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Old 05-20-2024, 07:33 AM   #1
MSL
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How Long Will Fridge Stay Cold

My wife and I are planning a Newfoundland trip this coming fall and are wondering how long the Dometic 4.3 cu ft fridge will stay cold. There are two ferry routes; one about 8 hours and the other about 15 hours. We have 2 AGM batteries that I believe are still in good shape, but I'm assuming the fridge will not be powered during the ferry trips (they do not allow use of propane on the ferry).
Thanks, Mark
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Old 05-20-2024, 09:46 AM   #2
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Obvious question. What kind of fridge do you have? If it is a gas absorption one then you are correct. I would pack some extra ice into the free space and leave the door closed. Make it an ice box. Wow, a 15 hour ferry ride. Sounds like quite the adventure.
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Old 05-20-2024, 09:54 AM   #3
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We took that trip back in 2022. We took the 6-8 hr ferry from Sydney to Port Aux Basques with 2 AGM batteries in our Globetrotter. They do make you turn off the propane. Our refrigerator / freezer stuff made it fine. FWI - We did not have ice cream in there.

You will have a great trip!
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Old 05-20-2024, 04:47 PM   #4
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Was Your Fridge Off

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Originally Posted by GOUSC View Post
We took that trip back in 2022. We took the 6-8 hr ferry from Sydney to Port Aux Basques with 2 AGM batteries in our Globetrotter. They do make you turn off the propane. Our refrigerator / freezer stuff made it fine. FWI - We did not have ice cream in there.

You will have a great trip!
Just to be clear, it sounds like you were not using your batteries; your fridge was off. Correct?
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Old 05-20-2024, 06:03 PM   #5
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It would depend on the outside temps. Lower outside temps would allow the fridge to last longer. Temps in the 90s it I don't think it will last 8 hours, highs in the 30s and no heat in the trailer it could last weeks for the fridge temp.
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Old 05-20-2024, 07:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MSL View Post
Just to be clear, it sounds like you were not using your batteries; your fridge was off. Correct?
To be clear, our batteries were on. Our refrigerator was off, not using propane or batteries or electric. We took the ferry in late June ( just to give you an idea of the temp).

We met some friends who took the short ferry in and scheduled the long ferry back. Mechanical issues cancelled the return trip. There was a 12 day delay to get a new slot on the long ferry. They ended up working their way back until an opening came up sooner on the short ferry.

We were not on the Airstream caravan. However the caravan takes the short ferry both ways due to the inconsistency of the long ferry.

Moral of the story - take the short ferry both ways and schedule your going and return trip up front as they fill up.
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Old 05-20-2024, 07:15 PM   #7
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Also, we packed our freezer with 8 lbs of frozen Cod to take back home. It made it fine on the ferry.
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Old 05-21-2024, 08:14 AM   #8
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I use the blue ice packs in the freezer and refrigerator compartments and add the small battery operated fans. I have towed in 85-90 degree weather and everything was fine for 6 to 9 hour trips. If you make food ahead of time, put it in freezer bags and flatten them so you can put more in the freezer/refrigerator compartments they help as well. The more frozen you can put in, the longer it all stays cold.
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Old 05-21-2024, 08:37 AM   #9
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Thanks, good info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GOUSC View Post
To be clear, our batteries were on. Our refrigerator was off, not using propane or batteries or electric. We took the ferry in late June ( just to give you an idea of the temp).

We met some friends who took the short ferry in and scheduled the long ferry back. Mechanical issues cancelled the return trip. There was a 12 day delay to get a new slot on the long ferry. They ended up working their way back until an opening came up sooner on the short ferry.

We were not on the Airstream caravan. However the caravan takes the short ferry both ways due to the inconsistency of the long ferry.

Moral of the story - take the short ferry both ways and schedule your going and return trip up front as they fill up.
Thanks! We had decided to take the short ferry both ways just because of scheduling and we figured why not spend more time sightseeing rather than on a ferry.
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Old 05-21-2024, 08:38 AM   #10
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Good feedback!

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Originally Posted by centennialman View Post
I use the blue ice packs in the freezer and refrigerator compartments and add the small battery operated fans. I have towed in 85-90 degree weather and everything was fine for 6 to 9 hour trips. If you make food ahead of time, put it in freezer bags and flatten them so you can put more in the freezer/refrigerator compartments they help as well. The more frozen you can put in, the longer it all stays cold.
Thanks! That's good feedback to have.
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Old 05-21-2024, 09:35 AM   #11
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Packing ice in the fridge if you have available space is an option, but be aware that these fridges perform poorly as iceboxes. Be certain that the bags the ice is in are waterproof or you will be dealing with a wet floor.
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Old 05-21-2024, 10:29 AM   #12
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Good recommendation on the compact blue / gel ice packs.
Easier to shuffle in freezer and ir place about the fridge. Compared to the higher tech “Cooler Shock” silver packets which disperse lower cooling temps faster but don’t last near as long as the smaller cells in a passive ice box scenario.
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Old 05-22-2024, 03:29 AM   #13
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we have just returned from an outback trip back of bourke down under.. turning off fridge in morning and back on after several hours at the end of each day touring..no probs..still cold.
running a three way fridge on batts is not ideal without TV connected as they can easily need 12 to 20 amps per hour to run depending...so be very careful if you have a 12v /120v / gas fridge..very hungry on 12v
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Old 05-22-2024, 11:06 AM   #14
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Another Good Point!

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Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
Packing ice in the fridge if you have available space is an option, but be aware that these fridges perform poorly as iceboxes. Be certain that the bags the ice is in are waterproof or you will be dealing with a wet floor.
Thanks for another good, important point!
Mark
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Old 05-22-2024, 11:11 AM   #15
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12 Volt Draw is My Concern

Quote:
Originally Posted by baggs View Post
we have just returned from an outback trip back of bourke down under.. turning off fridge in morning and back on after several hours at the end of each day touring..no probs..still cold.
running a three way fridge on batts is not ideal without TV connected as they can easily need 12 to 20 amps per hour to run depending...so be very careful if you have a 12v /120v / gas fridge..very hungry on 12v
I am concerned about the 12-volt draw, this is why I most likely will shut the fridge off. I do plan to do the math on the current draw and may run a test in my driveway ... both might be helpful, but probably won't help with definite conclusions.
Thanks, Mark
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Old 05-23-2024, 07:50 AM   #16
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I was three days camping without electrical hookup, and my fridge was ok (level 5 cooling) while running water pump, lights, radio, TV and furnace in the evening.

by the 3rd day the battery level was somewhere in mid 10v range

day temp was somewhere in the mid 70s and mid 55s in the night

ref: 2022 Bambi, stock 2 AGM batteries with solar panels
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Old 05-26-2024, 01:35 PM   #17
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We did the trip 10 years ago using the short ferry to Newfoundland and the longer Argentia ferry to return. I don't recall having any undue problems with the freezer either way. You certainly won't on the shorter Port aux Basques route.
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Old 05-26-2024, 02:00 PM   #18
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Gel pack vs gel pack

Re: synthetic ice gel packs
The normal readily available ice pack is designed for fridge temps, and absorbs heat around 34-38 degrees. The more rare, and more expensive deep cold "arctic" ice pack is designed for freezers, and undergoes the phase change in the 20's.
We have used both. The deep cold freezer pack will freeze things you want to keep cool but thawed. The fridge pack will allow ice cream to melt but keeps milk fresh.
All occupy valuable space in either location. So we sometimes "pre-freeze" the Arctic packs ahead of time, then move them to a well insulated cooler to get us through a many-hour downtime.
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Old 05-26-2024, 02:41 PM   #19
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Stop by a lobster / fish market before boarding the ferry. Most of them have dry ice for shipping. Put a small block of dry ice in a carboard box, wrapped with 4 or 5 sheets of newspaper and put in the fridge. Turn on LP when you get off the ferry and restart the fridge, wait one hour, then open door of RV and open door of fridge a few minute to off load CO2 gas
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Old 05-27-2024, 10:51 AM   #20
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We did the 17 hr ferry last year and our Dometic was still below 40 degrees on arrival. We did ensure it was around 32 when we departed and we filled some water bottles with water, froze them before hand and moved them to the refrigerator before departure. You should be fine. OBTW, spend 3 weeks there out of 3 months in eastern maritime Canada and it was the highlight. Amazing hiking and paddleboarding. Twillingate was a favorite. We also ferried to Fogo for a few nights and stayed on a beach at the campground there, toured the Fogo Inn, which is affordable way to see and learn about it. Enjoy, Cheers, Greg
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