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Old 09-28-2005, 10:57 PM   #1
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Thermoelectric coolers

We are looking for a small 60s trailer and thinking about installing a thermoelectric cooler under the gaucho or dinette for extra food and drink. Has anyone any knowledge of these units or done this? Can the thermoelectric units can actually be freezers? I like ice cream. Also would the power draw be too much for batteries over a weekend?
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Old 09-28-2005, 11:19 PM   #2
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a Thermoelectric cooler (otherwise called a peltier junction device) is about the most inefficient way to cool anything and will kill batteries in a matter of hours. You would be better to go with a propane fridge or just an ice chest.
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Old 09-29-2005, 12:29 AM   #3
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I have one that I use when taking long trips, and it works rather well if everything I put in it is pre-cooled. However, Buttercup was dead on about them draining the battery quickly. I don't believe they're capable of getting cold enough to freeze anything. With the household voltage converter, it makes a convenient backup when you're defrosting a refrigerator. Typically, they can only maintain a temperature that is 20-30% below the ambient temperature. Let me put it this way, it's a neat gadget, but if mine were to break down, I don't think I'd be the least bit tempted to buy another one.
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Old 09-29-2005, 07:25 AM   #4
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Surprise

I bought one earlier this year to keep cool drinks in the garage. It malfunctioned and actually froze cans of diet coke; I had several burst cans and a real mess to clean up. Took it back to the store.

Proved to me that, at least on household current, they can cool better than most folks think.

The one I bought was a replacement for an earlier one I used in the garage for years that had finally died. The earlier one could cool drinks adequately in the hot garage.

I finally opted for a dorm refrigerator.
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Old 09-29-2005, 08:54 AM   #5
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I bought one years back and used it like a small refrigerator in my office. It died after a year and a half of continual use. I wouldn't do it again.

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Old 09-29-2005, 09:16 AM   #6
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I think the efficiency is under 30 % on these units. That means that they draw about 10 amps but only do 3 amps worth of cooling but produce a bunch of heat that would only serve to warm things up.
Dometic makes a 3 way cooler that runs on AC/DC/propane.
It can be seen here .



This might be a better option than the one you are talking about because you can run it on propane and AC when available and DC when you have a way of keeping the batteries charged (like when you are driving down the road all hitched up).
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Old 09-29-2005, 02:43 PM   #7
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Hey, send a PM to Driftwood. He has a neat little auxilliary fridge under the dinette in his trailer, and it looks rather nice. It's not, I don't think, a thermoelectric device, but it makes ice.

Lamar
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Old 09-29-2005, 06:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeHarbor
. It's not, I don't think, a thermoelectric device, but it makes ice.

Lamar
Yes it is, and no it doesn't. The ice was brought from home, although it certainly kept the ice pretty, well, icy for the duration of the rally.
I also own one of those coolers, I bought it when we lived in Missouri. We lived an hour and a half from the nearest grocery store, and the cold food would get too warm before we got it home. The cooler worked very well for that purpose, but I don't think I would want it for a permanent fridge. Oh, if you reverse the connection, it will keep your food warm if you are going on a picnic.
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Old 09-29-2005, 06:42 PM   #9
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Hey PINKY!

Here's the deal. 12VDC/optional 110VAC Xtra $$ converter. Had mine 6 years ... once pluggged in 110VAC for 1 year. Works great on both either 110VAC or 12VDC. If solely drawing from 12VDC it will take out a #24 or #27 group battery in a few hours. Runs fine plugged into cig lighter when driving + country.
Go to: http://www.igloo-store.com/product_l...SKW=thermohome

They can be bought for less than on the Igloo site.

Terry's got it correctly ... NO ICE, good cool, heat possible but inefficient.
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Old 11-07-2005, 05:23 PM   #10
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Engel Freezer the way to go!

I have had a few 12 coolers and generally they SUCK.
this last summer by big treat was getting a Engel Freezer
http://www.i-m-d.com/engel/1products.htm
here is a good stat page about them:
http://www.eco-fridge.com/engel.html
i had it in my car a lot as i drove around and moved it into the trailer for a while when parked. it has both 12v car plug and a 110 converted plug. both work really well. I left it plugged in night and day and some days did very little driving, never once was my battery low in the morning, my cheep one i once had would drain my battery in a matter of hours. On its lowest power (warmest) setting it still put frost on my beer! and i was driving around it almost 100 degree desert! I had ice-cream in a few times as well as storing bags of ice, both did great and i still never turned the thermostat to it's coldest setting.
Yes they are expensive, but after searching around you can find deals here and there.
i have the 35 model and paid around $520, this was one of the smartest things i ever spent my money on.
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Old 11-07-2005, 07:29 PM   #11
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A good Coleman ice chest will keep beer icy cold for days and days!
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Old 11-07-2005, 08:53 PM   #12
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Ice is messy but it the easiest solution to providing moderate cooling at a low cost and the least fuse. Even Mcdonalds sell ice cheap. if you do not want to waste the space all the time in your truck or camper they have good colaspable coolers now, some with wheels or backpack. Ice is a good thing to get your propane unit down to temperature in a hurry also. I have a thermo electric for the truck cab but my wife does not like the fan noise.
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