Can someone school me on inverters and mini fridges?

barefooter

Active VIP Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Messages
774
Reaction score
874
Location
Sherwood Park, AB/Vernon, BC
This should be an easy one - or so I thought.

I just want to put a small fridge in my horse trailer. Just to have something on the weekends to keep beer and not to have the hassles with ice.

I have a genset. I have a deep cell battery on the horse trailer that charges from the truck to power the jack.

So I naively thought I could get a Crappy Tire 3000W inverter to power the fridge when we are running down the road. There is usually plug ins if I stay for a weekend. I can use the genset to charge a battery.

Talking to guys "in the know" - I am not spending $2K on a system so I can boondock for a week. This trailer gets used to sleep maybe 6 weekends when I am rodeoing alone. Any longer and I make the SI tag along with another truck and the 5th.

Anyone done this? I do not want to screw around with a $1,000 RV fridge, putting propane and the like. It is wired for 110, and has A/C already.
 

RGM

Active VIP Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
1,773
Reaction score
3,878
Location
Pemberton
Would one of these work?

http://www.colemancanada.ca/en_CA/p...F37CT07v45Yl3o7r2QbitX416zf1v499JeRoCDwXw_wcB

3000001497_hero
 

blubbles

Active VIP Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2012
Messages
215
Reaction score
410
Location
Calgary Alberta
The biggest thing that you have to remember is whenever you are running any 110V systems off of batteries (through the use of an inverter) it is critical that you look at the power consumption that will be used. Lots of people dont think about this when using inverters, but to even think of getting 2000Watts of power from a 12V battery leads to some MASSIVE current issues, requiring large gauge cables etc. (this is also the reason why many solar systems use 24V/48V)

Most beer fridges with compressors I believe use around 150Watts/hour @110VAC. Most inverters running them are only about 70-80% efficient so it would essentially be pulling ~200Watts/hour of battery power. Keeping in mind that this is at 12V thats like 17amps of power being sucked out of those batteries... Which is alot for any battery systems if you are looking at not running a generator constantly. Even if you were driving somewhere, most truck plugs only charge your batteries at ~10amps, which would still leave you draining your batteries which isn't optimal.

If I was in your position, I would buy myself one of the "electric coolers" such as the Mobicool or something that use a much more efficient Peltier style cooling and not worry about these issues. These are designed to run off 12V, so there is no inverter losses etc.
 

arff

Active VIP Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
139,649
Reaction score
55,237
Location
Leduc
Could you run a small generator for 110 volts for a beer fridge
 

Caper11

Active VIP Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
9,529
Reaction score
18,584
Location
Edson,Alberta
I put Ice packs in my mini fridge and when I start my generator it cools the fridge nicely, the fridge does not run long at all.
I was going to hook up an inverter to it but they suck alot off batt power in the conversion.
 

blubbles

Active VIP Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2012
Messages
215
Reaction score
410
Location
Calgary Alberta
That Costco one looks good. Id have faith in it, it still runs a compressor so it will get colder than the Peltier style ones.

I've had fairly good luck with both, but I would go for either of those options over a 110V system.
 

firstdoo

Active VIP Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
721
Reaction score
1,620
Location
Stony Plain
My parents boondock full time at the lake. Live in their fifth wheel and also has a medium chest freezer in there small utility trailer. You should have no issue running the beer fridge in the horse trailer. If you've already invested in the inverter and have the fridge it's not too much more for two 6 volt batteries. Costco or Peavey mart have them for 150-160 each. Here's what I would do with your setup. (Disclaimer - I'm not an electrician, but have some travel trailer/electrical knowledge)

*step 1 only if you don't want to run a generator and a battery charger to charger your horse trailer battery during the weekend

1) buy the two 6 volt (GC2) batteries and hook them up in series making them essentially 1 large 12 volt. Also buy a battery disconnect switch to install between the batteries and the inverter
2) mount the inverter as close to where your batteries are going to be in the trailer and hook them up using a large 2 or 4 gauge positive and negative cable (the shorter the cables from battery to inverter the lower the power loss)
3) before you leave on your trip, plug your fridge into shore power and have it cold before you leave. The fridge will not need to run off the batteries nearly as much this way.
4) when you get home, make sure the battery disconnect switch is turned off (open position) and throw a trickle charger on to recharge the batteries during the week.

With this setup you should have no problem going all weekend with the fridge and you could even get a few led lights to plug into the inverter too.

I have a 5th wheel trailer with a residential (110ac) fridge in it with two 6 volt batteries and a 1500watt inverter only running the fridge. If the fridge is cold before we leave anywhere I can go 2 full days before the batteries need to be charged again.

That being said, we are doing a full boondock setup. 775watt solar, 2nd inverter, and eight 6 volt batteries shortly.
 
Last edited:

blubbles

Active VIP Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2012
Messages
215
Reaction score
410
Location
Calgary Alberta
Firstdoo is right on lots of that. Just keep in mind that even with 2 6V batteries it wont last that long... My 2 Trojan T105's only have 205aH.... Meaning you could only run like 5 hours off of batteries before you start harming the longevity of those batteries if you do it all the time. If you are going through all of it, just keep a good eye on that voltage level till you know how long they last!
 

firstdoo

Active VIP Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
721
Reaction score
1,620
Location
Stony Plain
Good point blubbles.

Another option that could be added would be a portable solar panel. Lots of options out there. You can get a 50-60Watt off kijiji for around $150

My residential fridge will run for about 30-32 hours before my batteries drop to 50% (the lowest you really want them to go). The first weekend we had the trailer the kids ended up turning a couple lights on and the batteries actually dropped to 30% 34 hours without any charging. I'm waiting for the wife to let me pull the trigger on the solar set up. We did do a test this week. When i left the lake Sunday the batteries were at 13.1 volts. I turned my battery disconnect switch off which disconnects the batteries from the rv with the exception of the inverter. I hooked up dads 45Watt portable solar panel to see how long the batteries would last running just the fridge. On day 4 (Thursday around noon - had dad keeping an eye on it for me) the batteries had dropped to 12.2 volts (lower than I like them to get).
 

pete gads

Active VIP Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
507
Reaction score
994
Location
calahoo, alberta
I have 4 trajon 6 volts and 2 200 watt solar panels and a 3000 watt invertor. The fridge is cold from shore power and batteries all charged up before we leave. Can go 4 days with with fridge, pump t.v. Lights on, if cloudy about 3 days. Wife even used hair dryer some time. Also can use microwave if shut down some other things.
 

Popsiclestand

Active VIP Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
484
Reaction score
214
Location
Edmonton AB
I use a older Igloo 12v cooler, works excellent.

In my half ton dodge. I left it plugged in from 8AM in the morning, till 4Pm, when I ran the truck for 30 minutes driving to town and back, then left it plugged in till 11AM the next morning. Truck didn't like it, but did start no issues. Food and beer was cold all weekend with no issues.

I highly recommend it. Much more simplistic than dealing with inverters, solar panels etc.
 
Last edited:

daddys girl

Active member
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
135
Reaction score
191
Location
alberta
The biggest thing that you have to remember is whenever you are running any 110V systems off of batteries (through the use of an inverter) it is critical that you look at the power consumption that will be used. Lots of people dont think about this when using inverters, but to even think of getting 2000Watts of power from a 12V battery leads to some MASSIVE current issues, requiring large gauge cables etc. (this is also the reason why many solar systems use 24V/48V)

Most beer fridges with compressors I believe use around 150Watts/hour @110VAC. Most inverters running them are only about 70-80% efficient so it would essentially be pulling ~200Watts/hour of battery power. Keeping in mind that this is at 12V thats like 17amps of power being sucked out of those batteries... Which is alot for any battery systems if you are looking at not running a generator constantly. Even if you were driving somewhere, most truck plugs only charge your batteries at ~10amps, which would still leave you draining your batteries which isn't optimal.

If I was in your position, I would buy myself one of the "electric coolers" such as the Mobicool or something that use a much more efficient Peltier style cooling and not worry about these issues. These are designed to run off 12V, so there is no inverter losses etc.
The only thing forgetting is that a fridge dosent run constantly so it will charge enough to keep it working with no problem mine works great
 

turbo392

Active VIP Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
543
Reaction score
1,083
Location
Cochrane, Alberta
Compressor based coolers will run 400-600% more electrical efficiency than a 12v cooler. This is why you buy 12v coolers in the trinket section at Canadian Tire, they are junk novelty toys.
 

Beels

Active VIP Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,071
Reaction score
2,151
Location
Swirvin' like George Jones
I think the OP is probably better off with a Yeti or Rtic style high end cooler and ice. Without getting into a bank of 6V batteries or something else expensive to make it a few days, I don't think there's anything simpler or cheaper.
 

toyz

Active member
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
134
Reaction score
107
Location
calgary
Foe anybody looking for solar panels, there is a company in Florida that is cheap. I had them delivered to my door in Calgary at about 2/3 the cost of anybody local. I used them all year long at my cabin.
 
Top Bottom