Ice box part time, electric fridge part time? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-16-2012, 02:03 PM   #1
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Name: Zoshia
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Ice box part time, electric fridge part time?

We would like to have the ability to use an electric compact fridge as an ice box when we're dry camping but plug it in when were somewhere with hookups.

Has anyone had any experiance on this?

We have a very small trailer so were looking at a fridge no larger that 4cubic feet.

Since the fridge would be a regular fridge without a drain hole i was thinking of using milk cartens filled with ice so the water stays in the carten. But i wonder how effective this is. Would we be better off on just buying a real ice box?

Any reccomendations would be great.


thank you


Carmella
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
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I use 2L plastic pop bottles for ice packs.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoshia View Post
We would like to have the ability to use an electric compact fridge as an ice box when we're dry camping but plug it in when were somewhere with hookups.

Has anyone had any experiance on this?

We have a very small trailer so were looking at a fridge no larger that 4cubic feet.

Since the fridge would be a regular fridge without a drain hole i was thinking of using milk cartens filled with ice so the water stays in the carten. But i wonder how effective this is. Would we be better off on just buying a real ice box?

Any reccomendations would be great.


thank you


Carmella
We use those 64 ounce square juice containers from Walmart. Fill them with water, or iced tea, and place them in the deep freeze. Four of them have been known to keep our 3-way fridge cold for as much as 5 days without electricity. When placed in a cooler with store bought ice they are so cold that the bag ice clumps.
A great byproduct is Ice cold water and tea from home.
The square bottles pack easier and can't roll around.
There are now 110V thermo-electric dorm fridges for $69 which are quiet and spce efficient.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:52 PM   #4
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Last year we discovered that a spider made it's home in fridge burner, thus making it unusable on propane. Since we were in Death Valley a long ways to a repair shop (at the time we didn't really know what the problem was) We bought bag ice, decanted into 1 quart zip lock bags. Doing this we had to mop up water in bottom that collected from condensation. The advantage of the zip lock bags we could place them next to or top of the most sensitive stuff.

As for size. It seems that many can never have anything big enough. 4 cubic feet is twice the size of our fridge. And we do just fine with our little 1.9 cubic foot.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
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Good luck on the thermo-electric (Peltier) coolers or at least those that run on 12V. Quiet and space-efficient they may be but they take a beating in the consumer ratings at Amazon.com and, in my experience, probably justifiably. The big customer beef was short working life ( 6 mo. on average) but I had another objection. I bought a Coleman thermo-electric at Walmart (yes, that's right, folks, I cynically bought it "on approval".) It was quiet and certainly a light-weight attractive molded polystyrene box with a good door seal. One cause of concern was the 12 volt power supply. It ran uncomfortably hot and smelled exactly like fried plastic. This was not a deal breaker as it has a cigarette lighter jack which plugs into the 120/12 power supply or a 12 volt socket. The real negative: carton advertises performance of 40 degrees below ambient temp.; the best performance I got from this unit was 25 below ambient. 40 below ambient wouldn't be much good in 90 degree weather; 25 below at 70F was on the edge of marginal acceptability. I kept it a month, swaddled it in the original bag and ethafoam and "recycled" it back to ChinaMart. I made no complaint against performance because then it would have been off to the manufacturer and I'll bet I'd win that one in a year of Sundays. I said my wife didn't like laying it on its side in her hatchback and no questions money back tape up the box and back on the shelf for the next sucker. Careful you don't get that one! Coleman upright cooler (probably 35 yrs. old) and AC dorm fridge for me from now on; possible use of the dorm fridge on pure sine wave inverter supplied juice should I eventually spring for enuf amp hours of battery bank to get me from sunrise to sunrise and solar recharging. I like that jugged ice tea ice idea and might try it in the dorm fridge on the road. I also would like to get a link to a source of the 110VAC thermo-electrics. All I can find require a power supply (converter) for 12VDC operation.

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Old 05-16-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
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Good luck on the thermo-electric (Peltier) coolers or at least those that run on 12V. Quiet and space-efficient they may be but they take a beating in the consumer ratings at Amazon.com and, in my experience, probably justifiably. The big customer beef was short working life ( 6 mo. on average) but I had another objection. I bought a Coleman thermo-electric at Walmart (yes, that's right, folks, I cynically bought it "on approval".) It was quiet and certainly a light-weight attractive molded polystyrene box with a good door seal. One cause of concern was the 12 volt power supply. It ran uncomfortably hot and smelled exactly like fried plastic. This was not a deal breaker as it has a cigarette lighter jack which plugs into the 120/12 power supply or a 12 volt socket. The real negative: carton advertises performance of 40 degrees below ambient temp.; the best performance I got from this unit was 25 below ambient. 40 below ambient wouldn't be much good in 90 degree weather; 25 below at 70F was on the edge of marginal acceptability. I kept it a month, swaddled it in the original bag and ethafoam and "recycled" it back to ChinaMart. I made no complaint against performance because then it would have been off to the manufacturer and I'll bet I'd win that one in a year of Sundays. I said my wife didn't like laying it on its side in her hatchback and no questions money back tape up the box and back on the shelf for the next sucker. Careful you don't get that one! Coleman upright cooler (probably 35 yrs. old) and AC dorm fridge for me from now on; possible use of the dorm fridge on pure sine wave inverter supplied juice should I eventually spring for enuf amp hours of battery bank to get me from sunrise to sunrise and solar recharging. I like that jugged ice tea ice idea and might try it in the dorm fridge on the road. I also would like to get a link to a source of the 110VAC thermo-electrics. All I can find require a power supply (converter) for 12VDC operation.

jack
I installed this 12V coleman using converter power, it reportedly ran perfectly for for the buyer who lived in this trailer on a sabbatical which lasted four months full time touring the U.S. including the southwest in summer.
The one which I have recently installed is a B&D 110V dorm fridge.
Word is that good ventilation is the key to efficiency and longevity.
The thing sure is quiet and drops temperature quicker than an icy stare after a bad pick-up line!
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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Name: Zoshia
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Thank you eveyone for your replies. Very helpful!

I think getting a thermoelectric fridge is out and were more apt to getting a regular compact (dorm) fridge.

Any reccomendations on ones that are quiet for when we do plug it in. Noise is really the key as our heads will be right next to it.

C-
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by zoshia View Post
Thank you eveyone for your replies. Very helpful!

I think getting a thermoelectric fridge is out and were more apt to getting a regular compact (dorm) fridge.

Any reccomendations on ones that are quiet for when we do plug it in. Noise is really the key as our heads will be right next to it.

C-
The thermo electric fridge, in addition to quiet offers a much larger interior space for the same exterior. You should however, get the one you trust. The IceBox is still the quietest and most space efficient.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:21 PM   #9
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Floyd, I have a B&D 2.7 ft\3 110VAC built in to trailer. It's a compresser fridge and cools like a champ on shore power. Runs great on inverter also and when I finally get a couple of AGM batteries inside the trailer, I think I'll be able to operate it sunrise to sunrise (operative word SUN for solar recharge). I still haven't found a 110V "Nocool". The black critter in your galley foto is the model I got at WallyMart. For me, it acted like an unmitigated POS so perhaps you got THE good one. Some of the current customer review gripes at Amazon deal with both lack of longevity of the circuit board AND the problem that also plagues 3-ways; namely limitation of a certain no. of degrees below ambient. The lack of a freezer cmptmt is always the giveaway about what's going on.

jack
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