Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have one of those portable coolers/freezers that can run on either 12V DC or 120V AC. I've noticed that it performs marginally better on AC, but when we're on trips, it's sometimes difficult to remember to turn the 120V back on every time you stop at a rest area/get gas etc. Is there any way to have the 120V outlets come on automatically when you start the van? Dealer setting or otherwise? I honestly don't understand exactly why Toyota designed it this way. I get being able to turn them off, but I really wish it would remember the previous state.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Have the exact same question. We have a portable fridge/cooler as well and opted to buy a little Jackery 300 battery pack and just stick that inline. Keeps it running for a good 8-12 hours just in case we forget to turn the inverter back on. No option for leave it in previous state as far as I am aware.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
I'm sure it's for "safety" but yes what a PITA for the end user.

We solve this by three methods:

1) Ask wife to remind me to turn the inverter back on each time. (works OK)
2) Plug fridge into 12v DC power port instead of inverter.
3) Plug fridge into LiOn battery bank that's plugged into either 12v or 120v. Fridge runs when van is off (for up to 12 hrs), battery bank (re)charges while driving.

We tend to use method #1 on shorter trips with few stops and #3 on long multi-day, multi-stop trips.

We put 15k miles in 4 months over the spring/summer so we use a fridge a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
I'm sure it's for "safety" but yes what a PITA for the end user.

We solve this by three methods:

1) Ask wife to remind me to turn the inverter back on each time. (works OK)
2) Plug fridge into 12v DC power port instead of inverter.
3) Plug fridge into LiOn battery bank that's plugged into either 12v or 120v. Fridge runs when van is off (for up to 12 hrs), battery bank (re)charges while driving.

We tend to use method #1 on shorter trips with few stops and #3 on long multi-day, multi-stop trips.

We put 15k miles in 4 months over the spring/summer so we use a fridge a lot.
That's line for line exactly how we worked around it as well. Sure is great having a real "refrigerator" in the car on long road trips!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
That plug turns off when the car is off correct? If so then what if you just bypass the switch and hard wire it?
hard wire it to what? its run off the inverter, from the HV battery. with the car off, the main contactors to the HV battery are disconnected, and thus, the inverter is off. Its a "soft" switch, in that when you hit it, it has to first check and see if the HV battery has enough voltage/charge to provide the inverter with enough power to run the 120v outlet at full power. I have had our highlander hybrid(which has the 1500w inverter) tell us that it can't turn it on when the HV battery charge is low, and it starts the car then and aggressively charges it until it can turn on.


There is no way to leave the 1500w inverter on when the car is off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
So, how badly do you want this and how good are you with electronics? What you want is to tap into the switch and have it momentary trigger once ignition is detected (or preferably after a short delay). Here's a thread that may provide some useful information and an idea of what may be involved:

I'm sure there's other resources on the internet, maybe someone who already rigged up the exact circuit you need. But since I don't have the inverter (more accurately, I don't have the Sienna), I'll leave it at this :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, how badly do you want this and how good are you with electronics? What you want is to tap into the switch and have it momentary trigger once ignition is detected (or preferably after a short delay). Here's a thread that may provide some useful information and an idea of what may be involved:

I'm sure there's other resources on the internet, maybe someone who already rigged up the exact circuit you need. But since I don't have the inverter (more accurately, I don't have the Sienna), I'll leave it at this :)
Yeah, I've thought about this. That said, a Switchbot might also work and be less soldering (and not prone to voiding warranties).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I'm sure it's for "safety" but yes what a PITA for the end user.

We solve this by three methods:

1) Ask wife to remind me to turn the inverter back on each time. (works OK)
2) Plug fridge into 12v DC power port instead of inverter.
3) Plug fridge into LiOn battery bank that's plugged into either 12v or 120v. Fridge runs when van is off (for up to 12 hrs), battery bank (re)charges while driving.

We tend to use method #1 on shorter trips with few stops and #3 on long multi-day, multi-stop trips.

We put 15k miles in 4 months over the spring/summer so we use a fridge a lot.
How big a battery bank is necessary to power the small refrigerator for 12 hours? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
How big a battery bank is necessary to power the small refrigerator for 12 hours? Thanks
576 Whr with extra battery attached but run time/draw is affected by temperatures (ambient, inside the car, and settings on the fridge). I keep ours around 33-35F so items don't freeze but water bottles can still slightly ice up. Also once the fridge is chilled down, it will keep things cold for a long time while off just like any good cooler.

The LiOn battery bank + two small, portable solar panels are part of my home storm/power outage preps and I like being able to use and, more importantly, exercise it with uses like in the Sienna and camping unlike my small gas generator that just sits and needs periodic servicing.
 

·
Registered
21 Sienna AWD Plat Silver
Joined
·
1,238 Posts
How big a battery bank is necessary to power the small refrigerator for 12 hours? Thanks
If I got it right, this is how you can figure it out.

Check the "Wattage" rating on the freeze. Usually, all appliances list it somewhere. ex. 600W.
If it has AMPs listed, multiply AMPs by Voltage (12V for ones for car, or 120V for regular in-home ones). This will give you Wattage. ex. 5AMPs for in-home refrigerator at 120v = 600W.

Batteries are listed as 'X' watts for 1 hour. i.e. if a battery is listed as 600WHR, it can provide 600Watts for one hour. If your appliance is listed as 100Watts, it will last for 6 hours and so on. I don't think you can plugin an appliance that needs more watts than listed on the battery capacity. I.e. if the battery is listed as 600WHR, don't plugin anything that is rated at 601W or higher. (I don't know what's best practice, but may be don't go over 500W in this excample?? There is something like peak Wattage that often goes beyond running wattage. This happens when motor initially gets going.)

Keep in mind that refrigerator motor doesn't continuously run. It comes on only when the temperature rises above set value. My guess would be that may be it runs for 10-30 minutes every hour depending ambient temperature. If you leave it in a locked up car in 110 degrees, than it would be running non-stop.

Btw, battery storage and charging capacity are also affected by what fotomoto mentioned above.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top