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  #1  
Old June 10th, 2014, 10:35 AM
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Expedition Kegerator

In the process of sorting my expedition trailer, I have determined that I have a need for a removable Expedition Kegarator. In all reality, this will be much more for camping and events than it will for real overlanding, but I do want it to properly compliment my trailer and have some sort of cool factor.

The plan is to build a 12v kegarator that will be in a separate weatherproof cabinet that can be mounted and/or removed from my expedition trailer and have larger pneumatic casters for easy movement when not attached to the trailer.

The original plan started with a residential Kegarator that was in need of a new compressor. I was intending to replace the bad compressor with a large 12V Danfoss compressor (think 82Q ARB). As I was putting the pieces for this together, I came across a great deal on a Norcold AC/DC mini fridge that I picked up cheap as chips on Craigslist. With that in mind, I have switched gears and plan the build around this complete working unit.

I hope modify the fridge to eliminate the freezer section and increase the cooling capacity of the main fridge unit in an attempt to maintain 34-38 consistent temp. I will install the parts to hold a 5 gal Corny Keg with ball lock fittings, a 5Lb CO2 tank, and the needed valves and bits. I will drill a hole thru the side to have a proper side tap that will be easily accessed both when mounted on the trailer and when setting on the ground. The tanks will be secured inside the fridge with quickfist clamps top and bottom and all of the piping and valves will be mounted also.

The cabinet will be a metal box of either SS or Diamond plate (depending on what I find) and will leave 1" on the top and sides to install some super insulation material we use around the shop. The intent is for the cabinet to be weatherproof and to leave space in the back for proper cooling of the compressor unit. The fridge itself has a Galvi frame and solid bottom, so I will just install the pneumatic swivel tires directly to the lower frame so that it can be easily rolled from place to place when off the trailer. the finished cabinet will be 25"W X 32" H X 24" D plus the casters.

This is my first attempt to build a Kegarator, so if there is any input or ideas, I am open to ideas and input.

Seems like a fun project and worst case, I just keep it in my garage and plug in the 120V for a cold brew while turning a wrench.
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  #2  
Old June 10th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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Consider the following...the wheel has already been invented...

http://www.beveragefactory.com/draft...Dispenser.html
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  #3  
Old June 10th, 2014, 10:58 AM
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Truly take it to the next level...
http://www.kegworks.com/guinness-ref...it-2991-p16436
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  #4  
Old June 10th, 2014, 11:08 AM
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Not sure how you plan to run a tap, but be careful on the top. Some fridges can have an element running through there. You can get an aquarium temp control and wire it in to help keep a constant temp.

Ive built a few, but never for mobile use. I would like to take one of these camping or tailgating.
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  #5  
Old June 10th, 2014, 11:25 AM
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This could be a Great Thread...lol!
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  #6  
Old June 10th, 2014, 11:30 AM
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On the bottom there is a little fan, make sure you have an intake hole near this and I would also recommend putting an additional fan or two on the intake as well (make sure you make the hole with a screen so mice cannot get in. At the top make sure you have the ventilation on the cabinet as well


I worked with these fridges a while back and during some testing we found that 20 bucks in fans made a huge difference in performance.


On another note I would make sure the keg was pre-chilled prior to putting it in there, I do not think that that fridge has what it needs to cool the beer in a timely manner (when used outside) you might want to research some of the kegerators available and compare the cooling capacities.
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  #7  
Old June 10th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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subscribed (even if I never get an expedition trailer)
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  #8  
Old June 10th, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Also, I it helps to wire a small fan within the kegerator to help circulate air. Makes a huge difference.
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  #9  
Old June 10th, 2014, 11:56 AM
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If you're going to be building it inside your trailer, adding an inch or so of extra insulation all around would be a good idea. Just keep the fans/ventilation path open.

Not sure what type of fridge you're starting with but some of the dorm fridges I've seen a re really budget and might not like their AC guts bounding around inside a trailer, just something to keep in mind. We had a solid state (peltier) fridge here in the shop and it has no moving parts except for fans, and kept everything very very cold. Not sure what is out there

have fun!

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  #10  
Old June 10th, 2014, 02:48 PM
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Good lord, the term "expedition" means just about anything these days.

Why not carry bottles in an Engel so that you can carry more than one batch of brew?
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  #11  
Old June 10th, 2014, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris snell View Post
Good lord, the term "expedition" means just about anything these days.
I had assumed this was for a Ford Expedition.
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  #12  
Old June 10th, 2014, 03:23 PM
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I had one of those Norcold ac/dc freezer fridges in my Betram in the galley. Ten years of abuse and it would still freeze beer if you weren't drinking them fast enough. I was concerned that the beating an offshore boat takes would waste the compressor so went with the Norcold over some more expensive options (Adler Barbour) and viewed it as a disposable unit. Man was I impressed.
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  #13  
Old June 10th, 2014, 03:43 PM
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Best of luck. I had a kegerator in college and we couldn't keep the damn thing consistently pouring foam free beer.
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  #14  
Old June 10th, 2014, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howski View Post
Best of luck. I had a kegerator in college and we couldn't keep the damn thing consistently pouring foam free beer.
Getting the temp / pressure correct should solve that. Also a nice regulator will help alot.
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  #15  
Old June 10th, 2014, 04:17 PM
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Any chance that you have the LP option. The batteries to support this will need to be strong. I would plan to pull power from the alternator while in transit....
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  #16  
Old June 10th, 2014, 04:28 PM
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I would suggest going with a lift top freezer and wire in a new temperature switch to control the temp. Gets cold and runs less which is money. Google Keezer for all kinds of ideas on tap mounts, etc. If you get one that can support the squat quarter keg or sixtal you can usually fit two or more kegs. Temperature is important on foam control. More important is the diameter of your line from the coupler to the tap. I recommend 1/4" insulated wall beverage line and make sure your co2 line is the same length as the serving line, at least 5-6 ft. Guaranteed to never foam. That's the problem with most home kegerators, they serving line is short, and the beer tower is not cooled.

Good luck
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  #17  
Old June 14th, 2014, 08:14 PM
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Thanx for all the ideas and suggestions.

I changed the plan to include some extra fans on the coils and one inside the fridge itself. I left an extra couple of inches on the back of the case. With the extra fans, it should draw less than 7 amps total on 12v.


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I found a KEGlove neoprene sleeve with a frozen gel insert that should help with keeping things cold.

I made some progress.
Removed the freezer door and bent the cooling coil to open up space.


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I also fabbed the aluminum outter case and put Extra layer of high performance insulation on the sides and top.



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  #18  
Old June 14th, 2014, 09:49 PM
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Can you remind me of the next event you are attending so I can be sure to be there with a ludicrously oversized mug?
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  #19  
Old June 14th, 2014, 10:10 PM
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quickfist- nice way to secure the bottle
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  #20  
Old June 14th, 2014, 11:09 PM
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Kraig, looking forward to seeing this in action at The Wilds....
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