Power consumption is one of the most discussed features of camping refrigerators among campers. The question everyone is asking is, "How many amps does it draw?" or “how long will it run from my battery?”. Vehicle refrigerators, which are the biggest helpers of camping lovers during their camping time, can be found in different features. In this article, we will tell you how you can use your portable refrigerator in the most effective way.
Did you know that in average conditions, almost any refrigerator will draw the same amount of current over a 24 hour period? While there are definitely more efficient refrigerators at various prices than others on the market, you may be surprised to learn that the way you use your refrigerator can have a huge impact on how much power the device draws.




How do we measure the power consumption of the car refrigerator?


Power consumption is measured in Amps Per Hour (Aph or a / h). This refers to the amount of ampere a device uses for an hour of use.


There are 2 ways to measure a / h for camping refrigerators:


1.Use power draw = this is the amount of power the refrigerator draws in operation
2.Average power draw = this is the amount of power the refrigerator draws per hour over a 24 hour period.
It is important to look at both of these figures when determining power consumption, but the second figure (Average draw) will be the best indicator of portable refrigerator efficiency.
Some of the car refrigerators can be switched on and off to keep the temperature. Better insulation means less work, resulting in a better average current draw.


Here are some tips for lowering your average ampere-hour draw:


Cool down your car refrigerator before leaving your home


Most refrigerators are capable of operating at 240V. The vehicle you will buy is a feature you should look for when purchasing a refrigerator.
Before you start your journey for camping, run your car fridge with 240V and let it reach the cold you want at home. Your car fridge consumes the most power while bringing the cold of the fridge from room temperature to the desired cold, so before connecting the fridge to 12V, cool it at home using 240V to lower the temperature.


Keep the food and drinks in your fridge cold


You must make sure that the food and drinks you put in your camping refrigerator are cold. If you put a warm drink in the fridge, your car fridge will use a lot of power to cool these drinks.


Use a cold ice tray


While cooling your refrigerator to 240V in the preparation phase, freeze your refrigerator and a few ice molds (-15 degrees). It would be better to put it in your refrigerator a few days in advance so that it freezes properly and completely. With this movement, you will ensure that the inside of your refrigerator is cold.

If you have enough space to fit ice trays while you put your food, leave between 3 and 5 inches of space when packing your food. Then set the temperature of the refrigerator to 2 degrees. The refrigerator will work like an ice bucket for the first part of your journey and won't need to work hard to keep it extra cold!


Get a cover to keep it cool


Almost most vehicle refrigerators provide an additional insulating and cool cover to prevent the outer case from heating. By adding extra insulation to the refrigerator, you can keep it cool for longer. In this way, your car refrigerator uses less power and can work longer.


Avoid direct sunlight


It may sound funny to you, but we see many refrigerators in the sun at the campsites. One of our customers even complained that the cover of their DE45W was bent while in direct sun on a hot day, I wonder what your car refrigerator was doing in the sun on such a hot day?
Obviously, your portable camping fridge will work better in the shade and outside of hot vehicles. If it's covered in the trunk and your car is in the sun, your refrigerator will struggle with high ambient temperatures and will likely drain your battery twice as fast.



Space for ample ventilation


The compressor in your refrigerator will generate heat to lower the temperature of your refrigerator in the cabinet. It's important to leave plenty of room for the heat from your compressor to escape from your refrigerator. More ventilation results in better efficiency.


Keep the lid of your car refrigerator closed


Finally, try to keep your refrigerator door closed as much as possible. Every time you open the refrigerator, you will lose a portion of the cold air, which in turn means that the hot air entering the refrigerator must be re-cooled.
Pay attention to how long or how often the refrigerator is open to prevent the internal temperature from rising, and limit it as much as you can.




Vehicle refrigerators comparison


• My refrigerator is a well-known brand with average insulation and compressor associated with inefficiency and lack of reliability.
My friend's refrigerator is known as the "best in class" brand refrigerator with better insulation and a more efficient compressor than mine.
Scenario
• Same tools, same battery setup.
• Camping at 40 degrees for a few days on the beach.
In light of this information, you can expect that there will be less battery left in my car refrigerator than my friends at the end of the journey.
End-of-trip analysis:
• My friends only showed 12.3V while my battery measured 12.5V.
• I noticed a difference in the way our refrigerators are used on the weekend.
• Big applause for those who can guess who followed the advice above !!
By following these tips, you may find that you are using your battery for a few extra hours or even more than a day. You can find your refrigerator using less power than the so-called "best in class" refrigerators on the market.