Roto molded coolers - thoughts - Page 9 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-17-2017, 06:28 AM   #113
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i've followed this thread with interest and have concluded that the issue of keeping foodstuffs safe is the bane of a traveler's existence. my casita has one of those cursed dometic "refrigerators". after 10 years of experience i concluded those devices have a "personality". it's a zen thing. you can learn to predict when it'll work and when it won't. traveling it's mostly useless. sitting still (i camp host for month's at a time) it's a very useful appliance. so, i've taken the path of least resistance and am currently working on the two level approach. cooler and fridge. i use a coleman stainless steel cooler. not sure of the proper name or model # but, a year or so ago i was ready to upgrade my old cooler. i visited a web page that tests and evaluates camping gear. i don't remember the web addy (something like "camping geeks are us") and they did a test of coolers. the yeti was included. their conclusion was if you really needed to keep ice for the maximum length of time, sure, buy the yeti. but, if you could live with a day or so less get a coleman stainless steel and then buy a half dozen more and still spend less $.

so...the current solution is to depend on the cooler for keeping perishables unperished while in motion. sitting still (when the fridge behaves like a fridge) i use both and keep large containers in the coleman and decant milk, juice, etc into smaller vessels for access from the fridge. the cooler keeps the beer cold also.

p@
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:24 PM   #114
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"Kai, thanks for the time and effort you've put into this and for sharing with the group. Your results are about what we've experienced with our Xtremes as well although we can usually get a full five days with a combo of cube and block ice.

I think roto molded coolers are great but don't expect to get seven days of ice retention from one of them either if you don't exercise a bit of 'cooler discipline' (pre-chilling, block ice, limited opening, minimal air space, out of the sun, etc.). "


Al & Cindy K,


Most welcome. Thanks for saying so!


I was consumed with curiosity after watching the ice chest challenge video at the beginning of this thread. They included some $10 coolers which did only a couple-three days at most, as I recall.


Clearly, the X-treme does better than that. We brought it home after 4 days camping last summer and took out the food, but forgot to remove the ice and water and only thought of it a couple days later and it still had some ice in it.


We now freeze at least one and sometimes two 2-liter pop bottles of water to use as "block ice" which go in first...then we layer the ice as we add food (what can be frozen, is frozen) and dump the cubed ice over the whole thing.


Have seen where using reflectix inside the cooler (and/or outside as well) really helps, but it also takes up real estate we usually need. We try to open it only 6 times a day, once when startlng a meal and again when putting things away afterwards. We try not to have leftovers. We quit taking homemade dogfood and make them eat kibble and a bit of our meals instead. (The old one is as finicky as a cat, but needs to keep her weight up so we've spoiled her with coaxing).


I understand many RV fridges have to be LEVEL to work, which means traveling or even parking slightly off-level means they won't work. I remember my father struggling to get that bubble perfect...and so far we're doing OK with just the Coleman Xtreme.


My dad also had a big old metal, olive-drab army ice chest that seemed to be wonderful, but I don't remember the details, so it may not have been any better than the X-treme. Or even not as good. It was oddly long, tall, and narrow. Maybe to fit in the very back of a jeep or something.


Will update on day 6 later today.


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Old 03-18-2017, 09:23 AM   #115
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Completion of day 6 Coleman X-Treme Ice Test for FRIDAY March 17, 2017


HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!


As a reminder that "block" ice melts slower, a chunk of stuck-together ice cubes the size of a small cantaloupe remains. There are also still lots of loose ice bits. in a mostly water slurry. The bottles are sagging down toward the bottom, though the air in them keeps them touching the surface. The cooler is still cold, though perhaps not as cold as before.


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Old 03-18-2017, 12:38 PM   #116
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Kai,
It sounds like your Dad had a mermite container. They were used for field food service in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, etc. Usually used to keep hot food but would work for cold as well.

mermite container - Bing images
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:12 PM   #117
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It sounds like your Dad had a mermite container. They were used for field food service in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, etc. Usually used to keep hot food but would work for cold as well.

mermite container - Bing images





YES. That's it! As far as I know, we never used it to keep things hot, only cold.


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Old 03-18-2017, 05:17 PM   #118
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End of Day 7 Ice Test:


Large clump of ice is now half the size, slurry of ice and water continues, pop is touching bottom with the caps clear of the water, all is still quite cold.

NOT in the sun, temp. 68 during the day, 66 at night, 4 feet from a heat register under the table, opened once a day, started with 20 pounds of grocery store ice.


Test continues...


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Old 03-19-2017, 10:35 AM   #119
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[QUOTE=Kai in Seattle;631760]It sounds like your Dad had a mermite container. They were used for field food service in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, etc. Usually used to keep hot food but would work for cold as well.






Wow, that Mermite picture brought back an old memory. Thanksgiving Day 1969, I was in a remote jungle location in Vietnam with an infantry platoon. We had been eating nothing but C-rations for weeks. A helicopter came out with a Brigadier General and a bunch of those Mermite containers full of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, the works. We had to take turns eating and maintaining our perimeter, but it was the best meal of the year.

Never thought about using one of those for a cooler, but it sure looks durable.
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:54 PM   #120
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End of Day 8 ice test--not one bit of ice left. All water.


THEREFORE: at BEST, our Coleman X-treme will keep some ice for up to seven days. By day 8, fuggidaboutit.


Now I know.


Test Over.


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Old 03-19-2017, 05:20 PM   #121
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A couple links to cooler reviews were posted, but if you're talking about the video one done in Florida, those coolers were outdoors, on pavement in the sun all day, then brought into a garage at night. Pretty sure the temps were in the 70s. Much different than in the house at 65. So it wouldn't surprise me that the "regular" coolers did much worse, mostly because of the direct sun. But still, a Coleman Xtreme will do better than a regular old Igloo, I agree.

RV fridges need to be pretty level, but I have found from looking at manuals that if the trailer is off-level enough that the fridge won't work well, it's off level enough that I'm not comfortable inside, so I'd be leveling it more anyways. The old RV fridges did have to be way more level. Much less forgiving. For I think about 90's and newer, the conventional wisdom is "If you're comfortable enough inside to hang out, cook and sleep, it's level enough for the fridge".
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:21 PM   #122
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Did you measure the temperature of the water at test conclusion? Might have been close to 32 degrees, or at least less than 42, which is still a useful temp.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:52 PM   #123
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Frozen beer

Maybe this has already been brought up in this thread. Years ago I read about freezing cans of beer to use in a cooler. I have done this with great results. A few cans over the years have bulged slightly, but never ruptured. The beer cans have even frozen nearby food items. I think there is some physics involved with heat absorption capacity of alcohol, or some effect, but they work very well and the beer, like the cooler frozen water jugs, is usable and refreshing after serving it's cooling job.

Do NOT try to freeze cans of soda. I did, and coated the home freezer interior with a uniform layer of diet Pepsi. Experiment gone awry. Live and learn, and clean up the mess.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:36 PM   #124
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Frozen cans of beer

Test info on the technique.




Freezing Beer for Your Cooler ~ Living Overland
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:08 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Did you measure the temperature of the water at test conclusion? Might have been close to 32 degrees, or at least less than 42, which is still a useful temp.


Paul said it was still icy cold. So it could still be useful.

Another time or someone else could do a test but this time drain the melted water each day. I hear it gets warm faster without the water.

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Old 03-20-2017, 05:37 PM   #126
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Paul said it was still icy cold. So it could still be useful.

Another time or someone else could do a test but this time drain the melted water each day. I hear it gets warm faster without the water.

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Instructions that came with my Coleman ( yes it came with a manual and I even read it ) said not to drain the water. You are just pouring out cold.
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