is meaningless unless you couple it with percentage of time it runs, which will of course depend on fridge setting, ambient temperature, insulation, how often it is accessed, etc. I see estimates on the web from 25-50%, and I suspect your Truckfridge will probably land somewhere in there, but Eddie and I are seeing more like 10% for our Engels.

I suggest you set up the fridge in the hot van, open every 20 minutes or so, and time how much it runs in an hour. When I did that last year, the numbers I got were right on the money with what my TriMetric meter now tells me.

Edit: I wrote this before I saw Eddie's average consumption number. Still wouldn't hurt to verify.
 

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Makes complete sense with that info.
The OP stated he has no working knowledge of electrical so my intent was more giving him things to consider when making the decisions on what he needs to make it work for him. I don't know of battery doctor I'll have to look it up.
I am firm in believing if you have deep cell use some type of program or cycle charging.

Bconno,

On that fridge, the specs say... nominal input = 60watts which at 12V = 5A. So, it draws 5A when it's running. The specs also say average consumption = 24W per hour.. that's what I used for my calculations. That would be "running" about 12 minutes per hour. The Engel I have usually runs about 5 minutes per hour. The fridge cited appears to be about 40% bigger then my Engel.

My battery is a 100AhAGM start/deep cycle (hybrid)... It has worked well for the year I've had it. Added a second one about 2 months ago. They charge up to fully according to their specs, using the Battery Doctor most of the time, and a 3 stage converter/charger occasionally. My batteries come with a 3 year free replacement warranty and were about $160 each, so I figure even at 3 years life, they are worth $100 a year for all my aux battery needs. Ft. Wilderness camping was more than that for ONE night!

OP will have more decisions to make once he gets some plans solidified...

ed
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Lots of great info being added here -- thanks to all for chiming in.

I'm slowly digesting and thinkering on this. I dug into the specs for the Engel's and like the efficiency.

Two questions spring immediately from that: Can it keep ice cream frozen for a long weekend? ;)

Actually serious about that. We often camp in the Colorado alpine (above 9k') where daytime temps will be ~85 to 90* while we're out riding. Would really, really like to come back from a hot ride and find some Haagen Dazs waiting for us.

My PM is arguably the best insulated one on the planet (don't ask -- it's unbelievable), and I'm good about parking in whatever shade is available, covering windows with shades and/or reflectix, venting, etc...

The other question is about sizing: Engel seems to max out at ~56L. The Truckfridge unit I originally linked to is 9L larger, and I know for a fact that it'll keep ice cream frozen in the conditions described. Is there anything else with the efficiency of the Engel, but bigger? Or is there a 65 or 70L Engel out there that I'm missing?

Any/all help appreciated.
 

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