Tesla solutions for cooling boxes and always on power

Tesla solutions for cooling boxes and always on power

I preparing for longer camping trips with my Tesla S 100D 2018 model. The first weekend we did a test. Sleeping in the Tesla was no problem, but running our smaller cooler and charging our phones was. I hope you have some good suggestions.

Problem 1: The 12v power outlet shuts off then the car locks. This also happens when the Always On climate control is on. This makes it difficult to cool stuff during night or when having a break.
Solution: Only way I've found to fix this is to either get a 12v outlet for the OBD connector (used by some for always on power for Dash camera), or attaching a 12V plug to the 12v constant cable found in trunk area, close to the lift gate. You can find such plugs with USB connectors as well. Removing the issue with lack of phone charging.
Question: Are there an easy way connecting to the 12V in the frunk? I'm tempted to having a cooler there. Even though I'm not sure how smart it is in such a small space though. Seems to get quite hot with a cooler in there. Anyone having experience with this?

Problem 2: Power consumption. Cheaper boxes seems to run at a watt usage of 40-60 watt. On a 33Ah battery like the Tesla's have, the 12 Volt battery might be drained if you leave the car for 24 hours.
Solution: More expensive "real" fridge boxes might draw less electricity because they do not have to stay on all the time. Although, this is just something I have not dug into yet.
Question: How will the draining of the 12V be handled by the Tesla S? Will is charge the 12V battery automatically when it detects it's getting low? Will it do this during night when the car is "off"? Or will this only be done when you charge the Tesla it self?

Hope you have some tips and experience in this field! | 3 september 2018

On #1 - I'm not aware of any easy 12v connections in the trunk area. There is power going to the liftgate electronics, but it's not easy to get too. That's the only always on 12v power source in that area.

On #2, the 12v battery is charged from the main battery automatically. No action on your part is required.

My guess is the more expensive coolers have more/better thermal insulation, so they don't require as much power. Seems anything in the 40-60W range will pose no problems for the Tesla (about 5 amps). | 3 september 2018

For details on that rear power:, move down to the "Rear Power Only" section.

jimglas | 3 september 2018

Get dry ice for your cooler. Low tech, but works.

David N | 3 september 2018

Dry ice is generally used for keeping items frozen.

jimglas | 3 september 2018

I have used it camping in the past

johnse | 3 september 2018

Be careful with dry ice in an enclosed area. It is literally solid CO2. People die of asphyxiation. Recent example:

zippy | 3 september 2018

camper dry ice cooler: frozen things on bottom of
cooler with dry ice, later newspaper on top for insulation, put things that need to be chilled but not frozen on top of paper.

johnse | 4 september 2018

Just make sure you have good ventilation. 10kg of dry ice sublimes to 5.4 m^3 of gas.

mhendon74 | 4 september 2018

I feel, Get dry ice for your cooler. Low tech, but works.

Spud | 4 september 2018

Thanks for all the feedback! Dry ice got some some drawbacks, so I'll keep looking into the powered solutions :)

So far what I've found is that real refrigerators are better but more expensive. They draw less power and are not dependent on the ambient temperature. So, I might be able to fit one in the frunk. The only question is how it will do with so little ventilation. It's pretty tight in there. This is primarily for when I sleep in the car. Otherwise it can be moved to the trunk area.

It seems that connecting a 12v cigarette outlet to the constant 12v power near the power gate should be very doable. The fuse on this one seems to withstand around 10 amps? Enough for a cooling box. I'll consider doing a similar thing for the frunk if it's not a dramatic overheating there over night.

suhrs | 19 november 2018

No electric cooler or fridge will work in the frunk. You NEED the air to circulate or the space will overheat. A compressor-fridge is less sensitive to ambient temperature, but it has limits also. That's why a household heat-pump switches over to resistive heating when it gets too cold outside. Remember that when your 12V battery is drained, the car is bricked. . . I would assume Tesla would cut off the accessories before the 12V is drained, but I cannot confirm this.

DTsea | 20 november 2018

the car is NOT BRICKED BY 12V battery exhaustion. BRICKEDmeans the traction battery is fully depleted and CANNOT be recharged (must be replaced). draining the 12V battery does NOT brick the CAR.

wijdanshahid | 16 december 2018

A debt of gratitude is in order for all the criticism! Dry ice got some a few disadvantages, so I'll continue investigating the controlled arrangements :)

So far what I've found is that genuine coolers are better however increasingly costly. They draw less power and are not reliant on the encompassing temperature. Along these lines, I may have the capacity to fit one in the frunk. The main inquiry is the means by which it will do with so little ventilation. It's really tight in there. This is principally for when I rest in the vehicle. Else it tends to be moved to the storage compartment territory.

It appears that associating a 12v cigarette outlet to the consistent 12v power close to the power door ought to be entirely feasible. The wire on this one appears to withstand around 10 amps? Enough for a cooling box. I'll consider completing a comparable thing for the frunk if it is anything but a sensational overheating there over night.

Uncle Paul | 16 december 2018

Side benefit of running a small cooler/fridge is that it will also give off some very welcome heat on those cooler camping nights. Real fridge will make noise all night as it turns on and off.

Out of the box thinking (actually inside the box) is to get a very high quality ice chest like YETI of better. that will keep things cold for a long time with just ice. A combination of a few cakes of dry ice and some real ice might get you over a week of cold drinks.

Remember to pre-cool your items before putting them in the ice chest to greatly extend your durability. Also freeze your water bottles. As they melt they will provide cooling as well as giving you ice cold drinks.

jolov | 21 december 2018

Why are there so many spam links in this thread?

hamza | 27 december 2018

Simply wow! These are really efficient, This technology is really amazing :)

momna.wurfelit | 3 januari 2019

Wow! This technology is really awesome. :)

mystercoco | 18 januari 2019

Problem 1: there is a simple rule saying: "Never hack a power cable in a car except if it is for signal purpose". So if you don't want to damage the car, don't put thing that can draw a lot of power from some random cables going through.
The solution is to make a new connection cable to the 12V (ensure that a fuse is placed the nearest possible to the + of the battery).
Then you'll have to find a path for the cable in the car. It might be easy to go to the frunk (just a small plastic piece to go through) but very hard to reach the trunk for example...

Problem 2: if you place it in the frunk, you won't have sufficient air flow. If the car is not moving and it is possible (like in model 3), you can keep the frunk open a little bit so that the fan can blow air out. (or you can build an air grill like ICE cars).

Alternatively you can also store the cooling box outside of the car, my favourite place is under the car as it doesn't get direct sun light.

El Mirio | 30 januari 2019

Yeti cooler, can keep ice up to a week in the sun. Expensive but it does work.

blue adept | 7 maart 2019

I second Uncle Paul and El Mirio's suggestion of the use of a YETI cooler and some dry ice/ice packs, period.

Tesla's are highly designed devices/vehicles by highly skilled engineers...

That being said, it would be a whole other level of utter stupidity to splice or cut into a wiring harness to jury-rig something onto it that wasn't meant to be there/to make use of it for some reason other than the one it was designed.

Believe me, the last thing I want to hear of on the daily news is about someone who burnt themselves and their Tesla up somewhere out in the middle if no where all because they thought they were smarter than everyone else, particularly the people who designed the car.

You have a brain people, you really should make use of it, that IS what it's there for, sheesh!

marlinputnam8745 | 4 april 2019

in order to prevent power drainage, you have to buy power efficient cooling box that turns idle after some time not getting used, for charging phone you have to use some good quality power banks.

stevelharris22 | 23 april 2019

Problems occur when systems aren’t adequately set up to allow cool air to flow smoothly through a case, and air to be expelled before it can get too warm. This guide aims to help you maximize air flow through your case, thereby improving the performance, stability, and longevity.

jimglas | 23 april 2019


top10videosmonster | 13 augustus 2019

Yeti cooler, can keep ice up to a week in the sun. Expensive but it does work.

tannaowens6 | 7 september 2019

Simply wow! These are really efficient, This technology is really amazing :)

jimglas | 7 september 2019

resurrected and flagged

Xerogas | 7 september 2019

@jimglas: "resurrected and flagged"
Right here flagging with ya

jrweiss98020 | 7 september 2019

Also look at marine coolers designed for use on sailboats with minimal power. West Marine has a selection of coolers and portable refrigerators.

tibollinet.2019 | 14 november 2019
tibollinet.2019 | 14 november 2019
s.ofiakafe12 | 24 november 2019
willieken49 | 8 januari 2020

This technology is so amazing

GoldAK47 | 9 januari 2020

Buy a good cooler. Done. It will stay cold for weeks at a time.

clinepatricia46 | 30 januari 2020

Yeti cooler, can keep ice up to a week in the sun. Expensive but it does work.

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stephaniesmi606 | 26 februari 2020

thanks for sharing this...
but i want to know
How many batteries does a Tesla have?

justinpor119 | 27 februari 2020

This technology is so amazing

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nikhilkanna.1234 | 22 maart 2020

Problems occurs in cooling boxes when systems aren’t correctly set up to allow cool air to flow smoothly through a case, and air to be sent before it can get too warm. Tcheck this it aims to help you maximize air flow through your case, thereby improving the performance longevity and stability.

am5885712 | 23 maart 2020

Ya i had same problem just a month ago

lickylucky94 | 27 maart 2020

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