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I bought a raft over the winter, mostly for fishing, but we'd also like to take some overnight or longer trips this summer. We'll be using dry bags for things like clothes, sleeping bags, tents, etc., and we have a large Igloo cooler for cold food storage, but I'm still looking for ideas for semi-dry storage for mostly kitchen items like utensils, skillets, DO, spices, etc, in additon to dry food like bread, chips, cookies, etc.

The boat is a 13' SB Otter w/ oar frame that has a rear storage compartment, the rower's compartment, and the front storage compartment under the front seat. The inside width of 33" between the tubes pretty much eliminates any drybox I've found so far, so I'm looking into other options to store those miscellaneous items I listed above. One thing I'm thinking of is a medium-sized action packer from Rubbermaid. The width and height look good for our boat, and I'm guessing that with some very thin weatherstripping applied around the rim, it should stay pretty dry inside.

Anyone else that was in a similar situation care to share your solution?
 

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Check out this link:
Recretec Aluminum Dry Box River Connection

They have 13"x16"x26" and 16"x16"x26" dry boxes. The description also says 'custom sizes available' so they might make one to your exact specs.

You can also call Recretec at (541) 746-8233, 4660 Main St
Springfield, OR 97478.

Fromntier play also has a 24"L x 12"W x 16"H dry box for $140:
Aluminum dry box for raft cataraft captain side box M - eBay (item 280178974918 end time Feb-27-08 08:54:54 PST)

I have heard that the action packer with a bulb seal minimizes splashes, but isn't dry. You could also check out:
DRY BOX - NO MORE WET GEAR!
 

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I've used an action packer as the kitchen box for years. I don't keep paper towels in it or stuff that HAS to stay dry, but its great for pots,pans and dishes. I've been meaning to add a weatherstrip, but never got around to it.

That box that raftus linked to on the bottom looks worth checking out. Anybody tried one?
 

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We have the same boat, and this is what I got for kitchen stuff:

NRS Expedition DriDuffel - Dry Bag

All other dry food goes in dry bags. Cookies and stuff can just go in sandwich containers in the dry bag to keep them from crushing.

Dry boxes are tough in that little otter, also it seems the height from floor to frame is pretty small.

RiverConnection.com sells cambridge boxes that are 26" wide, also custom. the nice thing with this is you can choose the height from the bottom for the ears that sit on the cross bars, so even with a short floor/frame distance you should be able to make it work.
 

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I used to use those waterproof gamma lids on top of 5 gallon buckets for altenative dry storage, but now they're started building different containers with those lids:

Gamma Vittles Vault Pet Food Container at PETCO


They're cheap and dry- the lids are about 12" in diameter, so it's wide enough to get smaller plates in them. Great for dry goods like bread, fruit, etc.; but you shouldn't be stepping on them.

Here's where to find a bunch of them: Dog Food Storage - PetFoodDirect
 

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Here is a link to another source of Vittle Vaults.

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/search.asp?search=vittle+vault&x=8&y=10

I used to use those waterproof gamma lids on top of 5 gallon buckets for altenative dry storage, but now they're started building different containers with those lids:

Gamma Vittles Vault Pet Food Container at PETCO


They're cheap and dry- the lids are about 12" in diameter, so it's wide enough to get smaller plates in them. Great for dry goods like bread, fruit, etc.; but you shouldn't be stepping on them.

Here's where to find a bunch of them: Dog Food Storage - PetFoodDirect
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for the replies everyone.

jbl - i want to look into the action packer a little more. if that doesn't pan out, i just might take you up on the york pack. it looks like it would be perfect for our application.
 

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And on a related topic of what to do with the food after it has been processed, I've heard of people using the large Vittle Vaults for a groover. Never tried it myself.

Now that I think about it, you my be able to get the Gamma seal lids from AAA or maybe Downriver
 

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I've used multiple action packers with weatherstriping (strip on the lid pressed against a strip on the main rim. I also own an expensive custom kitchen box (for my seat)

The big action packer (biggest one they make i think) fits perfectly between my tubes (14' cat) as the rear seat. I also use the smallest action packers for personal gear tha can get slightly wet.

I have done some serious trips and never had more than 1/2 cup of water (no flips but multiple high sides) Middle Fork, westwater, main salmon, hells canyon, numbers, browns....you get the idea. Class 4 compatible.

i think it is a great option!
 

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Waterproofing a Rubbermaid 48 Gallon Action Packer

I need to resurrect this topic, since I'm about to go this route myself in using this as a dry box for rafting, but with the XL 48 Gallon Rubbermaid Action Packer. I first thought of waterproofing an Action Packer after seeing one used as outdoor water resistant storage outside where I work and thought it had good potential to be waterproofed since it has deep channels that could accept some sort of sealant well and I didn't want to spend a fortune on a traditional metal dry box.

So I did some research on waterproofing an AP and couldn't find much, and this is the first I've heard of anyone waterproofing the larger Action Packer, I saw another site where someone waterproofed the smallest AP using silicone gasket maker to make the waterproof seal. But being that I have a much larger area to seal than the smaller one they used, I wonder if that route would work for me. If anyone else has experience with this please feel free to share and let me know what you used. The person in the thread attached mentions weatherstripping, and I'm curious to know exactly what type they used, is this a pre-made strip with some type of adhesive built in that you just affix to the surfaces? This would be much easier than applying sealant and if its a successful possibility, I'd like to get more info.

To anyone else reading, any other ideas would be appreciated as well since I'm new to do-it-yourself waterproofing. Thanks.

Colleen

I've used multiple action packers with weatherstriping (strip on the lid pressed against a strip on the main rim. I also own an expensive custom kitchen box (for my seat)

The big action packer (biggest one they make i think) fits perfectly between my tubes (14' cat) as the rear seat. I also use the smallest action packers for personal gear tha can get slightly wet.

I have done some serious trips and never had more than 1/2 cup of water (no flips but multiple high sides) Middle Fork, westwater, main salmon, hells canyon, numbers, browns....you get the idea. Class 4 compatible.

i think it is a great option!
 

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You got it Colleen...just simple hardware store weatherstripping (closed cell foam) with the adhesive (about $5 job). The stuff thats about 1/2" wide and 1/4" tall (normally grey color or white color). The weatherstripping adhesive by itself lasted 2 season. Then i replaced it and supplemented the pre-exisitng adhesive with aquaseal the second time (been 6 years since that)

I placed a strip on the lid groove and then one of the box channel, so they both pressed agianst each other. The lid closed very tightly. I'm sure just doing the lid would be work fine also.

have fun
 

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Waterproofing a Rubbermaid Action Packer

Interesting, the pre-made foam strip originally came to mind because it was a much easier route to go instead of applying sealant, clamping and curing it and hoping the seals were tight after it was dry. But I ruled it out because I didn't think the closed-cell foam strip would be durable thinking the self-adhesive would wear away soon since it was exposed to sun and water frequently. A few more questions for you:

-Is your experience with the largest XL 48 gallon Action Packer that I have?

-With your weatherstipping, do you feel you still have to tighten the lid down with ratchet straps to get a 100% seal or is it usually good on its own just using the normal one lid clamp on the 48 gallon Action Packer and your seals?


Colleen

You got it Colleen...just simple hardware store weatherstripping (closed cell foam) with the adhesive (about $5 job). The stuff thats about 1/2" wide and 1/4" tall (normally grey color or white color). The weatherstripping adhesive by itself lasted 2 season. Then i replaced it and supplemented the pre-exisitng adhesive with aquaseal the second time (been 6 years since that)

I placed a strip on the lid groove and then one of the box channel, so they both pressed agianst each other. The lid closed very tightly. I'm sure just doing the lid would be work fine also.

have fun
 

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I was on a trip recently where actionpackers were used for kitchen stuff, and no weather stripping was used. I suppose if you flip you might get some moisture in there, but as others say, just don't put your paper towels (or coffee filters) in there.

L
 

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Exactly...ihowent said, i would put pans, and random gear in there (also food in 5 gallon paint bucket with lids).

I have th 48 gallon version. The red handle would tighten perfectly (enough to keep out water). I had 2 straps to hold it into my drop compartment (craddle style) but these were jsut snugged down.

It is like a $5 job....give'er a try adn if not satisfied then stry something else. All my buddies (4-5 rafts) use action packers to substitute the $500 kitchen boxes.

weather stripping lost a little of its "recoil" memory over the 8 years...but still works great.
 

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More on York Packs

Got several of the smaller type many years ago— great. I space the crossbars on my frames so the York Packs drop in— really simple to rig. Besides river trips, I've used 'em as checked bags for air travel and for car camping, etc. If you wait for sales, you can find 'em for decent prices.

The only maintenance so far is replacing the gaskets (black closed-cell foam, available at local stores) about every 2-3 years. In really hot weather the gaskets can skate around or separate at the ends, particularly if someone sits on the box.

Only leak was on a Grand Canyon trip when me and my Pack Cat parted company in a really big hole. According to witnesses, the boat shot up high in the air (while I stayed under, communing with the river gods). Anyhow, the extreme pressure shifts evidently caused the box to flex which sucked in a quart or two.

That's the big diff between flexible plastic containers and those rigid $$$ aluminum boxes. If you flip in holes or other turbulence, almost any container that flexes will suck water. Those plastic buckets with gasketed lids are pretty rigid, but the lids flex.

For stuff that I want to stay absolutely dry, I got one of those small personal aluminum dryboxes (made by Cambridge Welding, I think) from Cascade Outfitters— about $80-90. Sweet!
 

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You might try 5 gal plastic buckets with Gamma Seal lids.

Oops... File Can't Be Found

The York boxes work great, also.
I'm a big fan of gamma lids and no I'm not a product rep.
They're super light and water-proof (survived many flips and dumps). You can easily find different size buckets with the lids. I use them for kitchen, dry-food, smaller camp supplies, and yes......a groover (don't forget the wagbag though). I agree....don't step on them though.....but heck if you do.....they're super cheap and the bucket is too so yes, don't stress a cracked lid.
Ammo can vs. bucket w/ gamma lid = no contest
 

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I've used multiple action packers with weatherstriping (strip on the lid pressed against a strip on the main rim. I also own an expensive custom kitchen box (for my seat)

The big action packer (biggest one they make i think) fits perfectly between my tubes (14' cat) as the rear seat. I also use the smallest action packers for personal gear tha can get slightly wet.

I have done some serious trips and never had more than 1/2 cup of water (no flips but multiple high sides) Middle Fork, westwater, main salmon, hells canyon, numbers, browns....you get the idea. Class 4 compatible.

i think it is a great option!
What size weatherstripping did you use to “waterproof” your action packer boxes?
Thanks.
 
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