View Full Version : fridges and coolers

27-10-2013, 05:16
Once again,I ask the advice of you lot,oh great campofiles! (bows in reverance):D........................
As I gradually get my interior together,Im trying to sort out a means of keeping stuff cool.Ive had Electrolux type fridges in the past,sometimes with success,sometimes a right pain in the proverbial.Our usage will mainly be no more than 3 weeks at a time in Spain,2 of us,and only to keep basic stuff like milk and the like cool as we replenish stocks on our travels. Of course mustnt forget the beer as well! 50% / 50% on sites/wild camping. On campsites over here you used to be allowed to put cool blocks in the shop freezer overnight,do they do this on sites in Sp/France? Are those 12v fridges/coolers that look like a cool box any good? Saw some in a shop at Calais,looked ok ,but not sure about how they perform! Would probably only plug in 12v when on the move .Maybe some are 240v as well?Anyone any thoughts on types/viability etc please?

Sharon the Cat
27-10-2013, 05:43
Bought my brother a 12V coolbox for his boat. It wasn't' very expensive but it wasn't very good either.

27-10-2013, 05:54
In my experience when it comes to Fridge / Freezer / Cooling i`ve found that cheap is generally no good.

Have a look here :- Cool Boxes (http://www.riverswayleisure.co.uk/acatalog/CoolingRefrigeration.html)

They are normally very competitive on price and usually have a good range on display.

I don`t know where you are but these are based on Preston Marina, Preston, Lancashire.

27-10-2013, 06:16
Hi, like most I have tried the standard electolux but found it far too tempermental. I swithched to an expensive Waeco compressor fridge that worked really well until the guarantee ran out then I spent around 150 a year in replacement electronic parts to keep it working. Now I have gone back to a coolbox. Camping Gaz brand with a useful transformer that allows it to run off mains when on site or dare I say in a travelodge, please dont bar me!!. Works well in the garden at bbq time too.Thermo electric cool boxes run on the Peltier principle, a number of transistors absorb heat when the polarity is one way and radiate heat when connected the other way. This lets us use the coolbox to keep food warm in the winter months. The coolboxes generally can chill down to 20 degress below ambient temperature, so if its 30 degrees outside it would not make ice cubes!

27-10-2013, 06:51
If you want to wild, then I would get one that runs on gas as well unless you big solar panels and batteries.


27-10-2013, 08:27
personally, I would buy a used 3-way fridge off e-bay or a caravan breaker. By & large, they are pretty reliable & many faults can be sorted quite easily. The one in the van will keep a tub of ice cream or similar as long as it has 12v/240v or gas to keep it running. It is excellent for meat, milk, fish, cheese, pate etc & cooled white wine is a delight (I am English so like my fine ales at room temp like red wine or port - lager is only for louts in my book)

I have a basic insulated cool box on the boat & we load it with frozen stuff & dairy products at the start of a trip. It helps things to keep a little longer, but it is nothing like as good as a fridge. We keep milk in a bucket of sea water with a cloth dangling over the side - water is absorbed by the cloth & evaporates, the latent heat of vapourisation takes heat from the water. It is not as good as a fridge, but is better than nothing.

27-10-2013, 09:22
The different types all have their plus points and bad points

Thermo-electric are cheap and slightly more effective on 12v than absorption and tend to be the lightest for a given size. Most are not regulated and just cool or heat (the process is completely reversable) Most draw between 5 and 10 amps 24 hours so need a pretty reliable 12v supply.

Absorption fridges are the least efficient electrically but make up for this by being able to run on gas. They have a fixed level of cooling typically 25 degrees below ambient which is the temperature around the heat exchanger which is why some people spending time in warmer climes fit cooling fans to the fridge vents. Even without fans they need good ventilation around the heat exchanger.

Compressor units are the most efficient electrically and at 12v they use about a third of the power of the thermo electric units and can cool to much lower temperatures, some can act as proper deep freezes. If you do not have good 12v supplies they can require a lot of care keeping them cool by running a generator to power them. I would think you would need some 200 watts of solar and 200+ AH battery storage for a compressor unit, though if you want a full freezer it is the only way to go.

All three type are available in coolbox type units but as far as I am aware only absortion and compressor units are available as build in fridges.

27-10-2013, 14:23
So call me a :beer:lout then smaug ,see if I care !LOL:lol-049:

27-10-2013, 14:36
I'm in Spain right now, and road testing my new Waeco Tropicool 14. It was expensive in comparison to ordinary cool boxes, but it's really doing the job. I'm running it on high while motoring and turning it down or off when parked for the night. It doesn't run all the time (Cuts out when at the required temperature) and so far hasn't pulled much out of my 2 x 60A leisure batteries. So far so good.

Johnny A

27-10-2013, 14:41

27-10-2013, 15:30
Nice recommendation write up! I'll have to read it again to take it all in,thanks.

27-10-2013, 15:32
Post Deleted

28-10-2013, 10:32
What website is that then?

28-10-2013, 10:46