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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 06-09-2020, 01:21 PM   #1
midwest_kc
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Default Trailer refrigerator

This is our first season with a fridge in our trailer. I am trying to plan around how to keep it usable at comps. A couple weeks ago, on our way to Indiana, I plugged the trailer in at the house on Monday, on the coldest setting. Before leaving I placed 2 bags of ice in the fridge and we headed out, meat safely in a cooler. When we arrived, 10 hours later, the fridge was at 42 according to my IR thermometer, and so it cooled down below 40 with relative ease. It was also not very hot that day.

This weekend, we're gong to Wagoner, OK, which will be about a 5-6 hour trip (we have to make a pit stop that will take a half hour or so that's 40 minutes out of the way). It is currently pretty warm here, reaching the 90s during the days.

Do you think this same plan will work? My goal, when I'm comfortable with it, is to be able to load the meat and such in the fridge and not worry about the cooler. What would be a good strategy for this?

It's a household fridge, in a concession style trailer, fwiw. So a little bit of insulation, no windows. It was 88 yesterday when I got home from work according to my truck, and the trailer was 93.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:34 PM   #2
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We have a residential style fridge in our trailer. If we're 4 hours or so away, fridge gets turned on extra cold, and we put the meat in the fridge the night before (or earlier if we trim before hand). The morning we leave, we put gallon jugs of ice in the fridge with the meat to fill up any extra space (beer works too ). We put a bag of ice in the freezer too, to use once we get there. With this setup, the fridge is always below 40 when we get to the contest. We also run the AC the night before to help make sure everything in the trailer is cold.



I'm sure it would work that way for longer drives as well, but we just haven't tried it yet. Also, thermoworks sells a little digital fridge thermometer that clips onto the shelf so you always know what temp the fridge is at.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:48 PM   #3
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Thanks! Currently, I'm plugging into our home power on a 15/20A plug, so I don't want to push it with the AC, but this is super helpful. The plan is to still rock the cooler this weekend, I just wanted some input from those that have used them for a while.
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:07 AM   #4
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do you have a generator? We just load all the meat in our fridge and run the generator in the bed of the truck, and leave the trailer plugged in. I've seen some guys configure inverters with a deep cell Marine battery. if you have dewalt cordless tools I believe their "Power Pack" will run the fridge. on Hot summer days those fridges warm up quickly going down the road.
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:39 AM   #5
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeyton89 View Post
do you have a generator? We just load all the meat in our fridge and run the generator in the bed of the truck, and leave the trailer plugged in. I've seen some guys configure inverters with a deep cell Marine battery. if you have dewalt cordless tools I believe their "Power Pack" will run the fridge. on Hot summer days those fridges warm up quickly going down the road.
We do have a generator. I hadn't thought about the bed of the truck. We were trying to figure out how to keep the door to our porch closed if we ran cord to the porch and strapped the generator back there.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by midwest_kc View Post
We do have a generator. I hadn't thought about the bed of the truck. We were trying to figure out how to keep the door to our porch closed if we ran cord to the porch and strapped the generator back there.
If you're ship to shore cord is mounted on the outside of the trailer its easy to just run the main power line into the bed of the truck. We secure ours with zip ties to the tongue jack to keep it from hitting the pavement. I've got a 3500 predator but really thinking of getting one of those little 2,000 watt suitcase ones so I can leave the 3500 in the trailer and don't have to pick it up out of the truck.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeyton89 View Post
If you're ship to shore cord is mounted on the outside of the trailer its easy to just run the main power line into the bed of the truck. We secure ours with zip ties to the tongue jack to keep it from hitting the pavement. I've got a 3500 predator but really thinking of getting one of those little 2,000 watt suitcase ones so I can leave the 3500 in the trailer and don't have to pick it up out of the truck.
It's underneath, but towards the front. I think it would work. I'll be taking a look at it for sure. I have the predator as well - how is the noise vibration in the truck with it running in the bed?
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Old 06-10-2020, 12:00 PM   #9
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Default Your stated goal is to not have to worry about the cooler,

but it sounds like you're going to have to be worried about the refrigerator even more? I would think a good 5 day cooler packed w/ ice and wrapped meat would be a lot less worry than monitoring whether a generator is running, if the shore plug is plugged in, if the temporary power at competitions is working and correctly, if the refrigerator door got opened too much for other items, if the door closed well, etc? My experience has been packing 1 good cooler with the meat and not using it for anything else and seems there are no worries that way. Take it as just a thought and not doubting your method
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Old 06-10-2020, 01:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beer BQ Breath View Post
but it sounds like you're going to have to be worried about the refrigerator even more? I would think a good 5 day cooler packed w/ ice and wrapped meat would be a lot less worry than monitoring whether a generator is running, if the shore plug is plugged in, if the temporary power at competitions is working and correctly, if the refrigerator door got opened too much for other items, if the door closed well, etc? My experience has been packing 1 good cooler with the meat and not using it for anything else and seems there are no worries that way. Take it as just a thought and not doubting your method
We've done that for 7 years. There's certainly nothing wrong with it. Using a fridge is much more convenient, and you don't have to stack meat on top of each other, etc. The 2 contests we've cooked this year we packed the cooler, and then moved things over as we were doing our prep on Friday, as the fridge was cool. Now that we are moving into a hotter time of year, I would like to make sure that we don't run into issues of getting to a comp with an 80 degree fridge that will take a day to cool. That's the purpose of this exercise. Once on site, we will be there to make sure the generator is running, or the comp provided power (and we always have the genny just in case), so that isn't much of a worry.
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Old 06-10-2020, 03:33 PM   #11
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If you’re willing to look at the repetitive cost of fuel for a generator, more frequent oil changes, and added wear and tear I’d consider the cost and convenience of dry ice.
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:05 AM   #12
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We always use milk containers filed with frozen water. Lasts much longer than a bag of ice...ditch the cooler, out some milk juggs in and put your meat in your fridge...that's what you bought it for! Good Luck
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:17 AM   #13
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Jorge's suggestion of dry ice is not a bad idea. It wouldn't take very many pounds wrapped up in butcher paper to keep the temp low as you travel and while at the comp.



The question that I have is what is the total amp load with both the A/C and fridge running at the same time. Will you even be able to run an electric knife or coffee pot without tripping the breaker? The power supply at cook-offs is often sketchy at best.

Another alternative is an inverter powered by a deep cycle marine battery (or two depending on how long you need to run ) as a power source for the fridge.



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Old 06-11-2020, 08:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert View Post
Jorge's suggestion of dry ice is not a bad idea. It wouldn't take very many pounds wrapped up in butcher paper to keep the temp low as you travel and while at the comp.



The question that I have is what is the total amp load with both the A/C and fridge running at the same time. Will you even be able to run an electric knife or coffee pot without tripping the breaker? The power supply at cook-offs is often sketchy at best.

Another alternative is an inverter powered by a deep cycle marine battery (or two depending on how long you need to run ) as a power source for the fridge.

Robert
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Or frozen jugs of water
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert View Post
Jorge's suggestion of dry ice is not a bad idea. It wouldn't take very many pounds wrapped up in butcher paper to keep the temp low as you travel and while at the comp.



The question that I have is what is the total amp load with both the A/C and fridge running at the same time. Will you even be able to run an electric knife or coffee pot without tripping the breaker? The power supply at cook-offs is often sketchy at best.

Another alternative is an inverter powered by a deep cycle marine battery (or two depending on how long you need to run ) as a power source for the fridge.



Robert

If we can't get 30/50a power, we run our generator. We have a Predator 3500 that runs everything we need it to without issues (AC, Fridge, Water pump, lights, and electric knives).

This weekend, we could only get 20, which will run our fridge only fine (that's how I hook it up at the house), so we'll run the generator, and since we got a hotel that evening, we'll plug into the 20 to run the fridge overnight until we get back Saturday morning.
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