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Old 04-04-2021, 12:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 18
What to do with fridge between trips?

Hi all,

I have a 12v Norcold fridge that runs off of 2 house batteries (2x 90Ah lead acid) that are charged by a 150w Samlex solar panel (or the alternator when running)

This time of year Iím using the camper 2-3 weekends per month (so maybe 4-8 days/ month).

When the fridge is off, it drains (condensation from the freezer?) so I donít want to have to turn it on and off every trip. But if I just leave it on all day/everyday, that seems like a lot of work for the fridge to stay cold (even set at ď1Ē) and a lot of cycling for the batteries.

So whatís better? Draining and re-turning on every trip? Or just keeping it on all the time during the week?

Itís convenient to keep some stuff out there waiting for the next trip (beers, condiments, etc) but thatís not a reason to keep it on all the time.

Thanks for your insight.
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Old 04-04-2021, 01:24 PM   #2
Gone Traveling
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 24
Dont suppose you can fab up some sort of fiberglass drip tray to put underneath of it with a drain tube going out the floor? Just a thought.

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Old 04-04-2021, 01:31 PM   #3
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Location: Annapolis, Maryland
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We plug into shore power between trips, but still turn ours off (turn it back on a day or two prior to leaving on the next, but fill it first so everything is cold when we unplug from shore power). Don't normally get too much condensation, just whatever builds up in the freezer...for that we leave a towel inside, and also leave a towel tucked under the fridge door (stuff one end into the gap where the exhaust vent is located, and let it drop to the floor where we double or triple the leftover so it sits just below the fridge). Remove them after a day.
If, however, we plan on another outing within a week of the last, we just let the fridge run.
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Old 04-04-2021, 01:36 PM   #4
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We leave our fridge on all the time unless it's time to defrost the freezer.
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Old 04-04-2021, 01:43 PM   #5
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Location: So Cal
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I turn the Fridge off and leave the door open....
2008 E350 RB passenger 4WD SMB penthouse
2013 KTM 350 EXC
2008 KTM 250 XCF-W
2000 KTM 200 EXC
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Old 04-04-2021, 01:57 PM   #6
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Location: Montana
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same here:
1. fridge off
2. door open
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Old 04-04-2021, 04:54 PM   #7
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: FL and VA
Posts: 1,223

Fridge off, towel inside until freezer thawed, door open for a few days until totally dry.

If I will be going on another trip soon, I leave it on and plugged in at home.
2008 GMC 3500 Quigley Weldtec 4x4 Savana SMB
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:00 PM   #8
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Shore power fridge on all the time here.
2001 Ford RB 7.3 Quadvan (sold)
2006 Sportsmobile EB Transformer 6.0
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Old 04-04-2021, 08:23 PM   #9
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Fridge most of the time is on, and chest freezer is on nearly 24/7.
360w solar and 400 plus amps of batteries covers the electric needs 90% of the year w plug-in to shore power for about four weeks due to shadows on the panel. The batteries are usually still above 90% SOC overnight.

Re: defrosting - we added a hair dryer to the Beastie stuff and use it to defrost the fridge freezer portion. A rectangular Tupperware container and a couple of faux chamois has the freezer portion defrosted in about 10 to 15 minutes. I use the inverter or shore power to power the hair dryer. Dry out the surfaces put the food back in and power up the fridge and we are back in business. The cold food usually goes into a box or under a towel to help keep it cold.

If shutting down the fridge for a period of time then a towel, door open until dry. Clean all surfaces and then leave the door slightly open.
Beastie 3: 2002 7.3 EB Cargo: Agile TTB, CCV Mid Top, Custom Walk Through, Lots of stuff added.
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Old 04-06-2021, 09:38 AM   #10
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Fridge off, door open.

'07 GMC 2500 6.0
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