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Ice less coolers

Discussion in 'Truck Talk' started by billg27, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. billg27

    billg27 Seasoned Expediter

    Has anyone tried those ice less coolers that they sell at truck stops? They cost between $40 - $99 and only claim to keep the temperature about 20-35 degrees cooler then the ambient temperature around them. Do they work or are they kind of useless? With the truck sitting in 100 degree temps for hours, only 30 degrees cooler might still allow your food to spoil.

    EASYTRADER New Recruit

    They work as adbertised. 20 degree drop from ambient.

    So they are basically useless

    Sent from my SPH-D700 using EO Forums mobile app
  3. tenntrucker

    tenntrucker New Recruit

    I ran one for 2 years in my old st8 trucks, this new one has room for a fridge. Did good for me, great for water & drinks. Wouldn't count on it for food or milk if temp is over 85

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
  4. mjmsprt40

    mjmsprt40 Seasoned Expediter

    I tried one a few years back. It was a small thing, somewhat larger than an Igloo Playmate. Plugged into the cigarette lighter/power outlet. I can't say I was impressed by it at all, after a few days I threw that thing away and have been using traditional ice coolers since. So far as I can tell, the only thing it's good at is removing excess US currency from your wallet.
  5. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    I've used one the last 2 summers and they do work....I've gotta ask...your truck gets 85 degrees inside?.....what I did was wrap a layer of that bubble reflective foil that we use in the van around the cooler for an extra layer of insulation....keeps my salads and salsa cool..and keep it outta the sunlight. I still use a small ice cooler for my Pepsi's tho...nothing like a real cold drink.
  6. Turtle

    Turtle Moderator Staff Member

    I carried a Coleman Powerchill cooler with me for 8 years before I started expediting, and for the first 4 years of expediting before I got my Microfridge. I found it to work quite well. On cooler days, below 70 degrees, I had to be careful not to let lettuce freeze in there. But it kept things plenty cool, about 40 degrees cooler than ambient as advertised. They aren't made for continuous duty so after near 24/7 use you can wear them out after a couple of years. But you can buy replacement parts easy enough.
  7. billg27

    billg27 Seasoned Expediter

    I bet when it's parked and I'm inside that it gets way over 85 degrees. I like your extra insulation idea. Wonder if I could find one that fits nicely inside a traditional ice chest.
  8. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    When I go home part of my routine besides oil change I take the cover off the fridge unit and clean fan and the blades....seems to have extended the life...those little motors can't too much extra weight on them blades....they burn out.
  9. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    wouldn't it just be easier if your going to all that trouble to get a 1500W inverter and power a bar fridge? they are only 100 bucks at Wally World.
  10. 21cExp

    21cExp Rookie Expediter

    I was given a Coleman Thermoelectric cooler that I've had reasonably good luck with. Can use it upright like a fridge or horizontally like a cooler. Usually around $99 at the truck stops, I think. Search for Coleman Power Chill 40qt on Amazon for specs, details, and user reviews.

    Supposed to keep goods 40degrees cooler than outside air. Even in Laredo, I've found it better than messing with ice and water mess. Comes with a 120v adapter too, I think, though I had to replace the one given to me with the cooler.

    An important thing to remember with this cooler is to keep the fan and finned heat sink clean, which is super easy to do. It can gather a lot of dust, especially if used horizontally, that ends up looking like dryer lint, and that will reduce its capacity to pull heat from the unit.

    Here's what I cleaned out of mine just last weekend. I noticed it wasn't keeping my sodas and cheese etc as cool as normal, so took it apart and cleaned it:

    ImageUploadedByEO Forums1370538827.058414.jpg

    All in all, at least in the way I use it, I like it a lot better than an iced cooler. I keep mine along the post where the passenger seat used to be and can access it safely while driving:

    ImageUploadedByEO Forums1370539044.159046.jpg

    Attached Files:

  11. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    exactly...keep that fan clean....:)
  12. 21cExp

    21cExp Rookie Expediter

    Easy enough, too, to make an insulation board wrap for it, which I've seen others do, to increase effectiveness.
  13. 21cExp

    21cExp Rookie Expediter

    I like this one because when home, instead of running a cord to the van, I just pick it up and put it in the garage and plug it into a wall outlet. The guy that gave it to me used it constantly, and I've had it going pretty much constantly too, at home, campgrounds with power, and on constantly while running. Only off if parked for extended times with no park power.
  14. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    i am hearing an echo....LOL
  15. 21cExp

    21cExp Rookie Expediter

    Ha, yeah, I started a post then had to deal with an issue...ya know, those pesky shippers and receivers :rolleyes:
  16. billg27

    billg27 Seasoned Expediter

    I've got a standard length cargo van. I don't really have room for the electric fridge. Space is at a premium in the smaller units. Ideally I would like the fridge, but it needs to be movable and if needed, able to be placed on top of the freight.

    With Turtles help I did install a battery and inverter setup for my fan and TV. I doubt if its a big enough battery to power a fridge for long periods of time anyway. Just used the largest marine battery from Wally World. I think it's 122 amp hours.
  17. 21cExp

    21cExp Rookie Expediter

    Ahh, I thought you meant the coolers most of us are talking about. Sorry.
  18. billg27

    billg27 Seasoned Expediter

    I did mean the coolers. OVM suggested a refrigerator. I don't think it's portable enough to work around in my c/v. I like your idea of taking it inside so it always stays cold. No waiting for it to cool down that way. I think the box also says that you need to put cool items inside, it won't cool down from a warm temp.
  19. Murraycroexp

    Murraycroexp Expert Expediter

    Have you already pulled your right seat out? Put it there. Assuming you don't run team. Mine came out for good the first time I took a 165" crate with a steam plant driveshaft in it to Fairfield, TX.
  20. billg27

    billg27 Seasoned Expediter

    My seat is still in. Might work without the seat, then I could mount a microwave on top also. Good idea. Do these cheap dorm fridges hold up to the rigors of our life style?

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