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Old 06-13-2021, 09:31 PM   #1
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2021 20' Caravel
Ventura , California
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Turning NovaCool AC DC refrigerator the night before

I’m a new owner of a 2021 Caravel with factory solar package (AMG batteries - 90 watt solar). Looking for opinions on whether I should be able to turn my electric refrigerator (12 volt) on the evening before departure without risking draining my batteries. I have offsite storage and no access to shore power.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:48 PM   #2
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerdog View Post
I’m a new owner of a 2021 Caravel with factory solar package (AMG batteries - 90 watt solar). Looking for opinions on whether I should be able to turn my electric refrigerator (12 volt) on the evening before departure without risking draining my batteries. I have offsite storage and no access to shore power.

Our 3.1cf Novacool uses 3.15 amps (41 watts) and runs much more than it cycles off. I figure it uses at 50-70 amps in a 24 hour period. Since during the day you'll most likely have solar input or be driving, it should be very manageable if your batteries are performing as intended.


Your fridge will cool quickly and since you do not have power where it is stored, I think you'll be ok to turn it on a few hours before you leave, and then be sure to load it with pre-chilled items from your home fridge.


You may still need a day or two to adjust the temperature to get it just right. I usually start mine on setting 5 or 6 (out of 7) and then adjust it down if it gets a bit too cold. However, we travel in mild temps. So the heat this time of year will have some effect. Use a good thermometer inside the fridge to monitor once a day.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:43 AM   #3
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
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A simple trick . . . Have big blocks of blue ice frozen at home, and put them in the fridge when you leave. New cold thermal mass will chill the fridge in 5-10 minutes without electricity.

Problem solved!

KISS

Also never put warm stuff in. Pre-chill in ice cooler in tow vehicle.

KISS

Happy trails,
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:38 PM   #4
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2021 20' Caravel
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Thanks for the information very helpful and confirms that we will need to turn on the power to the fridge the day of. Appreciate the suggestions for keeping our food cold!!
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Old 06-15-2021, 12:50 AM   #5
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Cool

Welcome . . . we 20'-footers need to chill out together . . .

The best galley in the Airstream line, until you get up to 27' or so IMO.

Peter
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Old 06-15-2021, 11:55 AM   #6
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2021 22' Caravel
SEATTLE , WA
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We have a new 22FB Caravel with similar issues.

We bought this thermometer for inside the fridge:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RN7Z2RT...p_mob_ap_share

And use blue ice and pre chill everything going in as others have mentioned.

Also:

We lock the fridge and turn it off over night (save power but also the sound keeps my wife up)

Eat the most perishable stuff early in the trip and use a small cooler bag for drinks so kids aren't opening and shutting the fridge unnecessarily.

When I was a kid my parents had a trailer that just had ice blocks in it, no power at all, so I figure this is a big step up from that :-)

It's manageable, good luck!
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Old 06-15-2021, 03:42 PM   #7
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Agreed!!!!
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