Best way to rig cooler... - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-03-2015   #1
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 172
Best way to rig cooler...

Curious how folks rig their cooler in a raft or better yet how would you do it with the following...

I have a Maravia Williwaw I with an NRS frame and newer Yeti 110qt cooler. I currently just put it on the floor between two crossbars. I really don't want to use the NRS cradle system.

Is a drop bag the way to go or do folks recommend resting on the lip? Any other options that I may not be considering?

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Old 04-03-2015   #2
90Duck's Avatar
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 426
I just use loop straps to suspend mine. The NRS hangers don't add much value to the equation. The nice part about the NRS frame is you can adjust the cross bar in to squeeze the cooler in so it doesn't twist fore and aft in the bay while suspended by the loops. Sitting directly on the floor is asking for trouble when it's full of cold stuff. Thats a lot of weight.
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Old 04-03-2015   #3
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
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Best practice is to keep the cooler off the floor to reduce wear, pinching and to allow the floor to flex as needed.

I rest mine on straps suspended by the frame crossbars. I use loop straps to hang it and a second set of loop straps across the top. In the past I have used two 9ft straps so support the cooler with a clove hitch around the cross bars to set the height above the floor.
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Old 04-03-2015   #4
FlyingDutchman's Avatar
Hampden, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
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Posts: 338
Hang it wit straps, as said above. Some trial and error to get it just right. But straps are easy to move. If you are setting the straps off the river in your garage or yard, fill the cooler with some weight (beer+ice+people sitting on top drinking beer=properly set cooler). A light cooler will not sit the same as a full cooler at the put-in.
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Old 04-03-2015   #5
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Also keep in mind that your floor will ride higher in the water than on ground. I do think that a drop bag would have some advantage if your cooler isn't tube to tube. The drop bag would make it easier to utilize the space between the tubes and the cooler. I hang my floor through my cooler bay to make rigging easier. The floor has three straps in front and three behind. I used 3/4 ply but should save weight and go 1/2 and run straps underneath the floor as well.
On a smaller boat which has no floor I use a drop bag. It is also very easy to raise and lower which I do as the cooler is my seat.

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Old 04-03-2015   #6
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Tabernash, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
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If you don't mind a little extra weight, a ply wood floor is nice, mine goes past the cooler and dry box by a foot on each end,but to the end of each is fine. With the floor suspended from cross bars with straps or webbing,you only have to run straps over top of cooler and dry box. The major benefit of this method is that you have a nice solid platform to stand on, it protects the floor of your boat, and you can strap things down to it next to you, like rocket boxes, water jugs and propane tanks.Hang ply wood floor so it just touches, or is slightly above the rafts floor.
There may be some risk of additional damage in a really bad rap,but a gear boat would be a mess from that any way.My floor and side boards do greatly enhance river life for me.
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Old 04-03-2015   #7
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,189
I use a couple of pieces of 1" webbing knotted to the exact length with loops tied at either end suspended from the cross bars. And a single cam strap over the top to crank it down. Same for my kitchen box in the back bay.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 04-03-2015   #8
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 172
This qualifies as a stupid question, but when you say "knotted to exact length," what exactly do you mean? I am just not picturing it in my head.
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Old 04-04-2015   #9
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 206
Loop straps work well, as others have said. However I have always found doubled 9' cam straps to work better. Basically run the straps around the two frame members involved and then loosen them to cradle the cooler. Rig it so that the buckles are just a couple inches under the bar on the foot side set to pull upwards to tighten. Use loop straps over the top of the cooler. After you tighten them you can really crank it tight by pulling up on the ends of the bottom straps. Works like a charm. Use wide straps for a big ole honkin' cooler
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Old 04-04-2015   #10
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,780
I tried using cam straps for loops at first, but found on long trips they would tend to loosen and allow the cooler to sit on the floor. So I went to wide trucker straps pop riveted into place with washers. It makes them permanent, but they are bomber and have been in use for many a year.
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