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Old 07-09-2003, 10:37 PM   #1
gaf3
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Question Portable refrigerator (slightly o/t)

I'm planning a camping vacation, and I'm considering getting a portable refrigerator to put into the back of my VUE and plug into the rear outlet.

I'm wondering if anyone has done this, how well they work, and any recommendations for brands for such refrigerators (other than the obvious Coleman).

Gary

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Old 07-09-2003, 10:54 PM   #2
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Mmm, that's a cool idea. I'd be interested in hearing what everyone has to say about it. I'm still thinking of getting an inverter for mine, to say mount in the back, or under the seat, kind of like SQVue.. I'm envious!

...
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03 VUE: Oct 15, 2002 - Dec 5, 2004 R.I.P.

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Old 07-09-2003, 11:28 PM   #3
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Just saw one at Osh and thought to myself...................."hummmmmmmmmmmmmm"

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Old 07-10-2003, 07:51 AM   #4
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I haven't looked at the coolers, but they have those that now plugin and have their own cooling system. It might be more useful than a portable fridge (dunno how cold it keeps stuff).

Still... it would be nice on camping trips. I am sure everyone hates to see things swimming in the ice water bath by the time they get to where they are going.

...
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Old 07-10-2003, 08:21 AM   #5
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I have one of those "electric" coolers and they work very well. They're designed to keep the interior about 40 degrees F below ambient temperature, i.e. if it's 85F outside the inside will be 45F. Mine is a Coleman model but Kooltron was the first (I think) to mass produce them. They are more expensive up front than normal coolers but you don't have to buy ice, empty out the water or deal with soggy packages of food!! They're also great for keeping food warm up to 130F.

I'll probably take it when we go up to our friends' cottage next month.

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Old 07-10-2003, 11:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by mr weather
I have one of those "electric" coolers and they work very well. They're designed to keep the interior about 40 degrees F below ambient temperature, i.e. if it's 85F outside the inside will be 45F. Mine is a Coleman model but Kooltron was the first (I think) to mass produce them. They are more expensive up front than normal coolers but you don't have to buy ice, empty out the water or deal with soggy packages of food!! They're also great for keeping food warm up to 130F.
Will this cooler not drain the battery? Did you buy it from CT?

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Old 07-10-2003, 10:14 PM   #7
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I am thinking about getting one of these...

http://www.sharperimage.com/us/en/ca...catid=43480500

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Old 07-10-2003, 10:46 PM   #8
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A friend of mine has one, and they are nice. You just need to be careful not to run down the battery. Pack some jumper cables just in case. We had to use them on one trip. I'm not sure how good the battery was or how long it ran w/o the engine running. If you are staying in a hotel it should not be a problem if you don't run it all night.

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Old 07-11-2003, 08:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by CanVueYes!
Will this cooler not drain the battery? Did you buy it from CT?
Yes, it will drain the battery because it does draw 2-3 amps when operating. Found that out the hard way last summer. Of couse the battery in my car at the time was 7 years old but still....

I actually bought my cooler at Wallyworld. It was on sale at $100 or something like that. My buddy gave me his extra AC power supply (saved myself $40) so it works great plugged in at home. Some of the fancier models have an adjustable thermostat because if you use one outdoors and the temp drops below 65F you'll end up freezing everything inside your cooler! I'm not joking.

If you intend to take it on the road try not to run it too much when the car is off. Bring along the AC power supply and plug it in your hotel room, etc. and enjoy a nice, cold drink that's a lot cheaper than the vending machine!

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Old 07-11-2003, 09:37 AM   #10
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I used an electric cooler when I used to drive for a living. It worked great, and kept anything that I put in it cold. I used to keep milk, eggs, cheese, hot dogs, butter, meat, etc., same as a fridge. I never tossed anything from spoilage. For those concerned about running batteries down, you can buy an adapter to plug into the wall and run it off of the hotel power during overnight stays.

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Old 07-11-2003, 09:43 AM   #11
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My wife and I own a Coleman cooler. The Sharper image one works on the same principle: the peltier effect. We use our cooler when we travel cross-country. We take along food and beverages and eat our meals out of the cooler. It's alot cheaper than buying as you go. Plus, whenever you need a cold beverage - you got it!

Regarding draining the battery, as long as the engine is running you don't have to worry. I unplug mine when I'm going to have the car shut off more than 15-minutes or so. I don't worry about it when I'm tanking-up.

My cooler is large, about the size of a typical camping cooler, so it holds quite a bit and keeps stuff about 40-degrees below outside ambient. It even came with a transormer so I can plug it in when we stop at a hotel.

Our cooler aloso cam with a fan to recirculate the air inside to keep things uniformly cool. I don't believe the Sharper Image ones have a fan. I guess what you buy depends on what you want to use it for.

Best thing to travel with!

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Old 07-11-2003, 11:53 AM   #12
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Question How long can you leave it unplugged...

How long does your stuff stay cool while unplugged? I guess it would depend on the insulating walls, but I would imagine it's pretty efficient?

Quote:
Originally posted by AZguy

Regarding draining the battery, as long as the engine is running you don't have to worry. I unplug mine when I'm going to have the car shut off more than 15-minutes or so. I don't worry about it when I'm tanking-up.

...
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03 VUE: Oct 15, 2002 - Dec 5, 2004 R.I.P.

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Old 07-11-2003, 08:07 PM   #13
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Thinking back, I guess the longest I've had it unplugged and then later grabbed a beverage was around an hour, and I believe the beverage was still fairly cool. You're correct, robert, that the length it maintains coolness is dependent on insulation properties and the outside ambient temperature.

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Old 07-11-2003, 11:15 PM   #14
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Post 3 hours is the length of time I have left my Koolatron plugged into my car

I have a Koolatron that I have left plugged into my LW300 for as long as 3 hours with no problems.

It cools okay although there is no temperature control.

Be careful that you don't cover the AC adapter when using it in a hotel room as it gets extremely hot.

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Old 07-12-2003, 07:36 PM   #15
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I think I left mine unplugged for a couple of hours once and the beverages inside were still nicely chilled. Mine also has the fan that circulates the internal air. I believe that's part of how the technology works.

There are various sizes on the market now. In fact I saw in one of weekend adverts an over-the-shoulder style! Not sure how you'd plug that into a battery.... Perhaps some kind of belt pack I guess?

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Old 07-13-2003, 05:53 PM   #16
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Idea Cooler/Warmer by Citation

Here in Knoxville, TN I saw an add in Sunday's paper. Target was having a sale on a 12 volt Cooler/Warmer. It has a 9 can capacity.

Price $20

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Old 07-21-2003, 01:14 PM   #17
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Every time I see one of those portable refridgerators I wonder "why not use an ice chest?"

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Old 07-21-2003, 10:58 PM   #18
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Idea Reason for using portable refridgerator

Quote:
Originally posted by TimDart
Every time I see one of those portable refridgerators I wonder "why not use an ice chest?"
A portable refridgerator is much better to use on a trip because you do not have to worry about buying ice or freezing an ice pack.

I prefer to stay at a Comfort Inn where I can book a ground floor room ahead of time and pull right up to a patio door. It's the best way to travel by car if you are not pulling a trailer. It sure beats staying in fancy hotels waiting for elevators and carrying your suitcases all over the hotel to your room.

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Old 07-21-2003, 11:46 PM   #19
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I carry a small cooler for my daily trips. I use a Thermos cooler and a couple of Rubbermaid ice packs to keep my beverages cold and a few pieces of fruit and chocolate bars and energy bars. At the end of the day, the cooler gets scrubbed, ice packs refrozen and beverage containers washed and LOL fruit cores get tossed. In San Diego, the interior car temp gets hot fast but the cooler keeps all the stuff cold and fresh. This solution works for me but I don't often need a powered cooler for multi day trips that don't have the opportunity to re freeze the ice packs.

Just saw an ad for a 12V cooler/heater for $39.99 and it offers all the bells and whistles. Sounds like a fine idea, but remember the low tech also works.

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