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Author: Subject: What’s in your camping cooler
SFandH
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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 05:09 PM


Plus, it's a disaster when the deviled eggs with avocado and/or the mushroom caviar get wet. You must drain the cooler.



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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 05:41 PM


My ice chest is a cube, it fits nicely in my small car. It sits on an inch thick insulation panel, and I keep a blanket wrapped around it. Loose food items are in Tupperware containers.

At frequent pit stops, I drain the melted ice water into my dogs dish, and what she doesn't drink I use to wet her down. She is a large, dark haired girl, and seems to enjoy the instant air conditioning!




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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 05:53 PM


Quote: Originally posted by SFandH  
Plus, it's a disaster when the deviled eggs with avocado and/or the mushroom caviar get wet. You must drain the cooler.


My dad was a drain guy and I WAS a drain guy... But, I did test the difference and after 5 days in the summer on Shell Island, two identical Coleman (5 day) ice chests, one had drinks and was opened often and one had food and was not opened often. Both kept out of the sun as best as possible.

A) The chest that I drained (the food chest, not opened much) lost ice the quickest.

B) The chest that I left the melted water in (the drinks chest we opened often) had much more ice!!

The exception!!! If you are moving, especially Baja roads: DRAIN! The sloshing of the melted ice water really speeds up the melting... plus, if you have food in there as SFandH says, drain it or lose it.




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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 05:58 PM


To drain or not to drain, that is the question. Watch an experiment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vclUo238moM




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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 06:02 PM


I have found that if I cover the ice chest with a towel, and keep it wet, that will keep ice much longer. I just use the drained ice water to wet the towel. I also try to cover my ice chest with a white towel when it's just in the bed of the truck, seems to keep it from getting sun baked.

Two ice chests seems to work well, one for food, one for drinks that you open more often. If alone I usually just get by with one.

Keeping the water in the chest seems to work better, as DK has observed.

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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 06:06 PM


Yes, but only if you are parked. I highly recommend draining if you are going off-roading! ;)



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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 06:19 PM


While we're on the subject of ice I've got a couple of tips for ya all to try.

1 If I'm going on a short trip and use the cooler I get an XL zip lock freezer bag, one that's big enough to fit a block of ice or a full bag of cubes, put the ice in and zip it up. No leaks, no mess, no water sloshing around in the cooler. If the bag ever breaks open I'd have a mess but it never has so far.

2 I cut out a piece of reflectix to fit my cooler, ice and frozen food under, other food over.

I realize these tips won't work for everyone but sure work for me.

My solution to the ice problem on long trips.........bring the fridge.:biggrin:

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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 07:04 PM


You only drain water when too much ice melts, and you don't drain it all the way, unless you are adding new ice.

Every experienced boater or camper knows this.




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[*] posted on 6-13-2019 at 04:24 PM


Lotsa experts here....Google the debate and form your own conclusions....pros/cons






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[*] posted on 6-13-2019 at 04:37 PM


Quote: Originally posted by SFandH  
To drain or not to drain, that is the question. Watch an experiment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vclUo238moM


Holy missing the main point of having some water in the cooler. The difference is if your drinks are submerged in the cold water they're actually much colder then ones just sitting on ice.

You don't want so much water that it completely sloshes around causing 1) an annoying noise and 2) bottles to break from off-roading or rough water on a boat.



[Edited on 6-14-2019 by JZ]




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[*] posted on 6-13-2019 at 05:26 PM


What is a better insulator/temperature "moderator-retainer"": water or air?

Does water in a cooler make ice melt faster?
More accurately, a warm beer placed in a cooler of ice will emit heat as it chills. ... If you drain the water, the ice isn't going to get any colder. Because the water is already at 32º (and not warmer), draining it won't slow down the rate at which the ice melts.

[Edited on 6-14-2019 by motoged]




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[*] posted on 6-13-2019 at 05:57 PM


Quote: Originally posted by motoged  
What is a better insulator/temperature "moderator-retainer"": water or air?

Does water in a cooler make ice melt faster?
More accurately, a warm beer placed in a cooler of ice will emit heat as it chills. ... If you drain the water, the ice isn't going to get any colder. Because the water is already at 32º (and not warmer), draining it won't slow down the rate at which the ice melts.

[Edited on 6-14-2019 by motoged]


As you open the cooler you warm up the air, the water will retain the cool temp.

I put my ice in a plastic container in my food chest. The chest stays about 35 to 37 most of the day. I find it easier to manage my food products in a dry chest.
The drink chest is only drained if I am moving or it fills up. I use the water around camp for non food things, cleanup and such. I also prechill my drinks in ocean water and a bucket. Getting them to 65 or 70 helps reduce the ice melt. slower.




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[*] posted on 6-13-2019 at 07:23 PM


Solar powered coolers are awesome.
Plugs into roof mounted panel with cable or stands alone with lid panel.
It was 117 in Ehrenberg AZ yesterday




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[*] posted on 6-14-2019 at 09:08 AM


When away for more than 3 days I will use a separate cooler to store BLOCK ice and also use block ice in coolers for food/drinks...it might mean having 3 different size coolers, but I will still have ice at end of a week.....normal crappy standard coolers....will cover w/ wet towels and keep out of sun and out of vehicle in hot climates.

Pre-cool canned/bottles liquids before placing in cooler....tupper-ware and quality ziplock baggies are your friend.

No one has mentioned sand in their coolers yet....:O




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[*] posted on 6-14-2019 at 09:16 AM


I prefer my sand at ambient air temperature!



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[*] posted on 6-14-2019 at 09:18 AM


Great advice!

*Block ice lasts the longest.
*Pre-cool anything that is going into the icebox if possible.
*Keep iceboxes out of the direct sun or cover with wet towels.
*While staying in one place, do not drain the water to retain the ice and cold as long as possible. Only drain if you are going to be driving.




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[*] posted on 6-14-2019 at 10:15 AM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  
Great advice!

*Block ice lasts the longest.
*Pre-cool anything that is going into the icebox if possible.
*Keep iceboxes out of the direct sun or cover with wet towels.
*While staying in one place, do not drain the water to retain the ice and cold as long as possible. Only drain if you are going to be driving.


Jeeeez....do we have to copyright our posts so DK doesn't repeat our comments to bolster his hits?????

I don't go with the "drain if off-roading".....cold water retains temp longer than cold air....:light:




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[*] posted on 6-14-2019 at 12:29 PM


Of course it depends on how long I'll be gone. For most desert and Baja trips I boil some eggs and pack them in the container and in the cooler. I'll fry some ham, sausage or hamburger or a mix of hamburger and sausage and put that in the cooler. I bring a mix of sodas, beer and non-alcoholic beer all in the cooler. A 16 inch tool bag with various can food like soup, chili, tuna fish, crackers etc. I also take vodka and sometimes wine. I usually don't eat or drink all that I take so I give away everything before crossing the border except the can goods and a couple of beers or the vodka. I also tend to eat in restaurants a lot.

We sometimes have an excellent cook with us as some of my trip reports have shown and will bring whatever he needs to fix us a great or gourmet meal.

I have two Canyon Country coolers a 35 qt and a 50 qt. Depending on how long and who is with me depends on which one I take. I put a block of ice in them, sometimes two blocks in the big one along with cube or crushed ice. The blocks will last a week or more. I don't drain the water from the cooler until I have more ice to add.

I seldom eat bread, candy, donuts, pie, cake or ice cream. I prefer mixed nuts to chips. My favorite food is fresh caught fish. But I'm not picky. I like liver and onions as well as tongue like that served in a Basque restaurant.
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[*] posted on 6-14-2019 at 01:18 PM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  

*Block ice lasts the longest.


block ice does not last longer. all ice melts at a heat transfer rate of 80 calories per gram.
you keep your cooler closed, with all other things equal, and heat transfer through cooler walls is same whether you have block or cube ice in the cooler.




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[*] posted on 6-14-2019 at 01:46 PM


I take a large cooler (70 qt), and fill it half way with frozen water bottles, the rest of the way with food. The bottles last about 5-6 days with an Igloo Extreme (maybe longer with more expensive coolers), and you have water to drink after the bottles melt :bounce:.

[Edited on 6-14-2019 by basautter]
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