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Equipment Report / Review

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SHANEA

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Equipment Report / Review
« on: February 05, 2006, 05:17:16 PM »
As is SOP on any ATEAM trip to West Texas, I try out a variety of new essential toys to see if they are worthy of being ATEAM rated.  For this trip, we tried block ice in one of the coolers and were really impressed with the longevity.  The ice was used inside a Coleman 150qt MAX5 cooler.

Block ice will now be used as supplemental ice for the coolers.

NOTE: all pictures resized SMALL for your viewing pleasure.  

Sans a flat tire, the 2005 Black Z71 4x4 1500 SLT Avalanche performed very well.  The on-star cell phone worked quite well out in the sticks of BBNP and BBRSP.  The XM radio was very cool - it was nice to have good tunes while crusing around - listening to Top Tracks.  The sun roof was way cool to let in the smells of the country and the heated bun warmers were nice on cool mornngs.











We covered 1820 miles in 39 vehicle hours in the Avalance w/o any problems and averaged about 11mpg towing the R2D2 Starcraft 11Rt trailer.

Flat tire was obviously caused by improper tire inflation.  Turns out my fancy expensive dial tire gauge with hose was off by as much as 20psi and was NOT off in a linear fashion.  Truck tires are rated at 30psi and when checked with a valid gauge had roughly 45psi in them.  The trailer tires are rated at 50psi and had as much as 70psi in them.

The new RVQ II grill on the R2D2 command post tent trailer worked outstandingly.  It worked in high wind conditions, where as the RVQ I went out when the wind was up.  There is a lot more surface area on the RVQ II and the teflon coated grilling surfaces worked equally as well for breakfast or for dinner.  Bacon, sausage, fajitias cooked very well on it and quite quickly.  Clean up was a snap.  We used canned gravy for our biskets and toast again on this trip and although it is not quite as good as the powdered stuff, it is outstanding enough to continue to use as it is quick and easy.  Toast cooked up really nicely on the RVQ II.







Although not it's first trip to West Texas, the R2D2 Starcraft 11RT worked flawlessly at BBNP when we were "dry" camping w/o the benefit of the generator.  Fortunately, it was not too cold that we did not need any real supplemental heat, although we did use the Heater Buddy a morning or two.  We ran entirely off the 12volt battery and conserved juice by limiting the use to strictly the water pump.  The only issue with the Avalanche and the R2D2 was that the R2D2 was not "too level" with the tow vehicle due to all the weight being hauled around.  As with the prior Avalanche, the Timbren body springs will be added soon.  They are already here at the shop ready to be installed.  










I really like the new window/bumper stickers that I picked up at the gas station at PJ.  They look like the Lone Star and Heiniken beer Emblems.





The new equipment tables from Academy really worked out well compared to the tables that I used this summer on an East Texas Trip - that failed.  These are much stronger and are just as light.  I've got away from carrying my heavy tables - I also didn't carry my big/heavy picnic table, just carried the picnic benches.



The new camera that I borrowed from work performed very well.  I was really pleased with the quality of the pictures and the amount of pictures that could be stored in 512mb.  The camera has some really neat automagic picture taking features which are selected from the menu.  The view finder is digital and shows exactly what is going on and the actual display is very large and was pretty easy to read in the day light.  What was really cool about the camera is that we had both the wide angle and telephoto lenses that screwed onto the camera body.  The camera also uses just standard alkaline batteries, although I use rechargables.  



Finally, I saved the best for last, was lighting.  Dr. Lindsey and I tried out our new ATEAM LED hats - the LED is actually built into the brim of the hat and the on/off switch is on the back adjuster.  The hats held up very well, provided a good bit of light, the light was always shining where your eyes were pointing, and we got good milage out of the two nickle sized batteries in it.  This is a definate keeper.  I got this at Lowes before Christmas.  There are also some pictures of a new LED flashlight from Stanley that has six LED's built into it - and it is bright - seeing that it uses 9 AA batteries - stored in the legs.  Was very handy to stand up when cooking, etc.











Thats all for this equipment review - ATEAM field tested and survivied BBRSP and BBNP.   8)

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Offline Casa Grande

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Equipment Report / Review
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2006, 05:58:20 PM »
isn't it nice to have a passion?   :D

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chisos_muse

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Stove Shopping
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2006, 06:44:11 AM »
Tell me more about the RV2 stove pleeze :) Anakin and I had a Coleman Road Trip that worked really well and for some reason I left it with him. Jon and I were looking at them yesterday at Academy.  I've petted that black and white cattle dog mix that lives next to the Roadrunner Deli.....too funny!

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SHANEA

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Actually,
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2006, 04:20:16 PM »
Actually the RVQII stove hooks into the trailers propane system and I doubt you'd want to haul it around.  I also have a Coleman Dual Fuel dual burner stove that I converted over to propane.  I'd rather use propane than fuels that require pumping.  Since you live in SA, you are not far from San Marcos and there is a Colemon outlet store there at the outlet mall - from what I hear, they have some great buys there.  Coleman has a whole new line of various propane stoves/cookers out - everything from little propane grills to a really neat propane skillett.  Heck, they even now have a propane oven out.    http://tinyurl.com/8zshx and a propane slow cooker.  http://tinyurl.com/b2rn8

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Offline Robert

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Equipment Report / Review
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2006, 05:01:32 PM »
I was just up at that store and missed those items. I'm thinking some slow cooked chili would be great for camping.


 I have a Coleman Propane 3 burner.  

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SHANEA

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Great
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2006, 07:13:11 PM »
Those are great stoves, the 3 burner ones.  A buddy of mine has one and it's great to have three things cooking at once.  Chili does sound good, I was thinking a slow cooked roast with taters and tons of carrots would be good - good to have a cooked meal waiting back at camp after a long days hike - already prepared, min. cleanup.

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Ray52

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Equipment Report / Review
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2006, 10:05:02 PM »
Looking through the archives and I couldn't pass this one up.  Shane, you camp better than I live.  What style :!:  :!:  :!: .  And from Ms. Muse's latest pics I think you may really be Captain Kirk.

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Offline Al

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A Great Example!!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2006, 10:29:24 PM »
Talk about having enough stuff!!!  I am put to shame!!!!  Might limit where one camps, but what the hell!

Al

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Offline West Egg

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How to use the block ice?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2006, 10:58:32 PM »
SHANEA,

Exactly how do you use the block ice?  When you move it from the ice-only reserve cooler to the separate food/beverage coolers do you break it into smaller chunks or just chuck the whole block in with the provisions?  I understand why the blocks would last longer than small cubes, but based on my experience with those blue ice packs a large chunk of cold doesn't keep everything within the cooler as chilly as small pieces do.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: How to use the block ice?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2006, 11:15:41 PM »
Quote from: "West Egg"
Exactly how do you use the block ice?  When you move it from the ice-only reserve cooler to the separate food/beverage coolers do you break it into smaller chunks or just chuck the whole block in with the provisions?  I understand why the blocks would last longer than small cubes, but based on my experience with those blue ice packs a large chunk of cold doesn't keep everything within the cooler as chilly as small pieces do.

Hmmm, the Mechanical Engineering graduate in me is reminded of some Heat Transfer tests where this would've been a good question.  Too bad I took that course almost 20 years ago and have just about forgot it all.  My instincts say go with the smaller chunks.  After all, the idea is to transfer the heat from the stuff you're trying to keep cold and the way you do that is by melting the ice (providing that heat from outside sources doesn't contribute to the melting, etc).  Gee, if only I'd gotten a job out of college where I was actively using my degree instead of monkeying with software.  :)

Hey, Viper!  Got any M.E. friends at UT?  Have them go tell Dr. Nichols to add this problem to the list!

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Offline Al

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Block Ice
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2006, 11:31:38 PM »
I'm an Aggie engineer, not an ice expert, but the physics are pretty simple.  My experience is that the block ice lasts longer than cubed ice, but as noted doesn't keep stuff as cold which is why it lasts longer.  The total amount of heat transferred to the ice's surface occurs more slowly because there is less of it, it's a function of surface area.   Block ice has less surface area than the same mass of cubed ice.  Cubed ice will last longer if left in the bag.

A combination of cubed and block ice is my favorite. 5 day ice chests with extra thick lids and insulation are the ONLY way to go to make ice to last longer in practice.  Igloo and Coleman both make them and they don't cost that much more than a regular cooler.  

It never hurts to bring an extra chest full of ice and open it only as needed.  Gallon or 2.5 water gallon containers frozen at home are great and you can use the water when thawed.  Should last for days with a good ice chest.

Al

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SHANEA

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Re: How to use the block ice?
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2006, 11:42:24 PM »
Quote from: "West Egg"
SHANEA,Exactly how do you use the block ice?


I've been out done by the ice physics people.   :oops:

Actually, I just have a 150qt igloo, one of them "max" cold jobs and make sure that everything that goes in there to start with is ice cold - drinks whatever.  Then I put in several blocks of ice and then cram it full of all the provisions and then top off with the cubed ice.  I do not have a individual cooler of just ice so no transferring is involved.  As long as I keep the cooler in the shade, the ice life is greatly extended.  I do a liquid bleach cleaning of the cooler before trips to get rid of any koodys.  When the cooler is packed with raw meat etc. is in zippy bags and in the cooler trays, so we just use the ice in the cooler for drinks, margs, etc.    I'm not too much of a koody germ freak so as long as peoples hands are reasonably clean it's not a problem digging in the cooler for drinks and ice.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Equipment Report / Review
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2006, 11:44:06 PM »
live and learn.....

a buddy of mine and I put some dry ice in one of those gigantic white coolers...all the beer froze solid and few of them exploded.....  :cry:

but, the good news is the chest stayed as a freezer for nearly 5 days in July in Big Bend!

never did that again.....now I use a combo block/cube with one of those extreme coleman chest....it works very very well.

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Offline Al

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Re: How to use the block ice?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2006, 12:01:20 AM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
I do not have a individual cooler of just ice so no transferring is involved. . . .  

With a 150 qt cooler I would hope not!  I'd be proud to sit on that ice chest in a heartbeat and be glad to get up if you needed a cool one.

Al

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SHANEA

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Surprised....
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2006, 12:01:24 AM »
Quote from: "David Locke"
dry ice in one of those gigantic white coolers


I'd thought about doing that in an individual cooler of things that should stay frozen, but I read up on dry ice and it didn't sound like it would work out too well.  But, I think Casa Grande is on to something here.  Time for a little East Texas experiment.

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As a general rule, Dry Ice will sublimate at a rate of five to ten pounds every 24 hours in a typical ice chest. This sublimation continues from the time of purchase, therefore, pick up Dry Ice as close to the time needed as possible. Bring an ice chest or some other insulated container to hold the Dry Ice and slow the sublimation rate. Dry Ice sublimates faster than regular ice melts but will extend the life of regular ice.
http://www.dryiceinfo.com/

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Sublimation of an element or substance is a conversion between the solid and the gaseous phases of matter, with no intermediate liquid stage. Sublimation is a phase transition that occurs at temperatures and pressures below the triple point (see phase diagram).....Carbon dioxide is a common example of a chemical compound that sublimates at atmospheric pressure - a block of solid CO2 (dry ice) set on a table will turn into gas without melting


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublimation_(physics)

Ok, now this is for us campers....

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CAMPING AND TRAVELING WITH DRY ICE

Plan on using 10 to 20 pounds of dry ice for every 24-hour period depending upon the size of the ice chest. Dry Ice will keep everything frozen in this ice chest, including extra ice, so keep non-frozen goods to be refrigerated with regular ice in a separate ice chest. Dry Ice normally comes in 10-inch squares, 2 inches thick weighing about 10 pounds each square. Plan to put one square per each 15 inches of ice chest length. This will work out to 2 squares (20 pounds) for an average 40-quart cooler. For larger containers and longer camping or traveling times, multiply dry ice quantities by these rates. Dry Ice, at -109.0F or -78.5C, will freeze and keep frozen everything in its container until it is completely sublimated. These frozen items will take some extra time to thaw because they have been so cold.

HOW TO PACK DRY ICE
If the Dry Ice is placed on top of the food (cold sinks), it will work better. However it is sometimes in the way so many people prefer to keep the Dry Ice on the bottom of the ice chest for convenience. When packing items in the container fill the empty space with wadded newspaper or other filler. Any "dead air space" will cause the Dry Ice to sublimate faster. The best storage container is a three-inch thick urethane insulated box. Lining the inside of your ice chest with sheets of Styrofoam will increase the life of Dry Ice. Dry Ice sublimation (changing from a solid to a gas) will vary depending on the temperature, air pressure and thickness of insulation. The more Dry Ice you have stored in the container, the longer it will last.


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HOW TO KEEP ICE FOR WEEKS
One camper reports: "I have a 100-quart Coleman that I pack before leaving with a 50-pound block of dry ice and two 25-pound blocks of regular ice on either side of the dry ice. The dry ice is wrapped in many layers of newspaper, which is a marvelous insulator. If the cooler is kept in the shade and covered with a heavy blanket, the dry ice will last from 8-10 days at which time the wet ice first begins to melt. This will then last another 4-5 days. I would be willing to bet that using another method I heard (burying the ice chest in sand) in conjunction with mine would keep the wet ice available for 2-3 weeks. However, there is a downside. (1) Only frozen foods can be kept in the cooler until the dry ice is gone (no beer). (2) Lots of weight -- the whole shebang weighs 100 lbs. sans food. Dry Ice is very dense - a 50 lb. block is the same size as a 25 lb. block of wet ice."

OUTFITTER'S SECRET
Jenifer Trout of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, reveals John Judson of the Quartercircle-Circle Ranch's secret:
My family went with an outfitter on a horse packing trip in Colorado last summer.  On the second night in the wilderness, John lamented that our menu was screwed up because the ice cream was "too frozen".  He pulled it out of the cooler and bounced it on a slab of wood.  It was a brick!  He'd brought the food in 2 small coolers which doubled as stools.  One was for refrigerated food and the other was for frozen food.  Each day, he'd move some food (mostly meat) from the frozen cooler to the refrigerated cooler.  He used no wet ice or ice packs at all.  We had ice cream on our third night out - after it had thawed to an appropriate temperature in the refrigerated cooler.  His trick was a block of dry ice wrapped in news paper - and it worked unbelievably well!


http://www.dryiceinfo.com/camping.htm

 


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