Why we carry a hair dryer around Australia

When you think of travelling around Australia, or camping in general a hair dryer is probably not an item you’d consider taking, but we do.

Hair dryers use an enormous amount of power, and can only be run off mains power, a generator or a fairly substantial battery system and inverter, which is why they’re normally left at home.

We didn’t actually leave Perth with one, but my folks had one in their caravan, and we’ve grabbed it from them as they’ve headed home for a bit.

I believe the reason Dad took a hair dryer was for ‘heat shrink’ which I think is pretty funny, but I digress.

We have a big, beautiful and functional upright fridge, made by Bushman (check out our Bushman Upright Fridge Review). It’s 85L, and I love it, with exception to one thing; it has a chronic frosting problem, and requires defrosting every 3 – 6 weeks, depending on what sort of climate you are travelling in.

Defrosting ice from our fridge
Defrosting ice from our Bushman Fridge

I’ve tried everything to improve this, except for installing a fan inside, and we’ve just accepted the fact that it needs to be regularly defrosting. This used to drive me nuts, and make me so angry at Bushman, until I discovered the perfect use for a hair dryer when camping!

We have two decent sized lithium batteries, and two big inverters and I can plug the hair dryer into our Dmax, or Camper trailer and run it with ease anywhere, and that’s pretty awesome.

Instead of a hugely drawn out exercise where we’d turn the fridge off and open the door, and wait more than an hour for things to start defrosting whilst worrying about getting food poisoning, its so much faster.

I turn the fridge off, and remove any dairy and frozen items in the freezer, leaving just the fruit, vegetables, drinks and anything that isn’t going to matter if it gets a few degrees warmer. Sarah has a snack bag in the front with her that is insulated, so I dump that, put everything inside and zip it up, and it stays perfectly cold.

I then slide the lid of a fishing tub into the fridge under the frosted up section, and turn the hair dryer on full bore, to carefully defrost the ice. I’m conscious of the fact that I don’t want to get anything hot, and by moving it around a bit you can make the ice melt fairly quickly.

Once its able to be grabbed in chunks, I manually remove as much as I can (not using any tools, as you risk puncturing the refrigerant lines) and then shut the fridge door, and let any on top drip down.

Removing ice from our fridge
We pull a heap of ice out every 3 – 4 weeks

When I’m happy with no ice or water being left in the fridge, I wipe it all down with a towel, turn it back on and put everything back in. This takes less than 20 minutes now, and despite the fact that you shouldn’t have to do this, its by far the easiest, and least frustrating way to deal with it.

We’ve also used the hair dryer to defrost our 82L Evakool chest unit, which is being run as a full freezer. We only do this if its starting to struggle a bit, and has a big layer of ice around the fins, which has been about every 8 – 10 weeks.

82L Evakool Freezer full
The hair dryer is handy for doing our freezer too, when you have no where to put the food

So, whilst we wouldn’t take a hair dryer travelling for any other reason, its proved to be invaluable and when they returned home, I forgot to give it back. That means its ours now, right?!

Do you take a hair dryer?!

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