UHaul CT ice box question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-05-2010, 11:54 AM   #1
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Ok, my CT came with the original icebox. For those who have it... how well does it work? The styrofoam doesn't seem all that great.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:13 PM   #2
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I'm very curious myself. I have an 85 Burro that has the same unit. I took it out yesterday to do some countertop work and can't decide if i should replace it or put some time into cleaning it up. The seals are hard and the interior is pretty nasty. I think I may get a new one ($120?) and wrap it with better insulation but have not decided if an icebox is the way to go in general I like the simplicity, I've made it this far with coolers and don't want to spend $800 for more complications.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
I'm very curious myself. I have an 85 Burro that has the same unit. I took it out yesterday to do some countertop work and can't decide if i should replace it or put some time into cleaning it up. The seals are hard and the interior is pretty nasty. I think I may get a new one ($120?) and wrap it with better insulation but have not decided if an icebox is the way to go in general I like the simplicity, I've made it this far with coolers and don't want to spend $800 for more complications.

I have one in my burro and it has 1/2" styro foam around it and then in the cabinet it has a box made of 1-1/2" blue foam. The cooler seems to work ok for a cooler, put ice in and it will keep things cool while melting, make sure you have a good drain line to the outside or use a container for the ice.

I am considering putting in a small electric fridge and frozen water bottles using it as a cooler when boondocking or bringing a regular cooler. Small fridges can be bought for under a 100 dollars, my brother just got a small one for his son to take to college for 50 dollars at home depot on sale, sometimes scratched and dented can be got for cheap and all we will see is the door.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:22 PM   #4
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I can't say for your camper for sure, but I know that on older boats the insulation is usually pretty inadequate. However, many people choose to improve the insulation and stay with an ice box vs. going to an electric installation (propane isn't appropriate for boat refrigeration).

I don't know how much space you have around the icebox, but there are a number of ways to improve the insulation. I'll hold off on a diatribe for now, but let me know if you would like more info (and if so I would be interested in how much space you have around/over/behind the ice box unit).

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Old 07-05-2010, 03:01 PM   #5
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I'm not interested in adding a frig. I use coolers with my tear and I'm good with that. I like that the icebox fits in the cabinet (my coolers would not fit in the same space). I've probably got 2-3" of space all the way around (5 sides) the icebox that I'd be willing to work in. I do want to keep access to the back of the inputs (water, electric) that are on the outside wall behind the icebox from the inside.

I'm not interested in expensive or intricate solution. If I don't put the icebox back (mine will need the seals redone already), I'll just build some shelving and use coolers.

Raya,

I'd love to hear any relatively easy and relatively inexpensive solutions you can suggest.



Quote:
I can't say for your camper for sure, but I know that on older boats the insulation is usually pretty inadequate. However, many people choose to improve the insulation and stay with an ice box vs. going to an electric installation (propane isn't appropriate for boat refrigeration).

I don't know how much space you have around the icebox, but there are a number of ways to improve the insulation. I'll hold off on a diatribe for now, but let me know if you would like more info (and if so I would be interested in how much space you have around/over/behind the ice box unit).

Raya
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:22 PM   #6
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I have just removed the ice box from my U-haul. Any one who would like it may have it. Probably needs a new gasket.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:39 PM   #7
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Karen,

Well for something basic and not too expensive or esoteric, I would probably add rigid insulation. Something like extruded polystyrene or polyisocyanurate. I like the former. (This is the basic pink, yellow, or blue board insulation from Home Depot et al.)

The more insulation you can add, the better, of course. For boat installations I would use a series of thinner boards and overlap them in staggered fashion at the corners. Snce you are in a cooling climate (hotter outside), you could add a foil layer to the outside-most pieces, facing out (some polyiso comes with foil on one side). You can glue the layers together with construction adhesive that is meant for foam. Or, you could probably even tape them with the foil tape available at Home Depot etc.

I don't know how easy your access is, and that makes a difference. Every inch of insulation helps, and sealing the air gaps is a big deal too.

Since you have a front opening door (boats typically have a lid on the top), the cold air has ample opportunity to "tumble" out when you open the door. I might try to fix a piece of Plexi across the bottom 1/3 or 1/2 - something that mostly stays in place but that you can reach over to retrieve things. Another idea is to fit something like those clear flaps that are like streamers that you sometimes see in grocery store freezer sections. You could fit that above the rigid plastic piece.

Also, people make use of sections of Reflectix or space blanket (on a top-opening box you would put this in on top of the food, before putting the lid on - maybe you can adapt it.

Another thing we do on boats is to "visualize" where the food is we are going to grab before we open the box, in order to minimize open time. Also sometimes we use a separate, portable cooler for drinks, depending on the situation and ice availability. (Like say ice is available now but not for another month; then we might load up the "real" icebox for the long haul, and fill up a portable cooler with ice and drinks and things for the first few days, not even touching the main icebox. Or if a gang is coming around for drinks or etc.)

Raya
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for these great ideas.

Quote:
Karen,

Well for something basic and not too expensive or esoteric, I would probably add rigid insulation. Something like extruded polystyrene or polyisocyanurate. I like the former. (This is the basic pink, yellow, or blue board insulation from Home Depot et al.)

The more insulation you can add, the better, of course.

...
Raya
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:20 PM   #9
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On my sister's Compact Jr., which has an icebox a lot like the one you pictured, I wrapped it with fiberglass insulation about an inch thick, then covered the whole thing with brown butcher paper (to protect the insulation a bit and make the icebox easier to slide back into place).

It seems to have helped a lot; her ice lasts perhaps twice as long now.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:34 PM   #10
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We recycled our son's college refrigerator in our UHaul VT. We had to cut the hole a bit larger, but it does the trick nicely. Yes, we don't camp without electricity. I like my little pleasures, i.e. air conditioning.

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