Here's some Koolatron info from the Bolerama forums.
I have just purchased a Koolatron 12V from Canadian Tire for my 73 Boler
. We couldn't afford the other options. But now I'm wondering about my choice.
It fits pretty much ok in the old spot!
All I really need to run is my fridge
and the lights
. Should I get a power pack (marine battery)? or can I turn it off here and there to save our van battery
Just looking to see what other people's experiences have been!
I would say that most Koolatron fridges consume around 3 amps of power per hour. Not a lot . If you are usinga true deep cycle RV battery
, the Koolatron will be run longer than on an ordinary car battery
If you are going to plug in to shore power each nite(110 volt) then you should be fine. To be able to run the Koolatron and have a lite on 3amps(Koolatron) plus a 1156bulb lite (1 amp) that is approx 4 amp draw on your battery.
Shutting off the Koolatron would help some in theroy ,but a Koolatron only cools down to 45 - 50 degrees below the ambient temperature. This from their website info.
If it gets hot in your trailer, the Koolatron may have difficulty trying to stay cool. I have used them and have no problem , but I have two large solar
panels to reblenish the power used.
Some some food for thought
Thank you for your reply.
We are long time tenters who have cheerfully adopted our Boler
.. however, are very tentatively looking at power options - due to philosophical opinions.
Thus, plugging in to shore power is not going to be an option - and money is also tight.
So, right now we are looking at whether we could get away with a 300 draw battery (on sale for $50 at Canadian Tire) or if we are going to have to get a 600 draw battery power pack..which I think run at about $140 to $180. eek.
is extremely appealing. So any knowledge about this would be helpful. Again, what is the minimum we can get away with, seeing as we are pretty much power mininimists?
My husband is skeptical whether the fridge
is really necessary... (my vote is yes) - as our regular cooler has served us well all these years.
The number prominently featured on the Canadian Tire Powerboxes (such as "300" or "600") is the maximum current draw in amps. This doesn't tell you much about the total energy stored in the battery, and the battery in these units is quite small. I have a 600A unit (product # 11-1810-0) and while I find it useful, it won't run my Koolatron-style cooler overnight. That's not surprising, given the 20 amp-hour battery in the unit.
What matters to endurance is the battery capacity, which is normally measured in amp-hours: multiply the number of amps you're drawing (such as 3 or more for the cooler) times the number of hours to run (say 8 hours overnight) and that is how much capacity you need (if the appliance is running continuously). In addition to that, even a deep-discharge battery really shouldn't be drawn down to less than 50% of its capacity.
Canadian Tire's products of this type have generally been made by Xantrex, which currently calls them XPower Powerpacks, but Canadian Tire also carries one larger unit which don't see on the Xantrex site, which they label by its 1200A max current draw (11-1815); this unit has a 60 A-h battery, three times the capacity of the 600A unit, and getting into the range of the smallest battery which would normally be mounted on a travel trailer. This unit regularly goes on sale for $200, which is a good deal since a cheap charger, 1200 W inverter, and 60 A-h AGM-type battery would normally cost much more than that if purchased separately.
If you don't need all of the other features of these packs (which often include lights
, air pumps, etc), then why not just put a regular deep-discharge battery ("RV" or "marine" type) on the trailer, and get a small charger to recharge it? The power packs usually use high-tech AGM batteries for portability, but you don't really need that, and the inverter is only needed if you want to run AC appliances.
Using Canadian Tire part numbers and pricing, a basic setup might be a Group 27 marine battery (10-2799-4; $100; 93 A-h), a charger (11-1520-0 is a good one, on sale now for $70, any "intelligent" or "three stage" charger will do), a box for the battery and some wiring.