ICE OR CAR FRIDGE

Submitted: Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 2174 Views:4379 Replies:17 FollowUps:21
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JUST PLANNING OUR FIRST OUTBACK TRIP THROUGH CENTRAL AUSTRALIA OUTBACK QUEENSLAND AND NSW MIGHT SOUND SILLY
BUT HOW AVAILABLE IS ICE IN THESE TOWNS? OR IS THE ONLY WAY
A CAR FRIDGE HOPE SOMEBODY CAN HELP THANKYOU
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Reply By: Bruce- Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
expensive for ice..your best bet is a chest type fridge..engel are are very good for travelling...chescold are o.k...gas is reasonably cheap and readily available..the initial investment hurts but it lasts a loooong time if you look after it ...cheers ... bruce
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
THANKYOU FOR YOUR HELP ROBERT
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Reply By: Alex - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
G'day,
Ice is available from most pubs just about anywhere. If you're going to be visiting a town every second day and have a good esky, then you can use ice. The downside is that everything ends up swimming in the meltwater in the esky. Personally, I use a car fridge and have a twin battery setup in the car. Previously I had a 3way fridge, and ran it on gas every time I stopped for the night. The downside of car fridges is the cost, but I'm pretty sure there are places that will hire them, so you can try before you buy. If you'll be spending several days away from any town, then a car fridge is definitely hte best option. Hope this helps. Cheers, Alex.
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: CJ - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
My Esky went the same place as the Thermos with the glass refills - to the tip. Nothing worse than wet food, and the Thermos was always the first thing to fall or be dropped - got a metal thermos.
Fridges are expensive but I have had my 3 way Sadec for 20 years and is the most valued piece of camping gear I have. They also can double as a 'bar fridge' at Xmas.
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: Dianne - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
If you were to use an Everkool esky( which keeps ice for a week) with large blocks of ice, and have all your meat cryvaced and get some containers that don't let water in such as Willow or Tupperware, you would survive with an esky.Friends of ours did central oz and spent about $35- p/w on ice with a normal esky and bags of ice. We have a Bushman frigde which works very well and we wouldn't be without it, it is an expensive exercise and you need a duel battery system and a fridge slide to have it all set up properly. You can hire fridges for about $60-00p/w which is a good idea if you are only going for a few weeks, could be better than ice. Cheers Di
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: Member - Jim - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
Robert
Do it right and do it once.

You can probably do a trip using ice and manage and you can be frustrated with soggy food etc. or you can have an esky full of tupperware.

If you like a beer and put some warm ones in here and there you will end up with plenty of water and not a lot of ice.

Buy the best fridge you can, fit a second battery and only deal with some of the charging frustrations if you are stationery for long periods.

You can always use the fridge at home when demand is high, buy the best quality you can and only do it once, it is an expensive exercise when you have to buy 2 fridges to get the one you should have bought the first time.
(and that goes for all camping equipment).

Regards

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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: Truckster - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
If your like me and dont see the value in a $1000+ car fridge thats all box and motor and no storage, HIRE one! Too much to have sitting in your garage to be used 2 times a year. Well it is to me.

Then laugh and hand it back at the end of your trip.
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: royce - Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00
I've got a little fridge....BUT.... I reckon I do just as well without. In the really hot areas, use dried peas, tins etc. Use an esky and instead of ice buy frozen food to keep the other stuff cool. Don't get too much food at a time. If you are going deep bush and can't get ice or frozen food, then you can cool stuff down overnight in the freezing temps and close the lid for the day. The only thing that is a REAL PROBLEM is melted butter! I hate that! I do also like my cereal with cold milk. In lots of not so hot parts of Oz a fridge is simply a waste of time. An esky with frozen food is fine. You eat the meat etc first and have the pasta last. Sometimes a wet tea towel hung over food overnight cools it down. Sorry this meandered all over the place. I have just come back from working in NSW, SA and back to Gippsland all in 3 days and it's 2am time for ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Seeya Royce
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: Nige - Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00
Robert, re: fridges - we have an engel (old green model) that gave up its 12v side after years of reliable use and is now a 240v only bar fridge. It still runs on 12v but _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx over 8 amps and will not freeze properly. It was great but I think engels are light on in their insulation and start to thaw out too quickly when power is off. Maybe the newer models are better? We definitely like a fridge when camping so a lot of thought went into its replacement -I really liked the look of the autofridge but it was either fridge or freezer, quite expensive and needs power. We were dubious about 3 way fridges after years of very ordinary cooling from caravan style electrolux models, but friends swear by their chescold so we got the rc1180 blue box. I have a dual battery system with a 10.5v cut out and very heavy cabling - it will keep frozen food rock solid on 12v in the car, and is better on gas. We are very happy with it, the only hassle is taking it out of the vehicle to run on gas at night. If we are in a caravan park, I have a 240 lead that plugs in under the wheel arch so the car can be locked without having a power cord through a window, etc..We also carry a 60l Downunder box which I think is just as good or better than the Evacool, except for the hinges. The downunder has extra insulation and will keep even party-ice for up to 3 days if you're careful. If you can afford it having a good quality icebox and a fridge is magic.
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: johnsy - Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00
robert $2 a bag of ice thats 55 days using a fridge to recoup you investment and at the end of it you have a spare freezer or bar fridge .
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: Coops - Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00
Robert, to put my 2 bob's worth in. Ice is readily available but at some places you'll pay up to $4 a bag. If you are putting ice into a normal esky then you'll chew through it (and $$$) at an amazing rate. I have an 85 litre EvaKool and while these are truly amazing, keeping ice frozen for almost a week, I couldn't survive without the car fridge either. Sometimes we use both, sometimes one or the other and it it really is truly good to be able to choose but it has taken a good while to get to that stage. You say this is your first Outback trip. What you would need to consider would be a) how many more trips you will be making b) finances at present obviously c) cost of good fibreglass esky vs cost of fridge (it's always handy to have another fridge for parties etc)
d) you will spend a lot on ice depending on how long trip is but this cost can offset initial purchase costs of fridge e) you need to do it right first time else you could waste an awful lot of money f) dual battery set-up costs if not already fortunate enough to have them G) can you borrow or hire a fridge for first trip (remembering to return it full of beer perhaps). Most of what you need to know is already written in responses for you (I just couldn't resist the temptation to join in) and all you need to do is put aside peoples personal preferences, collate all the information according to your circumstances and make your decision. Sounds easy doesn't it ! I bet it's not though. Personally I will never regret buying a car fridge and even though I had to wait a while for the chance to do so it was worth waiting for. Happy Camping !!!
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: Barry - Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00
Robert, I bought a Finch second hand for $100 (common price for them) over 5 years ago. Runs great on 12/240 volt and of course gas. It's been across the Simpson, into Lake Eyre, through the high country. We used our last frozen meat at Birdsville - it was filled in Melbourne and we went to Birdsville via the Simpson! The only cost to me has been the gas to run it when 240 hasn't been available. A mate hired an Auto fridge (I think that's the right name) for one of the trips. It cost him $120 for two weeks. He was very happy with it. He still doesn't own one though. Keep an eye out for a good second hand one - it's by far the most cost effective way to go - even if it only works for a couple of trips!!
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: Slunnie - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
I took an Evacool esky on a Simpson trip for 2.5wks and returned with ice still in the esky. The trick is to freeze the water in drink containers and you won't have any soggy issues. It helps to freeze everything before you leave home. Cheaper than a fridge. I have also kept ice for a week at Christmas on Fraser in Qld. Regards Slunnie
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
My $1450 EvaKool 68 litre fridge stays in the back of the 4WD and gets used every weekend and sometimes during the week. When we bought it I thought we'd only use it once a month on our camping trips, but it's so handy having a fridge in the car when we go to Cairns for shopping or take the kids to the beach, and it also gets used when we have visitors.

Definately the best $1450 I ever spent.
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Follow Up By: Fred - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Nigel .... That has to be the greatest overkill I've ever heard of!!! A $1450 68 litre fridge to go shopping and take the kids to the beach ... how much do your kids drink? LOL I find a 2 litre bottle of drink in a cooler bag is great at the beach and I don't have to go back to the car to get it ....
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Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
I bought the fridge for our regular 2 & 3 day camping trips in far north queensland where heat and corrugations melt ice very rapidly (hence an esky is fairly useless), so why shouldn't I make use of the fridge regularly for other purposes?

I think it would be quite silly to use a esky to go to the beach when I already have a fridge in the car.
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Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Fred I also assume that you live much closer to the shops and other facilities than we do. Ever tried keeping icecream frozen in a cooler bag for an hour in tropical heat?
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Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: Beddo - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
Just come back from Cape York with a Evacool esky - great. To stop the melt water we froze 2L milk bottles - ice kept long too - up to a week. Leaving Cairns we bought some dry ice and with the 2L milk ice bottles got approx 12 days out of it. Plain ice is a pain with the meltwater - so yeh you use tupperware. Fridge would would be good we are considering as we met some people with an Engel and they cooled a few beers for use within 45minutes - it would of taken a fair bit of ice to cool them. PS. Also got told about burying a six pack and throwing a small bit of petrol over it and lighting it - don't know if this would work, I have not tried it, but it sounds dangerous. Anyway found no problems getting ice.
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Follow Up By: Robert - Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002 at 00:00
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Reply By: Steve & Wendy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Robert, you could try a "Reefer" portable fridge. Frozen steaks, Ice cold beer & milk, no frozen lettuce, no expensive mongrel fridge slide required. Regards, Steve.
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Follow Up By: Robert - Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002 at 00:00
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP HAVE NOT HEARD OF THIS MAKE ARE THEY
HARD TO COME BY
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Follow Up By: Steve & Wendy - Wednesday, Oct 23, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 23, 2002 at 00:00
Order it over the phone and have it delivered to your front door. Have a look at http://www.refrigerationresearch.com.au. Regards, Steve.
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Reply By: paul- Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002 at 00:00
robert have just returned from trip right around oz. we used a 35l waeco freezer and forze those blue esky bricks on top of the tucker.used four in the esky during the day and two overnight.worked like a charm[except when i forgot,duh]
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Reply By: Member - Keith - Wednesday, Oct 23, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 23, 2002 at 00:00
While on the subject of eskys and ice......is it best to drain off the water when the ice melts or leave the water in the esky? I always drain it off but my mate says to leave the water in the esky!
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Follow Up By: Steve Tanner - Thursday, Oct 24, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Oct 24, 2002 at 00:00
Keith in response to your question,I work for Evakool Iceboxes and we always suggest that you drain the water from your Icebox at all times .If you think of it once Ice melts it is above 0 degrees temperature therefore it will cause your remaining ice to melt quicker .It is a reasoning of simple physics. Hope this helps Steve
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Follow Up By: Keith - Thursday, Oct 24, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Oct 24, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Steve....it's good to know that I have been doing the right thing all these years!!
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