Ice box

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 01:34
ThreadID: 91286 Views:4591 Replies:10 FollowUps:7
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Hello all. Ultimately I want to get and Engel or something similar for my camping trips away. At the moment for weekend or 3 or 4 night getaways I am just using my Eski. Ok for short periods of time as ice melts relatively quickly in hot weather, and then I have an Eski full of water as I don't have a bung I can take out and drain. How do ice boxes compare to eskis in regards to keeping ice frozen and things cool. Does it do it's job a lot longer than an Eski?. I'm looking at maybe getting something like a 40l for now. Any input would be much appreciated. Grant
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Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 06:32

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 06:32
Hi Grant,

IMHO an Ice box is an esky. You may be confused by brands. As youve gathered, an esky works better if you can drain the water. Ive fitted the drain bungs (out of boats, You can get them at any boating store) to my esky and it makes a huge difference.

Ive got 2 brands of fridges and they work well, taking away any stress associated with keeping ice up to the esky but you have to ensure theres sufficient battery power to run it.

Let me know if you need any more info

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 475258

Reply By: gbc - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 06:39

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 06:39
Cam's way to use esky's.

You need 2.

One esky's for food/drinks.
One is for ice only.

Pre freeze blocks for the number of days you are going camping (1 per day).
This will determine the size of the ice esky. Required.

If you are going for more than a few days a block of dry ice to keep the normal ice frozen works wonders.

Take a block at a time from the ice esky and put into the food esky.

IMHO 40l is a bit small for a decent block and food as well. 60 is an ideal start.

The more you spend on an esky the better it is. Fiberglass evakool style esky's are top notch. From their website, a poly will go up to 10 days, glass will go up to 15. In the real world those figures are rarely achievable what with ones thirst for beer etc whilst camping.

Laws of thermal efficiency say that cold water keeps for longer than cold air. Fine for fish in an ice slurry. Not fine for tomatos and bacon in the bottom of the esky. Either drain out some water to find a happy medium or place some plastic fruit display packs upside-down in the bottom of the esky. That way you can have your efficiency and non soggy food as well.

Lastly, pre temper you esky. Pre chill all beer, food etc in the fridge, and throw a sacrificial bag of party ice in the esky the day before loading it to go camping.

My best advice - get a fridge. They aren't cheap to set up with a power
AnswerID: 475260

Follow Up By: gbc - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 06:41

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 06:41
With a power source, but will pay you back in by not buying ice, and giving you the ability to return foodstuffs to the house fridge when you get home.
FollowupID: 750224

Follow Up By: gbc - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 09:26

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 09:26
Just remembered something else. Keep the dry ice in a big garbage bag tied up tight. Take the dry ice out once a day and let the gas out of the bag away from the eskies. Never use dry ice directly with your food unless you like fizzy tomatoes. Yuk!
FollowupID: 750235

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 07:48

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 07:48

In my opinion there are eskys and there are eskys and then there are "ice boxes".

Firstly there are the cheaper ones that will stop the water leaking out, but the ice doesn't last long in them.
Then there is ones like my Coleman that does a reasonable job in keeping ice for a couple of days.
Then there is ones like my EvaKool Icebox which is the best you can get and ice will last a few days, depending on how it is constructed and stored.

When I take the Evakool away, I load the bottom with two solid slabs of ice I make at home, place the drinks and food (in watertight containers) in, then fill with good quality crushed ice.
I still have ice 5 days or so later with this practice.
The one problem is it is almost impossible to obtain block ice while "on the road" so once the block ice is depleted, you need to rely on crushed ice and some of it (the hollow crap) won't last all that long.

Generally block ice is too thick when bought commercially and there isn't much room left for goodies.
I make my own from a couple of plastic containers chosen because the ice when placed side by side, covers the full bottom of the Evakool and is about three inches (75mm) thick. This keeps most crushed ice frozen longer.
Oh! and as for those ice pack thingies, save your money. They don't last as long as any ice in my experience and are crap. (I won't mention brand names here)

Buy the best quality "ice box" you can aford and it will serve you well, until you can justify that fridge.


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AnswerID: 475264

Reply By: garrycol - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 08:21

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 08:21
Ice boxes and eskies are really one in the same - these days eskies (an old brand name for an ice box) are more geared for picnics and the like where "ice boxes" tend to have better insulation and are geared more for longer times away.

Also - party ice (cubes) will not last long - for longer periods you need block ice or even better still, dry ice.

AnswerID: 475271

Reply By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 10:06

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 10:06
when we had our soft floor camper i made myself an ice box out of a 140 ltr upright freezer i got from a council clean up day. just removed the motor and plumbing from the rear (this lightened the unit up considerably). as the seals were in perfect condition it made a great ice box.

in the bottom of the unit i made a 'false' floor out of wire mesh as to keep the ice from laying in the water,approx 1 inch from the bottom it sat (i made a drain hole with a piece of clear tube with a 'pig tail' in it to prevent warm air from getting in........the pig tail always had water in the bend so no air was able to get inside).

i used to freeze my own block ice.......and made sure it was in deep freeze for a couple of months prior). the block ice in the bottom helped a lot to keep the crushed ice on top to stay in the box longer.
AnswerID: 475286

Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 12:09

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 12:09
Hi Grant,

The best "Ice box" or Esky by far is the orange coloured Tropical Icebox. My son works in the Pilbara area of WA and when going out fishing for a few days 2 of these are taken. One that has the ice slurry for the fish and the other for the necessary supplies, oh and some food as After spending up to 3 days on the deck of the boat in the Pilbara sun the beer is still on ice. The method of using some block and some crushed ice as mentioned by others produces the best results.
These "Iceboxes" come in a variety of sizes. The biggest downside is the outer dimensions. Because of the thickness of the insulation they are a fairly bulky bit of kit for the internal storage size. This is not a drama on his boat as there is plenty of deck space but may be a problem inside a vehicle. On the back of a ute would be ok.

AnswerID: 475298

Reply By: Rod W - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 15:32

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 15:32
So you want an Engel then buy one. Simple
AnswerID: 475315

Follow Up By: grunta1970 - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 21:23

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 21:23
I also want a 2012 hilux, a 27ft cruiser, a camper trailer and a new Harley. Simple
FollowupID: 750296

Follow Up By: Rod W - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 22:34

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 22:34
Ya don't need a hilux a boat a camper or a bike. All ya need is aTroopy and an engel. Simple
FollowupID: 750304

Follow Up By: grunta1970 - Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 at 00:07

Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 at 00:07
Is that Confucious?
FollowupID: 750309

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 at 00:40

Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 at 00:40
Luv the idea of a 27ft boat but you might want to re-think a Hilux to tow
FollowupID: 750310

Follow Up By: grunta1970 - Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 at 02:20

Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 at 02:20
Geez, that's obvious pop, the hilux tows the camper, Harley tows the boat. Simple
FollowupID: 750312

Reply By: gordon_adel - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 15:43

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 15:43
I have a waeco icebox and am quite happy with that. As with most of these other replies, cooking it 1st and using ice blocks are the way to go. I too make my own ice blocks.
AnswerID: 475316

Reply By: barney136 - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 20:30

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 20:30
I have for more years than i care to remember organised a bus trip to Birdsville races and catered for between 20 and 33 people grog an food.Always used eskys large ones.Contrary to what most think the most efficient was the cheapest a Techni ice yellow one works great kept ice for up to 10 days no trouble at all.I have 3 big ones at home and that is the one i use the other 2 are Evakool.Cost about double the Techni ice one which i brought of ebay.
AnswerID: 475358

Reply By: happytravelers - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 21:54

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 21:54
Hi Grant

I have an Engel but have also just recently bought an ice box, mainly to use on my small boat which doesn't have a power supply. After much research I puchased a 50 litre Chilli Chest brand from an online company called Big Terrain. Look up their website and check them out, I'm a very happy customer. I took it on a remote river camping trip last week along with one of their storage boxes which I also purchased at the same time. The ice box performed very well, kept everything cold for three days and the storage box kept everything dry despite some heavy rain that we encountered.

Regards Jon
AnswerID: 475368

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