Best cooler for van camping?

hi, we will be setting off for Colorado from Vermont later in September to visit family… Toyota Sienna van, sleep in van. taking our time.
Does anyone have a reccommendation for the best cooler ?
We do have a Yeti, but not a big one and you can’t fit much in it.

Hey there Rosie - I wish I could be of more expertise, but I found my Coleman Cooler on the side of the road haha The Dyrt’s actually written an article about the best camping coolers:

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I have heard good reviews from the extreme 5 day coolers and from experience, Marine coolers with high day ratings are usually good. Getting your food off the bottom with a rack is a good idea. Ice packs vs. Ice (which melts and leaves everything damp and there are some pretty good hacks on the internet (love the WWW) for taking a cooler and beefing it up with spray foam insulation (something I have a plan for on my current cooler). On the upside, you’ll be heading to CO. in Sept so you wont be hitting super hot days :wink:

I have a Dometic, which runs off a car battery, but is designed to shut off before draining it and leaving you stranded. Since it is electric, no ice is required, which leaves more space for food. It is expensive and the purchase would only make sense if you were use it after this trip.

I use it all the time, not just camping. It is a mobile second fridge. Has come in handy for shopping trips in hot weather, veggie pickups, and van beer storage for local missions. When my main freezer died on Jan 1 one year, I was so happy to have it. I probably saved $400 worth of food.

I used to have an older (>10 years old) Coleman electric cooler, I liked it but it still needed ice for long trips, and the cooling element stuck out a bit so arranging food was sometimes a Tetris game. I bet the newer version in that article has improved on this, it has been a while!

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If you already have a yeti then one of the best things you can do is get a second cooler. Keep one for often used items(drinks/snacks) and a separate cooler for your stored food that only gets opened a few times a day. Opening the cooler is one of big things that kills your cold ice.

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We’ve been really happy with our simple Coleman Cooler Xtreme. We’ve used it for multiple days beach camping (end of July Assateague) and didn’t feel like we had to keep refilling it constantly. We used ice, but also 5 gallon milk jugs that were frozen to have water on hand, but also giant block of ice! We didn’t want to pay Yeti prices for one of their larger coolers (even a small one?) so we just went traditional. It has really held up well.

First off, I know this is an old topic, but it is a good one that kind of bears being brought up again I hope.

I had an old Igloo 5 day cooler, the grayish blue 60qt with wheels that easily kept ice for 5 days in summer sun. Unfortunately it seems to have been loaned out who knows where and I haven’t seen another like it. The top and sidewalls were oddly thick for the time it was made prior to the whole Yeti thing going on…

I tried a Coleman 5 day rolling cooler that was an absolute joke. Which oddly enough my giant Coleman Extreme I think it’s 120 qt IS a great cooler, but the roller 50qt I have is garbage without doing the foam fill lid mod, and even then it was sketchy. I use it for holding beer for BBQs now…

I landed on after a good amount of recommendation, the Lifetime 55qt High Performance cooler, kind of a Yeti clone, but not. It has features the Yeti lacks and vice versa, is USA made, and doesn’t come with the Yeti price tag.

A common complaint about this cooler is liquid leakage if the cooler gets tipped over. Mine has yet to do that. There is rumor the lid / seal design changed sometime last year prior to me buying mine.

I’ve had some difficulty with my fridge / freezer and the warranty company. I had to put frozen food in it, and I was able to hold it, in indoor temps in the house, out of the sun obviously, for 5 days while the repairs went on, with absolutely ZERO noticeable thaw of anything in the cooler.

Since you will be in a van, keep the interior of the van from getting hot, use literally any quality cooler, and use it properly and you should be fine.