Block ice

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Block ice

Postby GuitarPhotog » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:36 pm

The cooler in my 1948 teardrop is built for blocks of ice. I can buy ice in blocks locally, but what do you suggest when I can't find blocks, only sacks of ice cubes/chunks?

I don't want to use ice in jugs or similar because I then have to store and transport the empties when the ice is gone.

Is there a container that will allow me to gracefully use cubes in my cooler?

Thanks

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Postby Gary and Cheri » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:52 pm

I find that the advantage of block ice is that it lasts longer and that the advantage of cubed ice is that it fills all the small voids allowing easy access to the food by staying lower in the cooler. Putting cubes in a container is going to take up a lot of space in your cooler and would negate the only advantage that cubes have.

Just an opinion.

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Postby parnold » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:07 pm

I found a plastic storage container at Wally World that is approx 10" x 10" x10". I fill it 2/3 of the way with water and put in the freezer a few days before I leave. Makes a pretty nice block.
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Postby Gary and Cheri » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:18 pm

I assumed that GuitarPhotog was asking about when on the raod and can't find block ice.

I usually start any trip with a plastic milk carton filled 90% with water and put in the freezer for a couple of days. Cheap and comes with a handle.

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Postby parnold » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:24 pm

Gary and Cheri wrote:I assumed that GuitarPhotog was asking about when on the raod and can't find block ice.

Gary


Ahhhh.. I see. Many campgrounds sell block ice, so perhaps in your travels you can find one not too far off the path to purchase a block.
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Postby caseydog » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:02 pm

Agree with using gallon jugs for homemade ice blocks. :thumbsup:

On the road, you may just have to occasionally use bag ice. It is usually one solid chunk when you buy it. Just don't smack it on the ground before you put it in the cooler.

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Postby eamarquardt » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:46 pm

Ice is a PITA but I sometimes use nylon laundry bags to put the cubes in. You fill the bag(s) with the ice, place it on top of your stuff and when you want something you just lift up the bag with all the ice contained. Keeps the ice out of the bottom of the cooler and it is also easy to conform the ice bag to the shape required to fit on top your stuff.

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Postby Pizzaguy » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:55 pm

I freeze plastic water bottles and as they melt I drink them.
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Postby GuitarPhotog » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:37 pm

OK, for all of you who freeze water in jugs and containers, what do you do after they melt?

You can't conveniently refill and refreeze them, so you have to drag around the empties, yes?

The built in cooler in my trailer has a tray for block ice at the top with a drain through the bottom of the cooler and through the floor of the trailer. It isn't going to work well with bags of cubes, so I was hoping for some ideas.

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Postby nevadatear » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:49 am

I have never had my milk containers melt more than 1/2 way, so they are still usable and stay in the cooler the whole trip (up to a week). I use 3 half gallons in one, and 2 in the other. I guess if they melted to the point of needing more ice for the trip, I would throw the empties in the tow vehicle. Since they don't weight anything or take up much space and could be put anywhere, I personally don't see that as a problem. however, since they are easily replaceable, you could just recycle them at your campsite (I hope they have recycling there!). you could always (gasp) throw them away.

If you don't want the hassle of keeping containers around the house during not camping season, or don't have the room in the freezer, I would store your empty do-it-yourself container in your ices box of the tear. That is what I did, I stored my empty milk jugs in my ice chest until summer came around until we bought a small chest freezer. Now I keep a few frozen all the time.

The only other idea I would have is to build some sort of a dam system on the front of the tray to hold back a mesh bag of ice. Could probably make it out of plexiglas with silicone seam. I made a box out of this to put my jug of milk in in my ice chest, to keep the ice cubes from filling in the space when I take it out, thus eliminating the necessity of scooping my hand in freezing water and ice to make the milk bottle fit back in again!

Sorry, this one seem to have a good answer for you. the mesh bag one is probably the best, but the ice will melt FAST and you will be replacing it quickly.
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Postby Kevin A » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:58 am

I also use the half gallon milk jugs, one advantage to them is they contain the water as the ice melts. This prevents having your food floating in water. I line the bottom of the cooler with the jugs and put all my frozen foods on top of the jugs. The last thing to go in is the non frozen perishable food. I've been out as long as 5 days using this method and not had to add ice. I do make it a point to keep the cooler out of direct sunlight.
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Postby madjack » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:41 am

GuitarPhotog wrote:
You can't conveniently refill and refreeze them, so you have to drag around the empties, yes?

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...no, most places you stop will have trash containers so, just dump'em...plastic milk containers are not worth saving unless you are returning directly home...I like the 1/2 gallon best for better placement/usage............
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Postby slowcowboy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:10 pm

I recyle the gallon milk jugs. they are a main tool on a ranch.

You refill with water from the tap. you are always packing water out to the hay feild water to the truck to drink in the summer time.

you never on a ranch travel any where with out a gallon milk jug full of water in your truck.

I pack water in them from the house to go camping in my teardrop.

I don't drink out of my fresh water tank.

I cook with gallon milk jugs of water from the house.

On a ranch you save water like in 50 gallon milk jugs in case your houses plumb messes up or plugs up.

you never know when you are not going to have the abilty to use your houses plumbing for drinking water on a ranch.

its a saftey deveice and its a life saver in a power outage.

I also take halfs of milk jugs and freeze my own block ice. in 90 to 100 degrea heat last labor day on my trip to rifle colorado I kept food froze solid in a coleman normal cooler for 3 days. I added no ice on the trip.

I dumped out the halfs of frozen gallon milk jug ice on the lawn on the 3rd day when I got home.

I also kept my coolers under a old sleeping bag and one in the cabnet under the sink and stove in my teardrop.

I added before I left on the trip to rifle colorado a bag of boughten ice on top the gallon milk jugs and my food was siting on the gallon milk jugs.

I really could not see much of the ice melted when I dumped the gallon milk jugs after 3 days on the lawn out of my coolers.

if the ice was to melt. I would just drain the water out with my drain plug in the cooler and

what is the harm in keeping the gallon milk jugs halfs and just refilling them with water and stuffing them back in the freezer at home for future use??????????

if your worried about garbage in your car. its time to go home and clean up a bit.

unless your living out of your teardrop as a transit person.

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Postby slowcowboy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:12 pm

and to the poster of this tread. Oh, yes. I can convetnly refill and re freeze them.

I do it all the time. all you have to do when it runs out is go home and fill from the tap then take it out to the freezer and let it set for a half a day and you have new block ice!!!!!!!!!!

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Postby bobhenry » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:46 am

Kevin A wrote:I also use the half gallon milk jugs, one advantage to them is they contain the water as the ice melts. This prevents having your food floating in water. I line the bottom of the cooler with the jugs and put all my frozen foods on top of the jugs. The last thing to go in is the non frozen perishable food. I've been out as long as 5 days using this method and not had to add ice. I do make it a point to keep the cooler out of direct sunlight.


Yep! Water logged cheese balls are yucky!

We finally hit on a method that works for us. I cut some divider trays for my igloo "Cube" coolers.
We put four 1/2 gallon milk jugs with ice in the "cold" one. Food stuffs that are fully sealed can be placed in the crushed ice that is also added below. The 4 jugs support the tray and the food stuffs that are less "waterproof" are placed on the tray above. A second cooler is prepared the same way but we use orange juice , tomatoe juice and a couple milk jugs all in the 1/2 gallon size to support the other shelf.

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