Finally got around to writing about the latest additions and updates on our tow vehicle, a 2010 NT Pajero. After we sold our big van and bought a poptop (as a do-up that we had thought about selling but ended up loving it so much we kept it) we decided that getting a portable fridge would be a good idea. The van, a ’94 Viscount, has a good little 3 way fridge that copes reasonably well when we are away, but of course the freezer compartment is a little small for anything but the short trips.
The decision was made to get a single zone model that we would run as a freezer and keep in the rear of the car and run it from the caravan battery when we were camping. The Kings model we received around July 2019 was apparently the updated model that uses the popular Secop compressor which are considered the best type as far as reliability and power consumption rating. We haven’t been disapointed, as the fridge easily maintains -18 degrees even in the hottest days on the coast – we spent a great week down at Batemans Bay last year before the terrible fires. The ice cream at the bottom stayed rock hard although we did notice that some areas of the interior were more like -8 degrees (at the top and to the side in the ‘dairy’ compartment which of course would only be suitable for that type of product if it was running in fridge mode). I’m assuming that is normal though for portable fridges. The interior light is very handy too – saves remembering to take a torch when sneaking out to get an icecream at night!
I was a little concerned about retaining the 12V ‘cigarette lighter’ plug connection but as we wanted to be able to plug it into the car when travelling then connect to the caravan it was easier to keep it rather than rewire the car and install an Anderson plug. In the end, I made up a short converter lead with a ciggy socket and Anderson plug as shown below that I use to connect the lead from the car when we are camping. Both connections work fine and so far, the ciggy plug hasn’t been an issue when driving. The fridge has 3 voltage cutout settings – I found that when testing the fridge using the 240V powerpack provided I was getting a code E1 fault and had to change the setting to setting 3 (switch on at 10.9V). I’m guessing the powerpack couldn’t provide the 12.4V needed continously, however when connected to the car and caravan batteries I put the setting on setting 1 (switch on at 12.4V) and didn’t have a problem.
Well – I actually did have an issue which turned out to be my fault and I detail the reason and how I fixed the issue in the Electrical Guide eBook available here – a clue is remember to consider voltage drops!
I bought the fridge, insulated cover and a Dunn & Watson fridge slide as a package deal from the 4WD Supacentre at a good price. The fridge slide I see has since been replaced in their online store with a different brand. I did have a problem with the slide initially when it would ‘catch’ when sliding back in again. Turned out it was my fault, I had used screws with too large a head to fix it down into the timber drawers. After replacing those it’s now all good! The slide came with the four tie down straps which are simple to fit and make it very secure.
So, in summary we are very happy with the fridge. It means we can freeze meat and meals before a trip (we use a vacuum sealer which I’ll write a post about soon as it’s so handy) and also when visiting local shops when restocking we just put everything that needs to stay cold or frozen in the car fridge. This is something that is important to do as putting warm food into a 3 way fridge is not a good idea as I’m sure many of you have found!