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 > Electric cooler off of 12 volts

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LarryDel

Lewes, Delaware

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Posted: 08/03/19 07:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just purchased Coleman Electric cooler. It runs on 12 volts or 120 with adapter. We have class C motorhome and in a seasonal campground with electric hookup. We would prefer to plug cooler into 12 volt source permanently because there is not a nearby 120 outlet. Will this cause any problems such as running batteries down or over using 12 volt outlet. Thanks much!

BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 08/03/19 07:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will flatten your batteries rather quickly. Not a good idea without the needed 120V to keep things going.

I have one of those coolers I used to use a lot. Forgot to unplug it late one night. Next morning my dual battery truck wouldn't start.

As long as you are plugged in to shore power it will work.


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ajriding

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Posted: 08/03/19 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those are great for supplementing a fridge when you are out of space and ONLY when you have 120 household current. Also fine for driving while engine is running.
I assume you mean a cooler like a Coleman???
TERRIBLE to run off a battery.
These are not like the high-end Danfoss compressor fridges that only sip electricity. These are power hogs and will kill batteries fast. Batteries are expensive. If you run it off your battery you will soon learn the true cost of a cheap "cooler" is that batteries cost over $100 each and will not last long.
Is it too late to return it?
For $600-800 you can get a chest refrigerator that has a Danfoss compressor (or similar) that will be much more kind to your batteries. Yes, it sounds like a whole-lotta money, but in the end, if you camp a lot, it is a great value and will last a long time.

***edit, The Danfoss compressors run for a very small percentage of the time it is plugged in, where the Coleman cooling unit runs 100% of the time. Power draw in amps might be similar, but the time running those amps is not, thus the difference in power consumption. In cooling there is no comparison, the compressor ones are better.

***If you like big-boy toys, then these are cool things to have….
If you are waiting for SHTF then these are a valuable thing to have around if power goes out. The recent NY power outage was talked about as a china hack. Maybe, maybe not, not my problem, but power does go out in storms, or disasters. Ability to keep food… priceless

* This post was last edited 08/07/19 07:54am by ajriding *   View edit history

LarryDel

Lewes, Delaware

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Posted: 08/03/19 08:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are permanently plugged into 120 shore power. Will that keep batteries charged?

Sam Spade

North Central Florida

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Posted: 08/03/19 08:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LarryDel wrote:

We are permanently plugged into 120 shore power. Will that keep batteries charged?


Yes, assuming that your converter is working good.

You NEED a voltmeter to monitor the 12 V system......and for other uses too.

Just be sure that you do NOT keep the portable cooler turned ON when you are NOT plugged into shore power.

It might be OK while going down the road....but there you need that meter again to be sure.


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WA4HTZ

Upstate SC

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Posted: 08/03/19 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Larry, since your are permanently plugged in to 120V, your converter should supply plenty of 12V to keep it running. If it is the 40qt., the web site says it draws 5 Amps. Even the smallest converter should handle that easily. The only thing I would caution about would be if you have a WFCO converter, get a DC volt meter, permanently mount it somewhere easy to see, and wire it to the output of the converter. It should read somewhere around 13.2 - 13.6 volts all the time. If it doesn't, start checking things because the converter may have failed and your battery will discharge fairly quickly.

Hope this helps.

Ken


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JRscooby

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Posted: 08/03/19 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is this one of the little "power chill type deals, or a small compressor driven fridge? If the power chill, IMHO it has already done what it is designed to do.

garym114

Bluff Dale, Texas

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Posted: 08/03/19 08:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You should have no problem operating the cooler on 12v while connected to shore power.
I used one of the thermoelectric coolers in Alaska to keep fish frozen, not connected to power, but I had three pairs of 6v batteries for power. Cooler outside temps helped. Froze the vacuum bagged salmon first.


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SidecarFlip

SE Michigan

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Posted: 08/03/19 09:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

Those are great for supplementing a fridge when you are out of space and ONLY when you have 120 household current. Also fine for driving while engine is running.
I assume you mean a cooler like a Coleman???
TERRIBLE to run off a battery.
These are not like the high-end Danfoss compressor fridges that only sip electricity. These are power hogs and will kill batteries fast. Batteries are expensive. If you run it off your battery you will soon learn the true cost of a cheap "cooler" is that batteries cost over $100 each and will not last long.
Is it too late to return it?
For $600-800 you can get a chest refrigerator that has a Danfoss compressor (or similar) that will be much more kind to your batteries. Yes, it sounds like a whole-lotta money, but in the end, if you camp a lot, it is a great value and will last a long time.


+ 10 on that. We have a dual compartment Dometic Danfoss (which is now Waeco as they bought Danfoss out) and it's top shelf. Sits on the floor in front of the backseat in out crew cab. Keeps frozen stuff rock hard and pop and stuff cold. Very efficient.


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midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 08/03/19 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have two of the small compressor type frigs work great ,we use 12v plug while on the road and 120v when we stop, been doing it for years ours do a great job.once things are froze the compressor does not run very often.

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