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Wanted - plans or ideas... Answered

Greetings Geniuses (Geniei?) I have already scanned the site and youtube but I was wondering if anyone either has or could create plans to build a motorized (gas engine for ease I am thinking) cooler? Any links, help or suggestions most welcome....



3 Replies

espdp2 (author)2012-11-06


We recently bought our first travel trailer to help with a long move. It has a fridge/freezer that runs on 120VAC or propane. Newer models also can run on 12VDC as a third option. Two 20 lb tanks lasted us for three weeks, but we used AC whenever it was available. I would guess that one tank should keep a small RV unit running for 2-3 days. I'm interested to see what you have in mind. Please share, and see my attached pics for some ideas for a semi-portable cooler.

One caveat, they need to be level! Ours wouldn't cool very well if it was off just a smidge, so we had to pay attention to that.

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Toga_Dan (author)2012-10-03

Typically, electrical compressors for fridges are sealed. The motor is inside the plumbing. As such, hacking it to take torque directly from an outside source is out of the question. I don't know if there are exceptions. Perhaps on a refrigerator truck.

Historically, the 1st fridges compressed and released air. This is possible, but, I think, inefficient. It has the advantage of not needing to be perfectly sealed.

Ammonia can be used as refrigerant. I think it's less toxic + expensive than modern refrigerants. Still nasty if it leaks in your face.

There are fridges powered by a burner. No moving parts. Quiet. I've only used 1. It was finicky, fussy, a bit unreliable. I don't know if this is representative of all of these. It may have been a problem with keeping a pilot light lit while cruising down the freeway in the motor home.

One could, of course run a generator to keep an electric cooler going. BUt maybe that is cheating... :)

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FoolishSage (author)2012-09-10

Found this site about a guy using a jet engine to cool his beer:

Not very detailed but good for a laugh :)

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