Gear Rx: Tenting Cooler Restore and Packing Suggestions

Most of us most likely have an outdated cooler mendacity round someplace. It’s doubtless been accumulating mud and perhaps we’ve invested in a brand new one. There are a lot of cheap cooler choices accessible, however they don’t final very lengthy, and so they don’t maintain issues chilly fairly as effectively both. Then, for those who get a costlier cooler, what occurs when it leaks or cracks? Are you able to restore it?

Like all piece of out of doors gear, it helps to put money into a sturdy choice. Nonetheless, supplies put on down over time, and excessive put on areas like handles are certain to interrupt. Discovering firms with restore insurance policies and warranties is a wonderful technique to keep away from repairing the cooler your self. Fortunately, most cooler repairs aren’t too intensive or time-consuming. Even those that aren’t essentially thought-about “useful” can do them.

To get essentially the most out of your cooler, we compiled a couple of of the commonest cooler repairs wanted and the right way to do them at residence. Lastly, we overview the right way to pack your cooler accurately. Whereas this may occasionally appear trivial (as a result of can’t you simply toss some ice and drinks in there and be executed?), there are methods to optimize the house to assist maintain your drinks and meals colder for longer. 

Widespread Cooler Repairs

Hopefully, you gained’t have to restore all 4 issues concurrently however use the knowledge beneath for frequent cooler restore wants. 

Deal with Restore

In case your cooler handles are damaged, we suggest changing them utterly. You may have a couple of selections right here. You may purchase a replacement online that matches the cooler model or the model. Most alternative handles you purchase shall be plastic and will break once more. 

You can even make a DIY deal with of some form out of rope. 

For many coolers, even the rolling ones, the handles are held in place with some type of pin. To exchange the handles, take away the pins to reveal the holes. In the event you bought a alternative deal with, observe the instructions offered to interchange the deal with. Replacements also needs to include alternative pins, however save yours simply in case they don’t. 

A much more common alternative choice is to make use of some sort of nylon rope. Rope handles work effectively on coolers which have handles that stick out barely from the aspect. In the event you put your cooler at the back of your truck, the place it has an opportunity to bang round, it’s simple to see how a plastic deal with may break. Rope handles are usually extra sturdy and will be extra comfy to hold at instances. 

Discover a rope that may match by means of the pin holes. When you try this, string it by means of and discover a size you want. Go away some room on the skin of the pins so you may tie a knot and safe the rope. As soon as the handles are tied off, lower off the surplus and burn any fraying. 

Fixing Hinges

The traditional Coleman or Igloo coolers usually come normal with flimsy plastic hinges. These are one of many first issues to interrupt on these coolers (aside from the handles). There are a number of replacement options online, very like the handles, however they may even be plastic if they’re cooler-specific. Keep away from changing the damaged plastic ones with new plastic ones vulnerable to breaking with a couple of makes use of as effectively. 

Different choices embrace utilizing stainless-steel hinges and even canvas material hinges. To exchange the plastic hinges with stainless-steel ones, all you want to do is:

  • Unscrew the outdated plastic ones and screw the brand new ones of their place.
  • Be certain the a part of the hinge with an embossed dot is on the underside half of the cooler and never hooked up to the lid.
  • Keep away from over-tightening the screws, so we don’t suggest utilizing an electrical drill of any form for this. A traditional screwdriver is greater than adequate for this challenge.
  • Earlier than tightening the hinges down, verify how the lid opens and closes to make sure it’s the proper dimension to your cooler. 

To make use of a canvas material, the best methodology is to chop up an outdated canvas rope belt. You may trend as many of those as you need or suppose that you simply want. Line up the items of material and screw them into place. These is not going to maintain the cooler lid up as effectively, and so they is probably not as sturdy, however it’s a straightforward and low cost technique to substitute the hinges and repurpose an outdated merchandise. To assist the cooler lid keep open, you may set up an inside cooler lid strap utilizing any extra belt. Connect the suitable size of the belt to the inside of the lid after which the within of the cooler. This can assist maintain the lid in place when it’s open. 

Drain Plug Leaks

The almost definitely place a cooler will leak is the drain plug or spigot. To exchange the cooler drain plug, buy the proper model, however on the very least, establish the required dimension earlier than shopping for one. 

To exchange a cooler drain plug:

  • Take away the outdated drain plug.
    • Unscrew the drain cap
    • Push out the spout and grommet. That is the best to do from the skin. 
  • Set up the brand new drain plug
    • Set up a brand new grommet onto the spout with the flange dealing with the lengthy portion of the spout.
    • From the within, set up the grommet with the spout within the cooler. 
    • Hand tighten the nut and cap onto the spout onto the skin. 

Replacement drain plugs and spouts ought to all include directions on set up. Observe directions offered by the producer for the very best outcomes. The directions above are a simplified model that applies in most conditions however not all. 

Cooler Cracks

In case your cooler is leaking and isn’t coming from the drain spout, you could have a cooler crack. Cracks within the lid or on the underside of a cooler are the commonest. The most typical strategies are warmth welding or plugging the hole to repair a crack in a cooler. 

warmth weld a cooler crack: 

  • Warmth welding must be executed exterior to keep away from inhaling poisonous fumes from the plastic. 
  • To prep, use a degreaser and clear the floor of the cracked space to take away any grime or oils. 
  • Then, sand the perimeters of the crack with fine-grit sandpaper. 
  • Utilizing heat-resistant gloves, maintain a metallic rod over a warmth supply similar to a fuel range or grill (one thing with a flame). 
  • Whereas the rod is sizzling, utilizing parchment paper as a barrier between the metallic and the cooler, maintain the recent rod towards the crack.
  • Repeat till the crack is now not seen, and reheat the rod as wanted. 

fill the cooler crack: 

  • Clear cracked space with delicate detergent and dry completely. 
  • Sand the perimeters of the crack with fine-grit sandpaper till easy. Proceed to sand about ¼ inch out from the crack to tough up the fabric some.  
  • You need to use a plastic repair kit or two-part epoxy putty to fill the crack. 
    • Combine to make a paste for the plastic restore powder or use the producer’s directions for different kits. 
    • For the putty, knead it together with your palms till it molds simply. 
  • For both software, we suggest sporting gloves. 
  • Apply your selection of filler into the crack space. Prolong it barely out from the crack space, and when utilizing placing, it must be larger than the cooler floor. 
  • Let the putty dry or the paste remedy in response to producer directions. 
  • As soon as utterly dry, you may select to sand the world easy utilizing fine-grit sandpaper. 

Small cracks will be fastened quickly utilizing duct tape, however we suggest one of many strategies above if you end up residence for a longer-lasting repair. 

Cooler Cooling Suggestions

The way you pack your cooler issues. Even if in case you have the highest-end, fanciest cooler available on the market, you may optimize your house and maintain your cooler colder with a couple of packing ideas. 

First, you want to prep your cooler. Be certain it’s cleaned out and able to retailer your meals and drinks. You may pre-chill the cooler by rinsing it with chilly water or letting ice sit in it in a single day earlier than your journey. This isn’t mandatory, however some folks suppose it helps. Working chilly water over the cooler or rinsing it out is perhaps most useful if the cooler is saved in a heat atmosphere. 

Then, prep your meals and drinks. Take away any extra packaging. Transfer all meals into watertight containers, and freeze what you may. In case you are bringing water bottles, freeze a couple of water bottles. In the event you can’t freeze the meals or the drinks, maintain them within the fridge in a single day, chilling them earlier than going into the cooler. 

Subsequent, prep your ice. There are a lot of choices for ice, and we suggest utilizing some sort of reusable choice. As talked about, freezing water bottles is a good place to begin. Reusable freezer packs or blocks are a private favourite, however for those who don’t need to use these, you may as well make your ice blocks to place within the backside of the cooler. To do that, seize a type of aluminum casserole dishes, fill it with water, and put it within the freezer. In order for you one thing that comprises the melted ice higher, you may as well freeze water in gallon Ziploc baggage. 

In order for you free ice to place in drinks, maintain ice cubes in a resealable bag to maintain it clear and entry it simply. 

One other ice tip: If you realize anybody who makes use of any meal supply service, snag a couple of of their supply ice packs. These are huge and reusable choices that you could simply line the underside of a cooler. 

Though you doubtless need to optimize your cooler house to assist maintain contents chilly for longer, the very best ice to meals/drink ratio is 2:1. That implies that it is best to goal to have twice as a lot ice as there’s meals or drinks within the cooler. 

Pack a Cooler

Now, we are able to get packing. Begin together with your block ice on the underside. You need to use the reusable ice blocks, selfmade ones, or those talked about from meals supply providers. Line your complete backside of the cooler with ice both means. 

Add in a layer of meals or drinks as you need. Do not forget that we need to get rid of as a lot air as attainable when packing, so hone your Tetris abilities right here. You may add some free ice to fill in any gaps with every layer of meals. We nonetheless suggest packing ice you need to use for drinks individually in baggage to maintain it clear. Pack in a couple of of your frozen water bottles right here too. 

For the highest, reusable ice sheets work the very best. That means, they may lay flat and make it simpler to entry contents or shut the lid. In the event you shouldn’t have ice sheets, you should use reusable ice packs or water frozen in gallon Ziploc baggage. 

An alternative choice is to fill in layers with meals and ice as described after which lower a chunk of Reflectix bubble foil insulation to suit the highest of the cooler. This can assist lure the chilly air from the remainder of the ice and forestall as a lot from escaping if you open the lid. A humid towel can work for this as effectively. 

A whole lot of chilly air escapes when the cooler is open. So, just remember to pack your meals and drinks in a means that is sensible. Stuff you entry usually must be close to the highest. You may even make a cooler map in case you are with a big group to attenuate the size of time the cooler is left open as a result of gadgets are simple to search out. 


Q: What can I exploit to plug a cooler gap?

If the cooler plug leaks or breaks if you end up tenting, it’s onerous to interchange it until you’ve gotten a backup readily available. A fast repair for a cooler plug is utilizing some floral foam or putty inside a plastic bag. In the event you don’t have these issues, you may as well use a chunk of material in a plastic bag to plug up the opening as tight as you may. 

Whether it is nonetheless leaking some, attempt to not use free ice. Protecting ice in baggage or utilizing reusable ice blocks can stop water accumulation because the ice thaws. 

Q: Why is my cooler leaking?

One of the vital frequent areas for a cooler leak is the spigot or the drain plug. Different areas can leak if there’s a crack or a break someplace within the cooler. We suggest you verify the spigot first, and if that isn’t the perpetrator, search for different areas. It’s best to be capable of see the place the leak is that if the cooler is packed and leaking, however in case you are having a problem discovering the leak, you may submerge the cooler to see the place air escapes or fill the cooler with water to establish the leak. 

Q: Are you able to repair a cracked cooler?

Sure, normally, you may repair a cracked cooler. It might be too onerous to repair if the crack is just too huge, however most smaller crackers will be fastened utilizing a warmth welding method or filling the hole. Observe the directions detailed above for extra data on fixing a cracked cooler. 

Q: How do you take away rust from a metallic cooler?

To take away rust from a metallic cooler, yow will discover non-toxic residence cleaners designed to take away rust, or you may make a selfmade rust elimination paste at residence. To make the paste, use one half lime juice with two components salt. Use this ratio and make as a lot as you suppose you may want. Lemon juice can even work. Combine the paste in a bowl after which apply it to the rusted areas utilizing a towel. Let the paste relaxation for at the very least two to a few hours, then wipe off. This paste shouldn’t depart any residue, however you could want to make use of a moist rag or sponge to take away any remaining salt.

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