Car cooler for 2010 Prius (putting in trunk)

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by MegaPrius101, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    so I got a 26qt cooler that comes with a cigarette lighter plug for my Prius to put in trunk..

    I took it to a car audio shop to get it installed and they basically got the cigarette lighter plug and snipped that off and created a custom connector that connects to auxiliary battery ..

    After plugging it in for several hours , the “check hybrid system” light came on ..

    I wanted it to run continuously (even after car is off). I just unplugged the cooler..


    Question: should this be a problem on the Prius ?

    Here is link to cooler :

     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    with the car 'ready', it depends on the draw.

    with the car off, yes
     
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  3. kc5dlo

    kc5dlo Active Member

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    I saw where someone that camped in their Prius and had a similar cooler. They added a second battery on the drivers side of the car. I would think it would be fine with the car in ready mode. Battery is pretty small to rely on it powering the cooler for a long period while not being charged.
     
  4. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    The draw is not much since it uses a cigarette lighter for power ..

    I’ll try that second battery idea since I have a second battery laying around..I was just worried about space issues but I guess I have no choice now
     
  5. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    I’m trying to figure out why ?
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    with the car off, nothing is recharging the 12v. prius 12v is tiny, and when you draw it down, the inverter/converter doesn't do a good job of recharging it.
    also, it does not like being drawn down, that reduces its useful life each time you do it. many people have killed their 12v just by leaving the dome light on,

    prius 12v is only used to fire up the computers and relays, not start the engine. when the car is on, it is used minimally, and kept recharged by the hybrid battery through the inverter/converter.

    just because it comes with a cigarette lighter plug doesn't mean it will work in a prius.

    all cigarette lighter power supplies are not created equal.
     
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  7. bobzchemist

    bobzchemist Active Member

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    You have two choices to continually run the cooler:

    1) Leave the Prius in ready mode. The engine will only run when it needs to recharge the battery.
    2) Use a battery pack big enough to run the cooler for the length of time you want to have the engine off. My suspicion is that a second regular Prius battery will run that cooler for about 2 hours. If you need it to run longer, you'll have to add more batteries.

    I'd suggest using some method of keeping the second 12v battery isolated from the regular 12v battery - a battery switch will be your cheapest option. This will keep you from needing a jump start in the morning.
     
  8. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Is this really a necessity.....like for keeping medicine in.......or just a convenience ?

    A really good cooler and some bags of ice probably would be a better solution, unless you can "run" the cooler just when the car is running.
     
  9. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    I do rideshare driving (so I drive ALOT).. I wanted to put food in there so I can eat everyday (and not eat out often :) )..

    The cooler takes about 3 hours to reach coolest temps..
     
  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Do try to be practical about this.
    A "high efficiency" insulated cooler will hold ice frozen for up to 48 hours.
    Even an inexpensive styrofoam one should be good for 12 hours.

    If you put your food in one in the morning with some ice packs, it will be more than sufficient to keep it cool/cold all day.
     
  11. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    Ya.. I do realize that .. but I just got to buy a lot of ice and put it in cooler every time (not to mention dumping water from melted ice at end of day) .. with the ‘thermoelectric’ cooler , I just put food in cooler and go..no mess to deal with..

    I just like to keep things simple when it comes to getting out in the morning .. I mean we have enough of others things to deal with..

    I’m just hoping with this cooler purchase , I actually stick to my regimen of “eating in”..
     
  12. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Well it looks like it didn't work out as good as you hoped.
    Don't try to force that square peg into the round hole.

    No need to mess with actual ice cubes.
    Get some of the blue ice stuff packaged in thick plastic pouches; no mess, no fuss.
    You do have a freezer at home, don't you ?
     
  13. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Just use the reuse-able ice packs. They last all day, don't fill your cooler with water, and you toss them in the freezer overnight and they're ready in the morning. Piece of cake. We use them on all our long road trips. Something like this"


    Running that electric cooler with the the car off will absolutely for sure kill the 12V battery.
     
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  14. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    deleted
     
    #14 jb in NE, Jun 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  15. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    I have that 2nd battery I can use .. I just recharged it to 100%..

    I’m going to give this thing a try with the 2nd battery.. I have until July 8th to return it .. if my battery dies before then while using this cooler , I’ll probably return it as I don’t see myself wanting to constantly recharge battery.. only thing is I got a deal on it..

    I bought it for $60 and it’s being sold at “discount” now for around 80 something I think..
     
  16. bobzchemist

    bobzchemist Active Member

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    Something like this is about the cheapest way to isolate your 2nd battery:



    Having the switch in the "both" position should allow the traction battery to charge both batteries. You'd need to figure out how/where to wire things so the cooler doesn't drain both batteries dead by morning.
     
  17. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    Or maybe just find a battery that can be recharged many times ?
     
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    marine battery
     
  19. bobzchemist

    bobzchemist Active Member

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    In stock condition, the Prius has a single, relatively small 12v battery that is recharged from the traction battery as needed - when the car is in ready. Unfortunately, Toyota did not choose to build in circuitry that would leave a small reserve charge in the battery. If the stock battery is discharged overnight, by leaving the lights on, or running a cooler, etc., the Prius will not start without a jump. Discharging the 12v battery completely is not good for it's longevity, either.

    Adding a second battery to the car can be complicated, because you both need to charge it and also keep it isolated from the 1st battery. If you don't keep it isolated, you could potentially discharge both batteries at night and be stuck with a dead Prius.

    One way to isolate the second battery is with a switch, which could be either manual or automatic. This just adds the second battery to the Prius electrical system, charging it from the onboard charger. If you use a manual switch, you'd have to remember to set the switch correctly every night and morning. Automatic switches/relays are expensive, though. RV's and boats have been doing this kind of switching for years - there's a lot of information on the web if you look.

    Another way to isolate it would be to charge the second battery with a 12v to 12v battery charger, or with an AC battery charger plugged into an inverter that is in turn hooked up to the first 12v battery (through the cigarette lighter, etc.) You'd want to make sure that the inverter is only powered when the car is in ready, or you're back to the dead Prius problem.

    I think it'd really be much simpler to grab a few ice-packs and some food every morning to re-stock the cooler than it would be to try to rig the cooler for long-term food storage, but if you can't, I hope I've given you some pointers towards a solution.
     
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  20. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    I have a 100% charged OEM Prius auxiliary battery on my driver side rear trunk now ..

    I took it back to the car audio place and they re-wired it for me for free.. just had to buy some terminals ..

    Here are pics .. I know this battery is not being charged by main battery but I was looking at the specs for the cooler and it draws very little ..

    Like I said, I want to see how long this lasts ..I may have to get an aux battery that can be recharged ALOT.. the installer there told me to look into CVR batteries..


    Here are some pics I took.. we pulled out the screw that sticks out from bottom and sealed it up with Dynamat..battery is tied down with those elastic hook ropes you see holding the cooler onto rear headrest..as you can see, the battery is not a perfect fit but good enough for me .
     

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