Is An Icebox a Waste of Money? - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-08-2014, 01:06 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
must have been back in the days of cheap gas and no laws stopping you from leaving your car idling for more than a few minutes.

These days after a week or so of camping the cost of the gas burned while leaving a vehicle idling over night in order to keep the cooler running would make a nice little down payment on an actual rv fridge Not to mention the fine for doing it..
Actually that was back in the day of August 2012. Middle of the heat wave, right through the hottest deserts we have. Gas was nowhere near cheap :/

However, I built an arduino powered MPG monitor that I have hooked to the VSS and fuel injector lines. With this I can monitor how many GPH my injectors are using, and see a real time calculation of whatever I want to program in on the LCD. My little 1.6l Suzuki idles at about 0.18 GPH. For the comfort of AC and electricity for fresh food that works out to be quite inexpensive even at todays prices. The engine is bulletproof and never overheats or anything, and I built the AC system for the vehicle myself for that trip specifically. It didn't have AC from the factory. I don't run your typical refrigerant... So it takes a lot less energy than say R134a or even R12. Can't say much else about that publicly however.

I have idled my vehicle everywhere from NY to CA and averywhere in-between. While I dislike being anything but green, my engine is so small that it is less harmful than most gensets that lack catalytic converters and EGR systems. I also customized my EGR and added a second charcoal canister to handle the extended idle. So far it hasn't killed my catcon, but I use a small one so it is easier to keep heated. Never been bothered by anyone about fees. I thought that only applied to the big rigs?


At any rate I apologize for any form of thread derailing. I will collect some photos and other info about the chiller setup. I have a lot of water cooling components such as waterblocks pumps and radiators. The radiator is 120mm square.
I may build some and sell them to whomever would like one. I also plan on making a batch of my furnace fan quieting controllers and offering them to you guys here. They are programmed to slowly ramp the fan up to a lower total speed (selectable with a dial) to avoid power waste and loud jarring when you try and sleep. I haven't gotten around to making any more than my first one! They use PWM at 16khz or so for efficiency. No whine either.

Once I have some more time I will get you guys the info on the peltier cooling system for the custom iceboxes. I only built one of them as a fun thing to do. At this point I think it may be a good idea to build a nice kit with a thermostat and all. All you would need is 12v and two holes for the insulated lines to go into the cooler. Easy peasy.
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:40 AM   #72
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I have idled my vehicle everywhere from NY to CA and averywhere in-between. <cut>
Never been bothered by anyone about fees. I thought that only applied to the big rigs?
<cut>
At any rate I apologize for any form of thread derailing. .
No need to apologize you have put forward information on yet another option for the OP.

The anti-idealing laws here are in most areas for anything over 3 min for passenger vehicles and the big rigs and buses have different rules. Looks like in CA the anti idling law is 5 min - didn't read far enough through it or the details re the bigger rigs. To be honest though I have only seen any sign of enforcement of it twice since it came into effect - once while waiting at the border crossing (they have installed stop lights in the line up area to hold the lines up for extended periods, so you are not doing constant stop and go so no need to leave the engine running) and another time in a ferry terminal parking lot - in both cases they have lots of signage up warning about it.

I suspect if one was to run a car over night in a Provincial park you would be dinged if one of your neighbours complained. Pretty high likelihood of that happening as most of our campgrounds have no power and there is at ever growing dislike to generator noise at any time of day and you don't hear AC's running in big rigs over night all to often either due to their power consumption.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:22 PM   #73
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Actually Mike it may have been doing more than you think it was. I have one, as well as the the external fan on the outside vent and I know from having forgotten to turn the inside fan on a few times that it does indeed make a difference. Put it in the middle of the bottom of the fridge and leave a few spaces of clear space on the shelfs above to allow the air to move though an it will make a difference but not as big as the outside fan does as you have noted... but every little bit helps.
Well, the fridge interior was 51* around 4 pm, so I went out and put in the fan (turned on, of course). The inside temp went to 59* and at bedtime it was still 54*. This was the day before I tried the external fan.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:47 PM   #74
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Well, the fridge interior was 51* around 4 pm, so I went out and put in the fan (turned on, of course). The inside temp went to 59* and at bedtime it was still 54*. This was the day before I tried the external fan.
Weird, perhaps the jump in temp was due to opening the fridge to turn the fan on? I recall seeing photos here where people had put plastic panels with slits in them over the front inside of the fridge to prevent the cold air from escaping when opening the door due to the length of time it takes to get it back down in temp.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:16 PM   #75
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Well, the fridge interior was 51* around 4 pm, so I went out and put in the fan (turned on, of course). The inside temp went to 59* and at bedtime it was still 54*. This was the day before I tried the external fan.
Temperature is probably the difficult thing to measure, particularly air inside a closed box. Without large air movements to mix the air there's always large temperature gradients, meaning different temperatures in different parts of the box. When I was working with IR thermometers we ran tests to determine how long we should wait to take temperature readings. These boxes felt like a gale when you opened the door. With a large amount of air moving it took minimum 4 hours for temperatures to stabilize. Since there is very little air movement I would guess it would be closer to 24 - 48 hours for the temperature to stabilize.
This is the main reason manufactures recommend that the refrigerator be cooled down for 24 hours before use. Once the inside walls are cold it takes a lot longer for them to warm up. When you open the door the cold air comes out and the temperature reading goes up, remember you're measuring air temperature.
If you really want to know what's going on inside the refrigerator get container of liquid (NIST uses a light oil, but water is better than nothing) put a temperature probe in center of the liquid. Then you can observe how that changes over time.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:43 PM   #76
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BTW, for those who are looking for ice, here is a search page for "Twice the Ice" dispensing machines. Over 2,300 Twice The Ice Machines Throughout The US - Ice House America These machines are not everywhere, but if you do have one along your travel route it is worth a stop. The ones I've seen had block or cubes, and they dispense more than the usual amount of ice for the money.

Carol, yes it was opening the door that lost a bunch of coolness, I'm sure. And it was 90* out, so the fridge never recovered until sometime in the night (it was 37* the next morning at 7 a.m.). I had the thermometer on the bottom shelf of the door; I would think that the temp with the fan running could have been more uniform throughout the fridge than prior (with fan not on).
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:17 PM   #77
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[QUOTE=Mike Magee;457266

Carol, yes it was opening the door that lost a bunch of coolness, I'm sure. And it was 90* out, so the fridge never recovered until sometime in the night (it was 37* the next morning at 7 a.m.). I had the thermometer on the bottom shelf of the door; I would think that the temp with the fan running could have been more uniform throughout the fridge than prior (with fan not on).[/QUOTE]

Is it safe to assume it was also an empty fridge as well? Having items in it that are still cool should help it with the air movement over them created by the fan to recover a bit faster.
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Old 05-09-2014, 07:14 PM   #78
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Carol, I had 2/3 gallon of water inside; nothing else. I figured at the time that the water was enough to mimic the chill holding characteristics of typical contents.
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