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12v fridge power

llamafilm

Member
May 23, 2021
15
0
USA
I want to put my Dometic 12V fridge in the back of M3 for a few days of camping, so I need the 12V outlet to stay on all the time. From what I’ve read on the forums, the options are either camp mode or sentry mode. But in my own testing, the 12V outlet seems to stay on all the time after I park and lock the car. Sentry mode and overheat protection are both off. Did this change in a recent software update? Or maybe it’s a timeout situation, as I’ve only watched it for a few minutes so far.

In camp mode it won’t let me turn the climate completely off, the minimum fan setting is 1 with AC off. Not sure if that would be better or worse than sentry mode.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
282
161
California
I want to put my Dometic 12V fridge in the back of M3 for a few days of camping, so I need the 12V outlet to stay on all the time. From what I’ve read on the forums, the options are either camp mode or sentry mode. But in my own testing, the 12V outlet seems to stay on all the time after I park and lock the car. Sentry mode and overheat protection are both off. Did this change in a recent software update? Or maybe it’s a timeout situation, as I’ve only watched it for a few minutes so far.

In camp mode it won’t let me turn the climate completely off, the minimum fan setting is 1 with AC off. Not sure if that would be better or worse than sentry mode.

There is a timeout. You should wait 10min or longer. Sentry Mode has lower power consumption.
 

GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,370
1,209
Quebec City, Canada
Zimo is pretty much right, I believe 12V, as well as USB plugs, power off when the car falls asleep. It might take 30 minutes to an hour before a car falls asleep after you drive it.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,765
8,356
Boise, ID
Any concern about the 12V battery running down?
It can't. You are thinking of a gas car, where when the car is off, the 12V battery is completely isolated and on its own, and there's nothing the car can do to recharge it unless you start the car.

With Teslas, it's always monitoring the state of charge of the 12V, and it will reconnect and refill the 12V battery from the large main battery pack whenever needed. If you are running some higher draw from it, like a refrigerator, that will just mean that it will do those refill cycles more often, but it won't let it go dead.
 

Itsuo-DC

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 26, 2018
184
112
Washington, DC
It can't. You are thinking of a gas car, where when the car is off, the 12V battery is completely isolated and on its own, and there's nothing the car can do to recharge it unless you start the car.

With Teslas, it's always monitoring the state of charge of the 12V, and it will reconnect and refill the 12V battery from the large main battery pack whenever needed. If you are running some higher draw from it, like a refrigerator, that will just mean that it will do those refill cycles more often, but it won't let it go dead.

This has been my experience, also most 12v fridges are built for ICE vehicles and have shut off features for when they sense lower voltage from the 12v. (Again this shouldn’t ever be an issue bc of the DC to DC charger in a Tesla but it’s additional reassurance that the fridge would never ride your vehicles 12v or your portable battery’s overall charge, to zero.)

I tend to run my ICECO GO20 off of my Goal Zero Yeti 500x so I have consistent power when I’m not driving the car. I also carry a Nomad 20w(?) panel to feed the Yeti during the day although I doubt it would ever fully recharge it if I was out for an extended stay.
 
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Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,081
1,441
Syracuse, NY
I also have a 12v frig. My experience is that the 12 volt plug turns off when the car turns off. Camp mode, will keep it on all night but if you stop during the day and your car turns off so does 12 volt plug.
The 12v stays on for hours. Haven't tested exactly how long.

I know because I have a radar detector plugged in to the 12V socket. I have it set to turn off automatically after 1 hour because it will stay on for a long time if I don't do that. When the power supply to the radar detector stops and comes back, the detector will turn on. Because of this I know it take a long time for the 12V socket to turn off cause I almost always have to manually unplug the detector to get it to start up again. The only time I don't have to is if i'm home or at work, when the car is sleeping for hours at a time.

But in OPs case, the 12V does stay on for a while but not forever. Don't know how many hours.
 

Itsuo-DC

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 26, 2018
184
112
Washington, DC
The 12v stays on for hours. Haven't tested exactly how long.

I know because I have a radar detector plugged in to the 12V socket. I have it set to turn off automatically after 1 hour because it will stay on for a long time if I don't do that. When the power supply to the radar detector stops and comes back, the detector will turn on. Because of this I know it take a long time for the 12V socket to turn off cause I almost always have to manually unplug the detector to get it to start up again. The only time I don't have to is if i'm home or at work, when the car is sleeping for hours at a time.

But in OPs case, the 12V does stay on for a while but not forever. Don't know how many hours.
I believe I noticed the 12v outlet turns off shortly after the vehicle is locked.

If you're at a campsite and don't need to lock the car, you can leave it unlocked and the 12v in the trunk will stay on.
 

GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,370
1,209
Quebec City, Canada
The 12V stays on while the car is awake, and loses power when the car falls asleep. You can keep the car awake with a few things : sentry mode, camp mode, keep climate on / dog mode, smart summon etc...
 

Itsuo-DC

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 26, 2018
184
112
Washington, DC
The 12V stays on while the car is awake, and loses power when the car falls asleep. You can keep the car awake with a few things : sentry mode, camp mode, keep climate on / dog mode, smart summon etc...
Thanks, I'll try leaving sentry mode on and hopefully that will keep the fridge on. As I mentioned before, I noticed leaving the car unlocked also appeared to leave the 12v on, perhaps because it prevented the vehicle from falling asleep.
 

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