Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Top 3 cooler hacks that will make your ice last longer

By Cheri Sicard
I wish I had found this cooler hacks video last week when my RV fridge stopped working after I had completed a large shopping trip to Costco. I had to move everything into coolers, eat as much as I could (what diet?), and spend a fortune on ice during the eight days I had to wait for a mobile RV repair to come and fix it. (For the record, the fridge is now fixed, thanks to Tim at Butler Mobile Repair. Highly recommended if you need repairs while in California’s gold country.)

In the video, Florida real estate agent Yak Motley shares his favorite tips to make your ice last longer when using a cooler.

No, it does not involve buying an expensive Yeti cooler—Yak talks about how to maximize the potential of a regular cooler. The one he uses to demo in the video cost him $16.

So what does Yak recommend:

Cooler hack #1: Bury it or cover it: If you are at the beach, dig a hole in the sand and bury the cooler up to the lid. The sand is going to insulate the cooler and help the ice last far longer. Cover the top with a towel or a reflective blanket that will deflect sunlight. If you can’t bury it, covering it is the next best thing. The aim is to avoid direct sunlight on the cooler as much as possible.

Cooler hack #2: Reusable PVC ice molds: This is a quick, inexpensive, and easy DIY project. In the video, Yak shows you how to make them and fill them with salt water, which will lower the freezing point.

Cooler hack #3: Adding insulation: We did an earlier video on how to make a DIY Yeti-type cooler. Yak’s method, while not as good, is also not nearly as involved. Watch to see how he fills the lid and the bottom with spray foam.

Yak also shares the bonus tip of freezing plastic water bottles. Large blocks of ice, whenever you can make or get them, definitely last far longer than cubes.

Do you have other cooler hacks? Please share them in the comments below!



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Neal Davis (@guest_243634)
4 months ago

Thank you, Cheri! Suggestions? Me? No, sorry, I just leach off you and others. 😉 Thanks again!

Gary Stone (@guest_242799)
4 months ago

Besides injecting the lid with foam, I’ve wrapped my coolers in Reflectix (just around the sides) and also made a Reflectix top cover, like a cap. Actually reflects heat and sunlight besides adding another layer of insulation.

Jack (@guest_242713)
5 months ago

Homemade block ice. Measure your cooler & get a cheap plastic container that will fit neatly inside it . You then have your block ice mold.

Cheri Sicard (@guest_242728)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Excellent suggestion.

Bob P (@guest_242699)
5 months ago

This is the expensive way but when we moved from FL back to TN we didn’t want to give our freezer contents away so buying a large cooler and $25 worth of dry ice( carbon dioxide) we packed the frozen food and putting the dry ice on top of the food we moved. 4 1/2 days later after buying our new fridge we opened the cooler and to our surprise everything was still frozen with one small piece of dry ice left.

Dale e Rose (@guest_242695)
5 months ago

Our RV doesn’t have an ice maker. This past winter, while staying in Florida, my wife had some surgery and was told to put ice on the incision to keep the swelling down. I went to a big box store and got a portable icemaker for under $100. It makes 24 lbs. a day, so I put it in gallon bags in the freezer. Without a freezer, it could be just put into a cooler. Also, the larger the pieces of ice, the longer they last. In some areas of Florida, there are big self serve ice machines, and they sell blocks or cubes.

Norm B (@guest_242679)
5 months ago

Cover your cooler with a wet moving blanket. Evaporation of the water from the cooling blanket will cool things down.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_242792)
4 months ago
Reply to  Norm B

. . . As long as you’re in a low humidity area. This won’t work in Houston.

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