Is An Icebox a Waste of Money? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-05-2014, 01:07 PM   #29
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Perhaps a Coleman extreme cooler might be a better choice.
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:16 PM   #30
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I guess different strokes for different folks. I would guess that by not having the cooling system behind the fridge an ice box could in theory be larger capacity by being deeper.

Considering that we have often camped with two coolers, or even a third smaller one I would say ice works. I would think keeping a cooler and adding an ice box might well make sense. Ice will melt faster the more the door is opened. Having one for often accessed items and the other for less accessed items might work out to be an advantage.

There have been folks that added insulation on all sides of the ice box when they installed it and they reported ice block lasting 4 days.

With solar I would think one could make the 110/12 volt compressor type fridge a viable option. Just have to find out the fridge amp draw and figure on it running 1/2 the time or less to get all the amp hours required to be replaced by solar panel.
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:55 PM   #31
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Our 2 dogs eat raw food, and we tend to eat a fair amount of meat, so we need a decent amount of cooling space.
We use the undercounter fridge for meat and dairy for the humans, coolers for everything else.
Your pups can still eat raw while camping without the need for refrigeration. All you need is water with NRG dehydrated dog food . Easy to store and complies with the rules if you cross borders.
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:32 PM   #32
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Your solution

I hear you. This is what I did. I built a super insulated slideout icebox. 1/2 gallon plastic container full of frozen water lasts for about three days unless it is super hot.

The two things I wish for are a drain plug (seemed like a liability at the time I built it), and possible a thermoelectric cooler to augment when I have extra solar power. Also my dimensions were off when I built it and it could have been an inch or two bigger which would have made a difference.

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I agree with your points, Bob. BUT, we plan on rebuilding our egg to fit our needs after this camping season. The current fridge is tiny, so it's getting removed in the next month or so and a cooler going in the same opening for now. We'd like to get rid of the huge fridge vents on the side, and aren't planning/worried about resale. So a propane-based fridge is off the table. But I'd like a clean install of something else. Not sure I want to do AC/DC only fridge, still expensive and ALSO would need more battery juice. We find ice to be easy to find, and a well insulated box seems to work very well for our needs. I may end up with AC/DC fridge instead, but we'll see how it goes with just a cooler and ice this season.
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:40 PM   #33
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With unlimited budget I would get a top loading (drawer) electric compressor fridge, a big solar panel, a cheap light sensor, and a relay. I would run the fridge at a low temperature all day from solar power and then turn it off to save the batteries and also my sanity as I tried to sleep. I would also have a switch to turn it completely off while in storage. Total cost is probably over $1000 mostly driven by the refrigerator (the solar panel is not cheap either). As long as you had sufficient thermal mass (1/2 gallon of milk or OJ) in the fridge I think it would stay very cool over night.
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:52 PM   #34
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It's highly unusual, but I actually read the "instruction manual" that came with my Coleman Extreme cooler. It says not to drain the water in the cooler ( you're just throwing away the cold ).
But, nothing beats a two-way propane / 120V fridge, in my opinion.
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:56 PM   #35
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It's highly unusual, but I actually read the "instruction manual" that came with my Coleman Extreme cooler. It says not to drain the water in the cooler ( you're just throwing away the cold ).
But, nothing beats a two-way propane / 120V fridge, in my opinion.
Depends on how cold you want the beer.
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:02 PM   #36
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^^
lololol
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:01 PM   #37
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Fortunately, when I lived in Germany, I learned to drink warm/room temp beer, tastes better in my opinion. Same with white wine.

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Old 05-05-2014, 07:12 PM   #38
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People have camped for years using nothing but coolers. I guess it really depends on your level of comfort and what kind of issues you're willing to deal with.

Frankly, I love the three-way refrigerator in my trailer and my next trailer is getting a bigger one. However, I also carry a cooler for "beverages," so the door to the refrigerator is only opened for food preparation.
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:36 PM   #39
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Almost anything would beat my 2-way fridge! I'm trying out the new fan inside the fridge today. Temp outside peaked at 92 degrees, currently high 80s. Fridge temp 59 degrees. I don't think the fan is helping.

BTW, the temp bottomed out at 37* overnight (last night), when it was about 60* outside.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:13 PM   #40
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Almost anything would beat my 2-way fridge! I'm trying out the new fan inside the fridge today. Temp outside peaked at 92 degrees, currently high 80s. Fridge temp 59 degrees. I don't think the fan is helping.

BTW, the temp bottomed out at 37* overnight (last night), when it was about 60* outside.
Sounds like you fridge might be a bit clogged up inside, reducing circulation and cooling in the cooling circuit.

Two weeks ago, at Joshua Tree National Park, when it was hitting 90+ we were still keeping ice cream hard and beer cold in our 40 y.o. Dometic on gas only.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:21 PM   #41
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Keep the refrigerator (in the trailer) in the shade if you can. These things work differently than the one in your home. Folks need to remember that. It's not that it's not working, it's just that it works differently. Be glad you don't own a gazillion dollar RV... they have the same issues!
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:32 PM   #42
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If you really want creative refrigeration options you need to check out some rafting forums. Like ice cream on day 20 of a G.C. trip with temps in the 90s. Boaters know all the tricks, seriously.
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