Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

Shakedown of new setup

Lorin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
1,319
Next year we're off in April for 6 months touring through South Eastern Europe. As we'll be travelling with a 4 year old and a large dog, packaging in an 80 is a challenge to say the least. So, I've made a few changes to my setup in preparation for this trip and am currently 'testing' on a leisurely jaunt through Brittany.

The main changes are: a larger tent; a large fridge freezer; redesigned shelving/drawers; and more solar. There is also a swing-away carrier in development to carry the spare when needed, the bikes and the gas.

The new tent is a Tembo 1.9 Tourer https://www.fd4x4centre.com/webshop_en/tembo4x4-rooftoptent-tbhrt19t-tourer.html. This was chosen after two visits to Abenteur and Allrad to properly look at different options. Options big enough to sleep three in relative comfort are not that extensive and all have their compromises. This particular tent came out on top due primarily to the quality of its build, its relative light weight and a really positive review from someone who used one continuously for 12 months. So far the tent has proven a good choice, having endured some significant wind and rain without issue. It sets up well and the quality is as we remembered. The only negatives were that it arrived with aluminium swarf throughout the tent requiring quite a bit of effort to remove, the assembly instructions are so poor as to be more a hindrance than a help, and my experience of buying through Adventech https://www.adventech4x4.com/nl/product/tembo-4x4/ was one of the worst I've had.

The new fridge freezer is a Snomaster EX67D. This would not have been my first choice as I wanted a National Luna but two things meant this was the only option. Having had 3 fridges to date, an Engel 40, Waeco 50 and a National Luna Weekender 50 Dual, one thing that has become really apparent is that quoted power usuage figures are of no real use at all. When considering which option will use less power, I now believe the primary concern, even over how efficient the compressor is, is how well insulated the unit is. We've been in mid to high 30s and seen all our fridges running almost continuously at times. This meant that insulation was a key factor in choosing our fridge freezer with a minimum of 60mm being indicated. I also wanted a double door, so that the freezer wasn't opened every time I accessed the fridge and I wanted separate fridge freezer temperature controls. Taken together, these factors reduced options to either a National Luna or a Snomaster. The fridge I wanted was the NL 72 but for some unfathomable reason it only allows the larger of the two compartments to be run as a proper freezer (-18C). That coupled with with an eye-watering price left me with the Snowmaster EX67D. This also has the benefit of 70mm insulation - the most of any available camping fridge. I bought through Tuff Trek which was painless. First impressions are good. It holds temperature well, the compressor is quiet, quality is okay if not NL standards, and consumption doesn't seem too bad. The only issue I'm experiencing is with significant voltage drop when the compressor runs which I'm assuming is my wiring and needs further investigation.

My shelving unit is in its 5th iteration and is pretty close to how I want it. The biggest issue is with my workmanship (combined with B&Q plywood) meaning the fit and finish is poor, and the drawer slides are binding a bit. I'm going to resolve this by getting someone skilled to remake it for me using quality ply!

I've also fitted a 100W flexible solar panel on the bonnet. This is to help the leisure battery when we park up with the fridge. It is further augmented by a further 100W (two 50W panels) that I can deploy when we're set-up. So far it all seems more than adequate for keeping up with demand.

Some pictures
IMG_7928.JPG
IMG_7939.JPG
IMG_7943.JPG
IMG_7953.JPG
IMG_7954.JPG
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
Joined
Feb 24, 2010
Messages
17,402
Garage
Country Flag
europe
Lorin, as you know I have tussled with the fridge paradox myself. And I'm sitting here planning the inside of my Hilux build for Germany in August. I really fancy the Snowmaster but not sure that I really need the freezer. I like the idea but only ever have ice and hash browns in there. The missus has just shopped and I think that she believes the fridge to be bottomless. The trailer fridge and truck fridge are both full and the house fridge isn't empty yet! I'm figuring just one massive fridge.

As you say, insulation is key, not just consumption. But I'd to that the UIS factor. That's Usable Internal Space. They can quote 40L, 50L etc but for my money the NL Weekender has the most unusable space of any fridge I've had. It's fine if you just want to fill the fridge by pouring water in it, but if you want wine bottle, milk cartons, yoghurt, bacon and so on then it's the wrong shape completely.

I have a Waeco 40 and 35 CF and the space is better utilised. But I don't want to install two fridges in the Hilux.
 

hopeless wanderer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
761
Country Flag
england
Next year we're off in April for 6 months touring through South Eastern Europe. As we'll be travelling with a 4 year old and a large dog, packaging in an 80 is a challenge to say the least. So, I've made a few changes to my setup in preparation for this trip and am currently 'testing' on a leisurely jaunt through Brittany.

The main changes are: a larger tent; a large fridge freezer; redesigned shelving/drawers; and more solar. There is also a swing-away carrier in development to carry the spare when needed, the bikes and the gas.

The new tent is a Tembo 1.9 Tourer https://www.fd4x4centre.com/webshop_en/tembo4x4-rooftoptent-tbhrt19t-tourer.html. This was chosen after two visits to Abenteur and Allrad to properly look at different options. Options big enough to sleep three in relative comfort are not that extensive and all have their compromises. This particular tent came out on top due primarily to the quality of its build, its relative light weight and a really positive review from someone who used one continuously for 12 months. So far the tent has proven a good choice, having endured some significant wind and rain without issue. It sets up well and the quality is as we remembered. The only negatives were that it arrived with aluminium swarf throughout the tent requiring quite a bit of effort to remove, the assembly instructions are so poor as to be more a hindrance than a help, and my experience of buying through Adventech https://www.adventech4x4.com/nl/product/tembo-4x4/ was one of the worst I've had.

The new fridge freezer is a Snomaster EX67D. This would not have been my first choice as I wanted a National Luna but two things meant this was the only option. Having had 3 fridges to date, an Engel 40, Waeco 50 and a National Luna Weekender 50 Dual, one thing that has become really apparent is that quoted power usuage figures are of no real use at all. When considering which option will use less power, I now believe the primary concern, even over how efficient the compressor is, is how well insulated the unit is. We've been in mid to high 30s and seen all our fridges running almost continuously at times. This meant that insulation was a key factor in choosing our fridge freezer with a minimum of 60mm being indicated. I also wanted a double door, so that the freezer wasn't opened every time I accessed the fridge and I wanted separate fridge freezer temperature controls. Taken together, these factors reduced options to either a National Luna or a Snomaster. The fridge I wanted was the NL 72 but for some unfathomable reason it only allows the larger of the two compartments to be run as a proper freezer (-18C). That coupled with with an eye-watering price left me with the Snowmaster EX67D. This also has the benefit of 70mm insulation - the most of any available camping fridge. I bought through Tuff Trek which was painless. First impressions are good. It holds temperature well, the compressor is quiet, quality is okay if not NL standards, and consumption doesn't seem too bad. The only issue I'm experiencing is with significant voltage drop when the compressor runs which I'm assuming is my wiring and needs further investigation.

My shelving unit is in its 5th iteration and is pretty close to how I want it. The biggest issue is with my workmanship (combined with B&Q plywood) meaning the fit and finish is poor, and the drawer slides are binding a bit. I'm going to resolve this by getting someone skilled to remake it for me using quality ply!

I've also fitted a 100W flexible solar panel on the bonnet. This is to help the leisure battery when we park up with the fridge. It is further augmented by a further 100W (two 50W panels) that I can deploy when we're set-up. So far it all seems more than adequate for keeping up with demand.

Some pictures
View attachment 156931 View attachment 156932 View attachment 156933 View attachment 156934 View attachment 156935

Love those drawers …
 

StarCruiser

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Guru
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
11,811
Garage
Country Flag
uk
Lorin, if you take your measurements to a timber supplier, ask for birch ply and do them a drawing of how you want it cut they will cut it on their panel saw. Work out how you want your pieces cut from each board, I.e draw out a sheet and place your cut boards on it in rows of same width pieces to minimise cut lines.
 

cmcmill01

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
459
Country Flag
uk
@Lorin Good looking setup, got the same fridge, did yours come with the jacket?
 

nick_the_fish

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
829
Country Flag
great_britain
Nice set-up @Lorin . Like the rear draws.

We took ours away a few years ago when they were similar age. It was bloody brilliant, you guys are going to have an amazing time. Where are you headed?
 
Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

Lorin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
1,319
@Lorin Good looking setup, got the same fridge, did yours come with the jacket?

Yeh I’ve got the jacket. I just found having to unzip the whole thing every time I wanted to access the fridge a right pain! Not particularly well designed IMO. I’m thinking I might see if I can get it modified to have zip access to mirror the fridge lids but otherwise it’s staying off.
 

cmcmill01

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
459
Country Flag
uk
Yeh I’ve got the jacket. I just found having to unzip the whole thing every time I wanted to access the fridge a right pain! Not particularly well designed IMO. I’m thinking I might see if I can get it modified to have zip access to mirror the fridge lids but otherwise it’s staying off.
100% on it being a PITA, I’m going to keep mine off as well, wonder how much it impacts the draw of the fridge??
 

Lorin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
1,319
Nice set-up @Lorin . We took ours away a few years ago when they were similar age. It was bloody brilliant, you guys are going to have an amazing time. Where are you headed?

I can’t wait. Even now at 3 she’s seriously good fun. I’m really looking forward to 6 months of every day. A memory to be treasured I reckon. We’re starting in Croatia and heading down the coast to Greece, then along the Black Sea through Bulgaria and Romania, and home. No itinerary as such, just collecting a list of good places to visit if time permits. We plan to do quite a lot of 3-5 day off-road driving and wild camping trips along the way for which I have roadbooks or gpx tracks.
 

Bmonck

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
May 23, 2015
Messages
292
Country Flag
england
Sounds like a great trip. Please supply the obvious map, route and pics as you go. Cheers
 

toolsplus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
472
Country Flag
portugal
Dog's still looking good mate,can't believe how time flies since our meeting in Sagres

Always interesting to read about your projects and plans

Cheers
 
Top