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Keep Your Fridge Freezer Clean

ARB Fridge Freezer
Outdoors folks know how challenging it can be to keep food and other perishables chilled properly. Youíre constantly adding ice and putting up with soggy food that fell into the big puddle at the bottom of your cooler. After each camping weekend, you turn to your better half and yell, ďThereís gotta be a better way!Ē Thankfully, there is.

Amazing as it may sound, you can buy a refrigerator/freezer for your vehicle. Known as a fridge freezer, itís about the size of an ice chest on steroids and runs on 12 volts. Most have dual capability with two separate power cords so they can run off 120 volts while parked near established power.

Theyíre called fridge freezers because they can do both. A dial lets you set the temperature to either chill or freeze. You canít do both, like your machine at home. (Some units out there are just refrigerators. If you want to keep food frozen, make sure you buy the proper type.)

Fridge freezers are surprisingly efficient. I often run mine even when the car is parked in the garage. I usually plug it into an outlet, but a few times I let it run off the car battery. Itíll run upwards of four days before draining the battery.

Mold
I have owned an Engel brand for many years, but am quite partial to the redesigned ARB fridge freezer . The latest version incorporates all the features that are missing from the Engel. Overland Journal magazine, in its summer 2010 issue, gave the ARB its Value Award.

Like the fridge in your home, the fridge freezer must be maintained or mold will build up. That's what happened with mine. As youíll note from the photos, most of the mold occurred at the bottom. The mat was encrusted pretty well, also, and there was some mold along the seam.

What to do if you have mold

What if you have mold? Donít panic. While the inside of your fridge may look like something out of a horror movie, you donít need any special effects to remove it.

Mold
A rag and some hot, soapy water did the trick for me. Water with a touch of bleach is supposed to work well, but keep it away from the rubber seal. I have heard that a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water works well in a spray bottle, too. Let it sit for 10 minutes and wipe it off.

Use an old toothbrush for mold along the seam or stubborn spot. Actually, most any softer brush will do. Avoid using a metal object like a butter knife, as you can damage the lining.

How to prevent mold build up

Mold forms where moisture and food are, so eliminate both. Double-bag meat and other juicy foods, and wipe up any leakage or spillage. As long as the inside stays dry and clean, there is little chance for mold to form.

Mold
If youíre not using the fridge, empty it, and clean it as needed. Prop the lid so the unit vents properly. Some people roll the edge of transit bag over and tuck that under the lid. On the new ARB, just push the latch in first to prevent the lid from closing completely. I often use a paint stir stick. Itís about 1/8Ē thick, but thatís enough to allow air to flow into the unit.

Once you return home, clean the fridge thoroughly and Ė assuming you wonít keep it running Ė leave the lid propped open. If you have problems with strong smells leave a tray of baking soda in the bottom until your next use.

Is the mold harmful? Probably not, especially in the amounts youíre likely to find in your fridge freezer. Even so, if youíre really sensitive to mold, you may want to wear a mask or (my favorite) ask someone else to clean your fridge.

Once you purchase a fridge freezer, you wonder how you got by without it. Spend a few moments on cleaning, and youíll be assured of many happy trips outdoors.



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Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

Did you miss the previous articles? If so, read them here



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2011 Schedule

Rubicon
We are working on our event schedule for 2011. Look for it on the web site late August or early September. In the meantime if you have any requests for events or training next year, send us an email.


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Rocks Clinic September 12


Rocks Clinic Example

This is the last Rock Clinic this year. Held in Johnson Valley, this is an introduction to Rock crawling but it is not on "baby" rocks. We take our time and stress careful wheel placement. We use spotters for difficult sections. You learn by inspecting the obstacle and predicting the line; by watching others try their line; by experiencing it yourself; and by the coaching. We recommend you repeat the training several times. You will be much more relaxed the second time over the same obstacles and you will pick up on little details missed the first time. More Details...


You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Rocks


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Winch Clinic October 3, 2010


Now what

This one day clinic starts with the basics but goes way beyond. By the end of the day you will be safely rigging some complex recoveries. The course covers: safety related issues, basic operation of the winch, simple and complex riggings, stuck assessment, winch capability, and minimizing environmental impact. This is a hands on class. More Details...


You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Winch


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Death Valley October 8


Death Valley

The Death Valley Adventure starts October 8th. This is a 4 day trip on the back roads in Death Valley. We will drive the Panamint Mountains, visit Badwater Basin (lowest spot in North America), visit Chloride Ghost town, Titus Canyon, check out Ubehebe Crater, Teakettle junction, The Race Track & Lippencott Mine Road, camp in the Warm Springs and leave via Steal Pass up to the high meadows, then take Dedeckera Canyon down to the Eureka Sand Dunes. All four days will see some light to moderate 4-wheeling. Much of the trip is quite remote with no cell service.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/Deathvalley.html


You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Deathvalley


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Mojave Road October 30


Mojave Road

On October 30th we will follow the Old Mojave Road for 3 days. This was the earliest wagon road into California. This time we will run it west to east just like the old miners going to the gold fields near the Colorado River. We will visit tons of history and see some incredible views. More Details


You can register directly at http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Mojave


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NEW: T&T Rail Road Adventure in November


Death Valley

Be the first to go on this trip with me and debug it for the next group!
Our goal is to cross through Johnson Valley, enjoying what it has to offer, and making our way North along the old Tonopah & Tidewater (T&T) Rail Road bed to the Rasor OHV, Afton Canyon and the western edge of the Mojave Preserve. On the way we will skirt the Rodman Mountain Wilderness and cross I-40. This adventure is 2 days of scenic, historical, light wheeling and a night ( 2 if you prefer) of primitive camping under the stars. We can plan a Dutch Oven pot luck for our evening meal.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/TTRailroad.html


You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#TTRailroad


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Facebook

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Check out the 4 minute video on the Badlands Off-Road Home page

And look at the new slide show on the home page. (Another example of our bright web master's work! For best viewing us I.E. His code is not too swift on Firefox.)




I hope to see you on the trails!

Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc
4-Wheel Drive School
310-374-8047
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Make it Safe.

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Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information:

Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2010, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.





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