Help me insulate my icebox, Campster/Compact type. - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-09-2012, 12:57 PM   #15
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Well, I've decided on two things. One, I ordered a smallish Coleman Xtreme cooler to use to keep two extra blocks of ice in. I only need 1-2 days more. I measured the ice block (I have one in the freezer as I bought three and could only fit two in the Campster last trip) and looked up the cooler dimensions.I went small as they are more efficient if full and two extra is all I can foresee needing. It is short so it will slide under the Campster at the campground where it should stay shaded and fairly cool and I'll only open it to get the blocks out. I'll see how that does.

Second, I'll try getting at least minimal extra insulation around the icebox without removing it. Anything would be an improvement. But if I have spare ice it really won't matter as two blocks lasts me a regular weekend.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:31 PM   #16
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Update on the icebox/ice saver experiment.

I started out by putting a block of ice (about 20 lbs) in the Campster on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday morning I bought three ten pound blocks and put two in the ice chest and one in the icebox. Left for camping. It wasn't very hot- high was about 75 on Saturday.

Sunday at about 11 am I dumped the excess water from the ice chest. When I got home about 3 I weighed the ice from the ice chest (which I never used.) Of the 20 lbs, 14 lbs remained. ( I did not verify that they weighed 10 lbs each to start.) I'd opened the ice chest about four times.

A little of the original ice in the icebox remained (so I know it wasn't as hot as usual, plus I had more than the usual 20 lbs.)

So... I'm not sure how well this is going to work in hotter weather. The ice in the chest definitely melted more slowly than the ice in the icebox. The difference would probably have been larger if it had been hot and sunny as the trailer would have been warmer whereas the ice chest was out of the sun. And if I'd been more concerned I would not have opened the icebox at all until I needed the ice (which usually is on the third day.)

I can think of some improvements; the best would be to find a container or containers that were just about the size of the ice chest and freeze the starting ice myself so that it fills the ice chest (no air space). I don't know whether that will be easy or not. Second, of course, is don't open the chest to check on the ice!

So not 100% a success; we'll see how it does in hotter weather but probably not before next summer.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:29 PM   #17
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This is just a thought(and maybe you tried it and I just missed it in reading) have you tried cleaning a gallon jug,fill almost full of water & freeze for several days then put the top back on & take on your trip. We use to have a "ice box" in our pop up and that seemed to work real good for us.An added befitwas that when the ice melted we had water from home & not a big mess to clean up from the drip pan.

We still do this today,but now we use store bought water(16oz size)because that will fit in our home freezer.It does help with the amount of ice that we need for the sodes,etc. and again as it melts we have ice water.

Happy camping
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:42 PM   #18
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We have always done the same with milk jugs. Works great!
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #19
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Freezing something at home is beside the point- the problem is the icebox only holds so much, and that much melts too fast for a three day trip (works okay for two days but if it is warm, not for longer.) So it doesn't matter how I get the intial blocks of ice; the problem is what to do when they melt.

But a note on the frozen jugs, yes, they work, and they actually melt more slowly, but that means they cool less effectively. The icebox stays colder if the ice is melting freely, not in a container, because it melts faster that way. I want blocks of ice. This past trip I froze a rubber washpan of ice and it did fit the icebox, sort of, but I don't think two of them would have fit in the ice chest for extra ice. I like frozen bottles in a cold-drink chest, but I usually like max cooling in the icebox.

(And I know someone is going to say that melting ice is 32 F (0 C) no matter how fast it melts. Yes, this is true, but the amount of heat that it draws from the atmosphere (in this case the icebox) is greater if the ice is melting faster. If the icebox and ice came to equilibrium and ice remained unmelted, it would be 32 F, but that doesn't happen in our relatively inefficient iceboxes.)

And the ice chest would be more efficient if the ice in it left little room for air.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:28 PM   #20
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Did you think of using a hot water tank insulating wrap. I have used this in my trailer to help keep it cooler in hot weather. The wrap is thin but still insulates pretty good.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:04 AM   #21
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On that crack if it is in plastic or metal consider JB Weld epoxy. And a little white touch up paint. Caulk will look ok and seal but JB Weld will add strength and seal. Important to clean and scuff the area to be "welded"


The drain hose problem is not clear to me. Are you worried that you won't be able to replace it without it leaking? Or might break off the attachment point?

Seems like the other posts I have read on adding insulation all removed the ice box, and had a significant increase in how long the ice lasted after adding it.

BTW - I have the travler fridge that looks a lot like the one in your picture.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:31 AM   #22
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Rick, I considered this, the denim insulation (which has no glass) comes in a hot-water tank wrap, too.

Roger, yes, I'm worried the drain hose will break or I'll have to replace the whole thing and that could be a big hassle. My rule of thumb in mods and repairs that I'm not sure I can complete is not to do anything that, if I stopped in the middle. would render something unusable. Having no drain hose on the icebox would render it unusable.

I do still plan to get more insulation up on top of and around the icebox but as it involves removing the microwave I haven't tackled it yet. I want to change the drawer over the microwave to a slider or install a sliding basket into it at the same time and haven't found one to fit. I probably won't camp again until October, though, so I may get on it in September.
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:11 AM   #23
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Bobbie, I know we dont have the same trailer but for whats it worth I using the foil wrap on my fridge last week & like you I did not want to have to pull the whole fridge out to do it as most here have done. I may end up pulling it out one of these days to do it right but it seems that what I did do has helped. I cut the wrap to the depth of the fridge. I had full access to one side of the fridge and the bottom of it through cabinets and Scamp was nice enough to have left an opening at the top edges of the fridge its full depth so I was able to feed the wrap up into and over the top of the fridge to the other side. Through a small opening on the other side of the fridge inside a rear hatch as well as one at the very rear I was able to pull the foil down the other side of the fridge to the bottom of the fridge Scamp had put little pieces of fiberglass batting in between the fridge and the one side wall I did not have clear access to but not much so it was full of air pockets so I used a piece of wire with a hook on it to fish it out making the area clear for the foil to feed though. I then used 3m adhesive spay to secure the foil to the fridge where ever I could. I am aware its NOT PERFECT by many people standards as it should be air tight secured to the fridge all the way around but not possible to do without pulling the fridge out. I did camp in weather in the high 90's with no shade for 4 days last week & the fridge worked better than it ever has. So although not a perfect it really did help. Adding foil wrap to the inside lid of your portable cooler may help with that as well. YMMV
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:44 AM   #24
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Rick, I considered this, the denim insulation (which has no glass) comes in a hot-water tank wrap, too.

Roger, yes, I'm worried the drain hose will break or I'll have to replace the whole thing and that could be a big hassle. My rule of thumb in mods and repairs that I'm not sure I can complete is not to do anything that, if I stopped in the middle. would render something unusable. Having no drain hose on the icebox would render it unusable.

..... I probably won't camp again until October, though, so I may get on it in September.
Always good to bear in mind what if things break or go a little "sideways". Sometimes it is best to wait until on has the time to deal with anything unexpected.

I could totally understand if you wanted to stay with the original but figure I would mention the Scamp online store sells an icebox for $105 Ice Box no dimensions so you would have to call them to see if it would be a possible replacement or "just in case" option. And you might even be able to swap the door panels. Or paint to match existing.

On the drain line you might use electrical tape to attach a wire to the outside end of hose so that as you remove fridge and pull drain hose through you would be pulling a wire through behind it. Gives you a way to re-pull new hose if required. Put wire inside hose and wrap hose and wire with electrical tape, wire should follow pretty well.

Hopefully they did not use tight clamps to hold the hose. Might be able to tell by shaking the drain end of the hose and listening for sound of flopping hose.

Ahh yes the joy of having something to look forward to next month Story of my life pretty much.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:23 PM   #25
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I think even a piece of foil insulation fished up and over will help and I'll do that when I pull the microwave and do the drawer. It is harder to be motivated when no hot weather remains, though! The tip on the drain line is good and if I pull the icebox I'll do that.

I've thought of replacing the icebox but havent seen anything suggesting modern RV iceboxes are any better insulated than the old ones. (Modern marine ones are- but at a premium cost.)
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:01 PM   #26
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I think even a piece of foil insulation fished up and over will help and I'll do that when I pull the microwave and do the drawer. It is harder to be motivated when no hot weather remains, though! The tip on the drain line is good and if I pull the icebox I'll do that.

I've thought of replacing the icebox but havent seen anything suggesting modern RV iceboxes are any better insulated than the old ones. (Modern marine ones are- but at a premium cost.)
I don't know if modern one is any better but if something went badly wrong with pulling ice box would be reassuring to know where one could get a replacement.

I just figured that removal would give you the best access to install the most effective insulation in the limited space so you might end up doing a removal at some point.

Almost Sept. so I hear you on the how much of my free time do I want to dump into this right now.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:46 PM   #27
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Well, if I pull it and can't replace it, I can always put in a fridge. I might do that, anyway, now that I have a cooler for when I can't use electric. Fridge is very tempting since loading up the icebox is just one more chore when getting ready to go somewhere.
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