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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Anyone know much about dry ice, used in fridge?

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DesertHawk

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 07/22/12 02:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We live in Southern New Mexico & have traveled in several RVs over the years in some extremely hot weather at times, we have never had a problem with the RV fridges not keeping things cold enough.

Normally, we start off with the freezer stocked with frozen food to be used on the trip.

Saw a video about not storing Dry Ice in a air tight container (ice chest), it can make the chest fill with the gas & even explode. Air Lines do not allow dry ice in sealed chest, only porous styrofoam ones. ???


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wolfe10

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Posted: 07/22/12 02:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The "time to melt" for water and dry ice to "evaporate" may not be too relevant.

One assumes the temperature maintained in the ice chest by ice would be in the range of 32 degrees F. The temperature maintained in an ice chest with dry ice would be WAY, WAY below that. So, for frozen food, dry ice is superior.

We use dry ice all the time when leaving in the sailboat for an off-shore leg to lessen compressor run time.

Wrap it in newspaper so it doesn't "over-cool" the freezer.

IMPORTANT: I do not know how using newspaper-wrapped dry ice in the freezer would affect refrigerator temps/run times, as the thermostat for the refrigerator cooling is in the refrigerator, yet less BTU's of heat would be absorbed in the freezer with dry ice cooling it. Interesting theoretical question.

Another alternative would be to put some well-wrapped dry ice in the refrigerator in addition on some in the freezer.

But, as others have asked, why not just run it? I see the dry ice as an excellent emergency procedure if the cooling unit goes out until you can get it/the refrigerator replaced.


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WyoTraveler

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Posted: 07/22/12 03:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We wanted to store frozen elk in an ice chest and keep it frozen for a week without any melting. We bought 5 pounds of dry ice, put it in an ice chest with the elk and after a week the elk was still frozen solid. The dry ice is for keeping frozen stuff frozen for a longer period of time. If I had used water frozen ice the elk would have been cold in a week but not frozen solid.


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hone eagle

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Posted: 07/22/12 03:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wolfe10 wrote:

The "time to melt" for water and dry ice to "evaporate" may not be too relevant.

One assumes the temperature maintained in the ice chest by ice would be in the range of 32 degrees F. The temperature maintained in an ice chest with dry ice would be WAY, WAY below that. So, for frozen food, dry ice is superior.

We use dry ice all the time when leaving in the sailboat for an off-shore leg to lessen compressor run time.

Wrap it in newspaper so it doesn't "over-cool" the freezer.

IMPORTANT: I do not know how using newspaper-wrapped dry ice in the freezer would affect refrigerator temps/run times, as the thermostat for the refrigerator cooling is in the refrigerator, yet less BTU's of heat would be absorbed in the freezer with dry ice cooling it. Interesting theoretical question.

Another alternative would be to put some well-wrapped dry ice in the refrigerator in addition on some in the freezer.

But, as others have asked, why not just run it? I see the dry ice as an excellent emergency procedure if the cooling unit goes out until you can get it/the refrigerator replaced.


Exactly what I would say ,wrap in newspaper ,monitor and adjust temps by reducing or increasing layers.
Have had it last 3 weeks on offshore boat trips.


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rockhillmanor

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Posted: 07/22/12 03:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I put dry ice in my stainless steel sink at home and it cracked the pipes below.

I buy bagged ice for drinks in the RV, I run the fridge to keep my food frozen!


"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us".


FIRE UP

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Posted: 07/22/12 03:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ladies and Gents,
I again thank you for all your answers and experiences with the use of Dry ice. To those that have suggested for us try the fridge out and see what it does, well, we've owned the coach now for about 15-16 months and have been in some, relatively warm climates. I'd say the max we've been in was round 90-95 degrees. And, yes, the fridge does do a pretty good job. I cannot remember what the inside temps ranged at but, the food was kept pretty good.

We've had "SOME" trouble in keeping ice cream hard but, I attribute that to the chemical makeup of some ice creams. Some have more cream, water, etc. in them so it makes a difference in just how hard they get and how cold the freezer gets.

But, since not many places sell dry ice around where we live, I don't plan on getting any right now. But, my intent on the original question was to try and find out what, if any, was going to be any issues if I were to try and use dry ice, in the event the outside temps were so hot the fridge "COULD NOT" keep up with that kind of weather. For those of you that have the inside of your fridge at 34 degrees while in Vegas summer weather, I have to applaud that. That's incredible. We've owned two truck and campers, and four motor homes and have NEVER had any fridges that were capable of sustaining that kind of temp in that kind of weather.

I was always lead to believe that those (any absorption type)fridges are usually only capable of bringing down the inside temp of a fridge to around 50 degrees less than the ambient air temp. So, if you're running around in 100 degree weather, I was lead to believe that the fridge would hover around 50, inside. Must be they've made considerable improvements in the last few years/decades.
Oh well, thanks again to all who've responded. The question was more of a "I wonder if it would work" type thing than a " I'm on my way to the store to buy some dry ice, will it work?" type question.

We'll see down the road.
Scott



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FIRE UP

Ramona, CA. USA

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Posted: 07/22/12 04:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Roger that Sir, thanks a heap for getting back to me on this. If I get a chance to try the dry ice thing, I'll make sure I've got some newspaper for insulation.
Scott

wolfe10

Texas

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Posted: 07/22/12 03:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Probably 4 sheets for freezer and 8 or so for refrigerator. If big block of dry ice, more insulating sheets.

FIRE UP

Ramona, CA. USA

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Posted: 07/22/12 03:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wolf and others,
Just for grins, when you say wrap it in newspaper, how many wraps? I mean, 5,10, 20, 1/4" thick??? Just an esitmate would be fine. Thanks
Scott

gfs1943

Whitney, Texas

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Posted: 07/22/12 05:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you do use it in the refrigerator section, you may want to put the wrapped dry ice as high up in the fridge as possible, as the cold will sink toward the bottom.

I find it hard to believe you don't know much about dry ice. Since you are a former USAF firefighter, I'd think you've used a CO2 fire extinguisher to quick-cool a case of beer!


gfs1943
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