Using a 110-volt dorm referigerator as Ice-Box? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-09-2014, 08:06 PM   #1
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Using a 110-volt dorm referigerator as Ice-Box?

Just curious how well the cooling of food would work if I used ice in a 110-volt dorn type referigerator when camped in the outback?

What methods have you found works best to contain the ice, and keep the melted ice water from flowing everywhere?

When I was a young lad my grandfolks had a "real" ice box, and I remember the ice man delivering ice. However, I am older than dirt...and twice as ugly!

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bill Nolen View Post
Just curious how well the cooling of food would work if I used ice in a 110-volt dorn type referigerator when camped in the outback?

What methods have you found works best to contain the ice, and keep the melted ice water from flowing everywhere?

When I was a young lad my grandfolks had a "real" ice box, and I remember the ice man delivering ice. However, I am older than dirt...and twice as ugly!

Thanks,

Bill
There's no reason it wouldn't work. A small plastic box of some sort to keep the ice will also contain melt water.

Do you remember what was kept in the real ice box? If think real hard along with walking through the non-refrigerated isles of your local grocery store you'll find lots of good ways of making meals without the need of refrigeration. Have you camped without a trailer, how done any backpacking. It would be kind of hard to carry a big block of ice and everything else needed in backpack. We managed some how for a couple weeks at a time without freeze dried foods. If you're a picky eater you might have trouble, but other wise the sky's the limit. There's meat in sealed pouches, no refrigeration needed. There's all kind of rice and "helper" stuff. Stove top stuffing, and tinned meat. The list is almost as big as a grocery store inventory list.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:52 PM   #3
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we freeze bottled water or water in half gallon plastic milk containers and put it in the dorm fridge but usually only to keep it cool until we get to a campsite with electric hookup. When camping where there is no hookup we use a regular cooler, or two.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
There's no reason it wouldn't work. A small plastic box of some sort to keep the ice will also contain melt water.

Do you remember what was kept in the real ice box? If think real hard along with walking through the non-refrigerated isles of your local grocery store you'll find lots of good ways of making meals without the need of refrigeration. Have you camped without a trailer, how done any backpacking. It would be kind of hard to carry a big block of ice and everything else needed in backpack. We managed some how for a couple weeks at a time without freeze dried foods. If you're a picky eater you might have trouble, but other wise the sky's the limit. There's meat in sealed pouches, no refrigeration needed. There's all kind of rice and "helper" stuff. Stove top stuffing, and tinned meat. The list is almost as big as a grocery store inventory list.
Thanks Byron for the reply. Yes, I actually remember what was in my grandparents wooden ice box. It mostly contained milk, cheese, butter, and on the good days, some slices of bologna. This was in the height of the Depression!

You are quite correct about camping without ice. I am a guy who loves canned Spam, and eats it fried every morning for breakfast. So, I'd say I'm not a picky eater!

However, camping without a cold drink is something I have avoided most of my life! And, some nice coolers have always taken care of that need.

I was just wondering how people that used dorm refs as ice boxes desposed of the water.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:20 PM   #5
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The thing I did when the burner was clogged on my Scamp fridge was to put ice in zip lock bags. Easier to wrap around those beverage bottles or can. When the ice melted I simply emptied the zip lock bags. Simple, easy and worked pretty good.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
we freeze bottled water or water in half gallon plastic milk containers and put it in the dorm fridge but usually only to keep it cool until we get to a campsite with electric hookup. When camping where there is no hookup we use a regular cooler, or two.
Hi Mary and Bob,

Thanks for the reply! That answers my two questions...where to put the ice and how to drain the water.

I don't know why I didn't think of that, because in the past, when camping on a sailboat, I have placed frozen drinking water containers in a cooler to keep food cool, and to have drinking water as the ice melts.

Thanks again,
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:45 AM   #7
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Like Byron, while dry camping at Craters of the Moon, our fridge would not work on gas due to high winds. We filled a couple of small plastic food containers with cubed ice. It easily kept the fridge cold.

Our first small trailer had a dorm sized fridge. We would sometimes use ice to keep it cool using the same 1/2 liter containers, Extra ice, was put into a small cooler bag and covered with a blanket for extra insulation until the containers needed refilling.

By the way Craters of the Moon, a relatively little visited NP is well worth a visit.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:07 AM   #8
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Keeping Cool & Daily Spam....

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Originally Posted by Bill Nolen View Post
Thanks Byron for the reply. Yes, I actually remember what was in my grandparents wooden ice box. It mostly contained milk, cheese, butter, and on the good days, some slices of bologna. This was in the height of the Depression!

You are quite correct about camping without ice. I am a guy who loves canned Spam, and eats it fried every morning for breakfast. So, I'd say I'm not a picky eater! (clip)

As mentioned by several, frozen bottles of water are a lot better than block ice. There is no run off and, as they melt, you then have cold water to drink.

That said, dorm refrigerators are not insulated to the kind of temperatures you see in a typical RV during the daylight hours, even while travelling. As such they make poor iceboxes. A standard cooler might be a better bet.

And Spam every day for breakfast???? At 1200+ml of sodium (50%+ rda) per serving, it's not a great way to assure lots of future camping reservations are used.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
The thing I did when the burner was clogged on my Scamp fridge was to put ice in zip lock bags. Easier to wrap around those beverage bottles or can. When the ice melted I simply emptied the zip lock bags. Simple, easy and worked pretty good.
Byron, that's a neat idea!

Desposing of trash is not usually a big problem camping with a small trailer. However, on a small sailboat ANY trash is a problem. Using the empty zip lock bags to hold trash, until reaching shore, would also work great!
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:43 PM   #10
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Not so long ago everyone knew that butter was bad and margarine was good; now they're recognizing that butter is fine and margarine is one step away chemically from plastic. I think salt is going the same way and the most recent studies are showing that salt doesn't raise BP after all; man has needed salt to live for millenia.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:07 PM   #11
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Not to much of a good thing

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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Not so long ago everyone knew that butter was bad and margarine was good; now they're recognizing that butter is fine and margarine is one step away chemically from plastic. I think salt is going the same way and the most recent studies are showing that salt doesn't raise BP after all; man has needed salt to live for millenia.
I have seen several of those studies and I don't know if any of them is, as of yet, generally accepted. I am sure these guys will post any significant changes as soon as they have creditability:
Sodium: How to tame your salt habit - Mayo Clinic

And, the human body can't live without water either, but to little or to much of that will also kill you:
Strange but True: Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill - Scientific American
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:37 PM   #12
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As mentioned by several, frozen bottles of water are a lot better than block ice. There is no run off and, as they melt, you then have cold water to drink.

That said, dorm refrigerators are not insulated to the kind of temperatures you see in a typical RV during the daylight hours, even while travelling. As such they make poor iceboxes. A standard cooler might be a better bet.
Square one or one-half gallon milk jugs for me. And, a quality cooler beats the heck out of the fridge for keeping things cooler longer.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Not so long ago everyone knew that butter was bad and margarine was good; now they're recognizing that butter is fine and margarine is one step away chemically from plastic. I think salt is going the same way and the most recent studies are showing that salt doesn't raise BP after all; man has needed salt to live for millenia.
Yeah Mike, a person doesn't really know what to believe! The same has been said about coffee, and many other food items I enjoy.

I may have been a little misleading when I wrote I ate fried Spam every morning. It is a fact that I do eat two slices of Spam each morning. However, it is Turkey Spam, and not the good old pork spam! The two slices of Turkey Spam is only 60 calories, and with Egg Beaters the breakfast is only 160 calories.

Not quite the old breakfast's of bacon, frired eggs, pancakes, etc., but it's OK.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:52 PM   #14
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Tim,

Our fridge is small, The expectation is that hardly anything in the fridge will not be there very long. We typically buy in small quantities. The things that are around more than a few days, butter, jam, eggs, bacon, yogurt, hardly need cooling. Meats are usually cooked rather quickly, We do carry things that do not need a fridge, smoked salmon, spam (Ginny will not go anywhere without a couple of cans).

We have one egg, one strip of bacon and one slice of toast virtually every morning, around 200 calories and very satisfying.
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