Using a Mini Fridge in a tent?

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.
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CrashDisco
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Using a Mini Fridge in a tent?

Post by CrashDisco » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:48 pm

Hey Burners!

I camp in a canvas tent, with an AC to keep it cool during the day. This year, I am thinking about bringing a very small mini fridge for my tent to keep just a few things like sandwich makings; tofurkey, vegan cheese, mayo, mustard, and lettuce. That way I can just use my cooler for drinks, and don't have to worry about muddy water getting into my food. The main things I'm worried about are the heat put off by mini fridges, and if I get a really small fridge, like the ones that only hold a few cans, will it keep my food cool enough? Does anyone have any experience with tent camping with a fridge, or advice for me? Is this a dumb idea?

Thank y'all!
Fuck yer burn!!

>Crash

rbgilbert
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Re: Using a Mini Fridge in a tent?

Post by rbgilbert » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:56 pm

You'll definitely get a net heat increase inside your tent. I'd suggest putting the fridge in a separate little tent.

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Token
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Re: Using a Mini Fridge in a tent?

Post by Token » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:04 pm

I've had big fridges, chest freezers, little fridges out there and always just kept them in the shade outside.

They all work just fine as long as your generator runs 24/7 and they are not in the sun.

Now, if you bring it into the tent, you just added a big heater to the tent. Your AC will work much harder so I'd pass on that plan if I were you.

Just get a small fridge that fits under some folding tables and call it a day.

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BBadger
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Re: Using a Mini Fridge in a tent?

Post by BBadger » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:29 pm

Your refrigerator uses the same refrigeration cycle as your AC, so keeping it inside your tent is like venting the heat exhaust of your AC unit into your tent.
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unjonharley
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Re: Using a Mini Fridge in a tent?

Post by unjonharley » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:55 am

It's a camping trip.. Just set up your tent in a hotel room in Reno ..
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

Lavinis
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Re: Using a Mini Fridge in a tent?

Post by Lavinis » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:19 am

I'm trying to make a decision whether or not to get a mini fridge or just a super cold regular Igloo-type cooler for my future van. The fridge option has benefits that it doesn't need ice to stay cold. However, since it needs to run 24/7, power consumption will drain any batteries quicker.

With the Igloo option, there will be a constant need for ice. However, with all the money saved from living in a van, buying ice will only be a very minor expense. Further, when the ice melts, I plan on straining the resulting water and use it for my shower set-up.

Does anyone know how long a really good Igloo-type cooler will keep something cold? Any thoughts or suggestions is greatly appreciated. Thanks all.

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Canoe
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Re: Using a Mini Fridge in a tent?

Post by Canoe » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:17 am

Lavinis wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:19 am
I'm trying to make a decision whether or not to get a mini fridge or just a super cold regular Igloo-type cooler for my future van. The fridge option has benefits that it doesn't need ice to stay cold. However, since it needs to run 24/7, power consumption will drain any batteries quicker.
With the Igloo option, there will be a constant need for ice. However, with all the money saved from living in a van, buying ice will only be a very minor expense. Further, when the ice melts, I plan on straining the resulting water and use it for my shower set-up.
Does anyone know how long a really good Igloo-type cooler will keep something cold? Any thoughts or suggestions is greatly appreciated. Thanks all.
I predict a dermatologist is in your future. (a lot of Burners replenishing ice in their coolers will keep that ice in sealed bags, so the food and melt-water don't mix and cross-contaminate; that water is potable, so when not contaminated can be used to drink, cook or mix-drinks)
Some van-lifers get a gym membership (state-wide? nation-wide?) or purchase a day-pass to get access to showers with plenty of hot water.
Fridge will only run 24/7 if it's ability to remove heat matches the heat gain of the fridge. It should run in cycles. Like a cooler, where will it be situated and how warm will it be in the van? With a fridge, its heat will heat up the van. Look into RV fridges where their heat can be exhausted to the outside; multiple power sources. Consider if you will be where it's warm or cool.
Depending on space usage, you can tweak your fridge/cooler to have better or more insulation. A cooler can also be put in an insulated box (fridge too if you're careful). Check for fridges that open from the top so the cool air doesn't spill out and get replaced by warm air; this affects your interior layout.
Watch out for heat/cooking with flame. Don't asphyxiate, CO poison or pollute yourself.

You need to do a lot more research on living in vans. You're not the first to address their various issues for adding features. You can look at what people have assembled, versus how they do or don't like it a year later, two years later, etc., and how their choices affect the comfort & livability of the van and its affect on their lifestyle (and capital vs. ongoing costs), and then make your choices.
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FIGJAM
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Re: Using a Mini Fridge in a tent?

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:15 am

Maybe get the largest broken fridge you can stand up in the van and turn it into an old fashioned ice box.

Use the freezer compartment for block ice storage.

Find some large Tupperware type container to hold the blocks of ice so the water doesn't spill, then you can use that water too.
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