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Old 07-27-2020, 10:17 AM   #1
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Car Coolers

I've been thinking of getting one of those small electric car coolers from my RAV4. I like to travel about and anticipate doing more as soon as the virus is under control. I would love to not have to purchase ice. And frankly, having my food bob around in ice water is not always appealing.

I noticed this cooler at Costco: Massimo CX30 12V Portable E-Kooler

https://www.costco.com/massimo-cx30-...100566474.html

Does anybody have experience with it? What do you think of it? Or a similar cooler?
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:26 AM   #2
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... Does anybody have experience with it? What do you think of it? Or a similar cooler? ...
My general impression of thermoelectric coolers is that they cool down slowly and they use a fair amount of electricity.

On our last trip to Africa our guide had a large thermoelectric cooler recently installed in the back of his van. It cost him quite a bit of money and he was not too happy with it. Yes, it cooled, but he did not feel he could safely leave it draining his battery with the van not running, so the question became "Has the water cooled back down yet?"

YMMV of course. If you are going long distance with only brief stops and, ideally, if you could use a battery charger or an AC cord to cool the box down prior to departure, it might work like a dream. If I wanted a longer-haul cooler I would probably look for a Yeti-wannabe/much cheaper and for a design where the ice was in a lid compartment kept separate from the food. I have seen many small coolers like that, so I'd think there are some big ones too.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:35 AM   #3
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This is actually a compressor cooler, at an amazing price. Given the Costco lifetime satisfaction warranty, I think it would be an excellent choice.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:40 AM   #4
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I have something similar but it's older so the performance may be better nowadays.

It sucks. Takes most of the day to get a few bottles of water down from 75 to 50 degrees. Can't leave it on overnight in the car or your battery might be dead by morning.
Try a good cooler (I hear the Yeti or the Walmart knock off are both very good.) and use frozen water bottles or frozen blue ice packs. I hate my food floating around too. If you're on the road buy some ice and put it in Tupperware type containers or double bag ziplocks.

Edit-
Oops. Just saw travellover point out this is a compressor type unit. At that price I didn't think to read further! That is almost half the price of the one I was considering 2 years ago.
I might get one if it works out for you. Keep us informed!
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:47 AM   #5
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This is actually a compressor cooler, at an amazing price. Given the Costco lifetime satisfaction warranty, I think it would be an excellent choice.
Oh. Obviously I didn't look. Better efficiency probably. But I could not find a web site where the power consumption/12v amps was specified. That may still be worth checking.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:49 AM   #6
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...
Try a good cooler (I hear the Yeti or the Walmart knock off are both very good.) and use frozen water bottles or frozen blue ice packs. I hate my food floating around too. If you're on the road buy some ice and put it in Tupperware type containers or double bag ziplocks.

..
Plus wrap your cooler in some beach towels, it will extend the ice of any cooler by hours to days depending upon the cooler and the sunlight.

I would use 6 beach towels last summer, and it was amazing how cool/cold the towel against the cooler was, which points to cold loss.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:01 PM   #7
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I've been looking at electric coolers for some time, to use for camping & RV'ing. Buying ice every couple days is a hassle and dealing with food swimming around in water is likely unhealthy.

There are two designs of electric cooler:

1. Thermo-electric. With no moving parts, these coolers work by the Peltier effect. Simple & reliable, but unfortunately lacking control and can only cool about 30 deg. F. below ambient so if it is 80 deg. then it can only cool to 50 deg. These also consume large amounts of power continuously so will drain a car battery in short order if the engine isn't running. Cost from $30 to $200.

2. Compressor. These operate more like your home refrigerator. Less power consumption and typically run about 50% duty cycle so the power draw is significantly reduced. They typically have adjustable thermostat control and can freeze as well as cool. Hands-down these are the better solution, but the cost can be $250 to $1000.

The Massimo is a compressor style. Overall it looks like a great deal at the Costco price (on sale until 8/2). If you don't have a separate deep-cycle battery I would try to limit the run time with the ignition off. Car starter batteries aren't designed for frequent deep discharge. However if you have it running while driving the alternator will easily keep your starter battery charged fully. Then just unplug it & take it to your picnic or beach spot and it will keep cold for hours.

My recommendation: Buy it! If it doesn't work out then Costco has a great return policy.

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Old 07-27-2020, 12:11 PM   #8
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One of the best gifts I've received over the years. Used for my gambling trips to Las Vegas and Laughlin. Holds plenty drinks, snacks, yogurt, instant coffee and I wheel it right into my room. I use ice and drain and replace as needed at the hotel ice machines.but never considered cooler packs and frozen bottles. Will be trying these options out next trip.
Thanks for the suggestion.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Coleman-...-202021585-_-N
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:20 PM   #9
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From the Massimo website -
Uses 45, +/- 5W, and has three stage battery protection system.


https://www.massimomotor.com/Massimo...ctric-E-Kooler
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:38 PM   #10
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Reviews on Costco site report only 4 out of 56 people rated it below a 4 out 5
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:49 PM   #11
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2. Compressor. These operate more like your home refrigerator. Less power consumption and typically run about 50% duty cycle so the power draw is significantly reduced. They typically have adjustable thermostat control and can freeze as well as cool. Hands-down these are the better solution, but the cost can be $250 to $1000.
This is what we've had for 16 years. An Engel cooler, similar to this one. The power draw is surprisingly low (0.5-2.7 amps @ 12V DC). Really nice to have if there is something you really want to stay cold. From a completely powered down state, it takes a couple of hours to get to a temperature that is cold enough.

One suggestion for these types of coolers: If you have the room, add some Blue Ice or equivalent. At least in our case, it will help reach lower temperatures quicker and assist in keeping the temperatures there. Just be careful of what you place next to the Blue Ice. Slight freezing is possible, or in our case, hard freezing if set to its lowest temperature.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:56 PM   #12
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I have a Yeti-style cooler I take on car trips. Actually made by Rtic, but the same thing as Yeti. Absolutely amazing. I just fill about ľ of the space with frozen water bottles and it will literally keep things cool for days. The only drawback is they are very heavy, but I just leave it in the car and put a few things in a smaller cooler to take into a hotel with me.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:16 PM   #13
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Thanks.

I looked at the other type and most donít promise enough cooling in hot weather to safeguard the food. 30 degrees below ambient temperature is not that great on warm summer days.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:20 PM   #14
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This one is a compressor unit. It also claims to sense the battery and turn itself off before running down the battery. Since it has wheels I would roll it into any room I might rent and run it off the outlet.

I am sick of melted ice ruining my food. This seems like a good compromise. So you guys and gals have cost me $275. But given all the money Iíve saved on gasoline and other expenses the past few months, is might as well contribute to keeping the economy afloat.

Oh. Itís not bear proof. :-)
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:22 AM   #15
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This one is a compressor unit. It also claims to sense the battery and turn itself off before running down the battery. Since it has wheels I would roll it into any room I might rent and run it off the outlet.

I am sick of melted ice ruining my food. This seems like a good compromise. So you guys and gals have cost me $275. But given all the money I’ve saved on gasoline and other expenses the past few months, is might as well contribute to keeping the economy afloat.

Oh. It’s not bear proof. :-)

This makes me wonder if one could use a compressor unit to refreeze bottles of water while driving and then use the frozen bottles of water to resupply/switch out in a yeti-type cooler. No slush water to remove.


More useful in a camping situation where you don't have electricity overnight.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:22 AM   #16
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Frozen water bottles are a great way to keep a std cooler cold and not have to deal with the water from melting ice. DW also likes to get one of the partially melted bottles and then slowly drink the ice cold water. I also use the packaged blue ice in addition to the frozen water. Since we have a nice motorhome with a frig, I can keep the frozen water bottles to use on daily small cooler fillups. Another obvious thing is to only put items into the cooler that are already cooled down.


I do like that small compressor cooler though, and considering getting one to have as a supplemental more capable cooler.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:38 AM   #17
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I would be interested in a report on how much noise this compressor cooler makes. For all the shortcomings of thermoelectric coolers, one of their strengths is silence.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:58 AM   #18
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I would be interested in a report on how much noise this compressor cooler makes. For all the shortcomings of thermoelectric coolers, one of their strengths is silence.
That's a good point. From what I have read this cooler is relatively quiet, but certainly not noiseless. Since I will be using it mostly while driving, the extra noise will probably not be an issue. If I can remember I will update the thread with a noise post.

I doubt if it will be nearly as noisy as the older mini-fridges in many hotel rooms these day. Some of them buzz and rattle all night. More than once I had to get up and pull the plug on the thing.
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:52 AM   #19
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So you guys and gals have cost me $275.
. :-)

ME TOO! just ordered it.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:40 AM   #20
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For road trips or camping trips, we toss in some rock salt with the ice in our cooler...... Ice will last for days
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