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Old 07-12-2023, 01:07 PM #1
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New fridge and power options

I just bought an ICECO VL45 Pro fridge and it's pretty cool. Pun intended. Now I'm faced with the power side of things, and didn't quite realize the potential scope of it all.

So far I purchased and installed the ARB wiring kit and the ARB DC fridge plug cable.

As far as battery goes, I have only ever had a single standard Toyota True Start battery in there. I know now it shouldn't be and isn't made to run stuff like this.

I own a Flex Solar 120w folding solar panel with alligator clips and an PWM charge controller as well. Also I've carried around a Lithium jump pack for a couple of years as a standard accessory to the truck.

I'm not sure which direction to go in to really support and power the fridge. I'm only thinking of 2 to 3 days max without driving. To add to it, I live in Southern AZ and our temps are high. I've considered this when thinking of the power needs of the fridge to maintain temps. I've got it running on a Kill A Watt power meter right now to get some baseline numbers at my house ambient temp of 78F.

I know I could do an AGM with a voltage booster. I'm not sure if it would be adequate and give me enough room to avoid a no start situation. Also, having read about voltage boosters and their safe nature... I'm still unconvinced of their safety to the system and its parts.

Ultimately I do know I could do a dual battery, and that would be best however, the costs associated can get high. My own situation would involve me needing to first go back to a stock washer bottle to place a battery where mine is now (in the air pump spot), only adding costs.

I've considered the Jackery route or like, but also would like to just leave the fridge plugged into the truck and not have to swap cables and such. Picky I know.

I'm not necessarily looking to cheap out, but do the least amount of work while still being adequate for the fridge and remain as simple as possible.

If I've really gotta do dual battery, I will. But do I really need to? Any thoughts or experiences to share? Part of me feels like I'm way overthinking it, as I do occasionally.
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Old 07-12-2023, 07:12 PM #2
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Nice fridge! This is exactly the one I've had my eye on the past several years, but still haven't pulled the trigger.

As to your question, why not just buy a power station (ala Jackery or equivalent) and be done with it? Going that route will give you much more flexibility in use and ability to charge/power other devices and be mobile with your power. A dual battery setup is permanent and by the time all is said and done, you will have spent a pretty penny for a one trick pony.

You can charge the power station as you drive or if stationary for a few days, use the solar panels. This is a very simple, easy solution.

One word of advice, don't use the AC outlet in the back of the 4Runner to charge your power station while driving. It will trip the circuit breaker and shut off. I experienced this during a week long trip into Death Valley earlier this year. Use the DC output in the back into the power station and then into the Iceco. Use the DC jack also as it is most efficient. There will be a loss of power due to the conversion from DC to AC if you try to use the AC jack on the power station.

I bought a Grecell 1000 and it powered a friends VL90ProD for 2 days. No power from solar panels or a wall outlet. It was around $475(?). Right now, it's on Prime Day deals for $500. Not a bad deal compared to all of the other name-brand power stations.
https://www.amazon.com/GRECELL-Gener...09VDHJ3C3?th=1
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Old 07-13-2023, 05:00 AM #3
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I run my fridge with a Jackery 500 plugged into the 12V in the back. The Jackery charges when the truck is running and passes through to the fridge. When the truck is off, the Jackery runs the fridge.

I can get about two says of runtime off a fully charged Jackery 500 and my fridge. I also have a portable 100 watt solar panel I use with a small travel trailer that I can charge the Jackery with if I am not moving for over two days or running the truck while camping.
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Old 07-13-2023, 12:43 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt831 View Post
I run my fridge with a Jackery 500 plugged into the 12V in the back. The Jackery charges when the truck is running and passes through to the fridge. When the truck is off, the Jackery runs the fridge.

I can get about two says of runtime off a fully charged Jackery 500 and my fridge. I also have a portable 100 watt solar panel I use with a small travel trailer that I can charge the Jackery with if I am not moving for over two days or running the truck while camping.
I run the same setup with similar results. No trailer just lay solar panels on roof when parked!
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Old 07-13-2023, 02:03 PM #5
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I bought the Dr. Prepare 100ah battery with the power port. I have a 100w solar panel on the roof. I've never had to worry about power. I think all in out was under $400. I can run without solar input. The most I was away was 3 days and I still had 1/2 charge.

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Old 07-13-2023, 02:41 PM #6
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Thanks for the replies. I see the power stations as super convenient and simple in a lot of ways. It’s gotta be as small as is realistic, given the things we pack usually and how it all fits so perfectly. The Jackery 500 seems like a decent workable size. But space is a big concern. I acknowledge the versatility as well, but there’s no way we need so much. We’re very device light on trips and we don’t use our phones but for alarm clocks camping. Some of the cost for that versatility would be wasted on us. Still, to power the fridge with the truck off… that is the whole point and it’s cheaper than a dual battery setup.

The 12v outlet is gone in my rear compartment, I used its space for the ARB fridge receptacle, which uses its own locking pronged plug coming from the fridge. It’s pretty great.
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Old 07-13-2023, 06:51 PM #7
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I have a Setpower AJ40 or somesuch that I run off the cig outlet in the back through a Bluetti 740w or so battery, works amazing and esily gives 3+ days of running on a full charge, and more when I have the 100w solar panel on the roof. simple and easy setup ,and no extra wiring needed
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Old 07-14-2023, 12:53 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dylans View Post
Thanks for the replies. I see the power stations as super convenient and simple in a lot of ways. Itís gotta be as small as is realistic, given the things we pack usually and how it all fits so perfectly. The Jackery 500 seems like a decent workable size. But space is a big concern. I acknowledge the versatility as well, but thereís no way we need so much. Weíre very device light on trips and we donít use our phones but for alarm clocks camping. Some of the cost for that versatility would be wasted on us. Still, to power the fridge with the truck offÖ that is the whole point and itís cheaper than a dual battery setup.

The 12v outlet is gone in my rear compartment, I used its space for the ARB fridge receptacle, which uses its own locking pronged plug coming from the fridge. Itís pretty great.
Think of the size of the fridge + power station as a trade off. You can bring a heck of a lot more food/perishables in the same size fridge than you could if you used a traditional ice chest. One 50 qt fridge is the equivalent of 1/2 of that same ice chest since a big chunk of the ice chests volume is taken up by ice.

And, don't think of the power station as a one trick pony. As your gear shrinks, you can easily change where you put it (depending on wiring etc). Also, if my power ever goes out (a common occurrence here in CA), I have a way to power my wifi/security cams.

Also, if I ever was so inclined to get fancy and use my rice cooker at camp, I can do that too!

PS-Don't limit your search to just the big name power stations such as Jackery or Goal Zero etc. They are expensive and are a little behind. The technology for battery power has advanced and so has the capability for these units. I bought my Grecell 1000 wh unit and it is small enough to fit in a tight space and provide power for a huge 95 qt fridge. I have other uses for it too. I can recharge not only my devices, but my HAM radios etc.
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Old 07-14-2023, 01:33 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt831 View Post
I run my fridge with a Jackery 500 plugged into the 12V in the back. The Jackery charges when the truck is running and passes through to the fridge. When the truck is off, the Jackery runs the fridge.

I can get about two says of runtime off a fully charged Jackery 500 and my fridge. I also have a portable 100 watt solar panel I use with a small travel trailer that I can charge the Jackery with if I am not moving for over two days or running the truck while camping.
Very similar for me, fridge powered by Jackery 240. The 240 has enough for about 10-16hrs of run time in hot weather (80-90). Worked okay, but I recently upgraded to a 700Wh battery so about 3x as much power, I also got a 100W panel to help supplement.

Imo OP would be best off either building a secondary battery system or having a battery pack, 'cause looking at where they live (AZ) it's gonna suck down that stock battery fast in hot weather.
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Old 07-15-2023, 11:19 AM #10
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I suppose a power pack might be the best way to go with all this input. I'm really only concerned about those camp trips anyway. For our typical type of road trip I don't worry about plugging into the truck while we drive for hours and take the fridge out and into our hotel or airbnb while we're in a town or city.

So for a Jackery or like, I'd plug the fridge into its AC port? I've put the fridge into our AZ room to test its power use in the heat as that room isn't cooled like the rest of the house so it get hot in there, like the inside of a car may. Over 24 hours it used .40 kwh set at 34 on eco mode (actual internal temps swing from 37 low to 38.8 high when the compressor kicks on again.)
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Old 07-15-2023, 11:30 PM #11
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Quote:
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I suppose a power pack might be the best way to go with all this input. I'm really only concerned about those camp trips anyway. For our typical type of road trip I don't worry about plugging into the truck while we drive for hours and take the fridge out and into our hotel or airbnb while we're in a town or city.

So for a Jackery or like, I'd plug the fridge into its AC port? I've put the fridge into our AZ room to test its power use in the heat as that room isn't cooled like the rest of the house so it get hot in there, like the inside of a car may. Over 24 hours it used .40 kwh set at 34 on eco mode (actual internal temps swing from 37 low to 38.8 high when the compressor kicks on again.)

I wouldnít use the AC outlet. Use the cigarette lighter plug/DC outlet. There is power loss when using the AC outlet since the power station has to convert that DC to AC.

Youíll probably notice that the power consumption increases as the percentage remaining decreases too. Not sure why, but thatís what Iíve heard.

Happy hunting for a good power station! And my opinion is to get a bigger one than you need. Your needs will change as time goes on.


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Old 07-17-2023, 11:11 AM #12
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Question, My Dometic CFX3 55IC pulls about 6 amps. I have had no problem Off Roading from 7am to 5pm and running cooler off the vehicle battery over night, what is the amp/hour rating of my car battery versus let's say a Jackery 1000 ? The day my car battery dies and Im overloading will be the day I wished I spent money on the Jackery but what is the factual data ? Just can't see spending the Money nor do I have the space for a power station.

TIA
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Old 07-17-2023, 11:37 AM #13
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Question, My Dometic CFX3 55IC pulls about 6 amps. I have had no problem Off Roading from 7am to 5pm and running cooler off the vehicle battery over night, what is the amp/hour rating of my car battery versus let's say a Jackery 1000 ? The day my car battery dies and Im overloading will be the day I wished I spent money on the Jackery but what is the factual data ? Just can't see spending the Money nor do I have the space for a power station.

TIA
I can't really answer your specific question, but if you're foregoing a power station, I would at least carry a Lion battery jump starter (<$100).
Amazon.com

As long as your car battery and alternator are healthy, you shouldn't run into any problems. But, age and short drive cycles (if its a daily driver) can take it's toll. Also, you should be able to set the fridge to automatically shut-off if your car battery drains below a certain amount.

IMHO, having at least a battery jump starter and an air compressor is required trunk-kit for any car.
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Old 07-17-2023, 11:39 AM #14
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Also, here's a nice video of the pros/cons of buying a fridge for car/overlanding/wheeling use.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=7&v=KbzZ_sAwN2A&feature=youtu.be
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Old 07-17-2023, 11:43 AM #15
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I can't really answer your specific question, but if you're foregoing a power station, I would at least carry a Lion battery jump starter (<$100).
Amazon.com

As long as your car battery and alternator are healthy, you shouldn't run into any problems. But, age and short drive cycles (if its a daily driver) can take it's toll. Also, you should be able to set the fridge to automatically shut-off if your car battery drains below a certain amount.

IMHO, having at least a battery jump starter and an air compressor is required trunk-kit for any car.
I have ARB Air Kit, that booster will fit in my box. Thanks for that tip
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