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Old 12-31-2017, 02:09 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post
Thank you so much! Can't believe it is purpose built and ships for $12!!! Will get one before summer....
Amazon is the way to go! if you go to the local RV store you may have a basket of goodies follow you home...
Peace and Blessings..
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:35 AM   #22
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The OP asked a precise and well-phrased question: "I... was wondering if anyone has any experience with using ice (wet or dry) to effectively reduce the duty cycle further. ... Any experience with this or is the benefit too marginal to consider?"

To reduce the duty cycle. To potentially conserve limited battery power. It's a quantitative question (and an excellent one) for which it appears the answer is "no" - nobody has attempted to measure whether there's a benefit that extends beyond the marginal. Many good suggestions on how to qualitatively maximize fridge performance generally, but the original question is unanswered.

I'm hoping that someone out there gets curious enough to run some tests to confirm or deny the possibility. The answer can't be assumed to be yes, partly because the thermostats in these fridges seem to be crude. One could similarly ask, "Do lower exterior temperatures reduce the duty cycle?" and the answer in our case is, "maybe a little bit, but not nearly as much as I'd expect". When it gets colder outside, we seem to end up with colder food instead of commensurately reduced duty cycles. The same thermostat setting will freeze my grapes instead of inspiring our fridge to run less frequently. And this despite the fact that we installed one of the better fridges in this class.
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:00 AM   #23
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I think the only way you could test the differences is in a very controlled laboratory environment. There are just too many variables in the real world that we operate our vans. Happy New Year!
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Old 01-01-2018, 01:52 PM   #24
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We did a similar type of experiment to investigate the behavior of the propane fridge prior to switching to all-electric. It's not that difficult to hold most variables constant. A few successive days of temperature tracking revealed the story. In this case, it would be a few successive days of battery tracking.
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Old 01-01-2018, 02:17 PM   #25
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CWF said…"Freeze water in old milk jugs "

The Government ( dunno what department ) suggests storing water in old water jugs instead of old milk jugs, says the milk jugs are almost impossible to clean.

My thinking is no matter what powers your fridge, a block of ice will expedite cooling and use less power. ( could be wrong )

I also freeze casseroles and other foods to help out the fridge.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:36 PM   #26
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using ice to help refrigerator

Originally Posted by swilly43 View Post
I was provided energy consumption data from Nova Cool which indicated a 50% duty cycle to maintain temperature in moderate ambient conditions. This would mean that the refrigerator will consume about 1/3 of the available amp hours in 24 hours while boon docking, assuming batteries in great condition and a full charge. I think I can live with that but was wondering if anyone has any experience with using ice (wet or dry) to effectively reduce the duty cycle further. I can live with the reduced cold storage by using about .5 cu ft of volume for an ice block. Any experience with this or is the benefit too marginal to consider?
The NovaKool website shows photos of a "Secop" compressor. From the Sekop website it looks like those compressors put out about 50 btu/hr. A gallon of ice absorbs 150 btu to melt into water. With a 50% duty cycle you would be able to cool your refrigerator for 6 hours by placing a frozen gallon jug of ice inside.

The water in a clean jug that has had a chlorine bleach and water flush should make it fine for storing drinking water.

If you are running off shore or generator power or freeze your jug of water elsewhere it should help cut down on battery drain. At 5 amps x 6 hours x 50% you could save 15 Amp-hours. With a 150 Amp hour capacity battery that should only be run down to 60% you have 60 amp hours available so that's a significant savings.

NovaKool's website says that the RFU7300 that's in the 2018 AI GT's is DC (battery) only.

Looks like putting ice in the fridge is a good idea if you have the space!
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:49 PM   #27
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I freeze 8 or 10 bottles of water to put in the fridge and a few more in the freezer. When I arrive at my destination I take a bottle out so it can begin to thaw. Make good cold drinking water later. I rotate a bottle from the freezer into the fridge. Definitely helps the fridge stay cooler. Incidentally most older Airstream fridges suffer cooling problems. I blame 85% on a bad door gasket. Recently someone on the forums was thinking of manufacturing new replacement gaskets for the Dometic models. I will be among the first customer should this come about. Happy New Year everyone!
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Old 01-01-2018, 06:43 PM   #28
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We have a 69 Ambassador that we are slowing restoring as we use it. We have not had the funds to buy a propane RV frig yet, so we use a 110vt mini frig.

To keep it cold on the road I freeze 2lt bottles and put them in the frig. Keeps it cold a couple of days if need.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:08 PM   #29
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I have concluded that a reduction in duty cycle was not noticeable when I used blocks of ice etc to help keep the freezer cold. I surmised that the only way to reduce the electrical drain was to turn it off. I ended up purchasing this cooler from REI.

I researched many soft coolers including Yeti and found that this fits the best in my freezer unit. It fits nicely and held meat and other freezer items for up to one week for two people easily. I included a frozen block using a food container as a mold of about 1 qt capacity. This block was 75% solid after 6 days in the cooler without running the freezer. It was packed with food items and only this frozen water block. In the rest of the freezer space, I placed two one gallon containers of frozen water to keep the surrounding environment as cold as possible. I kept the freezer running while traveling to our destination and then turned it off for the next six days. Each day we would remove the meal we had planned for the evening for thawing. Needless to say, our electrical drain was significantly reduced and my anxiety over the battery situation was eliminated. My 200 Watt solar installation was adequate to keep the batteries up without having to run the generator at all! On cloudy days we ran the generator up to 45 minutes. So, I am calling this success. The cooler is reasonably priced at ~$40 from REI versus $300 for a Yeti that would not fit as well. It only has 3/4 inch foam instead of the 1 inch of the Yeti and is not water proof. Neither of that matters when its service life is inside a protected compartment that serves as more insulation. I put a towel under the cooler to absorb any condensation from the water jugs but this was not really needed. My ambient temperature on this trip ranged from 73 to 39 degrees so it was cool. Perhaps in the desert, I would not have been so successful but I do not dry camp when it is that hot. I recommend this type of solution to reducing drain on the battery for dry camping.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:09 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by swilly43 View Post
.... I ended up purchasing this cooler from REI.

Leigh & Bettie
Houston TX
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