Esky V's Fridge

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 16:02
ThreadID: 3272 Views:5274 Replies:11 FollowUps:7
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I am wodering if anyone has info on the performane of iceboxes/eskys versus going all the way ang getting a fridge.

I am in the market for someting in the Everkool range which i believe is about as good as it gets prior to a fridge.

Has anyone been in the same position as to whether go the fridge or go the esky.

I am realistic in that i go camping for 7 days MAX twice a year so I consider a fridge a little small ( 3 children and the missus) and i have heard excellent reports that a esky (such as Everkool) keeps the ice going for up to 7 days no drama at all and is available in a size of 110 Litres. ( love cold beer you see)

Is this realistic or nonsense. I feel that a fridge is prone to problems that will see a fridge of around $1200-00 not working.
To make matters worse WAECO has a 50 Litre for under $1000-00 that sounds excellent...... but the camping shop said they are unreliable ( Naturally he doe not stock them) .

This camping stuff is pretty confusing stuff.. thank God for a forum suach as this
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Reply By: baz - Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 16:38

Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 16:38
went through the same dilema 2 years ago.Bought a 40 lt waeco for $800, and don't know how, for all those years how i did without one.
They use bugger all power,and once you can judge the settings correctly will have your beers colder than on ice.One thing i would recomend if you decide to get a waeco, would be to do away with the plug and get it wired direct.I have a toyota wagon so space is critical as is weight,but after many thousands of kilometers would give it 10 out of 10.
Hope i've been some help,

AnswerID: 12701

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 17:08

Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 17:08
I actually own an Evakool fridge, but can report that it certainly does stay cooler than most when you forget to switch it back on after using the HF radio (the fridge makes too much noise on the radio).

If your staying in one spot for 7 days then maybe you should consider a gas fridge, as you'd need over 300 Ah to run a compressor fridge that long unless you had solar or generator.

My folks have a Waeco and they are reliable as any - I just don't think the insulation is as good as the Evakool.

We never camp in one spot for more than a few nights so a compressor fridge suited us better (esp in the tropics, where heat and corrogations stop ice from lasting as long).
AnswerID: 12702

Reply By: chopper - Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 19:52

Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 19:52
Evakool eskies are certainly very very good, i would judge them to be the best around, although i have heard very good things about the new "Tropical" - i think - orange plastic ones.

I have a small engel (19litre) which goes behind the drivers seat and a 40 litre Electrolux gas fridge. The gas one is nothing short of sensational when running on gas.

I have just bought a Waeco 110 litre for work and will be taking it out for the first time this week. I had it running in the shed for a day (24hrs) and the freezer compartment was down to -18.5c and the fridge was -13c. (the fridge was empty and running from 240volts).

I too had heard horror stories about waeco, but my dealer, who also stocks engel, electrolux and others had nothing but good things to say about them, and seriously, 110 litre fridge for less than $1400, that's a good price in anybody's language.

AnswerID: 12706

Reply By: paul - Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 20:04

Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 20:04
the person who said the waeco is unreliable is an idiot.

Your real question should be not how many days a year do you go camping for but for how many times each go.

If you only go for two days in a cool area at a time and $ are seriously short I'd recommend some good eskies. I believe there is nothing better than an evakool but for about half the price there are some dark blue eskies called Icey-Tek and another orange replica both made in or around Brisbane and the Gold Coast that are quite amazing, I have an icey-tek as well, it is not as amazing as an evakool but with two compressor driven fridges could not justify the cost of an evakool and they don't make them in the 30L size anymore i think.

If want something that is realiable, can double as an esky, can use at home as an emergency fridge or freezer running off a 240v power supply, a smallish waeco may be perfect. I have a 30L german made waeco got brand new for $599 after i sold my evakool esky for $300. I have moved on to a bigger explorer which uses the same compressor as the waeco and can't fault it. I just can't bear to get rid of my waeco though, have used it extensively at home and off road. Lent it to a fried who took it down the Gibb River road and 5 other months in the top of WA and it has never missed a beat.

but beware, once you get into compressor driven fridges you may get hooked by a bug that leads you to outrageous expenditure on power components, soldering tools, multimeters, rewiring things, dual battery set ups etc, maybe solar panels and deep cycle batteries and generators and motor driven alternators and ever searching for the perfect solution to a perfectly cold beer in the hottest place you can imagine irrespective of cloud coverage and noise pollution while never being in danger of having your vehicle battery being too run down to start the car ...
AnswerID: 12708

Reply By: Brad - Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 21:51

Saturday, Feb 08, 2003 at 21:51
I have just bought an Engel fridge but have had my Everkool for about 4 years and it is fantastic. I have been away this summer for 4 days in 30 deg heat and and I put one bag of ice in the esky the night before I left and then next morning packed the esky and added another bag of ice. On my return home I still had 1/2 bag of ice in the esky.

Heard good reports on both Waeco and Engel fridge but got a good price on the Engel.
AnswerID: 12714

Reply By: Hedonist - Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 00:33

Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 00:33
Lots of good advice here - Just want to add another vote for the Waeco. CF50 for about $950 and very happy. Excellent value. Then added dual batteries - great for those longer stops. Oh yeah, hardwired another socket to leave the utility outlet free for other goodies. Ran another cable for that as well while we're at it... Now, some solar panels **would** be handy wouldn't they....

First bought it for the camping expeditions but have found lots more uses for it since - Barbies, day at the beach, chilled champagne on the river bank at sunset :))) Luxury!

Biggest advantage over an Eski is no water sloshing around making everything soggy. Do it. You won't regret it.

AnswerID: 12720

Follow Up By: Ktm 520 - Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 13:15

Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 13:15
To all that replied to my post a great big thanks.

I am now leaning over to the fridge in lieu of the Evercool esky.... sound pretty good these fridges.

Intend to look at the Waeco brand intently.

Can someone explain to me what the cost and trouble is in gettiing this dual battery set up installed.
I have a Nissan Pathfinder and i was otld that a such a vehicle cannot accomodate a 2nd battery.
IS it possible to simply run it off the cigarette lighter... as there is an additional one located in the rear of the vehicle, or will this drain the battery in no time flat, or is it OK to do this as long as you start the vehicle each day and go for a drive

Thanks again great informed advice as always
FollowupID: 7426

Follow Up By: Luke - Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 14:03

Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 14:03
Instead of a dual batery set up have you thought of the Waceo OUTBACK or Thumper remote portable power units.

The advantage is being able to move the fridge away from the vehicle

Has anyone had anything to do with these units. They cost $479 and $659 RRP. How does this compare to the cost of a Dual Battery setup.

My camping store who stocks Engel, Waceo and CHestcold, told me that he has had three Waceo back due to plastic hindges breaking in the past fortnight. Has anyone else come across this??

FollowupID: 7427

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 18:43

Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 18:43
The waeco battery packs are expensive compared to a normal deep cycle batteries. There are other sealed batteries like the Powercel that are much cheaper (and higher capacity). They just don't come in a fancy plastic box.
FollowupID: 7432

Reply By: Slunnie - Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 18:54

Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 18:54
KTM, I have had the Evercool E60 esky now for about 2 years. It has kept ice for 1 week over Christmas/New Years on Fraser Island, and did a 2.5week trip last July through the Simpson Desert. Both times I returned home with original ice in the esky. No extra ice was added for the 2.5wk Simpson trip, and on the last day we threw in a bag of crushed ice on the 1wk Fraser trip. I am dead set serious about this, it is the RR of eskies. The other trick is to freeze 2l water bottles at home, then thrown them into the bottom of the esky and nothing gets soggy. You could even then drink the water I guess.

(who would love an Evacool fridge still)
AnswerID: 12756

Follow Up By: Ktm 520 - Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 20:01

Sunday, Feb 09, 2003 at 20:01

Thanks for the positive comments.
If they keep ice and the food etc inside cool in the manner you suggest i would find thta ideal for my limited camping that would comprise stays for only up to 7 days .
i think it is important to be realistic in what one purchases as the iceboxes bo appear to represent excellent value for money..... keep the ice up to it and best of all it can NEVER break down/wear out

Thanks again for the info from someone that has first hand performance

FollowupID: 7435

Reply By: David - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2003 at 11:25

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2003 at 11:25
I have an EVAKOOL fridge and a CHESCOLD 1180- a friend has a WAECO.
When we go out together the best is.....the EVAKOOL fridge. It's consistently the coldest (despite lots of opening and closing) and uses the least power.

If yoy want to look at a cheaper option- you could try an EVAKOOL esky and use dry ice- I have gone nearly 2 weeks using that option, you just wrap the "ice" in lots of newspaper in the bottom of the esky- works great!
AnswerID: 12874

Follow Up By: Ktm 520 - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2003 at 20:45

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2003 at 20:45

What is the price you paid for the Evakool esky and the size that you use.

I think they may be out of my limited budget at this stage .... the dried ice does sound good at 2 weeks until it dried up.

FollowupID: 7551

Reply By: David - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2003 at 21:44

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2003 at 21:44
KTM520- I DID have an evakool esky size 70litres if my memory serves me correctly (sold it to a friend when I bought the EVAkool frig.) I think paul said you can get on a never ending spiral panels... and so on. Very true!! If U camp about twice a year the dry ice is a great option- works like a charm- and stays dry. You regulate the temp by wrapping the ice in either more or less newspaper- but don't guarantee U won't freeze any veges. It just takes a little practice to get it right. (look in the yellow pages for your local supplier re availability/price)

The old frozen softdrink bottles work pretty well too. If I was on a tight budget I think I'd be better with the good "esky" option as it's too easy to blow lots of dough on fridges.... That I can tell you from hard experience...
AnswerID: 12926

Reply By: pin - Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 22:25

Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 22:25
I have recently converted an everyday bar fridge into an esky and mounted on draw bar of my camper .Just to make things better i cover it in insulation foam which i bought from clark rubber with an alloyfoil backing and velcro it on when iam pulled up.Whilst camping recently a guy told me to sprinkle rock salt over the ice which will keep it frozen longer, so i will try this next camping trip.Just remember not to use ice for your rum & coke cos it tastes like bleep
AnswerID: 13153

Reply By: Member - Rohan - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 17:32

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 17:32
Paul, go the Evakool icebox (as they like to call them). We did, despite my scepticism about the "ice keeps for a week" claim. I didn't want to shell out the $1,500 for a 65 litre fridge so spent $320 on a 65 litre Evacool esky. We're a family of 4. We took it on a 25 day trip through the high country. Ambient temp go into the low 30's. We didn't need ice for the first 6 days! After that, just because we could, we topped up with small amounts every 3 or 4 days. To help calculate the size you'll need, remember to allow about one third of the capacity of the esky for ice.

A great tip (I think we got it from Michelle on this site) is to keep a couple of those 3 litre plastic juice bottles and fill them with water. Freeze them really well and place them in the esky at each end/corner, whatever. Solid blocks of ice last much longer than party ice. Our containers were still partially frozen after 10 days ( and providing chilled water as they thawed). Also, get a few more of the containers and cut the tops off. You can fill these with food, to keep it out of the water or, as we learned, put any party ice in them and thereby keep the water contained. Water occupies less volume than ice so as the ice melts, the volume reduces in the container. We filled each container with ice and never had any water spill into the esky. An added advantage is that you don't need to dig amongst the ice to find things. We had cold, fresh, dry food. We even ended up returning home with some of the food we original took and it was still fresh after 25 days!.

Just like the fridge at home, keep the kids away and the lid closed as much as possible and the esky will do everything you want for a week's adventure.

AnswerID: 13597

Follow Up By: Ktm 520 - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 22:00

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 22:00

Thanks for the advice.
As a direct result i am getting a Evercool B110 Litre for $390-00. from the local camp store.
It would appaer that it will MORE than fulfill my needs... i wnet the larger esky as i love to have as much beer and food as cold as possible.
I ahve dought some wire inser baskets so i do not have to pop pills and end up like Shane Warne in lifting te esky into the rig.
So a graet thanks to someone who has "tested" such a product.
Would die for a fridge but they requier i feel a lot of other "things" to run them properly such as Batt's etc and i am simplt NOT in that league as yet.
The icebox can NEVER brekdown and is virtually indestructible.
FollowupID: 8003

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 22:48

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 22:48
Paul, that's exactly why I made the Esky choice. Mind you, when I do tackle that major desert trip, I don't think the ice will quite cut it. Ah, but that's for another time and budget - I'd save my pennies, but there's much to spend them on. Its almost as bad as owning a boat.

Enjoy your travels.
FollowupID: 8005

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