There’s nothing like sipping on an ice cold drink when that sweltering summer sun won’t seize. But when you’re traveling in an RV, access to a steady stream of ice can be hard to come by. Luckily, portable ice makers let you beat the heat no matter where you are! So skip the frequent ice runs to the nearest convenience store during your next camping adventure and consider getting a portable ice maker for your RV!
Before You Buy
You’ll want to do some research before making your purchase and decide on how much you’d like to spend on your ice maker. Design and operation are relatively universal across all options, but some of the most popular brands include NewAir, Igloo, Magic Chef, and Dometic. The price for one of these units can range anywhere from $65 to $300 dollars. Remember, in most cases you get what you pay for, so go with a level of quality that you trust, preferably one that includes some type of warranty. For around $100 you should be able to get an effective unit that lasts years if properly maintained.
How They Work
You can use a portable ice maker anywhere you have a power source, and you won’t need a water line. Traditional portable ice makers have two chambers. One is the reservoir that water gets poured into and the other is the chamber where ice collects. Ice makers are most often designed to make ice, not store it, meaning the ice collection chamber is not heavily insulated or regulated so the ice will eventually melt if left too long. You can choose to stock up on ice by putting it in ziplock bags in your RV’s freezer, or you can just let the ice melt and the water will be diverted back into the reservoir to be reused. Most units start kicking out ice 10-20 minutes after being plugged in, and on average, they can produce up to 35 pounds of ice in a day.
Portable ice makers won’t just make it easier to beat the heat, they make it cheaper too! Even though a bag of ice can typically be found for less than $5, these costs add up over time, especially if you’re a frequent traveler who buys lots of bagged ice. With an ice maker, you can eliminate added expenses and the hassle of having to get in your car and seek out ice. If you often spend money on bagged ice, regardless of if you’re traveling or not, a portable ice machine will pay for itself in the long run.
When you’re traveling in an RV, every bit of storage space counts so you’ll need to factor in the bulk of one of these machines before buying. A decent chunk of countertop space will be needed if you’re going to operate it indoors, but they can also be used outside too. Just be sure you keep it out of the sunlight as much as possible. During travel, your ice makers can easily be stored in your RV’s tub or in one of the storage compartments.
When happy hour is on the horizon and you’re suddenly getting quite thirsty, don’t bother scrambling for ice. Just plug in your portable ice maker and get ready to fire up the margarita maker! Beating the heat in the great outdoors has never been easier! Do you use a portable ice maker when you travel? Let us know how they work for you in the comments!
For more tips on how to beat the heat, check out these amazing recipes for avoiding the oven!