Who runs their truck fridge 24-7? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Dec 22, 2007
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Woodland Hills, Ca
 
 
I like to have mine on all the time for cold water, beer on weekends, don't have to stop at home after grocery shopping, etc. I have an ARB 63 qt.

I know it's an expensive luxury, but I'm willing to pay the price for it. I know it can potentially wear down my accessory battery prematurely, but I keep the fridge plugged into shore power at night.

I have a dual battery set up with a Deka group 31 marine battery as my accessory batter, and a Blue Sea ACR system. Can I get away with using a size 24 or size 27?

The next step is get a Noco 2 bank charger with an accessory plug mounted in the front bumper (like in post #410 to make it easier and more accessible to charge both batteries and keep the fridge running.

I do have solar, but my truck is garaged 99% of the time at home and at work. What are some other ideas or suggestions to keep my accessory battery from getting drained and shortening it's life, but still keep my fridge running all the time?
 
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I did what you're suggesting with the noco 2 bank charger but I used the vmax charger here (http://a.co/d/ihMVg08). I leave my fridge in 100% of the time, I don't mind shortening the life, that's what I bought it for.
 

Dissent

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I run my ARB 50 all the time. I'm in Phoenix and have had the 5 year old fridge since April 2018. At work it sits in the sun with a 100w solar panel feeding it 4.8A, the fridge consumes 4.5-5A in the 115 degree summer heat. My Victron BMV-712 monitor shows it at 99% now and then but usually it's 100%. I just bought an X2 Dual Purpose AGM battery (95 amp hour) and haven't tested it yet, but will be camping next month for 2x testing out a new 12V electric blanket (for the wife) with full solar support, but don't want to push the battery below 50%. Previously, it took my 68 amp hour battery to 40% and 11.4V after 2 nights running the fridge only in 50 F ambient weather with no solar feed (it was raining). I keep bottles of water in it and lunch snacks. Its awesome to have food handy to keep me away from drive-thrus also.

I have a Sensor Push Bluetooth thermometer zip tied to the middle of the divider in the center of the fridge. It's very interesting. Average temp at work is 33.1 F and swells from 35.6 F at 8AM to 31 F at noon then stays at about 33 F until 5PM. It goes up and down every 15 min, in reliable 30 minute cycles.

I added a 110v 12,000 joule surge strip to my attic rack and plugged the fridge 110v cord into it along with my CTEK MUS 4.3 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006G14FK8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1) battery charger, also mounted to my attic rack. When I get home, and on the weekends, I keep this surge strip plugged into an extension cord in the garage. Currently I just slide open the rear window and drag the cord out but have bought a Noco shore power adapter which I will mount on the roof rack and plumb through the roof to the surge strip.

This 24/7 seems easier on the fridge rather than taking it from 135 F to 33 F now and then. I really enjoy having it there and keep it stocked with water to ease the cooling burden. I borrowed a canvas transport bag for a week and saw zero difference in the temp inside the fridge and the 30 minute temp peak and valleys were very consistent with or without the bag. I didn't measure current draw at all during that test. I just run the fridge naked and it seems quite happy.
 

65swb45

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25 years ago I befriended a FJ40 guy who kept a backpacker setup of food, clothing and shelter set up in a backpack just inside the front door of his apartment. He said he did it so he could take off for a weekend of camping on the spur of the moment. I was impressed.

I saw the 21st century version of this when I went to visit @lcwizard on my way to Texas a few years back. He keeps all the stuff he's likely to eat/drink on a camping trip in his portable fridge plugged in at his shop 24/7, so he also has the ability to take off on the spur of the moment.
 
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I have been running a fridge 24/7 in my truck for ~7 years or so.
On my second fridge. First fridge was a Coleman Free Piston Stirling Engine 26 qt unit that was ridiculously efficient. 65 watts of solar panel and a deep cycle battery kept that running. I outgrew that one and got a 50qt ARB fridge last November. the 65 watt panel wasn't enough so I got an additional 100 watt panel. I am running both panels and have the ability to run both fridges.

I only plug into shore power when we get more than 2 days of rain and the 65 watt panel couldn't keep up.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
296
Location
Woodland Hills, Ca
 
 
Thanks for your responses. So back to my original questions in my post?

Can I get away with using a size 24 or size 27 accessory battery?

What are some other ideas or suggestions to keep my accessory battery from getting drained and shortening it's life, but still keep my fridge running all the time?
 
Last edited:

lcwizard

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Depending on your fridge either battery is big enough for a couple days, depending on weather. I have a Noco single bank charger permanently mounted to maintain the battery. When the weather got into the 100 plus range and the truck sat in the sun all day it didn't keep up as well as being directly plugged in. I use the fridge's 120 AC cord if the power is available. I think my NOCO is only putting out around 4 amps. It's great for maintenance but it had issues keeping up in very hot weather. I think it has an internal relay that trips when there's too much draw. Twice I found the fridge at 50 deg on very hot days when I was parked in Phoenix. The Noco had shut down. I had to unplug it to reset it. It worked fine after that. Now I just plug the extension into the fridge rather than into the Noco Charger. Perhaps the 7.5 amp version would work better, I have one of those for workbench charging, but realistically an extension cord is cheaper and if you're close enough to plug in the NOCO you can just use the AC cord that comes with the fridges and go direct
 

lcwizard

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Thanks for your responses. So back to my original questions in my post?

Can I get away with using a size 24 or size 27 accessory battery?

What are some other ideas or suggestions to keep my accessory battery from getting drained and shortening it's life, but still keep my fridge running all the time?
I spoke to the NOCO rep. The NOCO will have no issues with the draw unless the ambient temps get above 104 deg. This is why mine shut down a couple times in PHX when I was visiting. I'm currently in Globe where the temps seldom see 104 for any length of time so it only shut down once. I got in the habit of plugging in directly on very hot days
 

lcwizard

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I called Minn Kota. There chargers are good to about 122 degrees before rolling off the output. I'll have to change my NOCO out
before next summer arrives unless NOCO's next gen does a little better in heat. The MINN KOTA gets in the top 5 reviews of marine
onboard chargers. I lost the contents of my fridge a couple times this summer


https://www.amazon.com/MinnKota-Boa...9g&slotNum=11&tag=fishingpickus-20&th=1&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/Minn-Kota-Pr...37455907&sr=1-5&keywords=minn+kota&th=1&psc=1
 

Dissent

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I'm using the size 27 battery which gives a few more amp hours over a size 24. If you can fit the size 27, go as big as possible for the maximum run time.

My CTEK MUS 4.3 110v charger has never shut off and my garage gets way over 105F all summer.

This is sort of off topic but I'm keeping an eye out for alternative charging options:
1) Inductive charger - I'd like to pull into the garage and have an inductive charger detect the truck and charge the battery off of the house without intervening with cabling. I've heard there are options coming on the market, mainly for the electric car world but haven't seen any yet.
2) Trolly car type charger - Rig up a couple of plates on the roof or bumper and a couple of springy, conductive whips on the garage ceiling or wall. When the truck pulls in, the springy contacts would press on the conductive plates and charge the vehicle. Could work with a Battery Tender with 12v output to avoid electrocuting anyone with 110v who comes in contact.
 

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