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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have been thinking about getting a thermoelectric cooler for our E for an upcoming trip. It looks like most of them cool to about 45 degrees below the ambient temp. But we are thinking about that four hour hike and returning to our E after it has been sitting patiently in the sun. Will the stuff inside stilll be cool or is the insulation not so wonderful? Do they suck gobs of current? Any perspectives welcome!

Thanks,

yelapa
 

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I am inclined to believe you are better off with an old-fashioned Coleman ice chest. Proven, simple technology that is less likely to lead to the nasty consequences of food that has been left to warm up in a vehicle.
 

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Speaking from experience, I'll agree with Iskie........only for your impending situation.
We have a thermoelectric cooler, and it works great. About two weeks ago, we drove down to Florida in our E, and we had our cooler on board. It did a great job of keep Cokes cold and keeping lunchmeat from spoiling. The only part I don't like is, when you turn off the E, the cooler turns off with it. The bad parts about that are, you're never going to get or keep food/drinks as cold as you would with a traditional cooler, and once you turn off the cooler, it warms up rather quickly.......depending on how much stuff you have in the cooler and how cold it was when you put it in there. 4 hours in the hot sun without power isn't going to work. Better stick with a traditional cooler for your hike.
 

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I bought the one that Target sells and am unhappy with it. First, if you don't start with something cold in it, you better plan on a VERY long wait to get something cold out of it. If I have to put an ice pack in it, then what in the hell do I need a fridge for? Second, the can holders, NOT cup holders, CAN holders (MAJOR PITA), are fine for the front, but the back ones won't keep a marble from falling out. Then there's the wire, and the fact that they don't really look like they belong, etc, etc, etc. Also, I miss the little bit of space that the OEM "console" offered between the CUP holders.

All in all, if I had to do it over again, and I probably will, I'd opt for the Steel Horse brand of console and get a cooler.

Think about this post when you drive through Wendy's and get a large soda pop. If you have the fridge, you'll have frozen thighs 'cause there's no where to put it except between your legs. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks very much for the heads up on the coolers. Looks like we will continue with the old school coolers. That's okay. we need the ice for gin and tonics anyway...

yelapa
 

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I've had an Igloo thermoelectric cooler for a few years because I picked it up dirt cheap at a Sam's Club. Using a thermo-electric cooler is a skill that you need to learn. First, think of it as a way to KEEP THINGS COLD, not cool them. Put in items that are already nice and cold, and it will maintain their temperature. Likewise with hot food. I deliver meals-on-wheels sometimes, and use the box as a heater. It does not heat food, it keeps it warm.


Also, dont forget that a thermo-electric cooler is a cooler. I put those reuseable cooler packs (Blue Goo) in when I leave, and turn on the electric cooler. Stays nice and cold much longer, with no cost for ice and no water to drain. All in all, a thermo-electric cooler saves space and money if used correctly. Do not think of it as a refridgerator and it will do fine.


By the way, the current drain is not really high. I have a VW Passat with a trunk mounted 12V outlet that stays on with the ignition off. I have left it on for 6 hours with no discernable battery drain when starting back up.
 

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Got the smaller Vector thermo electric cooler from Target. It has the better real cup holders and less obtrusive size. Yep, both the traditional and thermoelectric are useful. The thermo for drinking and eating during the ride. The cooler chest for storing camping food longterm. Keep it shut tight til you get there. Why get a Steel horse when you can have something a little more useful for the same space?
 
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