The older I get, the more conveniences I seem to acquire and a portable ice maker is just another example. We are social campers, meaning, we mostly camp with other families and are often in private campgrounds with hook ups. It also means we go through a lot of beverages!
Regardless of our camp set up we like to keep our beverages in a cooler packed with ice. Nothing says camping like digging around in freezing water and being rewarded with a cold beer. Keeping that cooler full of ice during a hot summer trip is really the only stress we have camping so we decided to buy a portable ice maker. I do agree, if this is our biggest stress, then life is great!
We bought the Salton Ice Maker which claims to produce 11.8 kg of ice in a 24 hour period. That seemed like a great promise and we’re excited to try it. After cleaning and preparing the machine we set it up for our first outing. Here are some tips and tricks that we have learned along the way.
It takes a while for the machine to get cold enough to make ice at the speed it claims so be patient. Once it gets in the groove the ice produces quickly and lasts longer. We always select the larges cubes so if you need cubes faster you could select the smaller size.
The reservoir has a minimum and maximum level that must be maintained. Like most people we are away from our site for hours at a time and would return to an empty reservoir. The good thing is the machine continues to keep the ice that has been made cold, and knows to shut off the ice making system. Because you have to continue to fill the reservoir we cannot confirm how much ice actually gets produced in 24 hour but I can say it does make it fast so the claim is likely true.
Adivse we can now give:
- Keep a jug of water next to the machine and top it up whenever you walk by.
- Turn the ice making function of the machine off at night. The sound of the ice dumping and refilling is very loud in a metal trailer. By turning off only the ice making function it allows the machine to stay cold and quickly start making full cubes in the morning.
- Share: our first trip was for a week with several other families. This machine was able to keep ice in our drink cooler while supplying extra ice for our friends. That really says a lot for this small machine.
We don’t take the ice maker on every trip. If we are only going away for the weekend it’s not worth it but for anything 4 days or more in the heat of the summer we have found it has saved us from daily trips for overpriced bags of ice.
There are many ice makers on the market and if you camp often I would say it is worth the small investment ($150-$200). Here is a link to amazons ice makers. Read the reviews and decide which one is best for you.