Alpicool Fridge/Freezers?

Toyman01

Adventurer
I bought the C20 from Amazon for $239. It's not large, but it's big enough for me when I'm out by myself. It's also large enough for a water bottle to stand up inside. The smaller one isn't. It weighs about 1/3 of my Basecamp 43qt.

The problem with it was the location of the temperature sensor for the thermostat. It was causing the compressor to cycle off after a minute or two of running, and the temperature inside the cooler wouldn't drop.

The sensor was slid down a tube in the insulation, about 1/2 inch from the evaporator line around the top of the cooler. My modification was to install a brass tube in the bottom third of the cooler approximately 4.5 inches from the evaporator line and relocate the sensor to the new tube. That solved the short cycle problem and the interior temps would drop like they should.
 

fire_strom

Adventurer
I contacted the alibaba seller about the BD 45L stainless chest. $232 +$331 shipping. Not worth the mystery in my opinion. Would have been very tempting if the shipping cost was less...
-G
 

Davis2001r6

New member
From above: "Based on the reviewer stating 59 Watts draw we would get roughly 4.5 amp draw when running continuously off of 13.6 volts. Max mode total Watts were 552 in 24 hours or 23 watt-hours average so 1.69 Amp-hours if it is cycling somewhat normally."

I'm looking at getting the C20 as a road trip/camping cooler. I'm trying to calculate the actual draw on a car battery. If I have an 80ah battery, will this last approx. ~47 hours (80ah / 1.69 amp-hours = 47.33).

Alternatively if I get a 100w solar panel and charge controller hooked on a second battery, it should be able to sustain the fridge indefinitely. Assuming a realistic solar pickup of 60 watts/hr for 12/hrs a day (summer usage) (12hr X 60watt= 720). The test referenced above used 552 watts in 24 hours.

Sorry, electrical calculations are not my strongpoint.
 
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ArkansasDon

Observer
when I was building my trailer in the back of my mind was electrical, type of charging system I wanted (off grid & on-board), battery size, type of battery, whether single battery or running 2 batteries parallel. I knew I wanted off grid charging system: solar. I researched a good solar company & found Renogy (which I gave a few phone calls to) & read up on batteries how large & types are the best & would give me a reliable time frame.

Example: if you use a battery with at least 86ah, your Load will run for the desired amount of time at a safe 50% discharge level which is 43 amp hours. For "me" I decided to go with 125ah V Max tank AGM battery with a 8 to 10 yr life span with a 50% discharge level gives me 62.5 amp hours.
Now IMO this is when it all comes together as of 12v. gear you decide to use. As for me I run Engel MR40 40 qt. 12v. portable fridge freez which pulls average .7amps to 1.25 amp on fridge (runs on demand) depending on the time of the year. My Endless Breeze Fan on medium pulls 1.2 amp hour (run continuously @ night in the summer while sleeping). My Proplex H2000 tent furnace pulls 1.6 amps hour (runs on demand in the cold winter months @ night while sleeping), I have miscellaneous 12v. gear like my Zodi Hot Shower system that barely pulls any amps do to the short time it runs for showering. These figures of equipment usage is very important & will determine battery use, battery size & type of battery & type off grid charging system (solar).

Solar system I run is Renogy: 2 100 watt portable panels with branch connector, 5 ft 10 agw pigtail between both panels, 30 amp charge controller & 20ft of 10 agw cable. I like this set up because @ certain times of the year (seasons) in the winter I just run 1 100 watt portable panel were in the warmer months I run both 100 watt portable panels parallel "together. In the winter months & early spring I leave my Engel @ home & replace it with a 70 qt. K2 Roto-molded cooler. For this reason my frozen jugs & ice stays in the cooler longer & the only 12v. gear I run is my tent furnace & my Zodi Shower system.

A 100 watt solar panel (good quality) will produce 30 amp hours per day. This also can vary during different times of the year with less sun light available in winter months. Running my 2 100 watt Renogy panels together in spring & summer early fall months parallel the voltage would remain the same but the amperage would increase. This is were this system shines. The key is to have more going back into the battery or batteries than you have going out. Much like how a accelerator pedal works on a vehicle. The more you give it the gas the more it uses gas.

It is important IMO that what ever 12v. gear you use is low power consumption as possible to keep your battery life while camping & its life span altogether in good standing. This why I mention 50% discharge level is important. Anything beyond this will shorten your battery life span, not counting your run time on the battery while camping. Plus you need a solar system large enough that is capable of putting more back into your battery vs. what you have going out. A single 100watt panel wont do if you run a 12v. fridg\freez & other 12v. gear in the warmer months of spring or summer because of ambient air temperature (warm to hotter temperatures) will cause the fridge to run more often which in this case uses more power & the power consumption will be higher amps per hour than listed on the low side of the owners manual. This also goes for the fact that late fall 7 winter months we have short day light times which your amps per day are less than 30 amps. Remember that fridge will need to run @ sleep hours too 24 hrs on demand much like your household fridges do. The average portable 12v. fridge will run anywhere between every 15 minutes on the low to normal side (cooler weather) to every 8 minutes or less on the high side (warmer weather) depending geographic's. This will use more power from the battery which will go into the lower side of the 50% discharged level if the solar system isn't large enough to supply the power for recharging the battery & at the same time supplying a reserve to the battery for night time use this will cause a shorter life span to the battery overall.

I find that some folks will be "under powered" in solar because they are trying to save money. They will blame it on the solar system when in reality the facts are they did not purchase a efficient sizeable solar system to supply enough power to begin with. To run 12v. gear especially off grid disperse camping is to have enough off grid power to supply the battery for a full charge during sun light hours while to run the 12v. gear during the day time hours @ have enough reserve in the battery to supply night time hour use. Again, the reason for this is.............they do not want to spend the money for a proper sized high quality solar system that is efficient for the 12v. gear they are supporting.

The photo is when the wife & I are out late winter early spring dispersed camping using only one of our 100 watt panels. We never had our battery below 10% of the actual total amp hour rating while disperse camping.
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Davis2001r6

New member
That's a great looking set-up. I'm sad the 20L Alpicool model jumped from $239 to $279 in the last few weeks though. I'm thinking about just getting the 30L model now. The footprint isn't much larger and I think the design is a bit more useable.
 

jrs

New member
I just bought the 20L from Amazon for $239. Find a friend with Prime and shipping is free. Mine has the same issue described by Toyman01 last March. Did we ever see a picture of the mod. to the temperature sensor. I want to make the same mod but am not sure where I am supposed to move the sensor to. Inside the cooler compartment???????? Drill a hole?????
 

trae

Adventurer
I bought the C20 from Amazon for $239. It's not large, but it's big enough for me when I'm out by myself. It's also large enough for a water bottle to stand up inside. The smaller one isn't. It weighs about 1/3 of my Basecamp 43qt.

The problem with it was the location of the temperature sensor for the thermostat. It was causing the compressor to cycle off after a minute or two of running, and the temperature inside the cooler wouldn't drop.

The sensor was slid down a tube in the insulation, about 1/2 inch from the evaporator line around the top of the cooler. My modification was to install a brass tube in the bottom third of the cooler approximately 4.5 inches from the evaporator line and relocate the sensor to the new tube. That solved the short cycle problem and the interior temps would drop like they should.
Any chance for an update after 8 months of use? And that sensor mod picture @Toyman01?


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trae

Adventurer
We sell these fridges in australia, found them to be reliable, no issues at all.
If you read amazon reviews there’s a fairly common issue with runaway temperatures which is consistent with the poor sensor placement that toyman was reporting. How’s your experience been @jrs?


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CaliMobber

Adventurer
Any updates? It seems rediculous to even consider since I already have 2 others but Ive gotten so used to my arb that when I take the prius places I cant stand using ice. The ARB requires the back seats to be folded and and I cant use the rear cover. Amazon regularly has these for $120-140 shipped.
 

perkj

Explorer
I've had my Alpicool C15 for little over 6 months. I personally love it and I'm surprise at how often I use it since its size lends to just tossing it in any car on a whim. For camping specifically I use it primarily to store most my refrigerated foods (meats, cheezes, kids yogurts, condiments, etc) and then use the ARB 50 for drinks/beer & food overflow. This weekend's camp trip I plan to use it for the first time as a freezer to bring freezy pops and ice cream sandwiches for the kids and the ARB will double duty food & drinks. Zero issues so far
 
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CaliMobber

Adventurer
I've had my Alpicool C15 for little over 6 months. I personally love it and I'm surprise at how often I use it since its size lends to just tossing it in any car on a whim. For camping specifically I use it primarily to store most my refrigerated foods (meats, cheezes, kids yogurts, condiments, etc) and then use the ARB 50 for drinks/beer & food overflow. This weekend's camp trip I plan to use it for the first time as a freezer to bring freezy pops and ice cream sandwiches for the kids and the ARB will double duty food & drinks. Zero issues so far

Thats good to hear. I just picked one up on a lightning deal for $160 shipped. I biggest complaint I seem to read is they go into runaway mode and the compressor never shuts off freezing everything and killing the battery. I might look into a external volatage controlled shutoff.

I also figure for this price I can try and clean up the wiring and maybe improve some if the faults.
 
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