Have a camping cooler that’s falling apart? The camping cooler repair page has some ideas on how to fix it.

Discover little know secrets to improve on the design of your camping cooler. 

All about camping cooler repair.

Here’s my sad but true story: A couple of years ago I needed a new cooler for a trip I was planning. I purchased an Igloo “marine” brand cooler.

First, unlike its predecessor it didn't come with a storage bin insert. Second, you cannot lock down the lid as there is no latch. Third, the strap that keeps the lid from opening too far is of poor quality so that it always makes the lid drop on your hands when you take things in and out. Fourth, the hinge is made of plastic, so, maybe picking it up by the lid when dumping out ice is a bad idea. Lastly, the first time I used it, I pulled the cooler by the handle towards the back of the vehicle and the handle ripped off. The manufacturer used a sheet metal screws, not even the type specifically for plastic.

However, the one thing this Igloo camping cooler does well is keep my food and beverages cold and the ice lasts a long time!


Are you in the market for new cooler, but don't know which features to look for?

Then read this page on: How to pick a camping cooler that’s right for you.


At this point you may be wondering….why not return the cooler to the store?

No, I can’t stand going back to any store to return stuff…especially if I have to wait in line to do so. Besides, what could I replace it with? Another one just like it or similar? I don’t think so!

It’s time to be creative and it's easy to do if you follow the camping cooler repair section.

This is why Home Depot or your local Hardware Store were invented….for reconstruction specialists like you.

Fixing a broken hinge is easy with the camping cooler repair section: The first thing I did after the hinge broke was go online to order a factory replacement. It was over $8 +shipping for the same hinge. Instead I went to Home Depot and found a coated steel hinge package for $2.67.

Stainless Steel would have been better but 2 of the holes on this type lined up perfectly with the old hinge. I just fastened the 2 of the holes and drilled 2 new holes.

Good as new and I’m sure I’ll get more life out of this new hinge.

Time to replace that cooler lid strap: That plastic strap that keeps the lid from opening too far drove me crazy! The strap is there to keep the lid from opening too far to protect the hinges .

Unfortunately, the strap is too short! No problem, the camping cooler repair section can help.

Every time I’d open the lid to grab an ice cold frosty beverage the lid would slam down on my hand. It sort of reminded me of when mom would smack my hand when I was reaching for cookies in the cookie jar before dinner.

I found an adjustable nylon strap and, using the same holes, fastened that using a couple stainless steel flat washers under the screw head. Works beautifully!



Did the handle break/rip off your Coleman cooler? I don’t have a Coleman cooler with the roller type handle but my friends do. The handle broke off their cooler after a few days of use.

First they knocked out the plugs from the part mounted directly to the cooler, which seems to be very sturdy. Then they bought a thick piece of nylon rope, slid it through the holes, and tied a knot on each end to prevent the rope from sliding out.

They claim it works much better since they can now tie down the cooler better when they use it on their fishing boat. The cooler doesn’t slide around even when they pull the boat onto the trailer.

Did the handle break/rip off your Igloo cooler? The handle on my new Igloo cooler ripped out on the first day. I went to Home Depot and bought a "screw & bolt" toilet anchor kit.

I drilled out the handle holes all the way through with a 1/4" bit, so the brass threaded bolt could slide through from the inside. I put a large stainless steel flat washers on both sides of the bolt with the plastic washer up against the inside of the cooler.

Fasten the handle with the brass nuts over the washers first. Careful not to over tighten the nuts and squish/crack the cooler walls.

The whole idea behind the camping cooler repair section is to save some money.

It turns out the brass bolt is longer than it needs to be. At this point just screw on the “capped” nuts, rather than cutting the bolts. (see photos below).

The capped nuts will protect your knuckles. Done, better than new!

Latch broke too? Or, need to add one! If you lid fits tight you probably don’t need to replace the latch.

Sometimes it's difficult to find a latch that has a lower profile and doesn’t stick out too far. It just tends to get caught on things. Just look for a latch called "draw catch" or in Spanish "cerradura de gancho", that will fit the contour of the cooler and mount it there.

That’ll work.

Camping cooler repairs made easy.

Hope you found the camping cooler repair section useful. I’m the type of person that tends to hang on to stuff for a long time. I always try to fix it rather than replace it.

Click here to go from the camping cooler repair page back to the camping tips main page.


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