OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries

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OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries


Post by toms » Tue May 02, 2017 8:47 am

The net this week is on the different ways to preserve food and keep it fresh during camping and off road adventures. We want to have as many different points of view as possible including what works best for you, what products you like and your experiences.
For those who use the electric refrigerator/freezers, batteries become an issue and we would like you to hear your solutions there as well.

Post lots of pictures and links!
See you on the Trail!

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Re: OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries


Post by kevinhum55 » Wed May 03, 2017 9:13 pm

Early Check in
Buena Park

26qt Igloo thermoelectric cooler. Runs on DC. (draws steady 4.67a/60.3w)
Odessy Extreme AGM in the Jeep.
Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries to run the radio.
Portable battery Cooler to run the Accessories
Dual 6v AGM batteries in series with 210 AH.
Watts up meter (Blue meter measures volts, total amps and watts drawn and real time power transfer)
120w Solar Panels
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Last edited by kevinhum55 on Thu May 04, 2017 7:59 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries


Post by Jeff-OAUSA » Thu May 04, 2017 10:53 am

Early Check-In Please.

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Re: OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries


Post by lrsrngr » Thu May 04, 2017 2:58 pm

KK6CTT for an online check-in please.

We have 65 & 35 QT Pelican coolers. We freeze as much food as possible (usually in marinade) other than the 1st 24-36 hours worth of food. Pre-cool the ice chest and anything going in it and call it good with a top off when available.

Who has experience with dry ice? Where to buy? How to deploy? Worth messing with?
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Re: OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries


Post by DaveK » Thu May 04, 2017 4:26 pm


There are two recent trends in coolers that deserve to be mentioned:
  • 1. Ability to keep ice for much longer periods of time (1-2 weeks, in some cases)
  • 2. Bear proof construction.
These two kind of go hand in hand. When you build a cooler that is able to preserve ice for much longer trips, it usually means that the units are more robust and sturdy. The bear proof (or resistant) models are obviously much more, but the product line-up for outdoor activities has never been better when it comes to gear that will help preserve your food.

One of the very nice qualities of these newer coolers is that they can really take a beating without the dings and dents of years past. I have lost more coolers than I can count to rough conditions and normal trip abuse. It is also a great opportunity for campers to have a nice range of these coolers from the several manufacturers that are in the market.

These new coolers do come with a couple of things to consider:
  • 1. They are bigger in external dimensions than coolers of equal internal size. So, a 45 quart normal cooler will be smaller externally than a 45 quart bear proof or long term cooler.
  • 2. They will be more expensive. When it comes to preserving your food, however, it is worth the extra cost.
This is an area where you will be served by doing your research. Here are a couple of examples of the market:

ENGEL https://www.engelcoolers.com/rotomoldedcoolers.html
NOTEWORTHY: 10 year limited warranty. Imported.
From the Engle website:
Engel.jpg (27.58 KiB) Viewed 894 times

GRIZZLY COOLERS http://www.grizzlycoolers.com/coolers/
Noteworthy: Lifetime warranty. Made in USA.
From the Grizzly website:
Grizzly.png (57.29 KiB) Viewed 894 times

YETI http://yeticoolers.com/coolers/shop-by- ... ra-series/
Noteworthy: 5 year limited warranty. Made in the USA and Asia.
From the Yeti website:
Yeti.jpg (181.04 KiB) Viewed 894 times

PELICAN http://www.pelican.com/us/en/products/coolers/
Noteworthy: Limited Lifetime. Made in the USA.
From the Pelican website:
Pelican.jpg (173.97 KiB) Viewed 892 times

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Re: OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries


Post by KK6GFF » Thu May 04, 2017 4:41 pm

Great topic!

Pls check me in.

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Re: OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries


Post by DaveK » Thu May 04, 2017 5:24 pm


As the name implies, these units are virtually the same as the refrigerator in your house, except they are designed to be transported in a vehicle, boat or trailer. These coolers are equipped with temperature controls which allow the units to maintain a fixed temperature from below freezing to the 40s. On a hot day, If you are looking for some hero status, pull some ice cream bars out of your fridge/freeze and pass them around camp. For longer trips, especially where ice will not last, these coolers are an ideal choice.

Just as with the rugged coolers, the fridge/freezer units come with come considerations. The most significant will be cost. The second is the external size of the units. Since they are meant to keep the contents cold by using the power from your vehicle battery, the insulation must be significant in order to place as little drain on your battery as possible. Necessarily, this will mean that the external size is, and should be, larger in order to accommodate the necessary insulation to accomplish this objective. With the right set-up, a refrigerator/freezer can be one of the most important pieces of equipment that you carry, especially for longer term trips. But, make no mistake about it, these units are equally valuable for any short term trip as well, especially if you take into account that your food will no longer get water damaged by melted ice and that there is no risk of ruining out of ice in the middle of a hot trip.

The market has a lot of manufacturers and you need to do your research. Here are some examples, with DTK's comments:

Fridge Freeze http://fridgefreeze.com/
Noteworthy: Made in the USA
From the Fridge Freeze website:
Fridge Freeze 47 Quart Refrigerator.jpg
Fridge Freeze 47 Quart Refrigerator.jpg (236.73 KiB) Viewed 885 times

National Luna Refrigerator http://www.equipt1.com/i/fridges/national-luna
Noteworthy: Made in South Africa
From the Equipt1 website:
National Luna.jpg
National Luna.jpg (98.81 KiB) Viewed 885 times

ARB Refrigerator http://store.arbusa.com/Fridge-Freezer-C48.aspx
Noteworthy: Made in China
From the ARB website:
ARB.jpg (169.63 KiB) Viewed 885 times

Engle https://www.engelcoolers.com/12volt-fri ... ezers.html
Noteworthy: Made in China
Engel Fridge.jpg
Engel Fridge.jpg (29.33 KiB) Viewed 853 times

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Re: OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries


Post by Wildland909 » Thu May 04, 2017 5:28 pm

I'll try and check in on echolink. But if not, check me in please from Bonners Ferry ID. Thanks KN6FPT

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Re: OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries


Post by KK6DYO » Thu May 04, 2017 6:35 pm

Please check me in. Thanks.

After listening to OAUSA for awhile, I became convinced that a refrigerator would greatly increase the availability, variety, and quality of good camp food.

To run my ARB 50 quart fridge, which according to the specs averages 16 watts, I have 3000 watt hours of battery (150 pounds) in my vehicle. Doing the math means the batteries alone would run the fridge for 7+ days. The batteries are a royal pain to move, so I just leave them in the vehicle at all times. I presume the temperature variations are not good for the batteries, but not much worse than the temperature variations in my garage.

While the vehicle is moving, I can plug the fridge into a 12V vehicle power outlet which can produce around 120 watts. The fridge peaks around 72 watts, leaving 48 watts.

To automatically manage the vehicle power, battery, and fridge, I have a West Mountain Radio PWRgate PG40S. This will power the fridge and charge the battery at 48 watts when vehicle power is available, and power the fridge from the battery when it isn't. Because the battery is AGM, it needs a higher voltage than provided by the vehicle, so I have some inexpensive electronics I found on Amazon to boost and regulate the vehicle power to 14.5 volts.


When not moving the vehicle for longer periods, I connect 200 watts of solar panel through a controller to run the fridge and charge the battery, though don't bother for weekend trips as the battery has sufficient capacity.

The batteries and fridge are strapped to a 3/4" plywood panel. The batteries are always kept charged. The fridge is turned on as needed.
Last edited by KK6DYO on Thu May 04, 2017 7:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: OAUSA Net - 5/04//17 – Coolers, Fridges, & Batteries


Post by Voodoo Blue 57 » Thu May 04, 2017 6:38 pm

Please check me in!

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