Refrigerator or ice chest?

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Refrigerator or ice chest?

Postby MsOneil » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:22 am

We just bought an old RV with no fridge. We were going to buy one, but now wonder if we are better off with an ice chest, since those 4.4 cu ft fridges are so small, anyway. Also, we have never owned an RV and don't know if the fridge would be too big a drain on our generator. Any advice? We are vegetarians, so we will have lots of fresh fruits and veggies.
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Re: Refrigerator or ice chest?

Postby ygmir » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:25 am

MsOneil wrote:We just bought an old RV with no fridge. We were going to buy one, but now wonder if we are better off with an ice chest, since those 4.4 cu ft fridges are so small, anyway. Also, we have never owned an RV and don't know if the fridge would be too big a drain on our generator. Any advice? We are vegetarians, so we will have lots of fresh fruits and veggies.


I love the fridge in my camper.........
and it runs on propane.........I'd very strongly suggest, if you get one, get one that uses propane.
Often, they are *3 way: 120v, 12v, propane*.

you can find used ones at RV wrecking yards.
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Re: Refrigerator or ice chest?

Postby happydragon » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:27 pm

propane fridge. Get a cooler and put some dry ice in it and use it as a freezer. Make a daily freezer run to restock the fridge. That makes up for the small space.
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Re: Refrigerator or ice chest?

Postby happydragon » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:28 pm

propane fridge. Get a cooler and put some dry ice in it and use it as a freezer. Make a daily freezer run to restock the fridge. That makes up for the small space.
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Re: Refrigerator or ice chest?

Postby oneeyeddick » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:04 am

The bigger question is, if they bought an RV that is so old that it didn't have a fridge, how did it pass emissions?
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Re: Refrigerator or ice chest?

Postby Elliot » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:09 am

Be aware of buying a used RV refrigerator, though. They are notorious for catching fire. There have been numerous recalls over the years, but they just cannot seem to get it right. The biggest brand seems to be Dometic, and I think I remember they have recall information on their web site. Perhaps you could get the model and serial number off the unit you are considering buying, and check it against the recall list before you commit.

I use a regular household 110 Volt refrigerator, but you darn best have a quiet Honda EU-series generator, and money for gasoline.
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Re: Refrigerator or ice chest?

Postby dragonpilot » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:03 am

A frig is nice, but coolers can make do...just requires a bit more work and thoughtfulness for keeping perishables properly chilled. I have two Coleman Extremes...5-6 day coolers. One I keep my perishables in (lunch meats, bread, mayo, veggies, romaine, etc)...I only open it twice a day at most, and then quickly. I don't bring many perishables in the first place, so eggs and steaks, etc. stay home. This one gets a 10# block of ice. I probably replace it twice with purchases at Arctica.

The other one contains my beverages...beer, juices, sodas, fruit cups... because I like them super cold. I buy my milk in small individual steripaks that don't require refrigeration, toss one in this cooler to chill it before pouring it in my cereal in the morning. This one gets an 8# bag of crushed ice. I use some of the crushed ice for my CamelBak so I have chilled water while touring the playa. I'm in and out of this one a lot. That plus crushed ice melts faster requires 3 or so replacements.

With some care, melt-water can be used for drinking/washing. Keep your cooler off the ground and in the shade. If they're in the RV they'll take up floor or seating space, but it's doable.
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Re: Refrigerator or ice chest?

Postby Risky » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:51 pm

I think it somewhat depends on what you like to eat.
Fruit does better in a fridge: less bruising.
Drinks are colder in a cooler.

Do you want it super cold, or just not wilted in the heat?
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Re: Refrigerator or ice chest?

Postby Sail Man » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:58 pm

Coolers kept in the shade and off the playa surface work better as well. I've used the Coleman Extreme's out there with great success. Note that fruit and veggies will take extra care to get them to last long out there and for that reason a fridge may be the better way to go. We use our fridge for perishables, and the coolers for beverages.
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Re: Refrigerator or ice chest?

Postby CapSmashy » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:31 pm

dragonpilot wrote:With some care, melt-water can be used for drinking/washing.


Ziplock bags. The "large size", 3 gallon, are perfect for this task. Keep them upright because even when zipped up, the bags are still prone to leakage. Keeps your ice melt clean.
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