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Author: Subject: Baja ice chest (pt. 3)
Whale-ista
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[*] posted on 6-16-2014 at 07:39 AM
Baja ice chest (pt. 3)


I bought a 65Qt Pelican for $250 at Costco for this multi-week trip to Cabo Pulmo, anticipating hi temps down south. Since I had planned to leave town last Tuesday, I bought 20 lbs of ice (cubes) to pre-chill the cooler as directed, for max ice retention.

I left the chest/ice in my truck camper shell from last Monday to today. I added 4-96 oz. frozen bottles of organic lemonade (also from Costco), the night before I left, and various pre-chilled food/drink items that morning before departure.

I'm now in La Bocana, and 6 days later there is till about 1/3 of the 20 lbs of ice cubes in the Pelican. The lemonade bottles still had ice in them last night when I removed them to re-freeze in the fridge at BajaBlanca's B&B before continuing south later today. The base of the bottles were freezing the water around them leaving solid ice "footprints" on the base of the chest.

Granted, I've stayed near the Pacific coast where temps are in the 70s, the chest has been in the camper shell, and I've only accessed the chest to take out items during the day as needed. As suggested by others, I also used a second smaller ice chest for drinks I remove from the Pelican. This one fits up front in the cab, to keep them cool and accessible while driving.

The hottest part of the trip so far was between El Rosario/GN, thru the desert. It was 95 at Snta Inez when I watered the tethered horses. (I left Cactus Pemex around 1 pm, arrived Malarrimo around 7.)

Clearly, the real test will come in the next few days as I head southeast towards Cortez coast, then down south to Cabo Pulmo.

But so far- I'm impressed! Refreezing melted water in base of chest has not happened with other coolers I've used.




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[*] posted on 6-16-2014 at 08:19 AM


Nice. I think that if you had started with block ice you would have more left.
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[*] posted on 6-16-2014 at 08:26 AM


I'll look for blocks also, but that was what the lemonades were for- drinkable when melted..

Are blocks in Baja made from purified water, safe to drink?




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[*] posted on 6-16-2014 at 08:35 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Whale-ista
I'll look for blocks also, but that was what the lemonades were for- drinkable when melted..

Are blocks in Baja made from purified water, safe to drink?


The place where we buy blocks of ice in Mulege does not use purified water. I don't know for sure about other places but I wouldn't drink the water from any block ice. Here's a tip, the clearer the ice is, the longer it will last. I think the ice that looks white is full of small air bubbles.




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[*] posted on 6-17-2014 at 05:51 PM


Today's Pelican report:

Avg. temps in Loreto: mid-90s.

Inside camper shell: 98°.
(I packed one of my indoor/outdoor thermometers/hygrometers from home for this trip)

Inside ice chest: 40°.
(I bought a $2 refridge thermometer @CostCo to track Pelican performance)

So far, so good. I remain impressed with its insulation/cold retention.




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[*] posted on 6-17-2014 at 09:30 PM


Cool. :dudette:



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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 08:37 AM


Whale-ista, I not sure to thank you, or cuss you. I just pulled the trigger on a 95 qt. I never thought I would spend that much on a ice-chest. If it were not for your questions, it would not have purchased. I think this will be a great addition to the other 4 I already own:lol::lol: The refreeze is what got me.



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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 08:58 AM


Field tests are the best .... thanks for the report



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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 10:09 AM


You're welcome...? Hope it works well for you.

Did you get at Costco? They seem to have the best prices, and return policy

Note: The refreeze happened on the Pacific side. Haven't checked yet to see what's happening inside now on Cortez side, since the camper feels like an oven. I want to avoid keeping the lid open. It's basically grab what I need and close it ASAP.

Also FYI, I placed the chest on an old closed cell foam pad to keep it from bouncing around in the truck bed. It may help insulate, quien sabe? This is all an experiment...

I'll be leaving for la Paz shortly. Will take a look inside before driving south from Loreto.

Quote:
Originally posted by MMc
Whale-ista, I not sure to thank you, or cuss you. I just pulled the trigger on a 95 qt. I never thought I would spend that much on a ice-chest. If it were not for your questions, it would not have purchased. I think this will be a great addition to the other 4 I already own:lol::lol: The refreeze is what got me.


[Edited on 6-18-2014 by Whale-ista]




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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 10:11 AM


so when you pre chill it, does the material inside the box actually hold cold or are you just chilling the air inside the box?:?:
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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 10:22 AM


Good question, I was following the manufacturers recommendations. not sure what you mean by "material inside the box". you mean the pelican construction material? Or the food etc. inside?

It definitely has very thick walls full of some type of insulating material. The external dimensions are much larger in appearance then the actual interior capacity.

But I have placed room temperature items inside (leftovers )and found them cold to the touch the next day. Also, to keep items dry I improvised a storage shelf with a plastic basket that fits perfectly. (You can buy shelves for $40 or $50 I think but this one's working fine.)

Quote:
Originally posted by willardguy
so when you pre chill it, does the material inside the box actually hold cold or are you just chilling the air inside the box?:?:




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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 10:33 AM


Whale-ista,

I was thinking of adding more baskets myself but have put it off because they would block access to the goodies below. Right now I just slide mine left to right and I can get at anything.

Have you had that problem?
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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 10:38 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Whale-ista
Good question, I was following the manufacturers recommendations. not sure what you mean by "material inside the box". you mean the pelican construction material? Or the food etc. inside?

It definitely has very thick walls full of some type of insulating material. The external dimensions are much larger in appearance then the actual interior capacity.

But I have placed room temperature items inside (leftovers )and found them cold to the touch the next day. Also, to keep items dry I improvised a storage shelf with a plastic basket that fits perfectly. (You can buy shelves for $40 or $50 I think but this one's working fine.)

Quote:
Originally posted by willardguy
so when you pre chill it, does the material inside the box actually hold cold or are you just chilling the air inside the box?:?:


if you leave a cooler in the sun and add ice you lose much ice trying to cooler the cooler down. if you pre-cool the cooler so that the walls are cold AND THEN add food and ice it will store the food and ice much longer.

does that make any sense?:?:




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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 10:41 AM


Buen idea.

My basket also slides along top edge, is perforated for good air circulatioin, and takes up about 1/2 length (side to side) so I have taller items at opposite end. (currently, my frozen 96 oz lemonade bottles)

Quote:
Originally posted by Skipjack Joe
Whale-ista,

I was thinking of adding more baskets myself but have put it off because they would block access to the goodies below. Right now I just slide mine left to right and I can get at anything.

Have you had that problem?




\"Probably the airplanes will bring week-enders from Los Angeles before long, and the beautiful poor bedraggled old town will bloom with a Floridian ugliness.\" (John Steinbeck, 1940, discussing the future of La Paz, BCS, Mexico)
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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 10:55 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by woody with a view
Quote:
Originally posted by Whale-ista
Good question, I was following the manufacturers recommendations. not sure what you mean by "material inside the box". you mean the pelican construction material? Or the food etc. inside?

It definitely has very thick walls full of some type of insulating material. The external dimensions are much larger in appearance then the actual interior capacity.

But I have placed room temperature items inside (leftovers )and found them cold to the touch the next day. Also, to keep items dry I improvised a storage shelf with a plastic basket that fits perfectly. (You can buy shelves for $40 or $50 I think but this one's working fine.)

Quote:
Originally posted by willardguy
so when you pre chill it, does the material inside the box actually hold cold or are you just chilling the air inside the box?:?:


if you leave a cooler in the sun and add ice you lose much ice trying to cooler the cooler down. if you pre-cool the cooler so that the walls are cold AND THEN add food and ice it will store the food and ice much longer.

does that make any sense?:?:
yeah I get that but just hard plastic walls inside the box aren't going to hold the cold, you're really just chilling the air in the box. now here's my idea. wouldn't it be great if they made a ice chest with walls that had compartments that you slid in hard blue ice packs, maybe an inch thick and as tall as the inside of the chest, that you froze in your freezer at home?
cool huh?
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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 01:23 PM


The way insulation works is it keeps air from moving around. Air changes temp quickly and tends to become the average of what's around it.The less exchange of air, the longer the desired temperature is maintained. I always keep a towel over my chest and a pad under them. I also have 1/2 blue foam that fits inside all of my coolers under the lid.

The principle is the same as pulling a blanket around you on a cold night. Pre-cooling is like putting a hot water bottle under the blanket. I think pre-cooling the stuff that is going into the cooler is more important then getting the inside plastic wall chilled, but cooling those walls sure would not hurt anything.
Yes, I picked the ice chest up from Costco, the best price I could find.

Quote:
Originally posted by willardguy
Quote:
Originally posted by woody with a view
Quote:
Originally posted by Whale-ista
Good question, I was following the manufacturers recommendations. not sure what you mean by "material inside the box". you mean the pelican construction material? Or the food etc. inside?

It definitely has very thick walls full of some type of insulating material. The external dimensions are much larger in appearance then the actual interior capacity.

But I have placed room temperature items inside (leftovers )and found them cold to the touch the next day. Also, to keep items dry I improvised a storage shelf with a plastic basket that fits perfectly. (You can buy shelves for $40 or $50 I think but this one's working fine.)

Quote:
Originally posted by willardguy
so when you pre chill it, does the material inside the box actually hold cold or are you just chilling the air inside the box?:?:


if you leave a cooler in the sun and add ice you lose much ice trying to cooler the cooler down. if you pre-cool the cooler so that the walls are cold AND THEN add food and ice it will store the food and ice much longer.

does that make any sense?:?:
yeah I get that but just hard plastic walls inside the box aren't going to hold the cold, you're really just chilling the air in the box. now here's my idea. wouldn't it be great if they made a ice chest with walls that had compartments that you slid in hard blue ice packs, maybe an inch thick and as tall as the inside of the chest, that you froze in your freezer at home?
cool huh?




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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 01:34 PM


I'm willing to bet a cooler of my choice that if you were to cut one open it would be more than just "plastic walls". there has to be some type of insulating gel or space-aged fibers. we're not talking styro-foam!!! this is the new millennium.....



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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 02:19 PM


I am amazed you guys can camp with only a single 65 qt ice chest. Are you single or traveling as a couple?

My preferred method of camping is off grid and usually away from a store for a week to ten days. A 65 qt ice chest would not accommodate the food and the cold beverages (yes, mostly beer, I confess!) I would need. And to replenish even a Pelican with room temp drinks would put the hurt on the existing ice.

I would think a 95qt would be a minimum.

Or maybe you arent carrying as much fresh foods as I do...............we're not big on much canned goods.
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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 05:23 PM


I don't chill my drinks when off the grid, I just drink them at 'ambient' temperature. Actually, I'm into drinking copious amounts of water.

I agree about the canned food. It gets old very fast, and I don't think they're very good for you anyway. All those Denti-Moores, spaghettios, and canned tamales - I don't know how I ate that stuff. Finally saw the light. Now it's asparagus, goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and nuts. Together with seared fresh fish, it's not bad.
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[*] posted on 6-18-2014 at 05:24 PM


very interesting experiment.



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