Wel­come to the lat­est in our re­cent line ( Club Cor­ner, 4 Work or Play) of ser­vice fea­tures. Cun­ning Hacks is con­trib­u­tor Richard Soult’s idea. But if you’ve got a good idea you’d like to share with your fel­low four-wheel­ers we’d love to hear from you.

On a re­cent South Is­land road trip with my fa­ther, we were faced with the usual chilly bin prob­lem. Wa­ter slop­ping around in the bot­tom of the bin, re­mov­ing la­bels from pack­ag­ing and drown­ing all the con­tents. His in­sis­tence of buy­ing eggs only made mat­ters worse and af­ter sev­eral days on the road, the rit­ual of drain­ing and clean­ing the bin and its con­tents was wear­ing thin. Be­ing an en­gi­neer, he was set on find­ing a so­lu­tion and what a bril­liant one he came up with. The next day we stopped in Cromwell and armed with the mea­sure­ments, set off in search of plas­tic boxes to con­tain the ice and var­i­ous food and drink items. Thanks, Sis­tema. We were very pleased to find six Sis­tema boxes that were not only a per­fect fit hor­i­zon­tally but ver­ti­cally as well. We filled the bot­tom two with ice. The two were just the right size for one bag of ice. This left us four boxes for meat, dairy, beers and var­i­ous other items. As well as be­ing a per­fect fit, we had room in the mid­dle for a cou­ple of bot­tles of wine and milk. Back on the trail, we be­gan to no­tice that as the ice was melt­ing it was mov­ing from side to side on the rough tracks, mak­ing a ter­ri­ble noise. Once again my fa­ther put his mind to the prob­lem and quickly found a pos­si­ble so­lu­tion. Sponges! Sponges? We stopped at the next ser­vice sta­tion and bought four large car wash­ing sponges. There is just enough room to squeeze them in with a full load of ice and as the ice melts, the sponges ab­sorb the wa­ter, cut­ting out all the noise. All in all, a very sim­ple so­lu­tion to a prob­lem ex­pe­ri­enced by ev­ery­one who has been on a multi- day ex­pe­di­tion.

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