Stretching your battery charge

Discussion in 'Fridges & Ovens' started by GeriatricWanderer, May 4, 2016.

  1. GeriatricWanderer

    GeriatricWanderer Funster

    Feb 1, 2015
    Gone to Ethiopia. Back sometime in 2018.
    Probably of more interest to some campervanners than to motorhomers.

    If you run a compressor fridge and like to overnight off-grid, you might find this a useful way to stretch your leisure battery charge.
    It’s a takes a little effort but I find it very effective when off grid for a couple of days. Definitely worth the effort
    Clearly it wouldn’t work for everyone.

    When you are either driving or on hook-up, put a few, I use 4, of those blue freezer blocks into your ice box (you’ll probably have to forego using the ice box for food).

    Once you’re off grid, choose a suitable time of day (I do it when I turn in at night) and move the freezer blocks from the ice box into the fridge and turn off the fridge. If you plan ahead a little you’ll find that you don’t need to open the fridge again until the morning by when the freezer blocks will probably have thawed but your fridge will still be cold enough to have kept everything fresh and safe – and your battery hasn’t been used at all. I use a little 99p Chinese Ebay thermometer to keep a check.

    I’ve done this many times and usually find only about a 3 degree increase in temperature in an eight hour overnight period. You can play with the fridge settings and probably keep it colder/longer as it suits you. Obviously, the length of time it stays cold depends on the fridge temperature when you switch it off and the ambient temperature while it’s off.

    If you’re off-griding on a campsite they often offer a freezer block freezing service.

    It works for me.
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  2. buttons

    buttons Funster

    Aug 27, 2009
    I have done this in the passed when I had a compressor fridge, you are right it does keep thinks cool for longer.(y)
  3. 1_man_and_his_dob(lo)

    1_man_and_his_dob(lo) Funster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Mid. Glamorgan, S. Wales
    I've done this. Also, as pointed out by a fellow campervan owner at a MHFun meet several years ago, you could also replace the freezer block with frozen food, like a loaf of bread, if you plan your meals ahead. Not as effective as a freezer block (and obviously you can't re-freeze it at a campsite) but it gets more food into a (small) fridge to start with.
  4. DBK

    DBK Funster

    Jan 9, 2013
    Plympton, Devon
    Thanks, we've done that with a cool bag but we have a compressor cool box now for extra chilling volume. We like to turn it off each night for the silence and this worked in chilly Brittany but we are heading somewhere hot this summer so we will give this method a go. :)

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