Practical Advice Please - Fridge/Freezer Size

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 09, 2005 at 23:22
ThreadID: 23734 Views:3239 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
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Looking for my first fridge/freezer and I am wondering what size would be best. We camp for 2-5 days with usually 2 adults and 3 teens. Cannot always take a trailer so space is a consideration in the Cruiser, although bulky stuff goes on roof rack.

We are tempted to get between 60 to 90L fridge/freezer although one brand has a 110L that is not too in big outside dimensions. Personally I am keen on a 70L EvaKool.

A big fridge/freezer appeals to the cook who can think of heaps to store. However another argument is that around 60L is easier to handle and you are more inclined to make use it apart from camping, incl taking it out of the car for picnics.

Lower power usage is another argument for smaller.

From practical experience what do family people find to be the most convenient size?

Thanks in advance,
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jun 09, 2005 at 23:40

Thursday, Jun 09, 2005 at 23:40
"Personally I am keen on a 70L EvaKool"

That should be a good choice in size EV and the EvaKool is developing a good reputation, following on from the popular fibreglass Icebox.

If the price is compatible, I don't think you would go wrong Mate.

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AnswerID: 115151

Follow Up By: ev700 - Thursday, Jun 09, 2005 at 23:59

Thursday, Jun 09, 2005 at 23:59
Sand Man
Thanks, the footprint is not too big for the vehicle and they seem to be well made.
FollowupID: 370906

Reply By: Shaker - Thursday, Jun 09, 2005 at 23:43

Thursday, Jun 09, 2005 at 23:43
We use a 40L Engel plus an EvaKool 37L Ice Box. On longer camps Engel is mainly for food & EvaKool for drinks, if we only go for a few days Engel is sufficient on its own. We find that the EvaKool keeps ice for about 8 - 10 days, they claim up to 15 days, but we haven't acheived that yet.
We find that combination works very well!
One problem with buying too large a fridge is that they are far more efficient when they are full.
AnswerID: 115153

Follow Up By: ev700 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 00:05

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 00:05
That sounds like good advice. I think I was too hasty in thinking about getting rid of the ice.
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Reply By: Tony Shaw - Thursday, Jun 09, 2005 at 23:56

Thursday, Jun 09, 2005 at 23:56
Hi there,

I'm actually looking at a 40L engel with a two zone on top which makes it up to 60L. This is particularly good for my situation because it is a high 60L which will take up less space than the others in my small 4WD. It also gives a larger freezer than most of the others if a miricale happens and i actually catch some fish and crabs for once to bring home. It also means if i'm just going for the weekend i can take just the 40L engel and leave the two zone at home, but i've still got the 60 litres for the longer trips.

Cheers, ToNy!
AnswerID: 115154

Follow Up By: ev700 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 00:08

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 00:08
Thanks, I think the extra 'tower' makes searching for stuff easier too.
An EvaKool is a bit more appealing at the moment because I'm used to glass from boating i guess.
FollowupID: 370913

Follow Up By: Tony Shaw - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 01:21

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 01:21
Hi John,

If you go for the glass i'd recomend the cover for it, I've heard a couple of reports of the glass starting to wear after being tightly packed in a 4WD due to the constant vibration against it. Not to mention it'll increaaase the effiency of course.

Cheers, ToNy!
FollowupID: 370921

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 02:30

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 02:30
I have a chescold 3way and it's really good for the sorta thing you want 2-5 days camping....take it out of the car, put it under the tarp next to the table and run it on gas.....very happy with mine. However for quick trips 1/2 days I would prefer a compressor type the chescold only maintains the temp on 12v and it takes ages to cool stuff down when you run it on 12v unless you have it cold before you put it in there. But the gas does the job and she gets down to -25
AnswerID: 115163

Follow Up By: ev700 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 09:11

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 09:11
Hi Troll 81
Thanks, I think I'll get an electric for the reasons you gave however I know a few people who swaer by a Chescold for longer stays w/o generators.
FollowupID: 370928

Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 07:28

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 07:28
2 adults and 3 teens will fill a fridge in no time and thats even for a day trip. I have a 70lt for our family and could easily justify the 110. Just remember once u have it you can't make it any bigger.
AnswerID: 115170

Follow Up By: ev700 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 09:22

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 09:22
Yes, size is the raw nerve and we are used to heaps of space with big ice boxes. Like you, we can fill a 100L esky for a day trip with cooked chooks, salad and drinks etc.

To use a smaller one there would have to be real concessions as to what is taken and probably we'd still have to take a plastic esky to eke it out.

If you had your chance again you'd get a 110? The next common sizes down are 80 (Waeco) or 90 (EvaKool), although I have just read that 10-15% of the advertised EvalKool space has to be deducted for the motor enclosure. Why would they advertise a volume without deduction?

FollowupID: 370932

Reply By: flappa - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 09:57

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 09:57
I have a 65l EvaKool , and we have 2 adults and 4 teenage kids.

I could EASILY fill a 600l Domestic House fridge . . .

I have found the 65l is not quite big enough , and need something else (at the moment a simple esky for drinks). I would like to buy something about 30l as well.

The outright size of the 110 is just too big for me (I COULD use the space though).
AnswerID: 115192

Follow Up By: ev700 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:06

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:06
Thanks for the information.
Definitely not a 65 for me then.
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Reply By: Longreach - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 09:57

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 09:57
We have a 39l Engel and a 47l Evakool. We freeze the Engel and use the Evakool for the unfrozen stuff. Each morning we take a frozen lump of meat, chicken or whatever out of the engel and put it in the evakool to keep the evakool cool and start thawing the meat for dinner that night. Works well for us.
AnswerID: 115193

Follow Up By: ev700 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:09

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:09
Where I'd like to end up I think is with a larger unit at camp and a smaller one in the vehicle. Might be better to get the bigger one now and use icebox as back-up until I get the camper trailer (still being negotiated at home that one).
FollowupID: 371036

Reply By: troy35 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 10:31

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 10:31
Well heres my two cents worth on it EV700.
I have four young children and use a Waeco 80 litre and an evakool ice box about 50 litres maybe...and a Coca Cola esky about 25 litres. having just done a four day weekender last weekend here is what goes in each.

Waeco - All food, fruit, veges, dips for nibblies, cold meats, margarine, cheese, avocado, salad stuff etc plus our meat in the frozen section and I also manage to fit in some milk or a frozen water bottle or frozen primas for the kids, just to fill the gap. ( We live in the tropics so most foods that would get away with sitting in a box usually need to go in the fridge up here.)

Evakool- Carton of beer for me, girly grog for the missus, carton of diet coke for me and the missus and we fill the gaps with a frozen water bottle or two. (This stays cold for 4 days plus and I end up tipping ice on the plants back home.)

Coca Cola esky- All kids drinks which include those popper juice things, plus water bottles and frozen choc milk for breakfast. (This way the kids have their own esky and dont leave the lid up on my esky all the time.)

Whilst we manage to fit all of our food into the 80 litre there is no way we would get everything else in there as well. Reading my post back Im thinking people must be amazed at how much we take but with four young kids its needed.
So I think the 80 litre Waeco would be a good choice. I like the fact that it has a seperate freezer and chiller section.
AnswerID: 115212

Follow Up By: ev700 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:13

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:13
You reminded me of us not long ago (or so it seems). I reckon one of the best acquisitions with small kids is one of the big Rubbermaid (or similar) water coolers. Like the ones that were available from Maccas for sporting groups. Fill with ice and water(or very weak cordial) and let them self serve.

Thanks for the additional info on what is packed in what.
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Follow Up By: troy35 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:35

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:35
Yes we have one of those too that we sit on our camping table and have four cups next to it. That way the kids can help themselves. I fill it with water a week before and take it to a local cold store where my mate puts it in the freezer for a week. Stays cold all weekend.
FollowupID: 371039

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 20:27

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 20:27
U can never have too much refridgeration , 15lt engle for drinks only as will chill a can in less time than it takes to type this , 80lt waeco f/f keeps the swmbo happy , also use an 40lt chescold if going extreme remote to keep the swmbos vegies in tiptop condition ,,, all 3 fit in the cruiser like a pea in a pod [ was going to say like a thumb in bumb but the language police would censore .]
AnswerID: 115284

Follow Up By: ev700 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:21

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:21
Alloy c/t
Thanks for the tips. I think many of us carry a lot of fresh greens and so on these days plus drinks. I was thinking that some years ago I carried a lot of wrapped vegies and dried peas, beans. Drinks were spirits and fortified ports.
The extra comfort doesn't go astray.
FollowupID: 371038

Reply By: ev700 - Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:32

Friday, Jun 10, 2005 at 23:32
Thanks everyone for the good advice and especially the different ways of approaching the problem.

What I'm going to do is buy an EverKool 90L now. I think it will fit nicely in the back of the 100 Series. It can be for meats and well packaged stuff.

We will need extra icebox space and although I have a 45L Coleman I reckon I could do with another bigger, better insulated icebox for drinks and veggies.

The later goal could be to add a 40L quality fridge/freezer. That way the 40L could stay in the vehicle for day trips. Maybe it will end up as a 60L when everyone gets used to having coldies and food on hand for day trips ;-)

Thanks again for the advice.

AnswerID: 115315

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