Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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IIRC holding plate systems can be used for either a freezer or a refrigerator... but most commonly are used in a unit that has a section for each. I use an Engel refrigerator on my boat, and it is a dual voltage unit. If I have it set for anything more than 1.5 or 2 (out of 5) it tends to freeze the stuff at the bottom of the unit, and the top acts as a refrigerator. If I am going out on a longer trip...I will generally fill the bottom with large bottles of water, with a bit of space in them and allow the unit to freeze them solid. Then they will keep the refrigerator cold for several days with very little power use.
I would recommend beefing up the insulation in your current unit before doing anything drastic. Most stock boat refrigerators are a bit skimpy on the insulation. Also, keeping the unit fairly full is very helpful, as that gives the unit some thermal "inertia", and helps keep the temperatures stable. I have helped install mylar-faced insulation in several boat refrigerator units, and it has made a HUGE difference.
A couple of other points... One—make sure that if there is a drain to the bottom of the refrigerator or freezer, that it has a cold trap, similar to the P-trap found under a standard sink, to help keep the cold air from just flowing down the drain. Two—cover the unit with a blanket...except for the areas that need the air flow—blocking the airflow will make it overheat. Three—if it is a front opening unit, make a heavy plastic set of curtains for it, to help hold in the cold air when you open it.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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