Need a new Esky / Icebox

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 13:05
ThreadID: 19885 Views:17813 Replies:12 FollowUps:7
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G'day all,

On last camping trip, realised how inadequate my cheap esky is. Too small and capable of disolving a large bag of ice in under 24 hours.

Want to get a new one and willing to invest. Would be interested in hearing from others as to whether the "expensive" iceboxes really are worth the money and what bargains I might get. The Waeco ones for example are over $400.

Also, what size people get. As for requirements, we have a fridge that we will use for certain things, this is for the drinks. I don't want to keep opening the fridge to get drinks out, as I will be opening it quite often at times :-).

Also will be handy when going away for a weekend, as won't need the 3 way, just 1 frozen cordial bottle of water.


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Reply By: muzzimbidgie - Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 13:35

Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 13:35
Whatever Icebox you decide to go with, see if its possible to get BLOCK ICE instead of bag ice. Will last longer.


AnswerID: 95517

Reply By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 14:03

Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 14:03
Tip I learned recently is to freeze water in 1.25l soft drink bottles in the freezer at home.

Put these in your esky and they will help keep it cold and when they do finally melt you can drink the nice cold water rather than have it go to waste sloshing around the bottom of the esky. Bag ice cools stuff really really quick (makes warm beer nice and drinkable in about 30 mins!) but Block Ice lasts heaps longer. Is all governed by the surface area exposed to air.

Using these frozen water bottes can even help in a compressor fridge, not as much cooling effort required by the fridge. If you were taking water with you anyway why not put it to good use. Just whack a couple of bottles of water in the home freezer a day or so before you go (but do'nt fill them right up!)

Another point I have learned is that when you are driving for a few hours run the fridge at a higher setting as there is plenty of power available while the altenator is charging up the battery. When you are stopped and running on battery only, then back the fridge off a bit to extend battery life. Same applies if you have access to a genny for a few hours.

If you are doing lots of driving on an extended trip then you could use this principle to even make a bit more ice or refreeze the water in your soft drink bottles. Then whack them back in the esky.


AnswerID: 95521

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 19:04

Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 19:04
Hey Muddy, have observed you drink milk occasionally, I would suggest instead of your round soft drink bottles, use the square or rectangular 2 or 3 litre milk bottles, put salted water in them and keep those in you freezer.

I even have a salted water carton sometimes but of course it can spill if it thaws. The frozen saline water is colder and tends to stay frozen too, pretty well. Always have a block in the freezer though for block ice.

Muddy, the lights on the front do pretty the face of the 'doe a bit. I just need some 240s. :-)
FollowupID: 354297

Reply By: Tripp'n Around - Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 14:47

Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 14:47
Hi Smocky

Our son has just bought a Coleman esky and the ice is suppose to last for 5 days although the webpage says up to 7 days.
We are yet to see it proved though.

this is the one he got........,1125,6273-721G.aspx


AnswerID: 95525

Reply By: BenSpoon - Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 15:27

Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 15:27
You mentioned the waecos... i take it you have already checked out the waeco store.
The iceboxes I have used most often are the OzEsky ones which seem very similar to the waecos- Available through slingrig stores. These things are damn strong- we had a 160 litre one (had to cater for a few people and their drinking habits)- the only downside to it is: once full, you almost need a hiab to get it off a ute tray, and if you put your swag too close to the thing you can hear the ice settling all night long. We had this white box on the beach in 40 degree heat, and it kept ice for 3 days in those conditions- and that was with it being opened every 20 mins for fresh rounds.
A recommendation with any esky you get: get some soft adhesive backed foam tape- stick it around the lid to ensure its airtight and if you have doubts about the internal insulation, go out and grab a can of Polyurethane foam- drill as small a hole as needed and inject that into your esky walls/lid and you will have asignificantdifference. Get rid of the air in the walls and you will have no chance of convection in there.
AnswerID: 95527

Follow Up By: japmel - Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 20:37

Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 20:37
The idea of using the polyurethane foam is a good one.
Just make sure you don't spray to much in as it will cause the sides to swell and wreck your esky.

FollowupID: 354307

Reply By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 17:49

Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 17:49
You should get yourself a fibreglass icebox . I fish a lot in FNQ and the NT and all the guides and locals use them .They are expensive , but will last you for the rest of your life .
If you decide on something cheaper , make sure that it has foam insulation in the lid . Lot's dont , and are a waste of time .
Always put your stuff in the fridge before putting it into the icebox - then your ice will last for 4 days .
Take a milk carton with you when you go to make your purchase , to make sure the one you buy is tall enough - most are not .
Boots camping in Sydney ahve some .

Cheers ,
AnswerID: 95543

Follow Up By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 19:35

Saturday, Jan 29, 2005 at 19:35
Thanks Willie,

I live not far from you actually, so I'll check out Boots. Not sure of the fibreglass versus poly arguement, but I'll worry about that later. Figured I would get a decent icebox though instead of an expensive plastic esky that does bugger all.

FollowupID: 354303

Reply By: Member - John C - Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 10:06

Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 10:06
Have a 62lt Tropical Ice Box for sale in the Trader
here....ahh but I'm in Briso.

they say 7 days but as with Coleman that's if you don't open them ;)
AnswerID: 95614

Reply By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 11:06

Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 11:06

A little off line but $400 will get you a 42L fridge from Supercheap. Then you can run one as a fridge and one as a freezer if you so choose.

Just a strange thought from a strange man.


AnswerID: 95617

Follow Up By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 13:16

Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 13:16
Not a bad idea Jim, but power is one of my issues. You've invested a stack of time and money getting your beer cold, but I'm not as fussy and am happy to drink good beer at 4-5C. Then again, we've had that discussion :-)

For long stays, I hope to get the 3-way going and for really short trips, I think I'll start with a good esky and grow from there. Think I'll have a good look at a poly like the Tropical boxes. Apparently a bit cheaper than the glass and will suit my current needs.

FollowupID: 354411

Reply By: Red Patrol - Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 18:13

Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 18:13

I got a Ice Cool which is the poly version of the evakool esky. It was $150 and is the same external size as the 3 way I have, but heaps bigger inside and square. Used it for 4 nights away over new year and used the SPC plastic fruit jars as blocks and had cold beer the whole time we were away and still had ice on our return home. Couldn't be happier I got it at 4x4 Show in Vic normal price was 200. Same hinges etc as the evakool. I noticed at the show that there was much cheaper ones in blue and red but not name brand

AnswerID: 95680

Reply By: TheUndertaker - Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 19:14

Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 19:14
Bailys / Evercool ,one and the same ,best "esky" ever made ,last a lifetime and holds resale value as well ,however once you have one you will never consider selling it as they are just so damn good ,have a 70lt now10yrs old ,still like new,, now into 12v ,waeco80lt + engle15lt + chescold40lt , can never have too much refridgeration .
AnswerID: 95690

Reply By: fatboy - Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 19:56

Sunday, Jan 30, 2005 at 19:56
Hi Smocky, have to agree with undertaker, evercool are the best esky on the market bar none, have a 30 ltr and a 70 ltr and both are capable of holding ice for up to 5 days , and that is in nw Qld in summer temps , 40+ degrees
Regards Fatboy
AnswerID: 95697

Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 09:30

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 09:30
g'day smocky

the canopy looks great. We have an evacool and several esky brand eskys. The eva cool is miles ahead. Will last for days with normal bags of ice.


AnswerID: 95772

Follow Up By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 09:36

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 09:36
G'day Crazie,

Still looking into the poly vs glass issue. If glass, I think it will be an evakool but still looking at the moment. Then it's just a matter of waiting for a deal (or a 4x show).

Canopy is great and really made a difference to our trip. Not having to worry if the clothes were getting wet in the back, not worring if my $400 air compressor was going to go for a walk in the middle of the night etc. I miss the convenience of the ute, but in reality should have got the canopy originally fitted.

How's the snorkel going? Send me a member message if you like.


FollowupID: 354582

Reply By: Outbacktourer - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 15:49

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 15:49
Hey Smocky, I bought one of these a few weeks before I got the Repco 3 way that you've been having trouble with. To avoid any further trouble, don't get a Waeco 60L because that's what I went for. Would have been just as happy with EvaKool I'm sure but Waeco were throwing in a padded lid cushion and internal rack. FWIW I came to the conclusion that the Poly ones were probably the best bang for buck and better if you are going to knock it about (probably won't show it as much) but for a long term purchase the fiberglass is probably worth it.

One thing I recommend you have a look at is Techni Ice (sp?). I bought some from Grangers with the esky... a padded membrane that initially abourbs water but will not release it. Like a new age ice brick, brilliant.
AnswerID: 95860

Follow Up By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 16:07

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 16:07
Thanks OT,

Had a quick scan for Techni-Ice and it looks pretty good AND cheap! Does it work and how much do you use? $25 for 3 sheets sounds alright to me. I went through that much ice in 5 days just recently. Although I'll admit it would have been less if the bloody fridge had worked.

Yeh, I reckon it will be a poly, so that I can just toss it in the back of the Rodeo and maybe even strap it down. Not fussed about looks really, you should have seen our tent site!!!


FollowupID: 354664

Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 16:31

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 16:31
Not knowing what I was getting I only bought the 3 pack to begin with and then went back for another two of them so I have 9 sheets altogether. 4/5 at a time in the esky and the other 4/5 in the freezer, swap in and out as required. From memory they recommend 1 sheet per 10L but this worjks for me in the 60L Waeco. Best part is they are flexible so you can work them around stuff. It's a bit much up front but I figured if I was spending that much on an esky I may as well do the job proper. Great in the soft pack too, even the missus reckons they are good and she normally puts s%^t on any "useless" camping gear I buy!! The other day we got caught short (without esky) and put two in a plasic bag with a few cans fruit and headed to the worries.
FollowupID: 354667

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