Engel Fridge Operation
Got it all mounted over the weekend and it's installed right now, keeping a 6 pack cold (what else?). BTW, if anyone wants to ride Apex tonight (5PM), you can help me verify that the Engel does in fact keep beer cold whilst out riding your bike... Hit me with a PM, but feel free to just show up, hard to miss my white truck.
Walked out at lunch, started cold this morning (I keep it plugged into the wall all the time at setting #1). Checked the voltage, the Yaesu said 12.2V and that is usually pretty accurate. I did not start the truck and it's been parked now for about 5.5 hours. I'm hoping that by go time, about 4PM, it's still above 12V. I forgot to check what the Yeasu measured before coming inside the building this morning.
Anyway, this all seem about right? I'm only running a single Red Top, which is a few months old, so I'm interested in seeing how it shake out. I'm figuring on running the truck probably once a day at Rubithon, hopefully 24 hours isn't too long to wait.
Offered only as a comparison, Dave, but when we were in Utah a couple of weeks ago, I took some readings on the 62's battery with the 50 qt. Waeco keeping a week's worth of food and beer cold @ 35*. Before sundown, voltage on the group 31 Deka that is two months old read 13.07V. The next morning, without having run the truck, voltage was at 12.87V. It was 100* in Moab the first day and the next was pretty hot where we were too. 12.2V sounds low, doesn't it?
Didn't really strike me as exceptionally low. Open circuit my Optima measures about 12.7V at the terminals and the Yeasu (from memory) usually says about 12.5V when I turn it on with the truck not running. BTW, when I say the Yeasu, that's my ham radio which reads out the voltage it sees when you turn it on. So, really, it's didn't initially seem to me as crazy low. I would expect my truck to start with the battery at about 11.8V or higher.
Just checked again. Radio reads 12.3V and at the battery terminals 12.5V with my Fluke 87 (last calibrated about 5 years ago at least).
I also figured it's been running a lot, sitting in the back of my truck, closed, in the sun without its extra insulating cover. I got a Transit Cover, which should be here today or tomorrow. That is supposed to reduce cycling quite a bit, too.
My Yaesu typically reads 12.2-12.8 when the main battery is at a "full charge." The battery won't start the truck if below 11.8, I have to flip the switch for that. It's also nearing the end of its useful life, so it tends to wear down quicker than it should. In Moab I was able to keep the fridge on all day and all night, and the truck always started the next morning... though one day I did have to flip the switch. Also, it was kind of cool at night..
Toss a set of jumper cables into that big tub o' parts you have, and quit worrying about it.
As for the fridge itself, if I kept it on 3 it pretty much froze everything. 2 seemed about right, but stuff would still freeze at night... 1.5 is a little more like it, but a lot depends on what's in there- frozen water bottles tend to require less power than warm beer cans..
Dave, over Memorial day weekend I had my Engel plugged into my GMC truck with the stock battery, 2005 model. I had it running from Friday 11 am till Monday about 1 pm without ever starting the truck. The cooler was set to 2 +- and the bottom stuff was frozen and top nice and cold, that is what we wanted.
Truck started right up with no problems. I did not take any measurements just a real world test. During CM I had the cooler in my 4Runner running 24/7 with a marine battery, can''t remember the name but it is the high end checkers model. I drove the truck during the day and sat at night, also no problem.
take it how you want to but I think with a good battery you can run it for 3-4 days easily. Of course this all depends on your battery and if you have any leaks.
I run a single red top for now as well. I have found a few things help the effeciency of the fridge, and mine is the older motor design that isn't as effecient.
If the stuff is cold when you put it in, you will use lots less power.
Bringing the fridge and contents down to temp with 120v at home.
Keep it pretty full.
I keep my fridge mostly set on "1"
I use a cheapo food thermometer to monitor the inside temps and set the control accordingly.
Maybe you knew all that but for what it is worth I have had my fridge on for a few days in a row and it still started without issue.
Have fun, simply the one accessory that I won't leave behind!
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