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How to Power a Portable Fridge

Update:2022-02-14
Summary:Are you sick of eating the same old sandwiches and drinking warm beer when you and your family get the chance to hit the open road? Having to constant...
Are you sick of eating the same old sandwiches and drinking warm beer when you and your family get the chance to hit the open road? Having to constantly buy ice for your cooler can be a hassle and limit your ability to truly get off grid. Imagine being able to take away fresh cuts of meat, vegetables, milk and even frozen foods or pre-made meals on those extra long overlanding trips.There’s a simple solution to this problem, and it wont cost you the earth or require complex installation to get it up and running. 12v fridges are quickly putting the cooler to shame and becoming an essential part of many overlanding setups.

REDARC are here to help shed some light on how you can power a 12v Thermoelectric Cooler in your truck and take your overlanding setup to the next level.There are a few different options when it comes to powering your fridge on the road, because unlike a cooler, to keep your fridge cold it will need power. The first, and easiest, is simply plugging it straight into your vehicle via the 12v cigarette lighter socket. This solution will work well if you’re going on a shorter trip, will be spending most of the time driving or will have access to a powered campsite at your destination.By connecting to the 12v cigarette lighter socket, the fridge will take power from the car when it is running but as soon as the car is turned off it will continue drawing from, and therefore draining, the starter battery. The great thing about 12v fridges though is that they do not have to be running all the time and tend to hold their temperature better than a cooler.

This means that if you’re only going away for a night or two you can run the fridge in the car on the way to your campsite, disconnect it overnight and run it with the car the next day and it should stay relatively cold. As more and more 12v fridges have a freezer compartment, there is more a need for adjustable temperature settings. This can work in your favor if you set your fridge to a little colder than it needs to be to with withstand not being powered overnight. Many 12v fridges also have a power chord that can be plugged into mains power, so if you are camping at a powered campsite it can be plugged into the mains power outlet when you arrive at your destination.

If you’re looking to go on a longer trip, further off grid or just want to have your 12v fridge powered constantly you’re going to need a more consistent power source. Having to constantly buy ice or make trips to the supermarket on an overlanding trip can be frustrating, often expensive, and really take away from the experience of overlanding. To keep the batteries charged up, the fridge running, and your food cold, you’re going to need a battery charger. REDARC has a few different options to suit different budgets when it comes to charging auxiliary batteries.For a more budget friendly option or if you have a car with a fixed voltage alternator, Dual or Smart Battery Isolators are the way to go. REDARC’s Smart Battery Isolators protect the start battery from going flat by isolating it from the second battery when the engine is turned off. They can recognise when the engine is running, connect and start charging the second battery which is powering your fridge. This means that while running your 12v fridge might deplete your auxiliary battery you will never have to worry about your start battery going flat and leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere.
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