When we travel, there are some things we like to keep cold. At times this has been a challenge – especially when we stay at a place that does not have a refrigerator. We have tried using an ice-chest style cooler but there has been ice leakage from time to time and we have had mixed results with the re-freezable cubes in terms of how cold they actually will keep the contents of an ice chest and with no fridge in the room one can not refreeze them for the next day.
A couple years back we came upon a Rubbermaid Thermo-Electric Travel Cooler & Warmer which both cools like a refrigerator and warms like an oven. Likewise, it operates on the power of the automobile plug and has an adapter for regular house current.
When we found it, it had never been used and came at a price point that made it an immediate candidate for experimentation. We have used it to keep drinks and food cold and even used it as an ersatz refrigerator when we stay in a room that does not offer a refrigerator as part of the accommodation package.
Yes, it is small, but holds more than a regular cooler as it does not need ice or ice packs. It is adequate for the two of us.
A few weeks ago, we discovered yet another Rubbermaid Thermo-Electric Travel Cooler & Warmer at about the same cost and again virtually unused.
This has enabled us to have one heater and one cooler. Both operate off the car’s cigarette lighter port, and also have converter units so we can plug them into a wall socket at home or at a motel.
The instructions say that for best performance, we are to plug in the units approximately two hours before loading to give them time to warm up or cool down. To give them a head start and improve performance, we try to pre-chill / freeze or preheated food and beverages
Generally, the units will cool to as much as 40°F below the surrounding temperature. To ensure optimum performance, we always keep them out of direct sunlight when running on the cold cycle. The warm cycle actually will warm to as much as 120°F.
On cold days, they generally need a bit more time to reach maximum warm temperatures. Conversely, on warm days, we use frozen ice packets to give it a bit of a head start. These are particularly helpful in keeping it cold – especially while it is unplugged.
The Rubbermaid Thermo-Electric Travel Cooler & Warmer can be used with most food and beverages, either cold or hot. Use with standard household containers or ready-to-use food and drink packaging. For cooling it can be used with all kinds of beverages – in cans or bottles as well as for salads, meats, condiments, fruit and dairy products.
It also can be used as a warmer either to maintain temperatures or to take some items and warm them up for consumption. there is a divider one can position mid way to keep the bottom either more cool or hot than the top area.
They are designed to sit on the floor and even between the seats of some vehicles, and have handy drink holders on top, They also come with a carrying strap – and at 10 pounds, you can sling them over your shoulder in case you have to tote them somewhere.
The Features Include:
BUILT-IN BATTERY AUTO SAVER PREVENTS FULL DISCHARGE OF VEHICLE’S BATTERY
Efficient thermoelectric system cools up to 40 F below ambient temperature and heats to approximately 120 F (depending on surrounding temperature)
Rests on vehicle seat, tailgate hatch or floor for easy access
Plugs into vehicle or boat 12 volt DC outlet or any other 12 volt DC power supply
13 can, 2.3 gallon (9 Liter) capacity
Dual can and cup holders