Question re: car refrigerators
I was given a small fridge that plugs into the cigarette lighter. I'm going on a 1700 mile road trip and am wondering if the fridge would be a waste of power/gas during the trip. The fridge is probably just big enough for a 12-pack of beer.
A really nice addition
Depending on the model -- those can be a quite useful tool -- keep one or two cans cool and a couple of sandwiches -- but THE ENGINE HAS TO BE RUNNING WHEN IT IS PLUGGED IN. They tend to draw significant power and you can easily run-down the battery when the engine is off. There are a number of threads on this forum about using these devices. Use the search function on this page for more useful tips.
I love mine!
I have a smaller one that only holds 9 cans. Typically, I put just 1-2 cans in at a time to get cold and have other items in it to eat like sandwiches, cold cuts, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, etc. Mine has an adapter that I can plug in at night to take into a hotel. I have even plugged it in if I've been at a campsite with hook-ups nearby using an extension cord. It's nice not to have to hassle with ice everyday.
However, these don't get cold enough to keep items cold enough to last several days. Only put items like meat and eggs in it for a day at most. The temperature doesn't really get cold enough to keep safe from bacteria over time.
One trick I do is to keep several small ziplock bags handy. When stopping for gas or at a fast-food place, I'll fill a bag or two with ice and put them in the cooler. That way, when I make a long stop during the day, I have ice in the cooler to keep things cool when the fridge is turned off.
And, our Editor is right...you must remember to turn it off/unplug it when you make a stop for any length of time. It will draw your battery down fast.
I have used mine on several long roadtrips and haven't noticed any change in gas mileage so I really don't think it affects gas consumption at all.
I know this post is a little late (having just seen this on 1/21/04), but anyway...
I have a full-size cooler that plugs into the power port in my wagon. Keeps things nice and cool, it can also be reversed to keep things warm. I have left it plugged in for almost 2 1/2 hours and no battery problems (though when I remembered I did that, I got nervous). I usually unplug it if I'm going to be stopped for any length of time. Check the rated power/current draw (should be marked) if in doubt.
We haven't noticed any difference in mileage...the reasons for this go into describing the function of the car's electrical system.
Suffice to say, they're great things to have, not having to worry about ice.
What do you reverse to get heating? What is the draw on your cooler? How big is full-size?
Mine has the same feature where it can be changed to providing heat to keep hot dishes hot. I haven't used that feature yet myself but there is simply a switch you turn from cold to hot. I don't know the draw.
It's a 40-quart, so I guess I should say it's an average cooler size (not the small six-pack one). I thought the current draw was marked, but it's not - my bad.
It doesn't actually provide heating, but it can be used to keep things warm. There is a switch on the front (right by the fan). It can be setup horizontal or vertical.
This is the current model of what we have.
<a href="http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=5640B807&categoryid=8570&sub mittingpage=subcategory.asp">Cooler</a>
That looks like a cool product. Still wonder about the heating part of the cycle.
How is winter weather treating you this year?
Well, the river and the waterfall in town is frozen over (I've got to get some pictures this year). Looking to take a trip this weekend, maybe a new loop. Of course, weather depending. I don't care about the cold when driving! I was thinking SE MA, since I don't go down that way too often.
No it will not affect the gas mileage at all. Battry and Gas do not go hand and hand.