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Old 07-01-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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Location: Langley, BC
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12 volt mobile coolers?

Wondering how many are using portable 12 volt coolers like Coleman, Mobicool and others? Any opinions & recommendations? We are thinking of getting one for longer trips when we want to stock up on extra liquids and maybe fruit, veggies and meat. We're also thinking it would be helpful for the times we arrive at a campground, drop the trailer and head into town to load up on groceries and want to keep some of the stuff cool before we get back. That would also allow us to take our time in driving back to the cg and stop for other shopping or sightseeing.

Would have to figure out how to get a 12 volt outlet in the bed of the truck. Is there an easy way to do this? I'd also have to tie the cooler down with bungie cords or straps.

Am wondering if we should spend more for a dual 12/120 volt cooler? Then we could run it off 120 volts from the trailer, probably outside. Not happy about having to have a power pack that site beside the cooler. Am wondering if any can plug directly into 120 volts?

Or, is there any reason why you can't run the cooler off the 12 volts from the trailer while travelling? One cooler we looked at today draws about 3 amps.

Also wondering if it's worth spending more $$ on a larger capacity cooler? The ones we looked at today were 31 quarts versus 40 for another $30. And then for even more $$, they have ones that can freeze too.

Gil & Deb & Dougal the Springer Spaniel
Langley, BC
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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We have had a couple of these they keep things cold or if the plug is turned the other way will keep things hot. They do not freeze things. The models we bought came with the 12 volt cord as well as an adapter to use indoors (like in the hotel room). The nice aspect is not having to mess with ice for a long trip. For buying groceries though, an extreme cooler keeps ice cream solid so long as the cooler is packed full of frozen/ cold stuff. For a car trip, the 12 volt cooler would be my choice. And yes if you got stuck without 12 volts you could add ice.

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Old 07-01-2012, 09:03 PM   #3
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These coolers will only cool about 40 deg. cooler than air temp so on a hot day in the back of the truck you probably will not find it very effective. they work well in a normal room temp environment and will sometimes get pop slushy if they are on long enough. I used on in the semi when I drove OTR for a while when I needed extra grocery room. They are really nice units.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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I actually just used my Coleman all weekend on the beach. I'm camping right now at a local beach campground. Brought a large 12 volt deep cycle battery out on the beach and used alligator clips with a 12 volt socket to plug the unit into. Kept it in the shade of our pop up awning and damn that beer stayed cold all day. It heelps to have the beverages/foods cold ahead of time. The Coleman comes with a 120 adapter as well.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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I used to use one all the time years ago when i was driving truck.Back then the dump truck i drove did not have AC so trying to keep lunch and drinks cold was impossible at best.I bought a 12 volt cooler and put it in the pass seat and it worked awesome.If i remember it had a warming function as well but i never used it.this was many years ago and these type of coolers had just came out and were very expensive.I havent tried a new one but would think they would be just as effective.Dont think you could go wrong with a coleman brand.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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We bought a "koolatron" version about three years ago for a car trip to Colorado. It was great for keeping drinks/snacks for the kids cold and handy. It eliminated the mess of water from having to deal with ice. Ours also was reversible and would heat or cool. Just be careful about which outlet you plug it into. Our extra outlet in the van only had power with the ignition on. The cigarette lighter outlet worked regardless. If you're not careful you could come back to a dead battery. I believe they do make some type of automatic shut off that senses when the battery is becoming weak. It's supposed to shut the cooler off so you can at least still start the vehicle.

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