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mjlrpod View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ice Maker
    Posted: 21 Jan 2018 at 2:52pm
I am considering an icemaker. It's always a hassle and an expense to get bags of ice. In the heat of july I can go thru 30 pounds of ice in a day. Anybody have any preference on an ice maker? Anny particular reason why? Is it as simple as buying an icemaker and done? or does this create another issue i need to adress?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2018 at 4:07pm
Well.. there is the issue of just where to put it. LOL

We used an Igloo brand one that we bought at Sam's for $79. The biggest thing we did was to buy a much more efficient cooler(s). A good cooler, and using it right, makes a lot of difference. We haven't bought ice in 6-7 years. That alone has paid for the coolers and ice maker.
Our old Coleman Extreme 72qt.. In the summer it would eat 20 pounds of ice almost daily. $5-6 at the CG, cheaper if you could get to a town, but then there is gas money, and time away from what you came to do...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2018 at 4:49pm
We use an igloo also got it at WalMart.  We use it on our fishing trip to make ice for the bait/fish cooler. Make it really steady saves us a lot. We used to have to buy 2-3 bags a day while at Cape Hatteras surf fishing. Very simple to use.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2018 at 5:37pm
+1 to a really good cooler. How many times a day you open it and where you position it is key. I can go 5 days on one cooler of ice. Most of the countertop ice makers are similar, I have owned several, I didn't think they made enough to fill a cooler daily. I also like the Igloo brand.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2018 at 6:58pm
Originally posted by mcarter

+1 to a really good cooler. How many times a day you open it and where you position it is key. I can go 5 days on one cooler of ice. Most of the countertop ice makers are similar, I have owned several, I didn't think they made enough to fill a cooler daily. I also like the Igloo brand.


Yeah, the output of the smaller ones is maybe 20 pounds a DAY.. so having a cooler that uses it as efficiently as possible so you can keep up with the cooler AND keep your bourbon glass with a few pieces in it..  Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2018 at 6:20am
In addition to a good cooler, we have made an insulated cooler cover. I bought several rolls of reflectorized bubble wrap type of insulation at one of the big box home improvement stores. They also have the special metallic tape that goes with it. I made a 2 piece cover with a separate top and bottom. I used 3 layers of the insulation and made it a tight fit. I can take the top off to access the cooler and the bottom still stays on. The insulation makes a world of difference. We can keep a 10 pound block for 5-6days with no trouble in the back of our Expedition. I have more than paid for the materials with the saved ice money.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2018 at 10:02am
What do you think of the high-end coolers such as the Yeti, Coleman Sportsman, or similar cooler? Team one of those with the ice maker, and it should work well.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2018 at 2:30pm
We got our first YETI more or less for free. My wife had a jillion air mile points that were going to expire. I think with Delta. She used to travel 46 weeks out of the year.. we had a LOT of air mile/hotel nights/free rental cars.. A LOT.
So anyways, she used the points that were about to expire to get a YETI 45.. I would have never bought one. BUT, after using the 46 for a year I DID buy a 65. This was about 7-8 years ago now. There are some coolers out there that claim to be as good and DO cost less. But at the time it was YETI, or cheap.
NOW, as caveat, if all you do with a cooler is toss a couple suitcases of nattylight in there and cover it with ice, to take to the bonfire tonight or the beach for the day, DON'T buy one. But, if you need stuff to stay frozen for days while boondocking, it's the bee's knees.

3 years ago, we hosted the ERU at Carter Caves SP in Kentucky. We took 120 frozen Nathan's All Beefs for the hot dog night, 2 venison back straps, a 20 pack of frozen burgers, couple ribeyes, and some thick cut pork chops. All frozen solid, 20 pounds of dry ice in the cooler with them. We loaded and left for the Rally on Monday. The YETI sat in the dome, in temperatures up to 85F during the day and 70F at night. On Saturday, the dogs were still a brick. We had to thaw them on the counter all day, and hack them apart to put on the grill. We stayed until Tuesday of the following week. When we got home, the remaining meats, some burgers and a couple steaks, were still frozen. +8 full days in summer weather, nothing added to the cooler the whole time.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 6:44am
 Agree with Furpod on the use of a high quality cooler.  We purchased an Engel cooler that is touted to be an extreme cooler. We have used it for over 3years now and it is great. We do a lot of extended canoe camping trips where we are out for as long as 8days continuously in the wilderness. This cooler is amazing, keeping ice the entire time.  

AS I mentioned in an earlier post,I made an insulated cover which adds a lot to the ice longevity. We also use only block ice in gallon jugs which then becomes drinking water. We also pre-cool everything before it goes in the cooler and are very careful packing and opening it only when necessary.

Onone of our trips, we took the cooler to a friendly grocery store , put 2 inches of water in the bottom and froze it for 2 days. We then loaded it with our food and 2gallons of ice. We had ice still in the gallon jugs after 9 days.

The 65 quart Engel cooler cost  about $300, but it is well worth it in our case. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 8:15am
If you can find a Free Piston Sterling Cooler, go for it. It runs very efficiently and can actually hold proper refrigerator temperatures unlike thermoelectric coolers. I found a used Envirocooler Activault which was formerly used for pharmaceutical transport at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The price I paid was $100 plus tax. On eBay, I can't find them for less than $225 plus $44 shipping. They appear to be made by Freebird in Japan. Mine is much quieter and power draw is much less than that of a thermoelectric cooler. When I have AC, I can use the adapter to run it. Otherwise, I am not so worried about running my battery down if I need to use it. It will hold 4C (about 37F) even in 90F temperatures. It eliminates the need to run an icemaker or purchase ice for cooling.
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