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Old 03-15-2017, 06:26 AM   #101
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Yes! Everybody has their own needs and styles of camping. NEVER put ice in a 12v cooler! I travel with my faithful companion - a Golden Retriever and never let my rig get hot enough for food to reach unsafe conditions, nor do I store food intolerant of warmer temps. We travel a lot (vs base camping) and prefer to support local food stores - most fresh meats, cheese (I'm from WI), and fresh veggies like carrots, etc. It works quite well for my style, NOT an extreme bushwacking situation - though I suspect I'm closer to the majority of mainstream campers. I apologize for the misunderstanding.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:06 AM   #102
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Also on the Pelican has dual handles . Quarantined for life . Pat
Well that doesn't sound good Pat
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:41 AM   #103
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Well that doesn't sound good Pat
I'm betting Pat has speech-to-text, and the device thought "warranteed" sounded like "quarantined."

But if I'm wrong, maybe the Pelican should wear a skull and crossbones!

As for 12V coolers, better to go the whole distance and buy an efficient 12V fridge containing (what used to be known as) a Danfoss compressor, such as Engel or Truckfridge. The latter will cool to a set temperature, instead of merely x degrees below ambient, and are good enough to even freeze food (if you wanted to set it that low).

I used to think that an RV fridge was way more convenient than a cooler. Then I encountered the problems of the fridges I owned not cooling enough, the pilot light blowing out during travel, etc. I decided that a Truckfridge would someday be in my future, and if I ever travel extensively it still will be. But last summer I took a 2.5 week trip using just a cooler, and I was pleasantly surprised. Adding ice every 3 or 4 days just wasn't as big a deal as I thought it would be, and the temp was far more constant and dependable than my last two RV refrigerators. I've decided that ammonia fridges just aren't worth the hassle, and I never want one again. Until I retire and have tons of free time to travel, a cooler will do just fine!
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:06 AM   #104
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Those 12V coolers are only good for something like 38 degrees less than ambient. So, if it's 90 degrees outside, inside the cooler is 52 degrees ( or 10 degrees hotter than safe for foods ).
Read the manual or the specs prior to purchase.
A member of our senior citizens camping group bought a
12 VDC /120 VAC portable cooler to supplement the small refrigerator in his trailer . It worked well as long as ambient temperaures were in the low to mid 70's F. Once the temps got into the 80's and 90's the cooler was useless for storing perishable foods and couldn't even put a good chill on a can of beer.
When camping , the last thing we want to do is drive to town and go " SHOPPING "!! If the cooler actually worked under normal summer time conditions , then it may be worth buying but as it is NO.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:52 AM   #105
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Completion of Day 4 at 3 PM Wednesday, March 15


Still plenty of ice cubes in there. Pop bottles are all still cold, sitting on top of the ice. But water level is up to the top of the ice as of Wednesday afternoon.


Only 4 bottles of pop left. We drank another one. It was icy cold.


in Peanut, we open the cooler about 6 times a day, not once. It's opened to prepare each meal, and once again to put away after meals.
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Old 03-16-2017, 05:16 PM   #106
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I used to think that an RV fridge was way more convenient than a cooler. Then I encountered the problems of the fridges I owned not cooling enough, the pilot light blowing out during travel, etc.
I boondock for longer periods, so I'm willing to put up with the fridge, but I completely agree. I have spent so much time, so much effort dealing with insufficient cooling in my RV fridges. I only have experience with two, but they were both the same. I lost whole shopping trips worth of food multiple times, and ended up living out of a cooler when I had a darn RV with a fridge in it! It annoyed me.

Some seem to work great, others seem to have issues. And I'm talking about functioning fridges that don't have anything obviously wrong with them.

My current fridge works great till the temps hit the 80s. I can just barely keep it at safe levels inside, in the 80s with a newly installed vent fan. But upper 80s to 90s and it just craps out.

If you have one of the finicky ones, it can take over a camping trip, unless you're good at quickly "letting go" at the first signs of failure, pulling out the cooler and pushing the fridge out of your mind.
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Old 03-16-2017, 05:27 PM   #107
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Completion of Day 5 Thursday:


All bottles are now floating on melted water.
Still plenty of ice in there anyway, so this Coleman X-Treme does go 5 days at 68 F and still holds ice. We're going to continue, though I am heartily sick of it under the table shoving the chair around to the back of the table.


I think in camping life 5 days is asking too much of the Coleman Xtreme, but our other plastic coolers never did this well.


Definitely considering a better cooler, and this thread gives lots of possibilities!


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Old 03-16-2017, 06:51 PM   #108
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I've been really happy with my Coleman Xtreme. It definitely ain't no Yeti (or insert other roto molder), but for what I paid, it's great.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:36 PM   #109
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Kai, thanks for the time and effort you've put into this and for sharing with the group. Your results are about what we've experienced with our Xtremes as well although we can usually get a full five days with a combo of cube and block ice.

I think roto molded coolers are great but don't expect to get seven days of ice retention from one of them either if you don't exercise a bit of 'cooler discipline' (pre-chilling, block ice, limited opening, minimal air space, out of the sun, etc.).
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:56 PM   #110
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Well that doesn't sound good Pat
Missed that . It is the spell check that decides how it going to read . Met guaranteed for life . Pat
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:46 PM   #111
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Missed that . It is the spell check that decides how it going to read . Met guaranteed for life . Pat
Huh?
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:35 PM   #112
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Get the RTIC

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Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post

I think in camping life 5 days is asking too much of the Coleman Xtreme, but our other plastic coolers never did this well.


Definitely considering a better cooler, and this thread gives lots of possibilities!


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Old 03-17-2017, 05:28 AM   #113
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i've followed this thread with interest and have concluded that the issue of keeping foodstuffs safe is the bane of a traveler's existence. my casita has one of those cursed dometic "refrigerators". after 10 years of experience i concluded those devices have a "personality". it's a zen thing. you can learn to predict when it'll work and when it won't. traveling it's mostly useless. sitting still (i camp host for month's at a time) it's a very useful appliance. so, i've taken the path of least resistance and am currently working on the two level approach. cooler and fridge. i use a coleman stainless steel cooler. not sure of the proper name or model # but, a year or so ago i was ready to upgrade my old cooler. i visited a web page that tests and evaluates camping gear. i don't remember the web addy (something like "camping geeks are us") and they did a test of coolers. the yeti was included. their conclusion was if you really needed to keep ice for the maximum length of time, sure, buy the yeti. but, if you could live with a day or so less get a coleman stainless steel and then buy a half dozen more and still spend less $.

so...the current solution is to depend on the cooler for keeping perishables unperished while in motion. sitting still (when the fridge behaves like a fridge) i use both and keep large containers in the coleman and decant milk, juice, etc into smaller vessels for access from the fridge. the cooler keeps the beer cold also.

p@
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:24 PM   #114
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"Kai, thanks for the time and effort you've put into this and for sharing with the group. Your results are about what we've experienced with our Xtremes as well although we can usually get a full five days with a combo of cube and block ice.

I think roto molded coolers are great but don't expect to get seven days of ice retention from one of them either if you don't exercise a bit of 'cooler discipline' (pre-chilling, block ice, limited opening, minimal air space, out of the sun, etc.). "


Al & Cindy K,


Most welcome. Thanks for saying so!


I was consumed with curiosity after watching the ice chest challenge video at the beginning of this thread. They included some $10 coolers which did only a couple-three days at most, as I recall.


Clearly, the X-treme does better than that. We brought it home after 4 days camping last summer and took out the food, but forgot to remove the ice and water and only thought of it a couple days later and it still had some ice in it.


We now freeze at least one and sometimes two 2-liter pop bottles of water to use as "block ice" which go in first...then we layer the ice as we add food (what can be frozen, is frozen) and dump the cubed ice over the whole thing.


Have seen where using reflectix inside the cooler (and/or outside as well) really helps, but it also takes up real estate we usually need. We try to open it only 6 times a day, once when startlng a meal and again when putting things away afterwards. We try not to have leftovers. We quit taking homemade dogfood and make them eat kibble and a bit of our meals instead. (The old one is as finicky as a cat, but needs to keep her weight up so we've spoiled her with coaxing).


I understand many RV fridges have to be LEVEL to work, which means traveling or even parking slightly off-level means they won't work. I remember my father struggling to get that bubble perfect...and so far we're doing OK with just the Coleman Xtreme.


My dad also had a big old metal, olive-drab army ice chest that seemed to be wonderful, but I don't remember the details, so it may not have been any better than the X-treme. Or even not as good. It was oddly long, tall, and narrow. Maybe to fit in the very back of a jeep or something.


Will update on day 6 later today.


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Old 03-18-2017, 08:23 AM   #115
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Completion of day 6 Coleman X-Treme Ice Test for FRIDAY March 17, 2017


HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!


As a reminder that "block" ice melts slower, a chunk of stuck-together ice cubes the size of a small cantaloupe remains. There are also still lots of loose ice bits. in a mostly water slurry. The bottles are sagging down toward the bottom, though the air in them keeps them touching the surface. The cooler is still cold, though perhaps not as cold as before.


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Old 03-18-2017, 11:38 AM   #116
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Kai,
It sounds like your Dad had a mermite container. They were used for field food service in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, etc. Usually used to keep hot food but would work for cold as well.

mermite container - Bing images
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Old 03-18-2017, 04:12 PM   #117
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It sounds like your Dad had a mermite container. They were used for field food service in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, etc. Usually used to keep hot food but would work for cold as well.

mermite container - Bing images





YES. That's it! As far as I know, we never used it to keep things hot, only cold.


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Old 03-18-2017, 04:17 PM   #118
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End of Day 7 Ice Test:


Large clump of ice is now half the size, slurry of ice and water continues, pop is touching bottom with the caps clear of the water, all is still quite cold.

NOT in the sun, temp. 68 during the day, 66 at night, 4 feet from a heat register under the table, opened once a day, started with 20 pounds of grocery store ice.


Test continues...


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Old 03-19-2017, 09:35 AM   #119
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[QUOTE=Kai in Seattle;631760]It sounds like your Dad had a mermite container. They were used for field food service in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, etc. Usually used to keep hot food but would work for cold as well.






Wow, that Mermite picture brought back an old memory. Thanksgiving Day 1969, I was in a remote jungle location in Vietnam with an infantry platoon. We had been eating nothing but C-rations for weeks. A helicopter came out with a Brigadier General and a bunch of those Mermite containers full of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, the works. We had to take turns eating and maintaining our perimeter, but it was the best meal of the year.

Never thought about using one of those for a cooler, but it sure looks durable.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:54 PM   #120
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End of Day 8 ice test--not one bit of ice left. All water.


THEREFORE: at BEST, our Coleman X-treme will keep some ice for up to seven days. By day 8, fuggidaboutit.


Now I know.


Test Over.


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