Ice box vs Cooler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-24-2011, 04:02 PM   #1
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Ice box vs Cooler

I see a lot of people talking about an "ice box", is that just a permanant cooler? Sorry for the newb question
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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An icebox looks like a small fridge but has a shelf for a block of ice and a drain so that as the ice melts it drains out of the trailer. Instead of running off power the icebox is just cooled by the melting ice. So yes, sort of a permanent cooler. Usually the old ones are nowhere near as efficient as modern coolers, though.
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:01 PM   #3
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I hope this isn't stealing this thread, but does anyone here have any experience with the Coleman (etc.) chests that you plug into a 12 v socket? I see they are advertised as keeping the chest temperature "up to" about 40 degrees F. cooler than the ambient air. It seems that would be okay for drinks as long as you didn't expect them to be ice cold. Probably not so good for the leftover deviled eggs, however. I was particularly interested in current draw as well as how they seem to work in the real world.
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:51 PM   #4
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I've used small versions of those electric coolers. They do work well until they stop working and I'd trust them with deviled eggs (at least the Coleman one although I lost the cord for mine so now it is a turtle egg incubator.)
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Old 04-24-2011, 06:15 PM   #5
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our uhaul has the original ice box with a tray for the ice and drain hose off that......we use bags of ice because block ice is harder to find, but im sure a block would worlk better if you can get them.
It works okay if changed about twice as often as what kept in our other coolers outside under the picnic tables ...the newer coolers are better for sure. we keep breakfast in it, eggs and bacon and fruit usually or candybar i dont wanna eat melted.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ray N View Post
I hope this isn't stealing this thread, but does anyone here have any experience with the Coleman (etc.) chests that you plug into a 12 v socket? I see they are advertised as keeping the chest temperature "up to" about 40 degrees F. cooler than the ambient air. It seems that would be okay for drinks as long as you didn't expect them to be ice cold. Probably not so good for the leftover deviled eggs, however. I was particularly interested in current draw as well as how they seem to work in the real world.

Not a hijack at all...that was going to be my next question

Thanks for the info guys. I'm thinking about riging up something. I don't have the holding tank, so I ripped the sink out, and I'm thinking about making a larger hole for a cooler, making it a top loading cooler that is in the cabinet. Two lids, one that's for the cooler and one that goes over top that is level with the rest of the counter top. Oh, and it's got to be removeable too
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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The new coolers are much more efficient (doesn't need to be electric.) So if you set something up for a 60 hour cooler you'd have a nice setup. Someone did one that pulls out on a slide (check the archives but I'm not sure what to use as a search term.)
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:21 PM   #8
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our uhaul has the original ice box with a tray for the ice and drain hose off that......we use bags of ice because block ice is harder to find, but im sure a block would worlk better if you can get them.
A 25 lb block which I can still get here in Fresno lasts for four warm days, easily. But 10 lb blocks don't do as well (even two of them.) Luckily I can get both- 10 lb blocks in Washington and 25 lb from a unique vending machine here in Fresno. (The 25 lb block comes out as a block of ice after you put 18 quarters into the slot, no plastic bag, so one sort of has to plan for how to lift it and get it to the trailer.)
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:59 PM   #9
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Mine originally had an icebox, and the previous owner put in a small electric dorm fridge to replace it. I wanted something 12v or LP, and I found a used 3-way Dometic that came out of a pop-up camper for $50 on craigslist. Another $25 to have it bench tested at a local LP shop and it doesn't have any leaks. You'll have a few mods to make to vent it, run lines to it, etc. as well if you went this route.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray N View Post
I hope this isn't stealing this thread, but does anyone here have any experience with the Coleman (etc.) chests that you plug into a 12 v socket? I see they are advertised as keeping the chest temperature "up to" about 40 degrees F. cooler than the ambient air. It seems that would be okay for drinks as long as you didn't expect them to be ice cold. Probably not so good for the leftover deviled eggs, however. I was particularly interested in current draw as well as how they seem to work in the real world.

I believe the specifications will say something like up to 40 below ambient. Meaning if the air temperature is 80F it might maintain 40F. If the air temperature is 90F the best it could do is 50F and so on.
Another draw back is the current draw. If you're on shore power they'll run down a battery pretty fast. The specifications of the ones I looked at was between 4 and 5 amps. There's no thermostat to turn them on and off so they that much all the time they're connected.
What does that mean? Many of our trailers have a 74 to 80 amp/hour battery. Which is good for 47 to 40 amp hours of use. At best that's about 10 hours.

I anybody wants to know more about the technology, I'd be happy to answer questions.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray N View Post
does anyone here have any experience with the Coleman (etc.) chests that you plug into a 12 v socket? I see they are advertised as keeping the chest temperature "up to" about 40 degrees F. cooler than the ambient air.

I was particularly interested in current draw as well as how they seem to work in the real world.
I used an Igloo Thermoelectric 12 volt cooler in my Compact Jr. restoration. I had a new group 24 deep cycle battery that it drew from 12 volts down to 8 volts in 6 hours. needless to say, that battery was toast. 40 degrees F is about the best they can do, but that's not adequate in a trailer going down the road in Arizona in July at 115 degrees.

I did have a big honking AC adapter for it when 110 volts AC was available. I wound up taking trips like this:
  • Load it into the Car during the day's drive plugged into the cigarette lighter
  • keep the car's air conditioner on to give the cooler a "Head Start"
  • Pull into a campground with electric
  • Transfer the cooler from the car to the trailer
  • plug the cooler Through the AC adapter into "shore" power
  • stay the night in the campground where ambient temps were lower than daytime
  • next day transfer the cooler from the trailer back to the car
  • continue and repeat for each day's travel

That got old really fast.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:06 AM   #12
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Unhappy My cooler story

We had a metal red and white Coleman ice chest which worked okay.

We decided to get a new all plastic one, also red because I didn't want to spend the extra money on a 5 day. I thought that they would have improved the design by now, wrong. The plastic Coleman, also red and white, didn't work any better than the original metal one.

So we decided to bite the bullet and get a 5-day. The 5 day doesn't seem to work any better than the original metal or the new plastic one.

C'est la vie!
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray N View Post
I hope this isn't stealing this thread, but does anyone here have any experience with the Coleman (etc.) chests that you plug into a 12 v socket? I see they are advertised as keeping the chest temperature "up to" about 40 degrees F. cooler than the ambient air. It seems that would be okay for drinks as long as you didn't expect them to be ice cold. Probably not so good for the leftover deviled eggs, however. I was particularly interested in current draw as well as how they seem to work in the real world.
Ray, I have one of those. We used it a couple of times, but now just leave it home. The problem is, there's no thermostat, and as advertised, they will keep things inside approximately 30 degrees cooler than the outside temperature, and that's ok if the outside temperature is above 65 degrees. However, on a trip to FL in 2010, the temps dropped into the 40s and 50s and most of the things inside, including our lettuce froze. Now we use the Coleman at home to keep beer cold on the deck, and get by with the fridge in the EggCamper. With a bit of planning for meals, the fridge hold several days of perishables.

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Old 04-25-2011, 08:24 AM   #14
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I have an Igloo 110v/12v that I had custom framed into the spot where the old '73 Icebox used to be. I'm mostly a Pacific Northwest camper, and am totally satisfied with it.
I not only use it inside my trailer for a week or two of overnight camping trips but also use it in my car while I'm on a long drive...keeps a fresh cold soda and sandwhich, right where I can reach and pull it, out while driving...it's a multi-purpose fridge.
Depending on your individual needs, listen closely to Frederick. He makes an excellent point about prolonged camping in high HEAT...it would not do well in keeping food cold, if your car's battery runs low.
A LOW battery trumps an Igloo cooler...
BB
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