Monday, January 09, 2023

AC/DC Portable Electric Cooler

Wayne and I are on a short winter trip to the cabin. It's quite cool, but we are staying warm thanks to our trusty woodstove

Normally, we use our propane refrigerator for fresh food, but because this is a short trip we are using ice chests.

To maximize space we are using a variety of containers. For ice cubes and drinks we are using insulated coolers with blue freezer packs. For fruits and vegetables, a plastic tub. These remain outdoors where it's cool.

Indoors for dairy, meats, cheese and condiments we are using our new knox gear (k-box) electric cooler (it also has a warmer feature that we don't need right now).

It's well insulated on all sides and the lid. The cooling unit on top runs with either a 110V AC cord or 12V DC cord and power adapter plug. 

For ease of use, we have ours connected directly to the cabin's battery bank.

It could also be used with a vehicle power port. 

The inside fan distributes cold air throughout the interior. 

It works best with pre-cooled groceries. For extra cooling, I froze large water bottles and two blue freezer packs.

One of two large water bottles I froze in town to augment cooling.

During our six day cabin trip, all of our foods stayed cool and fresh. I even had ice cubes left on the front porch for my last evening cocktail. 

The 48-quart model has plenty of room. They also have a smaller version.

I would say this has been a successful test of our short-term winter refrigeration needs. What kinds of strategies do you use on camping or off-the-grid trips? -- Margy

Shared with Your the Star at Stone Cottage Adventures. And Tuesdays with a Twist at Stone Cottage Adventures.

Hop on over to the Simple Life Mom and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

And Sunday Sunshine Blog Hop at Ridge Haven Homestead.


  1. Well, I have never gone camping. I guess Ice Storm '98 doesn't count, 10 days without power!
    In winter we have a cooler in the garage outside the kitchen door for a 2nd fridge!

    1. I would say that definitely counts, but hard to predict. When the grand kids come I bet extra cold drinks are at a premium. - Margy

  2. We use coolers with ice packs if we're tenting, but on the boat we have a refrigerator/freezer that runs off the boat battery or solar power. On long trips we tend to set it to the freezer setting and keep meat and other things in it as well as 1 litre jugs of water that freeze. We keep an insulated cooler with other things that need refrigeration and alternate the water/ice jugs each day. It works well.
    Hope you've enjoyed your trip to the cabin. It's been windy and wet here, probably there, too.

    1. Kind of sounds like what we did with the frozen water jugs. In our old boat we had a small electric frige but not much of a freezer area even for ice cubes. When we are out in the boat we survive by purchasing bags of ice every two days at the marinas we visit. Yes, it was windy and rainy our whole cabin visit this time. But it was our first January trip since 2019 due to Covid border restrictions so any weather was fine with us. - Margy

  3. That's great that you can use a cooler to keep all your food cold for a short time!

    1. It was a huge success for us since we had direct access to our cabin batteries for DC operation. - Margy

  4. Margy - we have had good success with our Yeti cooler - it will keep things quite cold for up to three days, starting with two bags of regular ice from a gas station. We could have used frozen water bottles just as well, we just didn't have room in our home freezer at the time. Glad you were able to get back to the cabin a bit in the winter!

    1. I planned ahead and froze the water bottles to have them ready when we arrived from the States. I did take two bags of ice cubes with blue freezer packs to have for drinks. When we left there were still a few cubes left. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy