Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby booyah » Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:23 am

So I was looking at the cooluli, its an interesting little concept.
48w plugged into real power (Mains or 12v), 10.5w running off USB (econo mode).
If it holds enough for your uses I would be tempted to run it on real 12v power when the sun is shining and replug it to run on USB Econo during the night and cloudy conditions.

My biggest concern for my uses is its way too tiny. More over it seems like it cools as much as it can, given its power and ambient temp. I would worry about some foods getting too warm in this situation, and I think like others I would rely on block ice an a traditional cooler. Even my cheap blue coleman will do 3 days with ice, and some of the fancier ones will do 5-7.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby ArkansasDon » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:31 am

what I find as "for my wife & I" is the when we dispersed camp, our 40qt. Engel fridge\freeze holds 3 to 4 days of perishable food easily (& we eat good too), ususally on the 2nd or 3rd day were back on the road heading for a new destination, stop for gas, find a laundromat to wash clothes, & a store to pick up provision to restock some food perishables & non perishables for the our pantry tote. What is nice about a actual 12v.\110 fridge feezer is NO water from melted ice to deal with, floating containers, soggy left over food. Set for the same temperature as our household refridge & it does the rest.
We do carry a 30qt Pelican Cooler for drinks & ice, this last 3 to 5 days depends on weather conditions. IMO a cooler is the best bet for drinks to keep cold. This is my 2nd Engel I've owned, my 1st was a 27qt which served me & the wife well for a few years, we upgraded to our current 40qt to hold more perishable foods. I gave my 27qt. to my son wich he uses as a beer & soda cooler when they camp. IMO they are a well worth investment.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Dahlia47 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:46 pm

What sucks is some of the new coolers don't have drains. My Coleman cooler hinges broke, so we went to buy a new one. We got an igloo. But out of all of the coolers, we looked at...no drains! WTH? Why? Why on earth would they not put a drain on them?

The Jackery. I would love to have one of those! There is a van lifer I follow on youtube that has a couple of them and they seem like they would be perfect our little weekend outings! The little one I have does the basic job I need for now. It powers my mini cooler, charges my phone and tablet. The mini cooler, all I put in it is creamer, butter, milk, cheese, lunch meat, and eggs. Everything else we pack is either canned, boxed or dry goods. I found shelf-stable milk. The package is so small that I probably won't be putting that in the cooler anymore. And I like soft butter. After we get to our destination I always take it out.

I think I just thought of another thread! :?
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Cosmo » Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:00 pm

I compared a Yetti 45 liter cooler with the Dometic CFX-35 compressor fridge to see which would meet my needs and budget better. Dometic price was cheaper when I purchased ($600) than it is today. There are infrastructure startup costs for for an electric fridge such as – battery, solar etc. I owned the battery and solar so I am just isolating the comparison to the fridge and cooler. I have used both coolers and fridge for years.

Useable space:
The Dometic CFX-35 fridge has 35 Liter (one cubic foot) 100% useable space.

The Yeti has 45 liters of available space (1.58 cubic feet). Yeti recommends 1) a ratio of 2/3 ice, to food, 2) block ice 3) very cold ice to get those long life numbers for ice. Plus a pre cool of many hours (more ice). With the recommended ratio the Yeti 45 only has room for 13.5 liters (0.476) Cubic feet of food space with a full load of ice!

Yeti also recommends you use cold ice! I'm not kidding! It makes sense. https://www.yeti.com/en_US/ice-retention.html I am sure most of us find a compromise that works for us but Ice takes up space and at best the space is probably a draw between the fridge and cooler. I give the fridge the space advantage in most cases.

I did get better ice life with block ice. Coolers have very cost effective startup costs. Especially if you are making your own ice. If like me you are buying ice the cost in my case added up quickly. Food in the ice water was nice and cold (conduction cooling). The air gap above the ice was not very cold. There appeared to be almost zero convection cooling going on above the surface of the water. I used a Reflectix divider that I could push down to the food level to reduce the air gap above the water which helped. I measured temps of 40F and above in the air space above the ice water. Butter was pretty soft unless submerged a plus for some people Ha ha ha.

I did call Yeti to find out the R factor of the insulation (which is a measurable way to know if you are getting what what you are paying for). They to disclose R value but turned the BS generator to their secret formula foam... which has no specifications. When I activated my BS filter all I could hear in my head was BOHICA! (Bend Over Here It Comes Again) The Tundra has 2 inches of side wall insulation and 3 inches of lid insulation. Without specifics from Yeti its hard to compare measurable cost and performance with another cooler which makes me wonder where the advertising ends and the performance/value starts.

The fridge lacks foam even in common sense areas like the lid. Sheesh. I have thought about injecting foam in the fridge but was worried the extra weight on the lid might effect the plastic closing latch or something.

I was purchasing 16 pound bags of ice for $3 a bag. Using one bag of throw away ice to pre chill the cooler. Then 2 bags of ice on the food. After crunching numbers I found in my case My money was going down the drain. The cost of ice paid for the fridge ($600) in 66 weekends of camping (1 to 3 night outings).

Total startup cost for a fridge system adding in solar, controller, battery (AGM) in my case adds up to about $1,200 at the time I purchased. That would require about 135 weekend trips purchasing ice to break even. I already had the solar, controller and battery so I viewed the fridge as an isolated purchase in my budgeting.

I could be happy with ice or fridge. All depends on your needs. My point is when I looked at it from all sides in my case I could justify the initial fridge expense and I could break even by saving on ice. Ice savings paid for my fridge (but not the solar, battery etc yet!)

Your calculations will probably include factors for your situation and our results will vary.

One plus on the fridge side is I was able to stay out 20 days without leaving the wilderness for ice. One plus on the Cooler side is its can be a source of water and you have ice cubes for drinks.

I'm either ambivalent or apathetic on cooler vs fridge.
I''m not sure which, and I don't care! Baw haw haw.

=Cosmo






Last edited by Cosmo on Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:22 pm, edited 30 times in total.


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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby featherliteCT1 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:58 pm

Cosmo, excellent post ... Thank you
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby booyah » Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:16 am

Dahlia47 wrote:What sucks is some of the new coolers don't have drains. My Coleman cooler hinges broke, so we went to buy a new one. We got an igloo. But out of all of the coolers, we looked at...no drains! WTH? Why? Why on earth would they not put a drain on them?


So funny thing, the water is all thermal mass, so water with ice in it is @32F (or 0C) and helps to keep everything else cold longer. Drain your water and you melt more ice and run out faster.
Cooler drains have a horrible history of leaking as well. Easier to build a more insulated cooler without one, and it does better in "holds ice for x days" testing.

Dahlia47 wrote:The Jackery. I would love to have one of those! There is a van lifer I follow on youtube that has a couple of them and they seem like they would be perfect our little weekend outings! The little one I have does the basic job I need for now. It powers my mini cooler, charges my phone and tablet. The mini cooler, all I put in it is creamer, butter, milk, cheese, lunch meat, and eggs. Everything else we pack is either canned, boxed or dry goods. I found shelf-stable milk. The package is so small that I probably won't be putting that in the cooler anymore. And I like soft butter. After we get to our destination I always take it out.

So I've see the jackerys, but I wonder how they really price out compared to like a group 24 deep cycle. I get they are very portable, but since we are already bringing a vehicle, and a trailer, is super portable really that important for us?
Right now I can buy a group 24DCC from sams club for $55. Thats a 75Ah battery, discharge it to 75% (80 is considered safest max discharge) still lands you 675Wh.
A charger is under $50, and a decent inverter is $100. so $200 for something that is more juice than the Jackery 500 for less than half the cost.
But hey, to each their own, thats why we have an open market right?! :thumbsup:
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Dahlia47 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:21 am

I don't the water in there because somehow someway husband and kiddos leave baggies and tupperware open and I end up getting sicker than a dog. That one is a health and very personal one. My stomach turns when I see that water. LOL

As for the jackery or power packs, I think those are more for saving room. Some of the people I have seen on youtube use them always mention how compact they are and how they don't always want a solar panel on the roof(they can be charged by plugging them in to a wall plug or solar panel). But I do see your point about price and use. They use them daily. I would use it once a month maybe, at the most. And they also get them from companies free to try them and review them. More cost effective for them.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby RalphCT » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:51 am

Dahlia47 wrote:And the winner is.....THE BIG BLOCK OF ICE!
It lasted much longer and the thermometer was steady for several days. I'm the kind of person who needs to see the results. Thank You All!

I second the use of block ice. It can easily last 5 days in my Yeti 32 qt cooler.
Some suggestions to think about before the start of your trip is to pre-cool the cooler. I get my block of ice and at the same time buy a bag of cubes. The day before I leave on a trip I dump the cubes in the cooler. Just before leaving home I add the block of ice. If room is tight I dump just enough water and cubes to make room for the block.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby MatBirch » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:32 pm

So this Jackery gizmo... appears to just be an inverter with a battery in a convenient case??
Seems handy and the price isn’t bad.

I’m going this route-
https://www.reddit.com/r/vandwellers/co ... efficient/

Only difference is that I’m merely using a standard energy star mini fridge/freezer, as I’d like to have both. We aren’t out all that long, and my math and Kill-a-watt meter tell me I’ll have plenty of juice. I’m running a pair of 6v batteries and a Samlex 3000w inverter. By using the controller, it will shut the inverter off in between cycles, saving battery time. I plan to add a simple solar setup to help extend boon docking trips.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby featherliteCT1 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:07 pm

MatBirch,

Thanks for posting the link to the “ultra-efficient refrigerator”. If you can, please keep us updated about what you do and how it works.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby KennethW » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:24 pm

Has anyone used a Iceco Go12 $160 or a Or a Alpicool C15 $170. Both compress type. If you are not cooling a lot of beverages just milk, butter, meat, mayonnaise,and eggs. I would think they would be big enough(no need for room for ice) without break the bank. Any thoughts??
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Sparksalot » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:03 pm

KennethW wrote:Has anyone used a Iceco Go12 $160 or a Or a Alpicool C15 $170. Both compress type. If you are not cooling a lot of beverages just milk, butter, meat, mayonnaise,and eggs. I would think they would be big enough(no need for room for ice) without break the bank. Any thoughts??


Check out Slim Potatohead on YouTube. He bought an alpicool a while back and seems to have had good results. He used it in an A Liner trailer.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby KennethW » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:26 pm

I have seen Slim's youtube video. Just thought I would post here to get a discussion going and find out how others feel on the subject. For a lot of people it would be a lower price alternative to the bigger refrigerators.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby Sparksalot » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:01 pm

Gotcha. I agree on the price point. I’ve been eyeing an Alpicool myself, I just haven’t decided what size or if I want dual zone.
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Re: Refrigerators, Coolers And Ice Boxes OH MY!

Postby KennethW » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:22 pm

Sparksalot wrote:Gotcha. I agree on the price point. I’ve been eyeing an Alpicool myself, I just haven’t decided what size or if I want dual zone.

You may want to look at a Iceco Go20 for a dual zone. https://www.ebay.com/i/392745136264?rt= ... %3DDefault
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