25 Tips for your camping fridge/freezer

Dual compartment fridge / freezer

 

Written and compiled by National Luna.

 

1) ORDER OF THE DAY

Stack your frozen food in the order that you’re going to eat it, and (if possible) open the freezer only once a day to take what you need. This will reduce the lid’s opening time, and the fridge’s overall power consumption.

2) TRANSFER

Defrost your meat by placing it in the fridge compartment the night before; doing so will help to keep the fridge cool, and thus save on battery power.

3) BASKET CASE

Fitting baskets to your camping fridge / freezer will ensure better air circulation and consistent cooling; it will also prevent possible freezer burn caused by food making contact with the fridge’s walls.

4) LATCH ON

Always keep your camping fridge / freezer’s locking latches closed to prevent heat penetration and a poor seal performance.

 

National Luna latch

Make sure your fridge’s latches are always closed. This will save battery power by preventing cold air leakage.

 

5) AIRTIGHT

Storing food in airtight containers will reduce the chance of food / liquid spilling inside the fridge, and causing bad odours inside.

6) BREATHE EASY

Never pack items around the fridge’s ventilation slots, as doing so will raise the fridge’s operating temperature, cause it to work harder, and use more battery power.

 

Camping fridge packing

Never pack other items around your fridges breathing vents. Doing so will cause heat build up and increased power consumption.

 

7) POWER UP

Use the thickest power cable possible to ensure minimal electrical resistance and maximum voltage supply.

8) TO PROTECT AND SERVE

A camping fridge protection jacket will keep your fridge in tip-top condition, maintain its resale value, and (in cases when it is in direct sunlight), reduce the fridge’s outside ambient temperature.

9) STEEL YOURSELF

If you can’t decide between a stainless steel camping fridge and an aluminium unit, base your decision on how mobile you want the unit to be. If the fridge / freezer is to be permanently mounted on a table slide, an aluminium unit will be perfect for the job. However, if you plan on moving the unit around camp, it would be best to buy a stainless steel unit that’s more resilient to bumps and scratches.

10) STRAP ON

Always strap your fridge down! Most camping fridge / freezer failures are caused by knocks, bumps and vibrations.

 

Ratchet strap your camping fridge

The number one cause of fridge failure is due to vibrations and not strapping your fridge down.

 

11) SHUT DOWN

Later model National Luna fridges are equipped with a battery protection switch which allows you to select a choice of LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH cut-off voltages, to protect your vehicle’s battery from fully discharging.

12) COLD AS ICE

Set your camping fridge / freezer’s temperature to its lowest setting while driving; then, when you arrive at camp, adjust the temperature to a more economical setting. In this way, you ensure maximum efficiency with reduced power consumption.

13) SUN BAKED

If possible, avoid parking your 4×4 directly in the sun. Ambient temperatures inside the vehicle can reach over 60ºC, causing the fridge to work harder and use more battery power.

 

Fridge tips keep under shade

If your vehicle is forced to park in direct sunlight, it would be best to remove your fridge and place it in a shady location.

 

14) CAN DO

Drinks in cans cool much faster than those in bottles.

15) WIND DOWN

Even if your vehicle is parked in the shade, be sure to wind your windows down to allow proper ventilation inside the vehicle and around your fridge / freezer.

16) FROZEN SOLID

Although your National Luna camping fridge / freezer is capable of class-leading sub zero temperatures (-30ºC in some models), setting the freezer this low is often a waste of battery power. In most cases, ice-cream will need to be kept at –18ºC, but everything else can be stored at –10ºC.

17) UP THE VOLUME

Conduct a test to see which beverage type optimises your fridge’s available space. Depending on the National Luna model, some units hold more liquid when a Long-Tom can (440ml) is used, rather than a regular 330ml can.

18) FORCE FEED

Keep your camping fridge as full as possible. An empty fridge is less power-efficient.

19) READY STEADY

A running fridge is a happy fridge; so, if possible, keep your camping fridge / freezer plugged into mains power (AC) at home. The up-side to keeping your fridge continuously running is that it’s always ready for your next adventure, and you won’t have to wait for it to cool down.

20) OPEN SESAME

If you’re forced to store your fridge between camping trips, make sure that the lid is left partially open to prevent moisture from being trapped inside, and to stop mould from forming.

21) SHORT FUSE

Always carry spare fuses for your camping fridge / freezer.

22) COOL DOWN

Never place warm leftovers (such as braaied meat) inside your fridge, as doing so will cause the unit to work harder than necessary and use more battery power.

23) PLUG POINT

National Luna uses Hella plugs on all their camping fridge / freezer models, as these plugs are far less likely to vibrate loose from their sockets – unlike regular cigar-type power plugs.

24) VACUUM PACKED

If you’ve got a single-bin camping fridge / freezer, you may want to buy vacuum-packed meat, which generally lasts longer and doesn’t need to be frozen.

25) WET BLANKET

During times of extreme heat, placing a wet towel over your fridge’s lid may help to keep the unit’s ambient operating temperature low, thereby reducing power consumption.

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