How to use dual zone fridge/ freezer.

Kmai

New Member
For the new year/ Christmas holidays, I plan to do a little camping out on the beaches.

i was looking to purchase a dual zone fridge/freezer but unsure of how to properly use and maintain it.

How long would it take for a fridge and freezer to reach the set temp of 4c/-15c. Also before each use do I have to let the refrigerant settle? If so how long?
And does the refrigerant need to be topped up? will only be using the fridge few times a year.

what are some other things I need to be aware of.
Thanks
 

dno67

Well-Known Member
Pack the fridge with pre cooled / frozen items already at the desired temp, make sure your fridge is turned on and plugged in and your pretty much ready to go. No need to let the gas settle unless you've completely tipped the fridge upside down, if that was the case ld let it settle for an couple of hours before use. Keeping thw compartments as full as possible will help the fridges efficiency, lts very hard to cool air without mass. If l run out of food, l stick a bottle of water in to fill rhe space.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
Turn it on and let it run. You won’t wear one out of that is what you are worried about? I have 2 evakool RF’s. One hasn’t been turned off for 11 years. It will get down to temp within an hour or so if it’s half decent. As above, they are far more efficient fully loaded and down to temp. On the other hand, partying with your mates and putting hot stubbies in the freezer all day long is possible but some decent power generation ability is required to keep up with the silliness.
 

Swaggie

Moderator
Run the fridge on 240v the day prior to going away air won't freeze so make sure theres stuff in it.
Make sure you have the battery amps to run it you may require solar,some batteries don't like to be run down past 50%...
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
Also, keep in mind that in freeze mode, any fridge will use 2.5 - 3 times as much power as it will in fridge mode. So further to what Swaggie is saying, you will get around 2 days use out of a 100AH battery in fridge mode but you'd be lucky to get 18 hours in freezer mode. without recharging the battery.

Unless you absolutely need to freeze food and are on the move every day, just use the fridge. I use one side of mine at 1C for drinks and meat, and the other at 4C for veggies, cheese milk etc.

To stay in one spot using the freezer you will need an absolute minimum of 200AH of batteries and 400W of solar. Starting the car to charge and running it for a few hours every day won't keep up.
 

cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
Quick tip, don't put warm cans in your fridge while you're drinking or at night, fill the fridge back up the next day just before you go out on a drive, or if your parked up, plug in your Solar Panel then top it up, that way you're not making your fridge work hard and thus not draining your battery too much.

I run my drinks fridge around 4 degrees and the freezer around -10 as everything in the freezer has already started off deep frozen and vac sealed so little air to cool so stays rock solid and it stays that way for a month on one of my big trips.

I use a 100AH battery via a DC-DC charger and Solar for when I'm parked up and the battery is located in the back right next to the fridge so no voltage drop.

cheers
 

Lost1?

Well-Known Member
I usually turn my fridge on when I start packing, just before I leave on a trip. The fridge gets packed last with stuff that is frozen or chilled. It only takes 45-60mins for the freezer to get down to temp after I switch it on. Depending on Ambient temps. Like everyone else said put your beers in the fridge first up in the morning. They will be as cool as they are going to be when you put them in first up in the morning. Same for cooling drinking water if you want to do that.

Buy yourself a Thermal cover to reduce the amount of external heat transfer into your fridge and try to keep the fridge out of direct sunlight as best you can. Every little bit you can do will reduce your power consumption over the course of a day. This can be important when you are up north and it can be 40+ during the day with overnight temps in the mid to high 20's.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
I forgot to mention, whenever I use the freezer, I turn it to the coldest setting when driving. Mine goes to -22c. Then when I stop for the night, I turn it back to -8c. That gives me 4 - 5 hours of "free" battery use for the freezer as the food 'warms' to -8 degrees. Then when driving again I set it back to -22. with 200AH in the camper that allows me to get a good 2 nights and 1 1/2 days of freezing.
 

darb

Well-Known Member
Really depends on the fridge. Some claimed "dual zone" fridges are infact a single zone / single evap plate and single compressor ... that just design in a way to have "warmer bits" ... one bit freezes, and then an insulatoin (space consuming) divider that is "somewhat warmer" ... not exact

Then there are proper dual zones where there's two actually seperate bins, with seperate evapplates that have independant control / thermostats. They often share a compressor, and the computer just decides which zone is getting the juice (if both demand, then it alternates)

I use a CFX75DZW and it runs well

as other say, if you use as a freezer, it will chew power. I almost exclusively run both bins at 2 or 3c, but occasoinally will run one as a freezer.

24hr Fridge -- Freezer winter test.JPEG
24hr Fridge - Fridge 3c winter test.JPEG


IMG_1937.JPG
 

darb

Well-Known Member
ALso just for winter vs summer comparison (fridge/fridge), 42c days.
Nearly double the power usage in winter (like for like)

24hr summer test.jpeg
 

Faundyna

New Member
Well, you can let the refrigerant settle for about 10-15 minutes before turning it on. No need to top up the refrigerant unless you suspect a leak, which is rare.
Keep your fridge/freezer level while camping for efficient cooling and avoid overloading it to allow proper airflow. After each use, give it a good clean to prevent odors and mold.
Also, remember to disconnect it from your vehicle's battery when not in use to avoid any surprises. If you run into any issues, you might want to consider checking out a Washing Machine Repair service for expert advice. They helped me in my case.
 
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cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
I forgot to mention, whenever I use the freezer, I turn it to the coldest setting when driving. Mine goes to -22c. Then when I stop for the night, I turn it back to -8c. That gives me 4 - 5 hours of "free" battery use for the freezer as the food 'warms' to -8 degrees. Then when driving again I set it back to -22. with 200AH in the camper that allows me to get a good 2 nights and 1 1/2 days of freezing.
Wow, never thought of that - Thanks
 

Batts88

Well-Known Member
Personally I doubt that cycling food from deep freeze at -22 then back to -8 is a good idea it's best to keep it at a constant temp for freshness and keeping bacteria at bay. It might be ok for short trips but I've never done it I always keep it around -18 especially if you intend on keeping it frozen for long periods of time and if you don't end up using it on a trip it's still safe to put back in the freezer at home because you haven't reduced it's shelf life. -18 in the food industry standard if you look up what safe levels are for food storage.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
Personally I doubt that cycling food from deep freeze at -22 then back to -8 is a good idea it's best to keep it at a constant temp for freshness and keeping bacteria at bay. It might be ok for short trips but I've never done it I always keep it around -18 especially if you intend on keeping it frozen for long periods of time and if you don't end up using it on a trip it's still safe to put back in the freezer at home because you haven't reduced it's shelf life. -18 in the food industry standard if you look up what safe levels are for food storage.
I researched that in some detail and that's not the case for camping for a few weeks. I'm not making recommendations for commercial or long-term food storage. Just camping trips with portable freezers.

If you want to keep the food for 12 months then colder is better for less bacteria. So long as it doesn't get near thawing, then there are no harmful effects for temperature cycling. for what I am talking about. Infact if you think about it, every freezer does exactly that when the thermostat cuts in and out.

It's not an issue as described.
 
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Batts88

Well-Known Member
Must be a large fridge /freezer your running I get 2 days running a 20yr old Evakool RF47 at around -18 freezer, 1 to 4 deg fridge side on a 105ah Supercharge Allrounder then start the car. It draws around 30 to 34 watts. I recently bought a Kickass 75 dual zone and haven't ran it off the car yet I'm going to see what power it uses in the canopy on my 170ah lithium to see what time I roughly get out of it. I'm expecting it to chew a reasonable amount of juice.
 
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