Single zone camp fridge as a Fridge or Freezer?

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Giovann
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Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:26 pm

Hey guys,

I'm wondering what you guys do with your single zone fridge/freezers when it comes to striking a balance between frozen food vs things that just need to be cold.

What temperature do you run fridges at if you've got meat/fresh produce along with other non-freezable items vegetables, dairy etc...

How long can you typically store meat at fridge temperatures of 4° degrees or lower?

I've got a 60l ARB fridge/freezer, rarely need to store for more 2-3 days of food at a time, I usually run mine between -2° - 3°

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Stef
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Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:43 am

Basically what most okes do on long trips is to really deep freeze the perishables prior to departure, and wrap it in newspaper before putting it in the camp fridge. Then run the fridge as high as +2deg; frozen stuff will thaw but very slowly and maybe thaw out completely after a number of days in the frigde.

You can vary the temp according to how long you want to travel before replenishing. Takes a bit of trial and error but I'd say run it at 0 deg & work from there.

I run my 95l campmaster at -2 deg; the 90l dual Luna I run the freezer at -4 and the fridge at 2 deg for 3-4 day trips

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ThysdJ
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Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:55 am

We run a 40liter Engel at full deep freeze. in the beginning we used it as a fridge, but every now and then I used to get a frozen tomato thrown at me because I got the temp settings wrong.Frozen tomatoes dont work on braaibroodjies... So I decided bugger than, and now we only put the stuff we want to freeze in there, and about 2 days before we leave home we start getting it down as low as it will go on Mains power. It gets down to about -15 degrees..

We use a 45liter Coleman as a "Fridge".. We are very strict with opening and closing the Engel, especially when we are far way from mains power. We only open early in the morning, change ice bricks in the Coleman, and take out the meat we want to braai that evening. Also we have a little insulated ice-bucket, which we fill with ice and put inside the Coleman as well.. This is where we get ice for drinks... Once we completed this process everything gets covered in jackets, or whatever to keep direct sunlight off the freezer and coolbox.

What we have found over the years is that when we pack the Engel we fill it up completely, and we bought some extra blue ice brick for that purpose. A full fridge takes less power to cool down, once opened, than a half empty one. As the fridge empties, we add ice bricks, and also water in bottles to freeze. This we do when we are sure we are going to be driving long distances to help with charging the batteries... Bottles with water can also help to keep the Coleman cold, as well as provide cold drinking water around the afternoon...
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ChrisF
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Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:13 pm

anything more than 2 or 3 days and no tricks will keep the frozen items frozen ... OR, you will end up with frozen milk and drinks ....

A dual compartment unit really is the only answer for longer trips.


do your homework on food decay if not frozen .... you are fine for a "few days" .... but it can become tricky ....


then again, backup a few decades and we survived with cooler boxes and bags of ice ....


it just requires some planning and understanding of your equipment and expectations.

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Haboob
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Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:28 pm

Hi Giovann,
Get yourself one of the softshell coolerbags that is big enough to take your fridge goodies.
Place this inside your freezer and it will keep your tomatoes cool and your meat frozen.
The only problem is that it uses up more fridge/freezer space.
I use a 95L dual fridge/freezer which works well for three weeks in the bush.
Happy travels.
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Johan Kriel
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Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:45 am

Giovann wrote:I've got a 60l ARB fridge/freezer, rarely need to store for more 2-3 days of food at a time, I usually run mine between -2° - 3°
I have an 80l engel. I set it on -5 , frozen stuff satys frozen for it least 10 days, Cooldrinks etc are on top and don't freeze.

But you also dont need to keep meat frozen if used within 10 days.
Johan Kriel

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Giovann
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Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:28 pm

HI guys,

thanks for the replies did!

Did our trip to Moz over December Jan packed meat for like 4 days at a time just ran the whole fridge in freezer mode @ -18 degrees. Cold drinks and beers we stuck in as needed, and dairy/fresh produce stuff seemed mostly fine in the warm compartment of the ARB.... We tried to go with mostly frozen veg as well.

I like the idea of a soft shell cooler bag, might give that a go

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