Icebox versus Coleman Stainless Icechest and battery locate

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Icebox versus Coleman Stainless Icechest and battery locate

Postby kfranson » Mon Oct 10, 2005 7:43 pm

New here. Great info. Have paid and downloaded the plans/manual for the Cubby, and starting to assemble parts before building. Can't wait.

I have been looking at the icebox design on the Cubby, versus a stainless steel icechest mounted on ahead of the cabin. I may go with the icebox to begin with, since we camp in bear areas, and I suppose a cooler, even if stainless, would be a bear attractant. So...

Debating on the icebox, then mounting a deep cycle marine battery ahead of cabin and behind hitch. If I do not do that, wondering if I could built a box of some sort to hide the icechest and make it "un-noticed" by a bear. If I have and icechest AND a deep cycle battery behind the hitch, have I put too much weight towards the front of the trailer. I can't weld, so planning to use the Harbor Freight trailer in the plans for my first go at this.

I would prefer to have the battery out on the hitch, so gasses can vent without a problem when charging.

Finally, are there any get-togethers where one can look at other teardrops for ideas. I live in the Eastern Sierra area, so LA, Reno, Las Vegas are all within a reasonable drive.

Regards, Keith
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Postby TomS » Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:00 pm

I wrestled with the same question for my tear. I eventually decided on a cooler on a slide-out shelf in my lower galley cabinet. A cooler can be removed for cleaning and can be carried in and out of the house when packing and unpacking.

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You're not going to hide your cooler from bears. They rely on smell to find food. And thier noses are much better than ours. They'll find your food stash no matter how well you hide it. Your best bet is to lock up the cooler in your tow vehicle.
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Postby Chris C » Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:05 pm

Hey Keith, find me the bear that can read "Ice Chest" on the side of your cooler and I'll give him the contents of my food stash! :laughter: A bear can smell your cooler a mile away. He doesn't care what it looks like or where you try to hide it. He can smell food frozen in ice, locked in a freezer, inside your car's trunk and he'll durn sure tear the car apart to get to it. So I don't think hiding it will do you much good. The only way I know of to keep bears out of my food stash is to hoist it in a tree at night or not sleep in the bears back yard. :rofl2:
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Postby Woody » Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:28 pm

I was told by some one on this board that if you have a tongue box on your trailer that you will not be allowed to camp in areas with bear populations (National Park areas.) They ( bears) will investigate it and destroy it since they associated it with food and coolers. I wish I could remember the name of who told me that and there was a reference to Yellowstone National Park also.As far as keeping food in a cooler in the galley, good luck with that one in Bear country. They smell it, they will get it, a hatch would not be a problem for a bear to break through.
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Postby R Keller » Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:50 pm

In a lot of the places that I've camped that have bear activity, there are warnings not to leave any ice chests/coolers in view (in the open, in the back seat of a car, etc.). The preference is to stor the coller out of sight. The bears may not be able to read, but they sure learn to associate the shape of an ice chest with food.

Now, whether a teardrop trailer looks just like a really big cooler to them, I can't say...

If there isn't a bear box provided, I guess the question is whether the bear is more likely to rip apart your trailer or car to get at a hidden cooler. Or maybe the question is: what would you prefer the bear rip apart?!

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Postby AmyH » Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:36 am

I struggled with whether to build an icechest, as in the Kuffel Creek plans, as well, but since I like to camp in bear country, I made the decision to go with a cooler instead. Most of the campgrounds that I have stayed at in bear country have those bear-proof boxes. I figured that with a cooler, you can just put it in the box at night. That would be a wee bit hard to do with a built in icechest. :lol: I also really like the way many of the guys on this forum have incorporated a slide-out in the galley for their coolers. That is what I think I will try to do in my galley.
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Postby campadk » Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:36 pm

There as been this discussion before, but anyways our take...

Cooler in the car, easy to load etc and staus out of bears reach. Main thing too is it saves your valuable galley space for pots, pans and the like.

Cooler can stay in the back of your vehicle, or placed on the campsite picnic table during the day as desired.

Our theory anyway... works great for us!
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Postby TomS » Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:02 pm

R Keller wrote:If there isn't a bear box provided, I guess the question is whether the bear is more likely to rip apart your trailer or car to get at a hidden cooler. Or maybe the question is: what would you prefer the bear rip apart?


I'd rather have the bear rip the car apart. Especially if I'm sleeping in the tear at the time.
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Postby R Keller » Tue Oct 11, 2005 6:15 pm

campadk wrote:There as been this discussion before, but anyways our take...

Cooler in the car, easy to load etc and staus out of bears reach. Main thing too is it saves your valuable galley space for pots, pans and the like.

Cooler can stay in the back of your vehicle, or placed on the campsite picnic table during the day as desired.

Our theory anyway... works great for us!


I have the opposite theory (both work - just what you prefer). Cooler on slide-outs in the galley. It's a lot easier moving pots and pans and food around (say from the car, if you don't have enough galley space) than it is a fully loaded cooler. Plus, you can put the cooler on the picnic table if you really want to strain your back. ;)

If the bear is going to rip apart your trailer, it is going to do it regardless of whether there is a cooler in there or just some pots and pans with food odor on them (or toothpaste, or deodorant, etc.) Plus, the cooler, being airtight when closed, is much less likely to emit odors...

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