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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / no power fridge idea....
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# Posted: 4 Dec 2016 17:00

ok i drawed a plan for a cold storage idea and wondering if it would work.its alunimn or steel box insulated with wool and wood for a better look. it has a small alunimn box the size of two 1 gal milk jugs. you have to use a bit of power and room from a chest freezer to freez the water jugs but im thinking it could keep stuff like drinks left overs that you dont want frozen. so what do yall think would this work?

# Posted: 4 Dec 2016 17:41

Before I leave to go to the cabin, I put two large plastic jugs I have in the freezer at home with water. The morning I leave I put one in each cooler, and cover the coolers in the truck with old sleeping bags. They last longer than a block of ice bought in the store, but still only 3-4 days in summer.

I also have a square plastic bucket in the large cooler. The jug goes inside the bucket, and I put a lid on the bucket. This helps it last longer and keeps water out of the bottom of the cooler. When the jug has thawed, I put a block of ice in the bucket and then fill it with crushed ice. Good for 3 days or so.

# Posted: 4 Dec 2016 17:47 - Edited by: MtnDon

There is no net gain. Energy is used to freeze the water in the freezer. The ice jugs are placed in the "box" where it melts and cools the contents of the box. More energy is used to refreeze the jugs after they melt.

In effect you have built a picnic / camping cooler or an ice box like folks used to use before we all could buy refrigerators. I suppose if you needed occasional extra storage space for keeping food cool the idea of an insulated box or a cooler has merit. In fact we keep three or four small jugs frozen in our freezer for times like that or for transporting food from home to our cabin. However, I'm under no illusions that freezing jugs and moving them to a cooler to keep food cool saves me any money.

# Posted: 5 Dec 2016 07:41 - Edited by: LastOutlaw

I had an issue with buying a $300 cooler to have ice last 5 or 6 days when I first bought my cabin. Regular coolers keep ice about 3 days then it would have been a one hour drive to pavement for more ice. When I get to the cabin I don't want to go to pavement until I am ready to leave. In the end I opted for a battery bank and a small chest freezer conversion. I am deliriously happy with my decision! I pack one bag of ice into my cooler on the way in to keep my food and milk etc. cold on the way there. Once I arrive I turn on my battery bank which turns on my freezer/fridge conversion. I remove all items from the cooler including the bag of ice. All go into the freezer/fridge. Within one hour I have ice forming in the bottom and ice cold drinks. I also run led lights, tv, stereo etc. on the battery bank pretty much all day with no problems. I have hooked a killawatt to the freezer and estimate regular use for one day at around 30 watts. Since my place is under a heavy canopy of trees solar doesn't really work except for a couple small panels to keep the bank charged up when I'm away. I use a honda eu2000i generator at night to recharge the battery bank and use about 1 gallon of gasoline in 8 hours. I also can run a window mount ac unit at night in the summer if need be off of this generator to remove the humidity from the room so I can sleep.
Very happy with this setup. Had a friend visit once and he kept asking me all day long about what everything was running off of... batteries still? his kid watched tv with the lights

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