The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Food Preps => Topic started by: bartsdad on October 14, 2018, 04:59:38 AM

Title: 12 volt cooler?
Post by: bartsdad on October 14, 2018, 04:59:38 AM
We as a family take a lot of road trips. To save time and money we often pack along much of our food. The traditional cooler has been our go to way of keeping food cold. Thinking about moving up to 12/120 volt cooler. Any thoughts, experiences and or recommendations would be appreciated.

Title: Re: 12 volt cooler?
Post by: Carl on October 14, 2018, 05:45:18 AM
  My thoughts are that they are OK for keeping food cool but not too efficient at making warm food cold. Try to get AC and battery power options .
Title: Re: 12 volt cooler?
Post by: Alan Georges on October 14, 2018, 06:40:26 AM
The inexpensive thermoelectric ones were discussed last summer: (

You can read the pros and cons over there, but it was mostly cons.
Title: Re: 12 volt cooler?
Post by: fritz_monroe on October 14, 2018, 04:31:56 PM
I have a Coleman cooler like this.  I posted in that thread. 

It's ok, but nothing great. It is good to keep stuff cooled down to about 40 degrees below ambient temperature.

It pulls enough current that if we stopped at a rest area, we had to unplug it so it wouldn't drain the battery.  This current drawl makes it not usable for camping without hookups.  Also, if it's in a vehicle, it puts out some heat, so the cabin gets warm.

There also isn't enough insulation in the sides to keep things cold for long after it's unplugged.  Since there's openings inside to allow for air flow, you also can't fill it with ice.

Luckily it was given to me.  I'd be upset if I had paid for it.
Title: Re: 12 volt cooler?
Post by: scoop on October 14, 2018, 05:47:58 PM
I have a Dometic Fridge/Freezer, runs on 120/12v and pulls very few watts.
A bit pricey but well worth the money.
Title: Re: 12 volt cooler?
Post by: Carl on October 15, 2018, 02:36:24 AM
  I long ago decided that the 'blue ice',artificial ice...will keep an insulated cooler cold far better than the powered boxes. The 50 to 70 watts consumed by most powered boxes is just not worth the cost....many small dorm refrigerators with motor/compressors are far more full size fridge only requires 140 watts.
Title: Re: 12 volt cooler?
Post by: Carver on March 12, 2019, 09:30:55 AM
I just made a cooler for camping, took about 10 minutes. I used a 10"H, 12.5"w, 19"L cardboard box, cut off the top flaps and lined it with pink foam insulation (1.5" lid, .75" sides and bottom). The coolant will be frozen water bottles. By design it is a throwaway.
Title: Re: 12 volt cooler?
Post by: richardr on March 27, 2020, 12:08:46 PM is full of people using the ARB electric cooler and they work great. They can be plugged into a cigarette plug / power port, but many prefer to add a beefier plug and more complicated wiring to prevent accidentally drawing down your main vehicle battery. But they work just fin in a simple config. Downside is they can be pretty expensive. Crazy $800-1000 kind of expensive.

I use a simple no-brand 6-pack plug in cooler, a peltier heat exchanger design, which both cools and heats. It works real nice and IIRC was well under $100. But no room for a family trip worth of stuff.

There are a couple brands in between those price ranges, but I don't know anything about them.