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A ride-on cooler is a means of transportation that can store and cool beverages and other food products. There are two main designs for the motor in the cooler: the electric motor, and the gas-powered lawnmower engine. The ride-on cooler is a combination of a low power, or small electric, engine with a go-cart frame which uses the cooler as a seat.
Gas engine options include 5 and 6.5 hp (3.7 and 4.8 kW) Briggs engines, 6.5 hp (4.8 kW) OHV greyhound Harbor Freight engines, and 6.5 hp (4.8 kW) Honda engines. These small engines can be very powerful, making them suitable for homeowners, recreational users, light-duty professional users, and even racing enthusiasts. The fastest ride-on coolers use modified racing cart engines that produce over 14 hp (10.4 kW) and are capable of speeds exceeding 70 mph (110 km/h). Another option is an electric motor ranging from 250 to 2,000 watts (0.3 to 2.7 hp). The electric motors can be lighter, more energy efficient, and quieter than most gas motors. Without the excess weight of the fuel tank and its contents, the electric-powered coolers can be lighter and silent.
The frame also has two design styles: three wheels with a single steering wheel out front, or four wheels, as in the average go-cart. The steering column of a gas-powered ride-on cooler is very similar to that of a go-cart. One major difference is the position of the steering wheel. For the go-cart, the steering wheel is angled toward the driver, enabling him to sit lower to the ground and maintain control at higher speeds. For the ride-on cooler, the steering column is vertical because the seat is higher and the driver sits more vertical.
The ride-on cooler has the ability to transport food and drinks short distances and can be used in a small backyard, a neighborhood, or at large outdoor parties. The ride-on cooler can be equipped with a trailer hitch, allowing it to tow an extra cooler as a trailer. The extra trailer has more holding capacity than the drivable cooler due to the lack of an engine. The electric ride-on coolers are advertised as being capable of holding 24 12-ounce cans and a bag of ice. The trailer can hold up to 72 of 12 US fl oz (355 ml) cans and a bag of ice. Larger gas-powered coolers are capable of carrying up to 72 drinks and 15 pounds (6.8 kg) of ice in the front cooler compartment.
Both the gas and electric motors can have a wide range of power. The electric motors range from 250 watts (0.3 hp) to 2,000 watts (2.7 hp) and generally use 12- to 60-volt batteries. However, the gas-powered engines range from 33 to 205 cubic centimetres (2.0 to 12.5 cu in). The gas-powered Cruzin Cooler is advertised as having a top speed of 13 miles per hour (21 km/h) and up to 30 miles (48 km) of travel on a single tank of gasoline. It holds up to 1 US gallon (3.79 l; 0.83 imp gal), therefore, the mileage is 30 mpg‑US (7.8 L/100 km). CoolerRacer.com builds a race version with a top speed of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) and a gas tank with enough capacity to last from several hours to all weekend, depending on the speed and terrain to which it is subjected. The size of the engine greatly affects the initial weight of the cooler. The smaller electric engines can weigh as little as 65 pounds (29 kg), and the larger engine's unloaded weight can reach almost 100 pounds (45 kg). Most of the ride-on coolers can support up to 300 pounds (140 kg) while still running at full capacity.
The legal status of the ride-on cooler varies from country to country and in the US from state to state. In some jurisdictions, a driver license is required to operate any form of motor vehicle on public roads, and a driver can be convicted of driving under the influence for riding one.
- "Home of the World's Fastest Cooler". CoolerRacer.com. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
- "Cruzin Cooler Official Site". Cruzincooler.com. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
- "Cooler Scooter Direct. Cooler Scooters for sale". Coolerscooterdirect.com. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
- "Video: Australian man convicted for driving motorised cool box while drunk". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-02-09.