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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time, long time…

OK, the purpose of this post is to gain feedback from user’s experience with coolers that plug into their car to keep drinks and food cold.

Like many in this forum, I bought the Acadia because of the room it had for my family. :binky: I have three kids and we often pack an insulated bag with the freezer blocks to keep drinks and sandwiches cold. That method is fine for short day trips but for longer road trips, I would like to purchase one of these Thermoelectric Coolers that I can plug right into the car and also take out of the car and continue to keep cold by plugging into, say a hotel room outlet.

I would want the cooler to easily fit between a front seat and an unused 2nd row seat (bench in my case), and can hold a few drink options and a few zip lock backs of reheatable kids food (ie, chicken nuggets, bagels, etc).

I have my own opinion on the ones I like (see below) but thought it would be smart to get some valuable feedback from my Acadia family members, who might point out some things I hadn't thought of. Sharing any of your positive or negative experiences would be helpful, as well as things that you didn’t consider before buying a thermoelectric cooler that you wished you did.

After a little research, these are the coolers on my shortlist:
1. Koolatron Compact Kooler: http://www.amazon.com/Koolatron-P20-Compact-Kooler/dp/B00009PGNS
2. Koolatron Kool Wheeler: http://www.amazon.com/Koolatron-B33-Kool-Wheeler/dp/B00009PGNQ
3. Coleman Stirling Power Cooler: http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Stirling-Cooler-Adaptor-Included/dp/B000A1FCIE/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t
 

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Re: Who Uses A Thermoelectric Cooler (Kids Snack-Pack)?

I have the first one that you have pictured there. Works fine, we use it on day trips and vacations. The fan is a hair noisier than I care for but I usually have the stereo going so its not that big a deal. I also have a larger, older Coleman model that the fan is a tad quieter on but it may not be a fair comparison as the fan is embedded deeper into the larger model so it is inherently better insulated.
 

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Re: Who Uses A Thermoelectric Cooler (Kids Snack-Pack)?

Problem with all these aftermarket coolers, including the Engel models, is that they run down the car battery if left in the car overnight, such as if you're staying at a motel. Better is something like the one being built into the forthcoming Ford Flex, as it shuts down electrical operation when it senses the car battery is getting low.
 

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Re: Who Uses A Thermoelectric Cooler (Kids Snack-Pack)?

lingohocken said:
Problem with all these aftermarket coolers, including the Engel models, is that they run down the car battery if left in the car overnight, such as if you're staying at a motel.
There are 110 volt adapters for when you stay at a motel or anywhere with power on the road.
 

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Re: Who Uses A Thermoelectric Cooler (Kids Snack-Pack)?

GerryL, thanks for the heads up on the fan noise. Good to be aware of. I like that slimmer model because it still leaves room next to it to pack other loose items in the same space. With the 3 kids we always seem to be filled to the gills.

Lingo, like Gerry mentions, I'm not too concerned about draining the car's battery overnight since the plan would be to bring the cooler in where ever we are staying.

Amazon.com, here I come...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Who Uses A Thermoelectric Cooler (Kids Snack-Pack)?

I ended up buying the first cooler pictured above (Koolatron Compact Kooler) and have been very pleased with it. The noise is minimal and with the radio on, I find it unnoticeable. The cooler get as cold as I needed, and by accident I found out that the heating element works really well too, especially if you kids like their string cheese really soggy =(

My only regret at this point, was not buying the Cigarette outlet to Wall outlet converter from Amazon when I order the cooler itself, so I could give the cooler a head start to cool down before the trip and also use in a hotel room over a stay. I figured I could get it cheaper from a Target/WalMart/PepBoys, but unfortunately no one even carried a converter with the necessary amps. Amazon, here I come again...
 

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Re: Who Uses A Thermoelectric Cooler (Kids Snack-Pack)?

We had the coleman and 2 different Igloo electric coolers. The co,eman one was noisey as anything the first Igloo was awesome nice and cold and quiet as can be. My dad borrowed it to go camping and left it out in the rain end of cooler. He replaced it with the Coleman one which was terrible (gave it to my sister in law) and just got another 40QT Igloo one from Costco. I highly reccomend the Igloo brand it is terrific we don't leave home without it on trips over 2 hours in the car.

Here is the link to the one we have.

http://www.igloocoolers.com/products/Thermoelectric/FullSizeThermo/255/
 

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Re: Who Uses A Thermoelectric Cooler (Kids Snack-Pack)?

christish said:
I ended up buying the first cooler pictured above (Koolatron Compact Kooler) and have been very pleased with it. The noise is minimal and with the radio on, I find it unnoticeable. The cooler get as cold as I needed, and by accident I found out that the heating element works really well too, especially if you kids like their string cheese really soggy =(

My only regret at this point, was not buying the Cigarette outlet to Wall outlet converter from Amazon when I order the cooler itself, so I could give the cooler a head start to cool down before the trip and also use in a hotel room over a stay. I figured I could get it cheaper from a Target/WalMart/PepBoys, but unfortunately no one even carried a converter with the necessary amps. Amazon, here I come again...
Just got back from a 3500 mile, two week road trip with the Koolatron and it worked great (As did the Acadia!). Never heard a sound from it in the car as even in these relatively quiet vehicles road noise covers a lot. However, its amazing how much quieter hotel rooms are than vehicles and even though we never heard it in the Acadia, we found the indoor noise when running on AC loud enough that we either had to close it in the bathroom or just unplug it during the sleeping hours for the noise reason when in limited space hotel rooms. The little squirrel wheel fan makes a somewhat annoying turbine sounding noise in indoor environments that you really don't hear in the car. It is an excellent cooler, and a very convenient size, just not as quiet as some of the larger models that have room to bury the fan mechanisms in quieter cavities.
 

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Re: Who Uses A Thermoelectric Cooler (Kids Snack-Pack)?

Presumably none of these is so well insulated that they can sit in the vehicle overnight (hot summer nights aside) and still stay pretty cold? In other words, presumably you have to take them into the hotel each evening?
 

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Re: Who Uses A Thermoelectric Cooler (Kids Snack-Pack)?

lingohocken said:
Presumably none of these is so well insulated that they can sit in the vehicle overnight (hot summer nights aside) and still stay pretty cold? In other words, presumably you have to take them into the hotel each evening?
Actully, I have been surprised with how well the Koolatron unit is insulated. As well as the walls, it has a soft foam seal around the hinged lid. When we turned it off for sleeping in the hotels, I was surprised with how cold items still were in the morning. We used it mostly for drinks, (not perishable items) and I would say that they only lost 5 or 10 degrees at most during the evening with the unit unpowered. How it would do in a car would vary greatly with the car's internal temp but if it wasn't extreme, I think you would still have cool drinks the next morning.
 

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Re: Who Uses A Thermoelectric Cooler (Kids Snack-Pack)?

Actully, I have been surprised with how well the Koolatron unit is insulated. As well as the walls, it has a soft foam seal around the hinged lid. When we turned it off for sleeping in the hotels, I was surprised with how cold items still were in the morning. We used it mostly for drinks, (not perishable items) and I would say that they only lost 5 or 10 degrees at most during the evening with the unit unpowered. How it would do in a car would vary greatly with the car's internal temp but if it wasn't extreme, I think you would still have cool drinks the next morning.
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Thanks, GerryL!
 

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Acadia Electric Coolers

I am curious as to whether anyone has purchased/used an electric cooler in the Acadia for long trips? If so what brand or model number.

Seems like it would be a great thing to have for long trips... :cheers:

Thanks
 

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Re: Acadia Electric Coolers

Check with an RV store. There are coolers available that run on either 12VDC or 110VAC. If you choose an AC model, make sure the power demand doesn't exceed the 100 watt output of the AC outlet in the Acadia.

Down the hatch! :beer:
 

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Re: Acadia Electric Coolers

I have a cigarette lighter 12V Black and Decker electric cooler/warmer that holds about 12 cans of soda. I got it a Target on clearance for between $20 and 30. I does keep stuff cool, but not as cold as a cooler with old fashioned ice. The box said that it will cool to 40 degrees less than the ambient air at the most. I chill the soda before I put them in this and just use to keep cool on a drive. Works OK.

I think Sam's Club has them also (or at least did).
 

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Re: Acadia Electric Coolers

We have a Coleman 12 v model that is about 1.6 cubic feet in capacilty. We've used it on 2 week vacations and its worked great. Quiet enough that you don't hear it in regular driving (which is not true of all 12v models out there) and works well with the 12v outlet in the far back hatch area. We leave it running for stops of less than a couple hours and have a 120v adapter for taking it in to motels or wherever overnight. Its a wonderful thing on long trips.
 

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Re: Acadia Electric Coolers

I guess I like my drinks colder than most electric coolers can keep them; I usually go with the ice in the cooler
 

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Re: Acadia Electric Coolers

We have 2(one large and one smaller), and love them. Try freezing a bottle of water or 2 for the smaller ones and it really helps out keeping them chilled not just cooled. We've used frozen gallon jugs in the larger one. :cheers:
 

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