Do you bring coolers? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-26-2014, 10:14 AM   #29
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Hazel in Sk View Post
We used to use coolers and ice back in our tenting days. We found it got pretty expensive keeping stocked up with ice. The places we camped were often a LONG way from anywhere that carried ice.

It sure is interesting reading the solutions different people use.
I normally don't have to buy any ice if camping on a trip of 6 days or less. I freeze plastic milk jugs with water in them at home and use those in the cooler. They will in a *good* cooler last for 6 days. No water to deal with in the bottom of the cooler and you have extra cool drinking water once they have thawed out.

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Old 01-26-2014, 02:23 PM   #30
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Name: David & Sandy
Trailer: 2012 Escape 5.0
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For us, I generally bring a 60qt. "high performance" ice chest. In the hot Texas weather my Dometic 5.0 refrigerator is less than stellar. Bringing a cooler gives me a backup to prevent food from spoiling. And if I catch fresh fish or carry seafood, I can ice it down in the cooler and keep the RV frig from smelling like a fish market. We usually keep fresh vegetables in the cooler during cold weather to prevent freeze damage during the night. I enjoy cooking and eating outdoors as part of camping. So we bring a lot of fresh food and very few cans to eat out of.

Block ice lasts longer but cubed ice keeps stuff colder. I used to think I could buy a lot of ice for the cost of a high performance cooler. Go to Big Bend NP or some remote location and ice is a long drive away. My Glacier with 3" sides keeps ice for an average of 10 Texas days in the shade.


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Old 01-26-2014, 03:49 PM   #31
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I thought about taking a cooler along on my last trip, but it was a vacation in bear country and one must keep coolers out of sight from bears... so I left it home.
How to prepare Tofu
Step 1: throw tofu in the trash
Step 2: grill some meat
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:52 PM   #32
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We use pre-frozen 'blue ice' instead of bags of ice, so there's very little water in the bottom of the cooler after a few days.

I like to bring my own garden vegetables and fruit, as well as store bought, in the cooler.

Pre-marinated meat gets frozen and goes into the small Dometic fridge. It keeps for a few days and helps to keep the temps in there lower.

Thanks for the boxed milk idea, Hazel. We have used those small milk boxes in the past, but the quart size sounds better.

We have used dry pasta and rice mixes in the past, to form the basis for a meal, but now we eat lower sodium, so I'll have to use basic staples and bring along the herbs, garlic and onion.

Great ideas here. Thanks, everyone!

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Old 01-27-2014, 05:51 PM   #33
Name: RogerDat
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We use two coolers, one is mostly beverages or other items that can be stored wet without any hassle, the other is for dry cold storage. We have used the fridge but that has mostly been for cool storage, things such as butter, or fruits and veggies, even when we had a large one in a motor home we used ice for meat and beverages.

We use cat litter containers full of water, these and almost all meat is frozen before we leave. The wide mouth of the cat litter container allows refilling with cube ice if we need more. Keeps things dry in the coolers and will generally last at least 3 and sometimes 4 days.

We also use a large 6 gallon water jug full of ice as our drinking water and source of ice cubes for cocktails, cocktails without ice would be beyond rustic into the realm of positively barbaric.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:16 PM   #34
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I have been reminded how much camping has changed over my lifetime. Earlier I mentioned the problems we used to have maintaining ice. Oh dear - back then we camped out of a VW Beetle with two kids and a four person tent. Any cooler we could afford was quite small and anyway a large one wouldn't fit in the car! It was lucky for us that seatbelts weren't mandatory as the kids used to travel on top of the sleeping bags.
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:33 PM   #35
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Name: Gene
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Currently I have two electric 12V/AC coolers. Not that I will necessarily take them both on a trip. I had originally bought a Coleman 12V/AC cooler. It cools well. No need for additional ice, but a couple small blue ice packs helps. Last year I bought a Dometic cooler/freezer. I can set this unit to either freeze or cool. They aren't cheap but do the job. This is the size I got. Got a good bargain on Ebay. Under $400.
Dometic CF 035AC110 Portable Fridge Freezer New | eBay
You can get smaller models too. When not camping I use it to carry frozen stuff from the grocery store. I live in a small town and can travel upwards of 2 hours to the big box stores to find a better selection.
I can load these in the back of the van or pickup and am much more self sufficient.
My Coleman is like this one.
Coleman 40-Quart PowerChill Thermoelectric Cooler with Power Cord, Black/Silver: Camping :
The Coleman is designed to be stood on end with the included shelf and used like a fridge.
Sometimes they are on sale with the AC adapter included & cheaper than listed above. I found mine on sale at Walmart for under $80 with the AC adapter at the time. I've got some old style metal ice trays to make my own ice in the freezer too.

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