Reader Interactions


  1. Debie A. Clark

    Tho hard to find in stores anymore, ice BLOCKS last 3-4 times longer. If your able to, reuse milk, or juice jugs . Just wash out thoroughly. Fill almost to the top with h20, leaving a cpl inches for expansion, and freeze till SOLID. You can also insulate each individual frozen jug to help them last even longer. Just unwrap one or two on top of the remaining wrapped jugs. And you should still have ice at the end of the day.

    • Julie Ann

      Hi Debbie, Thanks for the tip, that is a good idea! I remember my Dad always used the frozen milk jug method in our ice chest for trips to the lake when we were kids. I actually don’t remember them melting at all. Next time we have access to a freezer, prior to filling up the AC unit I’m going to prep some ice jugs for sure 🙂

  2. Fred Bar

    Hello, I am interested in this alternative….Got a few of questions:
    1) How much ice, by weight, do you need? I found that ice bags vary by weight depending where you buy them.
    2) How long does the ice last on a hot day?
    3) In humid weather, does it still work as well? And does it get stuff inside damp? I am wondering if a powered exhaust fan in the roof of the van would also help in removing excess humidity.


    • Julie Ann

      So it works for sure, but it’s not necessarily going to cool your whole space in extremely hot weather (90 +). In those temps, you pretty much need to be directly in front of it, or in a very small space to benefit from it. In 80 degree temps, we were able to cool the entire van to a comfortable temp.

      How much ice you need depends on the size of your ice chest, always fill it full. Ours held about 2 and 1/2 bags, so 20-30lbs.

      Driving through AZ in 100 degree temp, we were re-icing every couple hours. Urban camping in San Diego with over night temps of 86, we still had some ice by morning. Wrapping the ice chest for insulation helped keep it frozen for much longer too.

      It shouldn’t make anything damp, unless your ice chest has a leak…..or your slam on the breaks and it topples over and spills. (That actually happened)

      Hope that helps! And at any rate, I’d say try it, it’s better then nothing and the price is worth it!

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