Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

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Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby CampGrrlz » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:07 pm

Did some research on Techniice and am just confused :--? Sounds convincing on their website yet I read comments here from actual practical users ...

Our quick and dirty solution to ice boxes/fridges (pending testing in the field!) is to have 2 thermo-electric fridges ... ah, we're planning to camp with electricity ... but we're wondering whether putting some bottles of frozen drinking water into the t-efs will increase their cooling ability. Now I've read up as much as I can find about using them. All I can see is not to put in ice lest it melt ... but the polycarbonate bottles would be sealed so melt water is not an issue.

We've been down the compressor-fridge road and sold our large Waeco some time back and don't want to be faced with hauling a really heavy item about. Hence the thermo-electric thingies.

We'd love to hear from anyone who has used the thermo-electric fridges and added Techniice or frozen water bottles. Or who has definite technical knowledge about the issue.

Love this kind of five-star camping ;-)
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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:46 pm

Just get an ice box, and buy ice. Get a small amount of dry ice if you really want the beer cold and the meat kept frozen.


Thermo elec isn't really flash imo.
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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby CampGrrlz » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:10 pm

Ozzycamperboy wrote:Just get an ice box, and buy ice. Get a small amount of dry ice if you really want the beer cold and the meat kept frozen. Thermo elec isn't really flash imo.

I'd be the first to admit thermoelectric isn't the greatest cool chest in the world.

What I omitted to mention was that we have owned a Tropicool - the big orange things - and found we were buying ice twice a day. All we could buy was that party stuff which is half melted before it gets into the cooler and the contents were swimming in water. As well, it costs a small fortune in holiday areas. And the whole shebang weighed more than we could comfortably manage. Hence, we're looking in other directions and we've already sold the orange cooler.

And we neither drink beer nor eat meat, so frozen is not an issue but cold water sure is and until we field test the t-es, we'll never know. We have taken food up to Bundy with the t-e running in the car but we were using cabins then so unloaded everything into a fridge so we don't really know how it will do on a hot day in a tent.

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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby HGMonaro » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:19 pm

if you're sitting in the one place for a few days, why not a gas fridge?
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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby Pauly » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:55 pm

Hi
If you mean the techni ice stuff thats in like packs then forget it. We bought a techni Ice esky that came with I think 12 packs, misses used then once and turfed them they were junk.
Just got back from 10 or 12 days at Glenbawn Dam (Scone) hot as buggery. We had 1 110 litre Techni Ice Esky and 1 65 litre (fibreglass) Eva Cool, the Eva cool out performed the Techni Ice 3 to 1. We took approximatly 100kg of shaved ice with us and it was gone in the 110ltre esky in 4 days were the Evacool was still half full. We normally use the big esky to top up the Eva cool as it needs it, eva cools our food esky, I was pretty annoyed when we lifted the lid on the Techni ice esky to find it half melted after 2 days of it being sealed in the shade.
I ended up running back to Newcastle grabbing another 65litre eva cool and filled both with more shaved ice. We used something like 250 kg of ice in 2weeks.
We are just restocking our trailer and eskys to head off again into the barringtons to cool off :)
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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby Bradd » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:07 pm

What I omitted to mention was that we have owned a Tropicool - the big orange things - and found we were buying ice twice a day.


I got an 80 litre Techni ice Ice Box a few months ago.
I put several (4 - 6) X 2 litre bottles of water frozen + the 6 techni ice shets I got with it
and the one time I have used it for extended time after 4 days most of the 2 litre bottles were at least 50% ice and virtually everything on the bottom was still frozen. This was despite not keeping it in the shade. I can't give a true indication of how long it stays cool as after the 4th day I refroze a couple of bottles & sheets.

The bigger the ice block the better, I dont know what shaved ice
is but if it melts in 2 days it can't be too useful.
Even my standard willow esky thing had ice left in 2 X 2 litre
frozen water bottles after 24 hours.

If you stay in a caravan park you may be able to refreeze
some water bottles in the camp kitchen when neccesary.
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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby OzJeeper » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:24 pm

We've been down the compressor-fridge road and sold our large Waeco some time back and don't want to be faced with hauling a really heavy item about. Hence the thermo-electric thingies.


Sorry to rain on your parade but selling the Waeco/Engel in that size was a huge mistake. Nothing in thermo-electric, static cold, 3-way will EVER come close to the cooling capacity of the compressor type fridges.

End of story. Maybe you should have gone for a "liftable" 40lt instead?????

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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby CampGrrlz » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:46 pm

OzJeeper wrote:Sorry to rain on your parade but selling the Waeco/Engel in that size was a huge mistake. Nothing in thermo-electric, static cold, 3-way will EVER come close to the cooling capacity of the compressor type fridges.End of story. Maybe you should have gone for a "liftable" 40lt instead?????

We've tried lifting the current crop of 40lt compressor fridges - and leaving aside for the moment, the impossible price of $1000+ - we're flat out lifting them empty, never mind full. It's OK for young'uns to be blasé about heaving heavy objects around, but for we oldies (66 and 74) we ain't as strong as we uster be.

But we are losing sight of the reason for my post ... having decided to go down the thermo-electric path for one trip at least ... does anyone have experience or definite technical information on using frozen water bottles to increase the coldness of the contents of a thermo-electric fridge?

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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:54 am

CampGrrlz wrote:What I omitted to mention was that we have owned a Tropicool - the big orange things - and found we were buying ice twice a day.


Sorry, don't want to take this thread any more off course, but I've got a 52L tropical and it lasts at least 3 days with ice, and we've had it last up to 5 in the dead heat of summer on the beach, but I kept it shut as often as possible and always made sure it was in the shade. And drained the water regularily (ice melts quicker when its submerged in water).

But nonetheless, even I struggle to lift that when its fully loaded :oops:

Is there any way that you could keep the ice box/esky/cooler in the car/caravan, and just fill it while its in there? Might be a way around the whole lifting thing?

I just can't see ice helping the thermo that much. It'd be better, for sure, but they really aren't that great to begin with.
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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby CampGrrlz » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:20 pm

Ozzycamperboy wrote:but I kept it shut as often as possible and always made sure it was in the shade. And drained the water regularly ... Is there any way that you could keep the ice box in the car, and just fill it while its in there? ... thermo that much ... they really aren't that great to begin with.


We were being very careful not to open the ice box often or for long, kept it in the camper-trailer (after heaving it out of the back of the Rodeo) and drained, drained and drained again. That party ice stuff it r$%sh^t.

At this stage, we drive a Hyundai Accent and there's no plans to up-size so carrying an ice-box of any reasonable size is not really an option, although an interesting idea. We are keen gardeners too so we bring home bulky items never mind our shopping.

We're going to find out the real-world use of two thermo-electric fridges and we're going to do some testing here at home with them and the Willow ice-box with frozen drinking water. We may have good reason to try some other idea but for now, we'll leave it where it's at and keep watching this board for other tips. There's been many good tips and I've got them printed for reference.

Thank you to everyone who contributed, it's a great community :grin:

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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby mouth » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:03 pm

CampGrrlz wrote:At this stage, we drive a Hyundai Accent
[...]
We're going to find out the real-world use of two thermo-electric fridges and we're going to do some testing here at home with them and the Willow ice-box with frozen drinking water.

The problem with a thermo electric is that they chew through batteries. Your Hyundai battery will be flat after 36+ hrs of running a thermo electric. And if you carry another deep cycle battery for the thermo electric then the battery will possibly be very/too heavy, and thus not meeting your weight concern.
I think you mentioned a camp trailer? Perhaps you can just pack and leave an ice box within that? and thus not have to worry about moving/lifting it? Easy to drain from there too. Use a canvas/tarp to shield it from the sun?
The thermo electrics are really for picnics and day trips, or overnighters when you arrive late afternoon and have left the thermo electric running in the car whilst travelling.
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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby HGMonaro » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:36 pm

mouth wrote:have left the thermo electric running in the car whilst travelling.


I have a cheapy and it doesn't even mange that! It's useless. I know someone with a name brand one and I don't get the impression it works much better.

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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby coyotte » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:06 am

Know it's probably off topic
but whats wrong with a cheapo Compressor Fridge, set up in the vechile
that is set on freeze with a heap of those reusable blue freezer blocks
then a small light weight fabric cooler that you can keep your daily needs in and just replace the blocks from the freezer as needed ???

I've been using a $350 MobileCool as the freezer (added a $50 240v to 12v inverter on special ) this way for my last few trips and the setup is working fine .
If the MobileCool packs it in then it's no big deal this way --- just buy ice or what ever until it is replaced.

Shaved Ice as I understand is totally useless for cooling --- it's mainly used in drinks

just my 2c worth

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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby CampGrrlz » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:26 pm

coyotte wrote:what's wrong with a cheapo Compressor Fridge, set up in the vehicle that is set on freeze with a heap of those reusable blue freezer blocks... ??? ... I've been using a $350 MobileCool as the freezer

Hmmm! Now there's a thought! :grin: Went looking this morning at Anaconda (first time in that shop, long overdue visit) and lo! they have an 18L compressor Waeco but not for $350 :-(. List price is $550, haven't shopped around just yet. Checked the Waeco website and it is a current model, needs an inverter, can live with that.

What is this MoblieCool? Nearest I could find in Google was Mobicool which makes for Waeco and the smallest they say they make is 40L. Any further info so I can find one will be very helpful. Just haven't seen anything in the compressor range for less than $1000 except for the above.

We're off on a different tack, so thank you for your great idea :-)

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Re: Ice, Ice Boxes and Thermo-electric fridges

Postby CampGrrlz » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:37 pm

mouth wrote:Your Hyundai battery will be flat after 36+ hrs of running a thermo electric. ... I think you mentioned a camp trailer? Perhaps you can just pack and leave an ice box within that?

The thermo-electrics, for all their faults, don't run when the engine is off. Whether that's something built into them or into the car electronics, I don't know but at least I know the fridge won't be draining the battery.

The camper trailers are past tense. There were two, a locally-built one with all the bells and whistles and a Cub, a much simpler setup. We were spending our time away working for the campers, not taking time out so the campers went out instead. At that time we drove a Rodeo 6 cyl which had added deep-cycle batteries to run the Waeco 85L. We're not going down that path again! Too much concern about keeping the batteries topped up, out of the sun ... arrgghh.

On reflection, the idea floated by another board member to get a smaller compressor freezer and use it to make blocks has some sound reasoning and we'll be looking into that one.

Thank you for your ideas, all the suggestions have been useful and aspects we had not though about. Who'd be without the internet? :o

Best regards

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