Ensuring food is safe and cold throughout the duration of your camping trip is imperative, especially if you plan on heading off-grid. There is nothing worse than discovering spills, container breakages, cross contamination or even worse, your food has gone bad due to refrigeration issues.
Using leak-proof containers and removing any excess packaging will help with protection and space, but the tips below will assist with fridge set up, performance and how to maintain internal temperatures when on the road.
1. Cool the fridge down
Drop your fridge temperature 2˚ below what you plan on setting it to for the trip. In doing so, you will give the compressor a ‘head start’ before it starts the first cooling cycle.
2. Fill your fridge with pre-chilled food and drinks
Placing warm drinks or food into the fridge will cause the unit to draw a lot of power while it tries to cool the contents to temperature before it starts cycling again. The colder the food the better so if you can, freeze meals you don’t plan on eating in the first day or two. Be sure to pack the fridge full as possible to assist in keeping consumption down. *Place frozen meal prep on the bottom of the fridge and perishables on top (to eat first).
3. Use ice blocks
Ice blocks are beneficial for many reasons. They are great for assisting in cooling your fridge to a freezer (-15˚) quickly and if space permits, leaving one or two bricks in your fridge can actually cause the unit to work like an Esky for the first part of your trip with the chance it won’t even turn on, leading to decreased power consumption. *If you are using ice blocks be sure to turn the fridge on days in advance. Once the bricks are in, adjust the internal temperature to 2˚.
4. Consider an insulative cover
If your fridge model has the option of adding a cover, it is worth the consideration. Insulative covers are not only great for protection from damage, they also act as additional insulation allowing the fridge to stay colder for longer and are proven to reduce power consumption.
5. Be sun smart
This one may be obvious but leaving your fridge in direct sunlight will likely cause the battery to drain a lot faster as it will try to combat high ambient temperatures. Try to position the unit in a spot that is not only sheltered from the midday sun but also from sunrise and sunset. If the fridge is stored in a car or sealed area of any sort, allow for ample air flow space to aid in the cooling process.
6. Give the fridge some space
The compressor in the fridge will produce heat while it reduces the internal temperature. Try not to set up gear close to the fridge to allow for ventilation space. More ventilation means better efficiency. *We do not recommend leaving the fridge in the car or tent for extended periods.
7. Keep the lid closed & latched
Limiting the amount of times you open and close the fridge will prevent the internal temperature from constantly rising and dropping.
For more information on Fridge Troubleshooting, click here.